Book Reviews

Discussion in 'Writing' started by Starchaser3000, Feb 9, 2012.

  1. Starchaser3000

    Starchaser3000 Registered User

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    Are members allowed to post them on this forum for discussion on a thread?
     
  2. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Staff

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    Yes, as long as they're your own.

    If not, only post a small section of it (generally the most relevant bit to what you wish to discuss) and post a link to the rest of it.
     
  3. Starchaser3000

    Starchaser3000 Registered User

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    OK. I have got two of them. One really positive, the other is more like a pro & con one. Can I post them in this thread, or should I just start a new one?
     
  4. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Staff

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    Um... *scratches head* Perhaps I should have asked why you wanted to quote certain reviews...

    If you're starting discussions on other books, sure, just do a quick search (use the site's search facility) to see if there's any existing topics. If not, or if you feel your topic deserves its own thread, then post it in the appropriate section.
     
  5. Randy M.

    Randy M. Registered User

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    Hi, Starchaser3000.

    I've been adding short reviews of my own to the "Reading in [Month/Year]" threads for years and no one's scolded me yet. (A few have agreed, a few have disagreed, and I suspect a few see them, think, "Oh, the wordy bugger again" and skip the post.)

    I think the question is -- and you haven't answered it directly -- are these reviews of your very own writing? Or are you talking about quoting someone else's reviews?

    If the former, posters here often add their comments to the "Reading ..." threads. Sometimes, if they want to initiate a discussion about a given work, they start a thread and post the review/comments that way.

    If you mean the latter, you might be breaking copyright to post someone else's work in its entirety. Quoting a passage and making your own points off of that, well, that's usually considered fair use.

    Just some thoughts.


    Randy M.
     
  6. Starchaser3000

    Starchaser3000 Registered User

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    Yes. These are reviews of my own writing. Sorry that I did not clarify that.:eek: So can I post the reviews in this section of the forum? Or can I be directed to the right one?
     
  7. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Staff

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    It depends what genre the books are.

    Fantasy and Horror go in Fantasy/Horror
    Science Fiction goes in Sci-Fi.
    Non-genre works (crime, literature, historical, etc.) go in this section, which is the General Fiction one.

    Things like Steampunk, etc. go where you feel is best for them - Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate is Steampunk, but has a focus on fantasy elements so would go in the Fantasy section, whereas Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan series is Dieselpunk with no fantastical elements, so would go in Sci-Fi.

    As I said earlier, you should use the forum's search facility to find out if topics exist for the book(s) you've reviewed.
     
  8. Randy M.

    Randy M. Registered User

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    That can be interpreted in two ways:

    1) "I wrote the reviews"
    2) "These are the reviews of the books I wrote."

    If the former, cool. I look forward to reading them.

    If number 2, the moderators might look at that as advertising and that is generally frowned upon in this establishment. (An exception to that comes when a subject is raised and the work a poster wrote is a good example in discussing that subject.)

    I apologize if I'm being pedantic or obtuse, also if my awkward sentence structure in my previous message led to your phrasing.


    Randy M.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2012
  9. Starchaser3000

    Starchaser3000 Registered User

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    Yeah, basically I want people to help me compare and contrast both reviews. One is moderately positive, the other glowingly positive. I paid more for one than the other. But with the one that I paid more for I had a chance to interact with the reviewer via e-mail before my book was reviewed. In the cheaper review, the manuscript was given to some random person in no particular timetable that I never had a chance to interact with before it was actually reviewed.

    Would it be OK to post the reviews based on this discussion premise?
     
  10. N. E. White

    N. E. White tmso Staff Member

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    Hi Starchaser3000,

    I understand what you want to do. If you still want to post it after reading what I say below, go head and start a thread in the Writing forum and ask folks (other writers) what their take is on both. Make it clear that these are reviews that you paid for for a work of fiction that you wrote.

    But, the sad fact is, whether you paid for them or not, reviews are reviews: high subjective and prone to errors.

    I write reviews. And when I post them to Amazon or GoodReads, I am always amazed by what I see others say about their experience with the same book. Sometimes I think, are they talking about the book I just read? They can't be. But, usually they are. And the things they may have found utterly boring, are the things that I found thrilling. Or vice versa.

    You just never know. Readers are individuals and their reviews will be biased. It's the nature of the game.
     
  11. Starchaser3000

    Starchaser3000 Registered User

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    You make good points. But I found that interacting with the reviewer first to explain what your book is about before the review actually starts got me the positive review as the end result. Do you do that with authors before you read/review their work as well?
     
  12. N. E. White

    N. E. White tmso Staff Member

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    FYI - we are moving this to the Writing forum. We can just continue the conversation here.

