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A place for Round 3 Raters (and writers!) to discuss their experiences
Posted: 9/10/2011 8:29 AM PDT
It is a trifle ironic that on one thread people are complaining about the dearth of reviews, and on another (or even the same thread) people are saying that reviewers should be kicked out.
The problem, or at least a problem, is with the system. The inability to skip or choose, for example, the 'catch all' nature of the one through five system, the fact that people can give one through five willy nilly... as opposed to having to give a one, for example, every time you give a five etc. Thus someone can go through and give all ones (except to their friends book) or all fives (except to someone they don't like). The fact that you can't 'not rate' a book yet give a review anyway. The fact that, as a round three rater, I can't just 'read past' the one page submission and rate all fifty pages if I feel like it. Why should I have to come back to the same book three times? Why should webook care if I take the trouble to rate fifty pages? The fact that round one and round two don't have a text box to let you just type a review in instead of those inane choices.
But, to be fair, nobodies system is perfect. Authonomy is basically a 'you scratch my back' system. I'm sure other sites have similar issues. Quite frankly I liked the old, free, webook system, except nobody seemed to use it much.
Posted: 9/9/2011 10:47 PM PDT
I'm going to vote that the "Expert Rater" who gave you a 2 gets drop kicked out of WeBook for being an idiot.
10 votes is all you need but there's a chance that an R3 rater has selected your sub but not rated yet - according to Lanette, they revised the way the system works so a rater does't spend time reading and reviewing only to get cut off if you happen to reach the threshold before they're done.
I'm sure you'll get elevated - I know for a fact that some of the others who were elevated in R3 scored as low as 60%
BTW - our little Alexa was one of those who got elevated in R3 with 73%
Posted: 9/8/2011 8:50 PM PDT
My Round 3 submission has been sitting with 10 ratings for two months. I thought 10 was the threshold. Maybe the ability to rate it has been turned off, which would explain why it hasn't received a new rating in the past two months. But at 70% and 10 votes, is it high enough to pass through? (btw, for a 2 rating I received, the rater wrote: "I don't like the genre and clicked on your submission by mistake" -- I hope that doesn't turn out to be the deciding vote.)
Posted: 9/5/2011 3:19 PM PDT
First off, Lanette, let me thank you for the five. As I said, the raters who gave me the highest ratings also gave me the toughest and most insightful critiques. In nosing around I've also concluded that raters who gave consistently high ratings were also the raters who read, by far, the most submissions, which suggests to me that the people who are really good at something work the hardest at it. As for your 50 page information, it makes sense but doesn't explain what happened to writers whose submissions have stalled at six ratings. Something still seems to be amiss.
Posted: 9/3/2011 6:57 AM PDT
Malcolm, when there's no more 50 page submissions to rate, the option to click on it goes away. If you have an R3 submission open to rate, and the piece has its required 10 reviews, WeBook turns off the ability to finish the critique. I read about two months ago that WeBook recognized that as being a problem and has extended the time for raters to finish reviewing. In other words, if you are in the process of reviewing a submission, and that sub received 10 reviews, WeBook will turn off the ability for new people to open the submission but gives a grace period for those who are in process, but I can't remember how long that grace period is.
As to your submission, I was curious as to which one was yours, so I looked it up. I gave you a 5, and then proceeded to tell you everything that was wrong with it. LOL!
Posted: 9/2/2011 2:57 AM PDT
I'd contact the staff. I'm a round 3 expert reader and after turning in 44 reviews I've been bumped back to five page submissions. Maybe I've been demoted, but my hunch is that not enough people are reading in the one and five page areas.
Being bumped back is frustrating because I had some fifty page reviews ready to go and I feel that my time was partially wasted.
I agree that some raters are not qualified to rate fifty page selections. I also saw some fine work unjustly trashed, while some miserable selections got glowing reviews. Overall, however, the system worked, I'd say that the vast majority of pieces that got consistently high ratings deserved them. I was grateful that one of my submissions made it through round three, and all of the reviews that I received were helpful, even the idiotic ones. Interestingly the people who gave me fours and fives were the most critical (and accurate,) whereas the people who rated me with threes and twos were generally nitpickers whose criticisms were minor and easy to fix. The low raters were also far more likely to get things wrong, I too had characters referred to my names I'd never heard before.
Posted: 8/27/2011 5:21 PM PDT
Dunno. I come and go as far as reviews, depending on how much writing I am doing.
