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Who here tries to return reviews?
Posted: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 12:42 PM
Joined: 5/8/2011
Posts: 52

I always appreciate when someone takes the time to either review or critique my work. For that reason, I do my best to return the favor. That seems easy enough on this site as things are pretty mellow-paced. I've also put some critiques "out there" for many who didn't critique for me first (or second either, lol)

 I'd love to get some feedback, too, so I think, going forward, I'll wait and see if anyone else takes the time for my novel and save my critique time for those people.

How are other people here doing it? Some books, even those posted on the same day as mine, seem to get a good amount of reviews compared to my own, so perhaps I have the "giving review" method down but haven't yet figured out how to get people to review me or review me in return.

Thoughts welcome

Posted: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 4:16 PM
Joined: 3/29/2011
Posts: 20

I'm still trying to sort out the right formula. I feel like I've filled up my "Books You're Following" queue, both with people who have reviewed (which I'm in a similar boat... not too many reviews on my stuff, but on the plus side, they're insightful reviews) and just pieces that sound interesting.

Things are finally calming down to allow me to make a dent in my queue, so maybe I'll find that balance.
Trailer Bride
Posted: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 1:51 AM
Joined: 5/8/2011
Posts: 31

Ha! I returned your review today, Becca.

I always try to return reviews. RIght now, however, I still owe a few on Authonomy after the Episode so I'm not the fastest. Really the only time I don't return a review is if I don't see any potential in the book at all, or if I simply can't relate to it.

By the way, I'm not stalking you. Honest!
Posted: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 2:14 AM
Joined: 5/8/2011
Posts: 52

Bummer. I was hoping you would stalk me. Thanks for the return review again, it was excellent!
Posted: Wednesday, June 1, 2011 11:03 PM
I will almost always return reviews, and have found that going out and reviewing three or four pieces in a day/night will typically get me a review in return. I think, of the 13-14 people who have reviewed me, I've returned about 80% of them... Some it was clear that they were just trying to get 1 of their first 3 reviews in, and some were jerks, but the helpful reviews are the top of the list for me the next day.
Marshall R Maresca
Posted: Wednesday, June 1, 2011 11:44 PM
Joined: 3/7/2011
Posts: 56

I do try to return reviews, though I am deeply behind. I know I still owe you one, InkMuse.
Posted: Saturday, June 4, 2011 3:16 AM
Joined: 5/12/2011
Posts: 241

I return all reviews. I also review people for "free." The way I've been choosing is by looking for people who are writing in a similar genre or who have similar interests to me. That way I am making connections with people who will be most helpful if they choose to return. As with most other aspects of life, I am counting on karma to work for me.
Tara Kollas
Posted: Saturday, June 4, 2011 11:09 PM
Joined: 3/12/2011
Posts: 19

I do try to return reviews. And I know I owe a few. When I read and review for someone else, though, it's generally done because I enjoy what I've read, not because I expect something in return. I'm still feeling my way through this site, so I'm curious about how others feel.
L R Waterbury
Posted: Thursday, June 9, 2011 6:55 AM
Joined: 4/28/2011
Posts: 60

I try to return reviews but I also try to give helpful feedback, which means I need to be able to feel like I can offer something helpful in return. I've certainly read something by everyone who reviewed me (it was only 4 people, so not that much of a challenge), but didn't find I could be helpful to everyone and so refrained from reviewing a couple (and by that I mean two and not a handful).

What I have adopted is a sort of 3:1 personal policy ratio, in keeping with the bookcountry requirements to be able to upload. That is, for every review I get, I review three other people. Right now, I'm ahead of the game with my ratio and if I keep going at the same rate without getting any more reviews of my own work, I'm going to end up with a 4:1 ratio very,very soon.

It helps that I have a bit of a case of insomnia.
Sinnie Ellis
Posted: Saturday, January 21, 2012 1:26 PM
Joined: 4/3/2011
Posts: 67

I just started back here again after going on hiatus to write two novels. I do try to return reviews and follow the people I originally critiqued to see how their work has improved. So far I have had no reads on my own work, but I know it takes time.

Kat Day
Posted: Sunday, January 22, 2012 7:18 PM
Joined: 12/29/2011
Posts: 10

It seems like many responses here have given more reviews than they've gotten. That's true in my case, for sure. However, I'd rather have no review than a 'have to' one where the person isn't really intersted in the story but are dashing off a review payback. I cannot give a thoughtful review to more than one person a day because I continue to edit and tweak my own stories.

But who reads a chapter and doesn't leave even a word about it, not even to say at what point made them stop reading?
A J Hart
Posted: Monday, January 23, 2012 9:45 AM
Joined: 11/17/2011
Posts: 26

Welcome back Sinnie, planning on taking a peek at your work this week  

Excelent question Kat, my books read-to-review ratio is off by more then half. I'd much rather have someone say 'its so awful I couldn't get past the first page' then just leave me hangin'. 
Alexander Hollins
Posted: Monday, January 23, 2012 11:05 AM
Joined: 3/13/2011
Posts: 416

I have to admit, most of my reading is done away from the computer. If I could pop a book onto my ereader, read it on the bus, and then leave some notes when I get to work, I'd do a lot more reviews...

