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Writer's Circle > Reviewing as an author

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Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell (neniacampbell) | 165 comments I'm interested what other people's experiences have been like.


message 2: by Marlana (new)

Marlana Williams (marlanawilliams) I never review as an author. I have a private profile to do that. I'm not a troll on my other profile, as it was my original profile on GR years ago. I like to to keep reviews and ratings of books off my author profile as I consider it a professional extention of my work. To be honest, I don't even like to have books added on my profile, but include only the books that have been applicable for my research while writing, or books that I particularly think are worth mentioning that I have been influenced by.


message 3: by Martyn (new)

Martyn Halm (amsterdamassassinseries) | 248 comments I think it's disingenuous to rate/review your own work, so I used my review section to re-post old blog interviews. Gives readers something interesting to read without me influencing my star rating.

I got the idea because a reader commented that another author wrote about their work methods in the review section.

So, as an author, you can use the review section creatively by telling more about your book: how it came about, your writing methods, perhaps sharing reviews from other sources, that kind of thing.


message 4: by Judy (new)

Judy Goodwin | 187 comments It's considered amateur and obnoxious to review your own books--if you're the writer, you'll obviously be biased.

I use my review space to announce promos, blog tours, stuff like that. (and no rating)


message 5: by Christine PNW (new)

Christine PNW (moonlight_reader) I think that Nenia may have been soliciting feedback about what it is like to be an author and also to be an active reviewer of other people's books. I don't want to speak for her, but I follow her here & on BL (waves) and I now that she reviews a lot.

Nenia - am I right with my clarification?


message 6: by Martyn (new)

Martyn Halm (amsterdamassassinseries) | 248 comments Oh, in that case, I just review what I read as a reader, not as an author. If something is bad enough to make me stop before the book is finished, I post a review why I couldn't finish.

In the end, I think the reviews are for readers, not for the author, and while I support other authors, I don't support crap artists who publish prematurely.


message 7: by Judy (new)

Judy Goodwin | 187 comments lol ah okay! Big difference!

I haven't had any issues--my reviews, though they can be painfully honest sometimes, generally get good responses. The key to reviewing other writers as a writer is to be respectful.


message 8: by D.C. (new)

D.C. | 198 comments I review as I see fit, but I am getting a little more cautious about reviewing in my own genre.


Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell (neniacampbell) | 165 comments Moonlight Reader (only provides content to Booklikes) wrote: "I think that Nenia may have been soliciting feedback about what it is like to be an author and also to be an active reviewer of other people's books. I don't want to speak for her, but I follow her..."

Yes, that's what I meant. :)


message 10: by A.L. (new)

A.L. Butcher (alb2012) | 188 comments I review as a reader. I don't rate or review mine, although I might for anthologies based on the other stories as yet I am undecided about that.

I don't see a problem with reviewing a book if you're an author. Authors like to read after all. So long as the review is honest then fine. I'd review fairly whether or not I know the author, or I thought they'd read it.
I do tend to like most things I read, or I wouldn't have bought them, but every so often I'll find one I dislike. If I do I try to be polite at least.


message 11: by P.J. (new)

P.J. Fiala (httpwwwgoodreadscompjfiala) | 20 comments I review often as I love to read other authors' books. I am finding, however, more and more authors that publish without editing, in which case, I have a hard time finishing the book. As an author who takes great pains to edit, review, pay for editing, review again, I am highly irritated when authors publish without thought to important steps such as editing. I leave an honest review so readers know it is unedited or poorly edited.


message 12: by Pattimari (new)

Pattimari | 66 comments Judy wrote: "It's considered amateur and obnoxious to review your own books--if you're the writer, you'll obviously be biased.

I use my review space to announce promos, blog tours, stuff like that. (and no rat..."


