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The Spiteful World of Indie Publishing

Books Stack

Every day, I take some time out of my schedule to follow the KDP’s author forum as well as a couple other forums dealing with independent publishing. It’s a great way to connect with other writers and get help and useful information.

But it’s also the place for learning more about the business we’re in. Despite many opinions and views on self-publishing, it’s a business like any other, with unending issues you have to deal with. But even though I’m perfectly aware of the spitefulness of human nature and the tough fight to be noticed among thousands of other authors in the crowd, the behavior that seems to be spreading among competive indies like a wildfire is appalling to me.

Now, I have no need to complain, as I myself haven’t been a victim of this, but I still feel the need to address this issue. Had it been a few isolated cases, I would just put it down to a few people who never learned to respect others and compete fairly, but I’m hearing about this being done to more and more of my fellow authors.

The thing I’m talking about is independent authors, instead of just promoting themselves, doing everything to bring down their competition.

We have all heard about authors posting fake reviews on their own books in order to drive the ratings up and make the book seem more attractive to the potentiel buyer, but some of these authors take it much further.

Some actually pretends to be readers with no ulterior motive and posts vicious and downgrading reviews on other books in the same genre as they are writing themselves in order to hurt competition. They act like they have read the books and hated them, but a few clicks leading to their profiles show that they are not unpartial readers, but competing authors. Some even have the nerve to attack other books in their reviews and then suggest readers to read their book instead, even linking to them in the review.

The first time I read about someone who had been a victim of this, I was repulsed and didn’t get how anyone could have so little shame. I felt the same way the second time… And the third… Until I slowly started realizing that this was actually happening often and was becoming a common way to fight competition.

The worst thing is that so often it’s so blaringly obvious. I have seen reviews that don’t even target the book, but are direct attacks on the authors. Many of them are purely hateful comments with no arguments to explain why the “reviewer” dislikes the book/author so much.

And the most scary thing is that it’s not only happening among indie authors. Even some traditional publishers have used this method to bring down competition! This article on DailyMail.co.uk describes the behavior pretty well, and it was already published in 2010 showing that it’s not a new trend:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1333885/Amazons-amateur-book-reviewing-vicious-free-readers-victims.html

It’s a sad, sad thing that people are willing to stoop so low in order to get success. And in the end, I really doubt ruining potentiel success for others will ever lead to anything good anyway.

And what’s the use of reviews, when you can’t trust them at all?

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Fantasy the Indie Way

The world of Indie books has broadened the fantasy genre in a way that hasn’t been seen since Harry Potter and I have been looking around to create a small list of promising Indie fantasy books!

I will select some of them to read and review here on the site, but for now I would love to hear your opinions of the books you have read:

Dark Waters

Egan Wey is a pirate, a scoundrel and the luckiest son of a… female canine that ever braved the ocean. A scarred past forces his mouth to thebottle and he is drawn to trouble like… well like he is drawn to thebottle. He does bad things for men who would rather not get their hands dirty, but one fateful night, in the corner of a lowlife’s tavern he is offered a job by Finn Fernwick, a young priest, that will not only challenge his skills but stretch his sanity to breaking point.

What begins as a fairytale rescue quickly decays into a nightmare of epic proportion as Wey and Finn combat zombies, privateers and a psychotic, despot prince. Can two men really save the world from drowning around them? Or will they drag every sorry excuse for a scallywag into the depths with them?

Check out Dark Waters

Innocent Hearts

When Bronwen’s parents die she has to leave her home in the wilderness and try to find the elf city her mother told her about, but with little food and no experience in the wild she risks her life just trying.

Liza doesn’t fit into the Nepharil society, she can’t fly, something her father reminds her of daily. She hasn’t given up trying but her time is running out and her father is impatient to have her married and out of his hands.

This ebook has two short stories set in the same fantasy world.

Check out Innocent Hearts

ALTOR: The Shadow Rebellion

What does a Sorcerer-Guardian do when his perfect world begins to crumble around him?

As appealing as the thought of being a Sorcerer-Guardian is to Ajay Samuels, the harmonious existence between all Ageronians and Earthlies leaves little reason for him to put his abilities into practice. Abilities that should set him apart from the rest of his kind due to his status as an Altor; the elite and powerful body of seven succeeding families of the original seven Sorcerers elected to oversee and govern Ageron.

