- File Size: 195 KB
- Print Length: 38 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: November 2, 2015
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B016PSBV30
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,648,987 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Tiny Owl Guide to Hospitality: How to make entertaining simple and stress-free Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
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Now that I have a whole list of things to do Right Now to prepare for my first dinner in January, but I'll practice my little things in two weeks at Thanksgiving. This Tiny Owl guide was a quick and easy read and gave me the confidence boost I needed to make this happen for my family.
I gave it 4.5 stars instead of 5 because there are two authors and it wasn't always clear who was speaking, and that took me out of the book too much. But the content and writing is delightful so you should push through that to get to the content.
With non-religiously oriented hospitality guides so rare on the market, I expected so much more from this book. Unfortunately it did not and still isn’t delivering any quality content for me; already halfway through it in less than an hour, it has been woefully disappointing thus far in several ways- the majority of which concern just how poorly the book was written to begin with.
Starting off, the way in which it is written is simplistic in nature. Usually I would consider that a positive as instructional books have a tendency to become dry and too informational after a bit. However, there is a difference between simplicity for ease of understanding, simplicity because of laziness. The authors’ writing falls into the later category and the simplicity is ultimately a negative mark against it.
Because of that simplicity, the book lacks any true substance. Subjects are ultimately poorly covered with no real elaboration. Those which could be expounded upon and covered more in depth in order to add sustenance to the book are instead included as tangents with a hyperlink instructing you to go to their blog and read [x blog post]. At the very least they could have shown initiative and provided textual transcripts of the hyperlink contents as opposed to lazily disregarding it as unimportant simply because their blog happens to exist.
Ultimately the way in which it is written makes it lack authenticity and seem more like a ploy to gain viewership for their blog- as opposed to a novel with any legitimate purpose.
With these two points alone, I wonder how the book would measure up when published in paperback form… I suspect not very well. Then again it was not meant to be a paperback book according to the Co-Author who responded to me on Amazon; according to the author it was meant to be supplemental material for their blog. And in that regard, they certainly succeeded and I will grant them that.
However, ultimately I do not believe that is, in any way, an excuse not to properly flesh out a book that you are selling for monetary profit. And as the book costs $2.99 USD it is indeed a book being sold for profit, no matter how minuscule that profit is. As such, I do think there are really only two ways to handle it: If they are genuinely adamant in having it work as nothing more than overly hyperlinked supplemental material for the blog, I don’t believe that, in its current state, it should be sold for a profit- nor is it really suitable to appear in a book format at all; it reads like a slightly longer variant of “How to Navigate Our Blog”, with content which is ultimately is more suitable for a “Blog Year in Review” post instead of a book sold for any price. If they are going to continue selling it for profit, then it should at least be more fleshed out and contain more substance.
The formatting, however, is another thing which I want to touch on. It is genuinely some of the poorest formatting that I have seen in a book in a while; the chapters make little sense, there is no flow, stories are not illustrative of the points being made, tangents appear everywhere, and it lacks clarity and cohesiveness in all aspects.
Furthermore, it is excruciatingly hard to figure out which of the two authors is writing at any given point throughout the book. When they do make the distinction it is poorly and unprofessionally done as well… I know how it can be hard to involve the views of two distinct authors co-writing a piece as I had this same problem with my book, The Sisters Grimmoire(VI). However, I do know for certain that it can be done and so I feel the poor distinction is inexcusable. There were multiple options in order to carry the book across successfully and yet they failed spectacularly, making the book even more fragmented and confusing to read than it already was.
Speaking of the storytelling,though, the issue wasn’t just in who was speaking. The story telling in general was sub par and disjointed as a whole. I have no idea where the Authors are from, but I am a Southern Woman. We Southerners(I) know the importance of storytelling- but we also know the importance of cohesiveness; that our story line up with the general purpose, easily connected to the point being made, and are illustrative of it. When it is not, the book suffers and the point is lost in the confusion- something very common with this book.
Another problem I had was the lack of sourcing concerning the essential oils(V). Who believes, for instance, that Frankincense is spiritually uplifting? Which study did they get that from? Was it personal experience? If so, then why recommend something that arguably needs a scientific foundation for the claims being made?
