I Will Make Them Cry – Indie Rant

Comment I recently read online:

“As an author of *redacted* book, I really appreciate your thoughts in this post. I wrote a post once entitled “Tips for writing fair book reviews that don’t make the author cry.” I’m fine with kind, diplomatic, constructive criticism – but some seem unable to write a critical review that is also kind and diplomatic. In can be done.
One review of my book crushed me and upset me for months. (Yeah, I need a thicker skin!) But the reason I was upset was that the reviewer expected my book to be something that I NEVER intended it to be, therefore I found the review unfair. Now, it could be I failed to properly describe my book on the back cover or my title wasn’t ideal, and it gave a wrong impression. It can be hard to “capture” a book with a proper title and back cover description, especially with minimal funds with a self or hybrid published book! But the reviewer could have noted that. Another reviewer, in fact, did such. They wrote that they expected “x” and instead found the book to be “y” and then wrote a positive and glowing review. I was appreciative.
I once read this: “A good book review appreciates and critiques the book that is written, not the book that the reviewer thinks should have been written.” Keeping an authors credentials and experience in mind can also help a review be kinder. Is this their first book? C’mon, it may be quite good for a first attempt and the author’s future capabilities evident. A new author with genuine potential could be crushed and not try again, if they only receive harsh reviews that failed to see the quality of their first attempt. Etc.”

 

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Folks, you are never going to get a review from me that is dictated by a Special Snowflake. I’ll write what I want and if it makes someone cry, boohoo. That just goes to show the wisdom of writers NOT reading reviews of their books. That is a special kind of Narcissism and I’ll not be party to it. I’ll hack and cut and slash and put that book out of its misery.

 

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bookstooge

 

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50 thoughts on “I Will Make Them Cry – Indie Rant

  1. Brutal honesty is far better than empty words to spare your feelings, because the later clearly thinks less of you while the former is comparing you to greatness.

    …..”special snowflake”……..hahahahaha!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Bookstooge says:

      Crap is crap. Dress it up in pink dress, spray some perfume on it and call it a Prom Queen, but the reality is that it is still crap.

      “Special snowflake.” One of the best words to ever describe a phenomenon that encapsulates everything wrong with our culture and society…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah, I agree.. If I don’t like a book, I write an honest review on it. I might write a rant if I really hate it, but I never hold back because of the author’s tender feelings 😉 If you are a published author you should deal with criticism and not whine. I’d be thankful if someone took an effort to tell me what they think is not right with my story.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Manuel Antao says:

    Pussyfooting around book reviewing…? God forbid!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I always strive to be constructive and civil with my reviews, namely because being nasty and insulting is pointless. That said, authors both indie and traditionally published should know that once they put their book out in the world, there will be all kinds of people who review and you won’t (and shouldn’t) be able to control what they say about it. Suck it up, buttercup.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. While I don’t believe in being unnecessarily cruel in my reviews (especially if they concern an emerging author), I also don’t believe in excessive “cuddling”, and if something in the story, or the writing, pushes some sensitive “button”, I do lay out my reactions in plain words. The main ingredient, where reviews are concerned, is constructive criticism, and as long as it’s based on sound foundations, there’s nothing wrong – IMHO – about it. Thicker skin is indeed a requirement for any writer….

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Oh man I agree with you *so much*!!! Just don’t read the review if you think it will bother you!! I certainly wouldn’t!! I’ve seen *so many* authors and random people arguing that we can’t give bad reviews or even give a book anything less than 3*- but that makes no sense to me!! If I decided to just rate everything between 3-5 then 3* are just going to be bad books… Ughhh yes, this is such a special snowflake mentality- and it’s cos of people like this that I spend a good portion of my day face palming. For the record: it’s no new phenomenon that reviewers give bad reviews and artists/writers get upset by them- what is new is that they jump on the *victimhood* train and try and milk our sympathy. Well sorry, my sympathy is reserved for people who actually deserve it- it certainly doesn’t extend to authors upset by some meanie writing a bad review. Also just in reference to that person, I’ve written reviews where I’ve said “it wasn’t what I thought it would be”- and what I meant was “I thought it was going to be good and it was rubbish”- so the reviewer in question was probably not being blunt enough.

    (Gosh I got carried away with this comment 😉 )

    So yes- hack and slash away in your reviews!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Matt Ries says:

    I’m currently writing a practice novel–well lets be honest I’ve written 20x more words for my reviews than my actual writing this year alone and last year wasn’t better–in serial installments. After uploading each new installment, I leave a little message asking readers to “Please critique and comment, either negative or positive helps me become a better”.

    Unfortunately I hardly get any critiques, just “good story” or comments about how someone likes how a certain character is developing or the wishing another character could be featured more. Someone did once let me know that I got some details of a specific activity wrong and made suggestions that I found helpful. And then there was my most negative review, “You Suck” when I asked how I can become better, the response was “f— you”. I mark that particular comment thread as “SPAM”.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Welp. No one gains anything from people who aren’t honest with themselves about how they felt/what they thought about a book. Spill out the venom if venom is all you got. Lies/sugar-coating B.S. don’t make you a better person! Hahah 😀

    P.S. For a second, I thought you played Dark Souls 3 hahah

    Liked by 1 person

  9. nikihawkes says:

    I’m with you. I curb my meanness by just not reading indie authors to begin with. I’m involved in a large writing community where every other person I know is a self published author, and I made an acquaintance very angry when I reviewed his book poorly. No more! Lol
    If I ever get published, I will most definitely not be reading the reviews.
    Keep makin em cry 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      I’m with you, I severely limit my indie reading. Most of it happens by accident now 🙂

      And I don’t review books by people I know, not anymore. I did it once and the book was crap but I ended up really softening what I thought because I didn’t want to hurt their feelings. I swore after that, never again!