If the author gives a review for themselves, you are absolutely right, but if the writer uses it to describe the book a little bit more, then I think it is valuable to do so.


message 13: by Christine PNW (new)

Christine PNW (moonlight_reader) I enjoy reading reviews by authors that I follow. Until they prove otherwise to me, I assume that authors are also prolific readers, so I don't discount their reviews (nor do I give them extra weight). I can't imagine why someone would become a writer if they didn't love to read.

However, I do notice when authors give five-star reviews to other authors who have given them five-star reviews. When I figure it out, it causes me to lose respect for the reviewer and the books they are reviewing.


message 14: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Camp (deborahcamp) | 43 comments How could you possibly review your own books???? I wouldn't attempt such a thing because I'm way, way too close to them. If I wasn't proud of them and wasn't nuts about the characters I created, I wouldn't have submitted them to my literary agent to sell. So, natch, I would give my books great reviews. Some of them have weathered the test of time better than others, but I still wouldn't "dis" them.


message 15: by Emma (new)

Emma Jaye | 80 comments People do, on goodreads at least and not surprisingly they give themselves 5 stars. Some people seem to use it as an extra 'blurb' or advertising technique.
Personally I think its a little embarrassing. The only thing I've ever done is to 'like' someone's review of my book, as a thank you for the time taken to read and then review my work.


message 16: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Camp (deborahcamp) | 43 comments E. wrote: "People do, on goodreads at least and not surprisingly they give themselves 5 stars. Some people seem to use it as an extra 'blurb' or advertising technique.
Personally I think its a little embarra..."


Yes, a thank you is great to do, I think. I'm always grateful that someone read my book!


message 17: by Edward (new)

Edward Wolfe (edwardmwolfe) Moonlight Reader wrote: "However, I do notice when authors give five-star reviews to other authors who have given them five-star reviews. When I figure it out, it causes me to lose respect for the reviewer and the books they are reviewing. "

That sounds like you assume it's impossible for two writers to really like each other's books.

Not everything is a quid pro quo.

Knowing that authors are also readers, it makes perfect sense that they would befriend other writers, read their books, and sometimes give them five star reviews.

I usually meet other authors while reading their books. This puts me in a bad position if we begin exchanging email and getting to know each other. Especially if I'm loving their book, as happened recently with an author named Ryan Parmenter.

His book was so awesome, I went to see if he was on GR. His book was, but he wasn't. So I found him on Twitter and wrote to him there and told him he should get active on GR.

His great book wasn't doing well in terms of sales, so I was giving him advice. The natural thing to do once he created a profile on GR would be to befriend him. BUT I knew I was going to give him a very deserved 5-star review and I did not want anyone to think it was just an author love-fest. (He also began reading one of my books, and if he ended up giving me 5 stars too, then that would make it "obvious" that my review of his book was meaningless.)

So, I deliberately did not friend him - feeling like I must've been perceived as a weirdly helpful but anti-social kind of person.

I wanted my review to mean something and to help his book to whatever tiny extent that it could.
And then it happened. Being a total GR noob, the poor fool sent me a friend request.

I accepted it, and thus rendered my pending review irrelevant because *everybody knows* a review from an author to a *friend* is total bullshit.

Maybe I'll get lucky and he'll give me a crappy review and then Moonlight and others will figure out that I really did love his book, and wasn't just blowing smoke.


message 18: by Christine PNW (last edited Feb 13, 2014 04:08PM) (new)

Christine PNW (moonlight_reader) Edward wrote: "Moonlight Reader wrote: "However, I do notice when authors give five-star reviews to other authors who have given them five-star reviews. When I figure it out, it causes me to lose respect for the..."

I don't assume anything from one or two instances. But when I see that a book has 12 reviews, and all of those reviews are from self-published authors, and the author whose book has received five-star reviews has also posted five-star reviews of books published by those 12 authors, it allows me to draw some conclusions.

If those conclusions are inaccurate, then they are inaccurate. But when I'm trying to decide if I want to buy a book, I look at the reviews. That is one piece of information that I factor into the evaluation.

You ignored the part of my post where I indicated "I assume that authors are also prolific readers, so I don't discount their reviews (nor do I give them extra weight)."

