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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

This reviewer is not as happy. . .

The review is a couple of paragraphs of pretty good description of the basic plot followed by:

The rest of the story follows their relationship and Bryan ’s resolution of his problems. This is a light, entertaining story without a lot of deep plot, relatively interesting with predictable sexual issues, and sweet characters. It works well as an e-book.

(That's from here)

Works well as an e-book? Huh. . . Does that mean it's short? (It is.)

I wonder what "e-book" means to them. I zipped around the site and the reviews for e-books tend to have lower ratings. Is that a reflection of the quality or the expectation of the reviewers? Or both?
*
Never mind that particular review. . .Moving right along and catching the next available tangent:

I wish there was a subjective method of measuring which aspects of a book--other than the story--hold the most power for reviewers.

Let's say you don't know the author, so you can't really base future expectations on past performance. What do you go with instead?

Say you get a lovely cover on cream-colored paper--maybe something like this, only without the little "Kilroy Was Here" guy at the top. Do you have higher expectations for the book and are more critical? Or do you open it expecting that weird lapses and/or passages of dull prose are on purpose and give it more of a fair shake than say, a man-titty Fabio thing?

I have to admit I expected a great deal from this book-- first of all there was that gorgeous cover. And the publisher put a lot of effort into marketing.
I recall that I was disappointed by it. (It's been a long time since I read it.)

But I think this isn't a matter of a book not living up to the cover. Gramercy Park was handed out to all the attendants at a RWA conference. The book's got some fine writing, a great, well-researched portrait of the place and age, and has a nice dose of melodrama. However it is not what I'd call a romance. I remember it as a single title with romantic elements. So there's another expectation; call it context. You expect to find Romances at the Romance conference--unless you know you're getting a Tess Gerritsen. But you don't know, cause it's a blank slate, remember?

We got the expectation based on the cover and the context. I suppose the reputation of the publisher goes with the expectation.

What else? Maybe how well the back cover and the contents match? Okay, yes, there's a matter of the damn story.

1 comment:

  1. arhhhhhhhhhhhhh

    "for an ebook"

    Ok, I'm officially pissy. Ya knew I wouldn't be able to let that one go, didn't you? *g*

    ReplyDelete