Reviews

5 Book Review Rules Which Could Make Writers Hate You Less

 

Book reviews are the cod liver oil of the writing world. Writers need them, and they can do an awful lot of good, but they can also leave an incredibly nasty taste in the mouth.

You can’t switch on the Internet these days without seeing an author giving out about book reviews and how unfair/mean/reprehensible/soul-destroying they are.

Read the entire blog here.   cat

This is a timely blog post I want to share.  It’s about the rules for writing reviews.  It lumps the troll reviews in with negative reviews, which is fine in this context since it is specific on what is not allowed.

I’m not sure about the reviews written by friends.  I haven’t experienced a personally known friend who was willing to do a review, but I don’t ask.  I do have acquaintances, through social media connections, cat-fish bowlwho are willing to review for a free copy.  Sometimes we exchange copies.  It’s usually a matter of authors supporting authors, especially Indie authors who get no respect or consideration outside their circles.

I have added my own cats expressing their ideas of how readers, writers and reviewers often see this situation.

As they say here in East Texas… Have a blessed day.

Categories: About Social Media, Recommendations, Reviews | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

The Vulnerable Author

When I decided to self-publish I felt the excitement of holding that very first book in my hand.  It was real, and really happening.  It was much like giving birth when you’re amazed something you’ve known to happen to others could actually happen to you.  It wasn’t just a dream anymore.

The awe-struck feeling didn’t last long enough before another feeling slowly crept in.  It was the awareness that others would now know who you are and what you had done.  That set in a little fear of others judging you based on the work you did.  What if no one liked it?  What if it was really bad and only you thought it was good?  The nagging inner voice of doubt has struck.

I begged for others whom I trusted to read my work and assure me I hadn’t failed in my attempt.  It’s taken two years and more unresponsive or noncommittal friends and family than genuinely responsive, then a few very good reviews before the slow process of believing in myself began.  Even though I now accept I can write well and many will like it, the occasional nagging inner voice of doubt lingers.  I wonder if its good enough?  I think it will be a continuous up and down battle to close off that voice with each new publication.

As more and more strangers report good things it gets easier, but it’s not like the eleven books, with a total of seventeen publications (some just ebooks), in two years brought in a flood of fans.  At least not ones who actually buy the books.  Few Indie authors experience that.  It’s the gifts and free giveaways that you hope will feed your doubts with good reviews, but never materialize that really disappoint.  We are such a vulnerable lot, and very egocentric when it comes to these feelings.

We support each other with likes and votes and sharing posts, with occasional purchases, and sometimes reviews, but it’s still a difficult road to travel down.  We’re mostly alone.  It’s the nature of our craft.  Continuing to immerse ourselves in imaginary places with imaginary people doing imaginary things keeps us busy.  If we stay busy maybe the fear won’t come, maybe the doubt will stay away and maybe even a few books will sell.  Of those maybe a few reviews will materialize to help erase any remaining doubt.

All of us go through this to some degree.  HERE is another blog with steps to follow to overcome some of these feelings of vulnerability and help you keep on keeping on so no one is shattered by disappointing comments or downright meanness.  Become strong because the naysayers are out there and when things begin to look good they could strike you down.  Be prepared.  Become strong.  Then it won’t matter if others don’t approve.  Enough will.

shattered

Categories: About Writing, Random Thoughts to Share, Reviews, Self-Publishing, The Trolls Wars | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Reblog: Laws of the (Amazon) Jungle – 8 Rules Authors Need to Know to Stay Safe

With all the bullying going on, the investigations might be starting.  Everyone is getting tired of putting up with comments vs true reviews, especially nasty ones with or without personal attacks.

This is information that even readers should know.  I wish I’d known it when I was only reading and not yet an author.  I would have posted more positive reviews and voted for the good ones and against the obvious troll ones.  But understanding the system is only the beginning.