Why did you leave that part out of your rather aggressive response to my post?

I certainly did not say that you, Edward, are quid pro quo'ing anyone. That would be difficult for me to say, since we've never encountered one another.


message 19: by Edward (last edited Feb 13, 2014 04:24PM) (new)

Edward Wolfe (edwardmwolfe) Moonlight Reader wrote: "You ignored the part of my post where I indicated "I assume that authors are also prolific readers, so I don't discount their reviews (nor do I give them extra weight)."

Why did you leave that part out of your rather aggressive response to my post?"


I didn't leave that part out. I addressed those cases where you "figured it out."

I never suspected that you were saying I engaged in Quid Pro Quo, nor did I state that I suspected that. I've never seen you before and would have no reason to suspect you of anything.

I didn't write a single thing intended as aggressive. I'm sorry you perceived it that way. (And I'm baffled as to how my anecdote could possibly sound aggressive.)

I was merely giving my input on the subject of authors writing reviews and used your comments to shed some light on something that is an unfortunate misunderstanding sometimes when an author reviews a friend's book.

I agree with you that in the case of an author with 12 five-stars from people to whom he or she has also given 5-stars, that looks pretty bad and I would tend to suspect them.


message 20: by Christine PNW (new)

Christine PNW (moonlight_reader) Edward wrote: "Moonlight Reader wrote: "You ignored the part of my post where I indicated "I assume that authors are also prolific readers, so I don't discount their reviews (nor do I give them extra weight)."

..."


It was this part:

"I accepted it, and thus rendered my pending review irrelevant because *everybody knows* a review from an author to a *friend* is total bullshit.

Maybe I'll get lucky and he'll give me a crappy review and then Moonlight and others will figure out that I really did love his book, and wasn't just blowing smoke.
"

That seemed sort of aggressive to me. If it wasn't intended that way, then I will not read it that way.


message 21: by Edward (last edited Feb 13, 2014 07:59PM) (new)

Edward Wolfe (edwardmwolfe) Moonlight Reader wrote: "That seemed sort of aggressive to me. If it wasn't intended that way, then I will not read it that way. "

Sorry. It was not all meant that way.

I honestly wanted to help that guy and it was very frustrating that I wouldn't be able to, ironically, because he wanted to be friends. lol

I only addressed you because you voiced exactly what I had feared and I hoped I'd be able to show you that sometimes we might figure out the wrong thing. I apologize for not being more clear.


message 22: by Christine PNW (new)

Christine PNW (moonlight_reader) Edward wrote: "Moonlight Reader wrote: "That seemed sort of aggressive to me. If it wasn't intended that way, then I will not read it that way. "

Sorry. It was not all meant that way.

I honestly wanted to help..."


'Eh. No problem.

Like I said, I don't assume it. To the contrary, I assume that writers are avid readers.

I am always surprised (and not in a good way) when I see an author post something like "read, I never read. I'm too busy with my WIP to waste time reading stuff written by other, less talented writerz."


message 23: by Christine PNW (new)

Christine PNW (moonlight_reader) Linda wrote: "Moonlight Reader wrote: "Edward wrote: "Moonlight Reader wrote: "I am always surprised (and not in a good way) when I see an author post something like "read, I never read. I'm too busy with my W..."

I should also note that anytime I see a writer use "z" as the plural of a word, as in "trollz" or "haterz" in a way that is not clearly ironic, I immediately add said author to my "I am never, ever, ever going to read your book" list. ;)


Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell (neniacampbell) | 165 comments Moonlight Reader wrote: "Edward wrote: "Moonlight Reader wrote: "That seemed sort of aggressive to me. If it wasn't intended that way, then I will not read it that way. "

Sorry. It was not all meant that way.

I honestly..."


LOL. That's not a very good way to write.


Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell (neniacampbell) | 165 comments Linda wrote: "Moonlight Reader wrote: "Edward wrote: "Moonlight Reader wrote: "I am always surprised (and not in a good way) when I see an author post something like "read, I never read. I'm too busy with my W..."

