Nilesh Kashyap's Reviews > Journey to Virginland: Epistle 1
by Armen Melikian (Goodreads Author)
For everyone else and especially if you are author:
READ THIS. IT’S FUCKING IMPORTANT.
So I have entered and lost the giveaway of this book for the second time. But now I see that this book is up for giveaway for the third time. So before entering the giveaway (for the third time), I decided to have a look at the rating and reviews of this book.
So I start with the giveaway details and it says something like this:
“ Enter ONLY IF you love 1. reading a book with highly advanced vocabulary, 2. thinking all along, 3. doing a very serious reading (it’s NOT a light read), 4. grappling with philosophical concepts and your philosophy of life and morality, 5. reading ferocious religious satire that will disrespect and destroy your religious identity, and 6. would love avant-garde that turns upside down the conventions of the novel.
This is NOT a traditional novel with a smooth or chronological narrative. You will need to read the book twice. YOU WILL BE EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED IF LOOKING FOR A MASS-MARKET, USER-FRIENDLY, SMOOTH READING. If that's the case, DO NOT ENTER, do not even bother. Some college education would be a plus.”
I may add that this giveaway is listed by the author himself, so that boasting or praise or warning (whatever it is) about this book comes from author himself.
Then I opened the book page and see that it has won few awards. I proceed to the reviews, and I see that first 4-5 reviews has one like each and the person to like each review is no one but the author himself.
So, my first impulse is to open the author profile page.
Now, get ready and brace yourself for the roller-coaster ride of what I’m about to say ahead.
The author’s name is Armen Melikian (go ahead and click it, see it for yourself what I’m about to say) and he has given two ratings. Two ratings to two different edition of his own book and obviously the rating is 5 stars for both. There is one review he has written of his own book which comprises of praises by critics, that’s a good thing.
As I am scrolling down, I see someone looking exactly like the author among his fans. Next second my doubt is cleared as the update beside it says:
“Armen Melikian became a fan of goodreads author Armen Melikian”
Just below that next update is “Armen Melikian voted on the list Best Books of the 21st century”. But sadly enough he has voted here for To Kill a Mockingbird, but no, a big fucking NO, here also he has voted for his own book.
Last one: Armen Melikian’s favourite author – Armen Melikian.
I just don’t understand what are we readers going to do if everything is done by the author himself?
I don’t exactly remember how many (goodreads) author I have as friends but I am writing about few of those who I recall.
>> Manny Rayner has written a book that consists of collection of best reviews he has written on goodreads. He has rated his book 5 stars and has written an excellent review that consists of praises (and abuses) from various reviewers and the latter part is how to get published if you’re deciding the same thing or how he got it published right.
But he has also rated the ebook edition of same book with 3 stars calling it “cheap and tacky PDF edition”. What I definitely see is humour in that.
>> Kat Lowe on the contrary to both she has not rated her book but has written a great review which starts as:
“If you are looking for the Midwest Book Review of Dream Cat, I have demoted it to the end of this post. (No disrespect intended, just hated that it appeared that I was giving my own book 5 stars.)
Since this is goodreads, where I exist primarily as a reader, and only secondarily as an author, I would like to post some of my thoughts and intentions in writing this book.”
>> Caris O’Malley has written a book called The Egg Said Nothing. What I know about Caris, Dan (a goodreads friend) writes in his review of Caris’s book “Caris O’Malley happens to be fairly prominent reviewer on goodreads and doesn’t even have an author profile. Pretty sneaky.”
In an interview with Dan, what Caris says about not entering goodreads author program is:
“ I try to keep my established identity on GR to the greatest extent possible. You may have noticed that I’m not a “GoodReads Author.” This is intentional. I want to hold on to all the aspects of GR that I love. If people want to talk to me about my book, that’s great. But I want to be their friend, too. I refuse to let GR just turn into another promotional tool. It’s too important to me.”
What we have before us, are Armen and Caris, who are extreme of the opposite sides, while both Manny and Kat lies somewhere in between.
I know that authors enter the goodreads author program with first and foremost reason to promote and spread words about their upcoming or published book and thus they want to make their book visible to the world involved in reading. But there is a point, where one has to stop and let the readers decide what they are worth. If one tries to cross that line, it means one thing for me, that you are going to lose your integrity and end up mocking the relationship that an author builds with reader.
I am writing this whole thing, because I want to know how this thing can be rationalized/justified. I am fairly sure that what Armen has done cannot be justified. But still, I would love to hear from everyone and you are most welcomed if you’re an author.
If you’re author of this book, it means you continued reading this despite my warning. Now, all I want to say is, I was just trying to make a point that has been on my mind for a while and you need to think over this too. I really wish you best of luck for this newly published book and all the best for your future.
A FEW WORDS OF PRAISE FOR THIS REVIEW AND ITS REVIEWER
As you have seen this is an amazing review written by everyone’s favourite reviwer, Nilesh. Nilesh has worked very hard in writing this review, collecting material from various sources. Though Nilesh has not used advanced vocabulary like Armen, but still this is a thought-provoking and must have made you think all along while reading.
People are crazy about him and his reviews which are excellent as usual and this is evident from all the stats on goodreads like best reviewer, top reviewer, most followed and top reader, which are all ruled by him, well, the person I’m talking is not Nilesh but rather Stephen... but Nilesh is pretty good too (inspired by Mike Reynolds).
P.S. I’m going to read Caris’s book at the end of this month.
P.P.S. The five sparkling and glowing stars you see at the top of this review is not for this book but for this amazing and brilliant piece of writing.