Bad Reviews

Bad Reviews

Bad reviews, revenge?

So if you haven’t read it yet, read this first, I’ll wait.

Back now?

So as you read, I had a little dust up with a book marketing ‘company’ called creativwriter.com with accompanying site bookmarketingdivas.com. They missed deadlines, wouldn’t respond to emails, phone messages, or direct messages. I finally had to dispute the charge on my credit card, and THAT got their attention.

But, flying in their constant refrain of ‘I’m a professional.’ they lashed out. How? By first attacking me on twitter which I honestly didn’t care about, I fired back with a link to that other blog post, and it stopped. But what I didn’t know when I wrote that was something else, something worse.

The night I disputed, I had sent them a message saying that due to lack of communication, and the face that I didn’t believe they could deliver what they claimed in the time frame they have claimed to do it it, I was going to have to dispute the charge. I did offer in light of the mock-ups being done,even though they took 9-11 minutes to do using free templates (Click here to see them) to pay 50$, which I still think is pretty generous for that amount of work.

Well a few things happened. One, the video showing how fast it was to create the templates vanished from Periscope, still trying to get a copy of it if I can to hold onto if I need it. The worst thing however, was Goodreads.

The person behind this (and it’s one person) created a slew of new accounts, plus using some old pen name accounts 1 starred and used the same basic text over and over on my book Bridgefinders. Drove what had been a 4.5 star avg to 1.6.  See, I was willing to let this go, I’d have paid them 50, (but they have yet to ever say yes, we will take the 50$.) but they had to go and pull that crap. So I dig some more and with the assistance of another author whose had problems with them, found so far 10 authors who’ve had issues with them. SAME EXACT PROBLEMS.

Missed deadlines, stops responding, etc. And EVERY single time, she lashes out, 1 staring books, or in one case creating a whole blog post attacking them. This is a prime example of why every indie/self-pubbed author should investigate and vet ANY company they do work with. Ask for testimonials from multiple authors. Ask around see if anyone has done business with them. It may take a bit of time, but trust me, you’d rather do this before you pay up than after.

As it stands now, I’ve Flagged all the negative reviews, and had Goodreads investigate. With any luck they will get removed, and even better the accounts she used and created be banned from Goodreads.

I know some may think, just let it go. But I can’t. I won’t. That’s exactly what she wants, me to go away, her to continue to be able to scam and steal. She claims to have sold 42000 books last week, that’s right SOLD 42,000 books. (Yeah, no.) Her latest claim is she’s signed up 500,000 people for her email list in the last two weeks. She says these numbers, and people who don’t know and don’t understand believe it, and she gets more victims. It isn’t right.

Hopefully this will have to be the last time I ever have to post about this.. I’d much rather post about the sequel to Bridgefinders, or how I’m getting one of my old books, Project: Perception made into an audiobook now as well. Those would be far more fun posts to write, and so barring any escalation, that’s what the next blog post will in fact be about. Not bad reviews thrown by a scammer.

Keyboard, Mechanical Product Review

First Product Review – In Progress

so, if you watched my first ever Vlog a few weeks back, I mentioned I was thinking about doing some product reviews. But product reviews for aspiring writers. A niche to be sure, but it allows me to combine my love of gadgets with my love of writing. My day job is in the IT industry, I LIKE gadgets and software. So this is kind of right up my alley. For my first product review, I’ll be tackling the most commonly used piece of equipment for any writer…

 

The Keyboard.

Yes, really.

I can hear it now.. “A keyboard? Why review that? You type, words appear, it’s not complicated.”

Yes… and no.

First off 99.9% of the keyboards you get with a computer are what’s called a ‘membrane’ keyboard. You push down on the keys, a little dome of plastic is pushed down, circuit is completed and the character appears. However, you get these because they work, and they are cheap to make, and produce. What you may not know, is that there are mechanical keyboards, that use a far different mechanism. They use an actual switch or in some cases a spring to complete the circuit. The advantage is really in how hard you need to push. Less pushing, can mean faster typing, faster typing means more words down, more words down means.. drafts done faster.

