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Badly Behaving Authors

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In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 3:39:28 PM PDT
lwd says:
cats are entitled to their 23 ˝ hours a day of sleep. You're being abusive to the poor animal by calling it constantly and taking it for a walk all hours of the day and night.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 3:46:00 PM PDT
abbyshire says:
Maybe my toddler peed in them? I'm not judging you, Splinker. The DVF has hit all of us, it's just that the downvotes affect authors more than reviewers. It sucks. And fake reviews suck, too.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 4:15:45 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 6, 2012 4:24:03 PM PDT
Splinker says:
I love popularity contests. Who is the most popular poster?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 4:27:27 PM PDT
Hope Welsh says:
Tansy, I wasn't talking about you at all. I was talking in general, and if you re-read my post, I specifically mentioned the unformatted garbage out there...I was agreeing with the general comments regarding poor formatting.

But, that said, no one can tell me they can give an honest review based on one or two samples, unless, as I've said, it's simply not readable...as some are due to formatting, and, yes, glaring errors that hit you in the face in the first two or three pages.

I buy books based on skimming and description, etc., I review based on my opinion of the story. Ebooks have added a whole new layer to reviews.

I once read a Jayne Ann Krentz with an entire section repeated in the print edition. I've bought it twice,vwith the same issue, as I lost the copy in a move. That certainly was not the author's fault, it was the proof reader.

Today, with self-pub and small press, the author would have been given a poor review based on it.

I think I'll agree to disagree with you. I've read many a good book that started slow and ended up being a good book (formatting and editing issues aside) personal preference is the issue there. My experience reading has shown a book can start slow and be good. Your reading experiences obviously have not.

But please remember, I was speaking generally, not to or about any specific reader, or reviewer.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 4:34:12 PM PDT
When an author chooses to self pub though, those formatting issues, like in the JAK book ARE the responsibility of the author.

When they decided to self publish, they put on all the hats- writing, editing, copy editing, publishing, proofing, everything. It is their responsibility to make sure the book is as error free as possible before hitting that publish button.

One would think that once they DID hit that publish button, they would IMMEDIATELY download the kindle/smashwords/whatever version and read the freaking thing, then let someone else read the freaking thing, to make sure it's not a big old mess, which so many of these self pubbed books are.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 4:43:20 PM PDT
Tansy Gold says:
Hope Welsh -- No, I'm sorry if I gave the wrong impression. I *knew* you weren't talking about me specifically.

But I also believe that if you look at not only my reviews, but a lot of the one- and two-start reviews, there are a lot of people who DO slog through the whole thing, even when the problems of horrible writing and horrible formatting are obvious from page one. Or they make it to the 50% mark and just can't go any further, and many of them admit they knew pretty darn early in the process that the prospect of a bad read weas evident. If I as a reader can't get to the story because the writing and formatting are that bad, how can I review it on the basis of a story I can't read?

The Jayne Ann Krentz example isn't quite apples to apples, because Krentz is traditionally published and readers pretty much know that it's the printer or the publisher or the editor, not the author, who leaves out a section or duplicates it in a print edition or even a digital version of a print edition. And even if it's an error that should have been caught by the publishing process but may have been let to slip because after all JAK is JAK and her stuff will sell no matter what, the blame is less likely to fall on her than on the publisher.

SPAs, however, don't have all that processing in the middle. They ARE the publishers, their own publishers. Who else is to blame?

One of my most favorite books of all time starts out horribly slow. A couple hundred pages of slow. So slow that I started it several times and couldn't get into it until I had a crosscountry flight and decided to use that time to force myself to read that book because I really wanted to like it. And sure enough, around page 250, it took off and never stopped and I stayed up all night after the flight was over to finish it, and I have reread it many times. For me, therefore, it's much less about a slow start than the inability to find the story at all under a mountain of bad writing.

As others have said here: Very often there are good stories under the bad writing, or at least the beginnings of good stories. Unfortunately, too many of the authors seem to have lost interest in bringing those good beginnings to fruition. They just want to have published.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 4:57:51 PM PDT
done the usual

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 5:00:46 PM PDT
Obviously quite full of herself, books edited by her seem all to deserve 5 Stars.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 5:02:23 PM PDT
"One would think that once they DID hit that publish button, they would IMMEDIATELY download the kindle/smashwords/whatever version and read the freaking thing, then let someone else read the freaking thing, to make sure it's not a big old mess"

Any good businessperson would do usability testing, yes. Sadly, so many SPAs are simply desperate to call themselves authors and care little about anything--including but not limited to syntax, punctuation, formatting, plot development, cliche overuse--other than stroking their own egos.

Posted on Jul 6, 2012 5:05:02 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Aug 8, 2012 7:25:42 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 5:13:28 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Aug 8, 2012 7:25:43 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 5:14:28 PM PDT
Splinter is sounding a little petulant. I'm sure by 'here', you are referring to the Amazon forums where it is quite likely that you have annoyed tens of thousands of people with nonsense posts filling up the thread lists making it difficult to find any topics or to follow a conversation in other threads. Any chance it could be related to that? I'm not saying it is right because I don't agree with that practice at all. Personally, I have never gone to your book page and didn't know you had any reviews. I did read somewhere that you had self-reviewed your book but that it had been removed.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 5:15:15 PM PDT
Iola says:
"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."

..which, I guess, is why new authors want lots of those 4/5 star reviews. Because no reviews suggests people didn't think it good enough to leave a review.