Posted: 8/27/2011 4:17 PM PDT
Interesting, Von 1. My sub is currently in round three, and stalled at 6 reviews. I haven't had a fresh review for over three months. Is there a glitch somewhere, methinks??
Posted: 6/20/2011 4:45 PM PDT
>>I would also say that, in my reviews, I don't proof read and edit my comments. If I make an error or two, I assume the point is my interpretation and assessment of your work and not my own grammatical skills. When I write, my first draft is horrendous and full of punctution and spelling errors. At that point of the process, I am trying to get the story out and down. I'll clean it up on the rewrite so I don't worry too much at that stage.
What he said :)
Posted: 1/24/2011 8:46 PM PST
Wow, what a wonderful case you just made. Also Kathryn Stockett's bestseller "The Help" would never win or pass level one here but her huge success on the NY times list proves that millions of readers decided to stick with her unusual story and it worked after 100 pages. Also a novel called "Anybody Out There" had the most stunning surprise twist I ever read. It was not a great book UNTIL the moment the reader got hit with the entire set-up. Sort of like watching that Sixth Sense movie or The Others. But how can a book or movie be a surprise if people won't read far enough to let the moment happen?
Posted: 12/14/2010 3:14 PM PST
I PM'ed the administrator
Posted: 12/14/2010 2:16 PM PST
How do we report posts? I think there should be a link that says "Report this post".
Posted: 12/13/2010 11:56 PM PST
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Posted: 12/3/2010 7:58 AM PST
I miss rating 50 pagers. :(
Posted: 12/1/2010 4:10 PM PST
Which is one reason why (as we discussed before) one should be able to read, and then skip, a book. The synopsis, and even the first page, might be great, but then you read some in and realize that this book is in a category you just despise (such as the book we are discussing). Is it really helpful to have people who hate the kind of book you are writing to be forced to review it?
I, too, have noticed the dearth of books to review recently. I thought I was kicked off to, as even the possibility of fifty page books disappeared from my screen. Now that is back, but with no books :(
Posted: 11/30/2010 8:51 AM PST
That entry has a wide span of scores in Round 3. Everything from a 1 to a 5. Seems like it appeals to some and not others. On the bookshelf in the proper category, it could do very well, but maybe not for the masses.
Posted: 11/30/2010 8:46 AM PST
Side note: The agent gave that'a'one a 4
Posted: 11/30/2010 8:45 AM PST
Sky, I realize that that book will not appeal to everyone, and will probably turn most people off. If a good rater, such as you, doesn't like it and gives thoughtful reasons why, that's more than legitimate. However, the rater I mentioned in my last post downgraded it in part because she didn't google to see if real people have done such a thing and then went on to make a judgement call for female readers in general.
For the record: I am not the writer, nor have I even talked with the writer.
I haven't received any new Round 3's either. I thought maybe I was banned and nobody bothered to tell me.
Posted: 11/30/2010 8:23 AM PST
Interesting, Lanette and Finn. I read that entry, too, and it didn't appeal to me AT ALL. I found the characters very flat (although that wasn't my review you quoted. I have no idea what "trepanning" meant.)
Very subjective this reading and rating.
BTW, I haven't been given a new round 3 entry to rate in three weeks. Don't know whether there are new ones or I'm just not being given any more. My ratings seem to be following the crowd so I can't imagine I've been pulled from the line-up as a rater.
Posted: 11/30/2010 8:09 AM PST
So was it really brilliant?
Obviously they didn't research whether or not someone can drill a hole in their head (is there really anything you can't find on google?). I read that sub in round one and two, actually, and really liked it. I read the whole thing (in round two, all like twenty pages they could post) and enjoyed the heck out f it. Of course, I'm pretty damned masculine...
Posted: 11/30/2010 7:32 AM PST
I just read a rating for a Round 3 entry that I personally thought was brilliant. The expert rater gave it a 2 stating that it's not believable for someone to drill a hole in their own head. The rater went on to say the characterization is terrible and the writing is too masculine and can't imagine any woman reading it. She told the writer to talk to women and medical professionals.
I'm a female (former) nurse. Self-trepanning has been done, and there are small groups that are trying to legitimize the practice in the medical community so that they don't feel the need to do it to themselves. I think they are a bit off their rockers; however, it is not unbelieveable for someone to perform the surgery on him or herself. In fact, there is a woman in England that has ran for office on the ticket of legalizing the practice. Both her and her husband have self-trepanned.
