Sci-Fi, fantasy and speculative Indie Authors Review discussion

54 views
The Betterreads Project > General discussion and suggestions

Comments Showing 1-50 of 181 (181 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1 3 4

message 1: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Ironside (julesanneironside) | 653 comments Mod
If you have suggestions to make or queries in general about how this review process will work, please post them on this thread. Richard and I will do our best to work through them/ incorporate them as appropriate. (Mostly Richard since he' done this before ;) )

Ok, fire away!


message 2: by Turhan (new)

Turhan Halil | 270 comments Well, I do have a comment. In the original 'Source' I remember being confused as to where the 'list' of potential submitted titles were because I think they were in a couple of different places at the time. it would be great if they were all in one place.

Also when someone reviews a book, it would be really helpful to post the book thumbnail cover link, kinda like this ...

Don't Let The Demons Eat Your Heart (Daughters of Darkness #1) by Turhan Halil

blah blah blah

Sometimes the person doing the review would just type in the title and not include the link. Which for me meant doing the extra work of going back to the list (which was in more than one place) to look for it, and possibly do a review of the submitted title my self. The easier/quicker the process of locating the submitted titles, the more likely it will be that potential reviewers will participate.

Just my tuppence for now :)


message 3: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Ironside (julesanneironside) | 653 comments Mod
Excellent point, Turhan. We'll have to address that in the set up and guidelines. It should be user frindly, you're right. Thanks.


message 4: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) | 1213 comments Mod
Question:

Is this just for books that are currently published and available through GR? Or can we add a book we are getting ready to publish?


message 5: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Ironside (julesanneironside) | 653 comments Mod
I think you can add a book you're getting ready to publish or rather one that you feel is almost ready. No first drafts for instance. What do you think Richard?


message 6: by Richard (last edited Oct 26, 2014 02:00PM) (new)

Richard | 490 comments Mod
I'd thought of it as being for books already published (and best of all, newly published) but I can't see any reason why the first, appraisal, stage couldn't be used as a way of giving your book a final tidying up - i.e. put it through Appraisal, then make your (final!) alterations, then (if it got its five Passes of course) move it on to Reviewing. Sound okay?


message 7: by Turhan (last edited Oct 26, 2014 01:45PM) (new)

Turhan Halil | 270 comments I just wanted to say that I luv this whole concept and I'm glad the Phoenix has once again, risen! :) I don't know how often I'm going to be able to contribute, but I will!

By way of contributing towards this concept, I'm going to try to 'Appraise' (is that the official terminology?) 5 titles, because then I'll feel better about contributing my own book for you guys to dissect and tear to pieces lol

I'll do my 1st 'appraisal' tomorrow morning, before the insanity of the day begins! :)


message 8: by Richard (new)

Richard Penn (richardpenn) | 758 comments Second that enthusiasm. I'm very pleased to be able to participate in this.


message 9: by Turhan (last edited Oct 26, 2014 01:46PM) (new)

Turhan Halil | 270 comments Richard 2060 wrote: "Second that enthusiasm. I'm very pleased to be able to participate in this."

*Like* <--- You can tell I've been Facebookified!


message 10: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) | 1213 comments Mod
Okay, I'll stick to published for the moment. I'll run through what's already in there before deciding which of my books needs a critic at the moment.


message 11: by Richard (last edited Oct 26, 2014 02:12PM) (new)

Richard | 490 comments Mod
Good to see such enthusiasm - let's make this work!

I think there might be one minor problem already though: do we need separate threads for, first, posting the books as an 'available for appraisal' list - and then, second, posting the assessments themselves? Doing it all in the same thread is starting to look a bit of a mess already!


message 12: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) | 1213 comments Mod
Inwas going to ask if there was a way to do a poll and save the critiquing for a review topic?


message 13: by K. (new)

Caffee K. (kcaffee) | 461 comments I'll chime in again.

Love the idea of having a set number of critiques before you can submit your own. (::Cringes when I say that::)

Like the idea of polls for the submission thread, and an actual critique thread for more detailed information. To help keep the critique thread "neater" perhaps, the book title could be posted, and the critiques added as "replies"? (I haven't looked closely at the stage one thread... yet. Intend to do that a bit later tonight.)


message 14: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Ironside (julesanneironside) | 653 comments Mod
I think you're right, Richard. Let's have an appraisal thread where the books are put forward and then you or I can open a feedback thread for each book title put forward and people can comment on each book in its separate thread. I can move my comments easily enough. I agree it's starting to look a bit messy and we're really going to have to keep on top of it. Also if everything is jumbled in together things are going to get missed. We can always delete old threads once they become defunct.


