Sunday, 8 September 2013

A review site reviewed: 1 star for effort

An iguana stuck in a sock
Did you miss me? I bet you wondered if I'd committed suicide or were writing another novel in secrecy. I can assure you neither was the case. I've just been busy and didn't have anything writing-related to rant about. Today, though, I've taken time off to tell you about something that happened in August. Yes, yes, I know, I could've--or should've--written about it back then, but I was stuck in a bike shop, seven days a week from morning till late in the evening--don't ask.
So, now I've got this wordy explanation out of the way, I'll cut to the chase; the review site I'm talking about is Awesome Indies, a site that claims to be run by professionals of the industry. Funny, considering they've been rather unprofessional. When I was still in the throes of writing and eager to get noticed as an indie author, and when I heard about them and their 'harsh' criteria to be listed on their site, I accepted the challenge and submitted my book Excuse me, where is the exit? to them. It had been favourably reviewed by Big Al, and was therefore listed. That was about a year or so ago. Well done, me, right? Err, not so, as it seems, but I'll explain later.
After that I submitted No Wings Attached to them. Because I couldn't find a reviewer this quickly, I was offered to have one of their dedicated readers read my book and they'd then decide. Said reader couldn't get into the book (apparently too boring)--a clear no. Eh? That so-called professional site doesn't judge on merit, but on the taste of one person? Interesting. I was told I could re-submit once I found a 'trusted' reviewer (as listed on their site) who gave it four stars. I grinned to myself and submitted to reviewers, who promptly gave the book four stars, but didn't bother to re-submit to AI.
I sent my Thriller to two of their reviewers, though. It's written under a different name and both thought I'm a first-time author. Both also felt need to educate me; one hadn't got the balls to critise me at first, then, when I probed a bit, he patronised me with how well read he is and how I rushed my writing. Eh? No, man, that book took me eight months, I certainly didn't rush anything. One glance at his book, however, revealed he shouldn't be let loose as a reviewer, for he's not even capable of punctuating dialogue, and his writing wasn't convincing either. Made me laugh, to be honest.
The other reviewer was equally patronising, but definitely more on the professional side. Awesome Indies doesn't take to 3rd person omniscient point of view, which is ridiculous. Done correctly, it's one of the best POVs you can write or read. Challenging, yet perfectly acceptable. Anyway, I, again, was told that I could resubmit if I received a 4-star review from one of their listed reviewers. I got them, but couldn't be bothered anymore. AI had lost their appeal and my respect long before.
However, in August, they've topped their inadequate behaviour once again: I received an e-mail, together with three other authors--yes, they'd addressed us all in the same e-mail--informing us that our (in my case the iguana in a sock) book covers weren't good (professional) enough for them to be listed on their site, but that Thalia Newland's daughter would do covers for 20 dollars ... I scratched my head, laughed, and ignored the kind offer.
A few days later, I received the next e-mail, this time a hard-sale: her daughter had made a new cover for me, with example words on it, attached was a link. I opened it and almost fell off my chair when looking at the wonderful creation. Need a laugh? Check out the 'superb' cover that would not only cost me a mere 20 dollars, but also get my book re-listed on their site, for it's just so professional. Who can resist such a great opportunity?
Anyway, here are all my books and covers, just in case you're feeling creative ... I'd like to see if someone can top that cover Thalia's daughter did in ridiculousness. Feel free to post your links in the comment box.

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