As to masculine writing vs. feminine writing and would a woman read a masculine book- good writing is good writing. Particular styles are not going to appeal to everyone, but I personally don't think the lines should be drawn so rigidly.
Posted: 11/30/2010 6:19 AM PST
It's what we do!
Posted: 11/29/2010 4:23 PM PST
I am incredibly encouraged by that fact about Burke although I've never read anything by him. I am also encouraged and energized by reading your replies so thank you! I'm still going to write my novel and submit it to publishers. You have to write as if you were writing for yourself and no one else. :)
Posted: 11/29/2010 10:00 AM PST
I agree with a lot of what Finnean says and would reinforce the issue that this is a flawed system that you can't take too seriously. I have reviewers telling me that my piece is not enough show and too much tell, but the next reviewer will say that my piece is moving too fast. Most raters put too much emphasis on technical issues and not enough on the story itself. I, too, have been guilty of falling into the raters routine of grammar and structure trumping story and I regret it.
I would also say that, in my reviews, I don't proof read and edit my comments. If I make an error or two, I assume the point is my interpretation and assessment of your work and not my own grammatical skills. When I write, my first draft is horrendous and full of punctution and spelling errors. At that point of the process, I am trying to get the story out and down. I'll clean it up on the rewrite so I don't worry too much at that stage.
I do the same when reviewing peoples work. If I know it is their first draft, I focus on the story itself and overlook the grammar issues (unless they make the reading difficult). Subsequent drafts is where I focus on the grammar and structure issues.
I didn't know that about Burke (whom I read with great enjoyment) and am encouraged that it took him nine years to get it published. We all should be encouraged by that.
Posted: 11/29/2010 9:05 AM PST
I would agree in the sense that if The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was a P2F sub it wouldn't have made it through the first round. There's probably a thousand examples where great books aren't great until the end. How many times have you read a book and halfway through you're like "eh" and by the end your just so pissed it's over you wanna start back at the beginning and re-read it right away. The most action-packed thriller I've ever read was Unto the Breach by John Ringo. That's a scenario where the book is six hundred pages long with microscopic print, and the first four hundred pages are just him setting everything up. The last two hundred pages are perhaps the pinnacle of military sci-fi. I read my copy once and ruined it because my hands were sweating so bad it water logged the book. It was that intense. I literally get watery eyes thinking about how perfect some of the scenes were. But it took him six hundred (probably more like eight in normal print) pages to do that, and in the acknowledgements he basically says he almost killed himself trying to write in on schedule.
P2F raters, by and large, expert included, also seem to take pace as the end-all-beat-all qualifier for if a book is good. James Lee Burke wouldn't do well here at all, even if he has won the Edgar like three figgin times.
But unfortunately that's the venue. It is what it is. And speaking of James Lee Burke, he sent The Lost Get-Back Boogie in and had it rejected 111 times over the course of nine years before it was finally picked up and nominated for the Pulitzer. So, I guess, we're all under-appreciated at times. Don't let it get you down. That person who can't barely talk and takes enjoyment dumping on your work, they won't go anywhere, but you will if you keep at it.
Side note: Do take into account that the reviewer could have reviewed a f*ck ton of subs recently. A few months ago I had reviewed four subs in five days, and I mixed up the names of the MC. I felt like an idiot but once I submitted the review I couldn't change it. So I sent a message to the author explaining what happened and he was great about it. We're all only human...
Posted: 11/29/2010 5:52 AM PST
One thing I find frustrating as a Round 3 writer and rater is the idea that some people who somehow got promoted to be "expert" raters really are far from it. For instance, I had one person get my main character's name wrong, not just once, but several times in their review. Their review was also FULL of grammatical errors and showed absolutely zero command of the English language. I read it and scratched my head. I couldn't help but wonder how this person got promoted to "expert" rater and even more puzzling, why Pagetofame isn't closely monitoring each and every rating to make sure it's a fair assessment since every rating counts at this level.
I wish that there could be more than 10-12 ratings because to me, that isn't a large enough sample to get an accurate assessment. I think the word potential is key here, not perfection, and many raters are pretty harsh in their assessments. I'm not saying this in a sour grapes kind of way, but I've noticed it on more than one occasion in samples that I thought were brilliant. Also, how many books have you read that have picked up after the first 50 pages? It's impossible to reveal everything that a novel has in store for the reader in the first 50 pages. I have enjoyed reading and writing for this contest, but it's definitely flawed. Any thoughts/comments?