We need your feedback!!!


When it comes to meaningful dialogue with our readers it rarely if ever happens, more’s the pity. We writers need the one to one connection. Not just a b….y ‘like’ on Facebook or Twitter!!!

As for reviews, all they tell us is that the individual responsible for it either loved or hated the book in question. I had one so-called reviewer not long ago who demanded that he got his money back, when in fact he had read a giveaway copy of the book he loathed so much. Then again, have you noticed how books written by Indies tend to attract the attention of complete morons!!!

Most writers like myself have a blog like this one where you can leave comments below a post, and a Facebook page where you can voice your thoughts in person on any book written by any of us, should you choose to do so. Or if you want, we can just chat about something else entirely. The point is that by chatting, we get to know each other, hopefully forging a lasting friendship. Trolls never openly engage with any author on Facebook. Why? Because FB doesn’t allow pseudonyms, the trolls favourite hiding place! One recently made the mistake of writing his review having read a free copy of one of my books, using his own name. Then approached me on FB to say he had just posted it. For a few weeks he hung around on one specific writers page I frequent, hoping to find allies. He was disappointed to find that writers tend to support each other, not trolls. So he left. I still check the list of people who view my blog posts on that specific FB page, just in case he sneaks back…

Like you, every writer is plagued with the typical faults, passions and emotions that all human beings share. Some like myself are known to hold strong views on varying subjects. Don’t let that necessarily put you off talking to any of us. We’re not ogres. Just battle-hardened…

Now here is a link to an interview every prospective writer needs to read: https://bookwormex.com/bob-van-laerhoven-interview/


There is no such thing as an error free book


This morning I received an email from my publisher, Kindle Direct Publishing. The following is the email’s text:-

We’re writing to let you know that at least one of your readers has reported some problems within your book, and we have confirmed the issue. Potential errors have been identified:  for example, “alter stone at Stonehenge’s centre.” should be “altar stone at Stonehenge’s centre.(loc: 52), “that surrounded the ancient alter.” should be “that surrounded the ancient altar.” (loc: 1311) Please check them and look for others.

While I fully acknowledge the error and that it may have been pointed out to them by a genuine reader, given that KDP along with Goodreads and CreateSpace are wholly owned subsidiaries of Amazon.com, and have their own forums where the trolls currently lurk, the chances are that it was a troll who pointed out the spelling error to them, hoping to get a reaction from me.

Well they got one, but not necessarily the one they were hoping for.

The person from KDP who sent me the email may be genuine also. But you will pardon me for being overly cautious in this instance, having been caught out once several years back in a similar situation, which led to my being targeted for months by a particularly nasty troll.

If it was a genuine comment made by a genuine reader, then I would point out one thing to them – there is no such thing as an error free book.  Even the most fastidious editor within the world of conventional publishing is human. Face it folks, errors like this minor one on my part get missed during the editing process. What did I do with the email? Simple. Nothing. I merely filed it.

Within the world of literature, while companies like Amazon prefer to take the side of the troll over that of the writer and genuine reader, anyone who ‘bites’ when receiving something like this in his or her email tray is in for a nasty surprise.

These days, like most writers I know I have nothing whatsoever to do with the act of engaging with people not known to me. Trust me when I say that in instances like this it is far better to err on the side of caution rather than to react in any way shape or form…

PS – I forgot to mention that the book in question has sold well over five thousand copies to date. So one complaint from a pedant is hardly anything to worry about, is it 😉

A deep reluctance for affirmative action by Amazon’s CEO


If Twitter UK can be embarrassed into acting quickly, ridding itself of cyber bullies and other assorted trolls by the British news media, backed by the government, plus to have them arrested and publically exposed to the nation, then why hasn’t the head office of Amazon in the United States been forced to take the same action when it comes to attacks by trolls on Indie writers who are ordinary law abiding citizens like you and I?

Could it be that the reason it has happened is simply because the UK victims of the Twitter troll attacks and cyber bullying are all prominent women?  One of them is Professor Mary Beard who was threatened with a bomb  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/23565145 . Another is Caroline Criado-Perez, the woman who campaigned successfully to get the face of the eighteenth century author Jane Austin on the UK ten pound note, something which should have happened decades ago.

Why is it that the US government is seemingly reluctant to take on Amazon over its deliberate protection of cyber bullies? What will it take to force them into action I wonder? May I suggest that if a senior US politician had been attacked for daring to write a novel and promote it on Amazon and its degenerate subsidiary Goodreads, the government would have closed ranks around the writer in question and moved heaven and earth to solve the situation?

The time has long since passed for any hope of Amazon doing the decent thing voluntarily. I would argue that the US government needs to publically embarrass the CEO of Amazon into affirmative action. If it means that it prosecutes Amazon, demanding a massive fine running into the tens of billions if Amazon refuses to comply, so be it. What Trump and his government need to decide right now is who is the more powerful in the land,  them or Amazon? So what if Amazon and other major corporations donate to the various political party funds? In this instance being loyal to your financial backers has to take a back seat to the rights of the common man or woman.

The only people who care about the on-going, mostly foul mouthed attacks by the trolls on Goodreads and Amazon are their victims – the Indie writers concerned. The problem is that not one of them can be classed as a prominent citizen. If they were then maybe Amazon would have been forced to close down Goodreads once and for all and to rid its own shadowy chat rooms of the trolls who inhabit them. Amazon claim that while they do not condone personal attacks, when it comes to removing an attack thinly disguised as a one star review, they are seemingly reluctant to do so. Who is in charge at Amazon? It certainly is not Amazon’s boss – Jeffrey P. Bezos