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When a five star review is unhelpful


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In reply to an earlier post on 9 Apr 2012 16:53:38 BDT
Carol Arnall says:
Guess you get that in any profession Caro. I think they would have been sussed out pretty quickly by Am. if it had happened.
I have read publishers pay people to review their books. I don't know how true it is.
Even now its open to the public no one trusts the reviews anyway!
Having looked at some of the well known author's reviews over the years I'm always surprised how few reviews they get.
I've seen so much abuse on the review forums its put me off. The last one wasn't so long ago either. It lasted for a couple of months I think.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Apr 2012 17:12:53 BDT
Last edited by the author on 9 Apr 2012 17:13:35 BDT
Carol Arnall says:
I agree Ethereal, but who knows if a few of the amateur reviewers aren't being paid by somebody? Just a thought!

Posted on 9 Apr 2012 17:25:32 BDT
carocaro says:
I suppose anyone can but less likely by an amateur. It seems to be the norm between publishing houses and literary critics...its as if it's expected.

Posted on 9 Apr 2012 19:01:20 BDT
Last edited by the author on 9 Apr 2012 19:02:38 BDT
monica says:
I suppose publishers might pay for blurb (doubt it, but possible), but I don't know of reviews for publishers. Generally an editor of a journal or newspaper requests an expert or person in relevant field (as TLS, LRB) or a staff member or novelist (newspapers) to write a review. Newspaper reviews & blurb are less reliable than those in specialist journals, but not because there's bribery as such but because of what often seems a quid pro quo: London literary circles not all that large, and you often get one British novelist reviewing another so enthusiastically that one can't help think of backs being patted . . .

carocaro, whatever is the title of the mad book with strange ideas re geography? Skimmed through a few pages of your reviews & couldn't see it. I'd adore to have a look at it.

Posted on 9 Apr 2012 19:21:04 BDT
Monica - I've just clicked through some of your many book reviews and it is quite obvious that there are people who both take note of and appreciate them. Are they simply a product of your enthusiasm for books and do you post them in many places? It also appears that you have had experience of unpleasant comments about things you have posted, or am I reading too much into deleted comments?

Posted on 9 Apr 2012 19:25:59 BDT
Of course, it would never be naked bribery involved. Just 'entertaining'...

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Apr 2012 19:41:27 BDT
Last edited by the author on 9 Apr 2012 19:54:24 BDT
carocaro says:
Monica you do realise that my genre speciality for read and review is very unlikely to be your cup of tea. I started reviewing Victorian and Edwardian erotic novels as they made a come back. I was asked to look at some of the 1960's to 1970's for example Commander Alan Aldiss...sadly he died within weeks of our first communications. However, he encouraged me to go against the grain as it were regards the knowledge I've gained. So erotica and BDSM became my areas. I find now that I'm spreading my wings into other genres through editing now. From women's contemporary & modern history to thrillers and currently religious thrillers...plus fantasy sic fi. I have copied the review below...do you still want the title. I warn you it isn't a 'nice' book at all.

This effort is the epitome of ignorance of so many things and doesn't deserve the recognition of being literature; it is trash of the lowest order! It's only happened on one other occasion that I couldn't find something praiseworthy or to recommend a story in the least but this takes the prize! Examples: 1. Showing base ignorance of other cultures & religious beliefs; A. Bunch, this author (sic) doesn't know that Muslims are circumcised, don't drink alcohol (including wine), nor eat pig/pork/shoat (shoat is an americanism for young pig)and they would find the things claimed on their behalf offensive to say the least! Authors, A. Bunch, research things they are unsure of; perhaps if you are still living this might be the next learning step you take - how to do research! And no I'm not a Muslim. 2. Human especially female biology - female orgasms are not the result of the ovaries spilling their seed - Duh! Any female who has had a sexual relationship with A. Bunch has my deepest sympathies! 3. DNA/Biology of different species - Bestiality is the real subject of your perverse sexual titillation & to suggest Gorillas (which are apes not monkeys)and human females in all variety of sexual situations can cross species breed; again basic research would show the impossibility of your claims even with wildest of imaginations. Oh and Gorillas do not swing through the tree tops either. 4.You appear to have limited knowledge of Africa and its size, and its highly unlikely Arabs ride the continent of Africa as if cowboys from the good old USA!! 5.As characters moved through the Jungle whilst at the same time traversing the Velde - well velde is open uncultivated grassland, whilst jungle is overgrown dense vegetation - the opposite of each other and any dictionary would explain these differences!6. Many Germans would be offended at your mockery of the spoken vernacular of german language muddled with english to end up as german/pigeon english & difficult to decipher! Author A. Bunch - you insult your readers intelligence and show your woeful lack of the same. Reader beware save your money & avoid this pornographic but not erotic - trash! However, Allan Alldis is another author I could recommend that gives good insight into harems and sexual experiences within this genre.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Apr 2012 19:42:10 BDT
Last edited by the author on 9 Apr 2012 19:54:04 BDT
carocaro says:
Oh Will are you offering to go naked as well?
Did you get to see your film? Bet it cost though:)

