In You Ear: SF Signal Podcast on Book Reviews

Whenever I ride my bike to work, I listen to genre podcasts on my iPhone. One of the ones I’ve been listening to for almost a year and a half is the SF Signal podcast. Their regular panel members are interesting and knowledgeable and they are often funny. It’s a twice weekly podcast that alternates the panel discussions with author interviews, mostly conducted by Patrick Hester, but sometimes there are not just interview guests, but guest interviewers as well, such as Myke Cole and Timothy C. Ward recently. I’m a lot a bit behind on my podcast listening, so it was only yesterday that I listened to the panel episode from four weeks ago, which was a discussion of book reviews.

There are two reasons I wanted to mention this episode here on the blog. First of all, I got name-checked! When the discussion turned to how book reviewers/bloggers connect to each other by finding people who have similar tastes, Paul Weimer mentioned both Sarah (Bookworm Blues) and me as people who had contacted him as we found we had similar tastes after reading his reviews. It was silly how pleased I was about getting mentioned on the SF Signal podcast, it was almost like getting on the radio or TV. But that rather braggart reason aside, it was also one of the more interesting podcasts I’ve heard in the past while and there were a couple of topics covered that I always ask my Blogger Query guests about as well, such as negative vs. positive reviews and star ratings. I found it interesting that while the panel didn’t like only positive reviews and some of them had personally written some brutally honest critical, they would rather get away from positive or negative appellations altogether and have people write honest reviews, both when they enjoyed a book and when they didn’t. This is something I can definitely agree with and most of my Blogger Query guests did as well. On the topic of star ratings opinions seemed more divided and especially the discussion on Amazon ratings was interesting and heated!

Anyway, I enjoyed this episode very much, so much so that I wanted to share it with my own readers and only in a very small part to bounce about on here about being mentioned on the episode. I highly recommend giving this episode a listen and if you enjoy it, why not have a listen to some of the other panels or interviews? They’re well worth your time, I promise! You can find the episode – number 138 – on SF Signal and on iTunes. Enjoy!

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6 Responses to In You Ear: SF Signal Podcast on Book Reviews

  1. Paul Weimer says:

    Hey, Patrick asked me the question, and I told the truth. That's all. :)

  2. Anonymous says:

    thanks for sharing.

  3. Tim Ward says:

    Hey, thanks for the mention. That is a fun podcast, and I enjoyed those episodes as well. I’m a reviewer, but I’m also a writer, so I’m only honest in public when I can give a four star review. I’ll share negatives within a four star review, but I just haven’t been convinced that a three star helps anyone. What is one person’s 3 could be good enough that another person would enjoy reading it, but probably wouldn’t because your 3 turned them off. What do you think?

    p.s. If you ever catch up on your podcasts, check out AudioTim some time. I have some good interviews of genre authors and publishers.

  4. Tim Ward says:

    sorry, I meant to say “when I can give a four [or five] star review.” My original sentence is just silly. 2 Stars.

  5. Mieneke says:

    I think honesty is a reviewer’s main credibility chit and it’s incumbent upon us to be honest. I do agree that one person’s three stars is another person’s two or four stars, which is the reason I don’t have ratings on the blog. However, I do rate on Goodreads and Amazon. I also think that if my readers are familiar with my tastes, they’ll know how to interpret the three stars for their own tastes. But I’ll always be honest in my reviews and if I think something deserves three stars, that’s what I’ll give it.

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