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Badly Behaving Authors

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In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 1:18:37 PM PDT
abbyshire says:
<<<It still seems to me, though, that indie and self-published authors are held to a higher standard, in that reviews are often much more critical of even small things.>>>

Hope, I've found the opposite to be true with myself: I'm much more forgiving of grammatical, spelling, and word usage errors in indie/sp books than in traditionally published books. Maybe it's because I've worked in publishing my whole career, so I know all the steps involved in getting a book from manuscript to finished product.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 1:27:23 PM PDT
Tough and brave. I openly admit to not wanting people trolling (that is aside from the occasional BBA that does it cos they don't like a review I have written) the books I read, the reviews I write and/or the indies that are WBSPs. They don't deserve the wrath of disgruntled posters that are mad at me because I choose to have a certain opinion.

I think what makes the review system on here so interesting, flawed, controversial and yet somehow weirdly entertaining, is the fact that people review differently.
It is those differences in a set number of reviews under a book, which give the reader an overall view of the item.
Some just review LI, some the sample, some choose not to if it isn't up to par and others read the whole book.
Tansy no matter how you review you have a right to be defensive about the trolling and comments on your reviews.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 1:31:54 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 6, 2012 1:34:09 PM PDT
Winter says:
I've read several positive reviews, comments and posts from people who say, " 'cmon it's self published, you can expect more errors but it is a good story." I find myself trying to lower the bar too for SP books too but I just resist because I think that our culture should not embrace poor writing; reading used to be educational in that the reader was exposed to hours of proper grammar, spelling etc. and I think, for those who made it through high school without acquiring writing skills, reading poorly written books will tend to result in a poorly educated reading public.

I think that I have encountered a few typos in trad pubs now and then but never had the book descend into the depths of low quality writing. Far too often, I have encountered a few typos in SP books and had the book descend into a mess (i.e., the author cleaned up the first part of the book the most and the rest of the book languished). So I would say, IN THE PAST, finding a typo in a trad pub was not a good predictor that the book was carelessly put together and skipped too much of the editing process. As trad pubs cut quality to save $$$ it is gradually becoming a slightly better predictor.

But finding a typo in the first few pages of an SP book has been a good predictor in my screening experience. If I find a sentence structure error, a lone shift from third person to first, or any other noticeable error, my experiences have taught me that I will probably encounter many more in SP books. So I think experience, rather than bias, influences my reaction my reaction to sloppy editing.

Posted on Jul 6, 2012 1:37:23 PM PDT
I have to add, isn't the whole idea behind abusing reviewers to eliminate those who do leave low reviews, leaving nothing but the 4- and 5-star reviewers of which there are MANY ordinary readers, as well as the authors, editors, friends and family? The whole reason I started searching the forums for discussions on this a few months ago is because I was noticing that ALL the books I was looking at were 4 1/2 to 5 star or had no reviews at all. How can every book be 5-stars?

Virtually every author says that they will not leave anything other than a 4- or 5-star review. There are all sorts of excuses but it boils down to if the book was bad or unreadable, they are not honestly giving their opinion for future purchasers. Some also say that they are afraid of retaliation or don't want to hurt someone's feelings. Author reviews mean absolutely nothing to me as a result. And so if I take that a step further, can I assume that any book whose author and editor pals didn't rush to cover it with 5-stars is truly crap?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 1:40:43 PM PDT
I've found the opposite as well. Reviewers overall go much easier on SPAs. I've seen hundreds, maybe thousands, of reviews which say things like "for a first book", "for 99 cents", "since it was free", "considering he is a new author", and so forth.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 1:44:10 PM PDT
Let's not forget that hypocritical authors never complain about a 5-star that says "I just downloaded this and I know I'm going to love it!!!!!!" or "I haven't read it yet, but I just know it's going to be great!!!!!"

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 1:51:12 PM PDT
Brent Butler says:
SEO is Search Engine Optimization ... it is actually sort of a myth, and therefore pretty much a scam. They are all trying to tell you how Google search ranking works when the truth is none of them really know.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 1:53:40 PM PDT
>>I will never understand why all writers that publish don't take the time to learn the basics of grammar and formatting, though.<<

It's really no different a reason than why many people give a poor performance on their job. They don't want to take the time to do a good job. Many people want to put in the least effort possible.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 1:53:40 PM PDT
Tansy Gold says:
Winter, I agree with your comment "But finding a typo in the first few pages of an SP book has been a good predictor in my screening experience. If I find a sentence structure error, a lone shift from third person to first, or any other noticeable error, my experiences have taught me that I will probably encounter many more in SP books," but I would qualify it by saying that I personally don't automatically downgrade a book at the first or even the second typo or misused word in a free sample. Even if there are two misspelled words in the first sentence, I'll at least read a little further. But what those early errors do for me, and I suspect for you, too, is that they put me on immediate alert. If they're the only two in the whole first chapter, I'm not going to have a problem.

What happens all too often, though, is that the writing is so poor that a bevy of errors crop up in those first few pages. Spelling errors, usage errors (rain for reign, led along for let alone, etc.), improper punctuation: a few per chapter won't bother me, but the books I rate one- or two-star don't have just one or two errors per chapter. They have bunches.

