International Dagger page, and statistics news

New page at Petrona.
I have created a page on this blog (underneath the header) to list the books that have won the CWA International Dagger award since its inception in 2006. In all but one case, I have read and reviewed the winning title, so I’ve included a link to that in the list. I have also provided a summary of the judges’ comments about each book, with a link to the CWA page for that year, so you can see the shortlisted books for that year, together with the judges’ views on them. For those who really are true collectors, I’ve also included links to the Euro Crime listings of all the eligible titles for each year from 2006 on – posts which include links to Euro Crime reviews of many of these books.

Amazon top 500 reviewer!
The other day, I achieved my longstanding goal of becoming a “top 500” Amazon reviewer – an accolade that I believe means one’s reviews are more seriously regarded. I am not sure precisely how this ranking is calculated, but it is at least in part due to other readers marking one’s review as “helpful”. At time of writing, 87 per cent (597 of 684) of comments on my reviews are “helpful” (the rest are “unhelpful” votes, at least some of which will be from disgruntled authors and/or publicists!), so I’d like to thank everyone and anyone who has voted one of my reviews helpful, and hence propelled my reviews up the rankings. For those interested, here are my 200-plus reviews and nine “Listmania” lists of carefully filtered reading recommendations. Any further “helpful” votes are very welcome indeed!

Google plus and sharing
The icon “g+1” appears on many blog posts (usually at the bottom) and newspaper articles now. If you’ve enjoyed reading an article, it is well worth clicking on the icon as this will increase the page rank given to the article by Google, and hence make it more visible in searches. You can just click on the icon, you do not have to have a G+ account or “share on G+” as prompted, a “+1” is all that is needed to optimise for search. I have some time ago created a Google+ crime fiction page – when I like an article I add a link to that page and, in the persona of “crime fiction page” click on the “g+1” icon there, as well (that’s two votes!). If you have a Google + account you can put the crime fiction page into one of your circles, then you can share your own or any other article (with the g+1 icon) to the crime-fiction page very easily. Google + may not have taken off as a social medium yet, but when it does, crime fiction is ready!
Google + crime fiction page.

20 thoughts on “International Dagger page, and statistics news

  1. Maxine – huge congratulations on the Amazon top 500 reviewer status. I did click on a few likes a while ago on Amazon but I tend to read your reviews via your blog so haven’t clicked for a while. You clearly have a fan base out there which I am not surprised at all.
    The international dagger still looks good and I will explore later. I’ve mentioned before that google+ hasn’t really been doing it for me but if clicking the +1 helps a post’s search profile then I will certainly do so in future.

    • Agree G+ is not very useful yet, Sarah, except in this regard. Google have got lots of users (as everyone is migrated there, essentially, if they have any kind of G account), but very few of them are actively doing anything. I am sure they will be adding more features in due course…..well I hope so anyway, as it would be nice to have a useful social site as opposed to the awful Facebook – not sure how much longer friendfeed will last for (actually bought by Facebook a couple of years ago but they haven’t done anything to it yet – I keep thinking they will close it down to try to force everyone to migrate to FB, the horror!).

  2. My first reaction to the news of your Amazon status is “why of course…her reviews are brilliant” but then I thought about it and realised that it IS quite unusual for the internet to reward actual talent over bling/showy-ness so it is a rather outstanding achievement. Well done. I must admit I don’t spend much time on Amazon as I tend to use BD for my book-buying and other sites for reviews but I know that is the most important site as far as authors are concerned so it is great to see that decent reviewers are being acknowledged.

    The international dagger page will be very useful for me as I am becoming more and more interested in those books – thanks for being so helpful.

    On the G+ social media thing I feel a bit overwhelmed by all the requests for tweets/likes/+1s etc that life throws at me these days and I have been a bit curmudgeonly of late – one of my staff got cross with me because I had failed to poke (or whatever one does at FB) his daughter’s charity page on FB – eventually I got it through to him that I don’t have a FB account and have even missed events in my own family because of my refusal to join – but the energy that this entire exercise wasted has made me very tired of the whole social media mess (I can’t believe I had to have a 45 minute counselling session in work time over a private FB page but that’s the way of things in our public service – apparently me not doing what he asked could have been seen as bullying!!!!!!!!). I’m sure I’ll gain strength again to tweet etc one day but not for a while.

    • Thanks, Bernadette – esp for the kind words about Amazon. From my perspective, as I put up shorter versions of many of my reviews there, there is a different audience from the blog.
      Totally agree about all the social media – G+ is pretty limited at the moment, but the suggestion here is just to help increase one’s own page rank, really 😉 Agreed on Facebook – though my sister did discover that she and I had become great-aunts via FB the other day! Weird or what? I, of course, had missed this news completely.

