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Reviews are for readers, right?

A place to debate issues or to rant about what's on your mind. In addition to discussions about historical fiction, books, the publishing industry, and history, discussions about current political, social, and religious issues and other topics are allowed, so those who are easily offended by certain topics may want to avoid such threads. Members are expected to keep the discussions friendly and polite and to avoid personal attacks on other members. The moderators reserve the right to shut down a thread without warning if they believe it necessary.
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Mythica
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Preferred HF: European and American (mostly pre-20th century)
Location: Colorado
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Post by Mythica » Mon February 4th, 2013, 10:46 pm

I recently notice Anchee Min's husband, also an author, accused a reader who gave a bad review of a book of being "a troll with mental health issues"! :eek: The book isn't even his/his wife's but hugely unprofessional regardless. I responded and told him what I thought: http://www.amazon.com/review/R3FSC841AR ... =&nodeID=&
On my Goodreads feed, I've just seen an author give one of her own books a five-star rating (though not actual revie). Somehow, this doesn't feel right to me.
I am seeing that more and more - hate it.
I agree that Goodreads is not the most user-friendly of sites. I'm quite new to it after being on LibraryThing for many years. I'm keeping both going but I much prefer the look and functionality of LibraryThing, but that may be partly because I'm used to it. Goodreads has somehow won out in terms of popularity and activity, which is the only reason I'm there.
Really? I've never had a problem with it. The search engine is crap but otherwise, I find it very easy to use.

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Mon February 4th, 2013, 11:14 pm

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I recently notice Anchee Min's husband, also an author, accused a reader who gave a bad review of a book of being "a troll with mental health issues"! The book isn't even his/his wife's but hugely unprofessional regardless. I responded and told him what I thought: http://www.amazon.com/review/R3FSC84...Code=&nodeID=&
I've come across him before. He's not terribly nice to critical reviewers of his own book :/
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

Helen_Davis

Post by Helen_Davis » Mon February 4th, 2013, 11:37 pm

I'm sorry, I'm lost here. Anchee Min's husband is the 2 star review in that link? Or one of the commentors?

Helen_Davis

Post by Helen_Davis » Mon February 4th, 2013, 11:38 pm

[quote=""Misfit""]I've come across him before. He's not terribly nice to critical reviewers of his own book :/[/quote]

I don't respond to reviewers of mine, whether favorable, critical, or indifferent. I just take what I can get and discard what I think is not revelant.

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Tue February 5th, 2013, 12:38 am

[quote=""Helen_Davis""]I don't respond to reviewers of mine, whether favorable, critical, or indifferent. I just take what I can get and discard what I think is not revelant.[/quote]

That's the wisest move, even if you feel a reviewer is horribly unfair - that includes comments and whatnot at Twitter and FB. Readers really can judge for themselves whether a *meanie* review is helpful or not. Frankly I've had at least one occasion where I scorched a book and a friend thanked me and said she was interested in trying it despite the review. We all look for different things in a book, some like lots of sex and wall-paper and some want less sex and a more historically accurate setting. Book blurbs from publishers can be very deceiving misleading the customer to think a book is something it isn't, and why reviews are helpful (even the critical ones).

That said, a reader should not be criticized for taking on a book they know they are likely not going to like out of curiosity over all the hub-bub like the Fifty Shades books.

RE: Goodreads vs LT. I found shelving at LT kind of clunky compared to GR, and I really didn't find an easy way to interact with other readers like there is at GR. Once you start gaining friends with similar tastes, the feeds are habit forming and major time suck. You can do reading progress, noting what page you are on and leaving a comment/quote. One friend posts nothing but lovely book-porn images of libraries.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

Helen_Davis

Post by Helen_Davis » Tue February 5th, 2013, 1:06 am

Yes. A particularly nasty review I had, IMO, was the reviewer basically getting mad at me for telling Evita's story. I do not wish to go into detail since I have found reliving negativity is not good, but when I read her review, I took a deep breath, stepped back and I basically thought, 'ok, she's entitled to her opinion, but her getting mad at Evita's promiscuity and clinging onto Peron is being mad at me for telling her story the way I have researched it. It is basically saying 'You know, Henry VIII-- I don't like it that chopped off people's heads and you wrote about it.' TO each his own is my attitude. I've tended to find the people who did not like my take on Evita seem to want lurid sex details. Sorry, but I don't write my professional works that way.. Besides, I consider over-the-top sex scenes in HF to be unnecessary. I skip them. I would prefer to leave those things to my readers' imagination. If someone wants historical porn, then they'd best skip my writing altogether. There are other writers that can do that.
Last edited by Helen_Davis on Tue February 5th, 2013, 3:24 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Mythica
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Post by Mythica » Tue February 5th, 2013, 4:01 pm

[quote=""Helen_Davis""]I'm sorry, I'm lost here. Anchee Min's husband is the 2 star review in that link? Or one of the commentors?[/quote]

The commentor - Lloyd Lofthouse. He's the author of "My Splendid Concubine". I don't know if he knows the author of this book or just hates the idea of negative reviews altogether but either way... totally inappropriate and unprofessional behavior.

Helen_Davis

Post by Helen_Davis » Tue February 5th, 2013, 4:48 pm

[quote=""Mythica""]The commentor - Lloyd Lofthouse. He's the author of "My Splendid Concubine". I don't know if he knows the author of this book or just hates the idea of negative reviews altogether but either way... totally inappropriate and unprofessional behavior.[/quote]

Agreed. That is why I'm staying out of leaving reviews for newer books until I develop my own craft and persona. I don't want to get off on a wrong foot. I have left some reviews for some books I loved as a teen but under a screenname and not my real one.

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Tue February 5th, 2013, 10:41 pm

[quote=""Helen_Davis""]Agreed. That is why I'm staying out of leaving reviews for newer books until I develop my own craft and persona. I don't want to get off on a wrong foot. I have left some reviews for some books I loved as a teen but under a screenname and not my real one.[/quote]

I'm to the point where most of my current reads are OOPs with dead authors (or those not active in social media). Less drama.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

Helen_Davis

Post by Helen_Davis » Tue February 5th, 2013, 10:49 pm

[quote=""Misfit""]I'm to the point where most of my current reads are OOPs with dead authors (or those not active in social media). Less drama.[/quote]

OOP=out of print?

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