It’s inevitable whenever you publish…

images

~~~

Hi kiddies, I’m back on the offensive once again.

The following is a classic example of what happens when a Troll goes on the attack by looking for the next title on their hate list:

The text does not flow. I was frequently jolted by missing punctuation and poor sentence structure.
~~~

In this particular instance, the targeted book is my scifi love story:

511nMxX+gVL._SX384_BO1,204,203,200_

Céleste: Love, Hate, Revenge and Danger among the Stars.

And yet, despite the above pathetic attempt to rubbish the book by a specific troll living in Vermont, one Sligo McKluge, when he delivered his blatantly obvious attack, the book continues to receive nothing but praise by those who have actually bought and read it from the beginning to the end. Which begs the simple question – why the hell does Amazon still allow bitter and twisted morons like McKluge to comment in the first place?

Before the peace and brotherly love set jump in to defend him by preaching about the fundamental rights of the individual, insisting McKluge was merely exercising his/its/her/their right to express their personal opinion according to the section on the democratic right to freedom of speech in the first amendment of United States’ Constitution, I would remind you that like every other successfully published author of my acquaintance who are constantly targeted by total fwits like McKluge, I can tell you that that particular argument does not wash! It is nothing more or less than a load of old horse manure, especially when authors do not have the right to veto all one and two star reviews. Or better still, like Facebook, be allowed to block certain people from commenting, or in this instance reviewing!!!

PS – according to KDP, its being read in the US at the moment McKluge, so stick that in your pipe and smoke it!!!

Bah Bloody humbug

😦

Why Did He Do It? What possessed him?

Forgotten

Do you remember the positive review for my best seller The Seventh Age?

Stand by to be flabbergasted! I draw your attention to the hate and vitriol that its sequel received from one individual in his one star rant. You can fully expect the same kind of vicious attack if any book you write becomes popular on Amazon. Before you ask, Angus is a pseudonym for a self styled reviewer in the US. God only knows why he launched into his tirade:

1.0 out of 5 stars An unfortunate waste of time, November 7, 2013
By
Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: The Forgotten Age (Kindle Edition)

I really wish to forget this unfortunate book because it is forcing me to violate my rules regarding book reviews but I am angry. I do not generally do negative reviews. If a book is going poorly, the story doesn’t grab me or the genre is not my normal flavor and not changing my mind by fifty percent completed then I bail and give it the review of silence. This aberration drew me in past the fifty percent mark even through the poor editing and character development so here goes.

The Forgotten Age is a novella trying to paint a story of a pre-Pharonic civilization in Egypt using a protagonist who is supposed to be a modern English (pun-intended) Indiana Jones with all of his compatriots being Ukrainian mafia and corrupt Egyptian bureaucrats. Oops, can’t forget the clever American sidekick who has some unexplained religious beliefs that must come into conflict with the protagonist’s mystery solving because…it just does.

List of crap:
1) Do not build paragraphs by pairing three or more sentences saying exactly the same thing. Paragraphs have a point and supporting sentences, and yes there is a difference.

2) It is a bad idea to bombard the reader suddenly with hyped up drama where there has been no build up of conflict.

3) Point of view issues can be catalogued using this one work. Narrator dumps are an extremely poor method of telling fiction. Moving on.

4) Time scale within this story is so skewed you would have the reader believe the group of explorers spent almost a year under Ghiza with just the supplies they had carried on their backs.

Lastly do not try to suspend the disbelief of the reader so that in their struggle to reach the end of your…thing…they are rewarded by you pulling the ripcord and sealing (not ceiling) in the protagonists and all of his lemming helpers for the remainder of eternity just because your brain went on vacation. Was that sentence long enough to make it onto your radar?

