Creative Reviews discussion

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Read here first > FOR SHAME!!!!!

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message 1: by Amy Eye (new)

Amy Eye | 1841 comments Mod
Something has been brought to my attention that I thought would NEVER happen in this group of people I am calling my friends.

One of the reviewers in this group was asked to do a review on a book. This reviewer read the book, and because he/she didn't think it was the most glowing review he/she had ever given, was polite enough to send the review to the author before posting it up anywhere. The author came back and was rude and disrespectful to this reviewer. The author insulted the reviewer's ability to write reviews and the author said he/she (I'm trying to keep it anonymous for the sake of the reviewer involved) was appalled that this reviewer would give the book any less than 4 stars!!

This will NOT happen in this group. We are NOT here to stroke your egos with our reviews, and I will not allow you to advertise yourself or your books here if you cannot be polite to the people who are taking their time out to review your books for nothing.

I am so angry about this, I never thought that one of the people in this group would be so rude and horrible to another group member. I see this as a wonderful community of people helping one another. I will not have anyone mistreating any one of my friends in this group. And as I have talked to most of you multiple times on a daily basis, I consider all of you my friends.

If I EVER hear of this happening again, I will IMMEDIATELY have you removed from the group as well as all posts about your books.

I will also just say for the sake of future reference...I do not expect ANY of the reviewers in this group to give horrible reviews to an author because a difference in opinion, mutual dislike or anything. That is not what we are about.

I'm sorry if I am coming off as a horribly mean person, but it sickens me that this happened because one of the reviewers got this book off an author who posted their book in this group. I hope I haven't put anyone off, but this needed to be said.

And you authors who are nice and kind and polite and sweet know this is not about you. The one that I am talking to knows exactly who he/she is.


message 2: by C.S. Splitter (new)

C.S. Splitter | 979 comments Ooooohhhhhh, that's not good.

Splitter


message 3: by Amy Eye (new)

Amy Eye | 1841 comments Mod
No, it isn't...and this is actually the NICER version of the original post I was going to put up...Cambria calmed me down. I feel very bad for this reviewer, and exceptionally angry at this particular author.


message 4: by Cambria (new)

Cambria (cambria409) | 3305 comments No it isn't. Please everyone lets be polite here. Remember that reviewers are people with opinions and opinions differ.


message 5: by Ottilie (new)

Ottilie (ottilie_weber) | 474 comments Omg poor reviewer! That is awful :(


message 6: by Paul (new)

Paul Jones (paulantonyjones) | 23 comments If you can't take the criticism, folks. Don't ask for the review.


message 7: by C.S. Splitter (new)

C.S. Splitter | 979 comments Were Jacqueline Howett proportions reached?

I know you won't say, but inquiring minds want to know!

Splitter


message 8: by Amy Eye (new)

Amy Eye | 1841 comments Mod
Not to those epic proportions!! :) But enough to upset this reviewer. And no one should made to feel that way over a review.


message 9: by Amy Eye (new)

Amy Eye | 1841 comments Mod
Oh, it hasn't made me think less of the other members in this group. There are so many of you out there that I have met and enjoy talking to. And I also feel like my friends should be defended when something like this happens, and I want to make sure that I have made it clear what I intend on doing if this issue ever comes up again. I hate coming across as the 'mean moderator' but I feel if I don't stick up for my members then I shouldn't have started the group.


message 10: by Ottilie (new)

Ottilie (ottilie_weber) | 474 comments You aren't mean, you are being fair, and putting your foot in the ground firmly! Which is good :)


message 11: by Amy Eye (new)

Amy Eye | 1841 comments Mod
Thanks, guys. I appreciate it. :)


message 12: by Lena (new)

Lena | 191 comments Bad reviews hurt, but...as an author, you just suck it up and move on. Or try! :)
I think writers sometimes forget that REVIEWERS are writers, too.
Sorry that happened in this group. Everyone I've met here has been wonderfully polite, so thanks everyone!


message 13: by Cambria (new)

Cambria (cambria409) | 3305 comments I like to see all the support here guys! thanks to everyone!


message 14: by Baxter (new)

Baxter Trautman I'm sorry to see you so upset, Amy. You do a FANTASTIC job here and 99% of what happens on the site is great, so don't let one very hurt author get to you. Best, Baxter


message 15: by Cassie (new)

Cassie McCown (cassie629) | 713 comments Wow, I'm actually speechless... I'm kinda with Steve on this. I'm not sure they need any more chances.