message 15: by Richard (new)

Richard | 490 comments Mod
That's more like it - the 'For Appraisal' thread should be just a simple, neat, list of all the books: title, genre, front cover - nothing else - so that everyone can see, at a glance, which books they've already done and which they haven't. As each book reaches either five 'ups' or five 'downs' (and rises heavenward or descends into hell) we just delete it from the list!


message 16: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) | 1213 comments Mod
Another question: Once a book reaches the five ups, does the author provide review copies or are they purchased? I'm asking as both someone who doesn't have review copies at the moment and a poor person who lives on an author salary.


message 17: by K. (new)

Caffee K. (kcaffee) | 461 comments Crazy question. I'm not QUITE to where I want to have others look at my second project (first edit does not mean it's ready for a general audience), but once I get through the third or fourth edit, how would I go about putting it up for folks to look at? I'll be formatting for pre-order submission, but won't have a way of showing it off until it goes live (Late November is the target).

I've considered putting the first couple of chapters up on my blog and password protecting, so that only goodread visitors could see it. Would that be acceptable, or should I wait until it does go live? (Rather not, especially if it bottoms, want time to catch that before I have to revise/resubmit.)


message 18: by Richard (new)

Richard Penn (richardpenn) | 758 comments Can I enter a vote against the idea of a bare thumbs-up/thumbs-down appraisal? I'm looking at it from the point of view of an author who might get five downs. We'd have rejected their work without giving them any feedback. Asking for a descriptive appraisal also raises the bar a little to show there's some thought behind the vote, and discourages sockpuppetry.


message 19: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Ironside (julesanneironside) | 653 comments Mod
I'm all for a reasonable amount of feedback with thumbs up/ down. I agree, a simple yes or no isn't going to tell anyone much.
I would have thought that pass word protecting a sample on your blog would be ok. Or you could use a drop box and provide a link to that?
I'm honestly not sure, Christina. Perhaps a compromise might be if you could do a special promotional price for a week or so if you book gets five thumbs up? In the end the extra reviews should help sales but I do understand that you need to fritter money away on luxuries like good and rent! I don't think anyone should feel that they HAVE to give away free copies. It just might take people longer to come to books that cost.


message 20: by Jeno (last edited Oct 27, 2014 03:57AM) (new)

Jeno (jenomarz) | 52 comments I've deleted my book (Falaha's Journey) from the 'appraisal' list after the first two crits, yet the critiques keep coming. I should have read better about what this all thing is about and it wasn't what I had expected. Sorry. I want the book completely off the list, please.

-J


message 21: by Turhan (new)

Turhan Halil | 270 comments Richard wrote: "Good to see such enthusiasm - let's make this work!

I think there might be one minor problem already though: do we need separate threads for, first, posting the books as an 'available for appraisa..."


Agreed!


message 22: by Turhan (new)

Turhan Halil | 270 comments Richard wrote: "That's more like it - the 'For Appraisal' thread should be just a simple, neat, list of all the books: title, genre, front cover - nothing else - so that everyone can see, at a glance, which books..."

Yup :)


message 23: by Turhan (new)

Turhan Halil | 270 comments J. A. wrote: "I think you're right, Richard. Let's have an appraisal thread where the books are put forward and then you or I can open a feedback thread for each book title put forward and people can comment on ..."

Definitely!


message 24: by Turhan (last edited Oct 27, 2014 06:21AM) (new)

Turhan Halil | 270 comments ok, so I'm assuming we would provide a mobi/epub of our books, right? Much like a review copy. This way there's no cost to the author.

ETA: Also, maybe there should be a review policy of 6 weeks (or whatever the mods decide) to do the review once you sign up to review a book at that 'review the whole book stage' Then if you want to review another 'whole book' maybe finish the 1st one before asking for a 2nd book?

What do ya'll think?


message 25: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Ironside (julesanneironside) | 653 comments Mod
Ok, Jeno . That's a shame bug it is completely up to you.


message 26: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Maltman (jamiemaltman) | 156 comments Mod
Since we're a big tent in terms of speculative genres, I'll propose a 3rd option to thumbs up/thumbs down.

Here's my example. I don't read any horror or hard sci fi. Very little in my life. So I wouldn't presume to judge even the appropriateness of a cover or a blurb, much less the genre expectations of the book itself.

But I could still offer useful feedback on technical cover issues (layout, polish, colour choice), blurb technical issues, and writing technical issues. And would.

