Wednesday, January 26, 2011
It's amazing how much difference book reviews--or the lack thereof--can make to the success of any given book. The more reviews are out there, the more likely people are to buy, especially if the reviews are positive. I know that's certainly the case with me. When I'm shopping on Amazon, or even if I'm planning to go to a brick-and-mortar store and buy, I always read a good portion of the Amazon reviews of a book first, to see what the general consensus was. Sometimes the things people say they hate about a book are the very things that will make me buy it, and sometimes what people dislike about a book are also the things I know that I'd also like to avoid. It depends on what the issues are. But without the reviews, I would never know until after I'd spent money.
Careers can be made or broken upon word-of-mouth alone. Many people like to go with the flow. They like to trust one another's opinions. This can be a good thing or a bad thing. In the case of building success for a book or other product, it's essential. Everyone's experience of using a product is subjective, but if the general consensus about that product is positive, then people tend to go into their own experience expecting something positive. If all the reviews about that very same product had been negative instead of positive, then the person reading the review would have been expecting a very different outcome. They might not have bought the book at all, or they would have read it but been prepared to dislike it.
The interesting thing about this is that it's all about perception, and perception is often driven by consensus. What does that say about us as people? That we're all more dependent on and more connected to one another than we realize, perhaps.
Word-of-mouth (or word-of-speaker, in the following case) has extended to our machines and technology as well. Someone recently commented that whoever came up with the default text message sound for the new Droid phone had a stroke of genius in marketing. The phone exclaims its own name when it receives a text. "Droid!" has already become the new catchphrase in our family. You can't not know about it, and the way it sounds is also distinctive enough to stick in the mind. Consensus seems to be that it's cool. And so it spreads....
Posted by KHurley at 2:22 PM
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Okay, I have to say this. I hated, hated the last episode of Medium. I would have been fine with it being the last show in the series if it had ended on a different note. Their version of upbeat and my version of upbeat obviously differ. I was hoping for the characters to have a happy life together as well as a happy afterlife together.
I wanted to see Alison solve one last big case and make a big difference in someone's life. I wanted to see her and Joe grow old together, the typical version of "and they lived happily ever after." The key words here being "they lived." I did not want to see Joe die and leave her there to finish her lifetime alone...and I definitely did not want to watch her in the nursing home, just sitting there basically waiting to die. And even if they insisted on having Joe die--what's up with her having no contact with him for the duration of her lifetime? She could see/hear spirits, so why would he have had to stay away? Why couldn't he have kept talking to her when she needed to hear from him? Why would she have to die old and alone and then be surprised that he waited for her on the other side? It all just felt like such a letdown.
I really prefer Walt Disney's motto: Always leave 'em laughing. This last episode of what was otherwise a phenomenal series has left me feeling extremely disappointed in the writers and the network. I will remember this episode for a long time--and not in a good way.
Posted by KHurley at 3:43 AM
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Here's a brand new review, from a blog called Tales to Tide You Over.
Every one of the summaries people have posted about my story have been interesting for me to see; I'm always curious about what message, if any, people took from what I wrote. This latest blogger has absolutely hit the nail on the head with her understanding of what I was trying to say with "The Truth One Sees."
Posted by KHurley at 2:22 PM
Saturday, January 08, 2011
"To be nobody-but-yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else, is to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting." --E.E. Cummings
I find that I tend to love the authors best who, in whatever genre or style they write, put their truth on the page and pour their hearts into it. Those tend to be the books I find myself coming back to and reading again and again. It's worth noting that most if not all popular trends were started by someone who took a chance, went out on a limb and dared to be an individual. There's a beauty and an irony in that.
Posted by KHurley at 12:52 AM