Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Rom Con Day One Summary

When I first heard about a conference devoted to romance readers, I was really excited. RWA, obviously, is not a reader conference; and RT has grown to be more of an author focused conference. I think that the intentions of RomCon are excellent and that this has the potential to grow to be an awesome reader event. This year, though, it seems like there are about 3 authors for every reader. Which is great, I guess, because you really can get one on one time with your favorite authors and there were some big name authors here at the conference.

That said, I think it was hard for readers to meet with other readers. The conference does a great job of hooking up readers with authors. There were author speed dating events and author intimate chats and author meet up with bloggers and reviewers and so forth, but there wasn’t any time today for readers to meet up with other readers and that is one thing I really would have liked to have seen.

I went to three sessions today:

  • Author Fairy Godmothers to the Rescue
  • Build a Hero
  • Book Reviewing Panel

The reason was that there were only one or two events that occurred each hour that was not a ticketed event. The author chats were open to those who had signed up before hand and received a ticket. I did not pre apply for those events so I went to the open events.

The Author Fairy Godmothers to the Rescue was how readers can help authors. The first fifteen minutes were about how we aren’t supposed to pirate and how we are supposed to speak up against piraters. Yo, folks, don’t pirate.

The next 35 minutes were about how you should be posting something about the books you are reading all over the internet, from goodreads to Amazon. The authors seemed obsessed with Amazon and I felt bad because there were a number of Borders booksellers at the table. Further, I’ve heard that Amazon only represents a small fraction of overall sales for an author’s books but from the emphasis that authors placed on Amazon you would think that it was the only bookseller ever, Amen.

Build a Hero was more reader oriented but there were probably one reader to every three authors in the room. Each table had three to four authors in a separate genre. We were handed a worksheet and asked to answer questions like “What do I look like”, “What are my dreams” etc. I listened to three authors talk about writing, in general, and heroes in particular. Authors like hero names that have hard consonants. They also liked men that were tall, dark and handsome. It appears that authors believe that readers prefer the heroes that save the heroine or that readers are more responsive to them. It was interesting to listen to the authors talk with each other about their writing process.

Book Reviewing Panel was moderated by Cathy Maxwell who did a good job of involving each one of the panelists and the audience. The one reviewer was Jen from Bitten by Books. The authors were Courtney Milan, Melissa Mayhue, Catherine Anderson. Deb Werksman from Sourcebooks also participated. Courtney Milan said that reviewers should review for themselves, not for authors and readers. Deb reminded everyone that books are not the author’s babies. Jen said that reviewers serve two masters: readers and authors. Catherine Anderson said that Harriet Klausner is the epitome of a professional reviewer.

There were a number of people who said that reviewers need to recognize and acknowledge the effort authors put into their books. Perhaps we should change the F review to an E review?

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

47 Comments

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  2. Janine
    Jul 10, 2010 @ 00:03:46

    Catherine Anderson said that Harriet Klausner is the epitome of a professional reviewer.

    Seriously?

    There were a number of people who said that reviewers need to recognize and acknowledge the effort authors put into their books.

    I just don’t see how that is relevant. I wonder if the same people would say the same about movie reviews, restaurant reviews, and product reviews? Let’s take a moment to acknoweledge the effort the moviemaker/chef/manufacturer put into the movie/dinner/gadget, before we tell you if it’s worth seeing/tastes good/works. I hate to repeat myself, but seriously?

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  3. SylviaSybil
    Jul 10, 2010 @ 00:26:52

    I put a lot of effort into my scathing reviews, and I think authors need to respect that. :P Seriously, I’m reviewing a novel, not a timesheet of the author’s workhours or their receipts for Advil. And if it can’t stand on its own, then maybe it’s just a bad novel. And it’s definitely not the reviewer’s fault.
    -
    Someone on Twitter mentioned the Simon Cowell principle. Paula’s feedback is always positive so it’s meaningless, but Simon’s praise is pure gold. And in this case, Paula Abdul = Harriet Klausner. This “individual” gives up to 100 reviews in a single day, usually five stars and usually getting half the facts crossed. (The people in the fantasy world aren’t Tweeting each other? No joke they aren’t Tweeting, they don’t have internet!)