:-(


message 16: by Katy (new)

Katy (katyas-69) | 603 comments Geez! That's awful! I know that I, personally, always send the review to the author first before I post it if I give less than 4 stars, and although I've only had to do this twice, both authors were polite to me and thanked me for my time. It is very upsetting that someone would do this - I mean, I understand that an author wants GOOD reviews, but the author also needs to know if a reviewer feels that there is a problem in the book that needs addressing - I don't know about anyone else, but I hope that my reviews will give authors a place to start working from to improve their books, if the need should be apparent. I certainly do not give low reviews simply because I don't personally like a book or I disagree with it somehow - I note that, but then I take pains to rate by the quality of the writing, not my opinion on the content so much; I hope you understand what I mean. And I'm certain most reviewers here are the same, so for one of us to have been mistreated like that - I'm with Amy, that was appalling.

And speaking of reviews - I started a book at 3 p.m. and am getting ready to start my 3rd book since then (lucky I had two short ones to start! LOL), so I best get off of here and start reading.


message 17: by Charlie (new)

Charlie (bitsyblingbooks) | 42 comments That sucks. I never send reviews to authors - -nor would I do it prior to posting (unless it is a raving review). I have a clear review policy listed at my website primarily for this purpose. I'm an author as well as a reviewer so I know how it feels on both sides -- but as a reviewer, you can't be handcuffed. As an author, experience helps. It's difficult to not take it personally, but you just can't -- and if you do, go cry in your pillow or complain to your dog, but never, ever, ever respond with anything other than a thank you (if you feel the need). It's the golden rule. I can't say it enough -- but every book will eventually average out to 3 stars. Some readers will love it, some won't like it that much and the law of averages suggests each book will end up at 3 - 3.5 after so many ratings are posted. As long as the reviewer is respectful and supports their opinion, it is a good review. I might not agree with their opinions, but most readers and audiences can determine whether or not their tastes jive with the reviewer. Sometimes it can work to the authors benefit and they don't even know it. I love my friends and family, but I have a few that if they rate a book a 4-5 star, I know generally I won't like the book and vice versa. So you never know...


message 18: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Clement (jaclement) | 1328 comments Oh dear. Really sorry to hear of this, on several counts. I hope the reviewer isn't too upset - but I'm guessing that having taken the time and trouble to wade through a book and write a review, they *will* be upset, and rightly so.

Reviewer, please know that there are many authors out there who can take a bad review on the chin without discourtesy, and don't judge the rest of us by one set of bad behaviour.

And what a pity to sully the great atmosphere of this group! Let's agree not to have any more of this, people?

JAC


message 19: by Cambria (new)

Cambria (cambria409) | 3305 comments You said it quite clearly Stephen. I agree.


message 20: by Laurie | LOHF (new)

Laurie  |  LOHF (barklesswagmore) It sounds to me like the author is used to being coddled. Boot them. That sense of entitlement to a great review is a mindset that doesn't often change. If their skin isn't thick enough they shouldn't be asking random people on the internet to review their work. They should have done their homework and took a few minutes to read the reviewer's previous reviews. There are many reviewer's who won't give less than a four star review but personally I can't trust their recommendations.


message 21: by C.S. Splitter (new)

C.S. Splitter | 979 comments George R.R. Martin is getting some bad reviews and he is SUPPOSED to be the American Tolkien.

Just saying....

