Well, I entered Duke – Book 1: Alpha Rising into the amazon Prime program to take advantage of its promotions. I was hoping to spur interest in Duke, maybe get some reviews and bleed-through sales. So how did that work out? I ‘gave away’ 700 copies of Duke, got some reviews, and some bleed-through sales so, mission accomplished? Here’s something else I observed:

1) I don’t write for ‘book monsters’, and don’t care to hear their opinions, but I will hold them accountable.

Book Monsters: people who blast through 2-3 books a day not to enjoy them, but to critique them.

Here’re some examples:

BOOK MONSTER #1: All in one day, she finished one book, read mine, started another, and wrote two reviews. She has over 1,000 books on their ‘bookshelf’, is ‘currently reading’ fourteen, and reads about 200 books a year, that’s about four a week? Her average rating is 3/5 stars. She also likes to log reading progress, making kitschy remarks along the way, isn’t that just fun!

SUMMARY OF HER REVIEW: She liked the writing, characters, creativity, and world building, (wow, thank you, what more could an author ask for?), but didn’t like that Duke, in a relationship, screwed around, as that happened to her! (Even though the book blurb talks about Duke’s lover and another competing for his affection.) 2/5 stars, which I challenged.

BOOK MONSTER #2: She has over 4,000 books on her ‘bookshelf’, reads about 150 books a year, and her average rating is 3.5/5 stars. She jumped my ass for having the ‘audacity’ to challenge BOOK MONSTER #1 about her review, and then went on to trash the book.

SUMMARY OF HER REVIEW: I can’t say why I didn’t like this book, I just don’t know why I didn’t like it, but I didn’t like it, DAMMIT! 2/5 stars, which I challenged. She said that she didn’t like all the frivolous sex, “I honestly don’t think the author had any other real purpose for this book,” which I AGREED with; the book blurb calls it an erotic drama, “his story will touch you and have you touching yourself.”

BOOK MONSTER #3: He has a Masters in Literature, which is of “no actual use since my job is completely unrelated.” Instead, he reads and reviews a book a day if not more. His average rating is 3/5 stars. Wow, he must be a MASTER of LITERATURE to be able to find that much fault in GAY PORN.

MY REPLY TO HIS REVIEW: I find it hard to reconcile your review; you give many positive qualities about the book, but also many negative qualities. A book that is “far from flawless because of typos, mistakes and a shaky syntax that makes whole paragraphs barely understandable” cannot also be “extremely enjoyable”. A plot that is “confused, patchy” cannot provide “enjoyment that begins with page one and comes to the end without dragging for a single moment.” As the positive qualities outweigh the negative, including “a complex net of human relationships that are born and evolve in the most heart-warming way,” “Duke is a great character,” and “Mike, his companion, is well rounded as well (as) most of the other characters,” the negative qualities must be regarded as stated too severely.


(Did I mention he’s Italian, which, even if he knows English, it’s most likely not American English.)

BOOK MONSTER #4: She has over 1,000 books on her ‘book shelf’, reads 280 a year, 1-3 a day / 3 at a time!  (Who the fuck has 3 books going at the same time for enjoyment?) Her average rating is 3/5 stars.

SUMMARY OF HER REVIEW: She hasn’t reviewed it yet but commented that the polical and social device of the story was written in a really childish way . . . (still trying to wrap my mind around that, picturing Hillary Clinton teaching democracy to 5 yr. olds) . . . not to mention the crazy broken English spoken by the uneducated ‘purists’. (If they don’t speak English fluently, would it not be broken, or should they speak French, her native language?) UPDATE! She didn’t care for Duke because she has ‘a bit of a problem’ with ‘cheating’/’swapping’- 1/5 stars. I replied, quite calmly, “IT’S ABOUT HOT, YOUNG GAY MEN! HOW COULD THERE NOT BE ‘CHEATING’/’SWAPPING’?” She clarified: The cosmos and mythos were well thought out by the author, as well as the different personalities for the various characters/animals, and I did like the shifter world and politics involved between the purists, and Duke’s family. I only had a problem with the interactions between Duke and Mike with the other lovers they share, which I find not compatible with my personal definition of a love relationship.

BOOK MONSTER #5: A newer member, she has alomost 700 book on her ‘book shelf’, reads 5 a day / 3 at a time, 150 so far this year, and her average rating is 4/5 stars.

SUMMARY OF HER REVIEW: (She didn’t make comments, just gave it 3/5 stars.)

(I’m noticing a trend here, most BOOK MONSTERS come from and are female.)


I didn’t produce a labor of love for someone to gain a little virtual notoriety as a REVIEWER. Reviewing should not be a hobby or source of amusement, reviewing affects sales and an author’s livelihood. Their review and rating are on the book’s permanent record.

I have no problem with bad reviews; I can accept criticism when it’s warranted. To say so many nice things about the book then give it 2 or 3 stars, to me, is unwarranted. This is what I’m trying to draw attention to, that these people need to be responsible, and to be responsible, they need to be held accountable.

“The communication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government, religion, or nation a negative or inferior image,” is called libel. (wikipedia)

I may not be able to sue their asses, but I will hold them accountable.


Another defense to book monsters is, if you enjoy a book, be sure to say so!


Nobody’s asking them to read these books. I read books that I think I’ll enjoy and typically do. By these book monsters having average ratings of 3/5 stars, it says they’re not enjoying the books they’re reading / they don’t know HOW to pick good books.


These armchair ‘Simon Cowells’ take away from the reviews we sorely need due to the amount of self-published books out there.


It’s sad, that these people have no source of validation outside of this.

About scavola

author of the gay 'Duke' and GLBT 'ATL Engineering' series
This entry was posted in book review, sales, writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to BOOK MONSTERS!

  1. I have yet to self-publish or regular-publish anything. I’m glad I read this because it gives me a glimpse into that world. What a difference between people who are reading your book to enjoy it and people who are reading to critique it! I think that even if I picked up some of my favorite books with an intention of finishing them in a day, I would find problems with them. It would be like eating a fancy five-course dinner all mixed on one plate while watching fireworks on a rainy dark night and being licked by too many dogs and then giving a review of the food. Not enough time to enjoy the details!

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