Book Review: A Note to the Self Publisher
January 8, 2011 6 Comments
Recently, I came across a decent sized preview of a book I will not name, by a person I will not name because I don’t want to give her any press at all, though it pains me that unsuspecting humans may waste their money purchasing her work. People who know us both personally will know who and what I’m talking about. I read all I could stand, which was less than the preview allowed
, and I am eternally grateful to my God that he provided me this look. Without it I may have went on in life feeling inferior to her, as I had in the past, but this showed me instead that she is not a better writer, though I’m no Jane Austen. No, this author did not go through grueling and self-esteem destroying rejection letters by real publishers, she wasn’t blessed with a superior writing ability but was blessed with money to self-publish. To be more specific she was blessed with her grandmother’s money, which was always the case as long as I’d known her.
It saddens me for her though, that of all the people to read her book with an open mind, it was someone who could be deemed her worst enemy that actually took the time to read it, and decide to be honest with her. I know that, because if the people who wrote those reviews of her book (Mary N. her sister, Mrs. Esther her best friend, and M. Stanhope a reviewer that gives no less than 4 stars ever) had actually read it and truly loved her, they would have said “No, don’t do it! It still needs a lot of work honey!” instead of encouraged her. That being said, here’s my review, written for the first time (believe it or not MM-D) as I would have said to any writer that wrote something like that, aside from throwing their book into a lake.
The story is about a modern-day woman who is sent back in time via wristwatch to Tombstone, Arizona in the year 1881, a month or so before the events at the O.K. Corral. There she encounters the heroes and villains of the time, and becomes romantically entangled I suppose…
This is bad. This is incredibly horrific. The prologue was nothing like a prologue, as it seemed to have nothing to do with the actual story. Aren’t prologues supposed to set up the story? The author would have been better off cutting the entire bit out. I can see why there’s no real reviews of it anywhere. If I weren’t such a masochistic lover of books I would have stopped after reading the first six pages, which by the way had the main character contemplating Aztec society in an art museum, dressed in tight leather pants and a red bustier with a knee-length jacket and is a virgin at 26 but has taken a vow of celibacy with her rock-star-bartender boyfriend and her mother is a prostitute that had to give her up when she was about to go into high school. I was prepared to hold my tongue until the prostitute. You really can’t tell me that is a good prologue.
The main character’s talk with her best friend starts out as just more of the same we got in the prologue, until we’re taken down into a place in the friend’s home that sounds similar to Dexter’s Laboratory. Ariel does not come across as a scientific type, at least not the type that would harbor a lab that HAZMAT would hate to have to clean up…and in reality would probably have to if she’s IMBIBING ALCOHOL while experimenting.
The Author’s vocabulary and ability to put two words together is displayed shamelessly, but to no purpose. Her turn of phrase only marginally gets better past the first chapter, enough so that one can read on with a minimum of discomfort. The author wants the reader to believe that a modern-day dollar would get accepted as payment in the Wild West, and that a woman dressed in tight-fitting clothing could walk into a gambling hall and order a drink and would be seen as well-bred and had spunk by men that had just mentioned that women were best on their backs.
Since the author was so enamored with big words, I’d like to add one to her list in the hopes that she will look it up and understand what her book lacks. Verisimilitude. Your work lacks, among other things verisimilitude. Yes, there is a bit of reality that must be suspended when one reads a book about a modern-day woman who is thrown back into the Old West, but to expect your readers to completely suspend all belief in order to accept everything written by you is just lazy.
There’s also news that the author is planning to put out another book, this time with a real agent and a real publisher. I say no, please. Save the trees. Make it available as e-book only at least, if you really must inflict more torture on the masses. I will not be reading the next one if you put it out, and any bad reviews that you decide to erase this time will not be from me, or the man who scorned you (he has absolutely no interest in you whatsoever and sneers that I still give you the light of day) but from real people who truly hate your book, just like they were before.