Splitter


message 22: by Phil (new)

Phil Cantrill | 313 comments Stephen wrote: "In my arrogant opinion, this author and their posts should be removed from the group -- never mind waiting until it happens again.

That said, Amy, I'd also like to add that in my 60 years on the p..."


I'm with you, Steve. We can't help the fact that there are mean-spirited people in the world, but we can choose not to remain friends when their true colours show. We're all authors here, and the majority, at least, realize that what we write will not please everyone. Further, no one writes so well that he/she has no room for improvement. No author can expect to please every reader, nor should they rudely reject well-meaning criticism. That should not offend the writer, but help them improve. Why else do they put books up for review? If you just want a publicist, go to an ad agency.

Whoever you are that caused this ruckus, get a life and move on. Obviously this site is not for you.


message 23: by Cassie (new)

Cassie McCown (cassie629) | 713 comments Phil wrote: "Stephen wrote: "In my arrogant opinion, this author and their posts should be removed from the group -- never mind waiting until it happens again.

That said, Amy, I'd also like to add that in my 6..."


Well said...


message 24: by Anagha Uppal (new)

Anagha Uppal That is awful, and I agree with Stephen: the author should be removed. I am just starting to receive review books from authors in this group, and I definitely wouldn't want me or anybody else to get a book from an author who holds a grudge against this group.


message 25: by Karenw (new)

Karenw | 2 comments Wow. The best way to avoid this is for authors to painstakingly proofread and edit their work before submitting it for review.


message 26: by [deleted user] (new)

The reviewer behaved with grace. The author behaved very badly. They should have been grateful that the reviewer had warned them in advance.


message 27: by Dale (new)

Dale Ibitz (goodreadscomdale_ibitz) | 298 comments Whew. I agree with all the support here Amy. Obviously, you are right to defend the reviewer, and you are doing your job as moderator, and the author seems to have an inflated sense of his/her writing. Writers have to remember that NOT EVERYONE is going to like his/her book. That's the way of the world. If readers all liked the same thing, then there'd only be one genre, one way of writing, and one story.

Got your back on this one, girlfriend. And the reviewer, whomever he/she may be!

:)


message 28: by Amy Eye (new)

Amy Eye | 1841 comments Mod
I will say, I couldn't be more pleased with the people in this group. You are all wonderful. I know the reviewer is very thankful for the support. :)


message 29: by Phil (new)

Phil Cantrill | 313 comments I know this is old hat for any established author, but not for me, with my very first published work. (Perhaps I'm unduly sensitive for this reason)

I received my first one-star review recently. The reviewer, she said, was "creeped out" by the story. Her main objection seems to have been that "the book taught stuff I don't believe are true (sic)"

Well hello -- when did it become the rule that we should only write what keeps readers snug in their comfort zone? I have always believed a good book should challenge readers, give them experiences outside that zone whether they agree with its message or not.

The reviewer says she could only read 100 pages before her religious prejudices stopped her (I'm interpreting here). Obviously the review was dashed off in a hurry, without using Spellcheck or any grammar checking program.

I would have loved to be told something about how my story might be improved -- its writing or plot flaws, but someone with set-in-concrete prejudices who writes a lopsided review after reading less than half the book seems to me to be taking undue liberties.

Am I wrong?


message 30: by Dale (new)

Dale Ibitz (goodreadscomdale_ibitz) | 298 comments No Phil, you are not wrong. I one star review needs to be backed up by examples. Personally, if I can't finish a book, I don't feel I have the right to review it, in my opinion. What type of story did you write that caused that kind of reaction?


message 31: by Phil (new)

Phil Cantrill | 313 comments Dale wrote: "No Phil, you are not wrong. I one star review needs to be backed up by examples. Personally, if I can't finish a book, I don't feel I have the right to review it, in my opinion. What type of story ..."

Thanks, Dale. I thought I was over-reacting.

