A question of reviews

We are coming fast to the end of the first quarter of 2013 and it has gone quickly. This week I hit a couple of milestones including 100 views in a day. I am very grateful for anyone who takes a look and I hope you like what you see.
Hence this post: it is an open question to anyone who cares to answer, what do we want from a review?

I have seen quite often reviewers whose impression of self published ‘indie’ Ebooks is very negative simply because the work is not coming from a major publishing house. In fact this was a fundamental driving force behind my starting this blog. I am fascinated by the phenomenon and the drive of authors to produce and publish their works and put them out into the data stream that is the World Wide Web and boldly shout “I am here!” This is so much are part of the spirit of humanity that I cannot fail but be impressed by the tenacity of folk.
I have seen and read some amazing things over the last months from amazing people. Each of them love the work that they have produced and have a personal history that flavours their efforts.
It does not matter to me if it is a self help guide, a brief history or an epic tale, they are all sent out into the world with hope and holding in their pages the dreams of self starters. To me then there is a clear need for catch these wonders and pass on the word. The question is, what word?
I saw a review of a history book that was irritated by a grammatical error which, the reviewer claimed, called into question the veracity of the work. Can that really be true? My personal experience with books from esteemed publishers shows that spelling, grammar, continuity and even the names of central characters can get muddled. That is with a big budget for editing. So, for the self starter should we not be more focused on the content, the drive and the passion? I hope so.

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5 thoughts on “A question of reviews

  1. I think when dealing with a self-published author, a review should be honest, but try to avoid negativity. I’ve seen a lot of reviews that appear to dissuade the author from ever trying again instead of helping them improve. As an author, I can only find out what I’m doing wrong from the people who read my books. This might sound like a cop out, but when self-publishing on Amazon, I can fix my book and repost it within 12-24 hours. I’ve had to do this when I’ve been given typo lists and I don’t mind as long as it’s politely mentioned by a reader. I won’t take every piece of advice given, but many self-published authors are willing to have a civil discussion with a reviewer to either improve or clarify something.

  2. I can’t help but find it decidedly funny that people will make comments like “well he’s no Stephen King” when referring to the works of an indie author. My favourite mistake in Stephen King’s Christine, is that in one spot (at least in one of the older copies I own) both Christine and Arnie are spelled wrong (Chistene and Anrie) but no one comes back and says it affects the quality of the work. A book is a book in my humble opinion. If I love it, I don’t care where it came from. If I hate it I don’t care where it came from. The one thing I will admit to, is being slightly more proud to feature the book on my blog if it is really great and self published. I know how hard that author worked. Great post.

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