Tag Archives: bad reviews

#SATurday Book Releases explained by Sailor Moon

19 Sep

I love blogging. I love writing articles. I especially love writing articles that readers suggest. That being said, today’s article was inspired by reader, ‪Angela Dellisola‪. Her comment came on the release day of Death Before Daylight…after I made an entire batch of chocolate chip cookies to celebrate. I posted it on my Facebook page, but here was the initial comment: “Congrats! You must be beyond excited! Tired too, maybe, but a good tired…with all the back to back releases? I’d love to read a blog post on your author’s mind right now. J”

First of all, a GIANT thank you goes out to every reader, blogger, follower, writer, and supporter who shared the release. I hope you all are enjoying the finale as well!

But, yes, Angela isn’t wrong. I am exhausted. Beyond exhausted. (Hence all the coffee I was brewing and all the sugar I was baking.) I am thrilled Clean Teen Publishing agreed to release The Timely Death Trilogy back to back like they did, but there was a lot that had to be done to make that happen. Blog posts, guest posts, interviews, teasers, Facebook covers, newsletters, etc., etc. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve left my laptop at all. Even Luna-P is exhausted. (That is my laptop’s name in case you were wondering.)

These moments are rather funny in regards to an author’s life, so I thought I’d explain my time through gifs. Even better, since my laptop endured so much abuse these past three months—and since my laptop is named Luna-P after Luna-P in Sailor Moon—I’m telling my story through Sailor Moon gifs.

This summer and fall, I had three book releases back to back. It was AWESOME, but definitely a lot to keep up with. There’s a lot to do, so you’re always on your laptop. That’s when someone suggests you take a break. You know, go outside. Enjoy the nice weather…

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You’re too busy collecting a team anyway. You get your readers, fans, bloggers, and fellow writers together…because it’s time.

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But don’t forget the business side of things either. Swag, prizes, booths, etc.

(All worth it too! Which, by the way, I’m going to Penned Con next year in September of 2016!)

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So, the book releases and you’re so excited!
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And you’re exhausted too. So you sometimes forget silly things….when people are speaking to you.

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So you eat. Eating always helps.

giphy-13 That’s when someone congratulates you or posts a review or a number of other wonderful things. It means so much to you.

You actually blush.

You’re kind of glad this wasn’t in public.

Your face looks like a tomato.

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And sometimes people say mean things or try to bring you down.

(Crying to your cat helps. This is a fact.)

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But that’s what food is for. And friendship. And baths. 

(I made cookies.) 

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So, when all the craziness is done and over, you know you had a fun time with readers, writers, and fellow book lovers.

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In the end, that’s just how it’s done, and you enjoy it to the end of the world—the good, the bad, the awkward moments and cat-cuddled moments, the emails, the interviews, and the missing reviews. The broken links, the extra posts, the phone calls and texts. The tweets and WordPress friends and loving bookends. The prize giveaways, the winners, the ones who will stick around for a chance to win again. The ones who were always around and still around, and the news faces that have blended in. The newsletter crew, the street team view, and the fellow authors I’ve called friends. A group of people, all together, for one release moment, and you wish it never came to an end.

The book release is a book release, but it’s so much more than that.

It’s a celebration, a moment to be with all my Internet family and friends.

~SAT

Now for my little Dark announcements.

Poster_Small_V - Book shop signingAll three books in The Timely Death Trilogy are now available! The first book is even up for free. For those of you waiting for the paperback of Death Before Daylight, don’t panic! It releases on October 19. Speaking of October 19, you can expect my newsletter to go out then and from now on every month on the 19th.

On October 21, you can come see me at Headrush Coffee and Tea Roasters in Kansas City, Missouri for a paranormal talk and book signing.  It will be tons of fun!

Last but not least, the Seconds Before Sunrise tour is coming to an end, but here are all the lovely posts you should check out!

Guest post – Not Just Another Romance – on Mythical Books.

Interview with Kelly P’s Blog.

