Manuscripts Burn


"Manuscripts don't burn"
- Mikhail Bulgakov

Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Types of Reviews

HAWM, friends and blogketeers!  Today I thought I'd do something a little bit different.  I'm by no means an expert on reviews, but I have received a few of them at this point, (and even written a few) enough so that I've noticed trends in reviewing styles.  Let's look at a few. 

The Basic Review

Description:  From an author's perspective, this is the ideal review.  A random person read the book and felt moved to consign their genuine thoughts to posterity. 

Example:  "I really liked this book.  It wasn't the greatest book I ever read, but it had tension.  Jimmy was my favorite character.  I think if this author writes something else, I'll probably check it out."

The Overly Effusive Review

Description:  Let's not mince words here: authors love having their egos stroked, and a good review can be a day-maker (sometimes even a week-maker.)  And then sometimes it gets weird...

Example:  "When I say this author is God, I mean it.  And that's coming from a devout Christian.  I sincerely believe he may be Jesus reborn.  I have never read words of this heart-wrenching beauty, and to see so many in a row all in one place just makes my bosom heave with agony that I hadn't read them before now.  I hope to meet this author one day and give him the sloppy blowjob he deserves."

The Scorcher

Description:  Effusive reviews can get a little...weird.  That being said, I'd generally rather receive one of those than an absolute scorcher.  Sometimes a person doesn't just dislike the words you wrote on a page.  Sometimes they wish you had been aborted in utero.  And, yeah, they really do get that harsh sometimes.

Example:  "This book is a total trainwreck.  The author is obviously a misogynist/racist and/or member of a minority group/political party/religion which I will imply is awful without really clarifying why.  He needs to give up writing, and maybe try something he might be good at, like gathering up pigshit without gloves.  I wish I could award zero stars, because this festering pile of rancid dog cum deserves it, if not worse."

The Semi-Review

Description: It sort of seems like someone sat down to write a review, but then gave up midway through. This sort of review will be marked by lack of capitalization, sentence fragments, and incomplete thoughts.

Example: "good book."

The Damn Novel-In-It's-Own-Right

Description: A sentence fragment can be a little unsatisfying. Then, on the other hand, you have someone who clearly has too much time on their hands. I have a friend who (no shit) received a combination Scorcher/DNIIOR.  It was about nine single-spaced pages, carefully ripping apart every scene in the book.

Example:  "Let's take a look at page one.  Here we have seven paragraphs which...hold on, I should probably back up.  First of all, my degree is in psychology, so that should probably give you an idea of where I'm coming from.  Well, I say 'degree,' but the truth is I never completed my matriculation.  That's not a reason to look down on me, you know.  Plenty of successful people never went to college.  Just off the top of my head I can think of Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Mark Cuban.  And in my case, this was the eighties and kind of a different time.  Reagan had just been elected president, disco was on the downswing, and the market was bullish.  Oh, I remember it like it was yesterday...[truncated due to space limitations.]"

The Nonsense Review

Description:  This reviewer was clearly deranged.  It seems they read your book, but otherwise it would be difficult to establish a clear connection between them and reality.  Their criteria for evaluation are...let's just say, confusing.

Example:  "Sure, there were zombies, but no mention of Donald Trump?  I mean, what's going on here?  We live in this world where wet is down and up is left and I mean, I love the book, there were hardly any typos, except that one on p. 94 which mixed up 'their' and 'there,' but do you really think that lacking cow is going to moo moo moo your way back into the farmstead?  Three stars.  Minus two points because you know why."

The Sleight-of-Hand Review

Description:  The reviewer clearly has ulterior motives.  Sometimes the review sites catch these and delete them.  Sometimes they slip through anyway.  Maybe the reviewer casually mentions somewhere to buy cheap Ray-Bans.  Maybe they e-mail you (this actually happened to me once) and ask for a quid pro quo review on their own book based on their unasked-for review which clearly went no further than glancing at the cover.

Example:  "This book was great.  I especially liked the scene set in Barcelona.  If you'd like to learn more about finding cheap hotel rooms in Barcelona, you can check out my blog at..."


What about you?  Get any weird/awesome/extreme review styles you'd like to share?

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