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Why do homeschool parents who publish books do this?


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Okay, I'll be the first to admit that I might get too much enjoyment out of writing negative reviews for terrible books. But if I spend however many hours reading your book and it's horrendously written, filled with typos, and just plain awful, really, you have it coming. Next time, suck it up and pay for a professional editor. Or just start a blog like everyone else.

 

With that said, why is it always the homeschool parents-turned-authors who have to get online and argue point-by-point why my review is wrong and I'm just too dense/uncultured/whatever to see the brilliance of their ebook? Even when it comes to self-published ebooks with only a handful of reviews, I've never had this happen in any other genre. But with books on homeschooling, I've had it happen three times so far. (The author of Unapologetic Homeschoolers was apparently not pleased with my review. Too bad. Learn how to write, buddy. And format. And spell. And not sound like a pretentious twat who sniffs that he likes for his precious angels to hang out with other "high-caliber children." They're kids, not rifles.)

 

I guess by nature we're all control freaks or something.  :lol:  But seriously, if any of you are thinking of writing a book about homeschooling and feel the urge to respond to each and every negative review, DON'T DO IT. Seriously. It makes you look petty and just a bit unhinged. The like buttons are there on Amazon and Goodreads for a reason, and if other reviewers think a review is without merit, it'll eventually get pushed to the bottom of the page.

 

For some reason it cracks me up that it's the homeschool parents who cannot, under any circumstances, let it go. One dad-author actually emailed an enraged freaking tome to my personal email account and demanded that I detail my educational philosophy for him so he could explain why it wrongly colored my opinion of his book. No, dude. Just no.

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Okay, I'll be the first to admit that I might get too much enjoyment out of writing negative reviews for terrible books. But if I spend however many hours reading your book and it's horrendously writt

This is exactly one of the reasons I admire SWB for her composure and humility in sustaining these boards where people criticize the very work that pays for them. I don’t have this grace.

Whoa. That's nuts.   I thought this thread was going to literally be about "why do hsing parents write books about hsing." LOL All my friends who have graduated hsers are exactly like me - astounded

Whoa. That's nuts.

 

I thought this thread was going to literally be about "why do hsing parents write books about hsing." LOL All my friends who have graduated hsers are exactly like me - astounded and grateful that it mostly worked out, but wayyyy too humbled, exhausted, etc. to still think we should share our own wisdom with the world.

 

But yeah, if you believe your percentage of dumb luck was lower than your percentage of genius, to the point that you want to write about it, don't be a jerk to your readers...

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If he was fighting with you, he wasn’t very unapologetic was he? :)

 

:lol:  :lol:  :lol:

 

What's funny is that even his rebuttal to my review was ridiculously dry and boring and actually used bullet points (he had to take the time to html them in there!). Obviously his writing has not improved.

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I’ve heard that you never, ever, ever respond to the comments on something you’re selling. The only exception is to say, “We’re sorry you are not happy with the product. Please contact us so we can replace your item,†or something like that.

 

But it must chafe to see a negative review. If it wasn’t an ebook, they’d have a publishing company muzzling them. They don’t seem to know better.

 

Oh, and I read the one on amazon and they pointed out to us in their reply that you’d also written a review on goodreads.com, which means I headed over there to see what you’d said. If they hadn’t have done that, I never would have read the more scathing review on Goodreads.

 

We ought to tell them to remove their response. Poor things! They mustn’t know it’s a no-no.

Edited by Garga
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:lol:  :lol:  :lol:

 

What's funny is that even his rebuttal to my review was ridiculously dry and boring and actually used bullet points (he had to take the time to html them in there!). Obviously his writing has not improved.

Yes! It was dry! I had to read it twice to get the gist of what he was saying.

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I’ve heard that you never, ever, ever respond to the comments on something you’re selling. The only exception is to say, “We’re sorry you are not happy with the product. Please contact us so we can replace your item,†or something like that.

 

But it must chafe to see a negative review. If it wasn’t an ebook, they’d have a publishing company muzzling them. They don’t seem to know better.

