What is the value of authorial endorsements?
In this political season, the candidates have received endorsements from people that they have had to “reject and denounce*”. The Good, The Bad, and the Unread, featured a promo for the September release of Double Enchantment by Kathleen Kennedy which is the second book in her Relics of Merlin series. Kennedy’s world is set in the Victorian era and has a unique way of assigning nobility according to the strength and type of magic one can perform. What I remember from the first book which I forgot to review, Enchanting the Lady, the shapeshifters were considered lower class individuals. (They are animals, after all).
Ms. MacGillivrey** showed up in the comments to provide this endorsement:
Kathryne’s books are indeed enchanting. She’s is one of the best new voices to debut in the past few years. I highly recommend her books.
This led Sybil, the blog owner, to ponder whether DAM was stupid or clueless and whether a recommendation by DAM was actually harmful to Ms. Kennedy. It’s unfortunate, but given DAM’s past behavior and the coterie of authors who assisted her in achieving her goals of review deletion***, a reader can easily become suspicious about the association. Like Sybil, though, I choose to believe that Kennedy does not know what is going on (although given that the request for clickies take place on the Dorchester loop, can this be true? Am conflicted).
Conversely, I know that endorsements can help me to decide to buy a book on a rare occasion or it can serve to validate a purchase. Aka Diana Gabaldon endorsed Joanna Bourne FTW! I didn’t read Joanna Bourne’s book because of the endorsement but I did find that the endorsement “validated” my response to the book. A comment recommending a book by an author whose book I liked will likely move me to buy books. I bought several Lucy Gordon books after a recommendation by Sherry Thomas. I read Lisa Shearin’s Armed & Magical because of the recommendation by Ilona Andrews. I added the emphasis because I kind of view a recommendation by an author as “if you like my book, you’ll like x book.”
PS – Shout out to any RT reader who came here because of the mention in July’s RT. It’s true, RT readers, that Tess Gerritsen decided to shut down her blog after receiving flack from people regarding her tongue in cheek support of DAM. This post (click on link) is the one that apparently led Ms. Gerritsen to believe that the interwebz were not for her. Are we to blame? Feel free to comment. We hope you stick around.
*This famously comes from the Ohio Clinton/Obama debate in which Obama denounced the endorsement of Louis Farrakhan and Clinton said that he should have rejected the endorsement and Obama responded that he would both reject and denounce. So now everyone uses “reject and denounce.”
**Deborah Anne MacGillivray was the recipient of a three star review by a reader named Reba Belle. DAM appeared to use yahoogroups and author groups to encourage or browbeat individuals into taking down negative reviews by reporting that the review is a) not helpful and b) abuse. Reba Belle attempted to fight back and repost her reviews and comments and was ultimately banned by Amazon.
***I can’t help but wonder about the pervasiveness of the deletion of negative reviews. For example, the deletion of reviews continues unabated at Barnes and Noble over the Evanovich reviews of Fearless Fourteen but Evanovich has refrained from stalking and threatening the negative reviewers.