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Giving away your book for free reviews and not receiving the reviews?

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In reply to an earlier post on Nov 30, 2013 3:35:19 PM PST
Pete Morin says:
I did read the follow-up, and it was nice to see how things turned out for her, but as a work of narrative non-fiction, it lacked the suspense and tension of Empty Chairs, but it was a hard act to follow.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2013 2:12:50 PM PST
Anne Rice says:
I totally agree with your post here with regard to the rudeness.
But I can also tell you that in the Amazon Forums it is perfectly acceptable to
be unbelievably rude and condescending to authors. You'll see this in
TOP REVIEWERS FORUM too. It's open season there on authors.

If some one promises you a review in return for a free copy of your book, well, then,
of course you expect it.

But I would allow for this: in some instances, the reviewer may feel very negatively about the book, and feel that it is better not to post a review at all rather than slam the book, perhaps for highly personal and irrelevant reasons.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2013 2:13:37 PM PST
Anne Rice says:
Yes, you are being rude again.
And you're speaking with authority to another adult (presumably) in a manner that suggests
you're quite sure of your superiority to that other adult.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2013 2:15:03 PM PST
Anne Rice says:
This strikes me as an excellent post.
I would never be sorry about having given a book away.
It means a copy out there that may be read by somebody.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2013 2:15:56 PM PST
Anne Rice says:
Good post.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2013 2:21:47 PM PST
Anne Rice says:
People owe one another common courtesy and politeness.
But sadly for some in these forums, authors are not entitled to common courtesy
and are seen as children to be lectured, scolded and corrected. "Show a sense of
professionalism" says Book World. Indeed. And who defines all that for an author?

May I offer this rule for authors posting in this and other forums: beware the free floating hostility on Amazon towards authors --- the condescension and mean spiritedness that erupts from some reviewers towards authors. It is a bit of a mystery as to why it exists in one of the biggest and best bookstores in the world.
Imagine yourself opening a bookstore, including as many books as you could for the public, and even putting up big bulletin boards for customers to post their comments on books.
And then come a small insulting group of people who believe it is their job to lecture authors, demean them, straighten them out as to what is professional, etc. ridicule them when they get "out of line," and they demand a table in your bookstore where they can spout their negativity ad nauseum to your customers, and they shout down any author who challenges them or threatens them in any way.
As a bookstore owner, you might really be puzzled by that --- give that every single book in your store was written by an author.
But that's the situation in the Amazon Bookstore.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2013 3:38:36 PM PST
The Bub says:
I do agree, Anne, with a lot of what you say and I said just that several pages back - common courtesy costs nothing. There is no excuse for rudeness or as I put up in another post which, incidentally was, deleted - this is 'Meet Our Authors' and not 'Beat Our Authors'. Again as I pointed out, (and on reflection it wasn't at all offensive so I am reposting the gist of it), this is authors' territory, here. This is why Amazon set it up for authors so the few that only want to spam can do it here. If you come into the authors' forum and then are rude then that is just as bad as people spamming in a kindle or fiction forum in my eyes.

Again, as I said before, the nasty posts, say more about the posters than who they are directed it. They say reams about their desperation to laud it over someone else and exert perhaps the only bit of power they have in their lives. They also forget that authors are readers and very often reviewers too. Other sweeping assumptions are made too eg that everyone who is an indie author has never been traditionally published.

It is wise not to make sweeping assumptions.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2013 3:54:56 PM PST
Anne Rice says:
Thank you for this. And I so agree with you.
As for your post being deleted, others might have lobbied for it to be deleted.
Why some posts are deleted remains a mystery, I think.

I think you make excellent points here.
I do wish there was a Forum for "Authors and Reviewers" where we could talk to one
another without the authors being lectured, scolded, told "how" to be professional,
to "grow a thicker skin," and to "get over your ego."
It would be very nice to be treated like an equal, politely and with dignity especially
in a forum under the umbrella of the largest book store in the world.
Some day I hope some one will write something thoughtful and intelligent
and provocative about the free floating hatred of authors in the Top Reviewers Forum,
and in the reviewers "community(?)" on Amazon.
It is worth studying how authors came to be so publicly despised here.

Posted on Dec 2, 2013 6:35:17 PM PST
Cphe says:
There have been a few threads lately here lamenting the fact that readers no longer appear to come here.
There seems to be a feeling on both sides that everyone is labelled under the same brush - but I don't think that that is accurate.
It's difficult sometimes in this medium to convey feelings, and sometimes comments may come across as snarky when they are not meant to be.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2013 6:47:12 PM PST
Anne Rice says:
I agree.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2013 8:32:24 PM PST
To see the reason why non authors don't come to this forum just look all the topic titles on the first three pages. There are perhaps five threads that aren't just promotion. Most consist of authors popping in, leaving a link to their book, and vanishing. Even some of the threads that seem like non promotion turn out to be just promotion when you actually open them.