 

Oh, and I read the one on amazon and they pointed out to us in their reply that you’d also written a review on goodreads.com, which means I headed over there to see what you’d said. If they hadn’t have done that, I never would have read the more scathing review on Goodreads.

 

We ought to tell them to remove their response. Poor things! They mustn’t know it’s a no-no.

 

I did tell him that personally replying to negative reviews is creepy. Hopefully he'll get the point. But I kind of doubt it.

 

And the never engaging thing goes double for the publishing industry. I mean, it's not like you can improve the product and give the consumer a better one. It's a book. It's done. Unless you've made a factual error, you aren't going back in to change things and release version 2.0. There is absolutely no reason for an author to be online arguing with reviewers. All it's going to do is drive away potential readers.

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This is exactly one of the reasons I admire SWB for her composure and humility in sustaining these boards where people criticize the very work that pays for them. I don’t have this grace.

 

 

I don’t think I have that grace either. I really do want to contact this homeschooling family and tell them to remove their response. They could get a good friend who supports their book and honestly likes it to write a lovely review that very subtly contradicts Mergath’s review if they really want a different point of view out there. I kinda feel sorry for them for not understanding Comment Etiquette.

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I guess I wonder why homeschooling parents are still writing books about homeschooling. Isn't the market already saturated? I mean, I guess I could write a book about... I dunno... homeschooling boys (since I have six of them), but I'm pretty sure it's already been said and done. I guess we all think we're a special kind of something.

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I guess I wonder why homeschooling parents are still writing books about homeschooling. Isn't the market already saturated? I mean, I guess I could write a book about... I dunno... homeschooling boys (since I have six of them), but I'm pretty sure it's already been said and done. I guess we all think we're a special kind of something.

 

I'd read that book... :laugh:

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I guess I wonder why homeschooling parents are still writing books about homeschooling. Isn't the market already saturated? I mean, I guess I could write a book about... I dunno... homeschooling boys (since I have six of them), but I'm pretty sure it's already been said and done. I guess we all think we're a special kind of something.

 

Some day when I actually have a credential that will interest a publisher, I'm going to put together an anthology of advice from veteran moms who've homeschooled SN kids. You are on my list of moms to ask to contribute :) Seriously!

 

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This is exactly one of the reasons I admire SWB for her composure and humility in sustaining these boards where people criticize the very work that pays for them. I don’t have this grace.

 

Yes! Absolutely agree!  :hurray:

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Oh, lots of people do this from different industries.

 

People on Etsy often ask for shop critiques or help with a listing.  On occasion I'll give advice.  95% of the time they get super defensive and dismissive, which is fine, but why ask for advice in that case? They rebut line by line why your various suggestions won't work, or whatever.

 

I think it's just very hard to hear criticism of something you are so personally invested in.  I know I feel the same way when someone criticizes my shop, or even offers advice for improvement.

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This is exactly one of the reasons I admire SWB for her composure and humility in sustaining these boards where people criticize the very work that pays for them. I don’t have this grace.

 

Well, SWB knows what she's doing, and her books are good, and that goes a long way... :D

 

 

Btw- I’d buy your book. Six boys. Road trips. The military. The unpopulated desert of West Texas. It’s more adventure story than homeschooling!

 

 

My 10 y/o would read Kinsa's book. He still asks about the lady who lives so far in the middle of nowhere that it takes hours and hours to drive to Target. He really got a kick out of the recent ice cream story. And he suggested that she buy an ice cream machine, because he can't imagine living without regular access to ice cream. :) 

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I guess I wonder why homeschooling parents are still writing books about homeschooling. Isn't the market already saturated? I mean, I guess I could write a book about... I dunno... homeschooling boys (since I have six of them), but I'm pretty sure it's already been said and done. I guess we all think we're a special kind of something.

I’d read your book. Among my friends, there’s no question that homeschooling boys is different than homeschooling girls, and I only know of one other book that attempts to tackle the challenges of educating a bunch of boys.