There is good advice here, with helpful links.  I found it through my review of StoptheGoodreadsBullies site from a Tweet I received.  So, word is getting around.  Next is awareness for more in the business and the general public.

Bullies are not our kind of people and I keep hoping that search for another planet is just to find a place where they can be relocated and turn on each other.  That would be fair.

http://annerallen.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-laws-of-amazon-jungleeight-rules.html

Addendum:  Just found this on Twitter about how Amazon was founded. http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2014/02/17/140217fa_fact_packer?currentPage=all?mbid=social_retweet

Categories: About Social Media, Reviews, The Trolls Wars | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Conspiracies Theories and Petitions

I found out today what a liar Amazon is.

I got an email, after an investigation I requested of a fake 1-star review, that said both the 1-star reviews would be removed in 3-5 days.  On the 5th day I replied through that email asking why they hadn’t yet been removed.  I not only got a response that said they wouldn’t be removed, but the email saying they would be disappeared from my email cache.

It’s not in Sent, or Trash and the one I kept in the In box is also missing.  Amazon actually deleted my email from them that they didn’t want seen.  Who would have thought they would do that?

Well, they got a nasty reply from me and I promised to spread the word among all the harassed authors in the FB support group about what liars they are and how they can’t be trusted.  I doubt they care what I think, or any of those who have been harassed.  Why?  Because of the article I’m attaching a link to which tells how “government” (and I have no doubt, big companies they are in bed with) are skewing our views by paying the Nasties to write crap.  It’s a way of keeping the “action” going, and that’s what’s counted.  Not the actual reviews or yes/no votes on the reviews.

The response I got from Amazon encouraged me to vote, but they had already informed me they don’t count double votes, so voting again won’t matter.  They encouraged me to make a comment.  HA!  That’s what instigates the trolls to get those threads of negative support comments going, and I have no doubt they know this.  They won’t get any comment from me.

Read the article to be informed.  Then read the second one about signing the petition.

There are so many petitions going around now on all matters that the government is ignoring that I only foresee a physical uprising — a true revolution — will stop it.  I also think that is what the government wants.  They are the #1 Trolls.

If you have a concern of any kind, or a complaint, then start with this information.  It could help you understand the root of our current problems in the U.S.  And, just so you are aware, Trolling is big in the U.K. and a lot of them I’ve seen are from there.  Hmmm.

http://www.prisonplanet.com/yes-there-are-paid-government-trolls-on-social-media-blogs-forums-and-websites.html270214keyboard

 

 

https://www.change.org/petitions/jeff-bezos-protect-amazon-com-users-and-indie-publishing-authors-from-bullying-and-harassment-by-removing-anonymity-and-requiring-identity-verification-for-reviewing-and-forum-participationDprGojtqSIoxvqN-556x313-noPad

665x1000201  ADDENDUM: Just In…     http://metro.co.uk/2014/02/26/internet-trolls-warned-expect-arrest-if-you-abuse-people-online-4324660/

Categories: Marketing, Reviews, The Trolls Wars | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sharing Others’ Experiences #3 ~ About GRs

I originally had this as a draft dated September 2013 on my Blogspot site.  I was reluctant to post it there because I’d found the link on my stats page that lead back to the “Goodreads’ Secret Group” or whatever the exact title was.  I’ve forgotten.  When I found it I knew all they did was aimed at me personally.  This secret group cover page was of an ugly man with a sinister laughing face stretching his arm toward the camera to emphasize his obscene gesture.

The connection did lead me to its managers, as I investigated further, one of which quickly disappeared.  But the link disappeared.  I’m sorry I couldn’t save it first.

This may be an “old” post, but not that old.  It’s still relevant to what I experienced in the past week.  I only think it has slowed for me because I’ve kept digging and watching.  I changed my Goodreads and Amazon page write-ups, being told I was brave.  I’ve reported to GR on numerous items.  The mess up with my covers and titles is straightened out. One no-star review had a lot of its irrelivant content removed, though a small part was added as a comment.  And I discovered a private no-star that I reported…very interesting item to find.

