I worked at UCLA for a number of years, like, a long time… LOOOONG time. One of my MANY job duties was running the instructor evaluation process.
I learned a lot from that part of my job. First, people who really liked the class and sometimes loved it are least apt to write actual words on the back of the evaluation form. They’d just fill out the bubbles, rating the instructor high and leave it like that. Although, sometimes, an instructor that knows they nailed it would remind the student that the back of the form is for them to write something on.
However, on the flip side, those who hated the instructor, or felt slighted by the instructor or wanted to somehow ruin the instructor in their crazy heads (you know, hopefully this will get him or her fired), always wrote on the back.
But every now and then, in a class of forty or so, at least one to three would write a quick note about how they liked the instructor. “She rocked.” “Great professor” “Will take a class with the professor again.”
Most of the time, we’d get nothing but the ratings. That’s why I like the B&N and Itunes rating system. It’s easier for readers to go there and rate a product and be heard. You get a better indication of how good a book really is because most people just aren’t inclined to “write” a review no matter how much they like it. Not even me! I LOVE The Great Gatsby. I’ve read the novel so many times, I can’t count. I even recently purchased it for my Kindle! But I have NEVER written a review for it. However, I did for The Catcher In The Rye because I felt since I liked it, I should. So I did. It wasn’t easy. I really, really, really didn’t want to do it. But I forced myself to do it. So really, I get it.
And I’m the kind of person that never finishes reading anything that I don’t like–well, I did finish The Lipstick Jungle. But I have NO time to write a review of why I didn’t like it because there’s someone out there who likes it despite the way I feel about it. However, I did RATE it on GoodReads. That was easy enough.
However, I digress…
What I’m saying is, more of the written evaluations back at UCLA read something like this: “The professor didn’t call on me when I raised my hand. She had something against me and favored some students over others. When I asked her why did she give me a B, she said because that’s the grade I earned (this was UCLA so…). That was rude. I don’t think she should teach students if she can’t be nicer. That’s all.”
Seriously… yes, they would write in that whiney tone I just used.
And really, thank God, the department was very wise to the ways of evaluations. It was the graduate school of education so, they would be. I only hope most potential readers are as wise as the department.
But look. When an instructor was REALLY bad, then 15 out of 40 students might write about it on the back of the page. About 38 out of 40 of the ratings are very low. But maybe 1 or 2 will say something like, “the professor’s a little different but he or she was not that bad. She can improve her teaching by…yadda yadda yadda.”
Those were my favorite….
I say all of this to say that when someone who has liked my books takes the time to write a review on Amazon, and normally the reviews do follow the normal pattern of favorable evaluation–short, sweet and to the point–I am very grateful.
No, really… EXTREMELY GRATEFUL…
Because it’s not easy getting them from people who loved the books. I mean, since I’ve started my mailing list, it has over 100 readers and growing daily. Parched has 11 reviews. So far I haven’t received the, this author sucks don’t buy them but I know one day, they will come because those people are out there! LOL! Like, out there… (Or maybe I have those reviews. I don’t read that stuff!)
And I’m not going to do what most writers with hundreds, even thousands of reviews do and that is offer a free book for an “honest” review. Like really, how honest is the review going to be if someone’s getting something for free????? I don’t ascribe to that method for ME. Because, seriously, not even giving me a free TV for a review could sway me into writing one for the product. That’s just ME. It’s laziness on my part more than anything. But to each hers or his own!
I’m writing this because a recent review I received filled me with the right stuff! And I hope that person who left that latest Misty Black review on Amazon will cruise by here. To you I want to say a sincere THANK YOU… I needed that 🙂 (tearing up here..) But I really did. You made my day!
Now time to get writing!