Sunday, February 22, 2015

How NOT to respond to a review request

So, time hasn't frozen after chugging a gallon of ice cold milk, which means April 8th will eventually be upon me.

I'm still on the last line-edit pass, tightening sentences, crunching commas, and cross-fitting paragraphs until they won't shut up about it. But two months prior is when it's time to go begging for reviews.

With my first book, like a wide-eyed idiot, I thought to release her into the wild, sit back, and wait for the reviews to come in. Four months later I realized people don't like to take the time to put down words unless under some obligation.

Despite the absolute spleen exploding mess that was the contest win with Lulu for The King's Blood, I did meet some pretty nice people while trying to drum up marketing. But people get busy, their book queues fill, and I have to venture into the scary wide web to find more.

I try to be conscientious when sending out my pitch. If they say they're full, I don't bother them. If they only want to read gay sprite romances, I won't bother them. But there's another rule I follow when it comes to sending my novel out for free that's off the books.

There is a certain breed of writer, let us call him the disgruntled self-declared genius, who self publishes one or perhaps two books which makes him an instant expert. He is usually a he, over 40, white, and bloviates about a white over 40 male writer who does awesome things and has women throwing themselves at the character's feet. You all know what I'm talking about.

I bring this cul-de-sac up because I went against my better judgement and sent a book pitch to a guy who gave off those vibes. (If he were younger I'd expect him to wear a fedora) I got what was quite possibly the most condescending response I've had in ages.

And I quote:
"I've never read your book, but comedy is very hard to write."
 That translates to, let me adjust my glasses here:
Now now, little lady. You don't want to go boiling those poor lady brains and your baby making bits trying to write a joke. You should leave it up to the men.
 As you can probably guess, I will not be sending my free book to a self-described tortured genius who has already decided I must be terrible at comedy and all that so hard science-fiction and fantasy stuff when all he knows is I have a pair of ovaries. It'd be better for my marketing if I drill a nail through my hand.

This mindset is infuriatingly fascinating, that by publishing once it makes someone above reproach. It's just a book. You're not that amazing. You're not a poor tortured genius no one understands. Believe me, we've all seen the shit you've done a million times before. The world isn't trying to keep you down, it seriously doesn't give a shit about you.

Don't be like that guy. Don't be a dickhole.

In Dwarves in Space news, I've finally finished all the portraits of my characters so you can see their faces before you can meet them. (That's helpful, right?)
Did that whet your whistle-sword? You can pre-order the "comedy is really hard" book for only $2.99.

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