It's kind of like turning on your television and seeing nothing listed but informercials. Sometimes infomercials are entertaining but you really have to be in the right mood for that. A reader approaches this forum which is called "Meet Our Authors" expecting to interact with the authors and get to know them. I mean that is kind of what "meet" means. There are a few authors who take the time to talk to readers as if they were people but you really have to search to find them.

So at first glance this area honestly doesn't seem to have anything of interest. If authors want readers to come here and talk then they should start threads discussing the sorts of things that authors talk about at conventions. World building, character development, pros and cons of writers groups, what defines specific genres, in other words real topics.

They should act like the authors act at those conventions. Authors at conventions have a blast. They get to argue with each other and the fans. Agree with each other and the fans. Brainstorm or kill a few brain cells. The forum should be treated like a convention but instead it's treated like a promotional tour where the interaction consists of saying hi and then signing a book.

If an author makes friends with a reader then they are pretty much guaranteed a sale. If an author only tries to sell to a reader they will never make a friend.

Posted on Dec 2, 2013 9:04:31 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 2, 2013 9:06:04 PM PST
Cphe says:
I was told the other day by an author I met on one of these threads, corresponded with and whose book I bought and reviewed that if they had 8 reviews then it helped them with Amazon Prime but they didn't say in what capacity.

We don't have access to Prime in Australia but I gather it is of great benefit to authors and readers. But perhaps that may explain many of the promotional threads on MOA instead of the more interactive threads for readers and authors.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2013 2:39:42 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 3, 2013 2:40:51 PM PST
The Bub says:
Thanks Anne. I totally agree. Authors need a thick skin at times but also a thin skin in the sense that this is what helps them to write in the first place. They don't always get it right. But they are just human beings with flaws but sometimes it seems as if some non-authors have a desperate need to feel superior.

Social media and online marketing are new to most authors and sometimes they don't get the balance right. Sometimes they can be highly annoying. Sometimes they annoy the hell out of me. But so too the smugness and holier-than-thou attitudes from those who wish to castigate them forever and ever amen.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2013 2:51:13 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 3, 2013 2:52:16 PM PST
The Bub says:
With respect, TJ, it takes two to tango. There's nothing to stop you or anyone starting a discussion with an author. For many authors the self-promotion is a necessary evil and rarely something they enjoy. Speaking for myself, it bores the pants off me much of the time. You'll find many other authors (most probably) feel the same and would sooner someone else took that burden from them, freeing them up to have the sort of discussions around writing as well as having more time to write.

Speaking for myself and most of the other indie author friends of mine I have met on facebook and other sites, they will do a lot more interactive promotion as well as the quickfire stuff. There's just not enough time though to do it all day. Having said that, you are much more likely to get a sale from people who know you a bit as a person first of all.

As for treating it like a convention here, well, you have a point but it was Amazon who chose the name. They called it Meet Our Authors when perhaps many authors just want to self-promote. But if they saw a thread that grabbed them I'm sure many would be happy to contribute as and when.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2013 2:55:46 PM PST
The Bub says:
Hi Cphe
I'm not sure about Amazon Prime either but I do know that some of the big promotional sites require you to have X amount of reviews so there can be a pressure on authors to increase their number of reviews in order to qualify.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2013 2:59:11 PM PST
And then imagine that you set aside some spaces for readers to chat about books of all different genres. Romance novels, fantasy, horror, mysteries. Any book related topic that people might want to discuss, you had a space for it. They were lovely rooms, where people got together and they talked about books that they liked, made recommendations, and generally hung out as friends.

Then, one day, an author walked into the horror room, with her horror novel. She stood in the center of the room, loudly yelling to everyone that they had to BUY HER BOOK AND READ HER BOOK. No one could carry on a conversation because she was so loud and disruptive. And then, imagine, that the next day she found some friends to come with her, and they took her book into every single discussion room, even rooms that were set aside for book genres that hers didn't fit, and they did the same thing, interrupting every conversation. And when people would try to be polite to her, and ask her to please join in the conversation and talk about books that she hadn't written, and that it was rude to disrupt conversations just to hard sell her book, she would yell at them that they were rude, and stupid, and they weren't real readers, and anyway, she has a RIGHT TO SELL HER BOOKS BECAUSE CAPITALISM.