      Liked by 1 person

      • nikihawkes says:

        Haha yeah they’re getting better at finding good cover art.

        That’s a bummer, and I agree totally not worth it. Unfortunately, I’m the only one with a book blog, so I get hit up a lot. The blanket policy of no reviews for anyone I know is essential. The one I did read was so bad, it was painful. My bad review WAS the nicer version lol. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve reviewed several books written by online friends / blog followers. I’ve been lucky, as those books have ranged from good to great.

        One guy asked me to review his book, and when I read its blurb, it was just horrible, and so was the “look inside” sample on Amazon. So, instead of reading and reviewing, I did a “blurb doctor” post where I suggested ways to improve the blurb. He got really angry.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Bookstooge says:

          First, lucky you! Must be nice to know people that can actually write 🙂

          That second part made me laugh. Because THAT’S the kind of experience and behavior I’m familiar with.

          Like

  10. Nathan says:

    I have gotten critical author feedback from both traditional and indie authors. And I still don’t care, my reviews are my own.

    I am kinda mad I lost all of my old comments from the site to be honest; some of the remarks were a badge of pride.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Tyson Adams says:

    I wrote a piece late last year in response to an author telling people how to review books. Not only was the post particularly condescending to readers, but it was packed with the irony that the author didn’t review books themselves.
    http://tysonadams.com/2016/11/10/book-reviews-youre-doing-it-wrong-apparently/

    PS: going to link your article in there.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. […] See also: https://bookstooge.wordpress.com/2017/05/24/i-will-make-them-cry-indie-rant/ […]

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Manuel Antao says:

    My “Reviewing Credo” does not encompass the dear reader. Truth to be told, I couldn’t care less whether a reader of my reviews wants to read the book in question or not after having read my review.

    My reviewing Credo goes something like this. I want my reviews to recover what the renaissance essay form was originally meant to embody. It meant an assay – a trial or a test of something; putting something to the proof; and doing so in a form that is not closed-off and that cannot be reduced to a system. I want to communicate intellectual activity at its most alive: when it is still exciting to the one doing it (me); when it is questing and open. Literary criticism – i.e., really thinking about words in action, plays as action, films as action – can start making a much more creative and vigorous contribution to contemporary intellectual life.

    Sometimes some readers of my reviews send me emails saying they don’t understand the relevance of my review regarding the book and that I’m way off track. Sometimes I give lots of stick to a writer, but that goes with the territory. I even had GR’s deleting some of my reviews because of some of these reasons. The problem with reviewing nowadays is that we’re too busy kissing the author’s ass, pardon my french.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      No pardon necessary.

      I think that reviews must be different or they become just a marketable commodity like anything else in this world. And that is why GR does what it does. It is trying to cash in on readers’ passions.

      I’ll admit, I don’t always get what you are trying so say in your reviews. But the review isn’t FOR me, so I’ve stopped worrying when I don’t 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Manuel Antao says:

        You get much, much more than most of the people reading my reviews. Your replies to my reviews are a testimony to that. You wouldn’t believe the questions I sometimes get. I’m not sure whether it’s plain stupidity, lack of reading, or a cultural “problem”. Alas, maybe I’m the one being the ass. Who knows? And more importantly, who cares? Live and let live. If someone does not like what I write they can just stop reading. Full stop.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Bookstooge says:

          “If someone does not like what I write they can just stop reading.”

          Exactly. I do that to other people all the time, so I figure I’d better follow my own actions 🙂 Really though, it has helped me to stop worrying about if other people will “like” my posts or not. I still look at my stats every day, but the “pressure” is off.

          As for other peoples’ question, I really suspect a lack of reading. Either of your actual post [they skim looking for highlights] or of the foundational reading that well read readers rely on. Heck, if people only read Shakespeare, Dickens and Austen, along with their modern stuff, they’d have such a broader platform to talk from. To use a ship analogy: it is like most modern readers are up in the crow’s nest. They’re aware of the Mast and maybe some of the sails, but talk to them about the deck, or even, heaven forbid, the hull and they have no idea what you’re talking about. But they couldn’t even sit in that crow’s nest without the ship. And so they sit in their crow’s nest and wonder at all the little baubles they see in birds’ claws instead of being amazed at the skill and effort put into the whole ship.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Manuel Antao says:

            “Heck, if people only read Shakespeare, Dickens and Austen, along with their modern stuff, they’d have such a broader platform to talk from. To use a ship analogy: it is like most modern readers are up in the crow’s nest. They’re aware of the Mast and maybe some of the sails, but talk to them about the deck, or even, heaven forbid, the hull and they have no idea what you’re talking about. But they couldn’t even sit in that crow’s nest without the ship. And so they sit in their crow’s nest and wonder at all the little baubles they see in birds’ claws instead of being amazed at the skill and effort put into the whole ship.”

            Stolen! Next time someone bothers me with shit, I’ll just use this. It’s a killer and right on the nose.

            Can you believe I had a guy asking me why I keep reading SF when I like Shakespeare and Austen so much?????????????????? WTF!! The world is lost…They just don’t understand a thing!

            I’m still playing catch-up with my posts (and the comments) and I’m already discouraged…

            Liked by 1 person

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