Book Talk A Place To Discuss Books and Audiobooks

Author's comment on my book review out of line?

Old 01-21-14, 04:08 PM
  #1  
DVD Talk Special Edition
Thread Starter
 
danwiz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
Posts: 1,848
Author's comment on my book review out of line?

I picked up this book (Tracks (A Mystery and Espionage Thriller) on a Kindle Free day and after reading it I gave it the following review:

Well, it was a pretty good read, even though it took me 10% of the book to get drawn into it.

BUT --- There are some formatting issues with the Kindle Edition. In at least one case the text is gray, about 60% gray - not black. If you go to MS Word and type some 60% gray text you'll see that it's a bit difficult to read on a white background. This was only in one place, for about 3 paragraphs, so once you get past this you're okay.

AND --- The paragraph formatting is weird - it goes along just fine for 1/2 of a page or 1/2 of a chapter and then suddenly the paragraphs all are RIGHT indented by an additional 1/2 inch (estimate). It still reads okay, but it makes a person wonder how this happened and why and who proofed the Kindle Edition.

I too create Kindle Content and I can say that I would never allow a book to be sold to the public which I had not been the very first purchaser of so that I could see how everything looks like on my very own Kindle. I do not trust the Kindle emulator that Amazon advises we use when we upload our books - I need to actually purchase a copy of my own book (if I refuse to buy a copy of my own book, why should others buy it, eh?).

Then somebody - not the author of the book - made the following comment to my review:

That's pretty harsh. I am pretty fed up with all the negative comments on the web. If the book is good then these things are really minor. We all seems to expect great content for free or almost free then complain when something isn't perfect. Lighten up! Go to the beach or go camping but lose the negative slant on all things.

My response was as follows:

No - formatting issues are NOT MINOR! If you're too damn cheap to buy your own book and review what it looks like on a Kindle (and then fix the problems before you decide to give it away on Kindle Free Days) then you should not be doing Kindle Editions of your books! Formatting, when it affects how I can read a book, is probably just as important as the content. Let me know when you get the formatting issues fixed and I will change my review.

And - people have a right to know - before they buy - and that is what these reviews are for as far as I am concerned. Check out some comments on my books - search for (name deleted). You want to see some weird reviews - people thinking a book should be an application and stuff like that. Do I complain? No, I suck it up and say "such is life".

A 3 star review is not bad at all!!! I was thinking that maybe I gave you a 1 star review, but upon checking I see that I gave it a 3 star review, so now I really must say "SUCK IT UP"! Dang, crying over a 3 star review. What nerve!

I thought that the comment was by the author, which is why I wrote my answer to the comment like I did; it is only right now that I realize that the comment was not by the author.

As of right now the person has not commented back to me. So, what do you think? Was the commenter in the wrong, or was my reply to the person's comment too harshly worded? Was my original review okay? Do you care about formatting issues when you read Kindle books?

Thoughts?
danwiz is offline  
Old 01-21-14, 04:31 PM
  #2  
DVD Talk Hero
 
davidh777's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Home of 2013 NFL champion Seahawks
Posts: 40,676
Re: Author's comment on my book review out of line?

Are you SURE it wasn't the author? Also could have been someone similarly attached to the book.
davidh777 is offline  
Old 01-21-14, 04:51 PM
  #3  
Moderator
 
Groucho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 70,585
Re: Author's comment on my book review out of line?

Yeah, that seems to be a little touchy for just another fan.
Groucho is offline  
Old 01-21-14, 06:20 PM
  #4  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Hail to the Redskins!
Posts: 24,562
Re: Author's comment on my book review out of line?

Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
Yeah, that seems to be a little touchy for just another fan.
Truthfully, I think the OP is a little touchy in both his initial review, his response, and now this thread.
DVD Josh is offline  
Old 01-21-14, 06:55 PM
  #5  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: East of Ypsi
Posts: 8,896
Re: Author's comment on my book review out of line?

Originally Posted by DVD Josh View Post
Truthfully, I think the OP is a little touchy in both his initial review, his response, and now this thread.
This
auto is offline  
Old 01-21-14, 07:14 PM
  #6  
DVD Talk Legend
 
PhantomStranger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: The Phantom Zone
Posts: 20,981
Re: Author's comment on my book review out of line?

The Amazon link so people can decide for themselves ( I am not the author or reviewer):

http://amzn.com/B00FPORELO

The initial review seems perfectly fine to me, though the response to the response seems overly harsh and hostile. Formatting issues can be a problem and a legitimate area of complaint. Though singling out this review in the first place seems like the author or one of his friends attacked it.
PhantomStranger is offline  
Old 01-21-14, 11:32 PM
  #7  
DVD Talk Legend
 
GatorDeb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: The "Real" Vice City
Posts: 16,143
Re: Author's comment on my book review out of line?

"If you're too damn cheap to buy your own book"

Seemed a bit harsh to me.


