A Short Rant on Amazon.com Reviews…
Any writer worth his salt will tell you to never bother reading Amazon.com reviews. They’re like a millstone around an author’s neck. You never come away from a period of time reading your own reviews on Amazon feeling anything close to good, refreshed, or encouraged. You feel creepy, egotisticaland dirty, even if the reviews are good. If they’re bad, well, you feel pissed. Duh.
So of course I spent a few minutes today reading our reviews on Amazon.com. Maybe it was the cold weather. The gloom. The Lions. I don’t know. A moment of weakness or whatever. Here are a few things Idislike about Amazon reviews:
- When the reviewer hasn’t read the book, but still feels compelled to make generalization-type comments about the book, as though the world simply cannot live without this reviewer’s pre-thoughts on a given book. What I’d like to tell these reviewers is that there are plenty of message boards, emergent church websites, and blogs upon which to rant about our book. Or he could just pull the ultimate self-love move and just start his own blog. These guys always title the reviews something nebulous like “observations.”
- I hate the fact that you can review, and then comment on the helpfulness of, the reviews. Not only do I feed or damage my self-esteem based on these mostly crappy reviews, the reviewer can then feed or damage his own self-esteem, which gives him a taste of what he just put the real author through. Come to think of it maybe I like this.
- And finally, I have no problem with people liking Kevin’s chapters more than mine. I like Kevin’s chapters more than mine. I like Kevin more than I like me. You get the idea. But this one rubbed me the wrong way: “The chapters by Kluck were OK, but as I was reading the chapter, I was secretly hoping it would get over quickly so I could get on with Deyoung’s next chapter (they alternated).” How can you “secretly” hope for something that you’ve justannounced to the whole world on your Amazon review? Why did you feel the need to keep this a secret? Do I know you? Are we related? And why do you feel like it’s hard to have book chapters “get over” when it’s just a matter of turning a few pages? This guy gets added toa short list of people I’d like to punch in the face, unless he’s someone I like and/or am related to, in which case we should probably talk.