The Forgotten Age will not be receiving any of my usual promo. I intend to post this on my blog, Facebook, Google+, Amazon and Goodreads as a warning buoy. ‘Beware, someone soiled themselves here.’ Now you know why I have my rules of review. I don’t like doing this. Enjoy.

~~~
Besides ‘Angus’ there was one other individual that had the temerity to suggest that because the story is based in Egypt, and one or two of the baddies in the story were locals, that by his thinking I denigrated all Arabs. Rational human beings who have read it know that is not the case.
~~~
Now for a few of those who actually liked it including the best selling author Robert Bauval:
on November 20, 2012
“Jack Eason is a master storyteller of this historic-cum-science fiction genre. His latest book Forgotten Age is a riveting page-turner tale..read it!” Robert Bauval, author of The Orion Mystery
on November 28, 2012
The Forgotten Age I don’t often give out five stars on a review but Jack Eason’s The Forgotten Age deserves all five. This book that follows on from The Seventh Age, enthralled me from Prologue to Epilogue and all chapters between. I have to declare an interest here, as I’ve always been fascinated with Egyptology and archaeology so it was no hardship for me to read this new Nick Palmer adventure that kept rolling along like a runaway roller coaster – and with such credible characters for first-rate company along the way. I can say definitely worth adding to your wish list or better still buy it today.
on July 30, 2013
I started with this book, not the ones that came before. I am not a scifi reader, so I was amazed at this books ability to keep me up all night. This book focused on the action and characters. Well written and just wonderful. I liked the interaction and even though it did not have the depth of the other historical fiction books I usually read, I liked this book. I hope to get the next one and am interested to find out if and how this author brings the library “out” to the rest of the world. It is interesting to me that this story makes the premise that our history – world view has been the product of the few as opposed to what has really been found in archeology.
~~~
So there you have it. Welcome to the world of modern day literature. In the meantime I invite you all to make up your own minds by reading your own copy.
The Forgotten Age – Amazon.com
The Forgotten Age – Amazon.co.uk

The Problem With Some Book Reviews

book-review

When it comes to writing a book review, there is only one extremely simple thing for you to remember – if you have nothing positive or constructive to offer, say nothing.

***

Since the general public found that they can now write a book review on sites like Amazon, it was inevitable that a few bitter and twisted individuals would rise to the surface. If what I am about to say sounds harsh to you, just think about the one, two and three star reviews written by people who have never read, let alone written, anything more complicated than a shopping list in their entire lives. Or for some totally unfathomable reason, believe that because they never actually bought a copy of the book they positively hate, that somehow or other it gives them the right to inflict their bile and hatred not only on the book, but also its author.

The greater majority of you are normal decent people, unlike the average internet troll(s). Even if they had bought a copy of the book, rather than venting their spleen it would be far better that they refrain if the book was not to their liking. But trolls are not normal, neither are they decent members of society.

From the point of view of the author of the book in question, there is one cardinal rule when you find your book and yourself have become the subject of troll attack – never rise to the bait. Even if you are seriously tempted, don’t say anything in reply to their review. Ignore them! While they may believe that what they say in their review will convince potential readers not to buy a copy, the reverse is often true. When people see highly negative reviews, at the very least it makes them curious enough to want to make up their own minds by buying and reading the book.

***

Here are a few examples of the kinds of reviews I’m talking about, in this case one star reviews written about some classic works of literature, in this instance not necessarily by trolls, more than likely from paid literary critics :-

Plato’s – The Republic “it’s important that you all understand that Western society is based on the fallacy-ridden ramblings of an idiot.”

Dante – The Divine Comedy “The most worrisome part of this book is that Dante left out one circle of Hell… The one where you are forced to read this book.”

F.Scott Fitzgerald – The Beautiful and Damned “Does it get any worse than F. Scott Fuckgerald? The only thing good about this bastard is that he’s dead…”

***

Now for two typical one star reviews from trolls on Amazon:-

William S Burroughs – Naked Lunch “This is probably the worst thing I have ever read. It is just a jumble of nonsence words from a junk basard. i love the Beat Generation, but come on Bill!!! … F@#$ You, Bill BURROUGHS!!! I’ve heard good things about Junky though. I might read that one.”

Amazon Reviewer – Charlie the Champion

Stephen Colbert’s – I Am America “I love the Colbert Report sometimes and hated this book all of the time.

Amazon Reviewer – Concerned Citizen

Notice the incorrect spelling and punctuation, and how neither of them actually used their name, preferring to hide behind a pseudonym. Most one star reviewers don’t even bother to edit their review before clicking on the ‘publish’ button as witnessed above.

So, the next time you think you have the right to slate a book and its author, especially if you didn’t even have the decency to purchase a copy – think again! Better still, stop making fools of yourselves and get a life…

