Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Review Policy

Several storytelling pals of mine have recently called into question my reviews of storytelling CDs and DVDs. Because all my storytelling reviews are complimentary, they doubt my credibility as a reviewer. After all, no one likes every storytelling recording she hears.

I can understand their concern, and I am happy to address this issue.

I do NOT enjoy every storytelling recording that I hear. I usually enjoy about 1 out of every 3. As far as reviews go, however, I will review only those recording that I like. There are three reasons for this:

1. Most storytellers spend thousands of dollars to produce a CD or DVD. That is a lot of money in comparison to our incomes. I have made a personal decision to refrain from writing negative reviews that may affect a storyteller’s livelihood. After all, just because I don’t care for a particular recording does not mean that others will feel the same. What I offer is my own opinion – nothing else. If I cannot find something good to say, I keep quiet.

2. Years ago I belonged to a playwriting group that strongly believed that a finished product should not be critiqued. By the time a play is finished, the playwright has invested so much time that she has a huge emotional stake in the end product. I follow this same policy when I review storytelling recordings. I do not criticize what cannot be changed. No storyteller that I know is able to re-record 5,000 CDs to accommodate a negative review.

3. I find it tedious to review recordings that I do not like. I have very little free time and prefer to spend it doing those things that I enjoy.

After I write a review, I always send it to the storyteller for permission to publish it. If the storyteller agrees to publication, I send it to VASA, Voices in the Glen, and The Connecticut Storytelling Center to be considered for inclusion in their newsletters. I also send it to Storyteller.net and post it on my blog, with links to FaceBook and Twitter. Since I now do news and reviews for Here Women Tell (on Here Women Talk radio), I share my reviews with that show’s listeners, as well.

Anyone who would like me to consider reviewing a CD or DVD should send it to:

Linda Goodman
P.O. Box 1351
Chesterfield, VA 23832

If you would like to have the recording returned, please include a stamped, self-addressed envelope.

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