Sunday, 7 October 2012

cherry picking a review.

The question I pose is this;
Is it fair to cherry pick the best bits from a review.
By cherry pick I mean take out what you don't like and just edit the review to make it sound great.

The moral dilemma is that the review is someone else's work. They worked hard at the review to give an honest, unbiased opinion, (we hope) and just because you don't like what they have to say is it right to edit someone's work to suit your purpose.

It starts with taking small bytes of the review for teasers. This seems to be the norm for front and back covers...
Brilliant...New yorker.     A must read....London Review of Books and so it goes on. But what if the next line was Brilliant writing, but dull at the end.   A must read for anyone who wants to get to sleep.
You can see it might be seen to be misleading.

As an author must we just tough it out? Stiff upper lip chaps. There are going to be times when someone doesn't like what you have written. You can't please all the people all the time. So should you put the review up on your site at all?

The public make up their mind by recommendations. Who has the time to trawl through the lists of books on offer. If you see a five star that should be enough to ring some bells. So ego...if you see a bad review are you going to test the waters? I doubt it.

So the author to maximise his or her potential earnings would be a fool to spruik the review that had over 50% bad or mediocre things to say. It is economic sense and yet it seems like cheating and cheapening the whole deal about writing.
Learn by the review. Take on board what it has to say, but realise it isn't personal.

Advertisers cherry pick all the time..
wrinkle free...? what about the cost, the side effects etc.
Only 7 easy payments. Easy for who? What about the interest after the interest free term is up.
No warranty after you leave the shop. They don't explain that one at all.

So as authors do we just take the 'nice' bits of the review and forget the rest?
It is a question of how tough do you think you are. Can you stand it? Can you brace yourself and get on with your life.
Eh! so what. So they thought the plot was thin, the characters wooden and the ending trite. That is just one person's opinion.
The next book will be better.

Perhaps we authors should embrace the bad review. Winners are grinners and second sucks, but just think of the material your biographer will have when you are a star and they trot out that review in later years.  My word, hasn't she done well from a mediocre start.

And you could always use the mistakes, typos, and continuity schisms as a promotional tool
Spot the typo and win a prize.
It could catch on..



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