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Then There Are The Rotten Ones…

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Every so once in a while out of the plethora of reviews I make, there are multiple authors who decide to air out their ‘dirty laundry’ either on this website or elsewhere, more specifically on Kindle Boards.

And to be honest I have no idea what they try to accomplish.

I have my interests in maintaining respect and privacy for the authors who receive a unfavorable review, given that they are willing to keep the matter confidential and leave the information between me and them.

Then, there are the rotten ones.

I think that after reading a NY Times article about the business of self-publishing, I am beginning to agree that this form of publishing oddly resembles American Idol.

Seriously, I mean it.

Out of the times I have sent unfavorable reviews for authors, there were at least several who have attempted to ‘decry’ my method of grading, evaluating, and crass remarks by running onto another website, writing posts, and insults to give themselves status in the ‘indie’ community. Notice the new lingo for Self-Published writers. They don’t even call themselves, ‘self-published’ anymore. It’s ‘Independent’.

While perhaps half of this post is beginning to look a lot like personal ranting and raving, I want to point a couple of things about these kinds of authors:

  1. These authors are childish.

I can think of a dozen reasons why I would use that terminology. It’s not really about whether they want an honest review or fair rating, this goes deeper than that. Instead of saying, “OK Mr. Parker, you might have a couple of points here and there,” they go onto mention things like ‘Parker’s a vicious extortionist, villain, bad guy, etc.’ Just fill in the blank type of ordeal. I had even one guy who tracked me down through Google to find out my real name and upon contact, even admitted to wanting to place a phone call.

Sure, I may have pissed off over a couple of people with my reviews (to my knowledge the total number of reviews who received a negative rating were five), but the problem is that they could not think of any other means to express their anger than go to someone else and ‘air out the dirty laundry.’ I could not even imagine myself wanting to succumb to this type of strategy.

Which leads me to point out another thing:

2. These authors cannot take criticism.

And another:

3. These authors believe in stylistic relativity.

And another:

4. These individuals are not authors at all.

As strange as it sounds, these authors have no interests for higher criticism i.e., conforming to literary standards of style. If you honestly point out things like ‘you’re dialogue is messed up’ you get negative feed backs like there’s no tomorrow. Instead of making assertions like, ‘I think your work is a piece of crap’, oftentimes these writers want you to use other words like ‘This work does not speak out to me or appeal to me’ instead. If the word does not ‘speak’ to the reader, what exactly would make someone disinterested with the book? If it’s not stylistic adherence we are trying to go after for the sake of reader’s interests, what are we doing? I suppose good fiction does not have to be proper to publishing standards. After all,  it’s all subjective, you know a ‘matter of taste’.

While the amateur writer might think that would be the case, (like Henry Baum in his famous, ‘Reader Don’t Care About Crappy Writing’ article as shown here) it will only be a matter of time until the writer

Hopefully, these type of self-published or ‘Indie’ authors will see the light at the end of the tunnel when they begin understanding the mind of the reader.




  1. When you make comments such as: ‘you’re dialogue is messed up’, you would be more likely to be taken seriously if you managed correct English. As far as saying, “this work is a piece of crap”, as either a review or a critique, which are different things by the way, it is meaningless. In what way crap? What I esteem to be crap (Moby Dick, for example) might be something you highly esteem. What you believe to be crap (a certain novel by Chris Northern, for example), I may enjoy.

    If you don’t tell either the reader or the author why you think it is crap, your opinion, and it is only your opinion, is worthless.

    • haparker321 says:

      well I can screw up in my writing… a lot, especially the first one. It’s supposed to read “your” instead of “you’re”
      and that happens quite frequently because of typos. I call it crap in the sense that the story’s execution is awful.
      I call it crap because the message sounds lame, stupid, and probably isn’t something any reader would take seriously.
      There is a difference with critiquing someone’s matter of preferences and the someone’s execution of story’s message.

      If you like Moby Dick and I didn’t because of the tone of voice and imagery, I can understand because it’s subjective in
      taste. But if you have written something which the message of your story is clogged with cruddy execution (diction,
      rhythm, cover, dialogue, etc.), then the story becomes an issue.

      I hope this clarifies what I’m conveying.


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