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  4. library addict
    Jul 10, 2010 @ 00:35:21

    Harriet Klausner!? Um…what Janine said.

    I often love books that get bad reviews and dislike books that receive rave reviews. Both good and bad reviews serve to bring books to readers attention. There's a much better chance I will buy a book based on a “bad” review at a site like DA or SBTB than a site which only gives “nice” reviews as I don't frequent such sites.

    Author speed dating sounds like fun. FWIW I like heroines who can save themselves. Also, when the hero and heroine save each other.

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  5. EC Sheedy
    Jul 10, 2010 @ 00:58:20

    Build a Hero was more reader oriented but there were probably one reader to every three authors in the room.

    Not surprised. While authors want/like to talk to readers, I sometimes think the elusive reader wants to stay as far away from authors as possible. The requirement for constant promo makes some of us come across like ye olde door-knocking Encyclopedia salesmen. :-) I think the reader simply wants a book rec (as unbiased as possible), that will lead to something good to read. To that end reviewers are more important to him/her than the author h/himself.

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  6. MaryK
    Jul 10, 2010 @ 01:26:24

    Perhaps we should change the F review to an E review?

    That would be hilarious.

    I’d prefer listening to authors talk to each other rather than a hero game, too. The writing process is fascinating to me and I like to hear about it.

    I was browsing through HPs on Amazon the other day trying to pad an order and came across a lengthy 5 star review that was mostly explanation of the characters’ motivations without much opinion. An expanded blurb really. Then another, and another, and I realized it was the same reviewer (not Klausner, I don’t even read those). When I clicked through to her reviewer page, all of her reviews were 5 stars.

    Now, I like HPs, but how many are 5 star books especially in a random selection? I mean really! So I concluded that all her reviews were marketing reviews and ignored them. When I was reading the #romcon tweets, I thought about those “reviews” and how irritated I was when I saw the across the board high ratings.

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  7. Ros
    Jul 10, 2010 @ 03:54:41

    @EC Sheedy: I agree. I’m a reader. I’m not really that interested in meeting authors at all. In my experience, they are much less interesting than their books. And anything that smacks of self-promotion or salesmanship has me running a mile. And the idea that authors think they have any right at all to demand things of their readers or to have any say about how reviews are done or graded has my blood boiling.

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  8. Leslee
    Jul 10, 2010 @ 05:02:10

    Harriet Klausner!!! What? I agree with library addict and Janine and most especially SylviaSibyl! I review for a site and we don’t do mean reviews – at all! But we can say that we didn’t like something and why. And we don’t throw around perfect 5′s either. Klausner can’t even correctly write how old the heroine is in her reviews. She also has the worst run on sentences in the history of the world! If she is the standard that I, as a reviewer, am supposed to aspire to then I am in trouble!

    On the subject of Amazon, I must say that I don’t buy from them but I do read reviews there. I like to see what the average reader thinks of a book. Barnes and Noble, if the book is brand new, posts few reviews of new reviews by people other than Klausner. So that might be why there is still an emphasis on Amazon.

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  9. Danielle D
    Jul 10, 2010 @ 05:30:44

    I had to laugh — Harriet Klausner!!!! Reading one of her reviews in my opinion is like reading the back blurb.

    Amazon!!!! They are not the only place were people buy books — I’ve been taking advantage of Borders coupons.

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  10. michelle
    Jul 10, 2010 @ 07:01:53

    Well, it has already started. The cries of “mean girls” and “misrepresenting authors” has started up on the thread at SBTB. Clearly you and Sarah were in your own world and have an AGENDA.

    I really think sometimes authors are their own worst enemy.

    I wonder if there is an element of if I give nothing but nice reviews I will get more books to review. There seems to be an element of “sucking up” but maybe I am mistaken.

