My Way or the Highway?!?

Friday, January 25, 2008 8:20
Posted in category Ponderings

glittersyb-by-mlleelizabeth.jpgThis started out as a short lil comment on this post, regarding “DNF Reads” [aka did not finish]. I, as I tend to do, went off on a ramble. So hey new post!

Caroline Linden brought up the DNF thing but this post in whole is in no way directed AT her. Wanted to make that is clear (‘net communication being what it is), although anyone who has been around TGTBTU prolly knows I am rather fond of Caroline, adore many of her books and sometimes disagree with her. As well as this is not, to use a phrase I HATEgetting anyones back‘ because I happen to think smart woman are more than able to speak or themselves.

I, of course, should never, ever, evah post at 4amish after just waking up. But what the fuck, that has never stopped me before. This gets long, you may need a nap… [yes go ahead and mock me Bam :)] I know… aren’t you glad the blog move stuff is just about fixed and we are back to blogging *g*. Damn I missed you guys.

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Authors need to give us credit as readers. We do have brains. Why would anyone assume I couldn’t read a post, review or comment and not see it for what it was? Why is it assumed that if it is in print it will ALWAYS be believed? I have had one blogger in 3 years tell me she expects to be believed, always, everyone else I have ever asked excepts and assumes readers will use their brains and decide for themselves.

If someone is telling me they read 50 pages or less of a book, I ‘get’ they aren’t reviewing it. Just as much as I will disregard any book with 30 ’5 star’ reviews. That tells me the author has gotten bad reviews removed or was so boring no ‘real’ reader was moved to talk about the book. It reeks of agenda, more so than the few ‘bad’ reviews from those evol people ‘out to get the author‘.

Of couse that could just be me.

evolcats.jpgBarbara Vey, who was just the nicest woman evah, is blogging on Publisher Weekly. What does it say to people when she implies readers of reviewers can’t form their own opinion and that she will not ‘review’ on her blog. Does Publisher Weekly not do reviewers? Is it just for the lil women in romance that can’t handle the truth?

Will a good or bad review, make or break an author? No, I don’t think so. But I seriously think ‘word of mouth’ can help. It is beyond sad a blog on Publisher Weekly is being used in such a way but hey seems some of the authors like it. There are more than a few comments in Vey’s thread, right or wrong, have impacted how I view them commenter or things about them.

Roxanne St. Claire, an author I like and a person I liked when I briefly met her (it was prolly give mins total), tells me to skip over any review I see with her name when she sez:

I don’t ever review books I didn’t like, but I love to gush if I’ve discovered a gem.

So I now know to disregard any ‘review’ from her but that wouldn’t keep me from reading her books, which I happen to like.

Deborah Macgillivray, who seems to do herself no favors when she posts in public, rants:

You get fifteen-year-olds telling you how to write a book. People with hatchets – fans of an authors that consider another author competition. Frustrated writers that have been rejected by a publisher hitting all their writers to get even. Or just topic resentment. Anyone can post anything, including slander or personal attacks, such as when Anne Rice killed off her vampire series. People actually accused her of not writing her books, but that her dead husband had penned them. Amazon did NOTHING. Rice even came to post trying to stop, and it only was gasoline upon the fire. Stalker reviewers slam every book an author writes. Some with more than one “fake name”. Worse, the author has no recourse. If the poster crosses the posting rules, and the review is taken down, they go ballistic and will spam all your reviews with no votes, draw in friends to attack. There are people obsessed with being top reviewers that spam no votes on “their Amazon Enemy”. I have seen reviews posted and it’s clear they haven’t read the book. Worse, it’s not enough for them to disagree with the books, they rant that others who do like the books are liars and “paid shills”. You either agree with their negative reviews or you’re stupid or paid.

Sigh. The whole set up is open to everyone who has a problem with something to vent and Amazon plays ostrich to cyber stalking and cyber bullying, and in the case of the top reviewer it became a cyber lynch mob. I am not defending if a person can read 45 books a week or not. No matter, take it to Amazon management, do not attack people in public.

Since I have seen her enter Amazon Message Board posts attacking people in public, this post makes me giggle. The sad thing is, it is very possible she is right about the person but that is lost in her delivery.