But unless the book moved me beyond my non-reading of the genre, I'd want to take the third option of: Not my kind of book. (But otherwise seems OK). So I'm not harming the ability of the book to make it to the next round, but saying that I wouldn't be reviewing it there.

Anyone else feel that way? (And I wanted to get that cleared up before posting any feedback).


message 27: by Richard (new)

Richard Penn (richardpenn) | 758 comments I'd be happy to have you look at mine, even though it's hard sci-fi and you aren't generally in our neck of the woods (or part of the Universe). I'd like to believe a good story would 'shine through' barriers of genre. The detailed comments would still be useful, even if you abstain.


message 28: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Maltman (jamiemaltman) | 156 comments Mod
Richard 2060 wrote: "I'd be happy to have you look at mine, even though it's hard sci-fi and you aren't generally in our neck of the woods (or part of the Universe). I'd like to believe a good story would 'shine throug..."

I just wouldn't want my "I wouldn't read this because it doesn't appeal to me" comment to translate into a thumbs down and stop others from reading it.

vs

"This is something I would normally read, but there were issues that would make me not read further".

It's an important difference. Because if I'd never even pick up a particular book, even with a bunch of people recommending it to me, then my feedback isn't that useful to that artist, really.


message 29: by Jeno (last edited Oct 27, 2014 10:42AM) (new)

Jeno (jenomarz) | 52 comments Jamie wrote: "Since we're a big tent in terms of speculative genres, I'll propose a 3rd option to thumbs up/thumbs down.

Here's my example. I don't read any horror or hard sci fi. Very little in my life. So I w..."


I agree.

And since I intend to post my comments about the books, I'm also going to annoy the hell out of you people saying I would also refrain from author-bashing and criticizing speculative ideas because you just feel so (e.g. "...the author doesn't seem to
realise..." or "Alien races are usually called Kbbbtz or something." or "When I read a historical novel I tolerate a fair amount of description because it's a lesson in real history. I'm not willing to invest that much in a fantasy world.")

Sorry, you are not the target audience and/or not fit to judge the content then. Stick to the mechanics of the package. Because people quite rightfully can tell you that police in space does not science fiction make. But that's not helpful to anyone, isn't it?

Just my 2 cents.


message 30: by Richard (new)

Richard Penn (richardpenn) | 758 comments I apologise if I came across as author-bashing, it wasn't my intent. Of course I can only give my opinions and claim no authority in what I say. All any of us have is opinions. I did check with the Mods as I was first out of the gate, and was reassured that the tone was OK. I'll retire from the field if people feel it would be better, I've already got some useful feedback on my book.


message 31: by Richard (new)

Richard Penn (richardpenn) | 758 comments By the way, I did seek guidance earlier on whether it was appropriate to call my work science fiction, and the general response was yes. It's a broad field. I'd welcome any suggestion you have if there's a better place for it.


message 32: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Ironside (julesanneironside) | 653 comments Mod
Ok, I'm going to wade in here.

Jamie makes an excellent point about genre: if we were reviewing or appraising a harlequin style romance for instance, I would be completely at sea because it just doesn't fit in my head space. And I'm pretty omnivorous in my reading habits too! So if a book seems adequate to get a thumbs up but you don't read the genre or even you wouldn't read that particular book because it doesn't appeal to you but you can see it's a well put together package, then it should be a thumbs up. Or don't appraise the books that really aren't in your choice of genre reads. It helps no one if you appraise or review a book you are predisposed to dislike on taste preferences. I'm not aiming this at anyone but I think the point needs to be addressed. Not every book will be for everyone. And that is ok.

Second point: some of us writers are used to more robust criticism than others. I'll be honest, I've seen nothing yet that I consider offensive. Possibly a tad blunt but then it is worth remembering that text based communications cut out all visual communication cues ie body language, tone of voice, facial expression. It is easy to apply a worst possible interpretation to a comment that was merely a personal observation not an attack on your writing. For the record here, I have had my writing brutally slammed in the past so I'm not talking out of my hat. Yes it hurts. Go for a run, eat some chocolate/ drink wine, remember that the person who commented has put time and effort into giving you feedback even if you don't like what was said and decide if it really was an attack. If you really think it was and your MODs haven't stepped in already, please bring it to us. There is a reason for us acting as intermediaries: it's not playground politics. None of us are at our most objective about our own work. We don't want infighting or quarrels over what was intended as honest feedback (even if the delivery method was a bit brusque) so let us intercede.

I would request that everyone respects each other's right to an opinion. You don't have to agree with each other. If you disagree with one person's feedback then that's ok. Remember the golden rule with feedback is 'accept, adapt or reject'. In the end only the author can make that call.

