Site Meter Vamps and Scamps: Life's little mysteries...

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Life's little mysteries...

Why is it easier to leave the toilet seat up than down? Why do teenagers all seem to have PMS, even the boys? Why does your mom call whenever you're talking long distance to a friend? Why do all casinos smell of cigarette smoke? How does a guy with a skull and crossbones tattoed on his bicep get a job in customer service at Toys R Us? Why does he want one?

Okay, maybe those aren't mysteries to you, or even something you care to think about, but what about this?

I'm not a ranter, but Shi's post got me thinking about Amazon reviews. It probably started earlier with the realization that a lot of the negative reviews on Amazon for my books are by the same reader. What is up with that? I don't understand why someone would read more books by an author she totally dislikes, much less take the time to post a snarky review on Amazon. Okay, maybe I'm naive, but there just seems to be something wrong with this picture.

And she always says something to the effect of, "Ignore all these other glowing reviews. They don't know what they're talking about." That really annoys me. Because, okay...if this woman really despises my books, fine. Really. Not everyone is going to like every author's work. Anyone will tell you that, but how incredibly arrogant to just assume she knows better than the other readers who have taken time to read the book and review it.

On a positive note however...I got another snarky review that to paraphrase, accused me having overblown emotion in my work. But see she compared me to another author and said we both have this "problem" and well, I thought that was pretty cool. I love this other author's work and the emotionalism in her stories. So, I ended up feeling really complimented. Nice.

How about you feel the need to share when you hate a book and what do you think of reading more and more books by an author you purport to dislike? Am I nuts in thinking this is odd?



Cryna said...

Lucy you have a very vaild point, and it is one I would have a hard time to fathom as well. With the cost of books, I would not want to put spend good money to read an author I don't like just so I could write derogatorry (sp) things about a book.

If I get a book that I dislike or an author I was not impressed with I will refrain from buying their books. As well, there have been cases where an author has changed their style and I have not liked the way the books they do now tend to go, I just refrain from purchasing them.......this is my preference and I would certainly not trash a book that they wrote.

To go so far as to dictate to others that they should disregard the other reviews on the book, is not something that this particular reviewer has a right to voice, and that is just out and out rude and overbearing. I am like you wondering what that person is trying to achieve........

snowflake said...

Hi Lucy, if it's a book that I really hate, I might remark on it and support it with reasons but I wouldn't go to the trouble of doing a review. It's much more pleasant and fulfilling to review a favourite book. Also, my book buying budget is limited as it is without spending it on more books by authors I know I won't like.

LuAnn McLane said...

One of the reasons that I would never write a bad review is that I might discourage someone from reading the book and she might really like. Let's face it we all have different tastes and life experiences that make a book touch us in a way that might not connect with another reader.

That being said, I certainly wouldn't keep buying books by an author that I don't enjoy. Sheesh! Life is too short.

Shiloh Walker said...

I've mentioned it before, but usually if I don't like a book, then I'm not going to waste the time DOING a review.

That's just my two cents. Same when a book is just okay. I usually only do reviews on a book that just blew me away.
;p i'm lazy....

jamie said...

I say ditto to all of the comments made. If I had read one or more books by an author and found I didn't like them, I certainly wouldn't keep buying that author's books. Also, I am much more likely to post a review and spread the word to my friends if I loved a book, but probably wouldn't give much thought to a book I didn't like once I was done with it. It's unfortunate that some people feel they need to criticize others to make themselves feel important.

Patti F. said...

Everyone can't like the same book. That's a given. I recently read a book which had gotten glowing reviews, but it became a wallbanger for me. Same as one I loved and others hated.

I would never ever trash a book nor tell someone to not bother reading it. We all have as much different tastes as we have unique personalities and looks.

Unfortunately there are people out there who love to to bash. I don't waste my time on reading those kind of reviews.

Lucy Monroe said...

CanadianFriend...being a woman of perpetual curiosity, especially about what drives people to do what they do, I can't help wondering myself...heck, who knows...whatever I come up with may show up in a book someday. LOL

Jenny...I think you've got to be independently wealthy to have money to waste on books you don't think you are going to like. I'm not there either. ;)

LuAnn...see, that's exactly how I think. I *know* there have been books I've loved others have hated and vice versa. Reading tastes are so darn pesonal. I know I wouldn't feel good posting a negative review, but I wondered if some people felt they owed it to other readers, or something. That pesky need to know "why" at work again. :)

Shi...LOL on being lazy, but it's a time thing for me too. I try to talk up books I really like or that intrigue me because I know it means a lot to me when others do it, but you can bet I don't have time to talk about books that were just okay or I really didn't like.

