Sunday, September 2, 2012

Book Reviews

Recently there was a flash in the pan example of ‘Author Behaving Badly’ in regard to a review of her freshly released #2 NYT book. The details of he said/she said/someone else responded in defense/OMG CALL THE COPS- is not important.

What is important, in my humble opinion, is that in the grand scheme of things book reviews are either completely irrelevant or devastating depending on who writes them, reads them or pays attention to them. We’ve all listened to our favorite author bemoan a bad review. They stink! The review of course and the brain-dead imbecile using a crayon that wrote it.

A review cuts right to the heart of what we DO. We work hard and we deserve good reviews. The first ones for a book are especially important to justify the sacrifice we made to put that book out. We bled on those pages!

We live in a new world of 'e-everything' but we were raised in the old world where traditional publications and trade related magazines meant something. We paid attention to them because everyone else paid attention to them. Regardless of the fact that Author 'A' wrote the worst book of her career. Word of mouth may have said that or politely worded reviews said she/he could have done better but, hey it is Author 'A' after all. And notice it took two years for the reviews to catch up with the publication and by then there was a new book out so, no harm no foul.

Today, regular book review sites are valuable to some for their 'e-immediate' information. We each find a site or four that we appreciate and we trust the reviewer to be anywhere from HARSH to I only review books I like because I don’t want to offend anyone. Then there is Anonymous who can say any number of things and the repercussions are non-existent except to the writer. But, the same equation works for AMAZING reviews because some of those were written by paid professionals.


Yup!! For a paltry $999.00 you too can have 50 reviews: Terrific book, Will change your life. Lyrical and gripping, Stunning and compelling.

When that bit of financial information came across my desk this week it became crystal clear that writing books is still about writing the best damn book you can and then starting the next best damn book you can write.

Or, you could begin making a bundle of $ by writing reviews on demand for Author 'A' who still puts out a book a year based on reputation alone. 

So, for what my opinion is worth—it’s just a book review.

 --- DeNise Woods



Tam Linsey said...

Thanks for the perspective, DeNise. I'll keep writing the best damn book I can.

Tiffinie Helmer said...

Thanks, DeNise. Reviews are tough. It's amazing how we tend to discount the good ones and yet embrace the bad ones and never let them go. As an author, I try really hard not to get caught up in them.

One thing, I have never bought a book based on a review. I don't watch movies based on reviews either. Usually if the reviews are outstanding, I don't like the book or the movie. If the critics hate it, I love it. Go figure.

Anonymous said...

Great thoughts on book reviews. The way I see it, good or bad, reviews get your name out there. I must agree with Tiffinie, no one is EVER happy with books, movies, music... someone always has something negative to say. So here's to your next big hit as long as YOU love it, cheers!


Lynn Lovegreen said...

A friend of mine says she buys books that get negative reviews, out of curiosity, and often likes them. So even "bad" reviews could lead to book sales. :-)