Anyone need a book review?

Discussion in 'Critique My Book Please' started by D.N.Frost, Apr 25, 2017.

  1. D.N.Frost

    D.N.Frost A farm boy with a sword

    Hello, indie authors of BFBF! Would you like me to review your published book? I looked through the posted critique requests, but most of them seem to be super old posts about unpublished manuscripts.

    I love reading, and I love writing about what I read on my blog. I write in-depth book reviews as well as shorter review blurbs to post on Amazon, Goodreads, etc. You can see examples of my past reviews at DNFrost.com/reviews, where I feature all the books I've reviewed in a free PDF download (attached here).

    I do all of this for free for my fellow indie authors. I prefer to read PDF ebooks of published works, but I will also review ARCs to provide blurbs for first edition publication and to support indie book launches. I also like to do review swaps, so if you'd like to review my novel in exchange, we can certainly talk about that. Please keep in mind that I only write honest reviews. I will not review a book if I can't give it at least three stars, and I will only do a review swap if I can give your book at least four stars.

    If you'd like a book review, please comment or email me at reviews@DNFrost.com to request one.

    You are welcome to connect with me regardless of your genre, but I most prefer to read epic/high fantasy set in other worlds. I also enjoy other types of fantasy, including science-fantasy crossovers. I might also read science-fiction, urban fantasy, or books written for a young adult audience. While romance within a story is fine, I do not tend to enjoy romance for romance's sake (and please no erotica).


    P.S. I hope this post is in the right place. I think this part of the forum might see more genuine activity if we invert who makes the original post and who replies - instead of each author asking for reviews of their book, what if each person willing to write book reviews made a post describing the sort of books they like to read? Authors could then respond to "book review offer" posts (like this one) with their specific books for consideration. This would make the reviewer's work a little easier (no more digging through all the "please critique this book I wrote" posts to find a good match), and it lets the authors request reviews with a bit more dignity (no more spammy OPs asking for readers, and more guaranteed interaction after their review requests are made). Thoughts?
     

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  2. Silvion Night

    Silvion Night Sir Readalot Staff Member

    Good thought and I agree. When looking at the previous 'Critique my book' posts there hasn't been much in the way of replies.

    Without going into boring technical detail, what you're doing is called 'generating pull' in the continuous process improvement world. It works way better than just pushing ('please review/rate my book').
     
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  3. Alucard

    Alucard In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge! Staff Member

    I think Sneaky mentioned something about this not being allowed on Amazon at least. Grounds for getting you banned on it or something along those lines. I'm not sure. @Sneaky Burrito mind chiming in?
    So be mindful of that. GR and personal blogs are of course free game, although I find the whole practice kind of dishonest to the potential reader/buyer. This whole, show me yours, I'll show you mine practice smells of dishonesty somehow.
     
  4. jo zebedee

    jo zebedee Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune

    Yes, it is absolutely not allowed and can lead to both authors being banned. I have reviewed a couple who have reviewed mine - genuine sales and interest in all cases - but now mostly stick to reviewing on Goodreads.
     
  5. Tanniel

    Tanniel Ran bridges next to Kaladin

    Since I write fantasy in its own world, you might enjoy my book. You're certainly welcome to take a look and decide if it's something for you. You can go straight to my site and grab it for free; I have various formats, including PDF (there should be two download buttons, and the second has a zipfile with extra formats available). I have no interest in Amazon, so that's not a concern for me; a review on your site and/or GR would be very welcome. Only if you decide it's a book you want to read and review, of course, no worries if you prefer to pass.

    Rather than make some poor attempt at explaining what my book is about, I think my site can give you the best idea. I did also try my best in the showcase thread, second post from the top.
     
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  6. Sneaky Burrito

    Sneaky Burrito Crazy Cat Lady Staff Member

    Yeah, totally not allowed on Amazon. (I see @jo zebedee has beat me to saying it, though.)

    For what it's worth, I ignore reviews from people who only give high star ratings.
     
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  7. D.N.Frost

    D.N.Frost A farm boy with a sword

    Thanks to everyone for the heads up about Amazon. It's dumb that honest review swaps aren't allowed (I bow out if I can't say something both honest and useful), but I suppose it's important to regulate. Do you suppose I should go back and delete my past review swaps?