But most importantly... What's a Kindle Free Day?
GatorDeb is offline  
Old 01-22-14, 01:44 AM
  #8  
Mod Emeritus
 
benedict's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Outside of the U.S.A.
Posts: 10,674
Re: Author's comment on my book review out of line?

G/D, just guessing but I am assuming a kindle "free" day is the name for the day before you look at a particular book and find that, although it had been available gratis it is now back to full price

Looking at the topic, formatting is an important part of the reading experience as is spelling, grammar etc. I have been disappointed with regular books that have failed in terms of proof-reading (probably due to staff/budget cuts at the publisher) and would, likewise, be disappointed if a kindle book looked peculiar because of a lack of care/quality control.

How one puts the point across in an Amazon review I suppose is a matter of personal style. They do say that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar but foolish replies can be irksome. Not so long ago I had an Amazon exchange with a peculiar guy who thought he could re-write the meanings of particular words to suit his argument. I decided that anyone following the "discussion" would be able to decide for themselves who was the more convincing and kind of left him to it. But it still rankles and I may still return for a killer riposte
benedict is offline  
Old 01-22-14, 01:53 AM
  #9  
DVD Talk Legend
 
GatorDeb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: The "Real" Vice City
Posts: 16,143
Re: Author's comment on my book review out of line?



Ah so it's just a book that was offered for free for a limited time, I haven't seen it called Kindle Free Days. The Kindle Daily Deal doesn't have free books, and any other free deals have varying time frames.
GatorDeb is offline  
Old 01-22-14, 03:23 AM
  #10  
DVD Talk Hero
 
davidh777's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Home of 2013 NFL champion Seahawks
Posts: 40,676
Re: Author's comment on my book review out of line?

Originally Posted by benedict View Post
G/D, just guessing but I am assuming a kindle "free" day is the name for the day before you look at a particular book and find that, although it had been available gratis it is now back to full price
Or it's the day you see a book is free, after you've already bought it but before you've had time to read it.
davidh777 is offline  
Old 01-22-14, 07:37 AM
  #11  
DVD Talk Special Edition
Thread Starter
 
danwiz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
Posts: 1,848
Re: Author's comment on my book review out of line?

FYI
Go here:
http://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Kindle-Store/zgbs/digital-text/ref=zg_bs_fvp_p_f_digital-text?_encoding=UTF8&tf=1
and you'll see that the books are all free. A Kindle author who signs up for the Kindle Select Program is allowed to give a book away as Free Promotion for 5 days in each 90 day period that it is enrolled in the Kindle Select Program.
danwiz is offline  
Old 01-31-14, 01:56 PM
  #12  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Posts: 14,020
Re: Author's comment on my book review out of line?

My biggest issue with your review is that you barely review the book. Your complaint is legit, but I think in your case, you should have expanded on your thoughts on the book more and moved your formatting complaint to the next paragraph. Maybe even break out your rating differently - 3 or 4 stars for content, 0 or 1 stars for formatting.

I hate when people give negative reviews to items that Amazon lost in the mail, or was slow to ship, or other things that are completely unrelated to the content of the product. Not saying that it what you did, but when I see people litter best sellers with negative comments because the digital version is cheaper than the hard copy version, it irks me (even though I completely agree with their argument).

Just my 2 cents...
movieking is offline  
Old 01-31-14, 02:28 PM
  #13  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Shannon Nutt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 15,965
Re: Author's comment on my book review out of line?

You're not out of line. You have a legit complaint. Formatting does matter if you're providing your work for Kindle downloads.
Shannon Nutt is offline  
Old 01-31-14, 09:16 PM
  #14  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Norm de Plume's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Toronto
Posts: 14,910
Re: Author's comment on my book review out of line?

^I agree, but the rebuttal to the rebuttal was a tad too opprobrious.
Norm de Plume is offline  
Old 02-01-14, 04:48 PM
  #15  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Abob Teff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Not necessarily Formerly known as Solid Snake
Posts: 19,787
Re: Author's comment on my book review out of line?

I give the OP one star (*) for stating it was the author and then saying it wasn't.

This raises a very good question: when you write a review are you reviewing the content (i.e., the story in this case) or are you reviewing the product (i.e., the physical or digital medium and everything associated)? I agree with the OP that all factors should be reviewed.

I have written a number of very poor reviews of apps due to a variety of reasons. Two that irk me the most are stating the app is free (when it actually requires a subscription) or not stating it is a demo with limited playability/functionality. The app itself maybe a very good app, but I take offense when the designer is not honest upfront about what I am getting.

Recently I downloaded a game which had a free and a paid version. I figured I would get the free one and put up with the pop-up advertising. Turns out there was no advertising. The free version only contained 3 levels. While I thoroughly enjoyed the game (and said as much in my review), I was ticked off that there was NOTHING stating the free version was only a demo. I gave the product a poor review for not being upfront in the description.
Abob Teff is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.