***

This article appeared in the New Statesman. I urge you all, both writers and book lovers, to read it – http://www.newstatesman.com/voices/2014/03/your-book-sucks-are-authors-being-bullied-one-star-amazon-reviews

***

Lastly, why not support all writers by signing this petition. If you are on the side of common decency it is your duty to do so. This petition needs not just hundreds, but hundreds of thousands, even millions like you and I to sign it before book sites like Amazon will be forced to listen and stop siding with the trolls, by allowing them to get away with their often vicious attacks. If the attacks were physical, would the police do nothing? No. So why should Amazon condone what is happening on a daily basis?

https://www.change.org/petitions/amazon-com-protect-amazon-com-users-and-indie-publishing-authors-from-bullying-and-harassment-by-removing-anonymity-and-requiring-identity-verification-for-reviewing-and-forum-participation

Thank you for adding your name to the petition alongside mine.

PS – it might also pay you to read this:- http://www.derekhaines.ch/justpublishing/amazon-reviews-and-keyword-stacking/

😉

Sooner or Later You Will Give Yourselves Away

punctuation

Face it folks, we all have habits. In this particular instance, I am talking about the way people communicate via the internet. Every single one of us use a set of stock phrases or specific combinations of words peculiar to us, that act as our unconcious signature.

Even pedants, armchair critics, grammar nazis and trolls, while hiding behind their respective pseudonyms believing they are safe in their anonymity, are no different in this regard whenever they go on the attack.

I was talking to one specific individual yesterday who gave themselves away exactly as I have indicated above. I will not name this person, nor will I even hint at their gender, age or occupation, suffice it to say that they are well known to several of us. Behind their ‘nice’ public persona lurks a particularly vicious tongued pedant.

As writers we are constantly being attacked by any or all of the above. When you have received as many one star reviews from them as I have over the years, you soon recognise each individual’s particular style of attack. By their own omission this person’s own books don’t sell, and yet they feel fully justified in picking fault with other writers.

Which begs the simple question – why do it, it makes no sense? I would only say this to the specific person – cease and desist. You won’t have many friend left in the world of words if you continue.

PS – I didn’t let on when talking to them yesterday that I recognised the specific individual’s way of communication. Had I done so, they would have automatically gone on the offensive. Life is too short to get into any kind of debate with people like that.

😦

Cyber Bullying On GoodReads

It’s to be expected given that it is now wholly owned and controlled by Amazon, who allow cyber bullies to attack anyone and everyone who publishes books. A lot of rhetoric abounds from both sites about ridding themselves of the problem, and yet to date nothing positive has happened. While I’m all for freedom of speech, there are limits!

Cyber Bullying On GoodReads.

A Writer’s Secret Desire

writing-first-blog-paragraph

As writers we all write for the love of words and telling tales. We all say that we don’t really care if no one else likes what we write.

Really?

Yes I love writing with a passion. Yes, writing is everything to me. Yes, I enjoy the feedback I get from those of you who have read any of my books, whether it is good, bad or indifferent. At least the vast majority of you took the time to see what makes me tick as a writer.

Like most writers I know, I do not include any of the following in that last statement – Trolls, Pedants and Armchair Critics. Each of those groups are nothing more than self-important fools who believe that they know more about words than the average writer does. A lot of what they say when they attack any writer, in particular Indies, is down to professional jealousy, and envy of your modest measure of success, when you consider that in some cases, they are writers themselves.

As writers, be honest. Wouldn’t you just love to have at least one book that made people sit up and take notice of your endeavours? I know I would. With each book I write (at the time of writing this, I’m busy with my seventh), I like to kid myself that this one will become a best seller. I thought that when I wrote my fantasy anthology back in 2012.

Despite critical acclaim it wasn’t.

So with this latest one well and truly on the way (the word count now stands at nine thousand and I’ve almost finished outlining Chapter Five – almost), here’s hoping that it finally breaks through the invisible barrier that all books struggle to navigate their way through. I’m not asking for much. Just to be able to say that one book of mine was a best seller.

Is that asking too much? I honestly don’t know.

One thing I do know, the book I’m currently writing will create controversy, maybe even anger towards me among certain elements within society. Do I care? Do I hell as like. If I make you think when you read it, then I have done my job.

😀

Internet Trolls Are Narcissists, Psychopaths, and Sadists

If you’re a writer, you already know this if you’ve published a book and it appears on Amazon and Goodreads…

Internet Trolls Are Narcissists, Psychopaths, and Sadists.

For Goodness Sake – Think Before You Act!!!

stupid-signs

I’ve said this all before on several occasions. But apparently you decided to keep on doing it anyway…

As writers, whether seasoned or a newcomer, explain to me why it is that you have totally swallowed the marketing ploy created by your publisher(s) that giving away hundreds, sometimes thousands, of copies of your books is somehow financially beneficial to you?

