Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Review the Reviewer part 2

Can't believe what they are serving at Tokyo Disneyland these days !
(Hint - read the description a couple of times to see what it is they are actually steaming)

Hi Folks

I have included the above photo as it is kind of connected to the present theme of reviewing the reviewer. This review/description didn't put me off however and I ate my steamed bum, enjoying every tasty mouthful - I'd buy another.

Well this has got to be the fastest turnaround time for me to post on my blog ever. Last post I invited readers to send in any reviews they thought worthy of some healthy ridicule and low and behold, paulaustin a fellow blogger sends in the following little gem. Although I couldn't quite verify it by locating the review on the stated web site, I presume it is out there on another site that reviews holiday destinations or something like that. Anyway, doesn't really matter 'cause it's hilarious and I love it. 

The place it reviews looks lovely and I wonder how they would feel if they knew this review monster is at large hacking to pieces all that work they have done in presenting the pristine picture perfect image on the web site. I'm sure that Yosemite Cabin Rentals could do without this sort of random assortment of unrelated sentences. Mind you, it did make me click on the link and investigate a little further.

It reads;

"If you getting really starving on a night journey where you want to get the food done quickly so you get to hit the sack. I'd suggest purchasing a Vegetarian food."
yosemite cabin rentals
You know, the cabins aren't bad either  - with or without vegetarian food.

Thanks  for the post paulaustin. I am starting to think that reviewing the reviewer could be a great cathartic experience for anyone that has ever been trolled by an ebook site serial ego crusher and I think I may have found a way to pay them back.

Keep sending them in folks if you get where I am headed here.



Monday, 23 April 2012

Review the Reviewer

Umeda Hankyu Station

Hi Folks

Well I'm back from Japan and had a great time. It was perfect timing as I arrived on the second day of the one week that the Cherry Blossoms come out to play. As this is not a travel blog I won't post any Sakura shots so I will move on. While I was there, I made a point of taking a few shots that inspired particular passages in my ebooks. The one chosen for this post is from Keitai Friends, a chapter of Kujira. This is where Josh gets arrested. Notice the screen in the background where the foreign guy seems to be passing judgement over something. 

Anyway, on to the topic that is at the forefront of my rage - a review of my short story 'Bug'. It is available for free on Kindle at the moment and a reviewer rated as a top 1000 reviewer has annoyed the heck out out me. He writes;

"Bug is a less than five minute long read that starts of [sic] okay"

So he didn't like the story - fine. I've had five and four star reviews from others on Kindle including the UK so a bad one is just par for the course. But hang on... he's complaining that a short story is not a long enough read. Well sorry pal but that's how it goes with a short story - THEY ARE SHORT. Kindle ought to make sure that anyone reviewing a short story is at least a little familiar with the basic conventions of a short story. A better command of basic spelling conventions should also be a prerequisite as well. To tell you the truth, I am getting a little bit annoyed with some of these unhelpful reviews. It just puts off readers unnecessarily and wastes my time. COME ON KINDLE, you can do better here.

On a positive note, I have finally sold a copy of Memoirs of a Vending Machine on the UK site. Reason to celebrate if you ask me.

Wow that feels better. I may make Review the Reviewer a regular feature. Anyone out there that would like to share an experience, drop me a line and I will post your complaint.



Wednesday, 11 April 2012

The band novel and other bits of this and that.

Th Band Novel Progresses....
Hi Folks

How have you all been? Nice to be relaxed at the moment. I'll be heading off to Japan shortly for some R&R and some more inspiration. "Memoirs of a Vending Machine" just keeps on going with Kindle, being downloaded daily and attracting some favourable reviews recently. Seems the copy edit has paid off and won me over thousands of new readers. I'm also happy with 'Bug'. I've had it sitting there on Kindle for $0.99 for quite some time, attracting some great reviews from the UK but little in the way of sales. Not surprising really as it is a 3000 word short story. Well... Kindle did some price matching and made it free and the downloads have surged exponentially. Still waiting on some reviews from the US but I'm sure that someone will chime in quite soon. 