Spotlight on Dowie’s Place and Forget the Housework, I’m Reading

Seconds Before Sunrise Reviews on Black Words-White PagesEndless Reading, and Young Adult Book Madness!

Death Before Daylight Reviews on The Examiner and Tamara Morning.

Stay Dark,

~SAT

Fiction Complaints I’m Complaining About

26 Jul

Announcements:

We had a very exciting day yesterday! Take Me Tomorrow hit the top 100 in dystopian novels! It was even next to two of my favorite novels, Delirium by Lauren Oliver, I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore, and Fracture Me by Tahereh Mafi so my little heart was filled with overwhelming joy.

65 in dystopian!

65 in dystopian!

Thank you for your support! Whether or not the sequel is released is entirely up to you, the readers and fans, so I hope you continue to check out my latest novel. (Because I really want to release the sequel!) Be sure to let me know if you post a review on your blog, so I can share it with everyone. Just email me at shannonathompson@aol.com.

To celebrate, I finally uploaded the soundtrack of Take Me Tomorrow to my favorite music station, 8tracks, so you can check it out by clicking here.

In other news, I was interviewed by Diary of an Eager Reader, and you can read it by clicking here. We talk about my biggest challenges as a writer, but we also discussed Take Me Tomorrow if you want to read more about it! And if you want to interview me, again, I’m available at shannonathompson@aol.com. I love speaking with you! So please don’t hesitate to message me.

Fiction Complaints I’m Complaining About

We’ve all dealt with this. You’re interested in a novel, and you tiptoe over to Amazon to check it out. Once you read the synopsis, you scroll a little further (hesitantly, of course) to see what other readers are saying. That’s when you read “Best Book Ever!” and “I hate this piece of crap” right next to one another. Confusing? Yes. But even worse are the ones that don’t explain.

Today, I wanted to talk about my top fiction complaints that have left me staring at my screen a little too hard. I only hesitated to write about this because I’m an author, too, and I don’t want any reviewer to think I’m complaining about them. In fact – this might seem strange – but I don’t mind these complaints as an author. If I saw any of these on my books, it doesn’t bother me. After all, readers are allowed to say whatever they want. But it does bother me as a reader when I’m looking for book suggestions because the reviews suddenly become very difficult to sift through. That being said, I normally don’t buy books based on reviews. Generally, I read the synopsis, take a look at the first three chapters, and go from there, but I do find myself reading the reviews after I’m done reading, and these are the top complaints I see that I truly don’t understand:

I hate this genre

So…why did you pick it up? No. Seriously. I want to know. Did you think this would be an exception? Why did you think it would be an exception? Why did it not turn out to be an exception? I don’t necessarily mind this complaint if they answer these questions, but I hardly ever see that. I just see one or two stars and this single statement. This doesn’t help me decide if this book is good or bad or in-between or anything. It just tells me about your preference, which can get really confusing since genres can describe a wide range of stories. In fact, genres are normally only picked for marketing reasons.

I bought this book for are friends, and there not happy with it, so don’t waist you’re money.

Sigh. Seriously. ::facepalm:: This kind of review blows my mind – especially if they complain that the book wasn’t professionally edited.

Parent/s and/or sibling/s are dead (or absent)

Warning: longest rant to come:

I realize that there is an abundance of these instances, but of course there are. Someone is going to be dead or absent or mean or have some kind of conflicting problem. If a character’s family were perfect, how annoying would that be? (Not to mention that it would be entirely unrealistic.) I don’t know about you guys, but every person I’ve met isn’t perfect, including parents, and “imperfections” is generally why someone is interesting because it’s make them…you know…human.

When it comes to the young adult genre, I think it’s also important to remember that teen readers are in a time in their life where they are striving to be independent, so they probably don’t want to read a novel full of parental influence. Not that parental influence is a bad thing, but a teen might even look at a perfectly good parent as a bad parent just because they are teens. I know I was that way at one point, so if the book is told from their perspective that could be another reason this trend happens.

