Not too much to report at this point. Still playing around with some freelance work, and I’ve posted the second part of my piece at Suite101. Writing a Good Bad Guy, Pt. 2: Bringing the Shadow to Life (click here). It’s more for people who are just starting out in their writing, but maybe some good advice if you are struggling with your antagonist.
And I finally had success with getting Amazon to knock the price for my Free Five Flash Fiction down to actually be free. Funny thing is that before they did it, I actually had a few sales at the 99 price point. To see Free Five, click here (also available at B&N and Smashwords). It’s the same stories I have here under “FREE FICTION” but I’ve added afterwords to go with each story explaining where the idea came from (some of them almost as long as the flash itself :))
What does the future hold?
Next Friday, I’ll be giving a recap of the World Horror Convention. Should be pretty entertaining.
But without further ado…
[Note: This one deals primarily with blogging and writing issues, but if you’re just an avid reader, I want to know your opinion on this, too. Also, please forgive the spartan nature of this post. I have a handful of other things I need to be doing for WHC, and something had to get the ax. Turns out it was finding images to go along with the post.]
There was a recent mildly volcanic “discussion” thread at a group of which I am a part.
Here’s the story (and if you’re in this group, it isn’t a big secret whom I’m referring to):
Just as I do (as well as most bloggers), a book reviewer posted his recent blog post at this group. The rub was that he was posting a one-star, very curt review of a book.
The question was not necessarily raised whether or not said reviewer (we call him Mr. R, for “reviewer”) should be posting a negative review, even though I’ve seen many a blogger ponder this very question (usually they’re also writers… of which Mr. R is not, I don’t believe).
The general consensus was that Mr. R was entitled to his opinion (even if some of the comments reflected the fact that perhaps he should’ve gone into a little more depth and a little less vehemence). However, the question was raised about the fact that he was posting this negative review (as he does all of his blog posts) at any group of which he was part.
The first response from our group was along the lines of how it’s okay to have this review at your site, but perhaps spreading it around to so many people you don’t necessarily know might be in… well, “error” is how I would sum up the follow-up comments.
And then the follow-up comments started flying. And honestly, as a Virgo, I could see most of their points. On one hand, Mr. R is only announcing his blog post to his groups, an action I certainly can’t throw stones at. On the other, is it simply spreading negativity to a whole bunch of groups of people who may have a differing opinion of what they consider “entertaining”?
After all, one man’s definition of “gratuitous” isn’t necessarily every man’s definition, and while on one hand, we have always had negative reviews in the world, perhaps this new electronic world gives the negative reviewer (especially if ill-informed) a broader sphere of influence than they should. On the other hand, having read several of Mr. R’s other reviews, while he may be brutal, I’ve seen that he has a pretty good idea what he’s talking about.
This is why I submitted, somewhat trepidatiously (I think I just made that one up), The Imaginings to him for review. I knew I was going to get a straight shot from him. And while they may just be his opinions, I know they are at least educated opinions.
I just read a good blog post recently advising readers on how to find the potential gems in the self-publishing world (link), and the interesting (but not hard to believe) bit of advice they said was to look for a book that had a good variety of reviews and to be leery of too many four and five star reviews.
Much as I love my four and five star reviews at Amazon, I recognize the fact that the majority of them came from people I either know or met through the interwebs, even if only very distant acquaintances.
The point came up in the discussion whether or not writers and reviewers can be friends. I don’t know the answer to that, but I know that even though we have recently become Facebook friends, I’ve been very particular not to interact too much with Mr. R yet for the exact reason that I want him to be honest without worrying about
So whether you agree or disagree with his style or review, it seems like Mr. R might be doing the author a favor after all. If the story continues to get mixed reviews, maybe we just say it was only Mr. R’s opinion. If it starts getting more negative reviews, maybe we call it what Darwin would’ve called it.
And we thin a little of the bloated herd that is the self-publishing world where it has become increasingly easier for anyone to put a book out there.
Maybe I’ll be one to go, myself. Who knows? But I’ve seen some of the other stuff out there, and I’m gonna’ be pushing some of them to the lions before they get their teeth into me.
What do I want from you?
I want your opinion. This particular thread caused some waves and I’ve seen some other opinions, but I’d be curious about yours. And again, this is a question for both my readers and writers.
As always, so long as your comment has a little substance, I don’t mind if you leave a link. I do it at your blogs; you might as well do it here 🙂
Finally, make sure to check back next Friday for my recap of the World Horror Convention.
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