the BIRTH of ATL ENGINEERING


guys - Copy

I’d always liked to write, in school, my fiction essays got ‘A’s. I still have quite a few of them, from ‘My Volcano Island Journal’ to a three-page rhyme about Lancelot. I wrote something longer, either an Indiana Jones or Allan Quartermain book. I think I made up an Indian Jones version of Dungeons and Dragons, so it was probably Allan Quartermain, or maybe James Bond? Regardless, my dad pulled it out and passed it around the family, they laughed and I was utterly humiliated. I tore it up and never wrote again . . .

Most of my friends had moved to Atlanta, I didn’t because I had a great job and was making a lot of money. But to make that money I was working 70-80 hours a week. I was coming home and going to bed early so that I could wake up early and go to work, a viscous cycle. Working the weekends, I couldn’t even go out Friday or Saturday night, (when I did, I was so exhausted that it didn’t take much for me to get drunk and pass out prematurely.) It wasn’t what you could really call living.

One solace I had, besides watching reruns of the Power Rangers, was reading. Back then, you were members of book clubs, ‘Buy 1, get 5 free!’ One of the books I got was called ‘The Weekend Novelist’ by Robert J. Ray. I started using it, writing the opening “Sunlight peeked through the blinds, casting a pattern of stripes onto the form on the bed . . .” The next step was to write character sketches. For inspiration, (this was before the internet, like 1999), well, I had a pack of nudie playing cards that I used for marathon sessions of . . . playing solitaire (insert jokes here). I selected my favorites, shown above. The 4 of Hearts became Eric, the 9 of Hearts Adam, the 3 of Diamonds Nelson, the 4 of Clubs Dave, the 2 of Clubs Tony, and the King of Clubs Jorn. (The main character, Stephen, I modeled loosely off myself.) I wrote their physical descriptions and back stories, (which I incorporated into the story later as flashbacks).

Now that I had characters / actors, they needed a story / stage. As I was planning on doing, I had Stephen move to Atlanta, where he would meet everyone at his new job. I wanted this to be like ‘Melrose Place’, an over-the-top primetime soap opera, where calamity and copulation ensues. For good measure, I threw in a murder, and based the cop assigned to the case off a female actress of some notoriety back then.

I’d be remiss not to mention that, at that time, I wasn’t comfortable being gay, and the book started off being primarily ‘straight’, with only one gay sub-character. (This, of course, changed over the years.)

It really took off, scene after scene after scene and I finished the first draft in like 6-8 weeks, three hand-written spiral-bound notebooks full. For the next step, I purchased a word-processing typewriter, with an LCD screen and hard disk drive! Typing and editing took months instead of weeks. I think when I finished I had like 180 typed pages.

Just like the main character, I moved to Atlanta, started a new job, got a bunch of new friends, and had lots of wild and crazy fun.

Fourteen years later, I was unemployed, I had moved from the city to the mountains, and the isolation I once appreciated, (I could piss off my front porch), was now, well, isolating. I pretty much left my house once a week to attend graduate school, grabbing cigarettes and groceries on the way back. So I wrote because I was not only bored but also because it was a good creative outlet, and I needed a creative outlet, at least that’s what my therapist said. It worked, writing was not only entertaining, and gave a sense of accomplishment, but also gave me this imaginary world with imaginary people to play with, the next best thing to having a real life!

After having expanded it to its now 240 pages, I shared it with a friend who offered encouragement and too-gracious praise, (ATL 1 is dedicated to her). I submitted it to a couple/few publishers and got rejected, rejected, rejected. I was about to throw in the towel when I had a chance meeting with a self-published author who encouraged me to, well, self-publish. She was my cheerleader during the editing of ATL 1 and the finishing and editing ATL 2, (ATL 2 is dedicated to her).

I entered ATL 1 into the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards and made it through to the second round. For participating, I got free proof copies for a book using createspace. I felt that ATL 1 needed work, but that Duke 1 was ready, so I used the free proof copies for Duke 1. This was more of a “hey, I got these free proof copies, it might take years to find a publisher, so why not upload and get a free print copy for myself?” I was so impressed with the quality, and so unimpressed with the independent publishers I’d contacted, that I decided to go it alone. And now, Duke 1, 2, and 3 and ATL 1 and 2 are available with more to come!

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When is the best time to write?


From my NaNo friends, what I’ve been hearing is, ‘it just isn’t the right time’. When is the right time to write?