Anyway, be awaken by Nathan’s comments, observations and advise.  It’s a good recounting of the everyday world for authors on Goodreads.  His is also a very good site for other great connections for authors.

http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2013/09/the-bullies-of-goodreads.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NathanBransford+%28Nathan+Bransford%2C+Author%29

Screen Shot 2013-09-01 at 12.04.22 PM

Categories: About Social Media, Random Thoughts to Share, Reviews, The Trolls Wars | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

New Campaign

DON’T BUY ANY OF MY BOOKS!  Not the novellas, the novels, the children’s books, or the e-book only books.  Why?  Because they must be really, really bad.  How do I know?  The trolls…ah… certain librarians and reviewers on Goodreads say so.

Disregard all the great reviews that have been written in very professional style by those I don’t know, but who have become fans, in praise of the books.  These folks have an agenda.  And it ain’t pretty.

New PfL FrontBookCoverPreview.doThey are maligning A Price for Love/Ariel’s Cottage especially, which has happened before causing me to leave the GRs site.  But they have made a promise, in writing, that there will be a lot of 1-star and no-star reviews.  “Don’t say you haven’t been warned.”  Well, it’s happening.  If they want to hurt you there are no holes barred and no management on any site can help you.  This group, who stick together like snot on tissue, obviously meant it for more than the one book .  The ratings on all my books on Goodreads have now decreased significantly.  Without even checking I can confidently say there are a lot of new 1-star reviews without comments posted.  Well, that’s Goodreads.  It does have this reputation against authors, especially Indie authors.  Too bad the general public doesn’t understand.

I just read a man’s very nice statement to one of their comments in the Goodreads Author Feedback Group discussion Writer’s Circle>REVIEWS.  He said when exchanging reads for a review he opted not to do a review because the book was so bad.  The author was agreeable and welcomed his feedback.  That is a very polite and normal human way to do things.  The responses he got were encouraging him to give bad reviews or the poor public will be duped into buying bad books.  Notwithstanding the fact that authors, especially Indie authors, struggle to sell even one book, this is their ploy to expand their negative behavior.  I hope he doesn’t succumb.

So, what’s a troll?  According the this article, Internet Trolls are Horrible People, they are not only not-nice people, but really dangerous.  To quote: “…the behaviors are intrinsically motivating for sadists…”  Read it for yourself:  http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/climate_desk/2014/02/internet_troll_personality_study_machiavellianism_narcissism_psychopathy.html 

This is an article that addresses the research findings of those who thrill at trolling.  I’m sure there are other articles you can look up.  In fact, try this one – http://en.wordpress.com/tag/trolls/  However, if you want a real picture of their damage check out the site where victims of their abuse report:  http://www.stopthegrbullies.com  You are welcome to report to them on my behalf, if you so choose.  They are very good with confidentiality.

Sadism is the tendency to derive pleasure, especially sexual gratification, from inflicting pain, suffering, or humiliation on others.  In general use, it’s deliberate cruelty.  Having worked in the psychological field, having a Master’s in Counseling Psychology, I am well acquainted with the other terms used in the article – narcissistic, Machiavellian and psychopathic.  Each category includes very dangerous people.  To help you understand here are the definitions.

Narcissism is the excessive or erotic interest in oneself and one’s physical appearance.  Psychologists define it as a personality type, a disorder if enough diagnostic traits are revealed.  Its  characterized by a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration.  Also, be aware, this personality disorder is grouped with antisocial and borderline disorders as the most dangerous.  Psychoanalyists have found the individual’s self-centeredness arising from a failure to distinguish the self from external objects, as in very young babies or as a feature of a mental disorder.

Machiavellian, name after Niccolò Machiavelli, refers to a person who is cunning, scheming, and unscrupulous, especially in politics or in advancing one’s career.  I would clarify it as advancing one’s agenda.

