Links: Saturday, October 12

October 12, 2013 Links 1

A twentysomething year old Keanu Reeves sits cross-legged on a grey block in front of a grey photographer’s dropcloth. He’s wearing khaki shorts and a yellow sweatshirt with the sleeves pushed up. He stares off into the distance with his surfer-styled hair swept to one side.This Is Not Porn – I’ve lost hours to this collection of lesser-known images of celebrities.

  • In Defense of the Amateur Review – Authors who call for more professional reviewing or for some sort of standards miss a crucial element of the equation: they don’t get to decide which reviews readers find useful.

    The reality is that people’s opinions are often unreasonable. So someone rated a book one star even though they’ve never read it. Who cares? Not the author’s fans. It’s worth giving readers some credit that they’re able to figure out which reviews are good and which are bad for themselves, just as they can figure out which books are good and bad on their own. There are places for professional, industry reviews; but if books really want to thrive and stay relevant, there also needs to be sites where readers can discuss books freely without authors and others in the publishing industry peering over their shoulders or pulling puppet strings. That’s how Amazon and Goodreads reviews became so influential to begin with.

  • Why I Don’t Just Go to the Cops – Rebecca Watson, who’s a prominent voice in the online atheist movement, explains why “just call the cops” is an unhelpful response to people who describe being cyberstalked and threatened.

    I don’t go to the cops because the cops don’t care. I’m sure they’re doing very important things, like shooting drug dealers or whatever. And for every Anders Breivik there are 100 men who will never go further than hating women from the comfort of their basements; for every George Sodini, 100 men who only wish they could gun down women.

    And I guess wishing isn’t illegal.

  • Guess what? Its nothing new but I want you guys to read it anyway. – It looks like Goodreads is casting their “no discussing the author” net pretty broadly.

    My reviews did not “threaten” any GR member, neither did I pay mafia to shoot up a few people. But, I think it’s useless to debate about this. I mentioned Cassandra Clare by her name in both my reviews and I guess the Cassie club spammed it and according to GR’s new policy my reviews were violating it. Bunch of noobs.

  • Dear Romance Authors: – I am always here for this discussion. Strong isn’t a synonym for bully.

    What on this floating ball of rock possessed you to pick all (or at least most) of your leading men out of a catalog from Assholes-R-Us? Bad boys are fine. Alphas are fine. Dominant is fine. These traits are not the problem. They all make for quite good reading, thank you. My preference, even.

    No, the problem is that you are depicting all three by writing the kind of men who should rightly be kicked in the groin and left in an alley somewhere!

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An ice hockey fan from north of Boston and the genre's most beloved troll, Ridley enjoys reading contemporary and historical romance, as well as the odd erotica novel. As someone who uses a wheelchair, she takes a particular interest in disability themes.

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One Response to “Links: Saturday, October 12”

  1. Roslyn Holcomb

    IMO, the problem with one-starring a book you haven’t read is that people, lots of people, don’t actually read the reviews. They look at the number of stars, so they don’t know that the reviewer didn’t read the book. Sure, it’s not big deal if you get dozens (or hundreds of reviews), but if you only get five or six it can really hurt you, especially when a book first comes out. People see two or three stars, when you’ve only got three reviews and they assume your book is crap. I realize that you don’t care about that, and as a reader that’s not your problem, but yes, I do think it’s ridiculous that reviewers can state in their review that they haven’t read the book and that review isn’t removed. If you read a book and don’t like it, or even if it’s a DNF a one-star review is fair. I charge it to the game. But a one-star review when you haven’t read the book is absurd.

    The notion of some type of professional standard for reviews is ridiculous. I seldom pay attention to professional reviews for the very reasons stated in the article. I rarely try a new author unless recommended by someone I know. I just don’t understand the concept of trusting strangers with something as subjective with book taste, especially since mine is so eclectic. I’ve made a few friends over the years, both OL and IRL who share my taste so that is good.

    I did trust amateur reviews for non-book items, though I seldom do anymore now that I know the ease at which people are gaming the system. That’s a shame because I really want to hear from the actual end user, but I suppose it’s not surprising that people are so underhanded. It’s just damned unfortunate. Usually, if I take the time I can tell the nonsense reviews from the real deal, and I typically go to the one-star reviews as well. But so many of them are utter crap, one-starring a child booster seat because you were stupid enough to put it on a folding chair, for instance, that they too are pretty much worthless.