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Old 10-25-2010, 09:35 AM   #16
Steven Lake
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Ficbot, I like your suggestion that reviewers should include constructive criticism with their reviews where applicable. That's one of the things I've griped about for a while with reviews. If there was something you didn't like, or something that you felt needed work, by all means tell me. I'm not afraid of a bad review so long as I can learn something from it. I had to actually beg one reviewer who gave me a scathing 1 star to explain their motives behind it. Finally they relented and revealed that the only reason they hated it was because it was "unrealistic". I really laughed hard on that one, because the unrealism they were talking about was things like warp drive, shields, etc. That's what Sci-fi is! lol.

But anyways, I'd be all for Simon's idea if we can make it as fair and balanced as possible. That includes knocking reviewers off the list who turn out to be less than reputable.
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Old 10-26-2010, 12:17 AM   #17
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It would take time, but imagine a site where indie authors upload their books, have them reviewed, get a ranking AND the site has the credibility of a reputation for being fair but honest.
Ah, I see a little better now! It sounds very intriguing and your long-term view (quoted above) would be fantastic and lend some real credibility to independent authors as well.
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Old 10-26-2010, 08:57 AM   #18
Steven Lake
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It might even hopefully start a trend that would ultimately benefit authors the world over.
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Old 10-26-2010, 09:22 AM   #19
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Steven, the comparison I always make is with another niche market I have been involved in, the exercise video market. What most people who frequent the popular forums find is that over time they realize that several other posters seem to share their tastes. So if Debbie S liked the video, I will probably like it too. Or if a certain other poster found it too easy, it will probably be about my speed. There are also some issues that bother some people more than others. I don't care too much about the outfits they wear in the videos, but I know some people do, and I know what sorts of things about the outfits concern them. So if I am reviewing such a video, I will include this detail, secure in the knowledge that those who don't care too much will evaluate the video based on other criteria and those who do care have had their fair warning.

I try to provide that same kind of feedback on my book reviews. I hope that over time, people who read them will figure out where their tastes lay, relative to mine, and be able to determine whether they will enjoy the book or not. And if there is something which is an issue for some readers (such as formatting problems, editing errors and the like) I try and mention it. I want people to know not just whether I liked the book or not, but WHY. And if I do say something less than positive for the author, I think I do it it a constructive way. I am not trying to be mean. I respect the work they put in. But if the book was not (for me) up to par, I will say so, especially if it is a book they are charging money for. In such cases, I feel my primary responsibility is to the customer, who is paying for it, and not the author. I have to be honest so that paying customers know what they are potentially getting into. Think of it like anything else you might pay for. How would you feel if you were staying at a hotel and it had half a dozen glowing reviews, but then you got there and your room was not up to par?
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Old 10-26-2010, 05:38 PM   #20
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This looks really interesting. I'll bookmark it and when I get time I will definitely go over and check it out.

Cheers

MTM
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Old 10-29-2010, 11:56 PM   #21
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I've updated the first part of the process now which is the Author Book Submission process. To submit a book to the Indie Book and Author Page, follow this link.
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Old 10-30-2010, 07:43 AM   #22
Steven Lake
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WOOHOO! Epic Awesomeness! *bows*
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Old 10-30-2010, 09:02 AM   #23
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WOOHOO! Epic Awesomeness! *bows*
Thanks Steven. I spent hours trying to get a form that would allow file uploads to a Wordpress (self hosted) site. Frustration doesn't get close to describing how I was feeling. Finally called it a night sometime around 3am.

After a good deep sleep. I invested in the coolest little form plugin for US$40 and had the whole job done in 45 minutes.

There's now a form for reviewers to add their name.

Once these start filling up, I'll get the notification side of things sorted.

Process should be:
- Author submits book, listing details of book
- Book gets added to Indie Book and Author Page (it has to make the cut in terms of production quality)
- Genre match and email notification to Reviewers
- Reviewer reviews and pings back a note that they have reviewed the book with a link to where the review is.
- Reviews by Reviewer are listed under Reviewer name with links to review.

Ranking and other stuff I'm still thinking about.
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Old 11-01-2010, 12:02 PM   #24
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Since putting the form up quite a few new books hit the list, up to 21 now. The reviewers list is at 102. I know from a few of authors that they have been sending off their novels with some success. 3-1 seems to be about the average - so sending 21 emails gets 7 reviews. News of Book Reviewing's early demise are premature it seems. They're not dead - they've just moved.
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Old 11-01-2010, 04:12 PM   #25
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Even though I'm a published author, I agree entirely. I would want an honest review, providing the reviewer knows my genre and age-group well.