Her tone, ‘reviewer status’ which is mostly if not all (at least of what I have seen & on books by her publisher) 5 star, shows she is adding to the problems she sees in the amazon system. Months ago after seeing her and friends, spank some reviewer for being a meanie I decided to not read her. Ever. Will this mean anything to her, doubt it, but it does allow me to know she doesn’t ‘review’. No one ‘reviews if all they do is pimp because if I can’t get a feel of what they like AND dislike, I have no idea if their views match up with mine.

Jennifer LaBrecque, of Highland Fling fame (currently has a total of 8 amazon reviews and by quick glance there are a few missing she had reported to remove), is nice enough to let us know what may be allowed in a review of her books:

I have all the respect in the world for a reviewer who can professionally , insightfully point out that a book perhaps missed the mark because characters weren’t fully developed or plot devices were so contrived. I have less than no use for “reviewers,” and I use that term loosely in conjunction with these people, who a) cross the line by giving away plot points or specific twists in the story the author has worked so hard to create, b) come across as so frothing at the mouth it does feel quite like a personal attack, c)obviously see the “review” as a forum for their scathing wit and scintillating insight, d)All of the above. And no, I don’t read reviews until after I’ve made up my own mind.

This is pretty much a repeat of what went down durning her fling phase, so it was easy for me to know when, The Big Heat, came out not to bother buying it, even though I wanted it. Hey! I am a Harlequinwhore and bounty hunters… WOOT! But I know if the book doesn’t work for me, for whatever reason, my opinion will not be valid. So my money wouldn’t be either, nor would my review or praise if I did like it. If you as an author can’t respect me, I have no reason to respect or support you.

I am not sure what to make of Jenna Black’s comment regarding not being able to read a review and still form her own opinion but I can respect the hell out of her saying:

And I’ve finally learned to stop reading Amazon reviews of my own books. If I read some of the nasty ones, I’d have trouble writing for days, and I can’t afford that when I’m on deadline!

Christie Craig, a past guest on the blog and all around cool chick, makes me want to beat my head against the wall by comparing reviews to grade school. I won’t bore you all again with Average = C = not a bad thing = your review isn’t a test and no really you are out of grade school please grow up. But this:

It’s about the belief that negativity sells. And to some degree and as sad as it is, they must be right because look at the popularity of the shows and websites that play that card.

Completely disregards any opinion of any book a reader has, unless they say WOOT luved it. Is that really all authors want? Again I ask, if no one tells you anything but happy, happy, joy, joy things about your book, writing or style… can you believe that? Does anyone honestly think that everyone will love their book and those that don’t, well it isn’t the book it is the person trying to use negativity. Really?

Jusy believes author all author quotes on books are honest and make a book worth a look while saying she doesn’t read ‘reviews’. I guess because reviewers aren’t honest like those author quotes are. Peggy Young shows her love for the ‘net with

And Amazon reviews are like all things internet: Consider the source.

Really doesn’t everyone know review sites are JUST like amazon reviews? Yes that was sarcasm.

Lynn Raye Harris, I have no clue if this is the author or not, has learned from Vey and Publisher Weekly

I would never, ever post a negative review. I have to admit that I often don’t think about posting a positive review either, but some of the comments here make me realize that if I like a book, I should say so.

Go team them! They have sure taught her a lesson, lil woman you best be positive otherwise shut the duck up!
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Marilyn enforces the good view people can have of review sites by letting us know she reviewed for one of ‘those review sites’. You know the ones that ONLY allow the correct type of reviews, the good ones.

le sigh… by the time I got to Kate Douglas comment I decided I was wasting time I would never get back. Sad to know though she learned nothing from her Wolf Tales book. The fact that she is on number 5 or something of that series just blows my mind but the fact that she is must mean she is selling. It has to mean people ARE enjoying her books but that doesn’t matter, she is still trying to teach meanie reviewers a lesson because… because… WHY??? I seriously do not get it. Take your success, enjoy your fans and do not try and talk others into why they should love your work or at least keep their dislike of it to themselves.

