The Write Time & Place!

{August 1, 2009}   Happy August!

Sortta sounds like a new movie…the sequel to Happy Gilmore!

Now onto the gripe!  A fellow writer emailed to say she’d received a bad review from someone who hadn’t even read her book.  Now, you may be asking yourself how that’s possible.  That’s easy: on certain sites, you don’t have to actually purchase the book in order to review it, which doesn’t  make a whole lot of sense, and yet does at the same time, but I’ll get to that in a moment.

The author had a sampling of her book offered on Kindle.  As a Sony E-reader owner, I know that it comes loaded with the samplings of several books in hopes you’ll purchase one or more and download them to your reader.  Kindle does the same thing.  However, in this case, the writer’s work was mature content and all Kindle gave as a sample was the publisher’s copyright page, the title page, and the book’s dedication.  This—apparently–ticked off the owner of the Kindle and she went on-line and blasted the writer with a poor review and an attack on Kindle.  I can’t say that I understand her (the Kindle owner) ire because I don’t.  It’s nothing to get so angry about that you go off on a rant and skewer the writer instead of those responsible…the people behind Kindle.

The authors themselves do not control the content of the book sampling offered on e-readers.  And for someone to assume they do is really dumb.  For Kindle to offer those 3 pages as a sampling is idiotic.  But I’m not all that surprised by Kindle since they’ve been in the press in such a dim light for a few weeks now over the entire debacle of stealing books off of Kindle owners.  But that’s yet another story.

Anyway, the author lamented that the review was not only unfair, but unjustified and could cause her to lose sales.  I agree…to an extent.  If a levelheaded person were considering purchasing her book, saw the review, that person would only have to read it to know it was left out of sour grapes against Kindle and not the writer.  However, even with that being the case, I wouldn’t want it left there either.  Will amazon remove the review?  We don’t know yet.  Should they remove the review?  Absolutely.

Some books stores only allow consumers to leave book reviews if they’ve actually purchase the book from the distributor.  I agree with that because it prevents someone with a vendetta from going all over “town” leaving bad reviews on a writer out of spite.  I also somewhat disagree with it because it prevents legitimate readers from leaving a comment or two that might go a long way in persuading a potential reader to buy a book they were merely considering.  See what I mean?  It’s really a two-edged sword.

I have another fellow writer who says there’s a woman who follows her and her friend out of malice.  I don’t mean this deranged person stalks them by hiding behind bushes, I mean this person sits on the Barnes & Noble owned online bookstore Fictionwise and waits for these two authors to have new releases so she can buy them just to leave a poor review.  I’ve gotta ask:  How stupid is that?  If you’re so bent on leaving a poor review that you’ll buy a book just so you can…isn’t there something seriously flawed in your logic?  Your one minuscule rating is unlikely to hurt the writer, plus the writer’s making money off your purchase.  That’s what you wanted, right?  For the writer to profit off your dislike????

People really need to think about these things, eh?

Okay, I’m off on a road trip this morning.  Happy August 1st.  May August be an excellent month for you all.  May blessings abound!  Take care…

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