Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Observations on bookish things #5

Observations on bookish things

⚠️⚠️⚠️This was written a VERY long time ago, but reading back, I thought some things were still relevant, and others not so much. I'll make a note of those.⚠️⚠️⚠️

Hello!! I do not remember the last time I posted on bookish things. Do you? I'm sure it's been a while. Of course, I could go back and check, but where's the fun in that? 😛 I want to say there's been lots of interesting things going on, but the reality is things kinda ebb and flow. Some days are interesting, some days are not.

Blurred face

Currently, there are two interesting things going on in my bookish world. I will, of course, share.

Firstly, I'm currently reading a book where the heroine has a medical condition called prosopagnosia, also known as face blindness, and that means she cannot recognise people's faces. Not even her own face. A serial killer finds out that she has this condition and targets her as his next viction. He starts to stalk her and because she doesn't recognise him every time he approaches her, she doesn't know that she's in danger. It's fascinating. I'm looking forward to seeing how it all plays out. Also the author in this book is putting in large sections from the serial killer's point of view every few chapters and you get his inner monologue about what he's going to do with the heroine when he finally catches her and also how *ahem* excited he gets when he thinks about it. It's kinda gross and creepy as eff. It's almost making me not want to finish reading the book. I might start skipping the serial killer's point of view.
Happy young couple

And another thing, which I think should not even be a thing. I posted this on my timeline recently, "you know what still surprises me after all these years working in the romance industry? How many authors still think that a romance does NOT require a HEA or HFN. 🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️ Seriously, you are not going to like the outcome if you publish and market a book as a romance without one. Romance readers can be kinda savage when they don’t get their HEA." This was sparked by an author in an author group saying that a romance did not require a HEA or HFN and it sparked some ferocious commentary. Of course, said author, got rightfully disagreed with a lot. Romance authors and readers are passionate about their HEAs and HFNs. It's the very definition of a romance. Why it even needs to be said in this day and age is beyond me. And really, a little googling will solve that little mystery quickly. This particular author said "Be careful with this… it’s not the fault of people who write romance without HEA, it’s attitudes like this that say “who is marketing as romance without an HEA?” Romance doesn’t require HEA. This is a huge debate between authors, and whatever side you’re on, it’s totally inappropriate to go around telling other authors what their book ISN’T. Perhaps this is why readers are so offended by the romance genre…" to which there was some comments pointing out the definition the basic definition of romance. And again said author responded, "I entirely disagree. 🤷🏼‍♀️ Just because someone somewhere says it’s “industry standard” doesn’t mean anything. Industry standard is what’s done STANDARDLY across the industry; that doesn’t mean it’s a requirement. Writing HAS no requirements. Honestly, if every author followed everything single “rule”, none of us would be here today. No one would have paved the way for any of us to be writing. It’s ridiculous to put limits on people’s works like that and only accomplishes pointing out the “elitist” people anyways. The definition of the romance genre is that they “focus primarily on the romantic relationship”. Women’s fiction is described as “centering on experiences in women’s lives”. A romance without HEA/HFN is entirely valid if it focuses on the romantic relationship, regardless of the ending. Just because something has become popular and “expected”, that by no means makes it a requirement. 🤷🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️" Also, I don't even think this person is an author. I looked at her profile (because I'm curious like that) and it looks like she sells bath bombs for work. Why is she even in an author group, I do not know.

Men sunset

I've seen this a few times and I feel the need to address it. There are people who say they don't like reverse harem romance because it's cheating. In my opinion, people who say they don't like reverse harem because it's cheating are kindle missing the point of reverse harem. In the situation of a reverse harem, there's no jealousy, there's no one upping, no playing favorites. The heroines loves all the men equally and she cannot choose between them. That's the whole point of the sub-genre. That's why it's got the #whychoose hashtag. (Am I being redundant when saying #XXX hashtag? It's kinda like saying hashtag-hashtag, right? I'm not sure??) Anyway, back to the reverse harem thing. The sharing is consensual. The men in the harem all agree to share the heroine because they all love her and want her to be happy. She's only happy with all the men. Therefore, the sharing, and the equal love. So no, it's not cheating. It's only cheating if the other parties do not know that one or many of them are having sex with other men or women outside of the harem or a relationship and is hiding it. It's cheating when there's no consent and the non-cheating party is hurt by that action. It's cheating when the act is done in secret and the whole point is for the other party or parties in the relationship to not find out about this secret relationship. So no, a reverse harem is not cheating.