    Same. I rarely give out five star reviews. I set a minimum of three stars for an in-depth review because nobody wants to read analysis of a book that wasn't good. There are too many great books out there worth talking about.

    I appreciate it, and you have a great in-world approach to your website. (The Chronicler reminds me of the cartography apprentices in my own saga! I also have a Lowtown in my Known World. Interesting similarities!) Are you by chance an RP gamer or dungeon master? I absolutely love your map.
     
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  8. Tanniel

    Tanniel Ran bridges next to Kaladin

    Aw, thank you! I'm glad both the website and the map seem to be doing their job. I have played tabletop RPG's for many years now, and a few years ago, I invented my own system/ruleset (just stole everything I liked from other systems) and tailored it to fit my own world with an emphasis on character background and narrative rather than combat mechanics. I run two groups with this ruleset, and it's great fun both to improvise in my own world but also expand on its details and figure out more of the setting.
     
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  9. Sneaky Burrito

    Sneaky Burrito Crazy Cat Lady Staff Member

    Some of my most inspired reviews are 1- and 2-star reviews of really bad books. I get particularly snarky and have had comments from random Amazon customers to the effect of "thanks for the laugh."
     
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  10. D.N.Frost

    D.N.Frost A farm boy with a sword

    Nice! It's fun to get snarky, and a review blurb of a bad book is fine - that's not much of a time commitment. But I spend about two hours on an in-depth book review and analysis post for each book, so I want each post to be worth a reader's time. (My other use for these in-depth posts is to use as examples of great writing in future workshops on my website.) So here's an example book review post, and here's my criteria for assigning star ratings so you can get a sense of what my reviews are about.

    That said, it might be valid to do a couple 1- or 2-star reviews on my website. It would demonstrate that I am discerning about what I read, stringent about applying my rigorous rating criteria, and it would give me the chance to break down some BAD writing and show authors "what not to do" in their own work. However...I don't think any indie author out there is going to appreciate it if I tear their manuscript apart. (I certainly won't get the image use permissions I prefer, so I wouldn't have a book cover image to Photoshop my star rating onto.) I suppose there are indie authors out there who are truly looking to become better writers; maybe someone like that MIGHT let me feature their darling book in a sweeping critique. Authors do tend to jump at the chance for honest feedback, even if it is negative...

    ...But I think that a "negative review" is still far less useful to my audience than a "writing workshop". Instead of a bad review, it makes more sense for me to list out all the qualities of bad writing in a book and then write storycraft, wordsmith, or worldbuilding workshops to address those bad qualities, discuss how to avoid them in the future, and (most importantly) how to rework your work to remove a bad quality that's already present. A great example I see all too often is the distinctive story structure of authors from the gaming community. The worldbuilding of these stories is often off the charts, but the actual manuscript reads more like a gaming module. In a tabletop RP game, the GM describes the scene, and then the players respond with what their characters do. Then the GM describes the results of their actions, the players provide their next actions, and the GM describes more. A common mistake for authors with this sort of background is to describe the setting in ponderous detail, add in some character interaction, and go back to describing how the character activity makes its impact. They kind of miss the inherent differences in engagement, readership, and flow between an interactive game and an independent book. Rather than writing a searing 2-star review of a book with awesome worldbuilding and game-like story structure, I could highlight the issue in a workshop and empower authors to do better. Yes?
     
  11. D.N.Frost

    D.N.Frost A farm boy with a sword

    How cool! My magic system is similar - based on numerical stats (each character has numbers for the different magics), but more focused on character background. I actually have a "For the Gamers" page where I invite gamers to use my maps, languages, prophesy riddles, and magic system in their own fanfic or RP. My system/ruleset isn't dice-able in its current state, but I've actually been looking to publish a gaming module to let me flesh it out and provide people with a way to play in the Known World.
     
  12. Jonathan Bowerman

    Jonathan Bowerman Killed in the battle against the Mad King

    Hello @D.N.Frost ! I just published book one of my planned three-book series, The Secret Realms of the Hidden Elves. You can check out the first five chapters here: http://booklocker.com/books/9268.html . On the right hand side of the page, "Read FREE Excerpt". If you are interested in reading more after that, please let me know here (via reply and tag) or email me through my website: hiddenelves.com . I look forward to hearing from you! Jonathan
     

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