If people can not say they don’t like a book than everyone needs to stop talking about the books they DO like. You can not have your cake and eat it too. Gosh would that be ‘fair’? I happen to think Jennifer St. Giles is a great author and was too sweet when I met her but that so doesn’t give her the right to decide my

moral obligation to be objective about the subject, giving an opinion on the positives found and a constructive critique on any overwhelming negatives.

I am more than capable of figuring out my moral obligationsmindmeld.jpg all on my own and I am a READER. I am not an editor, I do not get paid to give constructive critique and damn me if I am going to pay an author to provide her with a free service after the fact. At the end of the day, MY opinion is only RIGHT and FACT for me. I know that, you know that, give romance readers a lil credit that they know that as well.

There are a ton of more comments there, although not mine, if you would like to go read. I am gonna try not to go back cuz it just annoys the fuck out of me. Why does it annoy? Hell I just got finished saying it is opinion and everyone – even the small minded-my way-or no way types – have the right to their opinion… well as Jane posted RWA doesn’t feel it can ‘give’ press passes to internet media unless it is “affiliated with a nationally distributed media source”.

Publisher Weekly is the first on its list in the email Jane republished.

So isn’t RWA enforcing women don’t have brains, can’t handle crit or be able to read a review and form an opinion when they say Publisher Weekly, who endorses and houses a blog that doesn’t want to cloud readers minds with ‘opinion’. She may not like all book but no worries authors you are safe there because she won’t tell the silly romance readers what she thinks. It is the same attitude you get at Michelle’s Lifetime Blog [another blog "affiliated with a nationally distributed media source"], for those real women with no spine who can’t grasp the idea that someone, somewhere might not like their work, might have an opinion or not like something. We are women!  We must support each other and the ONLY way to do that is only say happy, shiny things.  Otherwise… what?  Authors will cry?

Way to the illustrate how much we respect the genre, our authors and our readers. It was always been my thought, and again just my lil opinion, we have no business bitching about the world at large looking down its nose at romance when romance readers can’t respect it.  And this is the ‘press’ RWA wants reporting at the conference.

Honestly I had pretty much made plans not to go to San Fran because A. It is going to be expensive as hell and B. I do not agree with the idea “fans” should be there.  I had decided it was worth going for the blog and the plans I made for this year regarding The Good, The Bad and The Unread (more on that in another Bamworthypost *g*) but I didn’t want to contribute to the idea that fangrrls should flock to a writer conference.

But hell if this is the information we will be getting?  Yikes.  It is a seriously good thing Jane and the Smart Bitches can afford to go.  There should be a balance between a love of the genre and a want to report on it.  It seems from first glance, RWA will be encouraging “OMG you are just the bestest author ever interviews” and “Real” reporters who you know, always often present romance in a bodice ripper way.  As if we have nothing to offer and are not the top selling genre.  I am sorry but Dan Brown, Nicholas Sparks, James Patterson and on and on and on should all write Nora Roberts, Julie Garwood, Linda Howard and the rest of the consistent romance sellers a fucking thank you note.

So back to me… cuz you know everything is about me… will I be going this year?  Maybe.  I do have a rekindled interest in attending now, yes I know, I do feel shame in the ‘tell me I can’t and then I must’ thing I have going on but hey we all have our issues.

We will have a ton of ‘real views from real media’.  Copy & pasting another writers words??!? well of course it is wrong… but this… this is ‘just’ romance. We are ‘just’ woman. It is ‘just’ entertainment. ::pats head and smiles at the child woman. There there, no worries of needing to use your brain in THAT genre.

I am sorry but I will take over thinking and boring posts (WHAT? I have a short attention span) 100 times over mindless chatter. And “I” like mindless sqqquuueee’ing. I am all for fun, fun, fun. Hell I can’t stand stupid ass cover model gawking but can appreciate others DO enjoy it. They have fun with it, whatever. YAY.  But what? It is ok to allow that and just smile and giggle alone with their fun (because fun does spread and can’t we enjoy people having fun, even if some of us don’t ‘get it’).  But it isn’t ok to think, smile and giggle along with that fun along with posts about romance novels in a way that can be critical? LE GASP that might hurt a feeling?!?! How dare us.