Myself, I started writing because I was terminally bored. When I wrote ‘ATL Engineering’ I was living up north, working in engineering, and most of my friends had moved down south, (sound familiar, it’s the premise of that book.) Just like the main character, I moved to Atlanta, started a new job, got a bunch of new friends, had lots of wild and crazy fun, and forgot all about writing. I picked it up again fourteen years later after getting laid . . . off. I had moved from the city to the mountains, and the isolation I once appreciated, (I could piss off my front porch), was, well, isolating. So I wrote not only because I was bored but also because it’s a good creative outlet, and I needed a creative outlet, at least that’s what my therapist said.

Well, Margaret Mitchell was laid up with an ankle injury, and had to do something to keep from getting stir-crazy:

In May 1926, after Mitchell had left her job at the Atlanta Journal and was recovering at home from her ankle injury . . . (her husband) was growing weary of lugging armloads of books home from the library to keep his wife’s mind occupied while she hobbled around the house; he emphatically suggested she write her own book instead: “For God’s sake, Peggy, can’t you write a book instead of reading thousands of them?” (wikipedia)

Which is an approach my brother-in-law took with my sister: “All you do is sit around reading trashy vampire books. Why don’t you write one? If (your brother) can do it, it can’t be that hard!” So she did.

John Grisham was quite occupied, being a husband, father, and trial lawyer, but found time to write an hour each day:

“If there is one thing I’ve learned since I started writing it’s that you can’t just wimp out of it. You write when you’ve got time, and you write when you haven’t got time, and if by the end of that you’ve still not got a novel then you stay up until three in the morning to get the thing on paper.” (mark williams international – http://markwilliamsinternational.com/2011/09/07/a-time-to-write-with-apologies-to-john-grisham/)

J.K. Rowling was divinely inspired to write, and did so through grief, depression, and joblessness / poverty:

“Failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy to finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one area where I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realized, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter, and a big idea. And so rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”(wikipedia)

I guess my point is, you either have to have a gaping hole to fill . . . in your life, socially and/or psychologically, and/or be like the local news, ‘Dedicated, Determined, Dependable’. When is the best time to write? Not when you WANT to, but when you NEED to.

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the ugly truth about self-publishing . . .


It’s been a year since I self-published, and I’m going to do what I haven’t seen another self-published author do, give my results!

The first question that comes to mind is, why did the Duke series sell and not the ATL series? The Duke series had a foot in the ‘furry’/anthro genre, was promoted on FurAffinity.net and soFurry.com, and ‘furries’ are friendly and supportive creatures. The ATL series is genre-less, being so broad, a romance/mystery/humor novel featuring gay, bisexual, and straight characters, that the only category for it is general fiction, unless I wanted to dump it in gay fiction, but I didn’t feel right about that as it features a straight relationship, as gay men don’t want no chocolate in their peanut butter, if you know what I’m sayin’. Now that the ATL series is out on eBook, and the Duke series has been read, it may pick up more sales.

Which brings me to my doomed experiment. This summer I published ATL 1 serial. It made sense, each chapter is an episode of a season, like on TV. But readers don’t want to have to buy and download twelve chapters per book. And once they’re out there, it’s not really serial anymore, as you can buy them all at once. While serial books are gaining popularity recently, it would be for chapters posted to a subscribed to blog, not individual eBooks. Now ATL 1 and 2 are in eBook in their entirety.

Next question, what’s with the recouped costs? Well, here’re some lessons I’ve learned:

1) don’t commission multiple artists for cover art at the same time, as the one not used is mostly a waste, unless you count the exposure you get from the artist themselves. The Duke series features art by jailbird, but I got little exposure from it. The alternate cover art was by tsaiwolf, and I picked up quite a few followers/readers through this exposure. In fact, (if I had the money now), I’d planned on commissioning artists not only for some great character art, but also for exposure; this would be a marketing cost though, not production.

2) convert your files to eBook yourself! At first, I thought the process was daunting and paid createspace $69 each to convert my files, often a couple of times. It really is too damn easy though, not to do yourself.

3) don’t buy inventory! I wanted to have an inventory of my books for sale, but in this digital age it’s too easy, and convenient, to make changes. I’m always reading my own books and if I find a typo, I can have all the files updated in a half hour. Now I’ve got a dozen copies or so with typos, which I might be able to sell at a discount, but will most likely trash.