I would say I have an average thickness of hide when it comes to receiving feedback. Others will have thinner skin and still others will put rhinos to shame. When you leave feedback try to use 'I feel' or 'in my opinion' style comments to make it clear it's your opinion. You've gone to the trouble of leaving feedback, so presumably you want it considered not just rejected because you delivered it bluntly? Just a thought.

Lastly, and I am as guilty of this as the next writer, don't forget to disconnect an opinion on your writing with an opinion of you as a person. For feedback purposes if nothing else, you are separate entities.

I hope that was fairly clear but if you have any questions about what I said please DM me or Richard (co-MOD not Richard 2060) and we'll discuss it further.

Hackles and ruffled feathers down please folks ;)


message 33: by Jeno (last edited Oct 27, 2014 11:24AM) (new)

Jeno (jenomarz) | 52 comments Folks, don't misunderstand me, I'm not here to fight. But I didn't come here to get my book torn to shreds for no reason, or to tear apart someone else's work. If I would pick up a genre/form I normally don't read, I would stick with points I can give helpful opinion on. Because the rest is not for me to judge.

I'm not offended in any way, I just want to have my voice heard too, because I find the situation a tad funny.

I'm going to be blunt here, since I'm a scientist myself. If a person criticizes science in someone's science fiction, and says something like "the author doesn't seem to
realise how big [the galaxy]is... in 100,000,000,000 stars you couldn't possibly know there were no other races in it." He better knows his math, because species that had been around for 3 billion years would have time to colonize the entire galaxy 6 times. SIX. Roughly 500 million years per round. That's slow mo, no fancy drive. Brilliant science peeps did the math for it. Of course these aliens would know if there is someone else in it.

So please, since we are in science fiction department here, know your facts first. At least try to. Science has evolved since the 70s a lot. It's not about personal hurt. ;-)


message 34: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Ironside (julesanneironside) | 653 comments Mod
Sounds as though the issues around space etc could be a fascinating discussion. Perhaps we could have a separate thread to thoroughly canvass the intricacies and opinions on scientific theory in the general section? I'm all for a bit of honest debate. Anyone feel like heading up that discussion in another folder?


message 35: by Jeno (new)

Jeno (jenomarz) | 52 comments J. A. wrote: "Sounds as though the issues around space etc could be a fascinating discussion. Perhaps we could have a separate thread to thoroughly canvass the intricacies and opinions on scientific theory in th..."

Sure, I'm all for it.


message 36: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Lyles (gobbledygook) | 380 comments Science was never my best subject but I'm all for discussing it.


message 37: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Ironside (julesanneironside) | 653 comments Mod
Excellent :) I'll set up a thread in the general folder then.


message 38: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Lyles (gobbledygook) | 380 comments Do the books have to be science fiction in nature. My book is urban fantasy but I would never classify it as even vaguely sciencey (not a word I know).


message 39: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Ironside (julesanneironside) | 653 comments Mod
No not at all - I presume you mean for the appraisal review process?

Basically fantasy, SF, paranormal, speculative, horror, suernatural, slip stream...basically all of what it often lumped together as genre fiction qualifies. (A straight historical or romance or crime probably wouldn't without a speculative element.)


message 40: by Turhan (new)

Turhan Halil | 270 comments Jamie wrote: "Since we're a big tent in terms of speculative genres, I'll propose a 3rd option to thumbs up/thumbs down.

Here's my example. I don't read any horror or hard sci fi. Very little in my life. So I w..."


I don't read horror or sci-fi either, but personally, I can disconnect from my lack of interest in a genre I don't read, and review it without that lack of interest tainting/skewing/messing up my review, whatsoever.

Also if someone reading my review felt like I was talking outside of my typical genre and if I said, as you say "Not my kind of book. (But otherwise seems OK)" then I don't really see the necessity for a third option. It would still mean thumbs up and you really can't cover every other persons perception of whether or not you might harm 'their' perception of a book. There are too many variables to consider.

Just my 2 penn'orth :)


message 41: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Lyles (gobbledygook) | 380 comments J. A. wrote: "No not at all - I presume you mean for the appraisal review process?

Basically fantasy, SF, paranormal, speculative, horror, suernatural, slip stream...basically all of what it often lumped togeth..."


Yes for the appraisal review. And okay I'll consider putting mine in then.


message 42: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) Turhan wrote: "Here's my example. I don't read any horror or hard sci fi. Very little in m..."