Everyone uses the term psychopath at some point in reference to behavior, but few really understand the implications.  Basically, it’s an unstable and aggressive person, but in mental health evaluations the disorder is shown to be chronic, that is, ongoing with abnormal and violent social behavior.

Well, this is more than I planned to say.  I haven’t referred to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual because it really is for professionals only…and maybe professional writers.  It may even be on line if you’re researching for a deviant character or psychological thriller.  Now, back to the topic.

There is no defense against derogatory.  Most of us who have encountered such low life individuals already know this.  However, since  it’s part of their tactics to put you off, hoping avoidance will save you from more abuse, it’s time to act when the abuse doesn’t end.  AndI could use a little  help.  I’m experiencing one of James Kirk’s no-win scenerios.  I, too, am trying not to believe in it.

Like I said in the beginning…don’t buy my books.  Of course, if you are curious enough to want to see for yourself, then by all means, go ahead.  Add an honest review if you like, showing you have actually read the book and can make comments about elements within.  I can tell the difference.  Can’t you?  What I am meaning by the statement, don’t buy, is that purchase isn’t necessary if you want to help.  It’s a very simple gesture I request…in fact, I beg for.

Amazon says that comments can be made about negative reviews.  Fine, that’s an option, but it’s predictable that they will come back with something you’ll have to answer to and you’ll get drawn in.  If a comment for a positive review seems appropriate to you, and you’re brave, give it a try.  If a comment against it follows, I’d advise you to  remain unresponsive, or report it to Amazon.  I know, steam will come out of your ears, but when in a cage of hungry carnivorous creatures, you must be careful.

The biggest help, according to Amazon, (yes, I have communicated to them about this) is to vote Yes on the positive reviews and No on the negative reviews.  Don’t vote more than once because it won’t count anyway.  And it’s considered ballot stuffing.  If you do this the one million drop in this one book’s ranking, A Price for Love (Kindle; Ariel’s Cottage is the book) might return closer to what it was.

Be aware of the number of votes when you check.  In one day the negative review got 8 Yes votes, so they are ahead of the No votes.  In almost two years none of the other reviews have gotten more than 6, and most only 4.  And No votes were obviously added to the positive reviews.

I have a few from another of my sites who added the 5 No votes yesterday, which makes it a total of 13 in one day.  We should all be so lucky to have this everyday…in a more positive way, of course.

If you’re not into doing this sort of thing for anyone, but want to offer encouragement I will approve your comment.  The troll comments, of course, will not be approved.  And I have no doubt this will appear on GRs for them to fan the flames because it posts on my Facebook page.

I’m back to seeing trolls everywhere.  It’s a victim response, but I’ve backed off to think about this.  I have cut-throat abilities with words, but choose not to use them outside of fiction, and rarely there.  However, in light of this, I am seriously considering the characters for another book.  This one I may send to a publisher, one that likes hot topics and controversial situations.  Or, hot situations and controversial topics.  Anyway…  Several titles come to mind – Troll Heaven, The Day of the Trolls, Walk like a Troll, Sing the Troll Song, Being Troll…it could be fun.  And all the characters have such cute names…BubblesintheBath, TinManHardStanding, BacadabusBob, Sexy24-7.  I made these up and hope no real person uses them, but you get the picture.

Thank you for understanding my need for this posting, and I hope there is some help out there.  I don’t want it to turn out like promised reviews that never appear.  Good people need to stick together and support among Indie authors is usually strong.  So, thank you for all your support in advance.  I think I need some ice cream now, chocolate, of course.

Categories: About My Books, About Social Media, Marketing, Random Thoughts to Share, Reviews, Self-Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Another Review for Each of My Children’s Books

http://juliesbookreview.blogspot.com/2014/01/review-of-theres-tree-on-my-house-by.html?spref=fb

Donna wrote another wonderful review of my granddaughter’s first favorite book with her name in it.  It’s available on Amazon, just click the picture, and there is no ebook edition.

