Saturday, June 23, 2012

How to Pick Out a Book

While it may be obvious to readers that the way to pick out a book is by reading the synopsis and then some of the reviews ---in this day and age of e-books and independent authors (in the past known as vanity authors since they couldn't get a 'real' house to publish their works -and generally there was a good  reason for that!)  paid reviews and trade off reviews from one author to another --how can you trust what you are hearing about an e-book anymore?

This new independent author era has made it easier for book lovers to get more free and very low priced books...true; but is it always worth our time to wade through some of them?  Some aren't edited very well if at all, they can be filled with inconsistencies, grammatical errors and just plain lousy writing and story telling. Unfortunately you will never know by reading the reviews that this is what you may be in for.

I really never knew just how badly some authors try to manipulate things to get their books out in the public and if you have the time to wade through this thread you may find yourself fascinated as I was just to see what is really going on in the background of the indie author business ---Badly Behaving Authors .

And just in case you think it is only independent authors with no ties to the larger publishing houses, I'm here to tell you that that is untrue.  Diane Mott Davidson pulled a little exhibition of bad behavior just last year when her less than stellar book "Crunch" came out.  And this is just but one example of established, trusted authors condemning the reviewers for their less than perfect books.She encouraged all her Facebook fans to mark as unhelpful any critical reviews and to post glowing reviews to take up the slack.  At the very least this was tacky behavior especially since it was done in such a public  venue.  Diane Mott Davidson/Facebook  You really must read the comments from her loyal fans also!  Just find your way to the January posts of Diane's.

"Again, I would ask readers who loved CRUNCH TIME (which my editor, agent and pre-pub readers all loved) to go over to Amazon and give it five stars. When I read the inordinately cruel comments people have posted there, I'm stunned, and reminded of the line from THE SOCIAL NETWORK (cuss word ahead): "You write your snide bullshit from a dark room, because that's what the angry do." THANKS, GOLDY READERS!"

So how do you separate the shall we say, wheat from the chaff?  Here are some examples and I hope you all can come up with other ways to keep our reading experience from being tarnished by less than ethical writers.

  1. Check to see if a reviewer who is going gaga over a book has done more than one review and that you like some of the other books they are going crazy over. Remember that many reviews you will see may be a reviewers ONLY review.  Now I know that everybody has to start somewhere but people with only one review tend  make me wonder --- especially if all they say is that they loved the book and you must buy it.
  2. Look for the AVP or Amazon Verified Purchase  banner--- or look to see if  the reviewer has explained that they received the book from the publisher or author for an unbiased review. If anyone has received a book for review and has not disclosed that fact, then they are, at the very least, in violation of Amazon's rules/Terms of Service 
  3. Look for reviews that give good and bad points ofa book. Something more than a glowing "you must read this fantastic book" type of review.
  4. Be aware that there are things called schill reviews, and reviews that are made by what is known as "sock-puppet accounts" These are a series of false accounts that are opened for the express purpose of padding an authors ranking.                             
  5. When in doubt get the free sample.
  6. When seriously in doubt save your cash for a book written by an author you already love and know.
Otherwise----GOOD LUCK!

Happy Reading!  Dianne.

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