Now, mechanical keyboards are louder, they make a far more noticeable ‘clicky’ sound than a membrane keyboard. Some hate that, some don’t mind, and some (i.e. me) love it. For my first product review I will be reviewing a lower end price wise mechanical keyboard from Monoprice. Why lower end price wise? Simply put.. money. Since I’m paying for this myself, gotta keep costs low. Plus, like most writers, I don’t make a ton of cash off of writing. Aspiring writers like to keep things under control price wise, so it makes sense.

I’ll be testing typing speed, typing ‘feel’ and overall feel, compared to a traditional membrane keyboard. Also a bit on a few of the features of the keyboard. Look for that review to come next week here, and on my YouTube channel.

Recent Silence – Beta Readers needed!

So I have gone through another spate of not updating the blog, for various reasons.

 

1) Work – I have accepted a new job, but as a result, the old job hit me with 1001 different projects in the time I was still there. To the point where I was working every night to just keep up with everything that needed to get done before I left. I’m in the middle of a week break between the two jobs, and back from a small family vacation. So I should be updating more often now with the new job (Less stress, more money!)

2) CANITUS – I prioritized the free time I did have, the little of it that was available to writing. I neglected twitter, Facebook, all that, for writing. As a result, I will finish CANITUS today! And there was much rejoicing! But now I need Beta readers. I have a few who have offered, but I’d like a few more.

Rules to be a beta reader:

You promise to provide CONSTRUCTIVE USEFUL feedback, in a two week time frame. This is about story and flow. This is not about edited versions, not about the use of the oxford comma 😉

This is about overall story, flow, and structure of the story, not the manuscript. If you want to be a beta reader either contact me on twitter, or leave a comment here, on the blog.

Short update today, but more to come!

 

Josh

 

Reviews for eBooks, how to get them?

One of the more interesting things I’ve run across with this little start to writing and (self) publishing, is I don’t think I truly understood the power of a review. I’ll be honest, I never really left reviews myself, and didn’t ever think about not leaving them, until now. With from what I understand at least, Amazon really counting reviews a lot towards marketing. This gets you better visibility, and hopefully, better visibility leads to better sales. Which hopefully leads to more reviews, which leads to better visibility, etc etc.

Of course the kicker is how to *start* that process. Your a nobody with an idea and a recently published eBook. You think it’s pretty good, maybe you’ve gotten a family member to read it, they think it’s pretty good. And you  hope they just aren’t saying that.

You can beg, annoy, cajole everyone you know to both get the book and review it. And say, put it up for free for 5 days. And out of over 100 downloads, you end up with 4 reviews. 🙁 Great reviews to be sure, but 4…:(

Then you “submit” your eBook to services that are supposedly there to help promote the book, but your not even sure they do anything.

I once thought writing was the hard part, and it is sometimes. But just as hard, and in ways I never expected, was the marketing aspect of an eBook.

I’m going to redo the cover, I changed the categories the book is under, and tightening up the way I tweet about the book. Trying to find the right hash tag for it.

Marketing an eBook, is in some ways, it’s own special challenge. Getting reviews for eBooks, can just be plain hard.

Surreal time

So, on vacation with the family.. Had the enjoyable but semi surreal expierence, of watching my wife read my first eBook/story. I found myself really nervous that she wouldn’t like it. One of the many things I love deeply about my wife is the fact that she has always been totally honest with me. And so I hoped she would like the ebook, simply because I didn’t want her to tell me what was wrong with the story lol

She loved it

eBook Marketing 101

To my past self:

 

So you want to start being a part time to full time writer eh?

 

Ok..so here’s what you gotta do.

1) Write the damn book. Far easier said than done.. but you can do it.

2) Get it published. Ok, we can do this.. Fiverr is your friend. Covers, kindle formatting, etc. Fiverr if your on a shoestring budget is  your go to place.

3) Marketing.

 

What’s that? You think you don’t need to do number 3? Ah.. foolish foolish boy.

You will have to market the hell out of both yourself and the book. No one knows you, no one knows the story, and no one even will pay it any attention in the 80 thousand other books out there. You will have to submit the ebook to everywhere you can find, post every and anywhere you can proclaiming the book, and beg for real honest reviews. Now don’t be a dishonest guy, and pay for reviews, but submitting the eBook to websites that put the book and it’s cover out there? Yes please.  Yes, I’m aware we don’t like promoting ourselves, but you want this? You gotta work for it man. Put it out there, be larger than life as the saying goes.

The only person keeping it from you.. is you.