Imaginary Conversations with Reviewers


I spent a few years teaching literature; one thing that always fascinated me were the critics who frequently saw certain themes, symbols, and elements in fictional works that I’m positive were never intended by their authors. They evaluated these novels and short stories based on what they thought the authors should have written. One priceless example of this type of analysis is Hemingway’s “A Clean Well Lighted Place.” There’s a page of text that doesn’t seem to make sense. Critics came up with all kinds of bizarre interpretations. Hemingway couldn’t answer the question because he already had blown off his head. Finally a scholar discovered that two lines had been copied in the wrong order when the story was first published. Case solved.

I was thinking of this situation as early reviews come pouring in for Silent Partner. I have to say I’m pleased because almost all reviews rate the book four or five stars. There are a few reviewers, though, who had some very strange ideas of their own. If I could meet for drinks with them, I imagine some of the conversation would go as follows

Schatt:   I see you’ve tentatively given the book one star, but there’s no review. What didn’t you like?

Reviewer 1: No. I give all the books on my TBR shelf one star ratings until I read them. I then adjust my rating when I write a review.

Schatt:  Aren’t you concerned that giving a book you haven’t read a one star rating might influence others who will decide not to read it?

Reviewer 1: That’s not my concern. It helps me keep track of the books I intend to read next. Besides, Goodreads is for readers and not for writers, so don’t bother me.

Schatt:  Nice to meet you in person, Reviewer 2. So, I see you gave the book 3.5 stars. I’m not sure I understand what you didn’t like.

Reviewer 2: I liked it a lot  and thought the writing was good. I just didn’t like that you didn’t write a paranormal romance.

Schatt: Did I promise you a paranormal romance? I think the book’s cover describes it as a paranormal mystery.

Reviewer 2: Well, I thought it was supposed to a paranormal romance. I don’t like paranormal police procedure books, so I always give them low grades.

Schatt: When you put down your drink, could you tell me what aspect of the book you didn’t like?

Reviewer 3: I think you’re trying to imitate 50 Shades. Your book is not as sexy.

Schatt: But…the whole point was to add some comic value to Josh and Frankie’s undercover work at the S&M club. There really isn’t anything erotic in the book.”

Reviewer 3: That’s my point! You didn’t make the book erotic enough.

Schatt: But… I wasn’t trying to make it erotic.

The more I read reviews, the more I think of the blind men’s wildly differing descriptions of an elephant based on what part of the animal they felt. All reviews have value, but some reviews remind me of a line from A Farewell to Arms where Lieutenant Henry thinks about how unfair life is:

“You did not know what it was about. You never had time to learn. They threw you in and told you the rules and the first time they caught you off base they killed you.”

Early Reviews for Silent Partner

I’ve been sending out Author Review Copies (ARCs) to major websites that review fiction. Included in that group are some bloggers who review mysteries. Pen-L will publish the book officially on September lat, and it will be available at Pen-L’s site as well as at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other websites.

What is intriguing for me as an author is that everyone sees something different in a novel. One reviewer focused on the paranormal element while another focused on Frankie. It reminds me of when I was an English professor. One student noted she couldn’t wait to get to class to find out what the meaning was of the book she had just read.

I’m absorbing the reviewers’ comments and incorporating their suggestions into the second book in the Frankie and Josh series. In any event, here are links to these two early reviews. I’ve also provided a view of the book’s cover. Since Frankie’s every movement is scrutinized and criticized by the press, including tabloids, it’s not surprising that her desk contains a copy of a tabloid as well as various files.

Silent Partner's Cover

Silent Partner’s Cover


Schatt Research Publishes 3D Printing: A Guide for Investors

I’m very excited that Schatt Research’s first book, 3D Printing: A Guide for Investors has just been published as a Kindle book. The rationale for this project is to make solid research available to the general public at a very affordable price. Below you’ll find the press release as well as the cover.


New book reveals bright future for 3D printing but words of caution for investors

3D Printing: A Guide for Investors by Stan Schatt guides potential investors through the maze that is the current 3D printing industry

May 6, 2014

CARLSBAD, Calif.  3D Printing: A Guide for Investors provides a guide to current technology, most likely market growth scenarios, a market forecast extending through 2018 and covering applications, printers, services, and materials, and an analysis of current vendors and their products.

According to Dr. Stan Schatt, Principal at Schatt Research, the total worldwide 3D printing market including printers, services, and material is likely to produce $3.3 billion in revenue in 2014. The 3D printing industry is still in its infancy after almost thirty years, but a number of factors are pushing the market closer to greater consumer acceptance of the technology. Schatt points out that while there still is no “killer application” for the home, several new features as well as falling prices and increased media coverage is moving the market beyond just hobbyists. He compares the current state of this industry to the personal computer market in the early 1980s. While there is great opportunity for investors, there also are considerable risks since the 3D printing industry is likely to experience the same kind of vendor fallout the PC industry experienced.

This book explains why it is difficult to find unbiased information about the 3D printing industry and why certain materials are poised for substantial growth as are certain companies specializing in services. It also examines some key legal and ethical issues that could derail industry growth.

Normally Schatt Research would publish this study as a report and price it accordingly, but it has decided to explore a new way for investors to purchase market research without paying thousands of dollars. Accordingly, 3D Printing: A Guide for Investors is available exclusively as an Amazon Kindle book for $9.99.

About the Author

Stan Schatt has over twenty years’ experience as a Research Director and Vice President at several of world’s leading market research companies including Forrester Research, Giga Information Group, Current Analysis, ABI Research, InfoCorp, and Computer Intelligence. He is the author of over thirty books on a wide range of subjects and has been quoted by the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, the Financial Times, Business Week, the New York Times, and Money Magazine. He has appeared on CNBC to discuss investment opportunities and new technology.


Stan Schatt PhD, MBA


Phone:  760-613-10003Dprint_high


The Birth of Schatt Research

As if I’m not busy enough, I recently acted as midwife for the birth of Schatt Research. As some of you might know, I worked as a research director and VP at several major market research firms focused on technology research including Giga Information Group, Forrester Research, Current Analysis, ABI Research, etc. I wrote hundreds of reports over the years that were priced generally in four figures. I still spend a lot of the time when I’m not writing novels looking at various technologies and evaluating them. It’s a habit that’s tough to drop.

In any case, I know there are lots of people who could use the type of information found in those expensive reports, yet they simply can’t afford the prices. My solution is to take advantage of modern publishing technology and publish my studies as electronic books for the Kindle via Amazon. Since my costs are very minimal, I can keep the list prices under $10.

The first book covers the very exciting topic of 3D printing and examines this new industry from the perspective of potential investors. It cuts through a lot of the industry hype and provides  a realistic forecast. I’ve even developed what’s known as a market model so I could forecast sales and various other key components of this market.

Even if you have no plans to invest in a 3D printer company, I hope you find this new book exciting  and useful since I discuss many of the really interesting applications soon to be released. I even compare and contrast some of the leading consumer 3D printers in case you’re considering being an early adopter.

I’ll showcase the cover as soon as it’s ready.