Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Goodreads’

cinderI am a fan of Marissa Meyer’s young-adult science-fiction Lunar Chronicles Series: Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress. Plus, I must admit to be eagerly awaiting my copy of her newest book, Fairest.

As a reader and writer, I like learning about an author’s take on their book, characters, writing habits, etc. – which is why I’m delighted to share a link to a Goodreads question session with Marissa Meyer.

I hope you enjoy Marissa Meyer on Goodreads as much as I do.

And if you visit the site, please take the time to visit my page and become a friend and fan. Also, if you’ve read one of my books, please post a rating and/or review. Thanks. 🙂

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

tolkien On the pending publication of Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien said: “I am dreading the publication, for it will be impossible not to mind what is said. I have exposed my heart to be shot at.”

As a fan of LotR, The Hobbit, and other works by Tolkien, I can’t imagine him doubting the merit of this trilogy. Yet, I know as a writer when a book (or even a story, poem, or non-fiction piece) of mine is published, there is both joy at seeing the completion of a work and a sense of dread anticipating the less than positive comments and inevitable bad reviews.

Even those best books don’t please everyone, so I know there will be those readers who think my child (my book) is ugly or stupid. And though I steel myself for those critical comments and reviews, I know, I, too, have exposed my heart to be shot at.

I wonder if reviewers and readers who post reviews to Amazon, Goodreads, and elsewhere know how their words effect the author? Do you try to make your comments constructive criticism when you don’t care for a book? Or not?

Read Full Post »

 I’ve reviewed books, movies, videos, and restaurants over the years for various publications. It’s not an easy job! As a reviewer, your thumbs up or thumbs down can have an impact on whether readers buy or pass up a book. Yikes! That’s a lot of responsibility – which is why I no longer review books.

“Wait a minute,” you might say. “Don’t you write the ‘Writer’s Block’ column for Harford’s Heart Magazine?”

And yes, I do write that column, but I don’t actually review the books presented there. I do interview authors and introduce books which have a local connection. In addition, I occasionally write a book-based column for the Holiday, Pets, or Children’s section of the magazine. But I try to not give my opinion as to the merits of the work.

“Why not?” you might ask.

Firstly, I’m interested in promoting reading, writers, and books – not in telling readers which books are worthy of their attention.

Secondly, as a writer I’ve come to realize a reviewer’s opinion is just what one person thinks of a book (or film or restaurant), and that view can be skewed for any number of reasons. Maybe the reviewer doesn’t care for a particular type of book. Maybe he or she just read a similar book and, consciously or unconsciously, is comparing the two rather than evaluating a book on its own merits. Maybe the reviewer is having a bad day. Or maybe the reviewer is trying to curry favor with someone. This isn’t meant to imply reviewers are dishonest, most are very honest. But reviewers are human.

Leprechaun Cake fc One of the first reviews (and one that still lingers on the internet) I received for my kids’ book, Leprechaun Cake & Other Tales, was a bad review. After the initial sting of the reviewer’s words, I looked more closely at the content. It was evident this person was not someone used to working with kids, had never met a polite child (how sad), and seemed to be a bit of a grump. How unfortunate this one person’s opinion might persuade others not to buy my book. Before you pull your handkerchief out to weep for my misfortune, many more reviews of Leprechaun Cake & Other Tales were published, and they were all positive. But the impact of one nasty review is hard to calculate.

I’ve begun to list books I’ve read on Goodreads, but as of yet, I’ve not posted reviews. I’m planning on posting brief reviews shortly, but I’ll be certain to frame my comments with “in my opinion” rather than stating for a fact that a book is great, mediocre, or awful. Actually, I’m usually generous in my “stars” on Goodreads, and I try to appreciate a book for what it is – meaning I try to rate a children’s book as a children’s book (quality illustrations, age-appropriate text), a non-fiction book as a non-fiction book (adequate references, soundness of research), a fantasy novel as a fantasy novel (good world-building, uniqueness of characters), etc.

Which brings me to another problem for me with reviews: negativity. My mom was a fan of the “if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all” school of thought. And she passed that philosophy on to me. So instead of posting a poor rating on Amazon or Goodreads or elsewhere, I have a tendency to just not review that book. Cowardly? I don’t think so. Rather I remember that misguided review of years ago, and choose not to be unkind.

