Reason and Reviewing

There has been lots of discussion about Goodreads reviewers.  I followed a long stream of commenting between a reviewer and an author and it was sad.  It was so obvious the reviewer had an agenda to put this author down.  The author could not understand why this review was so unlike most of hers which seemed fair and constructive.  Then I saw a forum in which the reviewers chatted with each other and said stuff about certain authors.  I felt like I was eavesdropping in the ladies room at a dive bar.  I am really scared of them and try to avoid them.  I also try very hard to remember the good things that are said and not concentrate on the negative remarks, especially when the reviewer can offer no concrete reasons for the review.

I just noted this is available even if a reviewer has you blocked or will not friend you so you cannot converse with her or contact her personally.  Looking at it will help your perspective if someone gives you an out of the ordinary, perhaps mean-spirited review or you get one that sounds like they didn’t read the book at all.  This is very generalized, but if you click on any reviewers name you will get to it, even if you click on it and the site says you don’t have access.  By their name is a link to this.

So you can be consoled by the fact that you are not likely to get a positive review from this one.
I think the whole reviewing process is so odd.  Before the internet, when did a reviewer ever have such power over book sales?  You would read the book section in the newspaper and the blurb on the jacket in the store or the library or hear about a book from someone.  Now it reminds me of sharks.  If they get the scent of blood they all come running over to feed.  Even some very well-respected sites have gone off the deep end in what I thought was attack mode when a certain author came to her own defense regarding an Amazon Review.

Visit the Amazon forum called Authors Behaving Badly.  It’s like watching the lions tearing the Christians apart.  I stumbled on it and made a passing remark and BOOM.  I never comment there anymore.  I believe it is the New York Times that has a book reviewer who is considered iconic because  no matter who or what it is, she will tear the book and the author to shreds. .
You have to develop your own perspective on this issue if you present your writing to the public and I find that very difficult. In a grouping of several reviews for one of my books, one person used the word evocative in her review.  Another used the word evocative twice in quite a long and very nice review.  I think strumming a familiar chord in someone’s heart is the best thing you could expect from your work.  But a “family member” went  in and said that it must be a very evocative book.  Doesn’t she know the public can see that and that those two nice people will never review one of my books again?  Yeow.

Then don’t get me started on the pay for reviews.  Kirkus is considered so credible   But you have to pay to get on there.  I can’t even get a neighbor or a friend or a relative to even write a real review much less a fake one to boost my ratings.  Very few have even bought it.  And one of them bought ONE and then waited for another to go on freebie.  I think I may have gotten a review out of that one. The sweet little books  cost less than a nice greeting card.  I have even said, “You don’t even have to read it, but the sale will help my rank.”  But then what the heck.  What were my expectations?  Once again. . . fuck me.


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