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So you are saying it would reallly, really tick this guy off if we all go in and give your review a “helpful†vote so it stays at the top?

Part of me wants to do that because I like Mergath, but I can’t bring myself to do it because I feel kind of sorry for the guy. It can’t be easy to go to all of the trouble to write and publish a book and then have someone tear it to shreds, even if the criticism was completely warranted.

 

I thought Mergath’s review was entertaining, but if I was the author of the book, I would have been devastated by the harshness. I know he probably shouldn’t have responded to her review, but his feelings were hurt and he thought some of the things she said were inaccurate, so I am trying to extend a little grace and not judge him for it.

 

But is it wrong that now I want to read the book to see if the Russian bot that wrote it really does need to be recalibrated? :laugh:

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Part of me wants to do that because I like Mergath, but I can’t bring myself to do it because I feel kind of sorry for the guy. It can’t be easy to go to all of the trouble to write and publish a book and then have someone tear it to shreds, even if the criticism was completely warranted.

 

I thought Mergath’s review was entertaining, but if I was the author of the book, I would have been devastated by the harshness. I know he probably shouldn’t have responded to her review, but his feelings were hurt and he thought some of the things she said were inaccurate, so I am trying to extend a little grace and not judge him for it.

 

But is it wrong that now I want to read the book to see if the Russian bot that wrote it really does need to be recalibrated? :laugh:

I honestly would have just given it one star without the review, but homeschoolers who act like they don't want their kids mixing with the common rabble are one of my pet peeves, apparently. Plus his attitude that if everyone else just cared as much as he did, their kids would be in CC at 14 too was extremely irritating. And then there's the part where he basically said every degree except engineering and biochem or whatever it was is useless.

 

Yeah, the guy just makes me mad, lol.

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I honestly would have just given it one star without the review, but homeschoolers who act like they don't want their kids mixing with the common rabble are one of my pet peeves, apparently. Plus his attitude that if everyone else just cared as much as he did, their kids would be in CC at 14 too was extremely irritating. And then there's the part where he basically said every degree except engineering and biochem or whatever it was is useless.

 

Yeah, the guy just makes me mad, lol.

It sounds like he would have made me mad, too, because you and I have the same pet peeves!

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But it must chafe to see a negative review. If it wasn’t an ebook, they’d have a publishing company muzzling them. They don’t seem to know better.

This isn't quite right.  Ebooks can be and very much are put out by a publishing company.  What you meant is if they weren't an *indie author* they'd have a publishing company muzzling them.

 

Part of me wants to do that because I like Mergath, but I can’t bring myself to do it because I feel kind of sorry for the guy. It can’t be easy to go to all of the trouble to write and publish a book and then have someone tear it to shreds, even if the criticism was completely warranted.

I disagree.  If the criticism is completely warranted, I WANT to know before I buy the book (or choose not to).  If all the reviews are positive, that tells me nothing about the book, really.  Negative reviews are extremely useful to book buyers.  Sometimes I'll read a negative review and discount it because it's not something that matters to me (like a political ideology I disagree with), other times it'll tell me I shouldn't buy it because it is something that matters to me (like graphic sex or excessive foul language).  If an author responds telling the reviewer they are wrong like this guy did, there's no way I'll read it.  Authors need kind of a thick skin.

 

I have had authors respond to negative reviews three or four times.  None of them have been homeschoolers though.

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This isn't quite right. Ebooks can be and very much are put out by a publishing company. What you meant is if they weren't an *indie author* they'd have a publishing company muzzling them.

 

I disagree. If the criticism is completely warranted, I WANT to know before I buy the book (or choose not to). If all the reviews are positive, that tells me nothing about the book, really. Negative reviews are extremely useful to book buyers. Sometimes I'll read a negative review and discount it because it's not something that matters to me (like a political ideology I disagree with), other times it'll tell me I shouldn't buy it because it is something that matters to me (like graphic sex or excessive foul language). If an author responds telling the reviewer they are wrong like this guy did, there's no way I'll read it. Authors need kind of a thick skin.

