Monday 22 April 2024: A new adventure?

Image by bertvthul from Pixabay

The blueberry crumble I made on Thursday was absolutely gorgeous. I made 4 dumplings as well to put in the casserole the poet had left on the hob while he went to band practice. Honestly, the two of us will never, ever starve. He called me on his way home from band practice, and by the time he walked through the door, I was serving up. To say he was pleasantly surprised is an understatement, as he normally does tea.

On Friday he was working from home, so we didn’t have to get up at the crack of dawn. He went into a video conference at 10am, while I stayed in the living room. I did quite a lot of reading, both for pleasure and for work. I have no problem reading writing books during the working day as they’re work.

At 11am I crept into the office because I needed to start doing things on the computer. I still tried to be quiet, though, as he was having meeting after meeting and he’d put a backdrop up by now so no one could see me.

I started by collecting the latest books for review (9 of them) plus a Friday free book from Joffe Books. I loaded them onto my Kindle, then converted them to epub and uploaded them to Google Play Books. There were a few problems at first, mainly that they wouldn’t all load properly onto Google Play but also the covers were missing. So I had to collect cover images and add them to the epub files manually. But all worked in the end.

Next, I updated my Trello board, and then I hopped back onto Google Play Books to remove any books I’ve already read and reviewed or abandoned. We’re only supposed to upload so many books and I have 500 more!

As I was tidying up my NetGalley board on Trello, I noticed JUST EAT IT was on there. You know, one of the books I’m currently reading? Puzzled, I went to see what my review said. I’d given it 3 stars and wrote:

Absolutely not what I expected. There was too much science, far too many case studies, and too much of what I hoped I’d never have to do again – keep a food diary. Disappointed, as the adblurb suggested not having to worry about diets and psychobabble again.

Hmm. Well, first of all I didn’t even remember that I’d read it, let alone given such a scathing review. But this was back in 2019. So far, in the current reading, I’ve not noticed a single case study. The science is still there, but not so it made me cross. And while the author still does suggest keeping a food diary, she does add that if that’s too much like dieting for us, then don’t bother.

This suggests that either the publisher or the author, or both, made note of what reviewers said way back when, and perhaps the book was updated. At some point I stopped posting negative reviews anywhere online and only sent them to the publisher, but I did it to improve my ratio of books awarded to books reviewed as well as not to upset anyone.

If the publishers are going to take heed of what the reviewers say, then perhaps it’s still a good idea to send negative reviews to them on NetGalley but still refrain from posting them publicly anywhere. I’ve spoken to publishers too, both on the phone and via email, and they’ve always seemed happy to take on board any comments, which suggests it’s the authors who are throwing their toys out.

Maybe I’m not wasting my time after all.

I updated my reading log on Excel and did my weekly backup. I wrote a more structured outline for TUNDRA SPACE HOTEL PART 2, exported it to Word and then into Scrivener. And I thought a lot about the Undercover Project. I decided which project it was going to be, and I went into TickTick to create the project and schedule in the work.

We were off out at teatime, so I didn’t get much of a chance to sink my teeth into anything else.

We didn’t make it the other week to launch our new adventure. The person we were going to see couldn’t make it and then kept putting us off until eventually he started to just ignore our messages. So on Friday, at 5:30pm, we were due to go and see someone else. Find out tomorrow if we made it and what, if anything, has come of it.

2 thoughts on “Monday 22 April 2024: A new adventure?

  1. Oh, my gosh, the crumble sounds wonderful. I can’t wait until blueberries come back in season.

    Reviews have become meaningless, for the most part. They’re there for numbers, not to communicate anything about the book. I don’t read them anymore when I’m looking at books, and I’m frustrated in my paid gigs, because the publications claim to offer “honest” reviews , but we are “spoken to” if we give them.

    1. There is a school of thought, usually among diva authors but also with some publishers, that reviewers are ‘gifted’ books ‘for free’ so that we can ‘help sell’ the books and help authors in general. I even saw one author give a right rant on Twitter, when it still was, about how most reviewers only agree to read books now because they’re greedy and ‘don’t have to pay for them’, completely forgetting, or choosing to ignore, the number of hours reviewers, whether on NetGalley or via a publisher’s mailing list or through paid reviews, spend first of all reading the books, then writing up the reviews! I know far too many of these divas and it’s put me right off bothering.

      I fired a complaint off to the ranty author’s publisher, because she’d used some foul language as well, and the publisher said they’d seen the post and they’d had other complaints too, and that they’d asked her to take it down, which she did. At least this one seems to have taken on board the negative feedback and addressed it.

      Another diva author I know complained about a negative review saying reviewers should give credit that the author had finished a book as that’s quite difficult in itself. Well yes, it it is. But if you’re then going to put it out there, expect people to tell you what they think. Especially if they paid for it.

      I’d just be grateful people had taken the time to read my book in the first place let alone leave a review, and I really don’t care if they didn’t like the book, so long as they say why.

      (sorry, soap box…)

      We tried blueberries in a pie first, and they were a bit sharp, so I used quite a lot of sugar in the crumble, and it worked a lot better, but the blueberries tasted more like jam (jelly), so I might try less sugar in a crumble and more in a pie. The crumble was, indeed, scrumptious, and it’s definitely a keeper.

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