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  11. Sandy James
    Jul 10, 2010 @ 07:37:40

    Deb reminded everyone that books are not the author's babies.

    I caught this on Twitter last night, and it’s been bouncing around in my brain since then…

    If an author has as much love wrapped up in her books as her children, her priorities are misplaced. Yes, I put my heart into my books. But to say they’re my “babies”? Ridiculous.

    I will admit to having tears when I a GoodReads reader gave one of my books a one star a while back. I remember that more than all the good ratings. It hurt. No way around it. But I also realize that not everyone will like every book I write. I have to get over that and perhaps glean something from her comments.

    A reviewer owes readers honesty about what he/she thought of that story. Nothing more, nothing less. Sites with nothing but rave reviews are worthless to readers.

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  12. Ridley
    Jul 10, 2010 @ 07:50:16

    Catherine Anderson said that Harriet Klausner is the epitome of a professional reviewer.

    When you agree with Candace Sams on something, you might want to reconsider your position.

    And I’m so sick of the whining about pirating. No other industry gets off treating its customers like they’re all potential thieves. The music industry tried it, and it didn’t work so well, now did it?

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  13. SonomaLass
    Jul 10, 2010 @ 08:26:24

    I have really enjoyed meeting authors at RomCon. They are very approachable, and they have been great about answering questions/talking about their books/process/career. Even the big names didn’t bring big egos with them this weekend, which has been “nice” [drink].

    The reviewing panel was bizarre in concept and execution. Klausner was invoked with all seriousness, although that’s only one person’s opinion. But the opinion that reviewers should tone down negative responses to books seemed pretty strong in that room, as well as the feeling that giving a negative review was srs bznz, not to be done with humor or relish.

    A lot of authors DON’T agree, though, including most of the ones I’ve talked to about it. Lots of people have made film review comparisons, and many have said that bad reviews are better that being ignored.

    Like Jane, I think there’s a real split on the issue of negative reviews, particularly witty or snarky ones. This is why I love the internets! Don’t want those reviews? Don’t read sites that post them. Me? I prefer them, but I’m a mean girl from WAY back.

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  14. Mireya
    Jul 10, 2010 @ 08:37:02

    This is a joke, right?

    I am sorry but this is making my blood boil, I am bound to say stuff I should not say but this is all mind boggling… thank God I decided not to attend.

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  15. Jessica
    Jul 10, 2010 @ 09:39:58

    As a professional reviewer for librarians (for Booklist and Library Journal) I read these comments and the panel report on reviewing with great interest. Due to space constrictions BL and LJ rarely publish completely negative reviews – there are too many worthy books that we want to promote to libraries. At the same time, when I write reviews I never hesitate to point out the flaws and be honest. I’m writing for librarians and readers, I want to make it clear who will enjoy the book, and why it will appeal to readers, as well as point what may turn off or disappoint readers.

    I’ll also add that I love reading the reviews on DA and SB, positive, negative or otherwise as I always feel like I’m getting the real scoop on a new title.

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  16. DS
    Jul 10, 2010 @ 09:49:22

    I’ve written a few fan letters– yes, I said letters, mailed by the USPS and everything, and a few fan emails, but I honestly cannot think of any authors I want to fangirl in person. I do though like to meet other readers and authors wearing their reader hats. I also like to eavesdrop on authors talking shop.

    I would suggest that the Amazon review system, which is wide and deep, is probably more important than Amazon sales. Amazon reviews show up on many non-Amazon web sites. I just Googled my current vacuum cleaner and there were Amazon reviews of it all over the place.

    I usually buy items based on price but I nearly always check the Amazon reviews– especially for electronics because a lot of the reviewers do not just point out problems, they will at time post fixes.

    Harriet Klausner– OMG, I have nothing good to say about that so for once I’m not going to say anything at all.

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  17. Heather Massey
    Jul 10, 2010 @ 10:29:05

    Thanks for the overview.

