Saturday, November 8, 2008
Book Review! The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing
Multi-genre author Mayra Calvani has been a reviewer for ten years. She’s the author of the supernatural thrillers, Embraced by the Shadows and Dark Lullaby. A regular contributor to Blogcritics Magazine, she’s also a member of Broad Universe, Authors Coalition, and The Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators. Visit her website at: www.MayraCalvani.com. For her children’s books, visit www.MayrasSecretBookcase.com. Mayra also keeps a blog, The Dark Phantom Review, where she regularly posts reviews and author interviews. To learn more about The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing, visit www.slipperybookreview.wordpress.com
Amazon Reviews… and Mothers-in-Law
By Mayra Calvani
You’ve published your book. You’ve sent it to many review sites and begun collecting rave quotes for promotional use. You check Amazon regularly to see whether any readers have written anything about your book. They have! Wonderful. The comments are positive. You keep checking almost everyday until—what’s this?!—suddenly you find a HORRIBLE review at the top of the list.
You’re aghast. Your face flushes as if a subterranean volcano exploded inside of you. How dare anybody say anything negative about your masterpiece creation? What an atrocity. This is sabotage!
After a few glasses of wine, you tell yourself you’re a reasonable person. You realize chances are not everybody can love your book.
But there are negative reviews and there are negative reviews… and this is book annihilation! This particular review seems to have been written by someone who not necessarily hates the book, but hates YOU.
This happened to a friend of mine recently. A few days after her book came out in Amazon, someone wrote a mean, nasty review.
The review in question was something along these lines: “This is the WORST book I’ve ever read in my entire life. It is filled with thousands of spelling, grammatical mistakes and clichés. Please don’t waste your book on this book. You’ll regret it for as long as you live…” etc, etc, etc… The review went on and on, its author clearly deranged or driven by sweet revenge.
Not surprisingly, my friend later found out that it had been written by her dear mother-in-law in reaction to how my friend depicted her in the novel (Lesson: DO NOT use your mother-in-law as one of your characters).
I know the lady in question, and while I think it’s true that she has “sagging cheeks like day-old pancakes” and clammy hands like “large wobbly maggots,” as my friend wrote in her novel, I believe she shouldn’t have gone so berserk. I mean, there’s something to be said for self control, right?
If any of you is the victim of such atrocity, there’s something you can do about it. Remember that Amazon wants you to sell your book almost as much as you do (they should—they take 55% off the retail price!), so all you have to do is contact them and explain them the situation. Most likely they’ll remove the review. Email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
But pleeeeeease don’t contact them for negative reviews that were clearly written by serious readers or reviewers, otherwise they’ll think we authors are egotistical maniacs who break at the slightest lashing … and we wouldn’t want that now, would we? (it’s important to keep our true nature low profiled).
Congratulations, Mayra on being a USA Best Book Award Finalist!
Mayra Calvani Website