Friday, May 16, 2008

Reviews get...reviewed

Reviewing is hard work. Writing is hard work.

What some may not realize is that just as an author makes themselves vulnerable to criticism, a reviewer does as well. Those who really take reviewing seriously are just as much a target when we post our opinions.

I mean...

Don't reviews get...reviewed?

On Amazon, books are rated 1 to 5...aren't reviews rated helpful yes or no? If you post a review on Myspace, does its interface not allow you to give 1 or 2 kudos? Just as reviewers have favorite authors who sometimes disappoint them, don't you think there's a possibility that authors will have reviewers who will sometimes disappoint them, too?

I wholeheartedly believe that an author is entitled to the anger they feel when they receive a less than desirable review, as well as the reviewer who may be upset because they had to struggle through bad editing or weak plots. It's when the reader/reviewer react to it in an extreme manner that is the problem...

We need to respect each others' gangsta. Period.

Don't forget to check out the tribute to my mommy. She's the bomb. Click HERE

Darnetta a.k.a. Poetic Genesis
(future)Graphic Designer
*header by Darnetta
*additional example HERE


Mutlifaceted Michelle said...

Great post! I love "....we need to respect each other's gangsta"!!

Poetic Genesis said...

Thanks Chel! I couldn't find any other way to put I just feel what I feel. Thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

Hey girl,

Your subject reminds me of when I was in community college when I wrote a rebuttal to an article a staff writer had written. A week later, the newspaper editor wrote a rebuttal to my rebuttal. I was like, what the heck?

As a freelance reviewer who has written reviews for pay, for free books, or merely for the byline, I've had a handful of authors argue with me about critical reviews. My opinion is, reviews are written with the buying readers in mind, not the fragile egos of authors. So when authors try to get me to change the review, I give them two options after sharing it before publication: get the review published as is and get some publicity OR get a refund on the review and never let it see the light of day. I only change reviews if there are errors in facts or spelling. If the review wasn't commissioned, I publish the review without first sharing it with the author, because that usually means the publisher sent it directly to me to review for Midwest Book Review where I write non-paid reviews.

I'd rather write honest reviews than to have my reputation tarnished because all my reviews are of the 5-star nature. Being an author myself, I do try to find something positive about the story and about the author's writing style. Even though the review may be negative, the author may still find a few quotable lines to use as blurbs for PR. I've seen my quotes appear on the backs of bestselling books.

I never paid much attention to see if readers found my review helpful on Amazon but I will tell you that I was the one of the first people to write in a review for "Blood on the Leaves" on Amazon that said it should be optioned for a movie. Sure enough, Jamie Foxx bought the rights. I'd like to think my review had something to do with that, but who knows? Besides that, who really cares if you're the top 100,000th reviewer on, because that's all the helpful comments are good for.

Nowadays, I rarely go near non-traditionally fiction for review because the chances are greater for me to have to write a negative review, which I really don't like to do. Life is too short to be reviewing poorly written books, especially for free. Are there good non-traditional books out there? Of course. However they are the exception not the norm. But if it's commissioned, I gotta be honest and earn my pay, even if it pisses off some author.

-Emanuel Carpenter

Jennifer C. said...

When the amendments don't matter anymore we are in trouble. FREEDOM OF SPEECH, that includes the written word. Respect each others opinions. Everything is not for everyone and everyone will not like everything.

a.Kai said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
a.Kai said...

I write reviews. I mull it over, reread it, think on it. I review with the reader in mind - but try to share the most honest truthful opinion, without negativity, that i can.

But there is an awful lot of garbage out there ya'll - lets be real. And just cuz your cousin's mama's uncle said the book was the ish don't make it so. I have noticed reviewers giving praise to poorly edited, underdeveloped, boring or elementary books. I suspect they fear their own book reviews will suffer retaliation or they are friends with the author, so quality be damned. Sometimes, the author needs to just take the time to understand the critique, the criticism is a painful pill, but the lesson learned might be priceless. Sometimes.

BTW- luv the tribute to your Mommy. Beautiful.

May 16, 2008 9:37 PM

Shonell Bacon said...

i received some heat a few years ago for a review i wrote and posted on the book wasn't very good, and i didn't necessarily say the book was tragic; i explained the components of fiction that are typically important to see in a book and why i felt this book did not have those things.

i'm all for supporting authors, but not at the detriment of lying or ta-taing them so that the masses will buy their books, publishers will see this, and then they will be "brilliant" enough to think, "hey, people love this book; let's put out more just like it!"

okay, off the soap box now. a rant was a comin', LOL

Poetic Genesis said...

Hey E

I believe your review put the wheels in motion for that Nobody can prove it didn't! Thanks for stopping through!

Hey JC
It's even beyond freedom of speech. I'm more in the corner of being respected kwim

Hey akai
I couldn't agree with you more! We struggle ALOT but no one thinks about that part, unless they are reviewers

Hey Chick lit gurrl
Get your rant on sis! You know I have something for this months whine

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