    It appears that authors believe that readers prefer the heroes that save the heroine or that readers are more responsive to them.

    Sigh. That may be, but this reader has a hankering for heroines who have just as much of an ability to save someone, even the hero. I like it when an author has the h/h “take turns” saving each other during the course of the story. I suppose it depends on what kind of fantasy one’s looking for, but I’ll spend money to read about extraordinary heroines any day.

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  18. Carly
    Jul 10, 2010 @ 10:59:09

    Whenever I see positive comments about Harriet Klausner, I want to follow up with “why?” Why, author I respect, do you respect a reviewer who writes reviews that are short, trite, and uniformly uninformative (that is if you don’t count giving out spoilers without warning)?

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  19. Kim in Hawaii
    Jul 10, 2010 @ 11:06:48

    Checking in from RomCon … the book review discussion was just that – readers and authors discussing reviews. There were no right or wrong answers.

    Democracy is a double edge sword – freedom of speech (and thought) is available to everyone. So just as Team A may not like what Team B says (and vice versa) both teams should be encouraged to express their opinion. Our society grows and thrieves on such open communication (and agreeing to disagree).

    I have met many readers, bloggers, and authors – so the first RomCon met my expectations!

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  20. Karen
    Jul 10, 2010 @ 11:13:48

    I’ve been very curious to see how RomCom works out. I was one of the organizers of Celebrate Romance, which was a romance reader conference that started back in the “old days” of the internet. We had a lot of the same problems attracting readers to the conference. It was a real struggle to get readers to attend. Although readers are excited about meeting other readers, it’s hard to get readers to spend the money to come to a conference unless there are big name authors there that they want to meet. And it’s also hard to get any publicity for a conference unless there are big name authors attending. But once you get a lot of big name authors at the conference, it starts to inevitably become more author oriented, and less reader oriented. (Even RT has become more and more author oriented over the years.) And the more author-oriented a conference becomes, the more authors see the conference as an opportunity to publicize their books, rather than a chance to “put on their reader hats”.

    I hope RomCom succeeds. I loved meeting other readers at Celebrate Romance, and I have really missed it this year. I would love to find another conference like that. I’m crossing my fingers that RomCom has the chance to grow and develop – it seems like they have enough financial backing to keep the conference going next year even if their reader attendance is a little low this year.

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  21. Ridley
    Jul 10, 2010 @ 11:15:12

    @Kim in Hawaii:

    Sometimes there are wrong answers, though. Holding up HK as a “professional reviewer,” wanting a participation trophy for the effort of writing a book and lecturing readers to not steal are just plain wrong.

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  22. DS
    Jul 10, 2010 @ 11:42:13

    I didn’t mean to suggest that there is not a lot of astroturfing that goes on in Amazon reviews but it’s pretty easy to pick to pick out the books where the five star reviews are by family members and friends. Anyway I never read the five star ones, I start with the one stars and go up.

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  23. Marilyn
    Jul 10, 2010 @ 12:35:43

    @Karen:
    Celebrate Romance was a great conference, a nice mix of readers and authors and I found it a great experience.

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  24. MS
    Jul 10, 2010 @ 12:38:28

    @Kim in Hawaii: Amen

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  25. TKF
    Jul 10, 2010 @ 13:18:24

    @DS:

    Anyway I never read the five star ones, I start with the one stars and go up

    I tend to find the 3-star reviews are the ones that really tell me if I’m going to like the book or not. A thoughtful 3-star is pure gold!

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  26. willaful
    Jul 10, 2010 @ 14:40:58

    @Carly: Even more to the point, why does anyone read Klausner’s reviews, when they are so thoroughly content-free? Yet some people do — they’re even willing to admit it in public. ;-)

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  27. John
    Jul 10, 2010 @ 15:40:16

    Thank Google I was able to figure out who Harriet freakin Klausner is.

    Why would an author respect that? WHY? It’s not even a back blurb. It’s half of a back blurb. If that’s professional, then I must be one hell of a rebel.

