Things are tough enough in the publishing industry these days. Lots of people - including me- have decided to "self-publish" online. If you are new here, I have two "police procedurals" on Kindle for sale at $1.99 (cheap!) each: "The Peterson Investigation" and "Georgetown in Plainclothes".
I've been told, face-to-face, that both stories are very good. A police officer who purchased "Georgetown in Plainclothes" was surprised to find that I wrote it, and asked for my autograph.
Wow, I wish I could put that on a cracker.
Well, although I wish my works were selling (a lot) better, only an idiot engages in art with the goal of enriching himself materially. But I do believe that if you are going to critique a work of literature, it behooves you to ACTUALLY READ THE ENTIRE WORK. I suppose it is egalitarian or whatever, but just as anyone can publish whatever they want on Kindle, anyone who pays cash for a book can "review" it, whether they have actually read it or not.
Not to get too bloody involved in describing things here, but "The Peterson Investigation" is not just a police procedural but also a romance. Seven of the main characters went to school together in the Dayton suburb of Huber Heights, Ohio (where the story is set). I happen to have grown up in Huber Heights, and "The Peterson Investigation" is, as much as anything else, a love letter to my home town and the Miami Valley.
Sales were beginning to pick up when suddenly someone wrote a "review" of the story. This person basically said that he (she?) had found all that character development "boring" and had never even made it to "the mystery". Someone did comment that he should have finished the book, but the only thing most people see when they go to the book site are this bogus "review" and a lousy two-star rating.
I do not take shit like this lying down. Don't get me wrong: if this reviewer had actually read and critiqued the entire novel, I'd have had no quarrel. But evidently he read the pro;ogue and half of the first chapter and decided to tell the world that reading the book was a waste of time and money. I posted a comment telling this dweeb what I thought of his borderline libel.
About a week later I got attacked by what is known as "The Kindle Mafia". This is a term for the types you will find anywhere there is some opportunity to wield power abusively and - if possible - anonymously. Some asshole who calls himself "B. Craven" sent me a schoolmarmish lecture about not criticizing my "reviewers". He was joined a few days later by some other hammerhead. I clicked "ignore" on both of them. After all, if I wanted to argue with assholes, I'd just open up comments on this blog.
Now look, folks. These pisspot wannabe dictators cannot be allowed to stand. Every last one of you people ought to go directly to Kindle, buy "The Peterson Investigation", and READ THE WHOLE BOOK, and then write a review and say what you think. I'd actually put out a free promotional to get this going, but as it turns out only people who have paid cash get to write reviews. That's not my rule, folks. It's Amazon's.
Obviously, I'll welcome the sales. But even more, I'd welcome an honest review of my 16 months of hard work, written by someone who has actually read it. I'm not the only writer out there who'd like to backhand these "Kindle Mafia" types right across the mouth. So please buy and read "The Peterson Investigation", then review it and - like it or hate it - show the damned "Kindle Mafia" what a legitimate book review looks like.