Questions for Authors

17 May

If a reviewer isn’t thrilled (and writes that) with your book and requests an ARC of one of your upcoming novels, would you give it to them or tell them to shove it? How do you feel about negative reviews? What turns you off about a review site? If you could change one thing about the way I review books, what would that be?

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12 Responses to “Questions for Authors”

  1. Amie Stuart May 17, 2008 at 8:13 am #

    I actually had this happen….sorta. I offered an online reviewer an e-arc and she posted a review at amazon.com. The book was totally not her cup of tea, didn’t work for her etc…she was very fair! So while a “bad” review sucks, I appreciated her honesty and wasn’t really that upset. I actually meant to write her and thank her for her honest review but I never got around to it.

    That said, would I send her another. I dunno?! Maybe. Maybe a different book would work for her and again she was very fair in her review which is something I totally can’t fault her for!

    The one thing that bugs me about review sites are poorly (and I mean POORLY) written reviews. That said, I can’t write a decent review to save my life LOL

    I like the way you review for whatever that’s worth!

  2. scooper May 17, 2008 at 5:57 pm #

    Amie- I ask because I requested an ARC of a book yesterday and was given this:

    “Your only avenue is to contact XXX directly and see if they will add to you to the list. However, without a specific publication in which the review will appear, with a verifiable and measured readership according to industry standards, this is unlikely.”

    I thought back and realized that a year ago I read one of this author’s early books and was ‘so-so’ about it. Those books have had zero hits in a long time… until yesterday.

    I think it’s pretty obvious the author saw that review and was unhappy with me.

    Poor review sites are horrid!
    Thanks for the positivity though.

  3. Jaci Burton May 17, 2008 at 9:05 pm #

    I’ve often given subsequent ARCs to reviewers who for one reason or another didn’t like a book of mine they’d read. As long as the review is well written, written by someone who clearly read the entire book, written fairly and a reviewer indicates what didn’t work for them, I’m fine with it and have no problem having them review subsequent books. Hey, I always hold out hope they’ll like the next book! 🙂

  4. scooper May 17, 2008 at 11:34 pm #

    Jaci- I guess that’s how I thought authors would think.

    Plus, as a reader I have a hard time believing there is no bad in a book. That there isn’t one person who an issue in it.

  5. Angie Fox May 18, 2008 at 7:54 pm #

    I think an author has to expect negative reviews. Not everyone is going to like every book. And from what I’ve heard, negative reviews can even help sales. People want to know what the fuss is about.

    As long as a review is well-written and respectful (negative or positive), I’d send subsequent books.

  6. scooper May 18, 2008 at 10:52 pm #

    Angie- I’ve heard that too. If I’m unsure of a book, I like to read a review from someone who liked the book and someone who had a few issues with it. As long as it’s not a gimmick (the bad review) I would like to think that authors think like you. But I’ve found that not to be an across the board reaction.

    I always hope I’m going to like the book I’m reviewing (or else I would never agree to review it). Most times I do, but occasionally I get a book that really peeves me. Spending $8 on a book with bad editing sucks! Books like that cause me to sit on their reviews for at least a day and then I go back and re-read them.

    If I’m really angry I may miss something that could have been reworded, but I think overall I avoid slamming books I review.

  7. Amie Stuart May 19, 2008 at 12:02 pm #

    >>Maybe a different book would work for her and again she was very fair in her review which is something I totally can’t fault her for!

    Lemme rephrase that–I really appreciated how fair she was LOL

    It’s not even the sites–just poorly written/edited reviews that irk me. 🙂

    And I thought you reviewed for RJ?

  8. scooper May 19, 2008 at 11:45 pm #

    Amie- You don’t go for bashers? *grin* Nope. I quit reviewing for Romance Designs early this year, but I was just accepted to review for Romance Reviews Today.

  9. Angie Fox May 20, 2008 at 9:13 pm #

    Some of my favorite books have gotten scathing reviews. People either love them or they don’t. Case in point: Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife. That book blew me away. I read it twice in less than a week, then I assigned it to my book club to read again. I think it’s fun, smart and a brilliant look at what might have happened after Pride & Prejudice ended.

    Reviewers either feel like I do, or they call it “myopic,” “insipid,” and, “an insult to Jane Austin.” The last time I looked on Amazon, that book had as many 1-star ratings as it did 5-star ratings. And I think that’s good. It’s a book people can feel passionate about – positively and negatively.

    To rip on a book because it’s a historical and you don’t like historicals, or because the hero has the same name as your ex-boyfriend or if you’re in a bad mood because you locked your keys your the car and your cat just threw up on the new dining room carpet – that’s bad. But to give a book a chance and to report, fairly, if it didn’t work for you? I think that’s the whole purpose of a review.

  10. scooper May 21, 2008 at 9:59 am #

    Angie- I agree. Those are not the best times to read or review and the Reviewer should know this. When a mood swing dictates the review there is a problem.

    You know I have the same issue with movies. I’ve found that when critics give a movie a bad review I end up liking it. Other times, take Speed, there are rave reviews and I go to the movie hyped only to leave disapointed.

  11. meharet May 28, 2008 at 10:33 am #

    Hey! I’m a bit late on this—seeing as it’s already the end of May! But I’m catching up on my blog reading.

    I would have to totally agree with Angie Fox when she said “But to give a book a chance and to report, fairly, if it didn’t work for you? I think that’s the whole purpose of a review.” And I agree on “To rip on a book because it’s a historical and you don’t like historicals, or because the hero has the same name as your ex-boyfriend or if you’re in a bad mood because you locked your keys your the car and your cat just threw up on the new dining room carpet – that’s bad.”

    Some of the best books I’ve ever read rarely get a rating or a mention. And as my agent says, to even get reviewed at all, good or bad (especially from PW) is a good thing. So—for me—I APPRECIATE what you do, and what all reviewers do.

    I think I enjoy the avid reader reviews like yours the best—and by reading your site you’ve introduced me to some incredible books! Good or bad, in my opinion, story is always subjective.

    And a THANK YOU for your honesty!

    Phaedra Weldon

  12. scooper May 28, 2008 at 12:35 pm #

    Phaedra- Thanks for popping by. I love to hear author’s take on this and it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who likes stuff ervyone else ignores.

    It’s hard to be honest about books when I like the authors. I’ve met really cool people online (yourself included) and while I don’t know you guys it puts a personality with a book. For me it’s one of the hardest parts of being a book reviewer.

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