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Writer reviews


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Showing 1-25 of 193 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 Nov 2012 18:43:20 GMT
Can somebody please explain to me why everybody throws their toys out of the pram when a writer reviews his/her own book?

Surely if there's one expert on that particular work - it's the person who wrote it.

Posted on 12 Nov 2012 18:54:16 GMT
I Readalot says:
Lack of objectivity perhaps.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Nov 2012 18:58:00 GMT
Readalot, surely a reader can judge for themselves.

Posted on 12 Nov 2012 19:04:36 GMT
Michael, that's sort of the point, isn't it? We should let the readers judge. I think a self review is pointless, especially when we can offer the 'Look Inside' feature to tempt a reader instead.

Plus, think of this as a lose/lose situation. If you don't give your book 5*, you are sort of saying it's not good enough. And if you do, then you are praising your own work, which always sounds a bit off. The promotional thread I am happiest on is the 'Reverse promotion' thread...

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Nov 2012 19:12:48 GMT
I Readalot says:
Possibly as long as the author makes it clear in the review that they are reviewing their own book. There have been several occasions when an author has used a psuedonym and reviewed the book as if they had just read it. However, this subject has come up in various threads over the years and the general concensus appears to be that readers would at best be wary of and at worst distrust the review. I am not saying this view is right or wrong, it just is. It would be difficult for a reader to decide whether or not to purchase a book if the only review was by the author and it would need at least a couple of customer reviews to balance it out.

Posted on 12 Nov 2012 19:19:47 GMT
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In reply to an earlier post on 12 Nov 2012 19:57:06 GMT
Last edited by the author on 12 Nov 2012 19:57:27 GMT
gille liath says:
Something tells me that, at least in your particular case, you may not actually be the best judge of your own work...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Amazon has a facility for authors to comment on their work if they so wish. A 'review' implies third-party objectivity. Faking or being evasive about your identity in a review, in order to sell copy, is fraud - it's as simple as that.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Nov 2012 20:06:09 GMT
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In reply to an earlier post on 12 Nov 2012 20:13:24 GMT
Last edited by the author on 12 Nov 2012 20:15:02 GMT
gille liath says:
I need to smell the coffee? My God, how is it possible for you even to ask this question?

I realise that a lot of reviews (hardly 'most') are not disinterested, we all talk about that ad nauseam. But that's the point - we all realise that a review which is not disinterested defeats the object. That's what a review is supposed to be: an objective discussion of a book by someone who does not have a vested interest either way. Therefore an author who reviews their own work is by definition posing as that objective third party.

I repeat, from the reader's point of view you are *not* the biggest expert on your own book. Comment by all means, but don't review. And if you do, and you're found out, don't be surprised that everyone thinks you're a...well, fill in the blank yourself.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Nov 2012 21:03:01 GMT
I Readalot says:
Maybe most of the reviews for SP novels are posted by friends and family but mainstream trad authors are a different matter. I would love to claim friendship with a tiny fraction of the authors whose books I have reviewed and I am sure that most of us feel the same. Had this review been posted by a genuine reader then it would have some value, but I would not be tempted to read it myself. However, knowing it is written by the author makes me question it, you see things in the book because you wrote it, an impartial reader may see things very differently. Readers do want impartial reviews and the author is unable to produce that. Also to post it on Amazon you would have to declare the fact that you are the author, it comes into the guidelines. I have to agree with gille's comments here.

Posted on 12 Nov 2012 21:13:31 GMT
Michael, I do not understand the point of your posting a review here of a product not available on Amazon.

Like almost all the authors here, i would not frequent this site if I did not wish to promote my work. But the simple fact is that neither 'sock puppet' reviews nor self reviews are in my long term best interests as I intend to still be doing this in 5 or 10 years.

You need to be aware that Amazon is also aware that not all reviews are as honest as they might be, and is starting to move against those reviews. And will ultimately move against the authors who are (in their eyes) devaluing their marketplace with these fake reviews.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Nov 2012 21:15:04 GMT
monica says:
Because it gives an unfair advantage over other writers, most of whom are dead ones?

' . . . a tragic accident destroys her hopes and dreams, as well as shattering her legs . . . . ' Ms Krakatoa, or her editor, needs to look up the word 'bathos'.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Nov 2012 21:17:48 GMT
gille liath says:
The Greek god of ablutions?

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Nov 2012 21:27:27 GMT
monica says:
No, it's a volcano.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Nov 2012 21:28:58 GMT
monica says:
What I meant to say is that it *was* a volcano.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Nov 2012 21:31:04 GMT
monica says:
Oh, you meant *that* word.

No, that refers to a femur dating back to Roman times discovered by Sir Simon Siyez-Sough in 1873 in a resort town frequented by Jane Austen.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Nov 2012 21:34:36 GMT
Last edited by the author on 12 Nov 2012 21:43:06 GMT
gille liath says:
I didn't actually have the faintest idea what you were on abaht. But now I've looked up someone's profile, and I do (have the faintest idea).

I don't like commenting on the work of forum folk, spammers though they may be; I'm polite like that. Otherwise I'd say that there's also a 'somewhere, a dog barked' quality about the opening para.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Nov 2012 21:35:34 GMT
gille liath says:
Not one of the musketeers?

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Nov 2012 21:50:52 GMT
monica says:
I've forgotten what the Fido reference means, but the same paragraph bothers me a bit: 'The author assumes the moral right . . . ' : legally, is a 'moral' right stronger than 'the right' or is that a remnant of phraseology used in court two centuries ago? Or is it a reference to the author being a Pentecostal extreme Republican, if that's not a tautology?

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Nov 2012 22:02:44 GMT
gille liath says:
Think it's just a conventional bit of phraseology. Usually 'asserts' rather than 'assumes', though - not sure what that could mean...

Posted on 12 Nov 2012 22:08:20 GMT
It just seems to be the present preferred phrasing, I think, of saying 'I've written this so keep your thieving fingers off!'

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Nov 2012 22:11:40 GMT
Last edited by the author on 12 Nov 2012 22:12:10 GMT
gille liath says:
I take Monica's point though - asserting moral rights is unlikely to get you anywhere with pirates (or landlords); legal rights are what matter. Put another way, the word 'moral' is redundant. But jargon didn't get where it is today without being littered with redundant terms...

Posted on 12 Nov 2012 22:20:02 GMT
My publisher uses the same sort of wording. And he lectures in international copyright law, so he probably has a good reason for it. Not that i've ever been so bored as to bother asking why, tbh...

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Nov 2012 22:22:45 GMT
gille liath says:
I guess the reason is that they're the same words everyone else uses.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Nov 2012 22:32:10 GMT
Last edited by the author on 12 Nov 2012 22:35:34 GMT
monica says:
Excellent point & tomorrow I shall look in OED to find when 'assume' took on faintly unpleasant connotation ( or for the most part lost it). As for tonight, I looked again to find that the para which of course you weren't referring to did in fact use 'assert'--my quote had Freudian slip.
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This discussion

Discussion in:  fiction discussion forum
Participants:  22
Total posts:  193
Initial post:  12 Nov 2012
Latest post:  13 Dec 2012

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