Wednesday, February 19, 2014

My First Review for BLEEDING KANSAS!

Five stars, baby!
This book gripped me from the first few pages. The plot has unexpected turns, the characters are interesting, and the dialogue is believable. Zombies are an ongoing threat while humans engage in deadly schemes. The protagonist is cynical, compassionate, hardened, and funny. In other words, he’s a human being, not a cardboard cutout. The writing is clear, direct, and free of misused words, misspellings, and grammatical errors. This book is the first in a series of three books, and book two is promised to be available soon. I can hardly wait.

I’ve been checking back every other day since Bleeding Kansas rebooted on 25 January, at once dreading reviews, then feeling a little freaked no one had felt strongly enough about my book to post an opinion. This showed up, and I froze. It was a couple of minutes before I could read it.

Yes, it’s insane. Even the best reviews freak me out. It’s something I’ve got to get over, but for the time being it’s bad juju for me to concern myself with the opinions of others when I’m crafting something. It just hexes the sweet motherfuck out of me. And here I am talking about juju and hexes when what I’m trying to is craft a clean, logical narrative.

It was not the shaman, but the scientist and competent technician in me that won my reviewer’s accolades. Such is the state of the e-book market that a professional polish plays a big part in your scoring. A reviewer of the previous edition of Bleeding Kansas (now available only in paperback) gave me three stars, even after complaining of Derek Grace’s attitude, because he didn’t get poked in the eye every page by a glaring typo. 

The hell of it is I caught more typos in that first edition while editing it for the second edition. That was after I’d gone through the first edition twice, and Severed Press’ proofreader went through it once before I went through it twice more before committing to publication. It’s a good thing for me my current reviewer came across the most recent, far more polished edition.

Takeaway: Quit complaining about how hard and boring it all is and DESTROY ALL TYPOS. Whether your readers are paying 99 cents or $15.99 for your book they’re expecting a professional looking job. If it takes too long for you to find all the typos, then engineer a more efficient proofreading methodology. Or whatever. If it takes you a year, you must clean, spit-shine, and detail every molecule of that machine before you roll it out. Don’t damage your brand by rolling out gundecked slop. People are not inclined to give you a second chance where their money is concerned.
Only $2.99, and only the best for my readers. 


It helps if you have a good working machine, too. As in “a story” (what?) with all the moving parts of plot and character functioning as they should. For my part, I welcome an exacting audience who don’t throw their money and praise at any old thing. But I need to finish Grace Among the Dead by Sunday, and you best believe I’ll be going over it line by line with a ruler, a Sharpie, and a take-no-shit attitude. So, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got people who have waited too long for the follow-up. It’s a tough crowd, and I’ve got to be balls-tougher... 


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