Why Reviews On Amazon Don’t Mean Anything.

The first thing you did when you read this title was either strongly agree with me or completely disagree (I guess you really don’t have other options like you read the title and threw up, or even maybe ran outside screaming, but what I really mean is you are strongly for either side). How many of you out there actually look through reviews, saying “Oh look at this nothing but 5 star reviews”. Well if you ever said that guess what that’s how cheats sell books.

I’m not going to call out names or make claims, but I read an interesting forum discussion about a book I wanted to read. I even tweeted the book from Amazon, telling people to look at it. Turns out this writer, makes money by posting fake reviews on his book. Gasp.

We all want to be a best seller. Some of us even go further than other writer’s, sending hundreds of queries, paying for advertisement and becoming the salesman we know we need to be to sell a book we believe in. But what if the easiest thing to do is just to get your book high enough on the kindle boards to sell itself. The reason I even came across the book was because it was ranked high in the horror section. So I wanted to see if I could get an interview with this author, after all I’ve been pretty successful with that lately, I even got Les Edgerton to agree to answer some questions (the guy wrote a great book called Hooked, everyone needs to read it). Turns out as I type in his name into google, it suggest to look at fake reviews.

Spoiler: The image has the author’s name.

So after a quick read here and there, I sat and turned off the lamp in my office. I know how it feels to get low ratings on a book, it hurts, but it’s that hurt that makes you a writer. It’s like that first rejection letter. After the first twenty, they make that one acceptance look like a bright light at the end of the tunnel. But what if you just forged all those acceptance letters and then used that to get your writing career further?

I say, read something because you know the author and if you don’t know them, look them up. Dont rely on reviews. There are certain people I don’t read because they are jackasses and I wouldn’t have known that until I contacted them (I don’t read anything under the Trestle Press publication).

But I will read anything by Paul D. Brazil (helluva a guy), B. R. Stateham (he was a grump the first time I talked to him, great guy now 🙂 ), Julia Madeleine (she write’s great stuff), K. A. Laity (the funniest and friendliest of all the writers, and she writes here at A Knife And A Quill. So maybe I’m kissing up, sue me.) Heath Lowrance (By far the shiniest of the hidden gems out there) and the list goes on. They are also not afraid of giving anything out for free, or a $1 for charity. I read them because the are great and good people and even they have a 1 or 2 star review out there, even Stephen King has plenty of 1’s and 2’s out there .

Review: Drunk On The Moon

Reviewer: L. Vera

Book: Drunk On The Moon

Author: Various

The idea is simple. Use a successful story, give other writers a chance to stretch the world of that story, wrap it in a pretty bow and sell it as a collection. I like the idea especially since that successful story is good, full of meat to work with. The anthology opens with the original story by Paul D. Brazil. It’s a mix of crime pulp and The Goon. (If you haven’t read The Goon you need to.) Roman Dalton, a werewolf detective is just an all-round, nicely created character that cracks skulls and bangs like a hard boiled detective should. I could see him easily in his own tv spot where we see him sitting in a diner, like an old Casablanca setting, alone and full melancholy fighting an itch that only the full moon could bring. I just think television needs more noir.

The book dances in a world of werewolves, zombies, detectives and gangs. The first story is exceptionally good, almost good enough to just drop 2.99 on it alone. After that we still see some other solid work. Allen Leverone does a great take of the werewolf detective, like he owns the character and does it without even having the detective using his werewolf form – nice. It’s smart writing you don’t see anymore and I love it.

K. A. Laity and Julia Madeleine also deliver, they always do. And B. R. Stateham did a wonderful job, he really out did himself in his story “Insatiable”. It’s the only real detective type story in this collection and his story is truly the hidden gem in this book. Just these few stories would have easily made me shell out money for this book. These authors never let me down.

Now Jason Michel story “Back To Nature” seemed to stop my express train through the book. The other stories were fast, no fat, all meaty stories. Then SCREECH! We come to “Back To Nature”. It starts with fat, a piece you can actually cut off. I found myself uninterested in the whole beginning, it was slow and pointless. You can actually skip it and jump to where the story picks up, where our detective finds a women alone in her cabin. Now the story grabs me. I wished he had just started here. But alas, he did not.

Now we get back on track with “Blood and Alcohol” by Frank Duffy. It was a solid read, nothing crazy just clean writing. But the next two stories seemed almost distant from the others. One was about a man who loved to hurt women and the other was about a man who liked to torture people. Both seemed like it was pushing towards snuff, which I like reading (mostly because it requires an art to keep it from being a straight up gory piles of mess). But come on, it’s just a werewolf put in situations. They didn’t take advantage of the characters in the first story or any of the good stuff that Paul D. Brazil had laid out.

Once you get past those two the rest of the book is good. It ends on a nice sweet note, with a prequel written by Paul D. Brazil. Good stuff. I would love to have read just a large array of short stories from Paul D. Brazil, he’s just a really good writer, who brings great edgy images to the surface. I like that.

I say buy this book. Buy it to read more of Brazil’s and Stateham’s work. Buy it to get connected with Laity’s and Madeleine’s, creative styles and stay for Roman Dalton, a detective that just so happens to grow hair were it doesn’t belong – we’ve all been there.

Like oversexed dames, werewolves and zombies? This one’s for you. Buy it on Amazon Here.