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My First 1-star Review!! :D

No, I’m not dyslexic – I know 1-star is bad.  Very bad.  LOL

Let me start at the beginning:  I was bored at work, so at coffee time, I cruised over to Amazon to see if I’d gotten any new reviews.  Lo and behold I did – the noted 1-star review.  Now, this isn’t my first “bad” review.  I had one tour host on my first tour who couldn’t get into it, and I’ve had some reviews that were pretty lukewarm, so the fact that somebody gave the book 1-star isn’t why I’m making this post.  I’m finding myself weirdly fascinated with the reasons she gave (I’m quoting it here only because I don’t want to misrepresent her words):

“I don’t want to go into much detail, but I could not make it through the first fifty pages of the book. I think it is honestly crazy to up and quit a job, cash and sell everything, and then go on a road trip with a gentlemen that is ten years younger that is a complete stranger. It really did not make sense to me and I am completely disappointed with this book and probably will not pick up another book from this author.”  (Link to Review)

Why am I weirdly fascinated?  Because if the premise didn’t make sense to her, why and how did she even pick up the book, and what did she think it was about?  I mean, I know I don’t enjoy vampires being portrayed as romantic leading men, therefore, I don’t read books with vampires as romantic leading men (not even the Twilight series).  I find myself so fascinated with the question that I’m thinking of setting up a little survey thing for this and future books to find out stuff like this – LOL.

Please don’t get me wrong!  This is her honest opinion, she’s entitled to it, and I respect it.  My questions aren’t intended to be facetious, to poke fun, or to create anger at her or her opinion.  I am just really, honestly curious.

I can’t, however, ask her because I don’t want her (or others) to misinterpret the question as snide or retaliatory, or as if she must justify her opinion (she doesn’t).  I’m therefore tossing the question out to you, my lovely blog readers:  do you try a book even though you know you dislike/disagree with the premise?

The only personal example I can think of is Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, and to be honest, I had no idea what it was about.  I picked it up because it was mentioned in Don’t Stand So Close to Me by The Police.  I hated that book and skimmed through most of it.  I only kept reading because I wanted Humbert Humbert to die in a fucking fire and prayed that it was really his ghost telling the story. (Before you get too impressed, I googled the author’s first name, and confirmed the character’s name – LOL.) For the record, I also detested The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, but that’s a rant for another day – ;D .

So, how about it?  What do you guys do with books where you know you dislike/disagree with the premise?

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Posted by on March 12, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Proper Author Etiquette??

I’m so confused.  Which – granted – isn’t anything new.

As the title of this post says, I’m confused about proper author etiquette – but first, I think a little background is in order.

I’ve spent the last *mumblemumble* years working in the area of government procurement.  This means writing and managing the Request for Proposals/Information/Quotations/whatever processes and dealing with vendors.  The majority of my work was in the acquisition of services, so writers, developers, consultants, etc., and working with a lot of individuals as opposed to major corporations (although I dealt with my fair share of those as well).

Yeah…a thrill-a-minute, I know.

Anyway.  When you’re doing government procurement, you have to maintain a very strict distance between yourself and the vendors so there is no implication of favoritism, influence or unfair practices.  Which often boils down to “knowing when to shut the hell up” – which is not to say I didn’t get into my fair share of snarky e-mails – or friendly e-mails, for that matter.

So, how is this related to my confusion about author etiquette?  Well, I ran a couple of giveaways on LibraryThing (one for the paperback and one for the electronic version) and reviews are beginning to be posted.  Is it proper author etiquette to thank each person for their review? And I mean regardless of whether the review was good or bad (although the reviews have all been good so far (knocks on wood and crosses fingers)).  Or is it more appropriate to maintain a professional distance and silence, so there’s no implication of undue influence/expectations/pressure/etc. from the author on the reviewer?  Does it even matter so long as you’re polite and have a thick skin when the bad reviews arrive (because of course they will)?  (My similar concerns over following blogs, especially those that review my book(s), may be a subject for another day…)

I have a couple of virtual book tours beginning in May as well (the schedule will be posted as soon as I can figure out iCalendar and/or receive confirmation of all the stops) and I know that in that context, it’s expected and appropriate for an author to comment on blog posts and reviews.  Whether it’s appropriate in all cases is really the question – and I’ve seen differing opinions all over the web.

Aaarrrggghhh!!!!  😦  (And yes, some days I just worry way too much…)

So, any advice???

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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