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Thread: Authors should really stop telling readers how to give reviews

  1. #851
    Shiny new cover! AW Moderator Calla Lily's Avatar
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    When I started as a freelance reviewer, my "boss" sent editorial notes on every single one. It took a dozen, at least, before I got the hang of it and he simply gave my reviews a title and posted them.

    So there is a learning curve when you go pro.

  2. #852
    DenturePunk writer bearilou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phaeal View Post
    If opinions are indeed like assholes (that is, everyone has one), then there should be no qualification needed to write a book review. Or to have an asshole.
    Or to be one, apparently.
    Quote Originally Posted by Phaeal View Post
    The first draft is a huge pile of clay that you've laboriously heaped on your table, patting it into a rough shape as you go along. From the second draft onward, you'll cut away chunks, add bits, pat and punch and pinch, until you finally have a gorgeous figure of, oh, Marcus Aurelius. Or a duck. But a damn fine duck.
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  3. #853
    is watching you via her avatar jjdebenedictis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phaeal View Post
    If opinions are indeed like assholes (that is, everyone has one, and sometimes they stink), ...
    Fixed that for you.
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  4. #854
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    Dear Author's Monday Midday Links links to an author complaining that paid Publishers Weekly self-pub reviews sometimes don't give authors anything they can quote out-of-context for a blurb. The author calls PW "sneaky." Yeah, the irony.

    http://www.chicagonow.com/a-city-mom...blished-books/

    What every author wants from a review of this type is that one line they can quote. I would’ve been happy with something like, “Down at the Golden Coin is a fast and witty read that could have been so much better without Strickland’s ham-fisted dialogue.” Because of course I would quote only the first part of the sentence! But reading the PW reviews in the supplement, every one of them is suspiciously crafted so as to not string together a single sentence like the above. There’s basically no way to get a useable blurb from any of the reviews, even when they do say very positive things. It reeks of sneaky, if you ask me.
    Last edited by Ava Glass; 04-17-2012 at 12:18 AM.

  5. #855
    Shooting stars. lolchemist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superluminal View Post
    Dear Author's Monday Midday Links features an author who is angry that paid Publishers Weekly reviews sometimes don't give one positive sentence an author could quote out-of-context for a blurb. She calls PW "sneaky." Yeah, the irony.

    http://www.chicagonow.com/a-city-mom...blished-books/
    Your Midday Links link is faulty :C

    I don't know anything about this Publisher's Weekly self published book reviews program but somehow it feels strange to me for them to charge people for the opportunity to be included in a supplement of shitty reviews. 4 good novels out of 25? Why would anyone want to waste their time or money reading a supplement filled with reviews of books that suck??

    I don't know. Maybe one of you folks on this forum can help enlighten me? I'm assuming her slant on this is pretty biased as well.

    Current WIP (YA Contemporary) - Book 1: 32,958 of 90,000 X Book 2: 40,359 of 90,000
    Current WIP (YA Fantasy) - Book 1: 68,055 of 75,000 x Book 2:
    10,512 of 75,000
    x Book 3:
    09,962 of 75,000 x Book 4:
    12,490 of 75,000

  6. #856
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    Quote Originally Posted by lolchemist View Post
    Your Midday Links link is faulty :C
    Thanks. Fixed.

  7. #857
    A bit of a wallflower absitinvidia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superluminal View Post
    Dear Author's Monday Midday Links links to an author who is angry that paid Publishers Weekly reviews sometimes don't give authors one positive sentence they can quote out-of-context for a blurb. The author calls PW "sneaky." Yeah, the irony.

    http://www.chicagonow.com/a-city-mom...blished-books/
    Didn't a bunch of movie reviewers threaten to boycott studios who took quotes out of context in this manner? This was a while back.

  8. #858
    crazy mean SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    I have it on good authority that quoting reviews out-of-context in such a way is soon going to be illegal in the EU. Good job too.