Speaking of reviews, I am becoming a little cynical about the reviewers on Barnes and Noble. One reviewer rated 'Memoirs Low' and commented that the author had confused two of the characters. This is the first time I've had this one levelled at me and it made me wonder - did the reviewer misread? Did this reviewer just get it wrong and blame the author for a lack of basic comprehension skills? I couldn't be bothered at this stage trawling through the text and double check this but 'me thinks' this reviewer could do with a review and a comprehension test.

In other news, you may have noticed that I have posted some links to 'soundcloud' and to CDbaby on my blog. The 'Keitai Freinds' post hasn't resulted in any more hits than if I hadn't posted but the melody itself has had hundreds of hits. The Kids song. ' A Mouse On The Table' has had more and so I uploaded it to CDbaby where the mp3 can be purchased. Hundreds of downloads from the soundcloud link but no sales. Oh well, better get around to writing the kids story that I have in mind and the education materials that go with it. 

So... to the new novel. I've been experimenting of late and wanted to write about the experience that a musician goes through on stage when a performance explodes and an audience is won over. I tried to write it from the perspective of the muso, going through the technicalities of actually playing the part on stage. The result is the following excerpt from my up and coming yet-to-be officially named novel about the band. Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

Adding to the apprehension, there were a few moments of silence as the band members settled into position and then, with a consensual cascade of affirmative nods from each of the band members Scott, the drummer began the four clicks of the drumsticks, signalling the point of no return. Game on… the gig had begun.

The four clicks heralded the band's first statement. The combination of guitar, drums and horns created great body and  depth as they all came in together in perfect unison. The sound shot out of the front-of-house speakers, melding sight with sound as the surging power of the first chord shattered the stale atmosphere of the room.

The audience were listening.

After eight bars of intro, the horns dropped out and Adam came in with the vocals. This was the final test. If the vocals were good, the audience could be convinced.
“I’m not sitting on the fence,” sang Adam. It was good. Although Adam was short, he had a powerful voice. It was masculine and confident with a good quality and an excellent range. Adam had it down – a good microphone technique, good breathing and a good sense of phrasing. The audience looked pleased and so did the band.

The sense of enjoyment fed the egos of the band members. It was synergy – the two main components in the equation, the audience and the band were combining to become bigger than the sum of the parts.

“No, no. no not my world,” the front line of Ken, Adam and Jack chanted in harmony as Jim launched into a raging high pitched solo that lifted the dynamic, testing new ground for this original. This was one of Jim’s better solos, encouraged by the approving expressions of the other band members and the desire to prove himself to the world at large. The fever fed back to the others until the dynamics of the band could go no higher – then it lifted again.

End of solo - Adam was back in again. The song was on the homestretch and the horns were readying themselves for what would be the ending to end all endings. The anticipation showed in the faces of the crowd as the horns were lifted to the mouths of Jack and Jim. They had the honour of finishing this one – the final round of attention. The expectation was palpable.

A stoke of the snare drum disturbed the equilibrium, switching the mood to high as the rhythm became more complex. The horns began the repetitive phrase that would lead the song out. Louder and more frantic it became. - again but louder then again but higher. And then again and again until finally with a high-pitched trumpet note punctuating a final chord from the entire band including what seemed like all of the drum kit, the song ended.

The crowd were stunned.  The sudden empty void of space that seemed to silently echo in their minds filled slowly with reality as their senses began to descend and normalise. This lasted for what seemed like minutes but in all probability lasted less than a second and the crowd spontaneously whistled, cheered and clapped while stamping their feet in a primitive ritualistic dance of approval. The mood was electric and people would have paid just to enter the room and feel the atmosphere.

I hope you enjoyed reading that as much as I did writing it. I'll be working on this one over the next couple of weeks and will post some more excerpts as I go.