But speaking of cheating, did you know that there's a cheating romance readers group that specialises only is promoting and talking about romance books with cheating in it because that's what those readers like to read? It's a secret group so you need to be invited into it and you can't find it if you do a search. I only knew about it because someone posted in another group looking for the name of a particular book that was posted in that group. I've gotta be honest. I'm kinda curious about the whole thing. I'm not into reading about cheating, it's not my jam, but I know a lot of people like to read it. Just like a lot of people like to read lots of things that I do not like to read. Hey, your kink is not my kink. You do you. I think I'm probably more just morbidly fascinated. Probably best I stay well away.

TikTok typewriter

🙃🙃🙃The next bit which is long, strange, and rambly is quite out of date because my views on TikTok has changed a great deal since this was written.🙃🙃🙃

Okay, not entirely book related, but sort of since I post only bookish stuff on my TikTok account. (You can follow me here if you like). But I digress. I've worked hard studying what to do with TikTok since I started and I've learned as much of the ins and outs of it as I can. I can answer most questions about the platform to beginners because well, I was a beginner before, and while I'm not an expert by any means, I have watched a lot of videos and tutorials, read a lot of articles, and learned a lot through trial and error through my own mistakes. But you know what is a complete mystery and will continue to be a mystery? Why some videos perform (get views) right away and some videos stall, then start back up again, and other videos just never take off. Over this last week, I've had some videos do some strange things and I have zero explanation for any of them except one. It started on a Sunday which I know tends to be a slow day for TikTok. My two videos went off on a slow start and after ten hours, the early video only got like 12 views. Sigh. I was trying not to stress about it, but overnight it righted itself and the views got back to normal levels. Then throughout the week, things were up and down but generally performing what I would call normally for me. One video took off but I know why. I used a popular sound for it and it had a hot guy on the front and most of the video even though most of the time he was covered in smoke. If you want to watch it, this is it.

Phone videos
❣️❣️❣️Warning: lots of blah blah rambling about TikTok videos and TikTok weirdness. Skip the next few paragraphs if you like.❣️❣️❣️

Anyway, it's Friday night, and I decided to throw in an extra video to feed the TikTok algorithm because "they" tell you it's the right thing to do now and then. I'm a good girl so I listen to the so-called experts' advice. Except, last night's video bombed. I woke up to like 2 views. And it's now at least 20 hours later and it's still only sitting at 12 views. Meanwhile, a much later video posted Saturday morning is up to 55 views and looks like it's going to perform more or less as normal. I mean, I'm not the sort to go viral or anything like that, let's face it, I'm not that interesting, but in general, my videos do decently. But man, this one video? I'm trying not to worry, but there's no reason for it to suck donkey's balls aside from the fact that since I did it on the TikTok app, it's not my best work and I'm not exactly excited about the whole smoky effect I chose for the front page. Maybe other people don't like the smoky scene either? Picked the wrong song? Or maybe, I have somehow angered the TikTok gods with that one video? I do not know. I'm not even sure that to do about it, to be honest. I could ask in the TikTok group but seriously, that's like the blind leading the blind. No one really knows how TikTok performs, why TikTok what TikTok does. So many people go on there completely confused because one video went viral, and then when they try to replicate that success with a similar video or even with the same video, zip, nada, bupkiss. 

It has now been over 24 hours which is where my videos usually peak. This one is still sluggishly plodding along even though I shared it in a few groups and it got some interaction but for some reason the algorithm is not kicking in so I think if it’s still sucking tomorrow morning I might private the video and redo it at some point. It’s happened in the past before and when I’ve reuploaded the same video with different music it’s worked better. I hate to waste all the comments and interaction, but eh. Also though, “they” say not to delete or private videos that do not perform and they might pick up months later but I’m actually not happy with the way that video turned out. I’m just getting this gut instinct that I didn’t hit the mark when creating the video. I will report back sometime in the future and let you know what I decide. Either way I’ll share the video. Existing one above, but might get deleted or new one below.

PS. It’s now 2am. I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately. I tried going to sleep early, well, about 10pm which is not that early, so here I am awake.