It does not matter how often you use them or how well they work in these regards for you. Sourcing is absolutely imperative– and if you cannot provide unbiased academic or scientific sourcing to back up your claims concerning any health claims (both physical and mental), then you should ultimately not be including the information. I am and will forever be a stickler about this especially in terms of Herbal Medicine as there are very real dangers associated with it. The science of scent has been well studied at this point, so in my eyes there is no real excuse to omit sourcing when you recommend essential oils for certain moods and behaviors. Nor is there any excuse to omit warnings about safety when you speak of applying them directly to your skin (something which, without the use of a carrier oil, is dangerous).
In fact, the authors would have done well to edit it a few times more in general; there are grammatical, spelling, and multiple other errors throughout, not including the problems with formatting, storytelling, lack of sourcing, and so on and so forth; the whole book, from front to back, is a Trainwreck.
Now a few errors are fine. The Gods know my books are not perfect in this aspect, either. Even professionally published books will have them and they are ultimately unavoidable to an extent… However, as it stands it seems like it was tossed together in a couple hours and then posted for sale without any editing what-so-ever. Personally, I find this unacceptable; I do fully believe that there is a limit to the number and type of errors which should appear in any given book and I continue to demand better from self published authors on Amazon regardless of the prices of their books.
In all it had some decent tips, but I found it sad, lazily and unprofessionally written, and generally not worth the money I paid for it. They would do very well not only to expand on its content (and not be so lazy overall), but re-write it altogether. If they had put any real effort into the book in the first place, I think that the vast majority of the formatting problems could have at least been overlooked- or may have even potentially solved themselves, especially through expansion on the ideals.
But according to the Co-Author, there is apparently “no reason to republish content [they’ve] written elsewhere [on their blog]”; indeed the co-Author’s attitude after my initial publication of this review is even worse than the book itself. If the book wasn’t worth the money I spent on it, then their attitude certainly makes me scrunch my nose and want to stay as far away from their material as possible.
(I) By “We Southerners know the importance of Storytelling” I am not talking about the authors at all. I am talking about myself and my greater audience here who tends to be mostly from the Southern States within America. As a Southerner, I ultimately approach all books from the standpoint of the culture I was raised in– that, for me, being one which values storytelling as a cohesifying and moralizing element to drive home or elaborate on the point you are making. It has nothing to do with where the Authors may or may not be from themselves.
(II) I genuinely do not know where they mentioned it, but it was not mentioned in their reply to me at least. If they did solve this, then I am legitimately happy to hear it. However, my review of the draft I read is still accurate as it was a problem I saw in that version of the book. I cannot speak to other versions of the book, because I have not read those.
(III) and (IV) I will make no statements on these. Ultimately they are unprofessional and ridiculous, and are nothing more than an attempt to both silence and invalidate my opinion of their material- a gross and ultimately abusive Ad Hominem tactic that far too many authors participate in when faced with negative reviews. I’ll let their statements speak for themselves.
(V) Maybe I’m simply too much of a stickler after studying Herbal Medicine for over 13 years, studying to be a Midwife for half of that, a Doula for 2 years, and ultimately continuing my studying even after abandoning those dreams. Or maybe it’s simply the fact that I place a severe personal emphasis on scientific and other accuracy- and sourcing. But whatever the reason, I still do not believe that any retort they give could possibly excuse not including even the faintest mention of warnings about safety, let alone not even sourcing the claims made during that portion of the book.
Obviously, however, my making a fuss about accuracy and sourcing could only mean that I am “jealous of the success of others” and could not possibly be because I have a vested interest in the wellbeing and safety of others when it comes to such things which I have studied extensively and which ultimately have the potential to very easily seriously injure or even kill others if done incorrectly.
(VI) As stated in my response to Dani / Dusti: I write these reviews for my blog first, where people are aware of my own books, and then cross publish them to Amazon and Goodreads after the fact. Usually I do make a point to remove any explicit mentions of my own book titles, but in the case of the original review I did forget to do that during the cross publishing. The title of my book does not appear in the amended reviews elsewhere- as it should not have in the first place if I had paid the correct amount of attention. This was an error on my part, and one that I take full responsibility for.
However, with that being said? I mentioned my own book not to plug it and promote it. It is unrelated, after all, and I gain nothing from plugging a Pagan spell book with the Etiquette and Entertaining communities. The point of mentioning the book I co-Authored with Bree NicGarran was for no other reason but to illustrate a point: That it can be done, I have done it. As a result, if I can manage to do it I am a little less than forgiving when it comes to others not doing it- especially not when doing it in the manner they did ultimately makes the book confusing, fragmented, and hard to read.