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Author Topic: Do you review?  (Read 12928 times)

Offline Eclipse

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Re: Do you review?
« Reply #60 on: August 23, 2015, 02:04:54 PM »
I always think there must be something wrong with me when I read 4+ star books and don't enjoy them as much as everyone else, there's quite a few popular authors who are not my cup of tea, I like what I like  :)

I never review myself but I do read reviews of people who have got mostly the same taste as me on goodreads

Is there a compare book thingy on LibraryThing?

« Last Edit: August 23, 2015, 02:15:48 PM by Eclipse »
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Offline tebakutis

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Re: Do you review?
« Reply #61 on: August 23, 2015, 11:00:13 PM »
The people who brought up the fact that Mark has a ton of reviews are probably on the ball, and yeah, I probably am overthinking it in that case. The fact that I'm very active in critique groups and also see tons of feedback on my professional work (in game design) may contribute. I see so many people slam quality work for (what I consider) very small issues that I may be overcompensating in trying to avoid doing that.

I don't think my preference for a binary system (Like/Dislike) will change, but I probably shouldn't worry about how my particular star rating affects authors with a ton of reviews. It is something I consider when reviewing a book by a new author, however, which definitely influences the "rate it average to positive OR don't rate it at all" trend that several people have suggested.

Offline Hedin

Re: Do you review?
« Reply #62 on: August 24, 2015, 04:43:04 AM »
I always think there must be something wrong with me when I read 4+ star books and don't enjoy them as much as everyone else, there's quite a few popular authors who are not my cup of tea, I like what I like  :)

Whatever book you dislike the most will be someone else's favorite book.

Offline G_R_Matthews

Re: Do you review?
« Reply #63 on: August 25, 2015, 06:38:44 PM »
That was a interesting discussion and thanks to everyone who contributed to it! I loved reading all those different views.

I condensed the views into this this Blog Post called "One Review to Rule them all!"
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Online Yora

Re: Do you review?
« Reply #64 on: September 02, 2015, 05:16:07 PM »
I always think there must be something wrong with me when I read 4+ star books and don't enjoy them as much as everyone else, there's quite a few popular authors who are not my cup of tea, I like what I like  :)
I just read The Tombs of Atuan, a book I've always only seen very highly praised. And I think it's pretty bad and in some parts highly problematic.

I also wrote a review of it.

I've discovered quite a while ago that my taste in fantasy is not quite mainstream and a lot of really popular stuff isn't doing anything for me while I greatly enjoy other works that many other consider lackluster. My experience from videogame reviews is that you generally can ignore all the 1 star and 5 star ratings, any comment that comes with them generally doesn't tell you anything useful. It's the neutral ratings that are the most interesting because people who make a short review for a game they don't feel particularly strongly about one way or the other generally also make some real effort to explain what things are good and what are bad. Which is really useful in determining if it might work for you or not. Are their positive points things I care about and are the negative points things that bother me? You don't get that from people who think it's the greatest thing ever of all time or total shit.

Offline Raptori

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Re: Do you review?
« Reply #65 on: September 02, 2015, 05:23:46 PM »
I always think there must be something wrong with me when I read 4+ star books and don't enjoy them as much as everyone else, there's quite a few popular authors who are not my cup of tea, I like what I like  :)
I just read The Tombs of Atuan, a book I've always only seen very highly praised. And I think it's pretty bad and in some parts highly problematic.

I also wrote a review of it.

I've discovered quite a while ago that my taste in fantasy is not quite mainstream and a lot of really popular stuff isn't doing anything for me while I greatly enjoy other works that many other consider lackluster. My experience from videogame reviews is that you generally can ignore all the 1 star and 5 star ratings, any comment that comes with them generally doesn't tell you anything useful. It's the neutral ratings that are the most interesting because people who make a short review for a game they don't feel particularly strongly about one way or the other generally also make some real effort to explain what things are good and what are bad. Which is really useful in determining if it might work for you or not. Are their positive points things I care about and are the negative points things that bother me? You don't get that from people who think it's the greatest thing ever of all time or total shit.
I think I remember being part of the discussion where that was recommended to you - something to do with Indiana Jones kind of situations in fantasy? I thought the book was okay but nothing special. Can't remember what others said about it.  :-\
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Online Yora

Re: Do you review?
« Reply #66 on: September 02, 2015, 05:29:49 PM »
I got it recommended by other people as well and when you look for ratings it also always ranks very high. I seem to be a very clear minority in my view of it.

Offline Raptori

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Re: Do you review?
« Reply #67 on: September 02, 2015, 06:06:41 PM »
Ahh, fair enough. I think it might partly be because the whole Earthsea series is considered a classic, and people often read it when they're new to fantasy. I read it relatively recently, and found it pretty underwhelming.

By the way, I noticed that you had disappeared last month - you been alright?
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Online Yora

Re: Do you review?
« Reply #68 on: September 02, 2015, 09:33:35 PM »
I've been looking in pretty regularly. Just didn't see much I felt like having something to add to.

