What I'm reading: Shadows of Yesterday, by Sandra Brown
I hope you enjoyed yesterday's recipe. I'd love some honest feedback as to whether you think having a "foodie day" here would add to the blog. I'd be delighted to share favorite recipes from my readers. Or would you simply skip Wednesdays? If you'd like me to continue, please let me know in the comments, or click the +1 button. Feedback really helps.
If you've noticed, I don't do reviews here. I'll post whatever I might be reading, but I don't offer my opinion. And if a book triggers a discussion topic, I don't usually mention it by name. Why?
Like everything else, it's complicated.
First, as an author, I don't read the same way I did before I started writing. I'm afraid I'd be too critical. And who wants to get less-than-glowing reviews? Some folks I know say they won't post a review if it's under 4 stars because they know nobody wants a poor review. And there's the underlying fear (ego-driven or not) that anyone who disagrees with my take on a book will either reciprocate in kind or not want to buy my books.
Then there's the time factor. If it's established that I can't review every book someone wants me to read, then if they don't get a review from me, do they think I didn't like the book. And that can lead back to that reciprocity thing above.
But, at least on Amazon, it appears that the more reviews, the better the sales. Some members of the discussion group said they have a second persona that they use for reviews. Others say they think leaving reviews in their own names will drive people to their own books. (See that reciprocity thing above again for the flip side to this one.)
And what about the readers who will give low marks for things totally unrelated to the book at all? Didn't like the cover. Formatting issues. Haven't finished the book yet, but didn't like a character's name in chapter five? Or they post a "book report" and give away the salient plot points?
Someone at the discussion board suggested that readers use the Netflix system, in which you rate a movie and Netflix then suggests others you'd like based on your rating.
Someone else took the comparison a step further. What if you went to an art museum and there were buttons to push under each picture, where you could give it a rating of from 1-5 stars? Are visitors to a museum qualified to 'review' art? Does it matter? They know what they like, right? But would it change perception of "good" if, let's say, the Mona Lisa got an overall 3 star rating?
What's your take? Authors and readers both, please. And, whether or not I agree with the system or think it works, if you'd like to review Danger in Deer Ridge or What's in a Name? let me know and I'll give you a download in exchange.
Tomorrow, Hubster's in charge of the Friday Field Trip. When I was at RomCon, he was out and about.
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