  9. #859
    Clever title pending. MarkEsq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hack View Post
    I have it on good authority that quoting reviews out-of-context in such a way is soon going to be illegal in the EU. Good job too.
    Old Hack says:

    "... quoting reviews out-of-context ... is... [g]ood"

  10. #860
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    Old Hack:
    quoting reviews out-of-context in such a way is soon going to be illegal in the EU
    I think it's actually already in effect - the EU Unfair Commercial Practices Directive was enacted in the UK as the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations and sets out how you can advertise your products and the provision of information to consumers. If you use quotes to entice people to sell your products without giving all the information then you could fall foul of the criminal courts. I'll be interested to see if it's been enforced or is being relied upon.

    MM

  11. #861
    Wow, when I think I've seen it all.

    Someone actually complaining that they have no way to misrepresent someone's opinion of their book?

    When did it become common practice to whine about how it's so hard to behave unethically anymore?

    I...sheesh... I'm about ready to throw in the towel. People love to complain about how unethical corporations are, but truth is it all comes down to the individual. And when you have individuals openly professing their desire to dupe their consumers, well, what can I say?
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  12. #862
    Whatever I did, I didn't do it. Phaeal's Avatar
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    I just expect doctored quotes and pay no attention to any of them.
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  13. #863
    Quote Originally Posted by Phaeal View Post
    I just expect doctored quotes and pay no attention to any of them.
    Well, sure. But, dare I say? Yes, I dare.

    It's the principle of the matter.
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  14. #864
    Shooting stars. lolchemist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phaeal View Post
    I just expect doctored quotes and pay no attention to any of them.
    Yeah, either doctored or a 'favor for a friend' or whatever. I never pay attention to quotes.

    I really wonder if a dazzling quote from Publisher's Weekly would have done much for the sales of her book though? (I ask because, like I said, I never pay attention to quotes. Like BARACK OBAMA could have a quote on the cover of a book and I'd have no clue!) Are there any studies on this? Like how many copies of a book gets sold with a favorable quote vs. with no quote at all?

    Current WIP (YA Contemporary) - Book 1: 32,958 of 90,000 X Book 2: 40,359 of 90,000
    Current WIP (YA Fantasy) - Book 1: 68,055 of 75,000 x Book 2:
    10,512 of 75,000
    x Book 3:
    09,962 of 75,000 x Book 4:
    12,490 of 75,000

  15. #865
    Rewriting My Destiny Cyia's Avatar
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    Quotes definitely impact sales of a book if they're on the cover. That's why publishers seek out authors with established fanbases to blurb them. If you can tie Book X to Mega-author Y, then you've got a shot of Meg-author's fans picking it up. The Hunger Games is a prime example, with the Stephen King / Stephanie Meyer perfect storm.

  16. #866
    practical experience, FTW _Jinx_'s Avatar
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    I have bought movies and books on amazon that everyone else rated as terrible and I loved them :3... the point... I do not care what others think because they are not paying for it *I am*.


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  17. #867
    Shooting stars. lolchemist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyia View Post
    Quotes definitely impact sales of a book if they're on the cover. That's why publishers seek out authors with established fanbases to blurb them. If you can tie Book X to Mega-author Y, then you've got a shot of Meg-author's fans picking it up. The Hunger Games is a prime example, with the Stephen King / Stephanie Meyer perfect storm.
    You know, after I wrote that question, I remembered a review of this book called Wings by Aprillyne Pike. The review was something like "THIS BOOK WAS NOTHING LIKE TWILIGHT!!!! I CAN'T BELIEVE STEPHENIE MEYER RECCOMENDED THIS BOOK!!! I WANT A REFUND! ALLCAPS RAGE GRARR! EXCLAMATIONPOINTS!!!" (Well, okay, maybe I'm paraphrasing a tad...)

    I love how Stephenie's name is the same size as the real authors! More covers in the link. Even the Russian one has the Stephenie Meyer blurb!

    So after your blurber's readers pick your book up, you just have to hope that they don't fling it across the room in rage, LOL!

    Current WIP (YA Contemporary) - Book 1: 32,958 of 90,000 X Book 2: 40,359 of 90,000
    Current WIP (YA Fantasy) - Book 1: 68,055 of 75,000 x Book 2:
    10,512 of 75,000
    x Book 3:
    09,962 of 75,000 x Book 4:
    12,490 of 75,000

  18. #868
    Writer Beware's Faithful Igor Richard White's Avatar
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    Anyone who could convert "A Remarkable Debut" into "This is written exactly the way I (Stephanie Meyer) write" deserves to be parted from their money.

