Ed’s Casual Friday: 5 to 1 Book Reviews

Once again I return lazily back to the review well, as opposed to actually thinking of a new idea for Ed’s Casual Friday. What can I tell you, I’ve got writing to do this week, and writers always seem to love/hate reading these things. 😉

For something slightly different, instead of just unearthing one-star chestnuts on “great” works, I’m going more economic. What follows is a list of the ten bestselling books of the decade 2000-2010 which I found on-line (at about(dot)com) – I am not claiming it is entirely accurate, but these titles “feel” about right for the period, and each author only appears once (I didn’t want the list to be all Rowling/Meyer books). Accompanying each listed book are excerpts from two reviews from the fine readers at Goodreads, one from a five-star and the other a one-star. As always, my intention in doing thusly is, as ever, only to point out that for every book every written, somebody is going to hate it.

And somebody, or a whole lot of somebodies, may well love it, too. Continue reading “Ed’s Casual Friday: 5 to 1 Book Reviews”

Reviews Are Mixed. How To Deal by Arline Chase

Go Down, MosesQUESTION from the e-mail: I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Recently I finished my first book and got it published. Like most, I tried to promote it by getting book reviews. I got several three and four-star reviews, but many of the reviewers had a lot of negative things to say, too. Sure, they praise my story. They all like the action and suspense. But then they complain about my commas, and my “point of view,” and my characters all talking alike. I went to college. I got good grades on all my term papers, so I ought to know a little about how to write. This negative stuff is hard to hear. Half the time, I don’t even know what they’re talking about. How can there be “too many semi-colons?” You use them when they’re needed, right? Maybe I should just forget about this whole thing.

ANSWER: Good reviewers almost always talk about both the positive and negative aspects of a book. If they don’t, they are usually friends of the author who go and place a glorious, 5-star review just for friendship’s sake. So first thing I know from what you said is that these are “good, honest, unbiased” reviews, not the kind you pay for. They looked for things to pick on as well as nice things to say. That’s “fair and balanced” and tells folks right away that your reviewers are being honest with their praise. Every first novel gets hit hard by reviewers. Continue reading “Reviews Are Mixed. How To Deal by Arline Chase”

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