Thursday, March 02, 2006

The Curious Case of the Booing Browser

I've got that wicked Mir-grin thing going. Here's why:

I visited my pal Brenda Coulter's page over at, the one for her second novel, A FAMILY FOREVER, to see how the rankings had changed for her, now that the book is out and an intense, terrific Christian blog-review blitz is underway. (Go, bloggers!)

I have a review posted there. Someone thinks it's not helpful.


Now, some might find my review snarky. (Wasn't intended to be a full-on snark-rant, but hey, Brenda posted on how we misinterpret email the majority of the time, so I suppose that applies to posts, too.) Some might find it long-winded. (That may well be true.) Some might find it weird. (I hope so. I like that.) And some might love it. (I've gotten comments and emails to that effect, thanky.) But one thing that review is, babes, is helpful to the book browser at Helpful in spades. And hearts. Diamonds and clubs, too.

I took my time. I include a story synopsis. I comment on the two main characters at some length. I gives pros and cons. I gush and I critique. I include a couple of actual text quotes for the gals to swoon over.

Now, a person may not like the conclusions or emphases, and they may disagree with my opinion, but it's still helpful. You can't go away from that review without knowing 1. what that book is about, 2. who the intended audience is, 3. what the unintended audience might like or dislike, 4. what I personally thought of it in detail, 5. whether you might be a potential happy reader of this story, and 6. where to read a chapter excerpt of the novel in case you need to know more.

Ever run across reviews like these?--

A: I loved this book. It was great. You'll love it, too.
B: I hated this book. It sucked. Don't buy it.
C: Arrived quickly. Was charged the right price. Thanks.
D: Is this where I leave a suggestion?
E: This book is an insult to Islam and you will die horribly.

(And assorted variations: "insult to Christianity" or "insult to Wicca" or "insult to secular humanism" or "insult to every gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered person" and Etc.)

THOSE, my friends, are not helpful reviews. (Although the last one is occasionally amusing to come across and ranks high on the bizarrometer.) They tell you zip. They guide you in nada. I really don't like those. They suck. Don't read them. (More grinning.)

Makes me wonder. Was it a vindictive click? Could be. I have been known to tick people off.

Not that it matters, other than to be puzzling. I did my part to help the browser. My review is something you can use. It's a tool. And it's a good one. I've written some lousy, sketchy, useless reviews in my day. This ain't one.

That's why I have my Mir-grin. I done good, baby. And maybe the phantom booer knows it and it irks. And I kinda get a kick outta that.

Future reviews I plan to do, for those mildly or wildly interested:
DELIVER US FROM EVELYN by Chris "Nifty Blogger" Well
SHOWDOWN by Ted "I'm gonna rock the bestseller charts" Dekker
And Christian Fiction from romantic suspense author ELIZABETH WHITE (Sorry, Beth, the title slipped my mind.)

1 comment:

sally apokedak said...

One day, I hope to be published and have you review my work, Mir. I thought your review was helpful not only for readers but for the author. Because with this kind of review the right people will buy her book and they'll discover her and buy the next book, too. It does no good to lure in readers who will not like the book because all you've done irritate people then.

I've not had a chance to read Brenda's book yet but I like the story idea and plan to give it a try.

Now, there is one thing I'd like to read from you that would be better than a review. That would be one of your own novels.