As most of you know, I recently wrote a novel (my second) that I called Fraidy Hole. I didn’t write it to make money. I did it only because I enjoy writing and in the end, I was glad that I did it. It was a gratifying experience to see many months of effort culminated with an upload to Amazon, to see my book and name listed on that giant of the Internet, not to mention on my own Kindle reader. Any sales from that point was icing on the cake.
As explained in a previous blog, book sales on Amazon are driven mainly by customer feedback. A promotional giveaway also helped to stimulate a little action in that department, especially in the United Kingdom where the book received it’s share of favorable reviews. In fact, if you do a Google search with the words Fraidy Hole and my name, almost three pages of results pop up. Very cool.
But let’s be honest here. Anyone with a story, good, bad, or horrible; as long as it’s formatted to their specs, can upload to Amazon. There is no judge sitting in a cramped office somewhere that rules on the merits of your work before it’s made public. The readers are the critics. They award the book a number of stars, one to five, along with an explanation of why they did so.
After looking at hundreds of reviews, it seems to me that the number of stars is based more on how much the reader enjoyed the book rather than the talents of the wordsmith. For example, Earnest Hemmingway has quite a number of four stars rather than five. Go figure. But it explains why Fraidy Hole was given a number of five star reviews because as we all know, I’m certainly no Hemmingway or Steinbeck or John Grisham or Stephen King. I’m only a rank beginner, trying to get better, doing what I like to do.
So here’s Fraidy Hole, rocking along with kind words, enjoying the spotlight, when suddenly, this shows up:
This book was not even worth 2.99! The author jumps from the main character's point of view to the sidekicks point of view to the dogs point of view on the same page. The book is very slow moving with many typos. Obviously not well researched because at one point the author talks about field irrigators making what looks like crop circles which isn't even close to what they do. The other reviewers must be either friends or family of the author because this book deserves one star and I'm being generous.
Of course everyone is entitled to their point of view, that’s how it works. But I took special exception to this comment. Typos? Yes, there are some that did get by me. That can be fixed. Slow moving? Perhaps in places, but other reviewers disagree. What really got to me was the part about the field irrigators. I researched that before writing one word on the subject. Take a look at Google Earth and Cimarron County, Oklahoma. See the crop circles? Then there’s this from Wikipedia:
Center-pivot irrigation (sometimes called central pivot irrigation), also called circle irrigation, is a method of crop irrigation in which equipment rotates around a pivot and crops are watered with sprinklers. A circular area centered on the pivot is irrigated, often creating a circular pattern in crops when viewed from above (sometimes referred to as crop circles). Most center pivots were initially water-powered, and today most are propelled by electric motors.
I know, I know, I shouldn’t let one jerk reviewer get to me, but it did. Perhaps that was his/her intention. I wish I were more thick skinned, but no. What really irks me is that this review will be there, prominently displayed on Amazon, for as long as the book is listed.
So here comes my plea (you saw it coming didn’t you?) If you have purchased a copy of Fraidy Hole, would you please consider posting a review? Clicking on the link will take you there. I’m not asking for five stars, four, or even three, only an honest opinion. I realize that Fraidy Hole is the kind of book that's not for everyone, some won’t like it, that’s life. I would only ask that your review be truthful. If you enjoyed the book, say so. Did you like the characters? Would you read another novel featuring Sheriff Morrison and his deputy, Billy Ray? If the book wasn't your cup of tea, fine, that's cool too. I can take the negative comments if they're accurate, but it would be greatly appreciated that such comments be without the insults of the aforementioned “reviewer.”
Thanks a bunch,
Irrigated Crop Circles