There’s A Tree On My House Published Sadie's Tree Front BookCoverPreview.do
By Judith Victoria Douglas
A small maple seed is blown by the wind and lands on the corner of the roof of a house and the seed is so protected there that it begins to grow.  Sadie, the little girl who lives in the house is playing with her cousins, Ava and Abby in the yard, running around with their balloons when one of the balloons gets loose and floats up toward the seedling.  So that their cousin isn’t sad, the other two girls let their balloons free too.  They believe the seedling tried to catch the first balloon, and run in to tell their mother that there is a tree on their house.  Their mother and father help to save the tree from growing on their house.  Thus, the story of the tree on the house has started.
I really enjoyed this book and I believe children will enjoy it too.  There are lots of extras included with the book a tree that a child can color and decorate with included clip art, and extra pages to illustrate a child’s own tree story.  5 out of 5 stars.
And Shelby gave a 4-star review for The Carousel Pony last November that is just appearing on the reviewer blog.  It’s my granddaughter’s second favorite book with her name in it.
A special carousel with special ponies. When one winks at Sadie she is sure her wish for a pony will come true.Best Final Pony FrontBookCoverPreview.do copy
Released 11/12/13; available on Amazon, just click the picture. There is no e-book edition.
A children’s book to be read to children up to the third grade when they may be able to read it themselves.
The Carousel Pony by Judith-Victoria Douglas is a delightful story about the simple magic of childhood.
Sadie is a sweet young girl who wishes for a pony of her very own. Unfortunately, like a lot of us, she must settle for riding the carousel ponies at the local fairgrounds. Sadie’s father is a photographer and is hired to take pictures of the new carousel ponies in order to make brochures. He takes Sadie with him on what turns out to be a fantastic day full of fun, imagination, and magic for her.
Kids and parents alike will quickly fall in love with this enchanting story. The illustrations are beautifully hand drawn and idyllic. The ponies are described in excellent detail allowing the readers to place themselves into the story with ease. There are lessons on the history of carousel ponies and a cast of wonderfully written characters. My favorite, besides little Sadie and her favorite pony Whisper, was Mr. MacTavish. He was so very kind and patient and his gift to Sadie was very sweet.
This is not my first book by Judith-Victoria Douglas and I’m sure it will not be my last. My little one and I thoroughly enjoy the amazing adventures her books take us on and we very much look forward to our next.
Categories: About My Books, Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reviews on One Unicorn Wish

http://booksbyjvd.wordpress.com/2013/12/30/first-two-reviews-one-unicorn-wish/

They are posted in Goodreads and Amazon.  Find the links on this blog’s sister-site.

This is novel contains the flash fiction deemed to be written like Neil Gaiman.

Best Unicorn Front BookCoverPreview.do copy

Categories: About My Books, Reviews | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

There’s a First for Everything~Painted Tree: Two Novellas

I haven’t promote Painted Tree: Two Novellas, my first published novel, much.  It’s only because I haven’t put a Library of Congress number in it.  I have plans to print the two stories separately, but will have to purchase two separate numbers.  Until that happens I have it also in Kindle and each story separately available BookCoverPreview.do PT frontin Kindle.

But the big news today is the stories have been reviewed and been given 5 stars and great comments.  I knew they were both great stories and hope this continues as it is read by others and comments posted (I hope).

If you like historical fiction set in the early 1940s, including scenes from WWII, you may be interested in these stories.  In Blood There is No Honor is the crime fiction, actually written after If I Could Only Sparkle, the account told by the victim of her recovery four years later.

To visit the review page with the books’ synopsis click here:   http://www.amazon.com/dp/1470030098BLOOD Full BookCoverPreview.do

SPARKLE Full purple BookCoverPreview.do

Categories: About My Books, Reviews | 4 Comments

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