Thursday, January 12

A few thoughts and then I have to go food shopping...

Since reading Angie's RTB post yesterday I've been thinking about reviews and such. And while hopping around this morning I discovered this link, originally through RTB--Helen Kay Dimon. She says it all so much better than I would have and she also keeps me from having to tax my brain trying to do it.

Though I do think I'd up her 93% of romance author statistic who can't handle negative reviews, it's probably closer to 98 or 99%, but hey that's just my opinion. But after a couple of run ins with authors on message boards you start to get a little jaded.

I do have a question, how many people actually use the Amazon or B&N reviews? Personally, I've always found they are entertaining without being real informative, who believes all the gushing or hating. I'm not really in a position to judge these things as I write sucky reviews--I either gush or I'm nit picking, making something sound better or worse than it probably is. But, hey it's my blog and my opinions, right :D?

I'm still reading Kasey Micheals' The Kissing Game. I love her humorous writing style, but there is a copy editor out there who uses spell check, but who may not actually proof read for content. I've noticed a few errors, and I'm only 80 pages into it, but hey at least the wrong words are spelled correctly. Once again, not that I'm in a position to judge someone else on spelling or grammar, but I'm not getting paid to do that am I?

Okay, I'm done being snarky.

Did anyone watch LOST last night? Where the heck is this thing going?

Got to go, Shop Rite here we come.

Have a good one and happy reading.

Tara

17 comments:

Angela James said...

I use the Amazon reviews for non-romance book items. Isnt't that sad? As an industry, they've tainted their own reviews.

I've used Amazon reviews for car seats, strollers, toys, electronics... THOSE are actually helpful. And you rarely see the manufacturer producing people to write glowing reviews and demanding a negative review be removed. Funny how that works ;)

Tara Marie said...

Angie, you know you're right, I've used Amazon for non book reviews. I didn't even think of all the baby and kid merchandise reviews I've checked out.

I guess manufacturing companies aren't as thin skinned as some authors and fangirls.

Anonymous said...

personally I like epinions.com for other people's opinions on products. I've yet to come across a review there that makes me wonder if there was an ulterior motive in writing it.

Alison Kent said...

Okay, LOST was great last night. I loved getting Eko's story; I have to say, his has been the most compelling of all for me. I can't wait to see what else they give us from his background. And the monster thing? So cool and so weird and I want more of that, too!!

Tara Marie said...

Anon--thanks for the heads up on epinions.com, I'll check them out.

Alison--I'm becoming obsessed with that show. My heart pounded through the entire thing. I love how they handle each characters back story and you're right Eko's story was incredibly compelling. What is that monster thing and did it leave Eko alone because it sensed good or evil. I think I'm over analyzing the whole darned thing.

Jay said...

Doh, the Anon was me. I was having a cookies issue and couldn't get to put in my info. Then forgot to come right back and un-anon myself when I fixed it.

Dana said...

I actually do use amazon reviews. It’s true that most of them aren’t worth reading but if you do a lot of digging you can find a few informative and honest ones. I prefer blog reviews but if I only followed those I’d limit the selection of books I have to choose from.

As for Lost, I don’t think it’s going anywhere. I don’t think the writers plan more than a few episodes in advance. I would have enjoyed last night’s episode more if Mr. Eko’s storyline wasn’t yet another redemption storyline.

Larissa said...

I read Amazon reviews, but I dismiss the ones that aren't "fair and balanced." *g*

I think you can gush or bash with fairness. When you gush or nitpick a book on your blog, you do it at length, which tells us WHY you feel the way you do, and that's completely different from a few lines of praise or trashing.

Oh, and I like epinions, too! :)

Kristie said...

" I would have enjoyed last night’s episode more if Mr. Eko’s storyline wasn’t yet another redemption storyline."

Now see - that's what I see is the very point of Lost! Yes, they are Lost as in plane crash and nobody knows where they are - but also they are ALL lost souls in one way or another. Because of what we have seen in their backstories, they all have the chance of redemption - whether it's Kate getting past murdering her stepfather or Charlie getting past his heroine addiction (which is obviously after last night an ongoing battle) or Sayiid getting past his time spent as a soldier in the Iraqui army - they are all getting another chance.

And oh - as to whether I use Amazon reviews. Only if I forget the storyline of a book I've already read and can't find a "credible" review anywhere else. They have zero influence on whether I will buy a book or not.

Jenster said...

I read the Amazon and B&N reviews, but they mean nothing to me. I guess it's just entertainment value.

"Lost" was pre-empted by a stupid basketball game last night. It will be aired at 12:35 tonight. You know, I don't ask very much. I have two shows I like to watch. "Desparate Housewives" and "Lost". Out of all the shows on TV, why do they do this to me ALL THE TIME!? Thank goodness for DVRs!