    Gah, I hate stupid people.

  19. #869
    Shakespearean Fool DreamWeaver's Avatar
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    It's rather amusing that the quoted author is unethical enough to want a PW quote that can be used out of context, but is too ethical to simply make one up. [avoiding 51 shades of gray pun, but not too strenuously]
    Why doesn't George R. R. Martin use Twitter? He already killed off all 140 characters.

  20. #870
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Now it's bloggers, and we've got us a drama-llama stampede out there, folks.

  21. #871
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    BTW, as far as made-up quotes, all the review quotes in the published edition of Atlanta Nights are made up, including "...this...book...makes...for...wondrous...reading ..." -- Derryl Murphy

  22. #872
    More review WTFery in the comments:

    http://www.goodreads.com/author_blog...t#comment_form

    So much so that Jennifer Armentrout had to clarify she's not the Jennifer ArmIntrout writing the Fifty Shades comments (apparently, people are removing the wrong Jennifer's books from their TBR lists):

    http://jenniferarmentrout.blogspot.c...d-posting.html


    Which is causing Jennifer ArmIntrout to debate whether to continue recapping Fifty Shades:

    Furthermore, another author, Jennifer L. Armentrout, is experiencing some backlash because people are confusing the two of us. So, people who are angry at me are, for some inexplicable reason, deleting her books from their GoodReads.com libraries. Don't do that. She's not me. She's not my pen name, as some have theorized.

    ....

    This puts me in a really weird place. If I stop, I'm rewarding the bad behavior of a few people and telling them that they are entitled to dictate author behavior with their system of star giving. That's not what I'm saying at all. I'm not considering giving up the recaps because I'm afraid of down votes or bad reviews or hate mail. I can handle all those things. What I'm saying is, I don't want to harm an innocent bystander with my actions.
    http://jenniferarmintrout.blogspot.c...o-clarify.html
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  23. #873
    Cory thebloodfiend's Avatar
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    It's a spork. What's the big deal? Are they that naive as to how the internet works? For a spork, this is rather mild, considering that the book in question is 50 Shades. I've seen them go into South Park territory for Harry Potter and Twilight.

    What really amazes me is they're comparing snarking a book to bullying. I guess anything anyone writes suddenly deserves respect and praise. It's the same attitude that makes some kid's teams give every kid an award, regardless of performance.

    Sporks are all in good fun. You're not supposed to take them too seriously. Even fans of HP7 participate in sporking the book and laughing at things that don't really make sense. But, of course, anything that goes over "the line" of constructive criticism is automatically bashing the author, and if they're female, you're being a misogynist. *Sigh*. Really hilarious when 50 Shades (and its source material) is said to be rather sexist itself.

    ETA: Reading it carefully, she only addresses, or even refers to James once. And that's to compliment her for having her characters use condoms. I've written harsher shit. The backlash is shilarious.
    Last edited by thebloodfiend; 04-30-2012 at 05:59 AM.

  24. #874
    practical experience, FTW Moon Daughter's Avatar
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    I was reading through some of the comments on Jennifer's post and I felt strongly that an author has the right to review a novel without being criticized as unprofessional. I'm not for posts that deliberately degrade and make fun of the author in question, but I don't mind a little bit of snark. There are some books out there that will garner that kind of reaction in certain people and why shouldn't someone be allowed to show that?
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  25. #875
    Here we go again:

    5. If you can’t stand the book, don’t read it. Horrid, one and two star reviews, always amaze me. I’d like to ask the reviewer, “Why did you read the freakin' book?”

    ....

    7. Leaving a review for a friend. Don’t leave one unless you liked the book. If you can’t find enough positive in the book to rate it well and make one or two positive statements, then abstain from leaving the review. (Or tell a white lie.)
    http://marlamadison.blogspot.com/201...rs-do-you.html

    This is getting really, really old.
    Last edited by Bubastes; 05-08-2012 at 03:31 AM.
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