That was a problem I had with the Source. I write hard-SF, which is a pretty small niche. While my novel got the requisite 5 passes, no one ever read it, and no one seemed likely to. For that reason, and a couple of others, I left the group after reviewing only one book.


message 43: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Ironside (julesanneironside) | 653 comments Mod
I think we'll just have to play it by ear, Ken. But we do have quite a few small niche genres here - weird western and engineer fiction for example. If it's a good story I'll definitely give it a go.


message 44: by K. (new)

Caffee K. (kcaffee) | 461 comments To the hard Sci-fi writers, I do tend to dip into that genre sometimes. I have a sound enough science background I can probably keep up with you, depending on how far out you have theorized. So, if/when I see one of yours come through, I will try to do my best to catch it for a look/see. (Time available, I do have to remember that reading is on a time available. ::Growls at self::)


message 45: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) K. wrote: "To the hard Sci-fi writers, I do tend to dip into that genre sometimes. I have a sound enough science background I can probably keep up with you, depending on how far out you have theorized. So, ..."

Thanks, K, but my novel has already been reviewed by this group as BOTM, and I'd hate to double dip, so to speak, even if it's permissible. I am almost finished with my next one, so we'll see.


message 46: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Maltman (jamiemaltman) | 156 comments Mod
Turhan, in a review, sure... though I'm generally reading books I hope I'll like, since my to be read and to do lists are big enough already.

But for the purposes of this exercise, someone's book getting voted down from potentially being up for review, based on people saying it wasn't their preferred genre doesn't make sense, does it?

Even in a bi-monthly poll, say there were several books for the sci fi category, and none of them caught my (more narrow) sci fi interest. I'd abstain rather than vote for one.

I guess as an author I'm more interested in finding the audience of people who would like my writing, from those predisposed to like it, rather than trying to show it to everyone or convince someone to give it a try? (Or broaden my appeal, potentially serving nobody, least of all, the story.)


message 47: by Hákon (new)

Hákon Gunnarsson | 283 comments I see your point Jamie. As a reader I personally go from genre to genre in such a way that I think I would have a look at most works that come up here. That said, I have read a lot of science fiction and a fair amount of fantasy, but I will admit that I don't read horror very often, so maybe it would be wrong for me to vote a horror novel down.

Still, if I would come across something in a work that is not my typical genre, something that I think could be improved, should I not point that out? Maybe without giving it a thumb up or down?


message 48: by Turhan (new)

Turhan Halil | 270 comments Jamie wrote: "Turhan, in a review, sure... though I'm generally reading books I hope I'll like, since my to be read and to do lists are big enough already.

But for the purposes of this exercise, someone's book ..."


I'm not understanding the logistics of what you're saying.

If someone does the first review/appraisal (cover, blurb, sample) then as you said earlier they say "Not my kind of book. (But otherwise seems OK)." Then they go on to give it a thumbs up, how would that sway someone else from 'not' reviewing that book? I don't get it. I still "personally" don't see a need for a third hybrid option. Doesn't that just confuse things?

Also "abstaining" from voting because you personally aren't into sci-fi, is fine. Vote for something else. We can't make a formula for every variable of genre to suit every possibility so that every author has votes. Some genres are more niche than others and aren't going to garner those votes.

I guess we may have to agree to disagree and let the mods read our discourse and decide what's best, I'll go along with pretty much anything because I really like the basic concept of the 'Source'

:)


message 49: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Maltman (jamiemaltman) | 156 comments Mod
Hakon, I'd say absolutely yes. As long as it's not just a matter of taste. :)


message 50: by Jamie (last edited Oct 27, 2014 03:57PM) (new)

Jamie Maltman (jamiemaltman) | 156 comments Mod
Turhan, I'm saying the opposite of the case you gave. (In your case, absolutely nobody is hurt, you're right. :) )

I'm speaking of Where someone gives a thumbs down to a book because it's not what they'd personally want to read, but otherwise they don't have an issue with the prose/cover/blurb?

I have zero issue with anyone saying they wouldn't continue reading a book, for whatever reason. But if it's mainly because it's not their cup of tea, then give the comments and abstain from down voting it, leaving it for others to up-vote it if enough like it.

Really, isn't the first level of review (correct me if I'm wrong) mostly for giving authors feedback of "more work required", especially on editing within the book, or blurb/cover that might scare off the target reader in the first place?


« previous 1 3 4
back to top

126776

Sci-Fi, fantasy and speculative Indie Authors...

unread topics | mark unread


Books mentioned in this topic

Don't Let The Demons Eat Your Heart (other topics)