Let me guess, you are perfect!!!

Let me guess, you are perfect!!!.


A heartfelt scream from a professional writer. Readers, please think before giving the bad review or single star ranking!

14 Responses to “Let me guess, you are perfect!!!”
  1. Agreed. Think on this too. Every reading experience is unique to the reader. No two individuals will consume a text and react to it in exactly the same way. Each one will have an opinion, and will be entitled to it. But to force it others? Before committing it to print he should ask, do I have the moral right to seek to prevent others from reading this work, or to encourage them to do so?

    I reckon I can tell an on-line reviewer in a crowded room. He’s the guy with an opinion about everything and a compulsion to share it with everyone in earshot, whether they want to hear it or not.


  2. Me Too says:

    For the most part, I heartily agree! Some reviews can not even be classified as reviews. Some are just rants for whatever reason. Some are ‘customer service complaints’ that have nothing to do with the book in question. One absurd review, seen recently, was for another book entirely. I looked up that reviewer and frankly they should not be permitted to review anything, not even a cartoon. There are a few bad authors out there, e.g. friend of the publisher, who deserve a fair but critical review because they do no true research despite bragging about it and believe that writing anything on paper, no matter how inane, is “artistic license.” They detract from the real authors who put their all into their craft and give something of value to readers. I saw one such author put into print that there were readers that just didn’t appreciate her work because they didn’t know any better (words to that effect) and the publisher permitted it. I don’t mean a review where one just says horrible and often untrue things because something was said in a book that somehow offended the reader, e.g. historic fact that they don’t like. One needs to be cautious and fair if one is going to write a review and not hurt an author because you didn’t like a character in a novel. If you are not sure, just look at other reviews of the book and wait until you ‘cool down’ or even just forget it. One reminder, a lengthy synopsis is not a review and spoils things for other readers. If you feel a need to write, do so but not at the expense of the published author.


  3. MoldiOldi says:

    First, as a secretary/stenographer for almost five decades, I worked for American and European bosses. With the American ones I used American spellings. My European bosses preferred the British spelling, since a few of them were educated in England or else had British teachers. I have never had a problem either way. Second, I have a list of preferred authors whom I follow, and I am too engrossed in reading to nitpick spelling and punctuation.

    What I do like from authors who are writing novels based on history is a good forward explaining the actual events of the era, plus background on some of the real-life characters. A list of characters in the novel, maps, and an explanation of unfamiliar terms are all very much appreciated. I certainly found that in your “Fields of Glory”.


    • I’m really glad you like the way I tend to format the books. I do like to have the history of the period and the details set out so people can see I’ve done some work! Hopefully the other books will appeal too.


      • MoldiOldi says:

        You are one of the authors whom I do follow and know I can count on a great read. I just re-read “City of Fiends”, and what struck me this time was how similar the small things that set off the whole sad chain of events is to some of the frivolous lawsuits I encountered while working as a legal secretary. Usually they are people in gated communities who object to the kind of shrubs a neighbor planted, the installation of a small basketball court for private use, and on and on.

        I always pick up something new when I read the second or third time. I may be off-base, but I think I picked up a small hint that Sir Baldwin and Simon may return some time in the future.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Really grateful for your very kind words, Moldi. It’s strange that CITY is one of the books that’s had several miserable reviews. I guess some readers were expecting something else, but that was always intended as a parochial little story about petty likes/dislikes and disputes – so I’m really glad you liked it. If you get time, I’d be enormously grateful if you could put a comment up on Amazon to say what you put here to counteract some of the negatives. On Baldwin and Simon – well, the trouble is, all books have to make money now. Amazon demands up to 90% discount from publishers, so the publishers are dropping any series (and authors) who don’t sell vast numbers. At the same time Amazon’s algorithms do not promote books that get poor reviews, so series like mine, which never had any marketing behind it, tend to see sales falling away. Sometimes the sales are increasing because of second hand sales, but then of course the publisher sees no return. So, the upshot of all this is that the publishers ditch the longer series – or the author. The Templar Series was always pretty popular, selling some 50,000 paperbacks, but in recent years the sales have fallen away a bit, and at sales of 30,000, with Amazon discounts, the publishers don’t make enough to pay for editors, copyeditors, proofreaders, buildings etc. However, because I love the series, I will return to Baldwin and Simon. The only problem is, I’ll probably have to publish electronically only. The cost of printing a book is just too high, and I don’t have any money to afford it.


      • I had no idea the Templar series had come to the end. That’s a real shame.


      • Me Too says:

        I know how you feel about the end of the series. That said, much praise to an author who could sustain such a great series through so many titles! We at least have the new series involving the 100 Years War (#1 – Fields of Glory) and his other past works.


      • It hasn’t necessarily. If I can, I will return to it: whether as a commissioned book or as an ebook, self-published venture, I don’t know. But I do have three synopses sitting and waiting to be worked on. It’s just the problem that there’s so little money in publishing. All the cash is being taken by retailers. That’s not to say publishers didn’t pinch everything they could in the past, but it does mean that the whole industry is now being skewed.


  4. One of the best bad reviews I ever received was for a tie-in book I wrote, the novelisation of the Moshi Monsters Movie:

    2 stars out of 5
    “In all fairness I bought this assuming it as a DVD.
    So my review wont necessarily reflect a true picture in comparison with someone who has read it.”

    I wonder, was the reviewer reviewing their own inability to use Amazon?


    • Ye Gods. That’s like the one where the reviewer was complaining that the US postal service was late to deliver his book. Gave the book one start as a result!


      • Me Too says:

        Yes, those types of reviews are beyond irritating and not just for the authors, Jonathan and Michael. Micheal, I know that you are familiar with the book, ‘Weird Things People Say In Bookshops.” How about something like, ‘Inane Things People Say In Reviews.’ The really bad thing is that Amazon doesn’t appear to do anything about such reviews anymore. Other readers can contact them, e.g. “They wrote a review about another book and not the book in question” and ask for removal of the review. They would seem to ignore reasonable requests these days.


      • I was so enthused by your comments I’ve put up a new blogpost about just that! And you get a special mention!


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