Saturday, May 5, 2018

Did You Pay For That Book Review? From Book Daily....

A note from S.J. Francis: Paying for reviews? Hmmnn. I must not lie. I thought about it once or twice, even three times. Finally, because of a recommendation about a popular site, the Online Book Club, I went ahead and registered my book there and then went ahead and paid for a "Professional Book Review". That turned out to be a big mistake for me and also a learning experience. The mistake was what I already knew: I should have stuck to my initial decision. Never, ever pay for a book review. Never. Ever. Period. 

Perhaps, paying for a unbiased book review has worked for others, but not for me. Personally, I wouldn't recommend doing it. Out of four stars, my book Shattered Lies received two and I quickly learned why because before I was sent the review, the reviewer stated flatly that, "I wish I knew there was a lesbian story line in the book before I read it." Red flag there, huh? I went back and forth with the website to complain about the bias in the unbiased review. I felt that I should get another review, though I knew I wouldn't. One that was unbiased certainly would have been fair. Second, in the review, the reviewer stated that, "I lived down south when I was a child and my best friend was black and she never went through anything in the book like the characters did." Wow! Needless to say those two statements floored. me. The first one about the lesbians made me laugh. Huh? I wasn't aware I had to let the reviewer know about the reality that real life spilled into my book. Gads. What's a writer to do? Secondly, just because something didn't happen to her, didn't mean it couldn't happen. Besides, the book is a work of fiction. "Fiction" is the key word. The book is made up. The situation is made up. 

Another point I learned was that what exactly is a "Professional Reviewer" anyway? I'd think that such a person was well up to date with real life situations, aka perhaps there might be a lesbian story line. It turns out that nowadays with blogs and more that anyone reading a book and writing a review is a "Professional Reviewer", which is pretty funny to me because I've been doing that for years and never, ever considered myself such. Anyway, back to the point of this post. Did you pay for that book review? If not, don't.  Based on my experience I certainly can't recommend the Onlinebookclub. If you did, take what you can from it if there was anything constructive and move on. That's my take on it anyway. Until next month.....
Cheers! S.J. Francis