The fact there are authors beating the Smart Bitches because of how they run their own site. OMG they cuss!!! OMG they are mean!! OMG watch them kick a poor, con artist who has made a ton from her mad skilz copying and pasting old woman who didn’t know better. And why didn’t she know better? Because she was female and had lived on the earth for a while. OMG look at that name… the shame… the horror!  That makes me sad, doesn’t it make you sad?  I admit I don’t agree ‘how’ it was done, for way different reasons it seems and mostly because I am a selfish and have a short attention span.  And I thought (incorrectly) it was a obvious thing.  That was way stupid of me because I sent an ARC of a Janet Daily book, which was rewritten from a harlequin published in 78? in one of Gwen’s review boxes.  I sent it because I thought it was a really bad book and thought it would be amusing for her to skim.

I didn’t put a note.  I didn’t email her or say anything because I didn’t think to… doesn’t EVERYONE know about JD and Nora Roberts?  No they don’t but that is a story for another post.

I love this genre. I adore many a writer.  I happen to think the websites romance is lucky enough to have, kick some serious ass. As well as I think untalented authors, whose main contribution to the genre is attempting to be coy, ‘snarky’ and clever while ironically doing to bloggers, who do a hell of a lot to bring attention, respect and readers, what they condemn them of doing are pretty much a waste of space.  But more power to them that is their corner of the world to rule, or private hidden message board, or you know both.
Of course that doesn’t stop me from thinking they should just go flock themselves. Or go watch them be clever, coy, snarky all while not naming names ::wink wink, nudge nudge:: because they are oh so much better than THOSE people. Look at them mock the silly lil women fangrrls (aka people who would, you know, buy their books) who have no brain to think of their own and are mindless to resist the power of TEH blogger. Just don’t forget to ignore their own fangrrls worshiping at the alter of their greatness (that is different mind you).

It seems like nothing more than watch me [try to] out bitch a bitch. And as Vey sez, her blog, her rules. Shouldn’t that go for everyone? Does that make anyone better than another? Life is too short to drink bad wine, enjoy whatever the fuck you want to. If you don’t like something, create your own space. You wanna dislike how others do things, woo hoo go team you, but never forget as much as you have a right to dislike their wa,y ten to one many dislike yours, so getting pissed off about it… sort of makes you look like a jackass.

All of them are right, EXCEPT the people who think it is ok to tell others how they are suppose to run their own corner of the world. And no that isn’t my point here, I think ferflock and her merry band should just keep on keeping on, creating snarky sites to do it right and abandoning them, one after the other after the other. They can post their bitchy comments about bitchy bloggers, to delete them, even though their have their private cage because where is the fun if no one sees you make an arse of yourself?  Michelle can seek approval, friends and a contract [does it mean something that Smart Bitches have one but...] by being nothing but nice and crown every person who is fortunate to run across her blog (and get it to load) one of ‘her’ bellas.  And for the record I never had or have issue with people who post there, my issue was/is/remains to be only way to support women is by being a cheerleader (again a post for another day).  Vey can have a stable of authors who like her, really, really like her, because they never have to fear a ::le gasp:: an opinion, much less a mean one.  Mean of course being critical because all reviews are about the author not the book and by stoopid women with agendas who want knothing but to ruin the author.  oops that was sarcasm again…

But do not, do not, do not, sit there and say that is THE only way. THAT is how it is DONE or should be because for every whorish pbwfangrrl there are smartbitchy and/or Dear Author ones. And they are all right – for them.

nice-girl-by-ktblle.gif *I* can decide for myself who is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. And I am just stoopid enough to think every other reader over the age of 14 can read and comprehend as well. I may not agree with them, but I value their voice and get really pissy when anyone tries to silent the voice of other people. Make those people women, and I go past pissy to ranty.

Every romance reader, regardless of sex, race, religion and sexually orientation has an opinion. And I for one would like to hear it, even. if. you. don’t. agree. with. me. Hey this is my blog, my world, my way…. and damn I can ramble.  I doubt anyone is even still here.  I wouldn’t have read this far *g*.  See what happens when sybils can’t blog *g*.

So now I will shut the duck up… so tell me… what do you think?  Of really anything mentioned cuz fuck if I can recall what my point was :D

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