The book is a fantasy, set in times and places well beyond any current established religion or beliefs. I thought it necessary for the plot to explore what might have been the religious views of the time. But the central theme was about events leading to the fall of an empire, through the eyes of a young man at the heart of it.


message 32: by Cambria (new)

Cambria (cambria409) | 3305 comments Hey all, Great support we have going on here! It makes me smile. =)


message 33: by Katy (new)

Katy (katyas-69) | 603 comments Phil wrote: "I know this is old hat for any established author, but not for me, with my very first published work. (Perhaps I'm unduly sensitive for this reason)

I received my first one-star review recently. ..."


Sadly, that sounds like the sort of response you'd receive from most of my family :-( They don't believe in "opening their minds to evil" or whatever .. I think it's ridiculous.

If a book creeps out someone like that, it sounds like something I'd like ... :-) Can you provide the title? If you don't want to "advertise" in public, can you PM me with it so I can add it to my wish list, if I don't already have it? Thanks!!


message 34: by Cassie (new)

Cassie McCown (cassie629) | 713 comments Phil wrote: "I know this is old hat for any established author, but not for me, with my very first published work. (Perhaps I'm unduly sensitive for this reason)

I received my first one-star review recently. ..."


I don't even know how to properly articulate how silly and useless that review was. I consider myself a Christian (Baptist if I have to be categorized), but I found absolutely nothing wrong with your book. I think there is nothing wrong with fantasy. Actually, there are a lot of things that I have no problem with that many "religious fanatics" out there can't bear. So... They are obviously close-minded, and I'm not really sure why they would buy the book in the first place (assuming they bought it)??

I think it is an absolutely fantastic story, and you are an amazing author!!! And I'm not just saying that b/c I've adopted you, Dad... ;-)


message 35: by Phil (new)

Phil Cantrill | 313 comments Katy wrote: "Phil wrote: "I know this is old hat for any established author, but not for me, with my very first published work. (Perhaps I'm unduly sensitive for this reason)

I received my first one-star revi..."


Thanks, Katy. It's called "Imperial Hostage". Those nice people at JournalStone agreed to publish it.


message 36: by Katy (new)

Katy (katyas-69) | 603 comments Hmmm - don't have it. I'll add it to my list and try to pick it up when I get a chance.


message 37: by Phil (last edited Jul 16, 2011 11:40PM) (new)

Phil Cantrill | 313 comments Cassie wrote: "Phil wrote: "I know this is old hat for any established author, but not for me, with my very first published work. (Perhaps I'm unduly sensitive for this reason)

I received my first one-star revi..."


Thanks for the support, Mummy (we're going to have to work out who adopted whom, aren't we?). I didn't set out to offend anyone, but no belief system should be so dogmatic as to stifle all contrary thought.

And no, she didn't buy it, she received it as a giveaway, for review.

Enjoy your summer holidays. It's midwinter here, but fortunately not all that cold on the Sunshine Coast.


message 38: by Katy (new)

Katy (katyas-69) | 603 comments @Phil - I see I entered the latest giveaway for it at some point, so it is on my TBR list :-) so that's cool.


message 39: by Elizabeth (last edited Jul 17, 2011 05:54AM) (new)

Elizabeth Lang | 22 comments I feel bad for the poor reviewer who took time to read the book and send a message back.

Getting good and bad reviews are the stock and trade of any author, it's time for that author to realize it and get a grip. It is not possible for everyone on the planet to like your book. Some may rave about it, some will like it, some will be meh, and some may outright hate it. There will be as many different reactions as there are people.

Not everyone has the same taste or preferences in styles of writing. They all come to a book with different expectations and if those expectations are not met, you will get a bad review. As an author, you gotta learn to accept rejection, it's not personal. Don't get bent out of shape just because someone doesn't like your work. Say thank you for the reviewer's time and honest opinions and move on. And on your next book, if they like that one, be thankful for a reviewer people trust because they give honest reviews and doesn't pander to an author just because they got a free book. I value reviewers like that.

