First, I am a book whore. I make no bones about it and we won't discuss the state of my TBR pile (Annemarie would get twitchy just looking or thinking about it). I tend to visit publisher sites quite frequently--sometimes I am pleased with what I see and other times I wonder why the owners would care so little about my first impression of their business. I have decided, after getting some input from my friends, to do a weekly post reviewing various digital publishers that I run across. I am doing this for a few reasons:
- I was inspired by Teddy Pig's post on "The Current State of Gay Romance in ePublishing." His post got me thinking--different publishers are, in essence, different brands and some brands are more successful than others. This starts with the first impression.
- Publishers ultimately want to encourage readers to buy books directly from their site because they, and the authors, get a bigger chunk--100% without having to share with Amazon, Barnes and Noble, All Romance Ebooks, or the plethora of etailers out there. Authors often bank on the brand a publisher lends to them so they can build a bigger fan base (this relationship works both ways, but for newer authors the brand recognition with a publisher is becoming more and more important). There are a myriad of reasons why customers do not buy direct--impulse purchases from their device is probably the most common (nook and kindle especially). But what about the sites themselves and the impression publishers give to would-be customers. These impressions are what interest me and will be the focus of my posts.
Any thoughts or suggestions for this would be greatly appreciated.
Second, I, once upon a time, tried to maintain three blogs--very silly on my part. This blog is now a raucous combination of the three and sometimes is evidence of my more puerile moments but it seems to have settled into an odd combination of recipes and book stuff. I have decided to migrate older reviews and book commentary such stuff from the now defunct blog over to this one (there are only seven or so posts). These older posts will be clearly labelled and my review structure was quite different than it is now.
Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!
I noticed a minor kerfluffle on Twitter the other day. I guess an author wrote a post about what bugged her about a book but did not "name names." The point of the post was not to offer a review, but to delineate what ruined the experience for her and what was a "deal breaker". Some felt she excoriated the book and was not being responsible in her criticism due to a lack of transparency in what she was criticizing exactly (and others seem to have indicated that the author left too many clues to what book she had read in her comments).
My take away from the post was that it was more about what was a "deal breaker" for that particular reader when reading--it was not meant to be a book review, it was meant to talk about a particular experience. Not mentioning what the book was does not invalidate the reader experience, which is personal in nature.
I am all about evidence. I live for evidence, but sometimes, as was the case with this post, naming names can sometimes cloud the point of the post. If the author had named names, most people would now be running around talking about author A not liking author B's book.
Another good example of evidence clouding the argument is a recent post on All About Romance. For me, the post was about how poorly edited fiction ruined the experience for the reader who wrote the post--instead, many of the commentators seem to have focused on the examples used rather than what was actually being said. Could the evidence have been framed better by the argument? Yes. Does the evidence invalidate what the author was saying? No, she was talking about her experience.
Mind you, if you choose to talk in generalities, then you always run the risk of nosy fucks (I include myself in the realm of nosyfuckdom) wanting to know who you read. I know that I get irritated when I don't know something (just ask Saranna) but I respect people who do not want the example to outshine the point or who want to make a point but feel it is not appropriate for them to point to an explicit example or need to not mention who wrote the example. Hell, this happens all the time in university when using past student papers as an example for current students (the name, year, and course are usually not mentioned).
Those are my random thoughts on a blustery Sunday afternoon.