I sometimes feel like one of those ‘grumpy old men’, which was such a wonderful series on BBC. It may have been politically incorrect, but it was spot on.
Why do I feel this way?
Well, okay, here goes.
I, along with many of you probably, join a group online. It is supposed to be a support group, a place where you can go to share stories, seek advice, listen to those who have been through it all and come out the other end smelling of roses.
Well … how many times to you open an email from one of these groups and are presented by such declarations as, ‘So-and-so’s new thriller is the best thing I’ve ever read, buy it now!’ Or (even more sickening ) ‘I’ve just discovered my latest thriller ‘The Private Dick is not as Big as you Thought’ has got to number 10 in the Amazon’s ‘low-life thriller’ chart!’
Why is it that every single group I’m a member of, no matter where: Facebook, Linked-In, Goodreads, is hi-jacked by these people. And, even WORSE, is when I try to do something similar, my post is suspended and I receive a really snotty letter from the administrator (not Facebook, I’m relieved to say!). I can’t fathom it. It must be me.
And then, today, I received an email inviting me to join Amazon’s ‘FAST TRACK’ . For a small ‘donation’ I can get five reviews. I’m relieved to read it does not say ‘Five 5-star reviews’ because that would be so wrong I’d be forced to post a blog about it.
Sounds great, doesn’t it. But imagine, all those countless thousands of ‘authors’ out there, desperate to sell their books and make a million. They’ll be pushing and shoving to get those reviews. Because it is easy, right?
Are you, like me, one of those authors who post their books on any number of Facebook groups and then, perhaps once a week, perhaps once upon a rainbow weekend, you go onto said site and simply scroll down, and down, and down, and… And you never once stop because you are sick to the back teeth of seeing these awful self-effacing adverts? Well, I’m sick of it. So what is the point? Nobody stops to read what these adverts have to say. There are perhaps fifty million authors out there (okay, okay, I exaggerate, but it feels that way sometimes) and most of them are simply awful. And, swimming around the edges of this pond of sickening banality, are the sharks and the crocs. The countless ‘experts’ who offer every trick in the book to make you a best-selling author.
I wonder when it will end?
I wonder when it will get back to readers buying good books, and authors writing good books.
Do you think it will happen? And how are we to know the good from the dreadful? The Kindle explosion has done no end of harm to those writers who are good. Readers are a discerning bunch. They pick up a piece of pap and will never, ever pick up anything that is offered free or cut-price again. They don’t want to take the chance. So, they buy their 12.50 edition of a Kindle by an author whom they know and trust. We’re doomed. You and me, the good ones.
Well, I’m going to watch some re-runs of ‘Grumpy old Men’, sit back, and wallow in the knowledge that I’m not the only one, that I may be a grump, but actually, every now and then, I do actually speak some sense!
My follow-up to Burnt Offering has now been accepted for publication.
I can’t say when it will be out yet, so watch this space. In the meantime, pick up the first in the series and enjoy!
Thanks for passing by.