    I’m sorry the conference didn’t live up to your expectations. I’m always up for talking to authors – they often have great writing advice, and some are really awesome people. Then again YA is not Romance, so the rules may very well change.

    I get that one should make some type of positive note in a review – unless of course the book is so horrible you can’t finish and there is nothing positive at all to talk about. But you shouldn’t just throw a five on it and say it’s perfect because it’s a book. There are a lot of books, some that are barely edited and thought about. With so many books out there, it’s clear that finishing one isn’t the grand achievement, it’s writing a good one. xP

    @TKF: Those reviews are often the hardest to write, but it makes sense that they would be best at pointing out the strong and weak points that overall make it average. :)

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  28. Sherri
    Jul 10, 2010 @ 16:08:37

    For me Amazon reviews play a small part in my book buying decisions and even then it’s only for authors I’ve never heard of before (I tend to buy my faves and borrow untried authors). Plus I’m skeptical of many ‘Wizard of Oz reviews’ (those made by people where you can’t see/know the real person behind the review). How many Amazon reviews are actually made by paid reviewers to hype a book? And how can one person review so many books each day? I’m a voracious reader and even I can only manage a book or so a day (and that’s if I do nothing but read), usually I manage a book or three a week read when I can ignore life’s responsibilities.

    I’m not a fangirl by any means but do have fave authors that I auto-buy and have a connection of sorts to them through their characters. But that doesn’t mean I want to meet them. Because sometimes the reality does not live up to expectation (Mel Gibson anyone?) and after seeing that comment made by Catherine Anderson (an auto-buy for me) I’m a little… disillusioned. Granted I should be mature enough to separate an author’s personal opinions from their work but I admit to it coloring my feelings/opinions from that point forward. And that would be my worry about attending RomCom – what if my fave author turns out to be an asshat? Or brushes me off? Or I meet a totally awesome new-to-me author and upon reading their work find out it totally sucks donkey balls? And then there’s the writer side of me who would love to sit down with several authors and pick their brains on the process…

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  29. Jennifer Estep
    Jul 10, 2010 @ 16:37:01

    What I’ve always wondered about Harriet Klausner is how she gets her reviews to show up on all the sites before everyone else’s. It seems like her review is always up at Amazon and B&N three weeks before a book is even released — before it even looks like you can post reviews.

    I would say that one of the best things a reader can do for an author is just e-mail and let her know that you enjoyed her book. Reviews are great, but it really makes my day when I get a nice e-mail from someone.

    As for bad reviews … not everyone is going to like every single book that I write. I’m cool with that. I don’t think I have any right to tell folks how to review things. But then again, I don’t think folks have any right to tell me what or how to write, either. Live and let live.

    And yeah, piracy annoys me. I recently found a site that had posted some short stories of mine that were on my site for free already. Online for free already, and they were still pirated. Sigh …

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  30. Ann Bruce
    Jul 10, 2010 @ 16:54:04

    @Jennifer Estep: The best thing a reader can do for an author is to buy or borrow and read the book. Reviews, e-mails, and everything else are optional.

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  31. Jennifer Estep
    Jul 10, 2010 @ 17:05:08

    @Ann Bruce: True. Without someone reading the book in the first place, none of that other stuff — good or bad — will follow. I didn’t mean it to sound like it was a requirement — just something nice to receive as an author.

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  32. BH
    Jul 10, 2010 @ 17:17:59

    I preach against piracy it every single time I hit the ‘buy' button.

    I support authors by buying and reading their books, and if it grabs me, I rec them to friends or acquaintances.

    Amazon reviews don't have much, if any, influence over whether I buy a book or not. Stars don't mean much to me. I ALWAYS discount any reviews done by ‘Harriet the Blurb Parrot', and any other promo reviews. How about ‘A Customer'?

    I go to book review sites, like this, to get a more in depth and hopefully honest opinion of the book whether it's good, bad, or meh. At times, I download a sample to my Nook to see if it's something I want to read.

