Saturday, May 11, 2002

Well hell.

There is some question about what's going on with Network 54, ie the location of Forward Motion.

Some days it just doesn't pay to start planning things. But that's life, I suppose. If Network54 is gone, we'll move on to a new site. This is bad timing, of course... but then I can't think when it would be exactly good timing, either.

And no, I have not done any writing yet. I've spent most of the afternoon scanning pictures and printing them to take to my mother tomorrow. I think she'll like some of these. I've found some fun ones.

So, let's talk about this whole book review thing.

Yes, everyone gets bad book reviews. And those of us who are serious about writing expect to see them. I've gotten bad reviews on Silky, and on a couple other stories. Occasionally I have had the 'what story did this person read' feeling, but other times I just shrug them off. I never expected to please everyone. I'm surprised when I find a single person who likes something I've written! So bad reviews don't bother me, but then my sales don't depend on them nearly as much as Holly's does.

Now, let's look at the review on What was the purpose in the review? The person waffled around so much, it was hard to say. That she wasn't entirely happy with Vincalis the Agitator is apparent, and there's nothing wrong with that reaction. No one is going to be pleased by every book. She and her boyfriend both read it. She liked the opening, didn't like the second half. Nothing wrong with saying that either.

She's read the other Secret Texts and liked them better. Good.

But then she got to the real point. You can find it right at the bottom of the review. She wrote the review, not because of any great dislike of the book (she says there were parts she really enjoyed, in fact) but because she couldn't understand why it was getting all those five star reviews.

So she made sure it didn't get another one.

And that had nothing to do with the book. It was the five stars that bothered her. That other people liked the book and she didn't and by God she was going to show Holly and bring that rating down.

If this person had signed her name -- at least been that honest with the readers -- then I might have taken the rest of the review more seriously. Nor, by the way, do I take the other one -- the good one -- without a name seriously. In fact, I don't read reviews without names because if you aren't serious enough to sign them, then why should I bother to read them? I wouldn't have noticed the bad one except for the notice it's gotten. But I've seen this sort of game too many times in the past. If she really didn't like the book, if she had serious reasons for writing the review she would have signed the review.

If all she's doing is making little jabs at Holly because she left Forward Motion over a disagreement, then it's pretty childish. At the moment, I can't see it being anything else. Which is sad. Overall, the review wasn't badly written. If she'd been honest... with everyone, then things might have gone differently. Or not.

Now one last point, people. Before you go off ranting about Holly and a chip on her shoulder -- she didn't like the review. She wasn't meant to. But keep this in mind -- She wasn't the one who asked that it be taken down.

That Sheila did, and has had it removed, is Sheila's choice and Sheila's answer to these kind of games. Mine is to shrug, ignore it, and go on. Holly's was to get annoyed, then shrug and go on. Overall, I think Sheila's might be the better response.

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