Heal thyself, Physician

Yanno that last post, the one where I said it’s your responsibility to go write reviews on everything you read?

Yeah. Um.

Confession time: I need to go write a few reviews. I just looked at my kindle device list of books, and there’s a lot I’ve read and didn’t do the right thing. I will do that. Maybe I’ll post the reviews here, or link to them.

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4 thoughts on “Heal thyself, Physician

  1. I pretty much review everything I read, but I don’t tend to leave negative reviews. The rare time I do, I can usually find something nice to say too. I figure if it’s really a one- or two-star review, than it means I didn’t like the book enough to finish it. But I have had to power through a couple books I didn’t like for my book club. Some of those got lower ratings, but the author had lots of good reviews too so I doubt mine was noticed much. 🙂

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    • Depends. A good review, in the sense that you are helping other people make wise decisions, is better than a surface review. If you disliked it, and you can explain that in a few sentences of why, then you supply useful feedback to the author, other people with that same pet peeve as you may decide to pass on the book, and everyone is better off. Because if someone buys it thinking they’re getting a read they’ll like, and it turns out to NOT be a read they like, they will potentially leave a 1-2 star review… and perhaps others may do so, as well. Instead, you save them from it with your thoughtful review.

      It’s not so much being scathing as being truthful about a product. I’m told authors need thick skins, because the troubled narrow-minded villagers with pitchforks are a rough bunch and if they don’t like your book, they aren’t going to be nice about it. I’ve seen this on some reviews.

      OTOH, I also, if I see stuff about a book that are causing it grief, might drop a line to the author privately and say “i like your book, but there were these issues, which might make the book better.” Stuff like grammar and spelling and simple editing stuff, that’s where I’ll put an oar in. Maybe they fix it and then people can leave better reviews. Or they fix it and the reviewers who dropped a star for spelling errors can review it again and add the extra star and fix their review. I’m all for improving the quality of everything we read, and I want the indie guys to have the benefit of the giant collective of editors out there– any reader who picks up a kindle can help with stuff and spot things and give the author a bit of a push, if they need it.

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      • I think that works (contacting the author) if a book is self-published, but if it has a publisher, any changes are out of the author’s hand.

        But I agree–negative reviews can be just as helpful as positive ones. But I’ve seen some reviewers attack the author, and that’s a shame. Even a negative review can be respectful.

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        • Ah, I get attacking an author. Your time is valuable. The author just wasted it. You’re angry. I also don’t support ad hominem attacks… they’re a waste of time.

          But that’s also probably a product of the facebook mentality, the tendency to attack a person rather than make sound logical arguments. Or, in this instance, telling why a book is inadequate.

          I get being mad at authors, though. If a book has been out for longer than 6 months, and it’s self-published, the author has no excuse not to go fix at least the typos. That’s inexcusable and lazy. At that point, if the book hasn’t seen some editing after the errors are pointed out, I’m out there with the “let’s get a refund” crowd.

          I probably have an impossibly high standard, though.

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