The only ones who benefit from your moment of completely misguided naivety, or should that be madness, is your publisher and one particularly evil, not to say tight, group of readers. I refer to those individuals who know that sooner or later you will become desperate enough (or should that be foolish enough) to decide that it is a good idea to give the product of all your hard work away for nothing! Think trolls, pedants, armchair critics and good old fashioned skinflints. Letting the first three get their hands on a free copy of your book gives them all the ammunition they need to tear apart your reputation as a writer even before you have established one! Just take a look at all of the one star reviews on sites like Amazon if you don’t believe me…

Before you join in with this idiocy, take a moment to think it through. There is absolutely nothing wrong with giving away a dozen copies of an eBook online, or a dozen signed paperback copies at a book fair, or in your local book shop just once. It makes total promotional sense. Number one, with the paperback, the cost of getting that many printed is negligable. Number two, despite what eBook publishers may say, the cost of producing an eBook is practically zero. If those who got their copy from you this way like what they read, they will soon spread the word.

The nasties usually don’t attend book fairs and bookshops…

Put your thinking caps on for a moment. If instead of being a writer you were a painter, or a sculpture, would you give your work away to get yourself noticed? No, of course you wouldn’t. So why do you think that you will become popular among readers if you give away hundreds or thousands of copies of your book(s)?

Once again I ask you to think before you act. While your eBook or paperback may be free to the readers for a promotional period between two to five days, your publisher still receives a financial reward simply by delivering the copy to the readers, while you get nothing.

Let’s face it people. You decided to get your book published. You spent many months slaving over it. In a lot of cases, you spent more money than you could afford at the time having it edited as well as getting the cover made. Giving away thousands of copies will not help you recoup your financial outlay. Only real sales do that. While you may believe that it is a good idea, take it from one who knows – it isn’t! Divide the total cost of your outlay by the retail price of the book. That will give you some idea of how many copies have to be sold before you begin to see any profit in the form of royalties.

If the loss of thousands of pounds/dollars etc in the form of royalties doesn’t bother you, I give up. You are a hopeless case. I’ve mentioned all of this in previous posts. So have many other seasoned writers. Yet, each day I come across more and more writers giving away precious copies of their book, hoping to be recognised, even though they know they are playing into the hands of the literary vultures waiting in the wings, hoping to feed on the next writer’s sheer desperation.

You know that it is totally ridiculous and yet you still do it. Why? For your own sakes, not to mention your dwindling bank accounts, cease and desist! You wrote the book. Therefore you are entitled to reap any financial reward derived by its sale.

 

What It Takes To Be A Serious Writer

writinglifequote-1

In the good old bad old days, wrongly or rightly, writers were shielded by their agents and publishers from their reading public to maintain an air of mystery, and to shield them from the more repugnant elements of society, among other things. These days since the internet became reality, it has become a necessary tool for all writers to be able to let their readers get to know them.

Even so, as a writer you need to be cautious. There are a few drawbacks. The  spread of internet trolls, armchair critics and pedants springs to mind. But, always providing the writer doesn’t engage with them, they remain where they belong, lurking in the darkest recesses of the internet fora. With the way the review system operates on a lot of book sites these days, they do their darnedest to put people off buying books written by every writer they hate. Usually their stupidity, bile and invective has the complete reverse effect. Some foolishly think that they will be able to get at any writer who maintains a blog by offering a less than civil comment. If you are a member of one of the three groups mentioned above, know that your comment will never see the light of day…

The time has long since gone when serious writers simply wrote books. Contrary to popular belief, being a writer is not only a lonely existance, but also unless you are one of the fortunate few, the amount of money we receive in royalties is minute to say the least. Any serious writer who makes £12,000 per annum, or more, is doing well. Most mid-listers make far less; new writers, practically zero.

Nowadays, we spend a lot of time either with our own webpages where we advertise our wares, or as in my case (and that of many other writers) we operate a blog like this one, contributing to it on a daily basis. Let’s face it, people are curious about us. They want to know everything about their favourite author(s). Once again there is danger involved in maintaining any form of public forum. How much do you reveal about yourselves? Short answer – think before you type. There are people out there who will think nothing of revealing your innermost secrets to the world in an attempt to turn potential readers away from your work. After all, like everyone else, we are human beings with the same character flaws, hates, foibles, desires, regrets, financial and health problems as anyone else.

