Thursday, 23 August 2012

1-star review


So far I’ve received one five star, a four star and a one star review for my Kindle book The Pillbox. Two reviews were from the US ( and one from the UK ( The one star review says:-

The story is so disjointed, it is hard to follow the story. I am trying, but I do not think I will be able to finsih it.

It’s not unexpected and the criticism is fair. The plot is based on flashbacks and the (very kind!) five star reviewer described it as intricate.

this is a novel of intricate and well-crafted complexity

I knew this would be an issue before I began writing. After completing the first few chapters I reviewed what I’d undertaken and nearly decided not to carry on. I was very keen to write the book, but at that point I wasn’t sure how the story would unfold. I knew it had lots of potential to be complex though – mainly because of the flashback device.

In the end of course I carried on, enjoyed writing it and after some encouraging but not for us comments from literary agents I decided to publish it on Kindle. I made that move with some trepidation, but self-publishing always attracted me and the Kindle is an ideal way to get started.

It’s not a route to any kind of income unless you are extraordinarily successful. What does that mean? Not sure, but top one percent I’d say. All in all it’s been an experience I wouldn’t have missed though. Hundreds of hours work, but worth it.

By the way – it’s obvious to me that all those who leave comments here have at least a book or two in them.

Think about it!


Anonymous said...

I once wrote a play and, in time-honoured fashion, papered the downstairs loo with the rejection slips from every theatre I sent it to. I didn't really mind, I just enjoyed writing it.

Sam Vega said...

"it’s obvious to me that all those who leave comments here have at least a book or two in them."

I see myself as containing some very long-winded and poorly-structured aphorisms.

I think you (and DD) might be downplaying your talents somewhat. A nice paragraph is just that, but a novel, play, or short story demands something of a higher order. Plot, structure, and a tone of voice that suits the subject-matter, at the very least. Any work of art that lacks some kind of consistency is unsatisfactory, and developing that consistency when you are essentially telling entertaining lies is really difficult.

Anonymous said...

At one time writing was my job. Thankfully I had the help of a couple of top class editors who beat me about the head until I wrote a sentence or two that made sense. Anyone who thinks writing something worth reading is easy is in for a very hard time.

I did once attend a 'creative writing' class and had the privilege of meeting a well known author. His advice, 'wait till you have built up a head of steam - and then write'. Writing to a deadline you hardly have time to warm the kettle.

As for novel writing, for most a damned unprofitable business I would say.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to have missed it, I very much agree with Sam, especially the difficulty of getting and maintaining a voice. I can only manage my own - with small variations.

A K Haart said...

David - I've never tried a play, but you are right - the rejection slips aren't depressing at all, there's just a sense of achievement.

Sam - writing is 90% effort, so it's mostly wanting to do it and having the time. If you do have the time though, it's good therapy.

Roger - lacking a professional editor is probably the biggest problem for anyone who self-publishes.

Yes, novel writing is very unprofitable financially, but not otherwise. I find reading more of a pleasure now I know just how good the great writers were.

James Higham said...

Hard struggle being published and when one manages it, it often doesn't garner the desired degree of feedback. You seem to be motoring along OK though.

A K Haart said...

James - feedback is a real issue. Kindle self-publishing works well, but only a tiny fraction of readers leave useful feedback.

Most of my downloads occur when I offer the books free, which I think is a publicity effect - freebie websites etc.