I agree - reading is how I get my inspirationz.


message 26: by Christine PNW (new)

Christine PNW (moonlight_reader) Nenia wrote: "Linda wrote: "Moonlight Reader wrote: "Edward wrote: "Moonlight Reader wrote: "I am always surprised (and not in a good way) when I see an author post something like "read, I never read. I'm too ..."

Lol...z


message 27: by Edward (last edited Feb 13, 2014 06:57PM) (new)

Edward Wolfe (edwardmwolfe) Moonlight Reader wrote: "when I see an author post something like "read, I never read. I'm too busy with my WIP to waste time reading stuff"

Wow. I can't imagine a writer not being a reader. Except for in those books where it says the "author's name" and then "as told to" with the name of the real writer. lol

I was talking to someone recently who told me while discussing the subject of promoting books that he doesn't allow authors to follow him on Twitter.

His reasoning was that, they're trying to sell their own books. My unspoken thought was, of all the millions of people on Twitter, writers are the only ones you can safely assume to be readers who *might* be interested in a book. lol

People crack me up.

But now I know there are writers who say they don't read. Amazing. I wonder if they're the same ones who think the time to publish is 5 seconds after typing "The End" on their first draft.


message 28: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 27 comments I generally read books in genres where the author needs to do a tremendous amount of research. That alone qualifies him/her for respect. Rarely do these books end up being pure trash, but they may extoll a stance that is unsupportable by the evidence or wander off into unsubstantiated opinion. Here, the writing, though important, isn't the paramount factor of the book's merit, the conclusions and the manner of their arrival carries the day.


message 29: by Christine PNW (new)

Christine PNW (moonlight_reader) Edward wrote: "Moonlight Reader wrote: "when I see an author post something like "read, I never read. I'm too busy with my WIP to waste time reading stuff"

Wow. I can't imagine a writer not being a reader. Exce..."


You nailed it.


message 30: by Edward (new)

Edward Wolfe (edwardmwolfe) Moonlight Reader wrote: "You nailed it. "

I previously had a thought that such "authors" would disappear, unable to sustain their interest when they experience no success at all. But now it occurs to me that there will always be new ones to replace those who leave to find some other "easy" way to make money.


message 31: by Christine PNW (new)

Christine PNW (moonlight_reader) Edward wrote: "Moonlight Reader wrote: "You nailed it. "

I previously had a thought that such "authors" would disappear, unable to sustain their interest when they experience no success at all. But now it occur..."


And, again. You are on a roll.

I do feel like there is an emerging professional class of self-publishing authors, though.


message 32: by Edward (last edited Feb 13, 2014 07:58PM) (new)

Edward Wolfe (edwardmwolfe) Moonlight Reader wrote: "And, again. You are on a roll.

I do feel like there is an emerging professional class of self-publishing authors, though. "


Thanks. lol

(See how shocked I was that I offended you? I thought we saw things pretty much the same way.)

I agree on the emerging class. I was going to add in my last post that a new kind of publisher is needed; one that doesn't hold the bar so damned high that only a few can get in, but also one that doesn't pay royalties or print books, etc.

Their role would be to create a channel for those indies who *could've* been published by the traditional publishing houses, but just weren't - and not due to anything like lack of quality.

They could offer services like final proofing, cover design (or at least consultation and referral,) marketing instruction, inclusion in a web catalog, etc., and the mark of distinction that would come from their imprint.

It's not a perfect idea, and it may never happen since most people are self-interested in their motivations. Or it may be happening all over the place and we just have to wait to see who rises to the top by doing the best job of it.

In the meantime, I make efforts by helping new authors when I can, and helping efforts like the Source project here on GR.

The reason I didn't post all of this is because I realized it was off-topic.

Sorry. :)


message 33: by Christine PNW (last edited Feb 13, 2014 07:51PM) (new)

Christine PNW (moonlight_reader) Edward wrote: "Moonlight Reader wrote: "And, again. You are on a roll.