If you’ve read my books, please post your ratings/reviews on Amazon, Amazon UK, and Goodreads. And don’t forget to give the books a “thumbs up” if you enjoyed the read.

For you cooks out there, look for another easy, delicious recipe on Saturday, Feb.24th – Vonnie

Read Full Post »

I’ve been going through the books on my shelves, and slowly entering ratings on Goodreads.

I’m amazed by how many books I’ve read. Since I was a little girl, I’ve been a reader. Every time I could find a book and a little hideaway spot, I’d slip into a story or try to digest some factual information.

book-case-door-after In the house where I grew up, I shared a bedroom with one of my sisters. Our dad had desks and bookshelves built into the walls in our second floor bedroom so we’d always have a place to study and store our books. But the part of our bedroom I loved the best was the area under the eaves accessed through hidden doors in our closets.

Supposedly for storage, countless books were read in those hidey spots by flashlight’s beam or by lamplight. I was so enthusiastic about reading in my hidden room that I smuggled in an old lamp and a rug to sprawl upon.

I had a room of my own for a couple of years before I married and moved out. When the remaining part of the second floor was converted into a bedroom,  my father had hidden doors to access the eaves added in that bedroom, too. But what was even better, he had a window seat built in the alcove created by two large closets. Nestled in that alcove with the sunshine or moonlight pouring through the window, I traveled many worlds curled up beneath a blanket, leaning on a pillow, with a book in hand.

Deepak Chopra said: “You will be transformed by what you read.” And I agree. Every book we read changes us just a bit. And after we’ve read them, a few books leave their mark on us for life.

As a writer, I hope something I’ve written will connect with my readers. Perhaps my words will bring them joy or help them smile. Perhaps my words will tug at their heart-strings or help them look at their world through new eyes. And maybe if I work hard enough on my craft, my words will make a difference.

Please stop by my page on Goodreads and become a Fan or Friend or Both: http://www.goodreads.com/vonnie_winslow_crist  Then, pick up a book, find your favorite reading spot, and be transformed.

Read Full Post »

 Sending The Greener Forest out to reviewers wasn’t easy. What if the reviewers hated my beloved child? The Greener Forest is a collection of short stories (with a few fantasy poems & illustrations tossed in for good measure), and it’s therefore harder to find reviewers willing to read the book. What if reviewers begrudgingly skimmed the pages of the collection, then jotted down mean-spirited words? Yikes!

But an author must push aside her doubts, and send review copies out into the big, wide world. If she’s worked hard enough on her craft, edited judiciously, and listened to her editor — maybe, just maybe, the readers and reviewers will say positive things. And if the reviews are dreadful, then she must slip on her rhinoceros skin, ignore the critical jabs, and keep on writing.

Why bother with reviews? Because readers from Amazon to Goodreads to hundreds of other sites look for reviews to help them make their reading choices. And, as much as writers like to deny it, we need to hear from our readers so we can write better.

The Greener Forest has been well-reviewed to date. (She wipes the sweat from her brow and smiles tentatively). Thanks to the reviewers who took the time to read, then write a few words about my book. If you’d like to read a few reviews of The Greener Forest, check out the excerpts below, then follow the links.

Valentina at Carabosse’s Library wrote: “I highly recommend this collection.” http://tinyurl.com/carabosses-library-review-GF

Lindsay of Lindsay & Jane’s Views & Reviews wrote: “5 Stars. This book is filled with beautiful poems, magical fantastical stories and stunning illustrations.” http://tinyurl.com/lindsay-review-greener-forest

Natalie of Besotted with Books wrote: “There are so many great little stories throughout, some stories are beautifully magical and others sent a chill down my spine.” http://tinyurl.com/besotted-with-books-review

Laura Shovan, ed., Little Patuxent Review wrote: “Crist is a master of metaphor. In The Greener Forest her modern fairy tales stand out.” http://tinyurl.com/little-patuxent-rev-review

Fran Johnson, ed., Harford’s Heart Magazine wrote: “Crist has created believable characters, including some who are not-quite-human.” http://tinyurl.com/harfords-heart-review

And remember, after you read The Greener Forest to post on Amazon, Goodreads, etc. your feelings about the book.

Read Full Post »