I can still enhance what I have put out there if I need to - and I think many authors might say that too. With POD and e-publishing I have the freedom.

Your ideas sound exciting. Authonomy.com, for example, has just redesigned its grading system to weed out like-for-like backing. Don't know if you can pick anything up from here???

Quote:
Originally Posted by simonroyle View Post
Yes I agree with Ficbot too.

Good questions and they should help to clarify my idea a little. Taking them in order:

1. Reviewers could only be ranked by readers. This is tough to control (for instance Amazon don't have this "fixed"), and it may or may not be fixable. One idea I have is that there would be "moderators", perhaps people such as yourself and ficbot, for example, but providing a balanced view. Where a Reviewer's rank is disproportionate: High or Low, the mods could take a look. As you've pointed out, whilst gaming the system is possible it is also very obvious in most instances (for example a book at Amazon with four 5 star reviews and the reviewers have collectively only ever posted 4 reviews).

2. In the system I am thinking of; authors don't get to choose who does the review. A book belonging to a genre is "pushed" to those who review in that genre - no obligations either way.

3. On the work flowing in the right direction actually this should be less work for reviewers because the books will come to them in email. Unless the author fills the form properly the book won't go out for review. If author does fill out information correctly (PG rating, genre, title, word count etc) then the book goes to a queue. Reviewers would be able to turn on/off a button saying Accepting Submissions or not (this button only on the reviewers side).

Grace, partly this idea was inspired by your post Author's Reviewing their own books, Ficbots and JA Konrath's success (largely review driven) around his book Dracula. I had the idea from "blind wine tasting".

An author might be able to "game" a reviewer or two in the system, but not all - and truth will out. Part of the "penalty for gaming" - The Banned Forever List (that might be a bit harsh but it appeals in its simplicity).

It would take time, but imagine a site where indie authors upload their books, have them reviewed, get a ranking AND the site has the credibility of a reputation for being fair but honest.
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Old 11-02-2010, 04:49 PM   #26
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I've updated the first part of the process now which is the Author Book Submission process. To submit a book to the Indie Book and Author Page, follow this link.
I bow to you Simon. As a newly pubbed indie author this could not come at a better time. I've just begun to look for reviewers and the process is tedious to say the least. My book will appeal to a fairly small niche market and having your program should help immensely.

I am heading back now to list my book, but wanted to say: Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Sharon
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Old 11-02-2010, 04:56 PM   #27
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Welcome to MobileRead, Shazza

Feel free to use the "introduce yourself" link below, and join us......

This site is full of helpful members and great hints.
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Old 11-02-2010, 06:20 PM   #28
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Simon, you are a star doing this. It's is a great idea, I've uploaded my book but I had to use my meat-ground .mobi file from Smashwords because my computer is having some kind of cyber hissy fit. I'm hoping the formatting will be great but I have no way of looking at a .mobi file so if you give me the bum's rush I'll undertand!

I am now working my way through your reviewers page...

Cheers

MTM
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Old 11-02-2010, 06:23 PM   #29
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Feel free to use the "introduce yourself" link below, and join us......

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Thank you for the welcome, grandma, and thank you for all the work you do to make a fabulous site like this enjoyable. It is very much appreciated. I did introduce myself and will more thoroughly browse through the site in the next few days.

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Old 11-02-2010, 08:31 PM   #30
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Even though I'm a published author, I agree entirely. I would want an honest review, providing the reviewer knows my genre and age-group well.
I think once it is out there - it's out there. You don't, and shouldn't have any control over the review. Honesty is all that really matters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by catherinecondie View Post
I can still enhance what I have put out there if I need to - and I think many authors might say that too. With POD and e-publishing I have the freedom.
Yes, this is a "new dynamic" in publishing. It has its roots in software, MS has been using the market for years to Beta their products - and one of these days Windows will come out of Beta.

Quote:
Originally Posted by catherinecondie View Post
Your ideas sound exciting. Authonomy.com, for example, has just redesigned its grading system to weed out like-for-like backing. Don't know if you can pick anything up from here???
I've looked. I think netgalley is closer. I got a nice email from netgalley when I inquired about them reviewing Indie books. Not unless you have ten authors books under your label. Pay to play BHP media outlet....
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