 

I have had authors respond to negative reviews three or four times. None of them have been homeschoolers though.

I never said Mergath shouldn’t have posted her review — I even said I found it entertaining. I also suspect that I would agree with what she wrote if I ever read that book. :)

 

I’m sorry if I wasn’t clear in my post — I meant that I didn’t feel right about all of us rushing over to Amazon and rating her review as helpful just to be spiteful against the author of the book because he posted a response to her review.

 

I value negative reviews, but I also sometimes feel a little sorry for the authors because it’s hard to write and publish a book, so I can understand why they might take a harsh review to heart and be upset by it.

Edited by Catwoman
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I think her review should be rated as helpful, though, because of the response from the author.  It is very not cool in the publishing world to attack someone who gives you a negative review.  His response is actually the more helpful part of Mergath's review IMO.

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Well, mergath, you got a helpful vote from me. And you also gave me a good laugh on a crappy Monday!

I think all the other reviewers that were just gushing over how great the book is are probably family members.

A friend self-published a book and my mom read it and told me how utterly awful it was. Yet, she went straight to amazon and gave it 5 Stars and a good review. Uh, no. That is something I wouldn’t do, but my mother is **waaayyyyyyy** nicer than I am.

 

 

This is making me think abut vrbo. They have reviews and sometimes you’ll see a negative review and the owner jumps right on it and obliterates the person who left it. I always mark that person’s review as ‘helpful’ and then I cruise right on past that rental. Some people are just nuts and I certainly don’t want to give them my money or my time.

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Have you read the thread on the book on the general education forum? http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/667635-graduating-college-at-18-with-a-co-chosen-major/

Ah, I was wondering where I'd heard of this book before.

 

I stated in that other thread that the book didn't sound like something I'd be interested in. Now I'm positive. Lol

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Oh, THAT book. *eyeroll. I upvoted you, Mergath.

 

Also, while I was there, I saw a book about hsing boys in the suggestions. Didn't click to learn more, but based on the title, the author is probably one of our tribe:

 

"Homeschooling Boys: Adequate Success with Minimal Cooperation."

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I honestly would have just given it one star without the review, but homeschoolers who act like they don't want their kids mixing with the common rabble are one of my pet peeves, apparently. Plus his attitude that if everyone else just cared as much as he did, their kids would be in CC at 14 too was extremely irritating. And then there's the part where he basically said every degree except engineering and biochem or whatever it was is useless.

 

Yeah, the guy just makes me mad, lol.

 

Hmm, I guess according to his logic I care less about my youngest (who may not EVER be able to handle college-level academics) than my oldest (who was ready for DE at not-quite-14). Yeah, I care so little about DD2 that I'm schlepping her 5 days per week to therapy and spending >$12k on said therapy last year  :rolleyes: Oh, and the whole 2nd bachelor's in Communicative Disorders I did to learn how to better help her? More proof of how little I care!

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Oh, THAT book. *eyeroll. I upvoted you, Mergath.

 

Also, while I was there, I saw a book about hsing boys in the suggestions. Didn't click to learn more, but based on the title, the author is probably one of our tribe:

 

"Homeschooling Boys: Adequate Success with Minimal Cooperation."

Lol... I swear it wasn't me... lol

 

But that just prove my point above, that the market is already saturated with homeschooling how-to books, from just about any angle you can think of. I seriously can't think there's much more that needs to be said about it. Even this "unapologetic" family* hasn't written anything new. Books about homeschoolers-off-to-college-at-a-young-age have been around for a few decades.

 

*Ironically, the word apology can mean defense, as in the apologetics/defense of a faith system. The fact that they call themselves UNapologetic could mean they are NOT in defense of their methods... though they seem quite defensive about the negative reviews. Ironic, no?

Edited by Kinsa
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Okay, I'll be the first to admit that I might get too much enjoyment out of writing negative reviews for terrible books. But if I spend however many hours reading your book and it's horrendously written, filled with typos, and just plain awful, really, you have it coming. Next time, suck it up and pay for a professional editor. Or just start a blog like everyone else.

