Friday, February 8, 2013

Putting on the Big Author Panties/My Favorite Review Thus Far

I posted this as a rant on my Facebook page, and decided to share it on my blog as well.
 
The following review came in this morning on Amazon and Goodreads and had me sweating bullets ever since I noticed that the blogger had marked Enigma Black as “currently reading” on Goodreads. Why was I so anxious? This blogger is known for her brutally honest reviews. In fact, her reviews are so honest that authors whose books she didn’t care for began seeking retribution against her on her we...bsite, giving her books (yes, she’s an author, too) negative reviews even though they’ve never read them. As an author, this behavior by fellow authors sickens me. For starters, you never, ever comment on a poor review (no matter how much it bothers you) and you most definitely never act like a middle schooler and take your frustrations out on someone purely because they were expressing their own opinion. After all, isn’t that what we indie authors are looking for, an honest, unbiased opinion of our work? It irritates me that this particular blogger has had to hide her identity from the public just so she can safely review the books that she PAID for. This just goes to show you that not everyone is ready to hear the truth. Heck, even traditionally published books receive poor reviews. Take any of the Harry Potter books, for example. Do a search on Amazon and I’ll guarantee you that you won’t find a single book in that series that doesn’t have at least one 1* review. “Well, that reviewer must be crazy,” you say. No. It’s just that the book didn’t resonate with them. And that’s completely okay. Just because someone goes against the grain and gives their honest opinion on how THEY feel about a book doesn’t give anyone the liberty to go batshit crazy on them. After all, as indies we have a hard enough time finding reviews and readers for our books. Let’s not taint that further by acting unprofessional.

And, yes, I would still have made this rant even if this blogger had hated Enigma Black.  And, no, I've never spoken to this blogger before, nor do I know who she is, but I'm going to take her up on her offer to contact her on her blog's FB page.

Here is the review from blogger evilicious whose blog is called The Good, The Bad and the Ugly:

"Obviously - given my rating - I love this book. I was torn between a 4 and a 5 star.

I am leaning toward a 5 star but there were a few issues for me that made it a 4 star. Mind you - I LOVED the story overall.

THE GOOD:

The plot was brilliant, and totally sucked me in. I love stories that are pure escapism - and this was one of those. There were plenty of twists and turns (which I love) . Some were predictable but others weren't. I was not expecting what happened in the last few chapters at all - well I kind of was - but I thought it would involve a different character.

The characters are well drawn, and relatable, the story flowed nicely and was well written. A few minor editing issues, but I have seen worse in traditionally published books.

BTW - ending was a cliff-hanger. You figure this out as you get toward the end of the book so it's not jarring, and it's not the sort of cliffhanger that annoys the crap out of you. Actually I started to worry the author was going to sell herself short (for purely selfish reasons) leading up to the climax, and that it would be a complete read.(Phew!)

THE BAD:

Overall I loved the story but it took me a bit to get into for two reasons (but then BAM! Suddenly I was zooming through the pages like nothing else). The dialogue was overly lengthy at some points and was slightly 'off' character if that makes sense, at times. I guess it was sometimes a little formal compared to the narrative. I think there should have been a little more world building to help readers suspend disbelief *SPOILER ALERT (sort of) a nationwide curfew is imposed and I kind of went 'WTF - as if! It would take a lot more than that' , so strengthening this earlier in the story would help, though as I got further into the book there was more to back this up and strengthen it END (the-sort-of-spoiler) ALERT *

There were also a couple of areas where the wording didn't work. One that comes to mind is 'few' meaning three, but the author used it to mean two. Little things like that suck me out of a story.

IN FACT - I think the author might want to do one final edit, taking some of my points into account, and those of other reviewers as I have a feeling this one will rocket up the Kindle charts as word gets out! And we all know how nasty some reviewers can be when a book suddenly gains popularity. (Note to author, feel free to contact me via my FB page if you would like more clarification - I really do think you are onto something here and you should be proud of your achievement. [...] Being an author myself (and no dear reader - I am not about to tastelessly link my books - or even my author name) I understand how easy it is for these things to slip through in the editing process.

THE UGLY:

Nothing - because despite my few issues (I like to show both sides) this is a brilliant story that sucked me in and the issues obviously weren't enough to stop me reading. In fact I couldn't read it fast enough. An absolute page turner that kept me up late into the - er - morning, and one I wouldn't be surprised to see snapped up by movie producers in the near future. First time I ever said THAT about an indie book!"

Brought to you by Evilicious Book Reviews: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

6 comments:

Natalie Aguirre said...

That is sad that authors act like kids and give this reviewer bad reviews on her books in revenge. I agree that it's childish. Sadly some book bloggers are childish too.

Glad you got a relatively good review and that you knew enough about the reviewer to take the review with a grain of salt.

Katherine Krige said...

What a great review, especially coming from someone you consider honest with her criticisms. And really, everyone needs a critic. Even when we think we have written the best piece ever, there is still room for improvement, whether it be a sentence restructured, a different word used, or God-forbid, a whole section taken out. Honest criticism makes for better writing.

And those that just take it as a slight need to rethink themselves as writers. We ALL have room for improvement!

James Garcia Jr. said...

Hi, Sara. You are so right about how we need to act no matter what the review might be. I've tried my best to take the high road and to stay away from burning those little bridges. Once I had a friend tell me she didn't like the book. I simply thanked her for taking the time. Weeks later she told me she had passed the book onto another friend of hers who did love it. :)
Congrats on the review. I haven't gotten to your novel yet, but I will. Continued success!

-Jimmy

Rob (Sharky) Pruneda said...

Awesome review! It is sad that people can be so childish when it comes to less than stellar reviews. When someone gives a "bad" review, we should be grateful for the honest feedback. In this case, I'm glad to read that this reviewer really enjoyed reading Enigma Black, but at the same time gave some good constructive criticism. As writers, that's all we can ask for.

I'm looking forward to Book 2!

Cheers!

Rob

Sara Furlong-Burr said...

Thank you all! James, I'm planning on getting to your novel too. :-)

Susan Oloier said...

You cannot be more right about ignoring negative reviews (and even comments). I wrote an article for The Daily Beast about my younger son. A few of the comments were mean and hurtful, yet (despite the personal nature of my essay) I chose to ignore them.

My one pet peeve is people who rate your book one star but give no review to support it. I often wonder if these folks have even read the book at all.

Anyway, I need to put your book on my TBR list pronto!