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Old 08-29-2012, 03:20 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by speakingtohe View Post
It might matter more to the reader but the act itself is still the same, no matter who the the perpetrator is.

Easy for me to say as I don't pay much attention to reviews or ratings unless I really dislike a book and then I may look up the reviews. Backwards of me I know

Helen
I judge the ones I'm interested in by the sample. Mine is the only opinion that counts, reviews from random anonymous people don't have any impact at all. But I don't really read much mainstream fiction so there's not a great amount for me to choose from.
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Old 08-29-2012, 03:26 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Steven Lyle Jordan View Post
Considering the end result is seller-solicited promotion specifically designed to encourage sales, I fail to see the effective difference, or why one is acceptable over the other. If, as you say, you don't write negative endorsements, that makes your positive endorsements automatically biased, which sounds at least as bad (to me) as soliciting reviews of any nature, good or bad.

This, to me, just sounds like someone who'd figured out how to game the new system in much the same way that big publishers and established authors have gamed the old system for decades.
How does not giving a negative endorsement make me biased? You are not making sense. Aside from the issue that an endorsement cannot be negative, (endorse means to show approval) to simply relate that you like or approve of something - if you genuinely do - can hardly be considered bias.

If he truly got both good and bad reviews it would be less dishonest, but as the system was biased toward positive reviews that issue doesn't come into it regardless of his claims.

As for publishers and authors gaming the print media system, why do so many well established authors, including people like King and Patterson get reviews that point out that their work is degenerating - not as good as their earlier work?
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Old 08-29-2012, 03:29 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by speakingtohe View Post
I doubt that many would print a bad blurb/review in a book they were publishing. Also seems a tad unlikely that a well known author would write a glowing review of a book they found to be mediocre or worse.
I'd agree with the former; based on comments I've seen elsewhere (admittedly anecdotal evidence, to be sure), I have my doubts about the latter. Yes, I'd expect any blurb in a book to be positive, which is why, IMO, they are all pointless (and many of them suspect). Maybe if I occasionally came across the blurb that read: "The Times only gave us one star... but you won't let that stop you now, will ya?" I might feel differently. But it's all one-sided promotion.

That's why if Locke was willing to accept bad reviews with the good, for promotional purposes, I'd consider him one notch up on the honesty chart above traditional publishing practices.

Edit: I will admit, though, that the service used actively encouraged positive reviews over negative, by its nature; so, not as even-handed as it could have been.

Last edited by Steven Lyle Jordan; 08-29-2012 at 04:50 PM.
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Old 08-29-2012, 03:29 PM   #49
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I doubt that many would print a bad blurb/review in a book they were publishing. Also seems a tad unlikely that a well known author would write a glowing review of a book they found to be mediocre or worse.

Helen
The well known writers get paid for writing them. It's only the midlisters who do it for free, they do it just to get their name on a few extra covers. Well known writers don't need that, and will have more corporations asking for them.
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Old 08-29-2012, 03:45 PM   #50
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As for publishers and authors gaming the print media system, why do so many well established authors, including people like King and Patterson get reviews that point out that their work is degenerating - not as good as their earlier work?
As you say, those are well-established authors; they will sell well, even with negative reviews, simply because of their existing renown and fan base, unless they do something incredibly heinous (and even that doesn't prevent some authors from continuing to sell well).

In the meantime, Locke has managed to garner notice and press in order to make a lot of money from his books; and he did it legally, in a way that might be considered morally suspect in any venue except the reality of marketing. If we can accept loud-mouthed hucksters, diva supermodels, badly-behaving rock stars, media-saturating entertainment conglomerates, actor scandals and wardrobe malfunctions, why not this?
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Old 08-29-2012, 05:37 PM   #51
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I'm appalled that anyone can think that buying a favorable review is acceptable for a self-pubber.

The practice of paid reviews is just one more strike against these self-professed authors. Who needs to hone the art and craft of writing, who needs to pay for competent editing and cover art--the hell with all that, just buy a glowing review! And then pretend it's the normal course of business and accuse the traditional publishers of doing the same thing, because ... well, there's no evidence that they do, but we all know how evil they are.

A review is not a blurb and it's silly and disingenuous to lump them together. Of course traditional publishers cross-promote their authors with blurbs. So what?

How many of you who are defending Locke have been adamant about the evils of piracy, and have accused the pirates of stealing the food right out of your mouths with their shenanigans? Is it all right, on the other hand, for the author to defraud the reader--to take the money from his pocket--by hiring a shill to lie about a shoddy, inferior product?
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Old 08-29-2012, 05:57 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
I'm appalled that anyone can think that buying a favorable review is acceptable for a self-pubber.

The practice of paid reviews is just one more strike against these self-professed authors. Who needs to hone the art and craft of writing, who needs to pay for competent editing and cover art--the hell with all that, just buy a glowing review! And then pretend it's the normal course of business and accuse the traditional publishers of doing the same thing, because ... well, there's no evidence that they do, but we all know how evil they are.

A review is not a blurb and it's silly and disingenuous to lump them together. Of course traditional publishers cross-promote their authors with blurbs. So what?

How many of you who are defending Locke have been adamant about the evils of piracy, and have accused the pirates of stealing the food right out of your mouths with their shenanigans? Is it all right, on the other hand, for the author to defraud the reader--to take the money from his pocket--by hiring a shill to lie about a shoddy, inferior product?
A blurb is a form of advertisement just as a review is (whether the reviewer intends it that way or not. It can be a negative recommendation, in which case it is like a negative political ad--telling you not to buy.) When I was a reviewer, I once was sent a sheet from the publisher with "suggested" phrases I could use in my review. I've heard trad published authors discuss and post online about receiving the same type of thing from publishers when they are asked to blurb a book. The publisher provides the suggested blurbs as a "time-saver" or other nonsense.