Posted on 9 Apr 2012 19:56:25 BDT
carocaro says:
For those shocked by what appears to be such a harsh review please know it wasn't and I don't normally write them like this at all. I actually think it is wrong not to say anything when you have something so awful.

Posted on 9 Apr 2012 20:03:49 BDT
Last edited by the author on 9 Apr 2012 20:09:53 BDT
DaveOz says:
Since encountering this thread I've begun browsing reviews of self-published authors. Yep I agree, it is quite clear to discern which reviews are written by friends, family and acquaintances. It's also quite amusing to see the folk who try and disguise those type of reviews, as they come across threads such as this one and realise that people are becoming savvy to their tactics. For example, a review which reads like a 5-star review but is only given 4 stars with no reason as to why 5 stars were not awarded if the book is as perfect as the write-up suggests!

Or am I being paranoid, lol?

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Apr 2012 20:13:59 BDT
Joo says:
You mention "friends, family and acquaintances". What about fans?
Since finding these new indie authors, I have become a massive fan of some of them. And sometimes I rave a bit (but that's another story, lol).
I sometimes wonder what people think of my reviews. But then perhaps I decide I don't want to know. A few yes votes will do me.

Posted on 9 Apr 2012 20:20:21 BDT
DaveOz says:
"You mention "friends, family and acquaintances". What about fans?"

I know, I'm probably being a tad unfair to genuine fans. I guess we can only speculate, because a review that appears to be fishy could be the genuine article but the writer of the review just didn't want to write an essay.

But still I stand by my original argument that there are some reviews which don't seem right from the get-go.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Apr 2012 20:39:47 BDT
monica says:
How nice of you, Clive. For the most part, they're the product of my being in the mood to write a review, but there are some I've written simply because the books are so obscure: they've no reviews and besides, they might be brought to the attention of someone skimming my reviews . . . No, don't post elsewhere.

Can't remember deleted comments. Oh, yeah, a few in exchanges w. posters I 'know' deleted because of personal info/remarks.No unpleasant comments & in fact, given that I'm pleased to get even a negative vote on one of those little-known books--at least someone's heard of it and has looked it up--I doubt I'd be bothered.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Apr 2012 20:46:43 BDT
DG_O - Don't think you are being paranoid. The point of starting this thread was to explore acquaintances giving reviews as I have indicated has happened in my case, not at my promoting, and the effect that has on the readers choices. It seems perfectly logical that someone would deliberately lower the star rating if convinced that the review would be better received if they are fake. In the beginning I was hinting at my concern that it was indicated that these people who have place reviews on my books do indeed know me, but as the discussion has evolved I have become increasing happy that the honesty of their connection is clearly stated. At least there is some integrity and potential readers can make a judgement based on what the review says even if discounting the actual star rating as biased.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Apr 2012 20:50:10 BDT
I was just thinking of mentioning that. I have 4 reviews for my latest book and they're all five stars because they're from people who loved the first one and were prepared to wait the interminable amount of time it took me to write the second. I admit these are my only four to date but... does the fact they are fans make their reviews mean less?

Tricky isn't it?