Did You Pay For That Book Review? | BookDaily #AuthorTips

One-Review Reviewers Are People, Too
For those not familiar with this topic, let me explain: Some people assume that reviewers with only one posted review on a site must be fake.
While I don't disagree this isn't ever the case, I have a few counter arguments:
Friends and family. This is the primary accusation, but I have to wonder why friends and family opinions don't count in the big world of reviewing? Just because the author got to know this person during mini-golf team building day at work, that coworker's thoughts are suddenly null and void? What about said coworker's mother? Her friend from gin night? How many degrees of separation do we have to go before opinions matter again? Kevin Bacon?
I don't know about your friends and family, but mine are pretty freakin' busy. When and if they read my work--let alone feel inclined to publicly say something nice about it--I'm beyond flattered. Their opinion shouldn't censored because they happen to eat dinner with me sometimes.
Actually, if you want to get down to it, discounting the opinion of people who do know the author is pretty hypocritical when the book community, in general, tends to be very concerned with what sort of "person" the author is. It's kind of like putting references on a resume: all the interviewer wants to know is that someone, somewhere, is willing to say nice things about you.
New to a network. But let's move on to other less-biased, but still realistic, scenarios where a reviewer might not have many or any other reviews. First off, being new to a network. Let's see one potential situation play out:
Reviewer: Hi Author, I read your book and I really loved it!
Author: Thanks! Very happy to hear that my mental issues brought some entertainment!
Reviewer: Yes, I can't wait to share my review on my blog!
Author: That is great! If you are on GoodReads, I would be very appreciative if you would post your review there too, but it's entirely up to you.
Reviewer: Oh, I've heard of that place. I hear it's full of muck. I will check it out, anyway.
Next day:
Reviewer: Hi Author! I went to GoodReads and it is, indeed, full of muck. I posted my review of your book there though.
Author: Thank you! I hope you were able to get the muck off easily enough. I suggest mental bleach and a few therapy sessions.
Reviewer: I might go back after I've had some vodka, but I'm not sure.
Reviewer discovers Farmville.
Recruited Elsewhere. So, check this out: not every author goes through established reviewers to get reviews. I know, the concept is a little horrifying that everyone should be entitled to an opinion. Sometimes, authors meet reviewers on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, or heck, that weird thing called "in real life" (or, it's more familiar form, IRL). Sometimes, said people are really thrilled to get a free book that interests them. They don't get scores of free books because--let's say it all together now--they're not established reviewers. Hence the lack of other reviews. But they think the book was cool, the author was cool, the gift was cool, so sure, they'll post their thoughts and then probably never come back, because Farmville.
"Nag" emails. I once reviewed a flag. Not kidding. A flag. My fiance is from another country and still has much of his family there. When we moved into our new place, I thought it would be nice to hang both the US and Bangladesh flag. There aren't scores of Bangaldeshi flags being sold around Arizona, so I went to my ol' buddy, Amazon, to hook it up. A few weeks later, I received an email asking how I was liking the flag. It seemed to be a decent enough flag. Made of fabric. Sways in the breeze. So I clicked the link, wrote something along that line, and moved on.
This can happen with books too. Maybe they just bought that one book. Maybe they just felt click-y and write-y enough to type up a review at the time they received the nag email. Look, I will probably never review a flag again, but you know what? I totally bought and used that flag. No fakin' it here for some devious master plot regarding flag ratings.
While we're on the topic of what counts as a "fake reviewer," I would also like to point out that the lack of an avatar means nothing. My fiance doesn't have an avatar on his Facebook page, but I'm pretty sure--judging by the laundry and dishes and body lying in the same bed--he's a real person. I asked him about this lack of avatar thing. His answer? "Meh."
I think that probably speaks for most people who don't have a default image.
As I said, fake reviews do happen, both negative and positive, and for a variety of reasons. But I do think we, as a whole, are way too quick to assume a review doesn't count simply because it doesn't meet some weird expectations we've developed.
But if you don't want to take my word for it that this flag totally sways in the breeze, that's really your loss.
About the Author:
Rainy Kaye is an aspiring overlord. In the mean time, she blogs at Rainy of The Dark, and and writes paranormal novels from her lair somewhere in Phoenix, Arizona.
When not plotting world domination, she enjoys getting lost around the globe, studying music so she can sing along with symphonic metal bands, and becoming distracted by Twitter.
She is represented by Rossano Trentin of TZLA.
Thank you all for visiting with us. It’s always a pleasure to meet readers and authors. Until next month, every one please stay safe. Smile. Be happy. Show compassion. Be nice to others. Put a little love into your heart. Please speak up for those without a voice, whether it be a dog, cat, elephant or monkey. One person, one voice can make a difference. Read a book and pass it on. Leave a review. Reviews are important for authors. Believe me. I know. Thank you!
S. J. Francis, Writing is my passion, but animals are my world. 
Advocate for the underdog, and cat, and supporting writers, et al.

In Shattered Lies: "It's All About Family." Available now from Black Opal Books and for sale at all on-line retailers and independent booksellers.
                      Shattered Lies is a winner in the Fall 2016 NABE Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards for Women's Fiction. 
                     Shattered Lies is a runner-up in the 2016 Shelf Unbound Indie Best Book Award Competition.
                     Shattered Lies is a 2016 Reader's Favorite Honorable Mention in the Fiction - Women’s category.  
                     Shattered Lies was a Finalist in the 10th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards.
                     Shattered Lies was chosen as General Fiction Official Selection in the 2015 New Apple Book Awards.
                     Did you know that the first, original book cover design for Shattered Lies was a semi-finalist in the 2015 Authors dB Best Cover Contest? 

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And now for some legal stuff: Copyright 2018 by S.J. Francis. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the author, S. J. Francis and the guest author and are meant to entertain, inform and enlighten, and intend to offend no one.