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  33. Sara Reyes
    Jul 10, 2010 @ 18:14:43

    RE: conferences

    Karen and Marilyn,

    Hope you’ll consider Readers ‘n ‘ritas in November. We’ve limited the number of authors to 10, well, 11 if you include the mistress of ceremonies. But she’s also a radio personality, so maybe double duty (Candace Havens)? LOL

    We’ve got big names (Sherrilyn Kenyon) and not-as-big but it’s definitely a reader event with all the panels “dominated” by readers. Talking about stuff readers talk about: what’s the best ereader and why (with demos by experts because we want to spend our money wisely), how to become a reviewer (if you’re so inclined), books you might have missed (there are so many ones that sneak under the radar), best collection tips, shopping tips, and then interviews with the authors. Plus a signing, plus the raffles people love, plus the quiet times and the rowdy times. Oh, and did I mention margaritas? And food?

    Second weekend in November in Dallas. readers-n-ritas.org

    Sara Reyes

    PS miss Celebrate Romance too!

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  34. Patricia Briggs
    Jul 10, 2010 @ 19:33:05

    Reviewers should serve the readers. Period.

    I love dearauthor — and I really don’t look too much at the grade . . . uhm, okay, except for My books.

    As a readers — what I want from a reviewer is specific things that worked for them, and specific things that did not.

    As I writer — actually, I prefer the same thing. If something worked – I like to know about it so I can try to figure out why. If it didn’t — I’d like to hear why it didn’t, and see if I can fix it next time.

    Reviewers don’t owe me anything.
    Hugs,
    Patty

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  35. brooksse
    Jul 10, 2010 @ 19:50:01

    “Catherine Anderson said that Harriet Klausner is the epitome of a professional reviewer.”

    If by “professional” you mean someone who shows up everyday and does the bare minimum of what’s expected of her. While everyone around her knows she adds no value beyond telling the higher ups what they want to hear. Of course she needs help from others to get the job done, which sometimes backfires when people feed her wrong information. But that doesn’t matter, as long as she keeps telling them what they want to hear (guaranteed 4 or 5 star reviews) they’ll keep paying her (with free books).

    Now the word “epitome,” that’s not a word I would have chosen. Being an author, I would think Ms. Anderson could come up with a more appropriate word choice.

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  36. Lori
    Jul 10, 2010 @ 19:55:55

    @Karen: I really loved the Celebrate Romance conference that I attended. I thought it the perfect mix of readers and authors, and the authors who attended made such a huge effort to interact w/everyone.

    Sorry I couldn’t make RomCon this year, but it sounds very author-centric, even though that wasn’t its intention.

    And re: Harriet Klausner’s reviews? I’ll just stick with “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

    OK, no, I will say something. I know how long it takes me to put out a review that’s thoughtful. Nobody could ever crank out thoughtful reviews that fast and for that many books. Just sayin. And who wants to read reviews that aren’t thoughtful?

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  37. KMont
    Jul 10, 2010 @ 19:56:08

    Thanks for the recap. I always enjoy blog hopping around to get different perspectives on the conferences. I kinda let off my steam earlier on another blog about some of the things mentioned here, so need for a repeat. Looking forward to your next recap!

    I just have to say though, that, Patricia Briggs, you say it the best and in the most down-to-earth way. Thank you.

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  38. brooksse
    Jul 10, 2010 @ 20:34:43

    @Lori: I agree and appreciate thoughtful reviews. I also like to read reviews by someone who has actually read the book. When the “reviewer” continually refers to the male protagonist as “she” and “her” throughout the “review,” it makes you wonder if she even bothered to read the back cover blurb. http://www.amazon.com/review/R2P7G19LXBU9GS/ref=cm_cr_pr_cmt?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0451227719&nodeID=#wasThisHelpful

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  39. Keishon
    Jul 10, 2010 @ 20:35:37

    Last I checked, books are a consumer good purchased with my hard earned money. So, I don’t care about how much effort was put into the book because if it sucked, it sucked. Now unless you want to refund me my money for my effort to struggle through your awful book….?