As an author you should also be wise to whom you give your books to for review. Check out their reviews first and know what kinds of books, genres and styles the person likes.

If you take a look at the ratings of even popular books on amazon, you will almost always find dissenting views, regardless of how great a book is, even if it's a classic.

One thing that was stressed at a Sci-Fi writer's con this year was an entreaty for authors to be professional. Respect your business.


message 40: by Phil (new)

Phil Cantrill | 313 comments Elizabeth wrote: "I feel bad for the poor reviewer who took time to read the book and send a message back.

Getting good and bad reviews are the stock and trade of any author, it's time for that author to realize it..."

Elizabeth, I agree with everything you say except for the first paragraph. The reviewer did not take the time to read the book. I don't mind dissenting points of view -- and I agree that writers need to be professional, but I also believe there is a duty on someone who agrees to do a review also to be professional about it, not spit the dummy because something about it affects their personal sensibilities, especially when they don't even finish reading it. Then it becomes, not a review, but a rant.


message 41: by Amy Eye (new)

Amy Eye | 1841 comments Mod
Phil, I will say your book is awesome, and I'm not just saying that because I work for JournalStone. You know how desperately I am waiting to read the next book!

It stinks that she wouldn't give you the reasons for what she didn't like. But the one thing that we all know is that you can't please everyone, and there was NOTHING in your book that I believe anyone would have been able to find offensive. There are a few topics in there that some people may go, 'ooohhh' over, but nothing that couldn't be read. As a devout Christian, I thought it was a GREAT book, and I can't wait to read more. YOU ARE AWESOME!!

Hopefully the one star reviewers will start providing more examples for the authors.

OOHHH...this leads me to ask a question for everyone in the other folder! LOL


message 42: by Dale (new)

Dale Ibitz (goodreadscomdale_ibitz) | 298 comments OMG. Phil, I HAVE your book! I won it in the JS giveaway! It's sitting in my pile awaiting to be read. Yes, sometimes fantasy stories stretch the bounds of religious beliefs...that's why they are called *fantasy*. That's not going to bother me in any way, I'm just saying up front. :)


message 43: by Michael (new)

Michael Wallace | 3 comments Ouch. As a writer I know how hard it is to let go a bad review. Developing a thick skin is absolutely critical, however. Once you publish your work, you're well beyond the stage of expecting polite applause from family and friends. And as others have pointed out, it is just one person's opinion of one book.

I was in a critique group with Tim Powers once and something he said will always stick with me. He held up a manuscript and said, "This is my manuscript. This is me. Being a sane writer means separating these pages from this person."


message 44: by Phil (new)

Phil Cantrill | 313 comments Michael wrote: "Ouch. As a writer I know how hard it is to let go a bad review. Developing a thick skin is absolutely critical, however. Once you publish your work, you're well beyond the stage of expecting polite..."

Thanks, Michael. I like your quotation, and I agree about developing a thicker skin. As the bishop said to the actress, first time is always the hardest to take.

I don't think I'm overly-sensitive to criticism, but prefer it to be justified by a reasoned point of view. Even if I disagree, then I can understand it.


message 45: by Amy Eye (new)

Amy Eye | 1841 comments Mod
Michael wrote: "Ouch. As a writer I know how hard it is to let go a bad review. Developing a thick skin is absolutely critical, however. Once you publish your work, you're well beyond the stage of expecting polite..."

I love that saying. I think that is a very important thing to learn, but I can only imagine how hard it is. That manuscript is part of the author, many of them pour their heart and soul into their writing, I could really see it being difficult to do, but in order to be a professional, you either have to do it, or be a really great actor! :)


message 46: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Clement (jaclement) | 1328 comments Fab quote! And so true....

Phil, it's very harsh to have a bad review from someone who's judging it on criteria which are not relevant to it; but it's not without its plus points. For one, it does at least mean that others with similar views can read that review and avoid it, thus sparing you similar rants in the future. And of course it validates the other good reviews - many readers are suspicious of a book with only good reviews.

