Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Reading, Writing, and Reviewing~~Oh my!

Who's guilty of downloading books and not reading them? (My hand is raised.) Good I didn't think I was alone. You've got to wonder why, considering you can read so much of the book on Amazon or get an inkling of whether it's something you'd like from the blurb or other peoples' reviews. How discriminating am I that I'm not even giving a book a chance through the first chapter anymore with the number of free reads out there? What about you? I can't begin to think why you would choose to read my books over some other well known author's. I'm just grateful you do.

Since WereCat Fever is available at Bookstrand.com I'm patiently waiting for the first reviews to come in. Soon it should be showing up at Amazon.

Speaking of reviews: I was just thinking that book reviewers have a tough job. I'm not the best review writer, so I appreciate the ones who do it well. I'm one of those readers who either likes a book or I don't, and I don't want to analyze why. I guess I do that enough in my day job as an editor. But there are the books I share with others and there are ones I buy and keep to read again. I give four or five star reviews to above average books I loved reading. I give three stars for an average read that was enjoyable, if not memorable. It still filled my time and kept my interest, and was entertainment. If it was a below three kind of read, I usually won't mention it. Sadly my expectations of my favorite authors is higher than a new to me author. I see evidence of this in other people's reviews online all the time.
What I don't have patience for are big NY publishers charging top dollar for paperbacks and ebooks without checking the formatting or the editing as closely as they should. Recently, I bought a NY Times best seller (in paperback) that was riddled with errors, missing words, and had a sentence that stopped mid thought and went nowhere. The story was good, enjoyable, entertaining, but the editing was unacceptable. Believe it or not, I'm not that picky--mistakes get through, but not this often. Authors depend on their editors and publishers to do a better job than that. Especially considering how much time it takes to get these books to production. Self published authors could never get by with that level of editing. The author would  have their books pulled at AMAZON and get crucified all over Goodreads, Twitter, and Facebook for that sort of hot mess.

And if you like my book, recommend me. Don't forget there's nothing better than an enthusiastic word of mouth recommendation. And if you can manage it...write me a short review.
Thank you. I appreciate every one of my readers!


  1. Hello Eliza, good post. I'm also guilty of downloading too many FREE books, most of which I'll read only one chapter and then delete. With so many free reads, if a book doesn't grab me by the first chapter, I don't finish. Before all the free books, I would have given the book several chapters before I removed it from my Kindle. (BTW, I would never do a review on a book where I only read one chapter). I've been saying for months that authors are undervaluing their writing and hard work by going along with Amazon's incentive to offer your book for FREE. A sample chapter yes, but do we see the local baker offering his pastries for free, or how about a dentist saying he'll do a crown for free, hoping you come back when you need another crown? I read a blog post about this the other day. The writer caused quite a brou-ha-ha with his post on why authors SHOULDN'T write for nothing. I'm in total agreement with his statement.

    Humans are glutenous, myself included. If it's FREE we'll take almost anything. Another element to the free book theory is that we now have millions of books for sale on Amazon, B&N and Kobo. Most readers are solely tempted to actually purchase a book when so many are free. Are authors shooting themselves in the foot?

    Reviews: I 'seldom' do reviews because I'm a writer too. I don't want anyone to think my review is biased because the author might be a close colleague. I'm very happy, however, to endorse and promote all books I think are worthy reads. If I don't like a book, I won't trash-talk it. There is good in every book - every book. Sometimes we need to look a little harder, but very few books deserve vitriolic reviews.

    Again, thanks for the blog post. It gets us all thinking.

  2. Another excellent post. I agree, if I'm not hooked after the first chapter, I stop reading. For me this is true of free and purchased books. Although, I found the first hundred pages (at least) of the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo to be very tedious, all narrative back story. I forced myself to keep reading and I'm very glad I did, because I loved the entire series. Usually I set the paid for ones aside once I grow bored, promising myself I'll return to the book later, but I rarely do.

    I read the statistics recently, which claim that people only read 30% of free downloaded books. I think there is such a glut of books right now that people can't keep up with everything available. As an author, I actually find this kind of discouraging. How do you stand out among millions?
    I also agree that the editing quality on books from the big publishers is suffering. I wonder if they are trying to cut costs by not doing final reads?
    I completely agree that authors should be paid for their work. I know there are a lot of great books out there, but they will never be discovered until this glut in the market corrects itself.


I hope you benefit from my blog and thank you for commenting...