I completely agree that No One--self pub'd or trad should pay for reviews. But long before self-publishing took off, Kirkus moved to have paid reviews be a big part of their reviewing. Several authors paid for reviews even though they were trad published. When Kirkus first started doing paid reviews, they didn't separate them from the non-paid reviews or mark them in any way (I don't know what they do now as I no longer read them.) Amazon stopped publishing Kirkus reviews as part of the "editorial reviews" because some of the reviews were paid and they don't 'reprint" paid reviews.

Publishers Weekly now does paid reviews. I believe they mark them clearly.

Keep in mind that whether trad published or self published, once a review has been done by such a large venue, it can be easily and readily quoted (and is). This lends an air of respectability to the author and it sells books.

Should it be done? I'm not a fan of the practice. Would it help me sell books? Maybe, maybe not, but I've no plans to find out.

Just as a side FYI, the Kirkus reviews cost 400 dollars. (I haven't checked in years, but that was the initial cost). Respectability does not come cheaply.

It's been hinted at for years that the NYTimes tends to cover more books from the publisher who takes out the most ads. I'm sure that is just conjecture and it would be hard to prove. But I'm also sure that when a publisher is spending big bucks on ads, it does give them an edge in getting some books reviewed and noticed.

It's just big business.
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Old 08-29-2012, 06:05 PM   #53
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Edit: I will admit, though, that the service used actively encouraged positive reviews over negative, by its nature; so, not as even-handed as it could have been.
So you're okay with the Kirkus paid reviews?
(Just wondering; that whole set-up triggers my "sucker bait" alarms. Maybe I'm too sensitive.)
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Old 08-29-2012, 06:41 PM   #54
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If we can accept loud-mouthed hucksters, diva supermodels, badly-behaving rock stars, media-saturating entertainment conglomerates, actor scandals and wardrobe malfunctions, why not this?
Who's this we?

If I found out that a magazine we subscribe to was accepting payments for reviews, or favoring advertisers, this would drastically reduce the chances I would renew.

As for Kirkus and Publishers Weekly, I know that a lot of excellent reviewers work with them. And I can see the practicality, for an acquisitions librarian who has to make multiple daily buying decisions, to have sources of brief reviews. But, personally, I ignore them.
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Old 08-29-2012, 06:53 PM   #55
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A blurb is a form of advertisement just as a review is (whether the reviewer intends it that way or not. It can be a negative recommendation, in which case it is like a negative political ad--telling you not to buy.)
Blurbs are endorsements. Reviews are intended to be critical evaluations of the work, according the reviewer's standards. A review is not an advertisement.

Would you equate an political editorial in your local newspaper with a TV ad from a political action committee?
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:26 PM   #56
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I'm appalled that anyone can think that buying a favorable review is acceptable for a self-pubber.
I'm appalled by advertisements every day, trying to convince me that some crappy service or unhealthy burger is the bee's knees by throwing a cute actress at me. This is no different, AFAIK.

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So you're okay with the Kirkus paid reviews?
(Just wondering; that whole set-up triggers my "sucker bait" alarms. Maybe I'm too sensitive.)
Honestly? The concept of paid reviews doesn't freak me ONE BIT. Yes, Kirkus' methods are particularly unpalatable... but so is a Big Mac. I don't see anybody attacking McDonalds for their commercials.

This is one BMFD issue. It's not news. It does not "reflect badly on all indie authors" any more than a Big Mac commercial reflects badly on all restaurants, except to those who don't know any better. I know better.

And if I thought I could entice my book buyers to leave reviews, pro OR con, by offering a partial or even a full refund to those who could show me they'd done it--a method I'd like to think would be a bit more above-board than Kirkus and Locke's method, but hopefully achieve the same results--yeah, I'd give it a shot, too.

And go ahead, tell me how you'll never buy my books ever again... considering no one's buying them now, I'm not losing much...
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:28 PM   #57
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I'm appalled by advertisements every day, trying to convince me that some crappy service or unhealthy burger is the bee's knees by throwing a cute actress at me. This is no different, AFAIK.
You don't see the difference between an ad and a review? Seriously? If Locke or any other "author" wants to buy advertising space, fine, go for it. The problem here is that the advertising is masquerading as someone's legitimate, critical judgment. It's a lie, a deliberate, out-and-out lie. It tells me both that the author is morally bankrupt and that the author has no faith in his or her own work. And I should turn around and support this charlatan because ...?
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:03 PM   #58
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Blurbs are endorsements. Reviews are intended to be critical evaluations of the work, according the reviewer's standards. A review is not an advertisement.

Would you equate an political editorial in your local newspaper with a TV ad from a political action committee?
Absolutely, especially these days. Most editorials are thinly disguised (or not even) propaganda.

Many authors have admitted to not reading the books they have blurbed. Many have said they've been pushed to do so. Some refused, some didn't.

Many reviews may not intend to be an advertisement, but they dissect the book in such as way as to extol its virtues or explain its failings. Much as an advertisement attempts to do.

In an ideal world an editorial would be an editorial. But for the most part they are an attempt to sway public opinion and extol or deride a particular candidate or ideal. Very seldom do they stick completely with facts and they use well-known techniques to "lead" the reader to specific conclusions.
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:23 PM   #59
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Well, if you're not cheating, you're not trying.
wow thats psychotic.
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:34 PM   #60
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wow thats psychotic.
Nah, that's not psychotic. THIS is psychotic:

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