The Triple Curses – Internet Trolls, Cheapskates and Giveaways



No matter whether or not you self or traditionally publish, if you offer free eBooks as part of a book’s promotion, inevitably you leave yourself wide open to attack by idiots, and cheapskates who want something for nothing.


Yesterday I read Charles Yallowitz’ eloquent article These are Not Rules of Fantasyย where he pointed out the six totally absurd rules that readers of fantasy have dreamt up regarding what they expect to see in any fantasy tale these days.

Further to what Charles said, (click on the highlighted link above) I would like to add another dimension that we are all subjected to. I give you today’s new breed of reader – the cheapskates who cannot bring themselves to actually buy a copy of any book, prefering to wait until it becomes free, and the ill educated moronic internet trolls who hide behind pseudonyms.

As writers we are all subjected to endless criticism of all kinds. Besides being praised, you can also expect to be subjected to constructive and destructive criticism. Regarding the latter, when it comes to free books, especially the electronic kind, the book given away becomes fair game for often vicious attacks by the more cretinous within society.

None of us mind constructive criticism by people who have actually bought a copy and read the book from cover to cover. But when certain cowardly individuals who have got their copy for nothing, hide themselves behind pseudonyms believing their anonimity allows them to have a go at the author by tearing a book apart, its high time the online retailers took a stand on behalf of the writers whose books they sell, instead of allowing these often vicious attacks under the notion of Freedom of Speech.

Any writer will tell you that to operate in today’s swamped market, taking advantage of the giveaway has become a necessary tool in the arsenal of promotional tools for any given book. But it has one major drawback.

Currently online sites like Amazon, through their giveaway system, allow the morons an opportunity to give their often ridiculous opinions. Here is a case in point.

I recently held a five day giveaway of my fantasy anthology Globular Van der Graff’s Goblin Tales for Adults last month, (click on the link to take you to to view the book) utilizing the giveaway promotional facility of Kindle Direct Publishing, a subsidiary of Amazon.

Yesterday, out of curiosity I took a look at Glob’s reviews on to see if anyone who had got themselves a free copy enjoyed it. For almost six months the number of reviews there has remained static at twenty. So when I saw that one more had been added, I took a look.

Here is a verbatum copy of the so-called review. Please note all the errors such as the lack of upper case where applicable.

not what i was expecting

Ive only read about halfway through and i had to stop.
This book is an sort of interesting take on goblins. The short stories follow the same pattern.
1. something happens outside of the goblins view
2. the goblins find out about it
3. the goblins get everyone together
4. The goblins fix the problem.
This happens in about 4 to 5 pages, for each short story ive read so far. Some of the stories were interesting, but a good portion of them were boring.
If the interesting stories were more flushed out into a longer version(hell 30 pages would probably do it) then i would probably have given this 4 stars, but as it is, the stories were barely long enough to be interesting, and they follow a very predictable pattern.
How do I know that the individual calling themselves Ziggy got their copy for nothing? simply because of the date he/she posted the review on the last day of the five day giveaway in June. Prior to the giveaway, the last time Glob sold a copy was several months ago.
While none of us actually like the idea of giving away thousands of copies of any book we write, in Glob’s case, it just isn’t selling. So by offering it for free, at least if just one person who got themselves a free copy enjoys it, hopefully that may encourage them to take a look at other books by the same writer.
We live in hope…

23 thoughts on “The Triple Curses – Internet Trolls, Cheapskates and Giveaways

  1. I got a one star review from a giveaway of one of my short stories a while ago – said something about grade school grammar and hating my heroine – love it though – my rite of passage. ๐Ÿ˜€


      • You’re right – rather delete these needless attacks than take down perfectly legitimate reviews. I know that they’ve taken down quite a few of what they think of as friend reviews. I still review books by authors who’ve reviewed mine, but a lot of people won’t anymore. The thing that really gets up my nostril is the three day return policy – it hasn’t happened yet, but when it does, I’m sure I’ll be zooming around the roof. ๐Ÿ˜›

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Two things – the first is that I refrain from reviewing books written by friends, purely for the reason you state. Second, as long as Amazon HQ is inhabited by members of the acne brigade, I can’t see them ever closing down access to the review system by trolls. We all know that Amazon loves them for some totally inexplicable reason.


  3. Yes, these idiots make life difficult for all authors. Speaking of reviews, can anyone beat the comment: ‘Ouch’ in one of my reviews? Might be fun to start a ‘Worst Review’ contest. At least it might give us all a much-needed chuckle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I certainly can’t beat ‘Ouch’ Geraldine. However, I can offer the following review full of spelling mistakes by a troll named Belize who hated Glob’s Tales:

      To childish
      The story dosent really pull the reader in. The writing is ment for a very young reader. The story line is rather boring.


  4. I’ve never done a free giveaway Jack. I have given away free copies to book bloggers and reviewers. This seems to work better on the whole. Only drawback is sometimes they never review it, it just languishes on their virtual shelf. That review just shows the person’s failings, what an idiot.

    Liked by 1 person

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