Next, let’s look at trends: (as of August and September)

So what reversed this downward trend? Towards the end of August, having only sold one book, I entered Duke 1 into amazon’s KDP Select and offered it free for five days. Those who enjoyed Duke 1 went on to buy Duke 2 and 3, and it generated enough buzz that others were buying Duke 1 after the promotion ended, as you can see in these charts: (before and after)

Some words of advice on offering your book for free:

1) as you can see with the Duke 1 trendline, it didn’t have much effect on the individual book, but more so on the books as a whole. Offer a book for free only if you also have related books.

2) offering a book for free attracts ‘bookmonsters’. These people aren’t serious in their interest of your book and they read it only because it’s free and they read it only to slam it. Duke 1 was new, virginal in ratings, and now has a 2-star rating because of a couple of bookmonsters; if I don’t get more positive ratings soon, the book and the whole series will be dead. Only offer your book for free after you have a positive-rating buffer and your book can take the hits by the bookmonsters.

3) in my experience, to get to be a ‘Top 10 FREE gay fiction eBook’, you have to ‘give away’ about 300 eBook copies, so, someone touting ‘Top 10’ has only given away that many. With the PAID category, it’s even less, as people ‘buy’ free books in bulk to maybe someday read later.

Also, those ‘spikes’ in June and July came about by my posting on gay author sites, blogging, commenting on blogs, etc. As you can see, I haven’t hit that ‘magic bullet’ yet, until that happens, all those hours devoted to online marketing don’t create more value than if I’d have written more and published more books.

So, in a nutshell, if I had to do it all over again, I would’ve cut costs, which would’ve made the free promotion unnecessary.

Feel free to ask questions!

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what is M/M anyway?


Ain’t seen nobody else doin’ this so I’m doin’ it!

The definitive DEFINITION of . . . M/M

  1. M/M has its roots in fan fiction featuring two STRAIGHT men. “Slash fiction . . . is a genre of fan fiction that focuses on the depiction of interpersonal attraction and/or sexual relationships between fictional characters of the same sex . . .not engaged in such relationships in their respective fictional universes.” (Wikipedia)
  2. M/M typically features a strong, butch, straight / ‘questioning his sexuality’ ‘ALPHA’ and a smaller, feminine, cute little gay ‘beta’ that has to be saved/rescued, which is more of a classical (outdated) heterosexual dynamic.
  3. M/M typically has the characters together by a circumstance (housemates, matchmaking, rescue, etc.), which leads to a one night stand that grows to be more.
  4. M/M typically has intense action/conflict with a HEA, ‘happily ever after’, ending.
  5. M/M is easily and often derived into M/M/F, where one or both have or share a sexual relationship with a woman.
  6. M/M book covers typically feature stock photos of hunky men with their shirts open or off like women’s romance books do.
  7. M/M ‘books’ are typically novellas or short stories only available electronically.
  8. M/M is not about acceptance/support of the LGBT community, as lesbian and trans fiction isn’t nearly, if at all, as popular.
  9. The term M/M is too sanitizing, a more ‘socially acceptable’ way of saying gay or homosexual.

Let’s just say it, women like to read about two guys going at it like men like to watch to girls go at it, as long as they can maintain the fantasy of joining them.

That’s what M/M is. And that’s why it’s not for me!

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My story and I’m sticking to it!


I’ve written and self-published five novels so far. I released them into the world and watched the steady, however minimal, sales. I knew that my job wasn’t over, in order to sell them, really sell them, I’d have to market them.

Market research was quite disturbing. “There’s no market for gay fiction novels. If you want to succeed in the Gay & Lesbian genre, you have to write novellas / short stories for women. That’s what’s selling. There’re massive online eBook retailers devoted to it. And it wouldn’t hurt to develop a female alias.”

I considered it.

I recently promoted Duke – Book 1: Alpha Rising, my pride and joy and the first in a series of three (so far). I posted a notice in a M/M Romance group I was a member of, among other places. I was very pleased with the response, until the reviews came in . . . from women:

While they all liked the writing, characters, and world-building, etc., they added, “It wasn’t a bad book; it just wasn’t for me – 2/5 stars.” I wanted to say, “Well, I didn’t write it for you.”

“It’s awful that someone in a relationship would have that much recreational sex with others – 2/5 stars.” I wanted to say, (or actually, I did say), “The book blurb clearly states that the main character had a lover and someone else would compete for his affection.”

