Sooner or Later You Will Give Yourselves Away

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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.

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Pseudo experts, the cross we all have to bear

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Have you ever noticed that no matter what the subject, there will always be certain individuals who assume that they know more about it than anyone else? Take writing for instance. In this case the only ones who can be labelled true experts are writers with books selling in their tens of thousands, despite what any editor or gate keeper may say! If like myself you are fortunate to fall within this category as a successful published Indie writer, it’s bad enough that you instantly come to the attention of non writers in the form of trolls without armchair critics, grammar nazis, pedants, and worst of all, self appointed editors adding to the mix.

I’m sorry to disillusion you all, but just because you may have a degree in English in one form or another, it does not give you the right to poke your often ill informed oar in.

When any of the aforementioned offer their opinion in the form of a review for one of your books, or as a comment to a post on your blog, they automatically assume that even though you are successful, that somehow or other they know far more about the subject of writing than you do. There is very little any writer can do about the former. But when it comes to commenting on our blogs, please remember we hold the power of veto!

I have lost count of how many times I have felt tempted to simply ask them – Ok, tell me, how many books have you written and had published which have become best sellers?

These people really should take a moment to get over their envy or jealousy of our success before they start preaching to any writer. The day I take notice of anyone remotely on the periphery of the writing world, is the day when they can back up what they say with the numbers to prove their expertise. In this particular instance I’m talking numbers of books sold!

If you want to criticise, it’s simple, have one or more books written by you become best sellers. We writers tend to talk among ourselves, critique each other, and above all we make each other aware of total plonkers.

You have been warned!

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Who is LoopyLupine?

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It had to happen! Once I had made Cataclysm free for a brief period, it was inevitable that the trolls would soon attack. Cataclysm just received its first one star review on Amazon UK from someone calling themselves LoopyLupine.

1.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievale, 17 Nov 2014
This review is from: Cataclysm (Kindle Edition)
It’s not just that the “story” is unbelievable, it’s the fact that this ever got published. Ranks as the worst book I have ever read in sixty odd years. Hate to run somebody’s work down, but I am annoyed to have wasted a part of my life attempting to complete this poorly written, crazily assembled, fantasy.
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The mere fact that this person can’t spell, nor can they distinguish the difference between adventure and fantasy proves yet again that individuals like this have no business being allowed to review any book on any online book site. If anyone knows who this person LoopyLupine is, they should do all writers, not just me, a favour and expose their real identity to the world.

Thoughts on Cataclysm’s three day giveaway

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Well, its finally over. After three days a mere one hundred and nineteen free copies were taken up. That may not sound like much. But believe me, from my point of view it’s good. Loosing US$246.26 in royalties is a worthwhile financial sacrifice to bring the novella to the attention of a wider audience. Plus, with such a low number of free copies out there, means that the book stands a better chance of it not being targeted.

Had I set the three day period from Friday until Sunday, there would have been far more copies seized upon, meaning that my financial loss would have been far greater. Plus with the increase in numbers it would also mean that inevitably it would be subjected to far more vicious one star reviews by trolls, armchair critics and pedants than it will now.

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If you are interested, here is the distribution breakdown by Amazon outlet:

Amazon United States – 89

Amazon United Kingdom – 15

Amazon Germany – 6

Amazon France – 0

Amazon Spain – 0

Amazon Italy – 0

Amazon Netherlands – 0

Amazon Japan – 1

Amazon India – 1

Amazon Canada – 6

Amazon Brazil – 0

Amazon Mexico – 0

Amazon Australia – 1

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The above is a fairly normal distribution when it comes to free copies. As you can see in six of the countries where Amazon has outlets, there were no copies taken. That is also normal as English is generally not in use, not even as a second language.

So, if you are thinking of offering any eBook of yours for free, and you don’t want your book to be bombarded by one star troll reviews, choose Wednesday to Friday to minimize the chances.

PS – Knowing the number of free copies are out there, it will be interesting to see how many of them generate any kind of review…

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Give A New Book A Chance

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As Indie writers, no matter how you’re previous works have been received, we all know that publishing a new book is the equivalent of playing Russian Roulette. In other words it’s pure luck if it survives, let alone becomes a best seller. It doesn’t help whenever a new book is soon consigned to the equivalent of oblivion in the book rankings due to low initial sales.

My latest novella is a classic case in point. Since Cataclysm went live on Amazon’s Worldwide network on the third of this month, I have closely watched its position in the rankings. At the time of writing this it currently occupies the 93,815th spot in the Paid in Kindle Store list on Amazon.com, and 189,924th in the Paid in Kindle Store list on Amazon.co.uk. For it to stand a chance it needs to occupy a place in the Top One Hundred Paid list!

While most writers, myself included, are usually not bothered by where their book sits in the ranking system used by Amazon, reality dictates that without help a new book automatically struggles to be seen among the millions of others. It doesn’t help its chances when Amazon has no new book listing. They should take a leaf out of AuthorsDen’s book. At least they show a new book for a few days on their main page.

This is why I have had to relent from my original stance regarding making Cataclysm available for free download. The giveaway period begins tomorrow, Wednesday 12th until Friday 14th. Even though it already has three reviews, sales are negligible. So how about giving a new book a chance folks by getting a copy, free or paid, from your nearest Amazon outlet. More importantly, post a fair review to counteract the inevitable one star variety that will soon appear, once the trolls etal get their hands on their own free copy.

Thanks

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Let me guess, you are perfect!!!

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pedantic pɪˈdantɪk/ adjective: pedantic excessively concerned with minor details or rules; overscrupulous.
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Sorry for this rant folks, but earlier today I witnessed a leading author and friend of mine being taken to task on Facebook by a nitpicking pedant. Without naming names, here are the comments in the order they were posted:-
Pedant – You missed a full stop and comma on page 93.
Author – I love you too.
Me in defence of my friend – Let me guess, you are perfect.
Author to me – Jack. As you know yourself, even with the best editors there’s always some errors that remain undetected.
Me – Exactly.
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Idiots like this particular individual usually hide behind pseudonyms delivering their attacks via one star reviews. They are complete wankers! When it comes to pedants and other assorted toss pots I usually refrain from responding. But in this instance as the pedant in question was attacking a friend of mine on a public forum, using his own name. I think you get the picture…
So what if my friend’s publisher’s team of professional editors missed a full stop and a comma. Shit happens. Big f…ing deal!!! Sorry about the expletives here folks. Its just that I get heartily sick of these holier than thou idiots. Score one for all writers, and nil for pedants and others of their ilk…
Sooner or later every writer gets attacked by these morons, usually only via one star reviews. This was a heaven sent opportunity for one writer (me) to support another (my friend). It doesn’t help matters when online publishers and certain author groups in various social media sites declare that they see nothing wrong with writers being attacked by these low life scumbags.
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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.

Creative writing courses are killing western literature, claims Nobel judge

I totally agree with what Horace says. How about you?

Creative writing courses are killing western literature, claims Nobel judge.

The Publishing Establishment’s Delusion | Just Publishing

Derek exposes the way the publishing establishment sees Indies

The Publishing Establishment’s Delusion | Just Publishing.