now available in paperback. Keep in mind that I’m a local delivery truck driver
and we’re not a bunch of kindle-wielding alpha readers. He kind of threw me
through a loop when he said he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to read it, “since it
had all those great reviews.”
I wish he had taken a picture- I’m sure the look on my face was priceless.
“That doesn’t make sense, buddy. Why wouldn’t you be able to read it?”
“Well, I read a little, but I never could follow, like…” he spent a few
seconds searching for the word, “…literature.”
Another Kodak moment before I burst out laughing. “Good Lord, man. I don’t
write anything that could be described as literature.” It’s not that I can’t,
it’s just that I’m incapable. I assured him that Zombie/Apocalypse 2012: A
Political Horror Story is hardly Hamlet or The Great Gatsby or even The Great
Gatsby…With Zombies (hmmm…note to self- no, that’s just dumb- scratch that) and
tried to explain the way books are reviewed by Amazon readers.
“It’s a lot different than the way a critic would review a novel. It’s more
about the reader’s initial expectations and how much they enjoyed reading
something.” He seemed much more at ease with the task of reading my book after
The conversation got me thinking about how most people see reviews. This
may come as a shock to some folks, but the average person doesn’t tear through a
couple of books a week. Those that do should understand how reviews work. Some
don’t, and I see their asinine reviews from time to time.
“This book was trash, just like every other splatter-punk (or vampire
romance or whatever) book I’ve ever read.” Really, dumbass. This genre is
clearly not for you. Go read something you enjoy instead of picking up a ninth
book that you know you’re going to hate.
Jack-offs like that aside, most of us that read a lot or write
professionally (or semi-professionally) realize that five stars on Amazon
doesn’t necessarily mean a book is The Grapes of Wrath. If you fall into one of
those categories this post isn’t really for your benefit. For the occasional
reader- understand that as the book business has become more of an online
industry, book reviews have evolved into a very different animal than they once
were. Don’t just look at how many stars a book has. Read the reviews- the good
ones and the bad ones- and you’ll get a lot more of a feel for where the
reviewer is coming from and how it may relate to your own likes and dislikes.
There are readers who gave the Twilight books five stars and destroyed Dracula
in their reviews. Does that mean New Moon was a great book and Dracula was
unreadable trash? No. Obviously and emphatically no. It simply means those
particular people enjoyed New Moon and didn’t really dig Bram Stoker’s
I hope this helps you pick your next book to get lost in. Please do so
sooner than later and try to make it an independent book. In the meantime, I’m
going to go get started on Tom Joad- Werewolf Slayer and will let you all know
when I have a release date.