    • I know exactly how you feel about facebook, Bernadette. I do have a fb page but I hardly ever use it, not least because a member of my family is using this social forum to document the break up of her marriage. It is so icky and she gets loads of supportive comments from people whose cod philosophy makes me despair. Every time I look at my page I end up signing off in a rage. You are not alone Bernadette (although I do find twitter quite fun).

      • That sounds terrible! I use FB for one reason only – to keep in touch with two or three people I like who don’t use other social media accounts – my student daughter for one. But I only have 9 contacts there and keep well out of all that “fake friendship” side of it. I quite like twitter so long as one is judicious about one’s contacts.

  3. Thanks a lot for putting up this new feature here. I’ve already looked at it.
    And congratulations on the 500 top Amazon reviewer rating. That’s great.
    I must admit that I don’t usually read book reviews at Amazon — because I’m too busy
    reading reviews by the terrific bloggers whose websites I read daily. And I’m quite
    satisfied with that undertaking and end up with a humongous TBR list, with such
    tantalizing reads that I have to hide my credit card, and also end up with a huge TBR pile.
    I’ve looked, albeit briefly, at the nine Listmania lists and will revisit that webpage soon.
    Thanks for all you do for the global mystery reading community.

  4. Maxine – Congratulations on being an Amazon Top-500 Reviewer! It’s a real achievement and you really deserve the accolade. I learn so much from your high-quality reviews! You’re one of those who show the rest of the world how it’s done and I’m glad you’re getting recognised for it. Well done!
    And thank you for the work you put into adding that page to your blog. As if your blog wasn’t already a treasure trove…

  5. I just want to add my congrats on the Amazon ranking and thanks for the International Dagger page on your blog. I don’t have much time to keep up on Twitter let alone Google +, but I applaud you for doing it!

  6. Congrats on the Amazon Reviewer ranking, Maxine. I’m not at all surprised as I find you very influential in my buying choices for new authors to read. I was thinking of removing my Google Plus icon…. I thought you had to have an account to click on it but now I know better. Thanks for creating a very helpful page for us who go looking for stuff to read and again, congratulations!

  7. Thanks, Norman, Margot, Kathy, Keishon and Rebecca, I really appreciate the encouragement & hope the Int Dagger Page is useful. Looking at the past winners, I am only really keen on one of them – The Darkest Room by Johan Theorin, so I hope one to my liking wins the 2012 award next month – the omens are good 😉

  8. Maxine: Congratulations on everything in your post. In a few paragraphs you created three good articles in one.

    I am glad you have a blog or I would not have read your reviews. I have avoided reading Amazon reviews. I prefer to get reviews from other bloggers or newspapers. I do not buy books from Amazon. I buy from bookstores or, if I am ordering a book which happens rarely, I order it from a store. I do not know how much longer I can continue this approach.

    • Thanks, Bill – I have seen the number of bookstores in our town shrink from about 10 when I first moved here, to two now – Waterstones (chain) and the Oxfam bookshop. Very sad. I use Amazon a lot, because even Waterstones (which has a good crime fiction section) rarely has in stock the books I want – or the classic literature etc I try to buy occasionally (or anything I try to buy for my daughters). It is very sad. I’ve noticed that on average far more of the Amazon reviews on the US site are very dumb, not properly constructed prose, etc, compared with the UK site.

  9. Maybe I should start reading the Amazon UK website. I haven’t done that, and I rarely look at reviews on Amazon US because they don’t reveal anything except that a reader liked or disliked a book.

    • I tend to skim them if I am thinking of buying/reading a book, and on the whole I have been pleasantly surprised at the standard and usefulness.

  10. Maxine,
    You need to be careful what you ask for –when you ask for more helpful ticks
    on your Amazon reviews.As a fellow top Amazon reviewer ,I know that –if your
    ‘friends’ give you too many helpful ticks–the Amazon computer will pick this up,
    and –think there is something shady going on–remove all previous ticks from that
    person,and not allow any more.

    • Thanks for the tip, Simon! I don’t think I could ever aspire to your ranking – your reviews are the epitome of what Amazon should be looking for.

  11. The International Dagger Award winners page is a very nice touch. Inspired! I’m diving right in. I admit to not paying as much attention to The Dagger Awards.

    And a hearty congratulations for being recognized as an Amazon Top 500 Reviewer!

    I can’t even imagine what it takes to earn that distinction and I’m sure I’ll never learn.

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