HelenKay said...

Admittedly the 93% figure was conservative. Figured it was one I could support comfortably if people started yelling at me.

I never read Amazon and B&N reviews. I always assume the overly bubbly ones are by friends and relatives and the nasty ones are by disgruntled former friends. How's that for optimism?

LOVE Lost. Almost never understand what the hell is going on. The black stuff???

Sam said...

LOST!!!!
I have to wait until the second season starts here, and then it's only on cable WHAAA! - (hear my cry of distress) so I have to wait until it comes out on DVD.
I love LOST. *sniff*

I'm at a loss about this review stuff. The problem as I see it is there are not enough unbiased reviewers out there, so most romance authors are used to glowing reviews. I happen to know that the reviewers working for RT and such (I use the word working loosely here) are told to give good reviews to Publishers who Pay lots of money for Reviews. You have no idea of the screaming and crying that goes on when an author (like me, lol) gets a terrible ONE starred review. It's devestating to watch.
Anyhow, I never read reviews, though I do appreciate readers dropping me lines to say they read my book. I usually write thank you notes to reviewers (my publishers send me ALL my reviews, so even if I didn't want to read them, they pop into my in-box and I feel it is polite to acknowledge the reviewers efforts even for a bad review.)
Anyhoooooo
This is a fact of life. An author's book is her BABY. Can you imagine putting your baby into a toddler group and getting reviews?
"Johnny is very inquisitive and friendly. He's quite precocious and his energy level is high. I give him a 5 out of 5."
Or
"Johhny pushes the other kids and won't leave them alone. He pokes his nose into everything. He's not very bright, and his babbling is driving me nuts. He gets a 2 out of 5."
I would expect the mother to burst into tears and be furious with the second report. That's sort of what it's like being an author and having the book reviewed. On the other hand, praise from granny is to be expected no matter what Johnny's really like, and that's what most authors get - praise from granny.
Real book reviews are rare as hen's teeth in this business. They usually come from Readers who just want to post their opinion about a book they've read but who don't know the author, don't want to hurt or praise them, but simply want to say that they liked or disliked the book and maybe why. They are also the only reviews that have any sort of value at all in my eyes.

CindyS said...

Like everyone else, I will read product reviews because people are pretty honest when they spend 200 bucks on something that doesn't work!

LOST - yum. I am now in love with Mr. Ecko. Thing is, you have to remember that he was one of the people 'the others' were going to take from the beach. Then, that guy who was already on the island told a tailie that the innocent were taken - so how is Mr. Ecko innocent? Why would he have been taken? - to see where he had been, we're really not sure where he is now. I was weepy when he stood at his brother's grave and recited his scripture. I love his voice and accent!

What I'm not sure about is why Matt is not telling anyone about Walt on the computer.

Ooops, enough from me!

CindyS

Anne E. said...

I write reviews on amazon, and I put quite a bit of work into them. I get negative ratings from time to time, but most readers indicate they find my critiques helpful. But my time is so limited at present,that I haven't published a review in months, except on my own blog.

Tara Marie said...

Dana--bless you, you're willing to dig through all those bad/gushing reviews to find good ones.

Kristie--I agree I think one of the major points of Lost is the lost souls element and redemption is a big part of healing souls.

Jenster--Sorry about Lost being pre-empted, hate when that happens. I'm glad you popped in. You seriously need a blog, I know when you find some spare time right--LOL. Maybe once your settled in PA. Hope your feeling good.

HelenKay--you have a great attitude. Reviews are so arbitrary, who can tell someones agenda.

Sam--So sorry about the Lost thing, you're going to love it.

I do think we get reviews of our kids, they're called "progress reports" and "report cards". My son is in pre-school and we have a parent teacher confrence coming up in a couple of weeks, we'll be getting report cards. I completely understand why an author is sensitive and yet it's a completely arbitrary profession, you know not everyone will love your work going in.

Cindy--I've got lots of questions about the computer. Whe didn't the island blow up or something when Walt and Michael started communicating. I think Michael's going off the deep end a little. Can't wait for next week.

Anne--knowing you your reviews are insightful, interesting and well written, I find reviews like yours to be the exception rather than the rule, most are not and some are down right creepy.

Kristie said...

"Why didn't the island blow up or somesomething when Walt and Michael started communicating."

*Handwaving madly* I know, I know (I think). I wondered about this too, but then I think I might have figured it out. They weren't supposed to use the computer to contact the outside world. The computer Walt is "supposedly" on would also be on the island so Michael isn't really communicating with the outside world. Also - when you think about it, how would he communicate with the outside world? The computer he's using is how old? It's still DOS based. If it's even a PC, it would be so obsolete - who would have one that could match it into days world. At least that's my theory.

Tara Marie said...

Kristie--I like your logic, it makes perfect sense.