Well, maybe I'm not nuts after all. :-P And that's nice to know.

Stacy ~ said...

I don't understand people like this either, Lucy. While I don't believe in gushing over an author/book to the point of sucking up, I also don't believe in bashing a writer. As a reader and an amateur reviewer, I've really come to understand all the hard work that goes into writing, and even if I don't like the book, I'm not going to bash it, especially publicly. And I won't continue to buy those books - to me, reading is about finding stories I enjoy, not about being nasty about those I don't. There's no joy in giving a bad review. Reading should be a pleasure, not an excuse to be mean. If I don't like the book, I won't do a review. Currently I have about 3 reviews I am trying to polish up on - I want to get them right without giving too much detail. And they are books I really liked - even the good reviews are a struggle for me - LOL.

One thing that shocked me about someone's review was when I had asked the loop if they had read a certain anthology by an author and one person was extremely nasty and blasted the book. On the author's own loop! I thought that was horrible. While I believe a person has a right to their own opinion and doesn't need to love everything that author writes, I think it's downright rude to be so negative right to the author's face. I know writers must have to have really thick skin to hear some of what they do. You pour your heart and soul into a story and someone rips it to shreds, especially so publicly. Personally I think people like that are unhappy themselves and wish to make others feel the same way. Why else would anyone write something so negative? Sometimes I like to be contrary and if I read a bad review, I check to see what the book is about and if it sounds interesting, then I'll read it. How do you like that, Mr/Ms Book Basher???

Judy F said...

I don't understand the need to trash a book or the others that review them. I do reviews at amazon and B&N for mainly my own pleasure. I just can't not bring myself to do a bad review. I dont understand either those that give a glowing review but only give the book three or less stars. HUH???? I just want to ask did you like it or not....

I have stopped reading authors that I no longer care for and I keep that to myself. There are folks that are obsessed with certain authors and god forbid you mention you don't or no longer read them.

Ok In need to get to work.

Lisa F. said...

I wonder if the negative reviewer is buying the books or are they being sent to her?

It's hard enough to find the time to read the books we enjoy, let alone to keep reading books by an author we haven't enjoyed. I rarely read the reviews posted at Amazon or BN. There are so many good books recommended on the loops by people you know there's just no need to go searching out more. If my TBR shelves ever get empty, I might have to pay attention to reveiws.

Lucy Monroe said...

LOL Stacy on reading a book that gets a bad review...Shi said she does the same thing. I probably would too...if I hadn't already read it. But I so rarely read reviews before I post my own on books I love, I already know I love the book. :)

JudyF...I'm like you. I've stopped reading some authors, but I'd never publicly declare who. Their stories touch a lot of readers and if I'm not one of them, that's more about me than them I figure. :)

LisaF...that's a good point. Maybe she's getting the books passed on by someone else. I still find it odd she's taking the time to read them if she disliked the first one and then the second one, etc.

You know what gets me too? When someone posts, "I usually like Lucy Monroe's work, but this book really sucks." And then you check their reviews and they've never done one on another book. Either they only like to be negative, or they are lying and why would they? But people have strange reasons for doing what they do sometimes...stuff beyond even anything I could dream up. LOL

Hugs to all and thanks for taking to the time to comment!

Lucy :)

Jana said...

I don't do reviews on books I don't like. Now if someone has ASKED me to do a review I will, but as a general rule if I bought the book & didn't like it, I won't review it. Why read a book & then trash it on a site. Just don't buy anymore by that author. I'm thinking these people might not have a life. :-)
And if I've been asked to do a review & only thought the book was so-so, I still find the positive about it & focus on that. I figure if an author took the time to write it, then it means something to someone.

Billie Jo said...

Reviews seem to be the topic everywhere this month - LOL.

I for one would not keep buying an author I did not like, even if I had all the money in the world.

Now for bad reviews....Let's just say if you have nothing NICE to say, don't say anything at all.

Being a reviewer, I have given authors a low rating, but I followed it with a very tactful way of saying what I didn't like. Does that make it a bad book....NO. What I don't like someone else undoubtedly will.

I don't believe in people being nasty.....There is absolutely no reason for it.

Authors work hard to get their stories written and published, why should their work be shredded by a spiteful person. It is just wrong and goes to show the mentality of someone's tact and personality when they rip it apart.

Sorry about ranting and raving, but these nasty reviews are exactly why I became a reviewer. To show authors and readers that someone can write a review objectively and tactfully.

Billie Jo is now getting off her soapbox.