Aug 04 2012

Being Serious Is Better Than Kissing Ass

Posted by Mathias

“Have you read this yet?” emails a friend of mine seeking an opinion on a book he was considering reading. The message contains a link to a fantasy book (self-published) on Amazon. I follow the link and, within five minutes, decide that the book probably won’t be going on my reading list any time soon.

The reason? All the reviews, save one, were nothing but hype. Lots of OMGs (often with lots of trailing exclamation points). Lots of people proclaiming the book as the “best” thing they’ve read in years. But no real reviews of the book. It was just post after post of nebulous praise. I bet the author called in every favor from every friend she had to accomplish this task. At least, that’s the way it seems. After all, if the book is so good, the “best” thing in years, why did it have to be self-published?  Not saying it isn’t good, and not that publishers don’t make mistakes and pass on good books, just saying that it is not likely to be the “best” book writen in years. (more…)

Jul 01 2012

Don’t Believe The Hype Part 2

Posted by Mathias

This is a follow-up to my post last week titled Don’t Believe The Hype, It Hurts Later.

A friend of mine recently received a plethora of not so kind reviews on his self-published novel. He complained to me that people were just being cruel and hateful and how he feared it would hurt sales of his book. After all, he reasoned, his wife read the story and thought it was excellent. When I asked him who else read the story he informed me, “no one else.” Oh boy.

Comments on his novel included lots of 2 and 3 start reviews. These reviews focused on the high number of misspellings and a lack of character development. Were they really being mean? He assured me that they were and that the complaints sere unfounded. Said friend gave me a free copy to read. I told him if I liked it I would give him a good review. (more…)

Jun 27 2012

Don’t Believe The Hype, It Hurts Later

Posted by Mathias

Just recently, a new member came into our author’s group. She is a nice enough girl with a lot of great ideas and good critiques on other people’s work. After getting through the trial period she was allowed to beginning getting critiques on her own material.  “You’re gonna love this story I wrote,” she beamed once submitting the book she has been working on. “Everyone else has,” added.

She was not so chipper after the critique of her first five chapters came back. No one was mean, but they were honest. The new girl’s face turned red with a cross between rage and embarrassment as reviews were given.

The critique centered around:
– lots of misused words that were not synonyms for what she wanted to say
– the fact that in the first five chapters (two scenes each) there were 10 different POV characters
– there appeared to be eight different plots happening with none standing out as the main one
– run-on sentences galore (more…)