I do feel like there is an emerging professional class of self-publishing authors, though. "

Thanks. lol

(See how shocked I was that I wa..."


We have totally hijacked Nenia's thread. :)

Back to author-reviewers.


message 34: by Edward (new)

Edward Wolfe (edwardmwolfe) Moonlight Reader wrote: "We have totally hijacked Nenia's thread. :)

Back to author-reviewers. "


Sorry, Nenia!!


Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell (neniacampbell) | 165 comments Hey! It's an open-discussion.

Anyway, I think it's pretty clear what my stance is. ;)

But I'm loving how active and lively this conversation has gotten! Yay!


message 36: by Edward (new)

Edward Wolfe (edwardmwolfe) Nenia wrote: "Hey! It's an open-discussion.

Anyway, I think it's pretty clear what my stance is. ;)

But I'm loving how active and lively this conversation has gotten! Yay!"


How about your experience?


Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell (neniacampbell) | 165 comments I started out as a reviewer waaaaay before I became an author! I think I've been on here since 2008? Most of my friends knew me as a reviewer- I used to go by "Pikachu."

I haven't had many problems. I review as honestly as I can, and most people- authors and readers and reviewers alike- are really cool with that. :)

I'm lucky. :)


message 38: by Edward (new)

Edward Wolfe (edwardmwolfe) Nenia wrote: "I started out as a reviewer waaaaay before I became an author! I think I've been on here since 2008? Most of my friends knew me as a reviewer- I used to go by "Pikachu."

I haven't had many problem..."


That's good.

I haven't had any problems either, that I know of. Sometimes I don't hear from people who I considered "friends" and I wonder if I pissed them off with something I said - which is highly likely.

To be credible and honest, I include pros and cons even in my good reviews. I'm sure authors hate that I include the stupid things that bugged me and didn't just leave in the good stuff.

I think an honest review is the best thing for both the readers and the author. No one wants to waste their time reading a bad book, and no author improves their craft because someone praised what they already do well.


message 39: by [deleted user] (new)

I am beginning to feel like a "voyeur" in this budding romance between Edward and Moonlight Reader. Well, it IS St V's day today.
Only joking, no offence meant.
Edward has intrigued me by his enthusiasm for that book he so admired. Any chance of a link to it?
Any chance of any of you erstwhile reviewers taking a look at my book?
Only joking ...er ...


Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell (neniacampbell) | 165 comments Edward wrote: "Nenia wrote: "I started out as a reviewer waaaaay before I became an author! I think I've been on here since 2008? Most of my friends knew me as a reviewer- I used to go by "Pikachu."

I haven't ha..."


I agree. Whenever I read a book I really hate, I point out EVERYTHING that bothers me. It helps me vent, but it also helps other people decide. Because people can get really nitpicky over books.

If someone gets put off my books by a negative review, they probably wouldn't have liked the book even if they've read it.

Negative reviews are cathartic. And valuable. And damned good fun to write.


message 41: by A.L. (new)

A.L. Butcher (alb2012) | 188 comments Nenia wrote: "Edward wrote: "Nenia wrote: "I started out as a reviewer waaaaay before I became an author! I think I've been on here since 2008? Most of my friends knew me as a reviewer- I used to go by "Pikachu...."

:) I've bought books based on negative reviews:)


message 42: by Edward (new)

Edward Wolfe (edwardmwolfe) Sophie wrote: "I am beginning to feel like a "voyeur" in this budding romance between Edward and Moonlight Reader. Well, it IS St V's day today.
Only joking, no offence meant.
Edward has intrigued me by his enth..."


LOL
I think that's overstating it, even if it did slightly appear that we were following part of a romance formula. (Conflict based on misunderstanding, followed by resolution and increased affinity.)

I do have to admit that I'm fond of her name, and I really like her brain - in a non-zombie kind of way. ;)

The book that I was really excited about because it was so different and unique to me (having never read Chuck Wuhlniak, or however you spell that) is Hyperbole.