Duh. I had entirely forgotten about it but I might have unintentionally used some forbidden words in my video. Potentially, those words could have been “evil” and “demon”, and I also used some hashtags that TikTok doesn't like, ie, #horrorfantasy and #horrorromance. Seems TikTok does not like horror stuff because they do not consider it family friendly. In reality, no one really knows and it’s guesswork on anyone’s part because it’s not like TikTok publishes a list for you. People only know if they are getting dinged because their videos don’t perform. This is a good reminder for me because I completely forgot that’s a possibility. Ugh. Well, off I go to private that video.

I got told by someone more expert than me to delete the video because I can still get a content violation with a privated video. Don’t want that. Will share the new video later when I’ve uploaded it. Honestly, I feel a lot better now that I’ve done that. I know I shouldn’t stress over video stats but when a video is acting funky, I think it’s necessary to investigate why. Also, all my subsequent videos are doing just fine.

End of warning: back to bookish stuff. You can read again now. 😛😛😛

Book review

Book reviews. How many of you review books on the various sites? Amazon, Goodreads, Bookbub, etc.? I mostly review on Goodreads and sometimes Amazon. I write a relatively long and detailed review for every book I read. I like it as a reminder for me of how I felt about a book and I can look back and check it if I need to job my memory on what I thought of the book I post a fraction of my reviews on the various book sites. Goodreads is great since it's pretty straightforward and they do not censor what you write. Amazon can be a pain with their approval process which can take minutes to days. The longest I had a review held up for is about ten days. I had just about given up by then. The reason I'm pondering this is because I have (very) recently started posting a review directly from the Kindle app I use to read with to Amazon. At the end of the book when I'm done reading, there will be a pop up and I can give a star rating and leave a review and submit it. I'm sure others have been doing it for ages, but I'm late to the game. I decided to do it because one, I read most of my books from Amazon and I figure if I'm reviewing from within the app they'll know I've read the book and it's a legit book review even if it's not a verified purchase because I borrowed the book from Kindle Unlimited instead of buying it. Of course, it would show up as verified if I bought the book and there are some of that too. Two, this allows me to quickly throw together a short, several sentence review to say what I thought of the book without going into detail and it will satisfy the Amazon review gods. I still go and update that book into my Goodreads reading challenge and write a detailed review after that because, like I said, I like to get my thoughts together on a book. So, I was wondering. Does anyone know if there is any advantage to posting a review from the Kindle app other than convenience and that Amazon knows it's you and you've read the book?

⏲️⏲️⏲️A few months later⏲️⏲️⏲️ Just so you know, I collect bookish thoughts and then post them. Anyway, back on the whole book review thing. I've started posting book reviews directly to Amazon via the Kindle app with the pop-up at the end of the book I've finished reading. (1) It's very convenient. It literally just pops up when I read the end of the book. (2) It's fast since I'm on my iPad I don't do long reviews. Short, a couple of sentence reviews. (3) I'm posting more reviews to Amazon which I'm not necessarily sure if it's a good thing or not. Maybe Amazon has a limit of how many book reviews I'm allowed to post in a day or a week and they don't tell us that limit. What if I hit that limit? I've been posting an average of about four to five reviews a week. But in the last two weeks, my reviews have not been getting approved where they used to be approved almost immediately or within a day or two. Well, it turns out that the Kindle app is glitchy and it's not been posting reviews to the Amazon website correctly. I checked and out of five reviews I posted, four of them did not post correctly or at all. I had to get on the book page and post the review from the Amazon website from my computer. I wouldn't have known if I hadn't checked. I had asked about it in a book group and someone experiencing the same thing responded. Bless them. I appreciate their help and advice. At least it solved my problem. I've still got a few waiting to be approved but the review approvals have been slowly trickling in over the last couple of days.

I think that's it from me for now. I've got some other things to talk about but I'll save them for another bookish post. Hope everyone is doing well. Catch you next time. And tell me if you have any thoughts and opinions on any of the things I've talked about above, or just want to share your bookish observations.

PS. I'm going to try to get back into blogging once a week. No promises, and I'm not setting a schedule, but I will TRY. I won't have a set day where I post, so either check back regularly, or subscribe to the newsletter for updates. Thank you for continuing to stick with me.

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