James Patterson Versus Nora Roberts
Versus Dean Koontz Versus Stephen
How Does Your Work Rank Against the
Top Fiction Authors?
An Informal Review of My Ranking Philosophy
Defending My Credibility...
Let's Talk about reviews
Do you have a right to question? Sure...!!!!!
So there I was routinely submitting a review, this time for Megan's Way... when I later got the notification of a comment on Amazon...if you're interested you can check earlier comments out online...
I take this type of opportunity to remind myself that I need to share my review philosophy from time to time, so I've just posted most of my own "last" comment since I took the time to respond in defense of what the individual said about my reviews... I did change a few things, but not much...
Meghann, I don't know what a number of your comments relate to so I'll just ignore them and comment about your comments/critique of me personally as the reviewer.
Meghann, I have published a paper on my feelings regarding grading/ranking books... Briefly, in my opinion, it has no value whatsoever. In is illogical for me to attempt to take a top number, i.e., 5, and use it to select a number to equate the work of, say, James Patterson, Nora Roberts, Dean Koontz, Robert B. Parker, and so many other top authors that I routinely read... I review each book individually and rarely consider ranking, unless I am forced to put one in on sites that mandate it.
Here is my method for grading in a realistic manner, or at least it works for me... One or two stars. I get many requests for books that I refuse to read based upon my posted parameters...too many errors, poor writing, routine publishing issues that should have prevented the book being published. I refuse to read these books beyond 50 pages. Some are so bad that I don't even read beyond the 1st or 2nd chapters. The fact that I refuse to then take my time to proceed to Amazon and report it is apparently what you would expect me to do. Frankly, I consider it a waste of my time, since the whole grading system is faulty and I refuse to play the game when I would be lying if I submitted a review for something I will not read.
Your review giving for instance a one or two...could be based entirely on your own process, as is that of every other individual. The fact that you don't know about those books I've refused to read and either returned or otherwise as agreed by the requester is, frankly, your problem, not mine, since you chose to look at how I grade overall.
Anyway, by process of elimination the ranking of three is my lowest rating for books I have completely read. I point out that I use, based upon my working at a small publishing company where I had a chance to work on every detail of the publishing process, an evaluation of publishing issues, cover, format, writing and grammar issues as well as story line, so something that gets a 3 will have an explanation for that within my review. If a book has been well done and has a logical story for the most part, but there is something that detracts from an overall satisfying book, it normally will get a four with some reason stated. What that results in is that the top grade is what is left!!!! That does not mean that I personally liked one book versus the other! That's why the grading activity is an unrealistic method for scoring. Meghann...read my words to see what I personally felt about the book!!!!!
If I would be forced to really get serious, then I would have to demand that I be permitted to use a ranking so that I could give, award-winning authors, say 100, millions (What do those stars means!!!) and then go downward to those I would still refuse to read at, say, 1-5... I think you might begin to understand that I pay little attention to how my review rankings compare to yours or anybody else. I've published my philosophy, my process, and I'm willing to share that at any time.
By the way, my personal opinion is rarely used to give a "ranking." I feel I have a responsibility to be able to read and fairly review a book totally opposing my personal views and still give a fair review. When this occurs, I normally go back to the requester and, you know what, none of them have ever disagreed with my review... except, maybe, those I refused to read...but, then, I have my written policy to support my reasons and can explain those reasons to the requester.
Now, regarding your issue with the sexuality content of the characters in this book. Frankly it is obvious to me that this is a personal issue with you. I'm sorry that the book offended, perhaps, your personal opinions. But frankly, the sexuality of these individuals really, in my opinion, had little to do with the overall intent of the book. I could easily defend myself and say that perhaps my writing made it easy for you to misunderstand...but the truth is that those issues were never even a part of my conceptual review material...that the author chose to create these characters that way were really only relevant to the story if the reader decided they were, as you apparently have. I am personally appalled by some of the real sexuality issues that are daily displayed on television and other media...and as much as I hate the thought of sex slavery, sexual abuse, etc., that is indeed rampant in today's world, This is where I would place my personal thoughts, but thousands of authors/screenwriters, etc., continuously write about those issues, and are legally permitted to do so. I would include these issues for information, but would not consider these issues as part of the ranking process unless they bordered on pornography, which I have publicly stated I will not review.
As for sexuality? You really have no right with today's laws to question that a gay and straight had sex. In fact, they have a word for it-- bisexuality...Legally, in my opinion, I am not permitted to question the law as a reason for my review activities. Indeed, I state publicly that my reviews do not discriminate on all those issues covered by law, including sexuality. Regardless, I still repeat that, for me, the sex was not relevant to the overall conceptual story line--and you are blind to today's world if you don't think that the "real" sexual issues happening to our children and teens are not worldwide, but like I said before, the sexual activities were not the thrust of my understanding of the story. My review title clearly shows that I felt Death and Dying within the family was being spotlighted. I believe this "could" be considered to happen across the world? At least in my knowledge of "this" world. Although I do admit to including statements often connecting the overall story line to real world issues. For me, that's part of how I read a book and believe it may be helpful to potential readers.
Meghann, as an aside to all this, it is clear to me that you are not regularly reviewing, so I thought I'd mention that there are millions of books given free for reviews every single day!!!!! Amazon does it through their own program, but every book site has them routinely. But if you can give me a valid, legal reason to stop this and get every publisher, author, publicist, etc., to stop providing them, sure, I'd be happy to review the books I've purchased that sit stacked to be read and enjoyed, I'd be happy to change my activities. By the way, you should also know that the government got involved in all this several years ago and I've handled my tax issues in accordance with IRS regulations and filed them appropriately and on time for many years. And...the reason you know that all my books are provided free is because I follow government regulations to display that... but if you look hard enough, some of my books have been purchased...but I rarely have time to read those books because of the number of requests I routinely get...
If you have any other thoughts on my credibility, hey, just ask. I've had to put a notice up that I'm not accepting any new requests for six months due to the backlog I routinely have. And my ratings for whether they are "helpful" here on Amazon by readers is apparently satisfactory according to statistics...enough to have Amazon keep me in their program and as an associate.
Now, could I ask you one thing...why don't you include a picture? Are you for real? Can I find you anywhere else on the internet? How do we know who you are, who throws out poor ratings so freely?
I note that you often rank low with innuendo and sarcasm and with your supposed intelligence which is compared to those that felt differently than you about a given book... Hmmm, I wonder why your choice of books is not much better? I would think you'd take more time with your purchased selections. But then, I note that many have been "bought" when they are being given free? Kind of ironic, don't you think?
And, yes, the last two paragraphs are meant to be sarcastic. But then, I'm not reviewing a book where I try to be fair and unbiased. Apparently you don't bother with that... I do...