When it comes to promotion, everyone thinks “Amazon” – and yes, Amazon does have a lot of sales in its belt and can be very good for a writer’s career. But on my end, I don’t get noticed very often there and can’t afford the $1000 it would take to pay for their promotion program. I do, however, get noticed in other places. Today I found, to my amusement, one such string of notices at Barnes and Noble.
There’s a little comic flash fiction I did as a commission for someone at Deviantart.com. It’s all of two pages. (That’s all he could afford to pay me for. I would have made the story longer.) It’s a girl on girl romance: swimmer dives into the sea, meets mermaid, falls in love. It’s not meant to be deep or have any dialogue. It was commissioned for the pretty pictures, so pretty pictures is what the guy got.
For a while I was selling it through Smashwords distribution for $2.00. Yes, that’s right. $2.00 to view my mild erotic art. Since then I realized how silly I was being and have made it free. We all make mistakes.
You’d think the 1 star reviews it has would have something to do with that. “Why pay a dollar for TWO PAGES?????????” or something like that. Well, one reviewer did say that. And who can blame them.
The description for the book itself is pretty clear on purpose. It’s a 2 page flash fiction. It’s for mature readers only. Not hard to figure out this is going to be a short little book with nudity in it. Although with mermaids, the nudity is scaly and rarely shows any body parts humans would find offensive when out in the open. Still.
Posted July 4, 2012
It CLEARLY says flash fiction in the description which means it is really short. Also in the description it says that it is about two females falling in love (i.e. lesbians) and that it is for mature audiences only. So…why is everyone fussing? If you read the description and it doesn’t sound like something you would like then DON’T BUY IT.”
Thank you. Thank you for standing up for my work. Whoever you are. Thank you.
Most of the reviews are things like “I barfed” with 1 star, “sounds gay”, etc. And I’m sitting here in my pink desk chair with eyebrows lifted. If they had read the description they knew it was lesbian in nature, they knew it was short… hell, the cover even says its a 2 page flash fiction… the silly thing only has the two girls kissing and nothing more to be honest… and… really? It’s so silly its laughable.
The one that made me lift my eyebrows reads, “This is inappropriate content for Barnes and Noble, and looks like a hack- it shares the same name as a popular book in a tween serieis. I called customer service to have the charge reversed, and they did so promptly. I am also asking that this ebook be removed from the titles list.”
Listen, people. There are hundreds of thousands of books out there, and a good many of them have the exact same title. My short ebook, Only the Innocent, was released 24 hours before another ebook by the same name was released. The author contacted me, worried I’d be angry, and I said whatever for?? That’s like getting mad because your neighbor named their baby Heather when you already have a daughter by that name. It happens. We try not to repeat titles, but it happens. I found four different novels entitled the Grey Horse today alone; the one I was looking for is obscure and had to be looked up by author instead. So to blame me because I happened to hit upon the same name as a book from a tween series is, well, immature.
Furthermore, it’s adult in nature but that doesn’t make it inappropriate for a bookstore like Barnes and Noble just because you wouldn’t want to read it. Newsflash: not everyone in the world is a prude. In fact, a lot of people love erotica which is why the erotica genre is thriving and going strong. If you object to adult material, the rational thing to do is read the description and make sure of what you’re buying. You should be doing that anyway, mind you, but it seems to me a lot of adults who feel they are mature enough to call a company and demand “offensive” material be taken down need to be reminded of this.
Bad reviews. Bad reviews. I found a lot of them under my name today – ironically because of a good review. I had stumbled across a recent review for Heavenly Bride Chapter 1 last night and was walking on air until 5 in the morning. Which led me to check how people think of my writing. I don’t mind a bad review that’s constructive. It was a bad review of Heavenly Bride in Barnes and Noble that led me to learn how to build ebooks better and to reassess how the story was going. One constructive bad review led me to improve my writing.
But the reviews I found today seemed more spiteful and petty than constructive. Am I upset? Nah. Nothing to be upset about. It’s just damn funny – and something to ramble aimlessly about. With no purpose.