Another along those lines, “I have a bit of a problem with all the cheating/swapping – 1/5 stars.”

“All the sex is just frivolous. I don’t think the author had any other purpose than this – 2/5 stars” I replied, “The book blurb clearly states that the book is an EROTIC drama, with laughter and tears, his story will touch you and have you TOUCHING YOURSELF.”

“There’re no werewolves – 2/5 stars.” I replied, “The book blurb clearly mentions a German Shepherd, an Irish Setter, and even a tortoise.”

Instead of appreciating the book for what is was, they were not appreciating it for what it wasn’t.

In challenging their reviews, I was told that, “Negative ratings can be useful to an author to learn what appeals to readers and what doesn’t.”

What appeals to WHICH readers? That’s when I snapped.

THIS ISN’T A M/M ROMANCE WEREWOLF ‘STORY’, NO FUCKING WEREWOLVES! THIS ISN’T A M/M ROMANCE, THIS IS GAY FICTION. I DIDN’T WRITE IT FOR YOU! I WROTE IT FOR GAY MEN!

And reviews came in from gay men, and they were positive.

To think I almost kowtowed to these people.

I’m glad women like M/M Romance, good for them, but NOT to the EXCLUSION of gay men; I find this completely IMBALANCED.

Websites and blogs celebrate ‘the best in gay fiction for women’ . . . M/M Romance groups started and dominated by women . . . gay Literature retreats where 80% of the featured authors are women . . . gay male authors stop writing gay fiction for gay men to write M/M Romance for women . . . and a gay man releasing a gay fiction book written for gay men getting slammed for not catering to what women want.

That’s when I started a new group, no girls allowed! (gay men only). The response by gay men has been positive. The response by women, well, I was cautioned that I might be thought of as misogynistic for excluding them.

I’ll have to find a word to call them for what they’re doing.

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CONSOLIDATED REVIEWS Duke – Book 1: Alpha Rising


I’m dividing reviews into MEN, WOMEN, and BOOK MONSTERS, so you’ll see that my target readers enjoyed it. (If you don’t know what a book monster is, see my last post.)

(These reviews were posted after the ‘giveaway’.)

MEN

T.S. from twitter: you had me in huge tears this morning – the Alley in book 3- just to let you know what a great writer you are – must read on…

D. from goodreads: (4/5 stars) Once I started, I couldn’t put it down, which was kind of a surprise since I am not really into ‘shifter’ fiction. I am looking forward to reading the two sequels and see what happens.

E. from my blog and goodreads: (5/5 stars) Your “give away” got me to read Duke 1, and from there I have bought 2 and 3. Although the “stats” are against you with your writing, I am sure you will beat the odds – I have been recommending your books to my friends. At the end of the day, most of the “beaters” will be read once, and deleted or lost – yours will be ones that people keep coming back to.

T. from sofurry: (5/5 stars) Very engaging. Duke with his growing circle of friends and loving family really do hook you and cause you to worry and smile as their lives intertwine and grow. The story is emotional at times, and I think that is the best part of Duke’s story. I doubt you can read this with out feeling empathy and pain when harm falls their way, and equally the joy when things go better than expected.

G. from goodreads: (5/5 stars) Very good read. Started this book when I came home from work, and just finished it. I simply couldnt stop til I got to the last page. Very different from other books I ve read, and I like that!A different take on the shifter, but a good one. Very good erotic and fun read! Tomorrow will be book number 2!

D. from goodreads: (3/5 stars)

R. from goodreads: I have read the first and enjoyed it. Much fun and shenanigans as well as genuine feeling. Woof.

M. from amazon.com: (5/5 stars)

K. from amazon.com: (5/5 stars)  Duke Alpha Rising i’d say was a pretty well written story, the only thing I  found wrong with it was Mike’s unrealistic acceptance of *SPOILER* Duke’s  affair with Rouke. Other than that a well written book I’d recommend this for  anyone who is interested in the furry community or just a cute homosexual story.

WOMEN

M. from goodreads: (3/5 stars) The story was told from a silly point of view. All the situations somehow work out in the end. There’s a lot of sex, but the characters were sweet. But it was entertaining nonetheless. There were a few editing errors, not enough to interrupt my reading like some do.

