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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking about starting an ebook critiquing site where people could leave their honest feelings about a book cover.

The purpose would be give people an honest assessment of just how good or bad their cover is... without anyone's feelings getting hurt. 

Would anyone be interested in such a site or is it a dumb idea?  :)
 
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Criticism, for me, is only valuable if I know skill set the person giving it. Lots of people give very BAD advice around here. I've seen people talk about book covers, for example, who have some gods-awful covers in their signatures. I've seen people offer writing advice who can barely construct a complete sentence. Designing by committee only works if every member of the committee has a known level of competency. Anonymous reviewers who may or may not even be familiar with the norms of my genre aren't going to be helpful at all.
 

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If the advice is intelligent and perceptive, it shouldn't matter if it's anonymous or not.  It's the quality of the critique that matters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
ElisaBlaisdell said:
Anonymous....

critiquing...

honest opinions...

feelings do not get hurt...

Which one of these things does not fit in with the others?
lol I guess this is a bad idea... I should clarify that the author would submit his/her cover voluntarily
 

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Why anonymous? There was a site that posted covers for critique for a while. Some fairly experienced people often posted to comment. A fair number of people followed the site and it was interesting, I thought.

ETA: The author submitted the cover.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
JRTomlin said:
Why anonymous? There was a site that posted covers for critique for a while. Some fairly experienced people often posted to comment. A fair number of people followed the site and it was interesting, I thought.

ETA: The author submitted the cover.
I think the main reason would be for an author to get truly honest reviews of their cover... that is if they wanted to subject themselves to it. :p
 
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Avis Black said:
If the advice is intelligent and perceptive, it shouldn't matter if it's anonymous or not. It's the quality of the critique that matters.
It matters a great deal. If someone tells you that he has 20 years of computer experience, for example, you might think he has a lot of perspective on the subject and pay attention to his advice. If you find out the person with 20 years of computer experience is 22 years old...well...his 20 years of experience takes on a bit different of a meaning (Not an exaggeration, BTW, true story!).

Advice does not exist in a void. Nor is all advice created equal, regardless of what some people want to scream. My opinion, no matter how articulate, does not have the same value as Warren Buffett's on matters of investing. My opinion, no matter how well stated, shouldn't carry more weight than an actual copyright lawyer on matters of copyright law. And ye gods know if you have ever seen one of my glorious stick figure illustrations that my opinion on art should not weigh more than an actual designer. It is the elephant in the room around here that few people want to admit. One of the reasons I generally try to preface a lot of my posts with some background is because my opinion doesn't mean a lot without context for people to weigh it with.
 

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Bards and Sages (Julie) said:
It matters a great deal. If someone tells you that he has 20 years of computer experience, for example, you might think he has a lot of perspective on the subject and pay attention to his advice. If you find out the person with 20 years of computer experience is 22 years old...well...his 20 years of experience takes on a bit different of a meaning (Not an exaggeration, BTW, true story!).
Considering as my 3-year-old plays already plays games on the computer and "types" email to her grandparents (She tells me what she wants to say, and I tell her what letters to push and she hunts around and finds them), I don't see this as an exaggeration at all. Today's toddlers will have had 20 years of computer experience by the time they graduate from college.

Heck, I'm 35 and I technically have well more than 20 years of computer experience. My dad was a bit of a computer nerd and our family got our first PC in 1983. So could I claim to have 30 years of computer experience just because I used to play Tetris and Oregon Trail and then when I was in high school I would type up my term papers? :p
 

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As I said, it has been done before. It was enjoyable, and people with some degree of expertise took part. Of course, one ignores advice that doesn't seem good. When one posts a cover for comment here, as happens all the time, the posts and suggestions vary in quality. That's life and people are able to deal with it. As for the people who rubbish the idea, I assume they wouldn't want to post their covers or make comments.

Other people might enjoy doing so.

 

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If I want an opinion on my cover, I submit to somewhere like Joel Friedlander. At least I know he has some background knowledge and if he says it's c**p, then it probably is. If someone using the name 'anonymous' says it, I have no idea whether it's true or simply that they don't like the colours or the subject or the font.
 

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Scarlett_R said:
This reminds me of the thread about the guy who posted about bad book covers. I know it's not the same thing but I see it going into the same sort of burned reaction.
Why? Because art is subjective?

Who knew?

;)
 

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I would enjoy it and use it as a reader and a writer.

I think people get caught up in the whole expert thing. I'm more concerned with what does average Joe that I want to buy this book think?

I think we all know that anonymity will create people to leave malicious and maybe hateful reviews but have them sign up with a real verified email before they can post, that will stop most people, who are just commenting as haters.
 

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If you intend to sell your book to a large audience, and a random selection of people from that audience hate your cover, their criticism isn't necessarily something you should despise.  You don't have to be an expert to know what you don't like.  If your cover obviously sucks even to the eyes of those who are not expert designers, it's not a bad idea to listen to them. 
 
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Oneday said:
I would enjoy it and use it as a reader and a writer.

I think people get caught up in the whole expert thing.
I don't need an "expert." I need proof someone has a minimum level of competence. I'm not "caught up" on experts. I just want to avoid incompetent people who make claims of expertise when they have none. The classic example I would give you is the gentleman I came across in a different forum, asking for advice on how to market his self-published book. He said the book had been out for about a month but wasn't selling. Though he didn't show the book in a signature (the site didn't support signatures) I clicked on his user name and he had a link to his website on his profile. Would you like to know what his book was about?

How to make money marketing books. ::) ??? :eek: This same guy (because at this point I was just annoyed and bored and started to dig) was on ANOTHER forum claiming to be a marketing expert and rehashing stuff from his book (which was mostly just stuff ripped off of a Google search).

So, yeah. Knowing the person offering the advice is kinda important to me. :D
 
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