While I am still on pain meds (and incapable of doing anything really useful)... it seemed like a good time to review my Amazon critiques for the two current books. I do actually read them all and take all the opinions into consideration while planning what to do next. The sequel for Totally Tangled will be out very soon - and as soon as I can see again, I will list it for pre-order, I promise! It is called "Yoga for the Brain". And then... I need to start working on the NEXT idea!
There are 40+ really fantastic reviews for Totally Tangled - and yes, I did recognize many of your names - thank you SOOOO much! But the small handful of negative ones stick in my craw (what is a craw anyway?) I'll re-print them here for discussion. Really, I do welcome your comments and will promise not to be as thin-skinned with your words since I know you basically like me. :-)
4 star review, but negative:
At first I was disappointed in the book as it seems to be more about showing her work than about learning. I went to numerous websites to learn before going back to her book to look at putting things together. It is more of an occasional reference book. With that, the author does awesome work.
3 Star Reviews for Totally Tangled:
I just received this book and it looks like it's a good one. But, seriously?? $16.99 for a 50 page 8"x8" book???
I think, a few months ago, I would have loved this book, but I've been tangling for several months. So I think I should have bought the sequels. But I didn't know about them until now. So I will go buy them now. For beginners, this book would be wonderful. I'm going to get the next two or three or however many there are. Love tangling.
Looks ok but it recommends you buy Zentangle cards to do the artwork on. My local art supplier (which is a big chain) has never heard of them.
2 star review:
I thought this book would be a learners guide to the art of 'tangling'. The description seemed to imply that. I expected more instructions and detailed steps Instead this book is more of a compilation of work which is admittedly very beautiful. How to get there is still a mystery to me. The book is not very logically laid out so I would not recommend it for total beginners at all who are looking for a step by step approach. For example the author spends time talking about tools needed and then just jumps into showing you images of tangles with no guidance on how to start at all. I found that frustrating and I struggled to make head or tail of what was going on.
However if you want to add to your collection of ideas or get inspiration, this book might be good. But you need to know the basics first.
I'm rating this as a 2 star from my point of view, as a total novice.
I cannot say how helpful this book would be to a more experienced person as the patterns are truly gorgeous and inspiring. In fact I am considering keeping this book just for the prettiness factor of the designs and getting a beginners guide to learn the basics.
But I do think the product description needs to be more explicit and less misleading.
There are fewer reviews for AlphaTangle because it is more limited distribution.
It's a small book in size, but is packed with tangles. I'm a novice and find it advanced for me, but one day!
The ideas in this book are good, even interesting to browse. I just think that this book was overpriced considering its size: it's a size of a large matchbox!
I still plan to use these zentangle alphabet ideas in my own drawings and writings. They look interesting. Every letter is drawn on its own page. It is tiny enough to take with you anywhere you want if you need a doodling help while travelling or elsewhere.
In self-defense, there isn't much I can do to defend against the people who gave me low ratings because of price. AlphaTangle is self-published which means I pay out of my own pocket to have it printed. So it is kind of like a nicely printed 'zine. Totally Tangled is full-color printing and that is expensive... but consider, even if TT were available as an e-book (wouldn't that be COOL!!?) it would still sell for about the same price. If you have purchased online versions of other books - even "text only" (no artsy pictures) the books cost almost as much as the hardback printed versions.
So, if anybody has any insights into these above critiques that might be useful for future books - I would really love to hear them. And if anyone has been thinking about leaving bad reviews for other books they have read, please consider returning the book, or contacting the author directly if you have useful advice. And for everybody who left me sunny, happy reviews, keep on keeping on! And don't you happy people forget to tell me what you would like to see for future works too!!