self publishing

Negative Reviews – the worst way to handle them

I normally pay no more than a moment’s attention to most of the posts by other authors on facebook.  Ninety nine percent of the time they’re just trying to sell me their shit, which I have no intention of buying anyway, so I glance and jog on to the pics of half naked men with washboard abs and funny animal videos.  Now and again though, I see something that so enrages me, that I have to respond, even though I know my response will not only fall on deaf ears, but will probably lose me my kneecaps.  No matter, I prefer to speak up with universal wisdom and risk losing them, than keep silent and condone such behaviour.

In one of the writer’s groups I belong too (although maybe not for much longer) I saw this post.

“Hey all ***(name)*** just got this stupid one star review can we get some vote downs.”  A link to an Amazon review was attached.

The review is this.

“The story was a good one, kept you reading. However, to me it was poorly written. It was hard to keep up with the characters at times because of the way the story jumped from one scene to another before you realize it. I especially disliked the way the little boy, Joel, was written as to his baby talk.

I have never read a book that described a dog’s bark as “Bufgr”. This was just comical to me. Not a major problem with the book.”

Now, this review is not disrespectful in any way, it does not include name calling or swear words and never encourages other potential readers not to buy the book.  It is honest, well written and candid.  This person obviously spent money buying the book (the ebook version of which is nearly $4) and has exercised his/her right to give their honest opinion on it.  After all, we do live in a society that claims to encourage freedom of speech.  Indeed, the reviewer even compliments the book as being a good story.

Asking your author buddies to immediately go and vote down a review, simply because you don’t like it is not only unprofessional, but it also says a lot about your moral standards as both a person and an author.  That worries me and makes me determined never to buy any of your books.  I not only have to enjoy the book I’m reading, but I also have to respect you as a person.  I’m funny like that, I have standards.

The world of book reviews has become so sullied in recent times, with sock puppets, paid reviews and now this type of ‘vote rigging’ by authors and it makes me less desirous of getting reviews for my own work, or at least makes me care a little less about whether I get them or not.

When people pay money for our product, they have  a right to voice their opinion of said product, and whether we like what they have to say or not, is beside the point and of no consequence.  That is the joy of living in a society where freedom of speech is encouraged.  I applaud this reviewer for voicing their opinion in such an honest but unemotional way, and for avoiding name calling and other such undignified behaviour so often seen these days.

The more I associate with other authors, the less I respect them.

When you get a low star review, as we all do from time to time, simply ignore it.  Do not respond and certainly do not resort to this kind of ‘vote rigging’ as it only makes the paying public all too well aware of the depths to which you will happily sink, in order to fool them into thinking your product is worth their money.  What makes it worse is that the person who made the request, claims to be a religious man.

You, Sir, are an ass..!

Summer Drought Sales-Wise?

It’s that time of year.  The time when our book sales traditionally slump.  I guess people are too busy sunning themselves on some chav infested beach to worry about buying books, so we must expect a dry spell during the summer.  That’s okay if your normal sales are healthy, but for those of us stragglers who delight in every single occasional sale, this time of year can make you wonder whether you’re in the wrong trade.

I’m trying to push my lack of sales to the back of my mind.  I’m editing my next release, I have just finished a new novel for Camp Nano, and with just four more stories to write to finish my horror story anthology, I’ve plenty to do.  I’ve also started a new health regime, and am trying to eat less, and more healthily, and now work out every day.  So far I’ve lost five pounds and can almost see my own pubic hair again for the first time in years.

Roll on Autumn, when folks are back from their hols and ready to start reading again.

New Promo Video – Acts of Life

I’ve made a little promotional video for my latest novel, Acts of Life.  I found this great online place called Stupeflix and the whole process is so easy and quick, much less farting about than Windows Movie Maker.  You can choose from their large music collection and the site automatically makes the music fade at the end of your video.  Plans start from as little as $5 per month and I think it’s worth it if you like doing videos to promo your books.  I’ve been wanting to update the videos I did for The Lilean Chronicles but the thought of faffing around with Windows Movie Maker again has put me off.  Now I shall be doing them within days at Stupeflix. Here’s the video, I hope you enjoy it.