    Do I interact with the author before the review? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Either way, we never discuss the book. That's not my intention in writing the review. I want to read the book fresh, discover it on my own and come to my own conclusions. The thing is, the writer (and publisher, if the author is not the publisher) has to get all aspects of the book just right so that the reader experiences what the author intended.

    You're concerned about folks not getting that your book is satire right?

    What's that famous advice by some great author...subtle is fine, as long as it is obvious? Something like that.
     
  13. Starchaser3000

    Starchaser3000 Registered User

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    I guess I should be thankful that I have not had a BAD review yet. But I know my writing is far from perfect, and I really think some readers could be put off by what I have written. If people are into the plot serious Game of Thrones type fantasy, then they would probably be insulted and revolted by my work for sure LOL:)
     
  14. Susan Boulton

    Susan Boulton Edited for submission

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    What the? Paid?

    This goes against the whole idea of a review as I see it.:eek::mad:

    And beyond sending the reviewer a free copy there should not be any interaction. (Shakes head is dismay.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2012
  15. Zalz

    Zalz Registered User

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    Paying for a review is sadly becoming more common.

    People self-publish stories and want to get the word out, so they pay a reviewer with an audience to write a review on their story.

    It is, imo, a scam on the same size as self-published hardcopy books.
     
  16. Starchaser3000

    Starchaser3000 Registered User

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    Can't argue with that. Some book reviews cost like over $300. The ones I paid for were like in the $99-$150 range. So I think I got a bargain in a way.

    @holbrook:Thanks for your input. Yeah, I'm unsure on the rules and protocol on what makes a valid review or not. I did not know that interacting with a reviewer before a review is considered cheating. I just thought letting the reviewer know that my book series is a parody/satire of fiction/fantasy as opposed to it being reviewed as serious high fantasy helped in me getting a FAIR review. At least that is what I felt.

    I had no interaction with the other reviewer. When I submitted my manuscript to be reviewed, I had to submit under the category of serious high fantasy since there was no category for parody/satire. I thought surely I would get a terrible review under these pretenses. But it was not really that bad at all to my surprise. If anyone wants to compare and contrast to know what I'm talking about then look at my blog here:

    http://vic-velasquez.blogspot.com
     
  17. KatG

    KatG Effulgent Staff Member

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    We've had this discussion before. If readers know that a review is paid for, they will not consider it a legitimate and honest review, even if it isn't glowing. However, these services appear to put up the review in places like Amazon for a fee without that fact being broadcast. I think it's a very bad idea to do and not worth the money for the value of the promotional effect, which can be got other ways for free, as I've said. However, if you want people here to give you feedback on these reviews, Starchaser, we'll allow it and the link.

    However, this does not mean that everyone can start putting up reviews they get from everywhere and asking what people think about them. We are not a free review PR service. In this particular case, where the issue is paid reviews, we will allow it as a discussion about writing and publishing.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2012
  18. Zalz

    Zalz Registered User

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    Maybe I should get me a slice of that pie lol.

    300 bucks for a book review? Are you kidding me?

    For that price I could speed read Game of Thrones and earn more then my day job...

    Then I just write a negative review so the guy might even want to pay me more so I don't print it...


    Video game reviewing is as corrupt as all hell but even there they don't slap money directly into the hands of the reviewer.

    This new publishing industry needs a review base, but this idea of paying a guy for the favour of a review is just bound to be corrupt. You can't write a proper review when the guy you are reviewing is holding your paycheck.

    In turn, I don't understand why people would care for what an obviously bought reviewer says about a book.


    I give this book a thumbs up, but it has nothing to do with the 300 bucks that just got deposited into my paypal account.
     
  19. N. E. White

    N. E. White tmso Staff Member

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    Damn. I've been doing it all wrong! I've been reviewing for books I PAID for! ;) Joke.

    Yeah, I hate to agree with Zalz, but that's kind of how I feel too about paid reviews.

    I read the reviews posted on your blog. Well, I read the first one. The good one. And I thought it was fair. It did point out the pros and the cons of the book. I don't think there's anything wrong with it, but just knowing that it was paid, I did wonder whether the person's final recommendation on the book was based on the book's contents or the fact that you might pay them again to review the second book.

    Now, did you contacting them before they reviewed the book influence what they wrote? It seems so, because they the first reviewer compared it to other satire while the second one didn't (I just popped over and read it). But, that could be an issue with the reader's backgrounds too.

    There's no way to know if these were 'honest' reviews. They seem to be good reviews, and you should definitely use them seeing as you paid for them.
     
  20. hughhowey

    hughhowey SF Author

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    Okay, that made me smile.

    I know Kirkus and Publishers Weekly do this as well. They even allow the author the choice of whether or not the review is published. I have mixed feelings about the entire process.