Offline tebakutis

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Re: Do you review?
« Reply #69 on: September 03, 2015, 02:57:47 AM »
Speaking of Goodreads, I just popped back in after a year or two (due to people mentioning it on this site) and noticed my book now has two "2 star" reviews. That's actually fine by me (if you don't like my stuff, no problem!) but both people who 2-starred it didn't leave any comment. At all. :/

I'm in two critique groups and *love* getting my stuff critiqued, especially when fellow authors point out stuff that doesn't work or which I can improve. Feedback is great, because it makes me a better author. Yet when somebody just drives by, posts a 2 star, and wanders off without even saying "Didn't like X" there's... not a whole lot I can do to get better.

So I guess, as an aside, if you review an author's work please try to write at least a short description of what you liked (or didn't like) when posting your review. Most authors won't hold that against you and will actually appreciate the feedback, even if the review is a low score.

Offline Raptori

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Re: Do you review?
« Reply #70 on: September 08, 2015, 01:31:02 PM »
Just reading a post on Chuck Wendig's blog, thought this was an interesting piece of information, and pretty relevant to this discussion:

Quote
Others have suggested that there may be a campaign by some Legends fangroups to “raid” the book’s reviews to tank its ranking with these one-star reviews — an interesting tactic that does indeed tank its actual review score, but not its sales ranking given that Amazon algorithms are interested not in the quality of the reviews but rather the attention that the reviews and the book get. (Meaning, a passel of negative reviews actually elevates the book’s overall sales ranking. Which in turn garners it more sales. Amazon reps have been clear with me on this point: buyers buy books with reviews, period. Not good reviews, not bad reviews. But rather: quantity of reviews impress buyers to make purchases. So, leaving a ton of bad reviews actually increases the book’s sales. Ironic, and not likely what anyone supporting such a campaign intends.)


Speaking of Goodreads, I just popped back in after a year or two (due to people mentioning it on this site) and noticed my book now has two "2 star" reviews. That's actually fine by me (if you don't like my stuff, no problem!) but both people who 2-starred it didn't leave any comment. At all. :/

I'm in two critique groups and *love* getting my stuff critiqued, especially when fellow authors point out stuff that doesn't work or which I can improve. Feedback is great, because it makes me a better author. Yet when somebody just drives by, posts a 2 star, and wanders off without even saying "Didn't like X" there's... not a whole lot I can do to get better.

So I guess, as an aside, if you review an author's work please try to write at least a short description of what you liked (or didn't like) when posting your review. Most authors won't hold that against you and will actually appreciate the feedback, even if the review is a low score.
According to GR rankings, two stars means "it was okay", so if someone didn't really have any feelings about it either way then that's the rating they should give I guess.  :-\
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Offline Nora

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Re: Do you review?
« Reply #71 on: September 08, 2015, 03:30:15 PM »
I can probably count my amazon reviews on one hand, but I do a fair bit of reviewing on Goodreads.
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Offline ultamentkiller

Re: Do you review?
« Reply #72 on: September 08, 2015, 10:47:12 PM »
I don't review on Goodreadds for the most part. I did once or twice, but never saw a reason to do it again. I always rate the books though.
The only time I ever pay attention to a book review is if I read it, and wonder if I'm the only one who thinks it's as bad as it is. I'm trying to find a reason to give the book a second chance.
As for reviewing in general, I am a cohost of an online radio show. We have a segment called The Library, where everybody on the show talks about what they've read since last time, and are currently reading, and gives their thoughts on it. So, instead of simply reviewing, it's a discussion format. Also, I like talking about books on here as well. I've always been more of a conversational person.
I really like the grading system that was mentioned earlier. It makes more since to me. And since it's been used in schools, everyone knows what it means. If you get a C on a test, it means you passed, but didn't do very well. A b means you did alright. An a means you did well, and anything over a 100 means you know your stuff. D means you barely passed, and F means... You suck. Or didn't try hard enough.

Offline Arry

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Re: Do you review?
« Reply #73 on: September 09, 2015, 12:15:02 AM »
According to GR rankings, two stars means "it was okay", so if someone didn't really have any feelings about it either way then that's the rating they should give I guess.  :-\

I hate to say it, but I think maybe GR says that to make authors feel better, a less harsh way to put words to the less than middle of the road rating? I don't know a single reader that will assign a 2 star rating to a book they felt was 'OK'.  Maybe there are some that look at GR words and follow it, but generally I think people think of 3 as 'good' or 'OK', and anything less than that is less than 'good' or 'ok'. A 2 star review usually indicates they found the book to be problematic in some manner.

That said, all books will get bad ratings from some readers, and because of that its always more valuable if they provide feedback on why they gave the rating.
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Offline Raptori

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Re: Do you review?
« Reply #74 on: September 09, 2015, 01:04:45 AM »
According to GR rankings, two stars means "it was okay", so if someone didn't really have any feelings about it either way then that's the rating they should give I guess.  :-\

I hate to say it, but I think maybe GR says that to make authors feel better, a less harsh way to put words to the less than middle of the road rating? I don't know a single reader that will assign a 2 star rating to a book they felt was 'OK'.  Maybe there are some that look at GR words and follow it, but generally I think people think of 3 as 'good' or 'OK', and anything less than that is less than 'good' or 'ok'. A 2 star review usually indicates they found the book to be problematic in some manner.

That said, all books will get bad ratings from some readers, and because of that its always more valuable if they provide feedback on why they gave the rating.
I follow those suggested rating meanings, so now you know one at least!
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