Monday, August 12, 2013

A 5-Star Review for "For Elise ~ A Romance About the Deepest and Truest Love"

Please click on image to read the review

Click to get your copy!
First off, thank you for the 5-star review, Karen. I really didn't expect it, but I want you to know how psyched I am to have received the honor of a 5-star rating for my romance novel. Although you say that you are not the greatest at writing reviews, yours should be used as an example of how one should be written and judged by readers for readers. I really believe that.

My Personal Opinion 
Re: Book Ratings & Reviews
and the difference between judging
a book for its entertainment
value vs educational value

Book ratings on fiction should be assessed on the quality of the story the book is telling, not on whether it's grammatically flawless. I have bought professionally edited and copy-edited books from commercial publishers before where whole chapters were missing and where I've found some grammatical errors as well. It never bothered me if the story touched me in some way.

That's why I read fiction: for the story, not for the editing. I present to you the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales as a prime example. Horrible grammar but excellent tales, yes? Can you imagine if the Brothers Grimm's fairy tales were judged on their grammar rather than the fairy tales themselves?

IMO, too many people seem to believe that reviews on works of fiction and rating these books needs to be written from a copy-editor's or proofreader's perspective. This shouldn't be the case because, usually, their reviews lose complete sight of the reason why the book was written to begin with: entertainment. And that's a shame. Some readers will reject a book that has a low rating. If the story is good, they'll be deprived of a wonderful story that they could have added to their collection. I wonder if people who write reviews on books understand that this is a possibility?

I've written for free online sites for over four years, and although my writing was horrible back then and it has greatly improved since, I rarely got a complaint about the editing.

When I then chose to enlist the help of an editor who actually taught creative writing for college students and who possessed a strong command of the English language, I still received those few complaints about "grammar issues" although those were rarely pointed out to me. However, the overwhelming majority of my readers wrote me feedback because they were enthusiastic about the story.

I have always believed that fictional stories that touch you, make you laugh and/or cry, and have the strength to be able to transport you to another world for those few hours in your day, shouldn't be judged by the mechanics but rather by the merits of the tale that's been weaved. Of course, it's different when you write text books. Those, I believe, must be written flawlessly because of the reason for having been written: education.

I recall in the early days of Stephen King (during my favorite decade, the 80's), when critics were coming out of the woodwork, proclaiming how poorly King's work was written and that he'll never last. I never understood that criticism. I felt it was unjustified and unfair to this incredibly talented man who had studied English at the University of Maine, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in English. Now that he's a huge success despite the deluge of criticism early on in his career, I don't hear them today.

This brings me full circle with the reason for my post today. The 5-star rating and book review by Karen at her Karen's Different Corners blog is based on the story I am telling, not on how flawless it is, and I couldn't be happier.  She "got it". She gets it. She understands the difference between reading a book for entertainment purposes and reading a book for educational purposes, and she wrote her review from that perspective.

Thank you once again, Karen. You made my day! <3 <3 <3

You can read the review she wrote for "For Elise ~ A Romance About the Deepest and Truest Love" here . When there, why not go all out and join her site and sign up to follow her blog via e-mail? You'll be happy you did. ;-) 

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