Cheers

MTM

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Apr 2012 20:50:52 BDT
monica says:
Thank you so much. I spilt my seed laughing. Were the Arabic cowpokes on camels, horses, or gorillas?

For flip's sake, don't for an instant regret writing this; some books deserve harsh, and some authors need to be discouraged from ever again writing anything other than thank-you letters.

Good lord, do I really sound so starchy as to need warning about so-called explicit content? I didn't warn you that I was into incest-fantasy B & D role-playing with wildebeests, nor that a wildebeast's recent expiry is not necessarily a deal-breaker for me . . .

Posted on 9 Apr 2012 20:58:00 BDT
Last edited by the author on 9 Apr 2012 21:03:53 BDT
DaveOz says:
"...does the fact they are fans make their reviews mean less?"

That's another thing I've noticed since I began checking out reviews - the fans, or to be exact, the groupie-type fans who feel the need to hound any reviewer (or commenter who agrees with a reviewer) who dares to give a less than perfect, or even an unfavourable, review for the work of their favourite author. It makes for uncomfortable, but amusing, reading. But I suppose this discussion is for another topic.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Apr 2012 21:11:01 BDT
monica says:
Do you read many reviews on .com site? If you do, you'll have noticed that it's not simply author groupies: There are subject (of non-fiction) groupies & 'genre' groupies as well. Think it boils down to adolescent sort of fandom + toddler 'I hate you coz you don't like what I like' approach. Forget the self-published stuff for a moment, as its readers are relatively few, and sample vitriol on that site inspired by books about Hollywood stars, pop stars, and, surprisingly, the likes of Glenn Gould.

Posted on 9 Apr 2012 21:11:50 BDT
Joo says:
I may be a fan, but I'm not that type of groupie fan lol.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Apr 2012 21:13:08 BDT
Last edited by the author on 9 Apr 2012 21:14:00 BDT
Er, no. That's not the sort of people I mean. These are people who review loads of books on Amazon dispassionately and intelligently, and just happen to like mine. Three have written numbers of reviews in the 60s and 70s and I forgot to look at the other. Sorry.

Cheers

MTM

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Apr 2012 21:14:02 BDT
carocaro says:
No Monica I hadn't realised you were ok with explicit:) As I said I had been asked to consider Commander Alan Alldiss who wrote using his knowledge of the white slave trade when in the Royal Navy I believe it was, hope it wasn't the marines! He used this information and harsh and hideous it was but in story form mainly. The books were possibly being updated or just more open and prominent when along came A.Bunch and the awful content which i reviewed fairly. Please if you have the stomach for it read and review too. I suppose it is so bad it's funny if it weren't so sick.
B & D with wildebeests why that's gnu's to me;0)
I wonder if we've read and reviewed any of the same books...got me wanting to see. We should try to read and review and compare one one of the days perhaps....as objectively as a subjective can be of course!

No MTM if the reviews are returning fans then you should be pleased and proud as they are ones to feel pleased about.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Apr 2012 21:17:20 BDT
carocaro says:
Yes I've written reviews by erotica haters and fans of specific authors regardless what they write and intolerant of anyone elses opinion and they like to send comments and click on not helpful etc...silly and juvenile.

Posted on 9 Apr 2012 21:17:55 BDT
Caro, that's what I think but it doesn't mean others will see them as dispassionate, especially reading what DG_O said there.

Posted on 9 Apr 2012 21:19:48 BDT
Last edited by the author on 9 Apr 2012 21:22:04 BDT
DaveOz says:
@ monica - Nah, I've only read Amazon reviews. I don't intend on making it a hobby!

"Er, no. That's not the sort of people I mean." - Apologies M.T, that comment wasn't directed at you but more a general observation about fans. I should've made that clearer in my original post. From what I've read of your work you clearly don't need any groupies to "big you up".

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Apr 2012 21:26:01 BDT
That's OK, I came across a bit more prickly than I meant to there. I do know the kind of people you mean and thank you, mwah ha ha hargh, flattery will get you everywhere!

Cheers

MTM
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Discussion in:  fiction discussion forum
Participants:  38
Total posts:  304
Initial post:  28 Mar 2012
Latest post:  13 Jun 2012

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