Here's the latest review in its entirety:
I couldn't wait for this book to arrive and I was really disappointed and returned it next day. May by good for beginners. I didn't find anything interesting in it....I also didn't like pictures.
I hate disappointing people. Hate it, hate it - makes me feel like a failure. And since the book is self-published, it's all my responsibility: text, photos, illustrations, layout, the whole bailiwick. So I've been trying to look at this review and the earlier one to find ways to improve my book next time around.
My book is indeed an introduction to freeform peyote beading and I thought that was pretty clear. That said, most beaders are already familiar with a number of basic beading stitches and have worked with beading for some time before deciding to try their hand at freeform beading, so from that standpoint it's an intermediate to advanced book, especially since the techniques will take you as far as you want to go and it's a technique book, not a project book. So it's an introduction to a more advanced technique.
|Original handout with b&w interior|
The book actually grew out of class handouts that I'd developed over several years of teaching freeform peyote. As I worked on the book I visualized talking my students through the process.
She didn't find anything interesting in it? What was she hoping for? Did she peruse the Look Inside feature beforehand? Not all books have that, but mine does and I hoped it would help people make certain it was what they wanted before they ordered. While I have no control over what Amazon selects to show, it does include my table of contents and a number of sample pages. Do they not do a good enough job of setting expectations? How could I do a better job of this?
And the pictures. What was she expecting? I'm continually trying to improve my photography, but something as vague as her statement leaves me nothing to work with.
I know my book is not inexpensive, with a retail price of $24.95. I'm at the low end of a 30/70 split with Amazon and that did affect my book design. Every additional page reduces my side of the payment equation, not Amazon's. But with that, I worked to pack as much into each page, as clearly as possible, balancing pictures, text and white space to try and make it highly readable without any wasted space. And I do listen to feedback: I added 14 pages to the final draft before going to print based upon suggestions from early reviewers (whom I agreed with completely).
Criticism can be incredibly helpful in knowing where to improve. But nebulous feedback simply hurts with little opportunity for correction. Sigh.
So that said, anyone interested in being a reviewer for my latest effort? As a reviewer, I'd ask for concrete suggestions (if you don't like my pictures tell me why - too small, not clear enough, missing a critical part of the technique, etc.) and in return you'd get your name in the thank you credits and a copy of the book. And my sincere appreciation and thanks.