And then, imagine that someone bought her book and it was full to the brim with grammatical errors, and homonym confusion, and random tense changes, and the narration changed from first person to third person, sometimes even in the same paragraph, and it was really poorly written, and it was the first "installment" in a series, and it stopped at 100 pages without an ending, with a little note that said "to be continued in 2014". And then the person who read the book tried to explain to her friends that the book wasn't very good, and the author yelled at her THAT SHE WAS JUST RUDE AND A HATER. ALSO, WHAT HAS SHE WRITTEN ANYWAY?

That is basically what happened to the genre forums.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2013 3:05:28 PM PST
I've never seen a non-promo thread last for more than about twenty posts in the MOA, with the rare exception of a post that begins by someone bellyaching about a mean review, or a lack of reviews, or calling readers freeloaders. Someone - maybe a year ago - even tried to get some helpful "genre threads" started to assist readers in finding books. No one wanted to use them.

The MOA is the author dungeon. It was designed that way by amazon in an effort to revive the genre forums which, presumably, resulted in book sales until they were taken over by author spam. But the thing is, it's your dungeon. You could try to clean it up, and make it sparkle a bit, and turn it into a place that people want to hang out. But that would take work, and hit and run spam is faster.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2013 3:19:57 PM PST
Marion Stein says:
If you're on Kindle Select and people with Prime borrow the book through the Prime lending, then the authors get a very tiny cut out of a big pie.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2013 3:22:58 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 3, 2013 5:14:44 PM PST
Marion Stein says:
I think there have been some that have stayed on track, but if you are counting the odd oddball who swoops in with an out of place promo, it's a high bar. Too many times I've seen threads die (not in MOA but "out there") because one person innocently, ignorantly, stupidly, or whatever spams and a bunch of people go crazy. Then it's all about that. If the spammer is simply ignored or better still put on ignore by the participants the conversation can go forward.

Posted on Dec 3, 2013 3:25:54 PM PST
Pete Morin says:
For a while, I conducted an experiment in one of those INTRODUCE YOUR BOOK! forums. I posted a question - whether anyone - even the authors who posted - read the posts beside their own. I posted that every day for a while, and never got a response.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2013 3:30:45 PM PST
I'm talking about the MOA, though - responding to T.J.'s post about why readers have largely abandoned the MOA. Looking at the list of threads, it's pretty obvious. No one wants to read nothing but promo threads.

I don't have a solution - I just agree with him. Reading spam is boring, and it doesn't make me want to buy anyone's books. Back in the "olden days" (i.e., 2011 or so) there was a lot of pretty interesting discussion going on in some of the forums - you were there, as well - and I specifically remember the fantasy forum being fun, and the kindlebook forum, and the kindle forum. There were a fair number of authors who would contribute to discussions about things that weren't promotion. You, Frank Tuttle, Frank Mundo, Kathleen Valentine, David Dalgleish. The sparks did fly sometimes, but over all, I think the conversations were interesting, and often very funny. Even the romance forum has pretty much died out - it's just recycled discussions about the latest boring billionaire BDSM romance. At this point, there isn't anything much really going on in any of the forums. It's sort of a bummer, actually.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2013 3:48:51 PM PST
beckerdee says:
thanks so much Bub, I'll have to check out empty chairs, I am going have to starting writing on the syndrome of abandonment and then all the abuses. It's a sad world sometimes. Thanks for the encouragement.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2013 3:50:00 PM PST
beckerdee says:
Sounds like what I'm trying to accomplish too. I will definitely look her up. Thanks

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2013 3:52:03 PM PST
Book World says:
I have a tendency to say how I feel but I do not speak to be rude. I stand by my statement. Readers do NOT owe an author anything. And if you think they do, may I ask, what would that be? When one becomes a fan of an author, and I am a fan for many authors, some have changed my life by reading their words. But what do I owe them? They EARNED my admiration. They EARNED my respect. Some of my favorite people to admire ARE authors. I find it morbid when a person cannot name a few authors they respect and enjoy. But since you really believe a reader OWES an author, respectfully, sincerely, what would that be?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2013 3:56:10 PM PST
beckerdee says:
I just looked her book up the price is out of my range. If I tried to sell my 208 page book for 71.00 I would never sell one. How in the world do authors get that price for their books? wish I knew I could probably afford to go out and buy groceries sometimes. I guess with the invention of ebooks that drove the prices way down.
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Discussion in:  Meet Our Authors forum
Participants:  38
Total posts:  744
Initial post:  Dec 23, 2012
Latest post:  Dec 24, 2013

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