A Prick In Carefully Chosen Places? …

G’day All

I came across a review for one of my books last night. I am reaching for the voodoo doll and needles with my left hand as I type with my right! A prick in carefully chosen places might be in order. Ha ha, only joking. It was a good review but it made me think …

When I put my first book out there, Mulligan’s Reach, I was so scared. Someone said I was the only person they knew of who had written a book, put it on Amazon and wanted to keep it a secret. It was true. I was terrified that someone might see it, actually buy it, read it and leave a review saying what a load of old cobblers. I hid beneath the table for a week, shaking, and only coming out for food and the loo. And then, such massive relief – no one bought it. No one even knew it was there. No one would be leaving me demoralising reviews. No one would come seeking me out, storming the perimeter fence, demanding their money back. Happy. Happy. Happy.

It was a little like …giving birth to a really ugly baby. Don’t give me a hard time, some babies ARE ugly. YOU know the baby is ugly but if you keep it hidden, the world will just ASSUME it is beautiful. If you SHOW little ugly baby to the world people will snigger and say, ‘I knew she’d have an ugly baby.’

Same with the book. If it was  secret it couldn’t be slammed, could it? But then, like the ugly baby scenario, I began to defend my ugly baby (book) because that is what mummies and writers do. What if it was ugly? What if it did have a face that only a mother could love? Oh yes. And what about the ugly duckling? THAT turned into a beautiful swan. The phoenix rose …

How DARE anyone ignore my ugly baby? My precious little duckling. My book! I’d show them. So I did. I put my second book, Starfish, on Amazon. Well. May as well have ugly twins. In for a penny …

I actually put Starfish on a free promo and over 7,000 copies were uploaded/downloaded (not sure which – too technical) and it went to No 1 on Amazon. That was a real thrill. Truly. And I have to thank all my twitter and fb friends for that. So, thank you all my little twitter and fb friends. You can NEVER thank people enough.

I don’t think I was prepared for the 3 star review I received for apparently, and unknowingly, condoning rape in Starfish. The 3 stars knocked me a bit but the ‘rape’ comment threw me across the floor and back under the table. How could anyone assume that I meant to condone rape!! I did my normal thing …drop my head beneath the parapet and hide, assuming someone was on the way to kill me for being so despicable. And then I did my other normal thing … angrily rise, beat my chest, bellow out a few F words, accompanied by a few B words and write a very stroppy blog announcing in no uncertain terms that if people didn’t like my book not to bloody read it. It was with the greatest satisfaction that I pressed the enter key and sent my reply, to the world and his dog, zooming  into the ether. Huh! Shit head! Slag off my ugly baby, hey? Narrow minded pillock!!!

A friend commented on my blog and said I should be really careful what I say as I could alienate people. So I deleted it. Whatever. I was Mrs Stroppy for a morning … and it made me feel tons better.

I have no argument with reviews now. No. Honestly.I swear it on all things sacred. I see them for what they are. Personal opinions. In my real life I only take notice of a few people’s opinions. You see, I have to respect that person before I can accept what they say. I have to believe that they have the integrity to leave an honest review. I have always been, and always will be, a truly honest person. If someone asks me for my opinion that is what they get. I WILL sugar-coat it if necessary because destroying tender hearts is not on my agenda. Telling someone what they wish to hear is not an opinion and as such is pointless, invaluable and a waste of good breath.

You can always tell a worthwhile review. It tells you what the reader liked and why and what the reader  didn’t like so much (if anything) and why. It comments on content, story, characters, dialogue, pace, etc.  A review is not …’It wasn’t good.’ This was a real review of mine from ages back and even after considering the mentality of someone who might leave a review like that, I still wanted to know …why? Why would you think that?

I’m not even convinced that reviews sell books anyway. I don’t buy a book based on reviews. I buy it because the blurb and first page interest me. I have many books sitting on my Kindle waiting to be read and most of them are free promo’s which I have downloaded to help other writers attain sales figures. I have little time to read – so many other things demand my attention but I will get around to reading them, so, for those of you who know that I’ve got your little baby sitting here, I will read it and I will leave a review. I ALWAYS leave a review. It is the least I can do for all that hard work. I’ve given birth. I know how bloody hard it is to push out that baby …


Take care my lovelies xHPIM2851 - Copy



11 thoughts on “A Prick In Carefully Chosen Places? …

  1. I’m looking forward to reading a copy of one of your books and I will leave a review for you 🙂

    Personally, from someone with a book floating around in her head but who isn’t actually brave enough to sit down and try and coax it into life for fear of ridicule or soul destroying reviews, I would award you 5 stars just for having that moment of faith in your abilities and getting your books out there.

    You really have got the hang of self-promotion now, haven’t you? 😀



    • Thank you Elaine but if you have a book in your head write it. Write it and like me worry about all that other stuff afterwards. And it’s a self-limiting thing – you don’t worry about it forever. So, get going, hey? x


  2. Just a quickie, I will, at some point, get your book and review it. Mulligans Reach. I have, like you, loads on my Kindle waiting to be read, load sof samples too as funds do not allow me to buy for the sake. I buy what i think I will read and like. I do also buy free books, same thing, little time to read.Should I put one of my books on as a Freebee do you thinbk? Evelyn


    • I seem to remember you saying that you like horses? So I’m thinking you’ll like Mulligan – if only for the horsey content! Yes you could put one of your books on free promotion if you are on Amazon KDP? BUT I would recommend putting it on for three days Fri/Sat/Sun and either be around to tweet and fb it or join Hootsuite (if you haven’t already) so that you can programme tweets. If you need any help just let me know Evelyn xx


  3. Hello Gail, I’m a little opposite to you. Soon as I wrote my first book avid to get it there and hope for the best, sort of charge into battle, who cares. I think you;re right about reviews probably not selling a book anyway. I;ve heard it said it’s unwise to ever answer a bad review – I just leave mine to languish in loneliness (hopefully). I think certain people enjoy upsetting others by cowardly putting up a bad review just to cause trouble. Personally if I didn;t like a book I just wouldn;t review it. What;s more it;s a bit presumptuous. One person might think a book is tosh just because it’s not within the genre they like. So their review is irrelevant. Great post as always


    • Thanks Geoffrey. Your books are just waiting to be noticed. Your writing is cracking. In fact, as soon as I get the chance I’ll buy your books and then I can review them for you. xx


  4. I read a lot – often in the loo if I don’t have time anywhere else. 😉 But I have a stack of books on my Kindle too. I’ve made a pledge not to get any more until I’ve worked my way through the 4 sitting there right now. I will get to your Starfish though… /because/ of that bad review. The thing about bad reviews [not that 3/5 is bad, mind you] is that they say more about the person leaving the review than they do about the book itself. They’re a kind of negative recommendation. 😀


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