Me, I see it as a sign that my book has come out of its comfort zone and is starting to permeate to people who are not necessarily part of its target audience, so though ouchy, it seems more like a good thing!

Besides, Amy has a point; if we want to be professionals, being sensitive about this is simply not an option and despite all the arguments about the book as Art, if I'm charging money for it, it becomes a business proposition.

The deal is simple:

My part is to provide a carefully-edited text that has been written and developed to the best of my ability, which I have done.
The reader's part is to buy a copy.
At that point, we're even.

If I give a free copy to a reviewer, what they owe me in return is either a review or something telling me why they couldn't finish the book; and at that point we're even.

Some reviews will be good; some will be bad. Once the inital deal is fulfilled, no reader owes me anything but courtesy (and I won't always get that).

But that's the price of business, and when it comes down to it, that's exactly what we're engaged in....The social side and the feedback (and obviously down the line, the megabucks and general adulation) are simply a bonus!!
;o)

(Imho only, so do feel to contradict or disagree - always up for a new way of looking at things!)
JAC


message 47: by Phil (new)

Phil Cantrill | 313 comments J.A. wrote: "Fab quote! And so true....

Phil, it's very harsh to have a bad review from someone who's judging it on criteria which are not relevant to it; but it's not without its plus points. For one, it do..."


J.A., I'd find it difficult to disagree with arguments as cogent as yours.

OK, I was a bit tender -- I guess I wasn't expecting a review that rubbished the book for purely personal reasons. I'll learn. Thanks to everyone who liked the story and took the time to say so. I should be grateful that (so far as I know) there's only been a solitary 1-star review so far, and that with criticism only of the subject-matter, not the writing.


message 48: by J.A. (last edited Jul 19, 2011 04:25AM) (new)

J.A. Clement (jaclement) | 1328 comments Cogent, or long-winded, one of the two (according to taste!)
heheheh

I was tender on the first one as well - actually felt properly winded. Not nice, but like all nasty experiences, you come out of it a little stronger and a little wiser, and a little more ready for the next one. So long as the bouquets outweigh the brickbats, we're still winning...!

Onwards and upwards! You have some supporters of taste, and it looks interesting, so have added it to my list - I'm sworn to not starting any more reading until I've finished with the editing so it won't be any time soon, but will be intrigued to see how I get on with it.

JAC
PS read that review, and it wasn't so much about your book as their world-view. Scary to think that someone who sounded quite young could be so apparently entrenched of mindset. Still, it takes all sorts!


message 49: by Mike (new)

Mike Lewis (mikejlewis) | 5 comments Michael wrote: "Ouch. As a writer I know how hard it is to let go a bad review. Developing a thick skin is absolutely critical, however. Once you publish your work, you're well beyond the stage of expecting polite..."

I think that separating their work from themselves is something that some authors, particularly beginning authors have a problem doing. When someone criticizes your book they are not criticizing you, merely the words you have put on the page.

I spent two weeks with Tim Powers at the Clarion East writing workshop and when he critted your work it hurt, but he was hardest on the people he thought had promise.

I have yet to receive a one-star review on Amazon, Goodreads, etc but I have only been publishing for 6 weeks. When I get one, I will be cross for a while and than accept that it is the reader's opinion and not personal.

I like the quote about the story no longer being yours when you finish writing it - it is now the reader's and what they make of it as they read it.

Mike


message 50: by Michael (new)

Michael Wallace | 3 comments Mike wrote: I spent two weeks with Tim Powers at the Clarion East writing workshop and when he critted your work it hurt, but he was hardest on the people he thought had promise...

That's where I met Tim, too. He drew little doodles all over my manuscript, steampunky things with hot air balloons. One of my goals is to teach at Clarion some day, but unfortunately, as I've moved on to thrillers and suspense, they're unlikely to invite me, regardless of whatever level of success I achieve.


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