And the other point, which I don't think I'm the only one to make here, is that if these reviews-on-mechanics are unfair or wrong, where are the authors coming along to tell us we missed the boat? Who's pointing out that it's okay to write "King Wulifer's rein was marked by piece and propensity"? Oh, they may ask the reviewers and readers to dismiss the errors "because it's only 99 cents!" but they aren't coming back and insisting what they've written is good.

When one commenter pointed out that there had been a corrected version uploaded of a book I had reviewed, I noted that yes, I did look at the new version, and while some of the formatting errors had been fixed, some remained and the writing was still in desperate need of improvement.

Again, it all comes back to -- If you don't want carp reviews, don't publish carp.

(Perhaps I should change my name to Tansy Goldfish?)

Posted on Jul 6, 2012 2:11:23 PM PDT
I have reviewed one book on the sample alone-10 chapters of godawful. Sometimes you don't have to go further. Sometimes you don't have to go even that far. Carp seldom, if ever, improves upon closer acquaintance.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 2:11:52 PM PDT
I am inclined to think that school teachers bear a certain amount of responsibility for why so many young people graduate from high school while remaining utterly illiterate. Do teachers not want to take the time to do a good job and make sure that the self-published authors of tomorrow will serve up prose that is admittedly unreadable on many levels, but that is at least properly spelled?

Posted on Jul 6, 2012 2:18:22 PM PDT
I've noticed that some 'independent' editors offer to edit the first 10 pages or first chapter for free. Maybe some authors take advantage of that? Many times in discussion forums, authors are helping each other with the book description or opening paragraph or even the whole "look inside" part.

I haven't yet read a book that started out with bad formatting or editing that improved as it went along. It's either consistent throughout the book or it gets worse. I'm not saying that it is not possible, but I haven't seen it yet. Note that I'm specifically referring to formatting and editing. I'm pretty tolerant of books that start slow or boring and usually stick with them.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 2:19:09 PM PDT
You would think that but if the parents complain and pout and scream about their poor child being picked on because they are failing or being held back most schools cave and pass the child on. A teacher can only do so much and then the parents have to step up. Some parents don't, some won't.

Posted on Jul 6, 2012 2:37:06 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 6, 2012 2:51:56 PM PDT
Winter says:
The following comment was hi-lighted among the review quotes on that book that got my hopes up:

" I based the rating on the story's merits alone...not the sloppy editing. "

This was helpful - I knew at a glance the book wasn't for me (I wish I read it before I read the first page of the downloaded sample!). I think everyone will be happier if we can sort out what books will suit the reader before more time or money is invested.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 2:52:20 PM PDT
Don't some authors do something similar with book titles. Naming it something that is guaranteed to come up on top of the search list on here.
(again that isn't all just a few)

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 3:09:38 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Jul 6, 2012 5:56:41 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 3:13:12 PM PDT
"...and left a review. It wasn't appreciated."

It _was_ by Amazon shoppers! (8/9 and counting)

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 3:15:19 PM PDT
"a really useful review also tells me about things like the story, characters, setting, political biases, and the emotional impact of the whole"

Sounds like you want a book report, which in my opinion is *not* a useful REVIEW. A review needs to be more about opinion: What does this one person THINK/FEEL about the book? Plot descriptions and the like are already provided by the author-publisher and/or Amazon.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 3:16:15 PM PDT
Splinker says:
It's impossible to post in these forums and not be attacked elsewhere. Even someone as quiet and uncontroversial as myself, gets the reviews on his book voted as unhelpful for a few of the truly dedicated here.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 3:17:27 PM PDT
"Virtually every author says that they will not leave anything other than a 4- or 5-star review."

It's not just author-reviewers, sadly. Many of Amazon's Top Classic Reviewers pumped out thousands of 4- and 5-star gushes. Either they love everything equally, or else they choose not to review the sub-par books; neither is beneficial to shoppers.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 3:18:58 PM PDT
<They do it to me all the time, since no sane males are allowed into the ring.>
Ahhh the pleasures of paradoxism, bless.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 3:24:05 PM PDT
abbyshire says:
Poor Splinker.... Ask your crazy BFF about it. He's the only one in this thread messing with actual reviews.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 3:27:45 PM PDT
Splinker says:
Well, that's not true. I'm sure the same people who Dv every post I make are also Dving the reviews of my book. And am I now being judged by who likes me here? Who peed in your cornflakes this morning?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 3:29:07 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Aug 8, 2012 7:25:42 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 3:37:10 PM PDT
lwd says:
Splinker -

These boards have always been a popularity contest, not "Do you think this post adds to the discussion?" which is supposed to be the purpose of those little yes/no buttons. It would be nice if Amazon simply changed it to "I like/hate/wish this yahoo would fall down a black hole" buttons, but that would be too practical.

I do enjoy the "report abuse" and "ignore this customer" links, however.
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Discussion in:  Romance forum
Participants:  214
Total posts:  10000
Initial post:  Jun 23, 2012
Latest post:  Dec 18, 2012

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