Friday, September 18, 2015

Sometimes, You Just Can't Ignore the Idiots....


I've said repeatedly that as authors, we can't please everyone. Bad reviews are part of the deal. Engaging someone who's given us a bad review is bad form. Best to ignore them, except when a bad review offers constructive criticism. But once in a while, we get reviews by people who have clearly not read the book, or they give it a bad review for reasons that are beyond the author's control (it didn't download properly, doesn't work on their device, etc.)...or they just didn't read enough to give an honest review. Or they have a personal ax to grind (been there, too).




This one is, as you can see, a very positive review. Too bad it has nothing to do with my book, Final Hours....

Final Hours is not part of a series, nor does it have any gay characters in it. I wonder if this gentleman posted the review on the wrong book. Mine isn't the only Final Hours available on Amazon....

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 18, 2012
love the series, and the story line, the characters are deeply thoughtout and well rounded, it's definately something i would like to see more of, if i had one complaint is that gay romances, have very short story lines, i would definately like to see thicker books.


And then there's this one, posted recently for Chasing the Wind.....


1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2015
I only read the first few chapters. I do not like the Christian fiction genre, and this began to veer that way. If you are going to put a graphic of DNA on your book cover, and purport to be a scientific thriller type novel, you probably shouldn't attempt to fool your readers that way. We're not stupid people.

The reviewer admits he/she (I'm not sure which) didn't read the whole book. Apparently, he/she didn't read the synopsis or other customers' reviews, either, or he/she would have known that this book, while not a Christian fiction novel, does have Christian elements (I was told by Christian publishers that I was too mainstream for that market, and mainstream publishers said I was too Christian--talk about being stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place!). It's a thriller. It deals with themes of science versus faith.

I checked this person's other reviews. Looks like he/she might have an agenda....









Sigh -- Another mislabeled, albeit well-written, Christian fiction genre novel. I gave it two stars when one would have sufficed, because the writing, characters, and plot are okay.

Dear reader: If you like the genre, then by all means enjoy this book. It is well-written and interesting.

Dear writer: If your faith is that wonderful, you do not need to trick people into buying your book by pretending that it is not Xtian fiction. Thanks.


I make no apologies for writing books with Christian themes. I spent a lot of years in conventional publishing, writing books that had a lot of sex and violence and now I want to write something that just might have a positive impact on even one person, the way the Left Behind series affected me. (I'm not a fan of Tim LaHaye's--especially after his comments about the wealth he's accumulated from the sale of the books--but I still enjoy the books.)

To my fellow authors: What are your experiences, if any, with idiot reviews?


16 comments:

  1. What I always wonder about reviewers is are they authors themselves , what qualifies them to be so demeaning about other people's work.. Surely it would be more productive for all, including themselves, if the criticism was constructive. I have edited and reviewed novels for friends before and it's been a good experience.

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    1. Critics are sometimes authors themselves--or former editors. Sometimes, they're would-be authors who never quite made it. Or they were literature majors. I can handle critic's reviews, and most customer reviews...but when someone criticizes a book (mine or anyone else's) because it's a genre they don't like or they have some technical issue in loading it or something else that has nothing to do with the quality of the work itself, that irritates me. If this reviewer had bothered to read the synopsis or any of the previous reviews, they would have known what it was about.

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  2. I haven't had any really idiot reviews -- yet. A couple of reviewers commented that what was weakest about my fiction is exactly what everyone else said was the strongest, but that didn't leave me upset so much as puzzled.

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    1. That happens to all of us, Mark. What one reader thinks is great, another will hate. It's just personal preference, but everyone thinks they're an expert. What's funny is those self-proclaimed experts who can't spell, punctuate, etc.!

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  3. The odd bad review is okay- that way one gets more credibility and the passerby doesn't start thinking all those five star reviews are from friends. Idiot reviews, on the other hand....
    a
    Well, idiot reviews, like idiots, should be treated with the condescension that they deserve, even if one must call in a designated heckler!

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    1. And you're an exceptional designated heckler! Amazon might have left your response up if you hadn't called the reviewer stupid!

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  4. I'm still reading it (and enjoying it). It definitely is too mainstream for a Christian publisher. So are mine even with the history of one church in the novel. I do not understand why one would post a review if they had not read the entire book.

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    1. Thanks, Mari!

      I think, as William suggested, that this particular reviewer had an agenda.

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  5. One of my favorites used to be Andrew Greeley. He could portray a nasty scene and make sure you knew what side you should have picked earlier in his story--before the plot thickened and he lured you into thinking you were wrong about everything. I definitely wouldn't call his books Christian fiction and yet he's a priest clearly indicating that the wrong side will end up in the wrong place--like a lot of idiots. I'm wondering whether no reviews are better than bad reviews--after all bad publicity can be good sometimes. In other words, if someone thinks you have gay characters but wants something thicker, he needs to go to a new bar (sorry) while other readers might be curious, picking it up to see what he meant.

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    1. I've always liked Andrew Greeley, too.

      The guy who wanted a thicker gay romance definitely needs a different bar!

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  6. I think the best advice given me re reviews was: "Don't bother to read them!"

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    1. I don't read them very often. But sometimes, we can learn from readers' comments.

      Sometimes.

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  7. I'm insulted. I loved Chasing the Wind. As for reviews, I ignore and move on except for the nice ones.

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    1. I don't have a problem with bad reviews...if they're literate and have actually read the book.

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  8. Bad reviews happen. But on Amazon I discard about half of them right away.
    What is great when you work for a company where some reviews come back smashed, torn up or destroyed with a x-acto knife plunged through them.
    Thanks for all your wonderful words about Watson.
    I am so much better but way to much work to catch up on.
    Blogging soon.

    cheers, parsnip

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm relieved to hear you're doing better. I'll be watching for your next blog post!

      I'm behind myself. Arthritis got the better of me early in the week, so I haven't posted anything this week and am catching up on comments on others' blogs.

      Delete

Disagreements are welcome; trolls and spammers are not. Any and all comments by either of the latter two will be immediately deleted.