But I want to add this to the conversation: As a kid who went through the loss of a parent, gaining a stepfamily, and watching my dad get a divorce from said stepfamily, I am not special. I met dozens of teens that were also going through many of the same shifts I was going through. The divorce rate is currently 50%, and 1/7 people will lose a parent or a sibling before the age of 20, not to mention other issues families can have. But you still feel rather alone when you’re young, and seeing teens in books going through the same kind of struggles helps. That being said, I would like to see more books with both parents actively involved, but I wouldn’t complain about a book where a parent or sibling is absent whether it is physical or emotional because it happens often in real life.

Factually wrong information in general

We’ve all seen it. That one review that says something like, “This book is told in third person, and it’s really weird.” But when you open the sample novel up, it’s told in first person, and you’re sitting there, scratching your head as you seriously consider whether you forgot the definition of first and third person until you realize – nope, you’re not crazy. The reviewer put the review on the wrong book. Or – worse – they didn’t read the book at all.

There are too many boys/girls in the book

Why does their gender matter? As long as the characters are round – complicated and they are there for a reason – I could care less if they are boys or girls. I understand this complaint if it follows up with “every girl was falling in love with him for no reason” but I have seen someone mention exact numbers like, “there were 10 boys and 4 girls” without elaborating on WHY this was annoying…especially when the book takes place in an all-boys school or in some other instance where the extreme numbers make sense. Without mentioning a specific book, I did read a book about a boy character who had a lot of friends that were girls in which someone complained about it, but I didn’t understand, because the boy was raised by his mother and sister, so he was more comfortable around girls, and it made sense. I can relate to this. As a girl raised by my father and brother, I mainly had guy friends growing up. That doesn’t mean every single one of them felt romantic toward me. In fact, I was as attractive to them as a lamp would be – meaning, not at all – but I don’t see anything wrong with a boy having girls around him or a girl having guys around them as long as it makes sense to the story and isn’t an excuse to have an empty array of love interests.

(Insert controversial political or religious topic here)

Keep your politics out of fiction reviews unless the book is specifically about discussing them. I’m looking at you, anti-reviewers of erotica. (At least, this is where I see it the most.) I have nothing wrong with someone having specific beliefs about when a man or a woman or anyone has sex with someone, but don’t shove it down others’ throats by filling up erotica book reviews with “I only read romance novels when they’re married like you should be” when you haven’t read a single page of their book. It doesn’t help potential buyers, and it will probably only hurt your review ranking, especially if you’re – in fact – wrong because I have seen this on a book where the characters were married, but (I’m assuming) the reviewer was mass reviewing erotica novels because it was against their personal beliefs. Amazon should not be your political or religious platform UNLESS the book is slated toward that discussion. Then again – on the contrary – I see nothing wrong with someone reading and reviewing a novel and stating something along the lines like “this book will not appeal to readers who are uncomfortable with premarital sex.” Just don’t go mass searching for these novels just to put them down.

And finally –

Complaining about another’s complaint

Haha. Yes, I just did it to myself. I’m just as guilty as everyone else. I am here, talking about the types I hate, but here’s the truth – readers are allowed to review a book for whatever reason they want to review it as. There is no rule that states your review has to be detailed or helpful to someone else, but I do believe Amazon asks reviewers to be helpful (and definitely not spiteful.) But I am amazed sometimes by the amount of drama I’ve seen unfold on someone’s review by other reviewers. If you think it’s spiteful, please report it to Amazon or Goodreads, but yelling at one another is getting us nowhere. We all have different opinions. I’m sure I’ve written a 5-star review on a novel that another reader thought was so bad it was insane. For all I know, someone is writing on their blog right now and using my review as an example as what not to do. But that’s okay because we’re all allowed our own opinions. That’s the beauty of it all! Just try to back up your opinion with sincere criticism and encouragement.

So those are my top types of reviews that I cannot stand as a reader. What can I say? I meant to do five, but I kept typing. Have you ever seen a review complaint that you couldn’t believe? As a reader, do they ever sway you one way or another?

Feel free to share below!

~SAT

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