BOOK MONSTERS

A.A. from goodreads: (2.5/5 stars) Let me preface my review by saying I don’t think this was a bad book, it just wasn’t for me. What I Liked: [1] The writing. I couldn’t find any fault in it. I like the way the story was told and the way Duke told it. [2] Duke. I liked his voice even if I didn’t like all the humping and crying. [3] The creativity. I’ve never read another shifter story like this. I liked how their “dogs” were very much a part of the man. What I Didn’t Like: May contain spoilers…. (It does, so if you want to read more, see her review. Basically, she doesn’t “really like sex with other peoples while they’re in a relationship . . . So that pretty much turned me off the story from then on,” even though the book blurb mentions his ‘lover’ and ‘another competing for his affection’.)

P.M. from goodreads: (2/5 stars) I wish that I could say exactly what I didn’t like about this story but I honestly can’t. This world and these characters just didn’t do it for me, nothing drew me into the story enough to make me care for any of them. (Basically, she was pissed off that I had the nerve to question A.A.’s review and wrote this after saying so.)

C.B. from goodreads: (3/5 stars) (no comments)

T. from goodreads: (1/5 stars) I had to stop at the mid point because I just couldn’t care for Duke and I have a bit problem with ‘cheating’ even if you are in the same room together (‘swinging’?) so I stopped reading. (She clarified:) The book had its own cosmos and myths which were well thought out by the author, as well as different personalities for the various characters/animals. I only have 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. This is a personal preference which guides my choices in reading material which explains why I couldn’t finish this story. This may be what other readers are looking for so I mention the activities in my review. This situation is just like I prefer vanilla ice cream and other people may want chocolate or coffee favors. I did like the shifter world and politics involved between the purists and Duke’s family which is why I read half the story, but the series of sexy scenes with Duke and everyone had no story to them.

F. from amazon.com: (3/5 stars) This is quite a strange short novel. Centred on creatures that shift into house pets or into the random wildlife forms it can and will not, at first, evoke the same sense of potential danger and wild sensuality that is what makes the best werewolf novels with their big, brawny and dangerously sexy characters so compelling. Once accepted the unusual supernatural lore and a writing that is far from flawless because of typos, mistakes and a shaky syntax which makes whole paragraphs barely understandable, this work ends by being extremely enjoyable. The supernatural element, relevant though it is, is just a frame for a complex net of human relationships that evolve in the most heart-warming way. Duke is a great character: young, maybe naive but full of warmth, courage and good intentions, he manages to assemble an odd pack of bizarre individuals bound together by love. Mike, his companion, is well rounded as well and the same is valid for most of the other characters. All the love that these individuals experience together is sorely needed as the shifter world in general is not a particularly nice one. Plot is confused, patchy, with conflicts that are quickly introduced and easily solved, but it does not drag and it does not stand in the way of an enjoyment that begins with page one and goes on to the end. This book, the first in a series of three, stands more or less on its own but ends with a moderate cliffhanger that prods the reader to read the second part. There is a lot of graphic sex and some involves humans with partially shifted supernaturals. The shifters being as intelligent and aware as humans I find there is little to complain about this, but I suppose a warning might be in order for sensitive readers that might not like near-bestiality.

My response to F. from amazon.com: 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. (He deleted it.)

NEW CATEGORY – BIGOTS

T. from goodreads: (1/5 stars) as he has rated all ‘gay’ books without having read them.

R.C. from goodreads: (5/5 stars) not a bigot, but an anti-bigot, to counter T’s rating.

NEW CATEGORY – FUCKING MORONS

B.C. from amazon.com: (1/5 stars) “The whole morphing concept in this book is farfetched and strange. The setup for  the main story confused me. How can you take any of the events seriously when  main characters can mutate into another form at will? I immediately wanted to  write a review after reading this one because it looked like it had potential  but fell short.”

My response to B.C. from amazon.com: “”How can you take any of the events seriously when: . . . main characters can  mutate into another form at will?” . . . they fight with sabers made of  light?” . . . the dead rise from the grave?” . . . they ride brooms and  shoot lightening out of sticks?” Aren’t you familiar with the science  fiction/fantasy genre, specifically, the shifter/furry genre? If you don’t enjoy  or can’t accept this, why read it at all?

UPDATE: B.C. from amazon.com pulled his review!

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BOOK MONSTERS!


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.

HE DELETED MY REPLY.

(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 goodreads.com 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.

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

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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.

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

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

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