Bad Review

Mystery on a BudgetI got a bad review on my book Ready or Not available at Kindle. It isn’t long, but out of respect for the writer, I link it here rather than quote it in its entirety.

At first I had a sinking feeling and not a little despair. But on reflection, my writer’s integrity asserted itself and I issued a very polite (I hope) thanks and apologetic, also available at the above link as a comment on the comment.

Two things I take away from this. One is Kay’s (the reviewer’s) take on the language. I can’t apologize for my grammar. It is what it is. And I took severe pains to actually talk down the characters’ dialogue as I wrote (and rewrote) the text. I wanted characters’ spoken words to reflect accurately the speech I knew from my years in the 70s and 80s in Iowa, swearing included. Perhaps I had grown up in a privileged (linguistically) environ? Yet everyone I knew was middle class, strictly. We were well-educated readers in those days. All my friends read, and avidly. And we fished, played board games, card games, camped, and swatted softballs around. That was we. And my characters reflect that.

Two is her lack of commentary of anything substantial to the driving plot. I worried about this as I wrote it, yet it was based on real events. A youthful girl was raped who lived in my neighborhood while walking home from a school function at night. She did try to kill herself when her parents didn’t believe her after enduring months of her growing volatility and instability. This neighborhood shock was what inspired me to put pen to paper. Further, the subjects of unplanned teen pregnancies were beginning to become rife in the 80s, as well as the prevalence of digital and video material’s easy access to society.

It is as it was, and I stand by it. I see my book as more of a record of what started to happen to a recently staid society that found itself suddenly open to new avenues of media and rapidly changing cultural norms. We’re still reaping those changes.

To the Free Downloaders

From “Sleep Hygiene” by Dr. Tony Eldridge

I almost wrote “let-me-down freeloaders.”

Is it too much to ask or nudge people I’ve known to have downloaded my e-book “Ready or Not” to at least rate it?

I am new at this, obviously, so perhaps I ask a naive question. I am fairly certain that most haven’t even gotten around to reading it yet, let alone finishing it. (And how can that be urged? I think it is impossible without loss of tact.) We writers wish anyone with our work is breaking his or her neck to read and savor our material–hardly a truth.

Here and there at work I’ve mentioned this to those who acknowledged taking advantage of the free download (lightly but sincerely). Yet naught happens.

Do I post to my Facebook page and reiterate what must be obvious? Perhaps I am too polite.

Or perhaps a more ominous question needs to be addressed: is the book actually not very good?

 

Slowly Moving

Wikipedia

On the e-publishing of Ready or Not.

Sales: The illustration summarizes them. Downloads: 9 sales, 105 downloads (free promotion).

Reviews: Three wonderful ones here.

Lesson: Don’t depend on give-aways promoted to relatives, friends, and co-workers to garner much in the way of on-line interest. For that matter, don’t expect the same to be in any hurry to actually read the book! I have confirmation of only three people who have done so. (Thanks, reviewers!)

Action: Begin to market the book to agents who accept digital portions. Thanks to leads provided by author Wendy L. Callahan, I have a plentiful list of above-board agents available at AAR, or The Association of Authors’ Representatives. The process is begun.

Dusty Crabtree’s “Shadow Eyes” – Differing perspective on similar themes

Where Have All the Morals Gone?

I wrote to Dusty Crabtree, this author, that in some ways I attacked her same themes in “Ready or Not,” albeit for adults. My point is to “look-back-and-wince” at the changing morality already beginning in 1985 Iowa; worse, since all this occurs in the “Heartland” of decades now past, how much worse must our youth be facing today?

I added that “I sometimes wonder if I didn’t make a colossal mistake in structuring my piece as I did, for YA books are at such a rage.”

Exposing Myself

Time to come clean. (Or shouldn’t it be “come cleanly”?) Time for me to allow anyone to read chapter one of the book I have worked so hard on for so long–for a majority of my life, in fact. And so the addition of another page to this blog giving Chapter 1 of “Ready or Not” in its entirety.

True, a peek to this link will give anyone access to the first chapter and a portion of the second. But this forum is interactive in its nature, unlike the static Amazon Kindle page. So have a look at what I have cared about for so long. It stands before you naked and unadorned; it is what it is. Has it wrinkles? Has it age? Does it possess my vitality from my 20’s when I so hopefully journeyed forth on my project?

You judge. And if you like what you read, you know what you must do to complete your investigation of my disemrobement.

New Page: Chapter 1 in its entirety

Chapter 1 of “Ready or Not” may be read on its own page.

Click to the right of “Home,” this blog.

Ready or Not” is copyright 2012 by Todd L. Ehlers. The novel’s cover illustration is copyright 2011 by Liza E. Paizis.