If you look at the preview on Amazon, you should know right away if you like the voice, or hate it. I imagine some people will hate it. But I feel like he's a huge talent sitting in a dark corner, unnoticed.

--

Returning to the topic, I've been thinking this morning that I should unfriend all of my friends here; meaning, the ones I talk to offsite.

Amazon appears to be in the process of removing reviews from people there who are friends here.

As a side note: Reviews aren't all that authors believe them to be. I'm selling record numbers of my novel right now. I broke my sales record in January and had *no* reviews. Half way into February, I've already surpassed January sales, and I only recently got a review - from a friend. :( And she is so obviously someone I know because her promo is on the cover.

I'm surprised that I still have that single review. (And I'm sub-surprised that I'm having all of these sales with a dearth of reviews.)

Happy VD, everyone!


message 43: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Fraser (stephen_b_fraser) | 141 comments My stance as a writer is completely different from me as a reviewer. On occasion I get authors that ask me about review swaps. I have no problems reviewing another writers work. However I will be honest and I will point out the issues I have with it. I also make it very clear that they are getting an honest review that they may or may not like. In return I want them to make an honest review of my material as well they don't have to save my feelings.


message 44: by Pattimari (new)

Pattimari | 66 comments Stephen wrote: "My stance as a writer is completely different from me as a reviewer. On occasion I get authors that ask me about review swaps. I have no problems reviewing another writers work. However I will be h..."

Of course!


message 45: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Fraser (stephen_b_fraser) | 141 comments Edward wrote: "Happy VD, everyone!..."

I just donned on me Edward was saying Valentines Day not Venereal disease. Wow amazing that you don't realize it is Valentines day when you are Single.


message 46: by Edward (new)

Edward Wolfe (edwardmwolfe) Stephen wrote: "Edward wrote: "Happy VD, everyone!..."

I just donned on me Edward was saying Valentines Day not Venereal disease. Wow amazing that you don't realize it is Valentines day when you are Single."


lol

I'm glad you understood eventually. ;)


message 47: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Fraser (stephen_b_fraser) | 141 comments Vicki wrote: "Sorry, I haven't been part of this discussion but Stephen, you just made me spit my coffee all over my nice new laptop. Jeez that's funny..."

I'm glad to see my little bit of humor generated some enjoyment. Sadly Most of my humor is one shot lines, I wish I had the creativity to be able to do an entire satire book.


message 48: by Rachael (new)

Rachael Eyre (rachaeleyre) | 44 comments I'm a voracious reader, but since becoming a self published writer with a Goodreads page, I'm very wary of giving negative reviews. If I really don't like a work, I'll give it a one star or two star rating but not elaborate further, since I appreciate the author must have slaved their guts out writing it.

If it's a book I love, however, or one that's flawed but interesting, I'll pull all the stops out and give it a proper write up. Authors who don't love to read puzzle me exceedingly!


message 49: by T.H. (new)

T.H. Hernandez (thhernandez) | 113 comments Rachael, I'm the same way. But for me, it's more like I don't want to publicly tear down another author. I get now how much effort goes into writing a book. If I really don't like a book, I don't finish it, because I love to read, but life is too short to read books I'm not enjoying. And if I don't finish a book, I don't feel obligated to leave it a review, starred or otherwise.

However, if I love a book, I do want to share my thoughts and feelings. I think being a lover of books is something you want to share with others.


message 50: by Alice (last edited Nov 22, 2014 04:14PM) (new)

Alice (asimpson) | 86 comments T.H. wrote: "Rachael, I'm the same way. But for me, it's more like I don't want to publicly tear down another author. I get now how much effort goes into writing a book. If I really don't like a book, I don't f..."

I agree with T.H. that a great deal of work goes into writing and if it's not my kind of book, then I move on. I don't need to savage it and its author publicly. My choice is to write reviews about books that move me, and challenge my thinking.


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