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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Some People Have Unrealistic Expectations When it comes to eBooks

Some people buy books and enjoy them.

Some people buy books and look for something to complain about.

Now I’m not talking about constructive criticism. That I and many of my writer friends can take. What we can’t stand are trolls who buy our books or eBooks just to complain about them.

These are the kinds of people who buy a fantasy book with vampires and get angry about the supernatural stuff. The kinds of people who say “that’s not real!”

Hey dumbass it’s not supposed to be real. It’s a fantasy. Vampires, demons and pixies don’t exist. Neither do goddesses, flying cars or time travel.

It’s not my fault or the fault of any of my writer friends that you don’t have an imagination. Scroll down the page and look at the genre next time.

Then there are kinds of people who buy a romance novel and expect page upon page of graphic sex then get angry when they actually have to read a story where we do things like establish characters and the relationships between them.

These sad saps don’t know there’s a difference between fantasy and erotica. Erotica is a genre filled with page upon page of graphic sex. Pornography with words.

Yet these imbiciles buy a romance novel expecting Erotica. 

Romance is about the story of two people coming together and having a relationship. The main focus of a romance novel is the relationship between the hero and the heroine. The sex between them is an expression of their love for each other.

Usually in romance novels, the sex scene is the payoff for the relationship that built for the first second and third acts. As the climax of each act ends, it starts the conflict for the next act in the story.

Then there are the trolls who post one-sentence one-star reviews. Like “OMG I HATE THIS BOOK”

This is the equivalent of spam.

Seriously, you hated it enough just to say that you hated it.  Put some REASONS down to let readers know why you didn’t like it.

When I write a bad review I try to put constructive points in to why I didn’t like it. I mention details in the story. Plot holes. Underdeveloped characters. Weak storylines and prose that was awkward. I just don’t write OMG I HATE THIS BOOK IT SUCKS. I know that the writer may read my review and may get something out of it.

Then there are the wanna-be English professors, the who nitpick every sentence looking for absolute perfect grammar and sentence structure.

No one tells these dipshits that sometimes a writer is using imperfect sentence and imperfect grammar structure to make an artistic statement. Sometimes we’re writing things so a character can have a “voice”. And sometimes we’re just having fun.

And the wanna-be literary critics who want a every story to be deep and complex. They get upset when a genre fiction story doesn’t feature rich literary elements or thought-provoking social commentary.

They don’t understand that sometimes a story is just entertainment. And sometimes a can of beans is just a can of beans. Sometimes a story isn’t meant to be read into, sometimes a story is just meant to be read.

And sometimes a writer is just trying to get a laugh.

Then there are the snobs who want to think that books produced at a publishing house are better than self-published books. Like having a Dell or Random House label on a book means it’s better than other books.

Sorry, they’re just about the same.

I’ve read books from publishing houses that were absolutely horrible. Bad writing, bad storyline and weak characters. While I’ve read self-published books that were well-written and flowed beautifully.

Spelling and grammar were about the same. I’ve read books from major publishing houses filled with typos and spelling errors. Books with factual inaccuracies.

So the only difference between a book from a publishing house and a self-published one is the label.

Finally there are the idiots who want to bitch about eBooks having errors. They think authors should fire the editor or get out of the publishing business.

These people have no idea how screwed up the technology is for eBooks or the numerous hiccups we encounter when dealing with different converters.

I have had eBooks that were absolutely PERFECT in Microsoft Word turn to sludge due to the conversion process with Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords. Typos that weren’t in the original copy somehow appeared. Letters that were lowercase mysteriously became uppercase. Letters that were uppercase mysteriously became lowercase. Entire words misspelled. Fonts getting BIG all of a sudden then getting small.

It made me want to rip my hair out sometimes.

I’d create new files. Cut and paste to notepad and make a new Word file.

The problems would still be there in the new upload.

There was nothing I could do about it. When one computer reads one set of code of another sometimes it mistranslates things.

Even after multiple revisions and re-uploads.

Don’t hold that against the author. They upload a file on their end they thought was good. They don’t know how to go into ePub, .LRF, .Mobi  or whatever and rewrite the entire document and make it PERFECT.

Just for you.

I understand readers are putting their money down for these things. But some of you are expecting GOLD for just 99 cents.

Seriuously, some readers expect too much from a book.

1 comment:

  1. Shawn, as longtime wwriter and reader, I have to say this is the best thing and the most effective thing I've read on the subject. And as good as it is, you didn't mention the fact that some of these "reviews" are hatchet jobs, out to knock down a writer if they can. What a cheap way to feel powerful.

    I, for one, am just grateful that the overwhelming majority of readers are honest and aboveboard and interested in buying and reading a good story.

    I just wish with all my heart that every reader on this planet could read this. It wouldn't help the spoilsports, but it might help a few who are borderline.

    I count my blessings daily that so many readers are such ardent and longtime fans and I pray God they stay that way

    Kudos, Shawn, for an over-the-top job.