Virtual E-Book Fair


Have you attended the Virtual Ebook Fair? If not, what are you waiting for? This event is taking the Internet by storm. In just a few months it’s become a favorite hang out for readers and authors alike as they mingle and chat.  Started as part of bestselling author, Tammie Clarke Gibbs’ launch for her latest release, SWORN TO SECRECY, a time-travel  romance, the Virtual Ebook Fair quickly became an event everyone is looking forward to.

Traditional book fairs have always been a favorite for booklovers, now you can attend one and meet new and new to you authors as well as some of your favorites without spending for admission fees and gas to get to the event and while there’s nothing that can take the place of meeting authors in person there are many benefits to attending in your pjs from the comfort of your own home.

Originally, a one-day Saturday event, the Virtual Ebook Fair is now held over two days beginning each week on Friday and running through Saturday at 10 pm est.

Each author has their own booth, and some have more than one where they share a short excerpt from their ebooks/books and then give you a link where you can read more or buy the book and visit their website/blogs. In addition to the excerpts, many share funny accounts of the writing process and interact with visitors in a fun way.

You can enter to win giveaway e-books by subscribing to the brand-new  Reader’s Rock emagazine that will launch in June. The subscription is currently free and gives you one entry for each week’s giveaways. You only have to register once.  In addition, authors often give out coupons for free e-books or run one or two-day  sales on their e-books.

If you really love to read, you’ll love this event, and it just gets better and better. Growing by leaps and bounds, it promises to continue to be one of the hottest destinations for booklovers around. What are you waiting for JOIN the event today?!

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Event Page Link for this weekend: May 31- June 1:

Where is the creativity?

Now that self publishing has become the norm, everybody and their uncle are writing books.  It’s wonderful that the book we were always told was inside every one  of us can now be brought into being so easily and that everyone has an equal chance of leaving a creative legacy to the universal consciousness long after they’ve gone.  All those unrealised geniuses of the written word now have a means with which to let their talent blossom.

The problem is that not everyone is a genius wordsmith and many who really shouldn’t be writing, are writing and publishing books.  I’ve noticed more and more in recent months those little signs that give away the absence of real creativity and it bothers me.  For instance, I’ve seen quite a few examples of books containing characters who have been named after other, already famous fictional characters without even the lamest of attempts at changing the name or trying to disguise it.  Just the other day this chick on facebook posted about her book that contained a pair of protagonists named after an extremely famous TV crime duo from the not too distant past.

I know there’s no copyright on names but come on, stealing names of already famous characters is not just lazy and uncool but also smacks of a huge lack of creative ability.  If you can’t even come up with a unique name for your protagonist, then what’s your story line going to be like?  Maybe it’s just me being a perfectionist but every time I see this happening, I cringe.

Another thing I’ve noticed more than once is books that have obviously been based on another famous book or movie and in some cases the story line is almost an exact copy with only the names, locations and peripheral action changed.  Then there are the multi genre books.  You know the thing I mean; the “it’s a vampire/zombie war set in a steampunk environment with an erotic romance between two aliens from different planets who are forbidden to be together by the fairy queen until the ancient dragons have been found/killed.”  The authors of these books don’t have a connection with a specific genre that pulls them and inspires their creativity, so because they can’t decide which to plump for, they shove them all into the pot together and come up with a joke.

Maybe I’m being too harsh but I truly believe that a writer doesn’t ‘want’ to write a book; they write a book because they can’t not write a book.  A writer will always know which genre they ‘must’ write in, without even thinking about it.  It won’t be a conscious choice, it’s hard wired into them.

Where’s the creativity?  Know your limitations and if you have to nick things from the creative work of others, then maybe you should look for another hobby.