    Harriet Klausner is the epitome of a professional reviewer? I don’t care to respond with anything that would make sense so I will leave it at that. Thanks for the recap. I’m pro-reader, too. Prefer to hang out with other readers.

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  40. MikiS
    Jul 10, 2010 @ 21:20:34

    Wow, I really hope there’s more to this conference than what you listed today.

    It doesn’t sound like a “readers & authors” conference. It sounds like an “authors’ chance to educate their ignorant fans” conference.

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  41. Jennifer Armintrout
    Jul 11, 2010 @ 11:24:19

    Well, I for one am shocked and appalled at so many people disliking Harriet Klausner. She gave me the only positive reviews I got on my last series, and I’m clinging to her like a liferaft in a storm! ;)

    I said it at SMTB and I’ll say it here: readers owe jack and sheet to their authors. If someone wants a job where they’re not going to be criticized for their work, I don’t know what job that is. It sure isn’t writing.

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  42. DianeN
    Jul 12, 2010 @ 07:16:14

    Not even going to comment on Harriet Klausner–everyone else has expressed my astonishment very well. And as for the books=babies question, I sometimes think it’s not the books that are babies, it’s the authors! Any writer who can’t shrug off or ignore a bad review should probably be writing for their friends and family only.

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  43. LaurieS
    Jul 12, 2010 @ 11:03:10

    What is a professional reviewer anyway? Doesn’t “professional” mean one has studied up for years and makes a living wage at their chosen occupation? Does Amazon now pay HK to sit home and skim books and spit out reviews with misinformation? If so, how do I sign up for that gig?

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  44. Joy
    Jul 12, 2010 @ 12:04:08

    Well, I’ve never seen Harriet Klausner write a review that was in any way critical. I suppose sometimes an author might like that. It’s not useful at all to a *reader*, though.

    I find Amazon reviews useful mainly for the volume–I often buy elsewhere but Amazon seems to be where you can find a bunch of reader reviews easily. I like to read a sampling of “good” and “bad” reviews–I want to know the book’s weaknesses and see if they are the kind of weaknesses I would mind.

    For the past few years I have been posting a capsule review (at least) of everything I’ve read somewhere on the Internet (the longer more thoughtful ones are on my site linked above; some are on Amazon and some are on Visual Bookshelf, and they’re all on a private messageboard I belong to). It’s actually been a fun experience and conversation with other romance readers, so I agree with the authors that this is worth doing.

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  45. 13 Hilarious, Heartbreaking, and Horrifying Moments of RomCon 2010. With Quiz. « Read React Review
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  46. XandraG
    Jul 12, 2010 @ 18:29:41

    I wasn’t able to attend RomCon (and truthfully, it didn’t make my con shortlist this year–sorry, Denver!). In all honesty, these days, if I go to a romance-related thing, I do it semi-incognito. I am keenly self-conscious for my fellow authors because we’re all under that tremendous pressure to promote, and I fear that going as an author will turn me into a horse’s ass. But the panel’s description read to me like it was meant for readers who want to act as “street teams” for their favorite authors–certainly not all readers nor all fans. As a reader, I’d rather see folks be “street teams” for subgenres that need more love (Heather Massey, ur doin’ it rite!).

    As an author, a reader owes me nothing (except the chance to give them a few hours’ enjoyment). A reviewer owes me nothing, either–except please get the book title/character names right.

    As a reader, I love a review site with cross-tagging and keywords that include hero/heroine’s names. That’s pure gold.

    ReplyReply

  47. Annita Furubotten
    Jul 26, 2010 @ 10:10:37

    Hi, first of all, I want to note that I think it’s a amazing web site you got here. My question is, I haven’t figured out how to add your web site feed in my rss reader, where is the link to the RSS? Thanks

    ReplyReply

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