Friday, 5 October 2012

Just another day in paradise.

So let’s get this blog started shall we?
Let's have a look at a positively wonderful library from my on-line newspaper...

 Library from Kresmunster Abbey in Austria 
Alternatively you can view my pins and my boards from Pintrest.

Back to why I am blogging today...
Question, How many of you are on Linkedin? Or maybe I should ask, do you know what Linkedin is? Well to put it plainly, Linkedin is like Branchout on Facebook; a website that connects people through profession, jobs and interests and whatnot. I joined about 2 weeks ago and after joining a group, “Book Writer” I began a topic which really needed to be addressed. Amazon book reviews.

Now if you are an author, published or not, then you know about reviews. There are some good and some bad- it comes with the package of being an author and you know for a fact you are not going to please everyone. However, there are some reviews which are, to put a too finer point on it, appalling. The reviews are basically troll work where other authors have stooped so low as to bitch about someone’s book without ever reading it and then shamefully boast about their work and how it is better in contrast. Abysmal! 

Though my book is not out on the shelves or indeed in Amazon’s warehouse at the present time, I know for a very sad fact that there will be one horrid review on my book from someone who dislikes me, instead of hating my book.

I was unsure how to take this when I found out and though I don’t understand the person’s real motive to do something like that, I feel that it should be said. I am not going to name names, for unlike them, I am not horrible. They know who they are.

But it got me thinking about reviews in general. There have been a fair few authors who have plugged their work on other authors newly published books. I have seen two authors do that to a few author friends and it upset me that there are actually very nasty people out there who rip authors to shreds because in truth, they are either jealous of the attention or really has some beef with that particular author.

I don’t really leave reviews on Amazon as I prefer Goodreads, if truth be told and while there is more response to reviews on Amazon, I find myself categorically adamant that there are more troll-like reviewers than actual reviewers who give the author some positive criticism.

Not everyone will like the best book in the world as no one can please everyone- there are over 8 billion people, odds are they’ll be a fair few who don’t like your book for one reason or another, but does it give those people a right to hate your book so much that they won’t read it and STILL leave a review?

When the masses of messages poured into my email account after posting about the Amazon Reviews on Linkedin, I found it interesting to point out that one clever chap mentioned that Amazon sends an email to you within 24 hours of purchasing a book from them, asking to review it. Well I’m not a speed reader so I couldn’t possibly leave a review within the first 24 hours of buying a book. Maybe after 3-4 months after I’ve finished it- and even then I’d choose my words carefully when reviewing.

I’m not a good reviewer, I’m quite poor. Usually I tend to say, “This book was amazing, you have to read it” and not give a clear reason on why it must be read, ergo with something that I know needs a review, I shall gladly give a positive one, even if I sort of didn’t like the book. 
There have been some terrible books that I have read. Most of them have got bad English, spelling, grammar and other nasty things like rape, bad sex and acutely bad swearing. That does put me off some books, especially if they are meant to be targeted towards teenagers. Bad form, but that's my opinion. 

When I was a bookseller, I gave my opinion and I gave reviews of the books for my customers. Then it was up to them on whether to buy it or not. Going slightly off topic here but I once had a customer who wanted something for her grandson, he was 14, nearly 15 and she wanted a funny, intelligent book. I told her to start off with Colour of Magic by Terry Prachett. You can't go wrong with him. She then told me about the Vampire books that she's heard about. Naturally I told her I had read Twilight and the P.C Cast books and gave her my honest opinion but I also told her that they were receiving much praise. She then asked me about the swearing and the sex and that was the point where by telling her the truth she flatly refused to by them.

While teenage girls love the fantasy of a mythical being sweeping her off her feet, there are only a handful of teenage boys who would want to read those types of books. However with the boys who I have spoken to who have read Twilight, Sookie Stackhouse and P.C Cast, they have all said the same thing, "Where is the action?" Made me laugh and to tell them honestly, you won't find that type of manly action. It's for girls right? Teenage girls who just want sex, swearing and a badass book they can brag about to their friends.

For e.g. a 14 year old came into the store and bought three P.C Cast books. On the cover they practically screamed out "Not suitable for under 16's" but she bought them anyway, thanks to mummy and as she was leaving the store she said out loud and proud, "None of my friends have these, they'll be so jel!"

Need I say more?

There is no divisional line between children any more. It's blurred. Heck, when I was 15 I was reading Enid Blyton as well as Goosebumps, Animorphs and Harry Potter...the good old days of innocence in children is fading and teenagers are becoming adults before they realise that they have no childhood to speak of, which is a shame. Books, even in their brilliance, brings about a sense of devastation to teens and when children as young as 13/14 read mummy's 50 Shades of Grey, there is no hope for the world of books, teens or their mothers...I won't get onto 50 Shades of Grey...I'm too happy to annoy myself right now...

Any hoo, back to the topic of this blog...
For reviews, specifically for Amazon, I believe that if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. If the book wasn’t for you say so, but don’t destroy it by blasting the author because you don’t like him or her, or the book is violating your copyright, or they have stolen your ideas. Preposterous!

Books are our children. We created them from scratch, we’ve nurtured them, changed them to our ideals; they are part of us. So just think about that the next time to review a book you may not like or I may just tell you blatantly, “I don’t like your snot nosed child!’ See…it’s not nice, is it? And I don't even know your child (if you have one). But the point I am making should be clear, don't judge a book by it's cover or synopsis. Give it a chance and even if you don't like it, make a positive review with criticism. We are meant to be helping authors and readers. 

I leave you with a lovely quote...

1 comment:

  1. I actually agree completely with everything you say here, Abi. I remember even when writing, back on Wattpad, I was accused every other month of stealing work from other writers, simply because I touched upon similar ideas to other authors. I don't think people realise that many books share common ideas, or themes. This was a wonderful post to read, and made me smile :) Keep it up!