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May 1, 2013

            A month or so ago, I addressed this author that got slammed by a majority of his reviewers for writing a lousy first series of three books. Yet he managed to publish a second far more successful series, which I enjoyed despite some annoying irks which I discussed a bit in the original article.

            Last week, I received a pingback from the web site F*ck You – Idiosyncratic Wit on an article by one of his favorite authors and bloggers, Jeremy Robinson. Funny, Jeremy Robinson is becoming one of my favorite icky bug authors and I just finished a great icky bug novel of his called Island 731. In fact, it’s the first true monster icky bug I’ve read in ages. I thought the timing was rather unique! With that in mind, I figured it was a perfect opportunity to address the result of my adventures with the author of my frustration in the original article, A Jackpot Of Bad Moves.

            I went back to Barnes & Noble and bought the three novels in question not only to fit my OCD completist impulses, but to see if these reviewers knew what they were talking about. Turns out the answer was not what I expected.

            With the exception of the exaggerated perspective on the body parts in the first novel from that one female reviewer who took great offense at a few scenes, mostly at the beginning at the book, the story was far from soft porn. As for the other things people pointed out in all three, almost everything they said was true but nothing was as bad as they made it out to be, and none of the issues were story-killing.

            The first book was the poorest written and they got progressively better. That being said, they could’ve used a good content editor and they still may never have made it through any agent I’ve ever run across. As for my reviews, I had plenty of positive to say about them and gave each three star ratings. Average. Nothing to write home about, but still a good enough read so that I can say I didn’t waste my money. I could see a lot of room for improvement which happened in the next series, though the author carried a lot of his quirks with him once he became established.

            I had lots of time to talk to agents at the recent writer’s conference and they told me once a writer has an audience, they can pretty much get away with anything. That’s just the way it works. I asked them why then are they so severe with what they’re looking for? They all said they get so much crap they have to let the cream rise to the top and they go for those that not only have a good story but know how to write first.

            To me, an author puts their heart and soul into their work. They depend on their editors and beta readers to see what they can’t. If they don’t have a good support system or have an ego that won’t let that support system work for them, they’ll write crap and it will drag down their readers. I think my readers deserve better than that.

            Happy writing.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 12, 2013 5:24 pm

    I recently attended a workshop where a small publisher shared that he is no longer willing to sign a book deal based on the manuscript. Instead, first and foremost, he considers whether the writer has the personality to attract an audience and market the book. The quality of work comes second.

    • May 12, 2013 5:43 pm


      That just makes me sick. No wonder there is so much crap out there. Reminds me of the snake oil salesmen from the 1800’s. They could sell anything with their slick talk. We’ve had some slick authors who couldn’t write their way out of a second grade class yet they sell books like crazy because they can market. They can sell one book at least until those people actually read it. A sucker born every minute.

      Unfortunately, it’s pretty much been this way that publishers nowadays want nothing more than to just print the book and leave everything else up to the author. You have to sell your book anyway. You can’t be a wallflower. However, you can’t write crap and be a great salesman and expect to be a great writer.


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