A Question of Reviews

Opening With Good News

First things first, naturally.  How can it be any other way, after all?  That phrase has always puzzled me.  Anyway, that’s a sidetrack I don’t intend to pursue right now.  The good news mentioned is my very first five star review for one of my books!  Yes, I like getting any feedback, but I confess to getting a touch excited when I discovered this one.  I found it on Goodreads, though it’s also on Amazon, and I repeat it below:

Christoph Fischer’s review May 31, 2013
starstarstarstarstar

“Shade of Evil” by Steve K Smy is a fairly short novel / novella about a simple man whose underprivileged existence seems to gnaw away at him. Living in a tiny flat with lots of other people in the same building across a former chemical plant, getting depressed and finally collapsing he is more than a little recipient for some shade of evil that approaches his soul and humanity.

After a breakdown he is helped by a generous benefactor but nightmares warn of a coming evil for which he will need professional help.In parts a psychologically intriguing fable on modern life, in others a great paranormal action story this book combines depth with gripping entertainment. I loved the way the author slowly shows us the terrible living conditions of Harry and the misery of his existence, then contrasts this with the great place of his recovery with Dr. Pattinson, yet, before it gets too dreary we get thrown into the action side of the book that brings the situation to a climax and a swift solution.

Steve Smy is a promising writer whose future work I will be watching out for.

I must point out that this is an entirely unsolicited review!  You can find the review at Goodreads or Amazon.

Lack of Notifications

The above story leads to this one.  Of all the sites that my books can be obtained from, only one sends notifications of sales: Smashwords.  That’s disappointing enough.  For reviews, however, it is distinctly frustrating!  Again, only Smashwords sends notifications for reviews received.  Why don’t the other sites if they allow customers to review purchases/downloads?  I can live with nobody notifying of new ratings, but surely reviews are rather significant?  It doesn’t take a huge effort to include it on the selectable settings for an author’s account, like any other optional email notification setting.  It is a lengthy process trawling through all the sites, checking for reviews, especially when you then have to visit each individual book’s page if it’s not clear on a ‘list’ screen!  Of all the reviews I’ve received on bookstore sites (and I include Goodreads here, for convenience), I have only discovered that I even have reviews by accident, followed by a check of all sites as a consequence of such a prompt.

What do you think?

Perhaps authors should campaign for the option to be offered?  I’d really like to know what you think!  Are you as frustrated by the situation as I am?  Do you have some trick I’m not aware of that allows you to track review activity easily – preferably by getting emails for them?  Am I simply a victim of my ego?  Does the problem extend to other sites, like book review blogs and such?  Have you ever been surprised to find that somebody has written a lengthy review of one of your books without your knowledge on one of these non-store sites?

~ Steve

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About Steve

An author since the age of 13 years, writing again dominates my activities. My "Imagineer-ing" blog is my primary site. Also: Beginner knitter since November 2010. Favourite knitting techniques: cable and lace. Beginner cross stitcher. Beginner jewellery maker. With the promotion of self publication and all the other work that has been going on here, Dad decided around 2am this morning (22/11/2013) that it was time to begin his next adventure. He was seen off earlier the previous evening by myself, my brother, my sister in law, and my sister, as well as his wife (our mum), and an enigmatic being known only as A Lorraine. After this time of story telling, laughing, crying, joking and mickey taking, we saw how tired both mum and dad were, and we decided to leave them under the (sometimes) gentle care of The Lorraine. When Dad found the timetable for his travels, he let Mum know gently, which woke her from her drowsing, then, with the same gentleness he showed in this universe, he boarded his favourite mode of transport, the Interdimensional Steam Train, and set off with a smile and a wave. For those of us closest, that smile was a reminder that his pain has ended, and the wave, an indicator that he will pop in to all those that knew him, from time to time. Usually at the most inconvenient and in opportune moments he can. While we are sad that he is no longer here, we are happy he now has no pain, and is experiencing more extraordinary things that his writers mind will be frantically weaving into a new story. Posted by Son Damien

6 thoughts on “A Question of Reviews

  1. I do write reviews, but not on my blog, it is purely to put new author’s and their books in front of people.

    Any reviews I do are on Goodreads, Amazon, B&N and Smashwords, then I contact the author and tell them, if they are, in fact, contactable :)

    • Thanks :) I’m glad that you cover as many options as possible! And that you at least try to contact authors. I do much the same, though my reviews are on the blog, usually, and then copied to other sites. Mind you, I’ll admit that I avoid seances for dead authors LOL! And I do find that some authors don’t help themselves, as they don’t detail all the sites that their books are on, so it’s guesswork as to where to post reviews ;)

  2. Hi, Steve. First things, first: KUDOS to you on your 5-STAR REVIEW for “Shade of Evil”! Next: Yes, I agree with you completely. It would be great and should be a no-brainer for sites to notify authors by email when one of their books receives a new review. Thanks for the post and for all you do for your readers. Bette

    • Hi Bette :) Thanks – I was thrilled! :) Makes you wonder why these sites haven’t figured it out, eh? ;) Thanks – I just react to the (often wayward) thoughts that jump into my head LOL

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