Friday, May 08, 2009

Editorial Anonymous Has Good News

Came across this post last month and rather liked it. Here's good news and good news about reviews.

Thing is, I actually believe it. Not only do I believe it, but I also think that the more people read any book the more people are going to not like it. That's just reality. So would you rather have a handful of raves from a few folks, or bushels of mixed reviews from the masses?

I remember a few times when someone at a reading has said they got interested in a book of mine because of such and such review, and that's why they bought it and brought themselves out to meet me... Sounds normal enough, right? Funny thing is that the times I'm recalling are times that the review in question wasn't a good one.

I was like, "Really? You read that review and... I mean, did you notice that the reviewer hated me and thought my children were ugly and wrote that concluding paragraph about how my feet stink?"

And they were like, "Huh?"

I could only conclude that what most people take away from a review of a book is that they... well... read a review of that book. If they read it they're more likely to remember it - the book, that is, not the specifics of the review. If they remember it they're more likely to assume the attention was good.

So, win/win? I think so. Most of the time, at least.

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Blogger Kate Elliott said...

Lack of visibility is much harder to overcome than bad reviews, I think.

So, yeah, I get all weepy if I read a bad review, but I always feel worse if there is NO review.

2:57 PM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...


3:51 PM  
Blogger Supermouse said...

Bad reviews can turn me onto a book. For example, a review saying 'this book panders blatantly to feminists' would pique my interest, as would 'yet more liberal, bleeding-heart wishy-washy trash'. There's good wishy-washy trash and bad wishy-washy trash. One learns to read between the lines.

No review means I am not thinking about the book at all, which means I won't buy it.

9:31 AM  

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