I have recently decided that I am going to put in my two cents whenever it comes to product review, of any sort.
I am, as I’ve mentioned before, a somewhat avid reader of reviews, mainly in regard to movies and books. Some reviews are “helpful”, but a majority of them are either way too long (hard to imagine I’d complain of that, eh?) or a bit dubious-sounding.
While it was very easy for me to start giving reviews on movies I had rented, I found it much more difficult to review books that I had read. I believe that is mainly due to the fact that movie directors and producers will not likely ever read my particular review out of 3457 for some movie that was released 14 years prior.
Authors (the lesser known ones, I mean), however, may happen to actually see my review. I know that I would be checking commentary every five minutes if I were a newly published author, and I’m assuming that I would be extremely defensive about negative comments.
I was once reading a story on my Kindle, and occasionally you have the opportunity to post comments as you progress through your book. After seeing this little do-dad, I decided to post some comments, myself. The next day, I noticed that my comments were no longer posted; I presume that the author (or someone) deleted them. Interestingly enough, my comments were actually a bit constructive (regarding the format and the need for spell check), whereas the others were just full out groaning, literally, about what they were reading.
Since then, I have been a little hesitant about posting my comments. My negative comments, that is. I recently did my first on-line “review” of a book I had read, and I only did it after I had seen other comments similar to my own. It got me to thinking about what a chicken $hit I am, and whether it comes from growing up with the whole “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it all” adage, or if it was just me being a wimp.
While there are plenty of Simon Cowellesque folk out there, willing to give their sometimes demoralizing two cents whether wanted or not, I happen to be a little less in-your-face than that. Sure, it’s easy for me to post rantings in my blog; I’m not famous. Yet. But I have decided that my opinions are worthy, even if sometimes a bit negative.
Because there is some merit to the idea of learning from criticism, and that most critiques, even if “bad” are actually “good.” I said “most,” because there are some critiques which are absolute drivel, and I’m hoping that most of us recognize drivel when we see it.
Anyway, here’s my first critique (which someone actually marked as “helpful” !), and as I work up the guts to do some more, I will post them in this category.