 

With that said, why is it always the homeschool parents-turned-authors who have to get online and argue point-by-point why my review is wrong and I'm just too dense/uncultured/whatever to see the brilliance of their ebook? Even when it comes to self-published ebooks with only a handful of reviews, I've never had this happen in any other genre. But with books on homeschooling, I've had it happen three times so far. (The author of Unapologetic Homeschoolers was apparently not pleased with my review. Too bad. Learn how to write, buddy. And format. And spell. And not sound like a pretentious twat who sniffs that he likes for his precious angels to hang out with other "high-caliber children." They're kids, not rifles.)

 

I guess by nature we're all control freaks or something.  :lol:  But seriously, if any of you are thinking of writing a book about homeschooling and feel the urge to respond to each and every negative review, DON'T DO IT. Seriously. It makes you look petty and just a bit unhinged. The like buttons are there on Amazon and Goodreads for a reason, and if other reviewers think a review is without merit, it'll eventually get pushed to the bottom of the page.

 

For some reason it cracks me up that it's the homeschool parents who cannot, under any circumstances, let it go. One dad-author actually emailed an enraged freaking tome to my personal email account and demanded that I detail my educational philosophy for him so he could explain why it wrongly colored my opinion of his book. No, dude. Just no.

 

LOL! I would love to know which dad-author that was. I agree with your assessment. We have published authors here and they know the value of content editors and copy editors. Some of us have worked as content and copy editors. Seeing articles and books that have obviously never seen an editor's desk drives us nutty.

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I guess I wonder why homeschooling parents are still writing books about homeschooling. Isn't the market already saturated? I mean, I guess I could write a book about... I dunno... homeschooling boys (since I have six of them), but I'm pretty sure it's already been said and done. I guess we all think we're a special kind of something.

Couldn't this be said of most topics?

 

People still write gardening books even though there are a gazillion gardening books out there already.

 

And people (like me!) still buy and read new gardening books.

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I guess by nature we're all control freaks or something.  :lol:  But seriously, if any of you are thinking of writing a book about homeschooling and feel the urge to respond to each and every negative review, DON'T DO IT. Seriously. It makes you look petty and just a bit unhinged. The like buttons are there on Amazon and Goodreads for a reason, and if other reviewers think a review is without merit, it'll eventually get pushed to the bottom of the page.

 

 

 

C'mon, if they quit doing that it would take away the pleasure I get from reading the comments and seeing the train wreck! 

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 â€¢ The term “high-caliber kids†is not used in a mutually exclusive manner to exclude any race or particular activities. It refers to children who on their own time seek to do more. We have seen many “high-caliber kids†of all races in programs such as sports, Scouting, and religion.

 

Does it bother anyone else that he jumped to the assumption that she was referring to race?

 

 

Upliked Mergath's review ;)

Edited by mommaduck
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Crap like this is why I almost never read, much less buy, books about home schooling or parenting. I don’t even read very many blogs anymore.

 

Just. Ugh. Why can’t we just own up to the fact that any real control we think we have over our kids is an illusion? It’s not all about us and our pride.

 

I’ve learned a lot more from people who can be genuine about that than any of those people making money of pretending they are some kind of parenting guru.

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Remember when the Sonlight dude came here to defend Sonlight? :lol:

 

Maybe there's something to your theory about homeschoolers being control freaks.

There’s also a curriculum publisher whose name escapes me at the moment, but from what I remember the extent of the curriculum is a book list idea. It riffs on the “quality†book bit which, meh, fine to each his own. Anyway, said author also publishes a list of books that they deem bad which includes all of the reasoning why these books are bad for kids to read. The author of the list got some push back/criticism and now you can’t see the list unless you agree never to comment on the list, publish the list, or disclose the list to others on social media.

 

Kind of like fight club.

 

Except it’s forbidden fruit so all I can think is how I neeeeed to see the list.

Edited by mamaraby
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