At the macro level, there isn't really an answer. No one is going to persuade Harriet and others like her that they should leave lower-starred reviews on books they don't like. At the micro level, I can make sure my own reviews are honest and reflect a variety of star ratings, and I can report reviews that obviously go against Amazon's guidelines.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 5:16:44 PM PDT
That's why my company does google pay-per-click once a year for a couple of months. Not sure which one it is to keep cost down, either less use key words or the most. It usually propels us to page 1 within 48 hours. However, do all hopeful authors: I don't know if this works for books nor I am entirely sure how it works. I leave this to my marketing and IT team.

Posted on Jul 6, 2012 5:18:41 PM PDT
Brent Butler says:
"No one is going to persuade Harriet and others like her that they should leave lower-starred reviews on books they don't like."

Harriet doesn't have a chance to not like a book. She is rewarded directly by the publishers for her reviews. She would have to read the book to know if she likes it or not.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 5:19:24 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 6, 2012 5:21:03 PM PDT
Iola says:
As she claims to be an editor... could she learn to use paragraphs in her reviews?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 5:20:43 PM PDT
Iola says:
OK, bad example. I was thinking of another almost-Top-10 reviewer who has a policy of only giving 4 and 5 star reviews.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 5:21:25 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Aug 8, 2012 7:25:43 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 5:21:51 PM PDT
lwd says:
Hope -

According to what I've read, many popular (traditional) authors will be going the self-published route when their contracts expire (70% of the purchase price is a whole lot better than their current take). I read a great many ARCs, and they are riddled with typos and grammatical flaws that are smoothed out before being offered to the general public.

It will be interesting to see how readers will react to and review those books when they come out. I suspect they might get more of a pass for flaws by name recognition alone.

Posted on Jul 6, 2012 5:22:24 PM PDT
Hope Welsh says:
Tansy, I agree with most of what you said, but would add that I die authors with small presses have no control, either. I tried for two years to get a mistake fixed in my own book.

I don't believe I have said anywhere that one should in any way feel obligated to read absolute garbage. I certainly won't and don't. I don't mind at all when someone's reviews a self-pub with comments about horrid editing, etc. I spend a fortune on books, and don't want to waste my money!

My comment re JAKs book was a comparison based on one of mine. I sold it to a publisher, and something was missed by editors...and me.

When someone sells to NY, they also get a galley. The JAK book should have been caught just as the error in mine should have. Guess that was what I didn't explain clearly enough.

Tansy, I have never read one of your reviews, to be honest.

I have a self-imposed obligation to let writers know personally when I find errors. It's not something a reader should feel obligated to do at all. That's why personally I will tell a writer if there are formatting issues or horrid editing.

A lot think writers shouldn't review. Perhaps they are right, if only to avoid being considered shills.

Posted on Jul 6, 2012 5:25:17 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 5:27:02 PM PDT
P. S. Wright says:
It sounds like I upset you and I did not intend to. I never said your reviews weren't good or have merit. Anyone reviewing just the Look Inside annoys me. That is not to say you have no right to do it. There are a lot of things that annoy me, but people do. That's life.

If we are going to share opinions though, you have to be prepared to hear that not everyone agrees that what you are doing is right or useful or appreciated.There is a huge world of difference between saving the reader from downloading a whole book, esp. where money is involved, and saving them reading a couple pages. If you could tell from two quick pages, so can we. It just seems unnecessary. As someone who doesn't like to waste a lot of time on reviews (except for their entertainment value) I (that's me personally, not everyone by a mile) don't find it useful and do find it a little annoying and even insulting to see reviews for 2 pages of a book. I would have spent as much time wasted reading your review as I would have reading the sample. But that is ME, I am not saying everyone feels this way nor that you have no right to review that way.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 5:30:13 PM PDT
P. S. Wright says:
That's true and it's just ridiculous that a customer, who after all is the one sending their money away for the product in the first place, should have to tolerate any such thing. It is shameful and embarrassing for the other authors and it should be a shame to Amazon when they allow it to go on, sometimes for extended periods of time.

I think the whole episode with HelenA. the other day made the point again, as if we needed it. The customer may not always be right, but it pays a businessperson to at least respect their opinion and act graciously toward them.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 5:38:42 PM PDT
Tansy Gold says:
Fair enough.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 5:42:38 PM PDT
P. S. Wright says:
Well, I've given several three star reviews. I've yet to give a 2 star, but that's just because I haven't actually gone so far as to download the whole book in a couple cases. There are some out there I'd give 2 stars (or even 1) if I had any inclination to actual read, or even waste time downloading, the crud. If I do get suckered into reading something like Modelland count on it, I will review it as I see it. I just hope when that happens, my friends will forgive me.

Oh, based on ScottBooks' rec and the suggestion of several forum regulars I sampled 2 of Konrath's books. Suffice to say I deleted them from my browsing history and did not download the full book. I think 2 stars would be generous. But I didn't finish them, so won't review, not least because that's just more work than I am willing to do to continue to prop up his media machine. He has quite enough reviews.

I have 2 books written by fellow indies that I have enjoyed conversing with. I haven't read either because, frankly, I don't want to lose respect for them if they aren't good, and figure no one will believe me if I say they are good, or even great. Eventually I'll read them, when I run out of anything else. But if I review, it will most likely not be on Amazon because they are both in genres I sometimes write in and that's a no-no here. So I guess I'm saying, I don't know how I will cross this bridge when I get to it. It does present some ethical and personal concerns.
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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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