Friday, April 13, 2007


Well, it was bound to happen, I suppose.... An author did not like the criticism leveled at their work and complained--also asking that the review be removed. Well...I'll just post my response to this author without naming them.
"I'm sorry you take offense to criticisms about your writing--in fact I did read the premise for your series and as I said, I don't believe there's any problem with the premise at all...sounds quite good. The problems lay with what was mentioned in the review...these are problems you will find any honest reviewer will make note of. When you compare, for example, the interior design of your book with other books in the market, even POD books you will find a big difference as noted in the review. When you compare your execution of the narrative with other books on the market, you will find big differences there as well...all these are noted in the review.

I'm sorry you feel stabbed in the back? I never promise anyone a glowing review, only an honest for the invitation to was an invitation, not a promise of a glowing review. You could just have easily read the reviews on my site before submitting and decided that you weren't willing to take a chance on having an honest review of your work on the PODLINGS site. No one forced you to submit your was an invitation based on the interesting premise of your fantasy trilogy and based on another review seen by another author on squiddo.

By inviting you to submit, I in no way whatsoever promised a glowing review of your work and therefore could not have "stabbed you in the back." To have given you something your work doesn't yet merit would be dishonest and that is exactly what authors do NOT need from POD BOOK reviewers.

This is a brutal industry and as a small press published author myself, I can sympathize with your situation. However, I've paid for plenty of copies of my own work to send to reviewers and I've taken the review given with the understanding that it was there honest opinion of my many cases I agreed with their criticisms and seek to improve myself as a writer based on those criticisms. It is sad to see you don't feel this way, however my intent to provide constructive criticism for POD authors remains the same. Blowing sunshine in the faces of authors who need to improve their work in order to stand a real chance of success in our brutal book market is a far worse crime than an honest but critical review that is meant to raise the standards we publish by."



Elmore Hammes said...

Sounds like you made a polite and reasonable response to the complaint. It is certainly an author's choice to submit for review, as well as to publish in the first place. Either one exposes you to other people's opinions, good and bad. The best authors will learn from both.

Tabitha said...

I know exactly how you feel, Podling. There has been one of these immature authors featured on my site, too. I researched the review referenced here, and the details are incredibly similar to those of the dud on my site. I am not referring to the book genre or the details of the review, but the overall issue. Some POD authors, and I think most of these are from a younger age bracket, have not taken the task of producing a POD book seriously enough. They think they must be accomplished authors because they have gotten a few lucky breaks prior to submitting their work for a legitimate review. Looking at Amazon numbers, it appears that these turkeys are outselling some very good books. The truth seems to be that, for these particular gobblers, Thanksgiving just hasn't arrived yet.

POD Critic said...

I'm afraid I have to second this. Wonderful and necessary post.

podlingmaster said...

Thanks for the comments. We will press on...and no reviews, once given, will be retracted. I think I'm very fair, but if we're going to push the standards higher--which is the need--then authors and small presses are going to have to put forth the best writing and book production they can. Otherwise, is it any wonder p.o.d. has such a stigma attached to it?

POD Critic said...

Well said again, P. Master. I think your attitude is exactly like mine in this. I have said before, this will either force or inspire the authors and small presses employing POD to step up their game, or they will have to hide the bad quality titles. There has to be some sort of regulatory system that will shield readers from the deluge of bad books out there, and that’s why we’re here I think. Great work! Keep it up.

Lorrie said...

This business is certainly not for the faint of heart, or the thin skinned. My first review was a heart breaker. The story was praised to the hilt, great characters, wonderful action, terrific plot. . .but I had made the newbie mistake of doing my own copy checking, and of course, you never see all your own mistakes. It was a mess, and I got called on it. The review hurt, but I learned from it, and I certainly didn't complain to the reviewer.

I think alot of this attitude comes from "safe" places where people post their poems or daily laundry list and are assured glowing five star reviews from other people who want them to go read thier stuff and give them stars too.

I'm shy now. My book has been redone and is far cleaner and better than it was, but still I know there's things I would change. Someday I may. I got picked up by a traditional press (finally) and if all goes well, the book will be redone, properly.

Stick to your guns. You do a great service to those of us who want to learn from the reviews and sharpen our skills.

Emily Veinglory said...


Fortunately these kinds of responses are rare. I have had an author go as far as hoping I get cancer and die. Charming.

All they need to do is scan a few reviews to see what they will be getting.

podlingmaster said...

Well, Emily, we certainly don't hope you get cancer and die...good grief!
And just think, Emily, we do all of this without gratuity!