Wednesday, June 3, 2015
In the Trenches
We had fun on Facebook with a review of ‘Bloody Shadows’. It prompted a great discussion about the publishing anomaly the media labeled ‘Book Killers’. Many readers commented on the post by my partner, RJ Parker. He didn’t post the example we called the ‘Gagy Poo’ book killer example to launch a troll war. No one wins those but the trolls.
As I stated in the comments, we authors are like standup comedian entertainers. When we offer our literary wares on the Amazon marketplace, we get hecklers. Nothing entertainers, especially authors, do is above ridicule or reproach. Our words are not golden droplets from heaven. We are not exempt from slams. Sometimes the slams are hard to separate from legitimate bad reviews because they’re expressed incoherently. If an author can see the humor in such a review as ‘Gagy’ posted on Amazon, it works as a great opportunity to steer readers into previewing what they choose to read with the extensive ‘Look Inside’ feature Amazon provides.
Amazon provides over 60 pages free of ‘Bloody Shadows’ because of its length. Believe me, a reader sampling that much of ‘BloodyShadows’ will know one way or another if they will like it or not. For one thing, a first time reader of the ‘Cold Blooded’ series should know it’s the fourth novel in an ongoing pulp fiction series. The preview also provides a reader sampling ‘Bloody Shadows’ with enough material to decide whether to start at the series beginning.
At the beginning of the Amazon Indie bookselling experience traditional publishers were found out by the media to be employing interns to do book killings on indie authors. The media coined the term ‘Book Killer’ into being when a publishing intern admitted to the practice, and more than a few authors were found to be engaging in the practice against rivals on the marketplace. I use my writer/assassin Nick McCarty in the ‘Cold Blooded’ series as my avatar to humorously engage publishing marketplace elements like BK’s, and have some fun doing it. :)
The ‘Look Inside’ feature should provide Amazon with a reason to not permit ‘Book Killer’ review one and two star hit pieces, but that’s not going to happen. There is an agenda behind this I think will become evident as Amazon expands its own publishing imprints like ‘Thomas and Mercer’. In the end though, the best policy for Authors on the Amazon marketplace is to urge readers to sample the wares they buy.
Rather than purchase a novel because of someone else’s review or the attractive cover and blurb, followed by a one star hit piece because of disappointment in the writing, it would be reasonably a much better idea to read the ‘Look Inside’ preview. If we can influence legitimate readers to sample what they buy, I believe the only one and two star slams posted by reviewers will belong to the ‘Book Killers’. Anyway, those are my golden droplets from heaven for today. :)