Besides writing that novel, the odd short story, and maintaining a blog, we also interact on popular social media sites as well as placing links for our latest novel, novella, anthology and blog posts on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc, etc. Participating in all of these activities has become an absolute necessity since the concept of publishing, and what publishers were prepared to do for their writers changed for the worse from the point of view of the writer a few years ago.

To keep our names in forefront of the reader’s mind we need to ‘self-promote’. The myth that any writer worth their salt does nothing but slave over their latest manuscript is just that – a myth. Some of us attend various book fares, book signings and conventions. Some of us don’t. I am one of the latter, owing to poor health. Besides which, until someone comes up with a way for writers like myself who write purely for the eBook market to digitally sign your copy, I won’t be doing it.

For all writers, being able to meet you when you visit our blogs, like what you’re reading, and become a follower, means everything to us all. As readers, while you might never consider reviewing something of ours on an internet book site, being able to read your comments on our blogs as well as chatting to you on Facebook also means everything to us. Plus, never forget that always providing we post on our blogs and talk to you on Facebook etc, at least you know we’re still breathing.

So, if you are thinking of becoming a serious writer, all it takes is dedication, mental strength, doggedness, and above all, you must become resigned to the fact that you will be living on an income well below what is commonly held up as the ‘poverty’ line. If you are serious about writing, be prepared for the long haul.

One other thing, if you want to know more about me, why not wade your way through the over three thousand posts I have produced to date on this blog?

Post Script

Today’s reader only thinks about one thing – getting a free copy of your book. Even when so many offer their work for a paltry $0.99 in an effort to be read, the vast majority still refuse to buy.

Now is the time to put them to shame. If we were to charge the reading public the true price of a book based on the number of hours we spend writing, editing and perfecting the manuscript, the cost would be astronomical. Most books take several months to complete.

If I charged a penny per hour for a book that took me say six months to complete for publication, the purchase price would be £43.80 per copy.

So stop whining about a book being priced at £/$0.99 or £/$2.99, when you think it should be free, and support its author! Of course you could join those who constantly tell authors they like the sound of their book(s) and will add them to their TBR list (to be read). Which of course they seldom if ever do. Personally I prefer my own approach – ignore the one, two and three star hate reviews. Or worse, the spoiler variety. First I read the book’s hook. Then I browse a few pages. If I like it I actually buy a copy. Now there’s a novelty…

😉

Been there, done that. Do I really need to go on?

tumblr_static_writing450

Writing is a funny old game, not for the faint hearted. For me it is a hobby which helps to prop up my meagre old age pension. For others, it is a poorly paid fulltime occupation. Unless you are a Dan Brown or J.K Rowling, you certainly won’t get rich.

To be successful at it you must first have masochistic tendencies, but develop a hide thicker than a rhinoceros to counteract the problem. Secondly you must become driven, disciplined, love research and telling stories, and above all, love words.

Why do I say masochistic? What other calling do you know of where the second something you have written is published, it is descended upon by certain individuals like a flock of ravenous vultures looking for the next carcase to devour, who have never written anything of note in their entire pathetic lives, but simply love to inflict vicious criticism?

Why develop a hide thicker than a rhino? See above.

Why must you be driven? Because without inner drive you will never write word one, let alone several hundred thousand more.

Why must you be disciplined? Because to write a book you have to shut out everything else in your life, becoming almost monk like. You cannot afford to become distracted by everyday mundane matters like family, friends etc, (sometimes I even forget to eat when I’m on a roll).

Why must I engage in research? Because most books worth a damn rely upon it.

Why must I love telling stories? If you don’t know the answer to that one, then don’t even begin to write!

Why must I love words? Words are everything, unless you are drawing a comic or cartoon, where the pictures convey what you want to say.

There is one other thing which I haven’t mentioned so far, and that is procrastination. From time to time we all are struck down by it!

So far since nineteen ninety-five I have written six books, five of which are still available and selling, despite the nefarious machinations of armchair critics and other assorted cretins. But right now I am in a period of procrastination. At the moment, writing another book, or even dedicating my waking hours to researching for it is a real problem for me. Daily I say to myself – OK, been there, done that, do I really need to go on? Do I really need to write another book?

The short answer is yes. For two reasons.

The first is that for me, writing has always been an addiction. The second is that If I never wrote another book in my entire life, I would be playing into the hands of those moronic individuals who just love to tear my work apart, hoping I will cave in and go away.

Sod that! I will write that next book. Just not yet.

As for the cretins, I’ve got new for you. For a start I’ve lived a damned sight longer than most of you. I’ve been wounded while doing my military service in South East Asia. In short, I’m made of far sterner stuff than any of you. So watch out. This old boy isn’t a quitter…