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I admit it, patience is not my long suit.

I get frustrated when I see the same old bullshit brought up and touted as truth, the whole truth and the absolute truth. Honestly, how many time must these things be debunked for it sink in?

“A review that points out anything negative about a book is a bad review.”

No. A bad review is a review that doesn’t say anything about the book. Examples of bad reviews:

“This is the best book EVER!”

“Highly recommended!”

“You have to buy this book!”

“Don’t buy this shit.”

“It’s obvious the author can’t write, don’t buy his/her work.”

None of these tell the reader anything about the book, regardless of whether they praise or berate it. As reviews, they are useless. Useless review = bad review.

“A good review must contain constructive criticism. “

Not only no, but hell, no. Reviews are for readers, not for authors. If authors want constructive criticism, they should get beta readers and/or critique partners.

“Free speech protects authors as much as it protects reviewers.”

First, free speech is a protected right in the US–check your country’s law for other takes on it.

Second, what the hell does that have to do with a reviewer’s reaction and/or opinion on a book?

Third, while authors have every right to their feelings and reactions, common sense (that most rare of all senses) tells me that it behooves them to be careful with their professional image.

“There is no need to be ‘mean’ when reviewing.” “Why go out of the way to hurt the author’s feelings?” “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything.”

A good review needs to be well articulated and factual; the rest is style–the reviewer’s style. The rest of the above admonishments are bullshit intended to silence opinions that differ from those of the people uttering them.

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(Most of KKB’s readers know what brought this up; the few who don’t can check here and here)

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In other news…

I’ve been reading like crazy. Seriously, who needs sleep when there are books to be read?

Now I need to sit down at the computer for more than three minutes in a row and write reviews for at least a few of the two dozen books I’ve read in the past ten days…


  • Agreed, of course.

    Now tell me what you are reading and whether it is awesome!


  • Anon76
    September 14
    10:49 pm

    Le sigh.

    I can never figure out why authors refuse to understand this is a business. Once you start getting paid for your words, you are in business, like it or not. Be as altruistic as you want…but it’s a business.

    It seems like the internet has robbed some people of their perspective when it comes to that. Oh goody, I can google my name and see my reviews at a number of places. Oh ick, I have X number of negative reviews from sites who are “mean”. Must make my voice heard!

    Well, would you contact or attack the NYT, PW and the like with anything other than a “thank you for your time.”. Hell to the no. Let the reviews stand and the chips fall where they may.



  • This Sunday my staff and I made an honest mistake and didn’t include the name of one of the two authors in a collaborative work. The book was given our highest possible rating. The reviewer loved it. The author emailed me, I immediately corrected the problem issuing an errata, went to the website to make sure the review will appear correctly in the site… only to get a note from the reviewer shortly after saying that the author went ranty on her blog and yes, she mentioned us by name. I am getting way too old for this and the older I am getting the more the words F-u pop into my head…


  • *head desk* dammit


    (lost my answer)

    Okay, here we go again…

    RRRJessica, I’m hoping to write at least some sort of review for most of these, but here is a rough list (off the top of my head) of what I’ve been reading:

    Read: Shiloh Walker’s Through the Veil, Kate Brady’s One Scream Away, Alyssa Day’s Atlantis Betrayed, books two through nine in Robin D. Owens’ Celta/Heart series, Virginia Kantra’s Sea Fever and Sea Lord (finally! and so happy Immortal Sea is out now), Nalini Singh’s Bonds of Justice, Maya Banks’ The Darkest Hour, Shannon Stacey’s first three Devlin Group stories, Vivian Arend’s Under the Northern Lights, the first two novels in Tessa Dare’s Stud Club trilogy, Kris Kennedy’s The Irish Warrior

    Reread: Sign of Seven trilogy, the first five In Death books, Nalini Singh’s Hostage to Pleasure and Mine to Posses, Busman’s Honeymoon and Dorothy L. Sayers: The Complete Stories (all her shorts, not just the Lord Peter Wimsey ones), Suzanne Brockmann’s All Through the Night (also my first ever audio book), Mary Balogh’s Dark Angel and Lord Carew’s Bride, Nora Roberts’ The Search.

    I’m sure I’m forgetting some, but I honestly can’t remember more without going to look at the piles by the bed.

    Anon76, I don’t think that authors blasting reviewers is a new phenomenon, but it does seem to be both more frequent and far reaching than ever before. The saddest part is that, ninety nine times out of a hundred, no matter how an author approaches the issue, the end result is that any reaction to a negative review harms her/his professional image (two exceptions would be Carla Cassidy’s comment to a review of Pregnesia over at the Smart Bitches, and Daisy Dobbs Dexter’s response to Karen’s review of Just Like a Dame)


  • I’ve reviewed books. I’ve written books. Not everyone is going to love you and I’m beyond defending my words. Blasting reviewers? What’s the point? Being wounded by opinion? There’s more to life to worry about


  • Aloha, Aztec Lady! I may have contributed one of the inflamatory statements. Forgive me! I’m still trying to understand the blog-o-sphere culture as it is very different from my life’s experience in the military. That being said, I have checked out this blog since meeting you at RWA – always interested in learning from others. And we’ll certainly learn much about diversity next year at RWA in NYC … the streets are just steaming with new experiences and opportunities!


  • I am looking forward to those reviews. I just read the sequel to Through the Veil and reviewed it. I also read the first Devlin book. Good luck catching up! Or do what I do: only review the books you hate or love.


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