Mimi Speike
Posted: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 4:21 PM
Joined: 11/17/2011
Posts: 1014

I don't return reviews, for I have none myself. My book isn't up. I've done my three reviews, got the info in place, but my first chapter is out being professionally proofread and I don't have it back. I figure another week, I'll be up and running.

Here's how I choose reviews: I look for a voice in the discussions. If that beguiles me, I'll probably find things to like in the book. So far, this approach has paid off.

Once I'm reviewed, I'll certainly look at the projects of my reviewer. Here's the thing: if I find problems but also much to praise, I go for it. One piece that sticks in my mind, I had nothing good to say. I saw no hope for it. My impulse was to tear the guy apart, for I found his premise truly offensive, in addition to it being problematic in other areas. So I backed off. 

Dennise Sleeper
Posted: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 4:36 PM
I'm guilty of not reciprocating to one of my reviews. I did start, but then a newer version was uploaded. I've decided I have to review when I have enough time to finish before an upload. Their book in in my que and will be done.

As for the other 11 books I've reviewed, since they didn't reciprocate, I have to assume my book wasn't worth reviewing for whatever is their criteria.

For my reviews, I made adjustments from the 1st review. Great ideas. Considered the recommendations from the 2nd and made some adjustments from the 3rd. No other reviews since 12/7. (it was up from 11/11 - 1/16) Decided it must not be good enough to deserve further comment, so I pulled the book. And, as recommended by Jay in a post I read, I'm taking a writing class. (He wasn't speaking specifically to me. He didn't review my book. But the post made sense.) So my reviewing time has fallen considerably. Maybe this course will help me and when I put the book back up, it'll be worth more than 3 reviews.

Mimi Speike
Posted: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 5:04 PM
Joined: 11/17/2011
Posts: 1014

I'm reading the comment by AJ above, and it's got me thinking. Maybe I did the guy with the offensive piece a real disservice by shoving him aside. Maybe, no matter what trash I would have unloaded on him, I should have spoken up.

He's clearly serious. He mentions applying to a writer's program. And, maybe I'm wrong, or at least not quite as right as I think. And he's begging for reviews.

I'll do it. I'll take another look, and think long and hard, before I commit to words that I cannot take back. I learned the hard way. I posted my first review a bit prematurely, believing I could continue to tweak it, as you can do with a discussion.

This has really been a learning experience. Thanks, AJ. You're going on my list of folks to review.

To anyone who thinks they've been read with no review resulting, not so. I often, taken by a voice in a discussion, open a book to get a feel for the work, not intending to read and review on the spot, but meaning, if I'm hooked, to get back to it. My 'read' is therefore not a read at all, only a 'what sort of stuff is it?' Don't lose heart over reviewless reads. I imagine that there are many like me.

A J Hart
Posted: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 9:42 PM
Joined: 11/17/2011
Posts: 26

I think that most of us are on Book Country because we want to be serious about our writing, we want to be published writers but we can't do that without learning how to write. Hopfully by this point we know something about putting the words in a line to make a coherent thought that others can understand, but we all need help. Your opinion of this work might be the push the author needs. 

There are so many sets of eyes here and I truly believe that everyone brings something to the table when it comes to reviews and everyone should share their thoughts (so long as those thoughts do not fall into the ugly and offensive category) even if their thoughts might be a little bit out there. You never know whats going to turn the light bulb on in someones head. 

Thanks Mimi, I hope I dont disapoint. I'm suddenly feeling nervous! 
Mimi Speike
Posted: Friday, January 27, 2012 12:44 AM
Joined: 11/17/2011
Posts: 1014

Hi AJ,

I'm in the middle of a review, and my intense reviews take time. But I'll start yours this weekend and work on two at once.

By the way, when I said that a particular individual is clearly serious, I meant no disrespect to anyone else. What I meant was, I found his effort to be shallow, taking advantage of a tragedy in the news without having anything worthwhile to say about it, using it as a nifty plot device, apparently with enough confidence in the result to submit it as a sample to a writing program.

I found it weak, but I'm going to take another look, and try harder to get it. Maybe I've missed something. I'm always ready to eat my words, with a side order of humble pie.

I should talk! My own stuff is idiosyncratic. May I be blunt? Off the fucking wall! Many will find fault with my self-indulgent on-and-on tendencies. To them, I can only repeat what I tell my husband when our cats trot in the front door, jog across the living room, and demand to be let out the back window: Sweetie, it's part of their (and my) charm.

Joseph M Kurtenbach
Posted: Friday, January 27, 2012 10:01 AM
Joined: 11/27/2011
Posts: 9

I'm in that curious spot myself of having given five reviews and only got one so far (thanks, RJ), but I've only had my chapters up for a couple of months, so I'm reminding myself to be patient.

I also keep my eyes open in my preferred genre (epic or traditional fantasy) in case I notice a story that grabs my attention, especially if the author has had no or very few reviews, or perhaps a new draft with no reviews on it so far -- since I hope I can offer the most help in those cases.

Since I'm a slow reader and reviewer, I'll admit I've taken a little bit of a step back and am looking closer at which books and authors I do spend my time on.  I will also always do my best to reciprocate any reviews I get, though I don't have that expectation of others (of course it's nice when it happens, however).  The critiques that will be most beneficial to me will be from those who are willing and truly wish to be helpful.


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