Dear Bitches, Smart Authors Podcast

75. Reviews and Responses, Plus Listener Email and Recommendations

Recently, during Digital Book World, Jane and I were in the same place- in the same room, event. A rare event! So we recorded a podcast together about recent author reactions and responses to reviews.

But first, the recorder picked up this weird background noise that might have been subway vibrations or HVAC vibrations due to our being in the basement of a hotel – sounds like wind. I'm really sorry. I couldn't hear them while we were recording but when I played the audio, it sounded like …weirdness. So my apologies (i'm working on being a better editor with each episode). I know it's distracting, like we're chatting together at the top of a wind turbine, and I did what I could to minimize it, but if it bugs the crap out of you, I'm sorry.

No more recording in hotel basements over subway tracks, clearly.

This is a very silly podcast, too, with a lot of links and discussions on goofy things we've seen online.

Here are the books we talk about in this episode:

Book After the Storm  Book Dahlia West - Shooter Book Brene Brown - Daring Greatly

Book In Between Lies Book Romancing Mr. Bridgerton Book Outlander

Book A Memory of Light Book On Dublin Street Book Down London Road

Book Before Jamaica Lane

 

And here are the links to videos and pages we mention during the podcast: 

 

 

Book Believe

This podcast is brought to you by InterMix, publisher of bestselling author Erin McCarthy’s e-book Believe, a sexy romance of redemption, secrets, and seduction…  

Phoenix is only two days out of jail when he meets Robin, a party girl with her own secret past. When the past collides with the present, who will find peace? Who will be hurt?

Don’t miss the newest e-book from Erin McCarthy, Believe, available January 21st wherever books are sold online.

 

Our music in each episode is provided by Sassy Outwater, who is most excellent. This podcast features a song called “Ascent of Conival” and it’s by Peatbog Faeries from their CD Dust. You can find them at their website, or at iTunes.

If you like the podcast, you can subscribe to our feed, or find us at iTunes. You can also find us at PodcastPickle.

Want to suggest a topic or ask a question? You can email us at sbjpodcast@gmail.com (WE LOVE EMAIL! Send us some!!) or you can call and leave us a message at our Google voice number: 201-371-DBSA. Please don't forget to give us a name and where you're calling from so we can work your message into an upcoming podcast.

Thanks for listening!

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  1. 1
    Lisa says:

    I have a lot of trouble figuring out books I want to read too. I read amazon reviews obsessively to look for elements I do and do not like in books. I look less about opinion and more about plot to figure out if I want to read something.

  2. 2
    Crystal D says:

    I read a story missing a vital part.  The authors response, buy the book again.

  3. 3
    Lila says:

    Great issue brought up by Brianna re. every book on Goodreads being the BEST BOOK EVER. I’ve wasted so much of my life on 5-star books that were plain dreadful. I have to learn to DNF. So many hours, just gone…

    Anyways, fabulous response as well. What works for me is finding the blogs that are usually a bit more critical in their reviews than others (hmm, if I could only think of a couple examples… Kidding!) and finding specific reviewers who have felt the same as I have on books we’ve both read, both bad and good, which is fairly easy to determine on Goodreads without delving into the actual reviews too much. Romance and NA readers and bloggers are an enthusiastic bunch, which is really lovely but obviously not always terribly helpful.

  4. 4
    Sam says:

    Romance and NA readers and bloggers are an enthusiastic bunch, which is really lovely but obviously not always terribly helpful.

    Agreed, Lila. I enjoy Goodreads as a tool to track my own reading habits, and to occasionally discover new books – but I always take reviews with a grain of salt. Within the last year or so, I’ve found myself almost always bypassing the reviews that include gifs and fan-casting. As fun as those elements are, I find it hard to take such a review completely seriously when the reviewer has included a photo of “random shirtless male model #178” as their dream hero. In the past I’ve found that this has been followed by the “OMG best book ever!!” pronouncements, and I just can’t do it anymore.

    I agree with Sarah’s suggestions to seek out reviewers with similar taste to yours. This takes time, obviously, but the payoff will be much sweeter.

  5. 5
    Lila says:

    I find it hard to take such a review completely seriously when the reviewer has included a photo of “random shirtless male model #178” as their dream hero.

    Ha! I’m a huge fan of “random shirtless male model #178” and his work. You are so right, Sam – I love that people go to all that trouble, but fan-casting isn’t the best sign. To quote my favourite gif, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”

     

  6. 6
    Laura says:

    I completely agree with Sarah’s advice on finding reviewers with similar taste in books.  I will sometimes look for a review that I agree with either pro or con and then go to that person’s read list for their 5 star books.  Another trick I use on Goodreads is to read the one and two star reviews to see what someone didn’t like about a given book.  I’ve purchased several books where the thing someone really hated about a book is something I know I would love.

    Personally, I have almost completely given up on book blogs (except for SBTB & DA of course) because most of them praise every book they review. No one loves every book.

  7. 7
    AMK says:

    Within the last year or so, I’ve found myself almost always bypassing the reviews that include gifs and fan-casting. As fun as those elements are, I find it hard to take such a review completely seriously when the reviewer has included a photo of “random shirtless male model #178” as their dream hero.

    Oh, goodness, yes. I see a gif, I bypass the review. I see many gif-ed reviews, I bypass the book.

    And I’d have to agree with Brianna that reviews/grades for newer books, especially NA or erotic/almost erotic contemporaries seem somehow less reliable. I’d like to say that maybe these are just not my subgenres, or that I’m getting old and cranky, but then I read something like Mathewson’s Playing for Keeps (GR grade of 4.15) and I don’t know, it just seems like a badly structured and written book. I don’t mean to say that the reviews are not honest, but I just can’t see AT ALL where the enthusiasm comes from.

     

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