book reviews, Uncategorized, Writers Co-op

Peer Review Page


whispersWhat People Think
Our “proto-work-in-progress” page is up. I posted, on Facebook, a link & invite to comment on the concept. Many think it’s a great idea, some want to contribute now, others are clearly confused by my use of the word “review” and one has a fantastic idea for anyone selling books on Amazon. Here’s a sampling of the initial reaction to the concept.

Sharon Sasaki: I think it would be good if writers review other writers with some kindness and encouragement in mind. Sometimes authors can be extremely critical of other authors.

Bill McCormick: I have a set of reviews I’ve already done that could easily be retrofitted into your format. Would you like those?
(Added as author for posting reviews.)

Mike Van Horn: Seems like a great idea in principle. But I have problems with reviewing books of people I know. What if I review your book and I don’t like it? I don’t think it merits 5 stars? Maybe 3. What if I review your book and I find typos and other glitches? All too common with self-pubs. I have an inner English teacher, and she grades down for these things. I told somebody on the Sci Fi forum yesterday she needs to hire a copy editor. Some people need critiques before they get reviews.

Carlos Morales: And make sure you sign up to be an affiliate, and use affiliate links. There isn’t much money in it, but it’s like playing the lottery. There’s a tiny chance that someone clicks on the book, then decides to buy a $900 computer with their next couple of clicks. If that happens, you pull a decent commission.
It’s happened to me once or twice. Someone bought a $175 tent, and another one bought a laptop for $600 in the same couple of hours during one of my Bargain Promos. It was a good day for revenue.

Thanks all, for the great feedback! As these samples are from a mere 24-hour posting, I think we have a concept worth pursuing. But if we want the writing community to contribute reviews of books they recommend, we may need to re-think our title for the section. Some in the community have been bitten by a “peer review” and many rightfully expect reviews to be negative as well as positive.
We will get more reviews of books recommended by the writing community if we are very clear that is what we are looking for.

Any suggestions for a better title than, “Peer Review?”


17 thoughts on “Peer Review Page

  1. mimispeike says:

    This is very difficult. I gather you want only favorable reviews. I understand why. But when I go to Amazon and see only four and five stars I dismiss the reviews. I say, this can’t be on the level. All positive comments make me less likely to give a book a chance.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. GD Deckard says:

    I understand, Mimi. Amazon reviews are more, critiques. The reviewer is expected to give pros & cons.
    That is why I asked, “Any suggestions for a better title than, ‘Peer Review?’”
    We should deliberately avoid negative reviews. If you don’t like a book, read another one. This section is for books that you, as a professional member of the writing community, would recommend.
    My poor choice of the word “review” caused the same reaction from some on Facebook.
    “Peer Recommendations” is obviously a better title.

    I’d never want to put the Writers Co-op in the position of dissing authors. There are plenty of excellent books out there to find and recommend.

    The other misconception is that people who know an author cannot be trusted to be objective about that author’s works. Full transparency will help. Whoever recommends a book needs to state their position in the writing community and their relationship to the author.
    Besides, I’m not looking for that elusive quality, objectivity. People who like a book can tell others here why they like it. If the “review” -or recommendation or whatever we call it- accurately conveys the sense of the book, then a reader can decide for themselves if they want to read it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • GD Deckard says:

      WoW! That hit me right 🙂
      Let’s see what others think.
      Thanks, Mimi! ‘Tis a whole different approach, this active approach 🙂


  3. atthysgage says:

    I am a little bothered by one thing: who wrote these reviews? Am I missing it? As far as I can tell, they could’ve been the authors of the books. Again, am I missing it?

    Otherwise, I think this will be a nice addition to the Co-op.

    Liked by 2 people

    • GD Deckard says:

      Oh, that’s my fault. Peer Reviews is a test page and I have yet to go in and add the “transparency” of who wrote the reviews and their relationship to the author. I also need to figure out how the page(s) can best be navigated. But 🙂 it is a work in progress.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. mimispeike says:

    I wonder: are we supposed to restrict ourselves to books from the self-pub writer community?

    Or could it be a teaching tool? For instance: I love the way John Kennedy Toole handled this problem that I am dealing with myself.

    In other words, is this meant to be a promotional tool to attract new members? I’m still confused about that.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. One problem with “peer review” is that the phrase already has a specific (and different) meaning in the editing of STEM journals.  Mimi’s suggestion is a catchy way to emphasize that *only* favorable reviews are wanted (in contrast with STEM practice).  I see some risk that somebody inclined to write a favorable but not ecstatic review would be put off by “love” (not just “like”), but maybe I am too literal-minded.

    Liked by 2 people

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