His monotonous life begins to change soon after experiencing a strange dream, and following his most vivid of premonitions, he senses a danger he knows too little of to do anything about. The world as he knows it all but vanishes following the most unexpected of confrontations with a new and powerful enemy he has never before had much to do with.

On his quest for further information, Ajay is confronted with more than he could ever have envisioned, and he knows everything about his life is about to change; for the worse.

Check out ALTOR: The Shadow Rebellion (The Chronicles of Ageron)


Origin(Legends of the Known Lands)

A young heroine’s journey, initiated by a violent attack upon her only family, thrusts her into a world filled with death, deception, desperation and ultimately, a new beginning.

After a savage attack upon her only known relative Elwyn, a sheltered village maiden of sixteen is forced to embark upon a journey to the city of Findara in the land of Silvendil, to seek protection from the father she only recently learned existed. She is catapulted from the safety and security of her small village into a world full of assassins, dangerous creatures, and political intrigue. She discovers allies in the morden, the drakenhawks, the werecats, and her newly discovered uncle. Elwyn and her companions quickly realize that, unless they can find the answers to some key questions regarding her mother’s death, reaching Findara may place her in even greater danger. Some of the answers they seek are found in an old diary left to her by her mother, some are pieced together by her allies, but others still seem to elude them. As the journey nears its end, Elwyn recognizes she is being called to a destiny that is only just beginning.

Check out Origin (Legends of the Known Lands)

The Firestone Crystal

Agathea Fulstropp is a lonely 11-year-old girl, a bit on the moody side, and more than a little spoilt.

She is looking forward to a luxury break in the Caribbean with her parents, but is livid when they announce
that the trip has to be cancelled due to work commitments! So instead of spending six weeks sunning herself on a tropical beach, Thea – as she insists on being called – finds herself unceremoniously packed up, and sent off to stay with a grandfather she barely knows for the entire summer!

But it turns out to be the best summer of her life when her grandfather has a strange reunion with a mysterious childhood friend, and she is given the opportunity of a lifetime.

To visit a world beyond the stars, and become Earth’s first student to be enrolled in an experimental Inter-Planetary Education Programme at the Firestone Academy, where lessons in telepathy, mind-reading and astral projection are the norm.

Things, however, are not as straightforward as they seem. One of her fellow students makes no secret of the fact that he despises her, and will stop at nothing to make her leave…she is having increasingly disturbingly vivid dreams…and just who is that hideously deformed cave creature, and more to the point, what does it want with her?

Check out The Firestone Crystal

Hearth: Exile

A man awakens to find himself half-in, half-out of a trashcan in a back alley behind the Boathouse Restaurant in Central Park, New York City. He has no idea who he is, where he is, or how he got there. He doesn’t even know his own name, except that it begins with a ‘Br’ sound. In Book One of the Hearth trilogy, this man wanders the streets of New York in search of his identity, his memories, and his name. He is joined along the way by two companions, an orphan
girl named Page, and a similarly memory-challenged woman named Lauren. Together they seek answers to an unfolding and ever-growing mystery, watched over by Sister Regina, the head of the Convent where they are staying . . . and as they
begin to find answers, as they begin to discover more and more clues to Lauren and Brinn’s predicament, something stalks them – an ancient and deadly Evil from before the dawn of recorded history. A clock is ticking now, and they better solve the mystery of their origins and who they are soon. For it is not just they and everyone around them who are threatened; the entire fate of humanity and of two worlds depends upon them.

Check out Hearth: Exile

Breath of Air

Her name was Capri, and she was Air. She was born with a gift she didn’t understand. A gift so strange, so remarkable that she had kept it secret for as long as she could remember, despising that it made her different when all she wanted was to be normal, to belong. As an orphan, belonging to someone, anyone, would have been an incredible blessing, one she would have given up all that she had just to get a taste of. But the truth was that she didn’t belong in the orphanage in Virginia, or even in the United States. In fact, she didn’t belong with human beings at all. Because she wasn’t one of them, not really. She was something much more extraordinary. She could shift the direction of the wind, create billowing clouds out of nothing, and charm birds into dancing on her open palm. She belonged to an elite group of beings, responsible for preserving the balance of nature and the safety of Earth from an underworld that deserved to be feared, and needed to be controlled. And after years of being lost, she had at last been found, and now the truth of how she had ended up so far from home was becoming horribly clear to her. But there’s someone who doesn’t want her to return; someone who knows Capri was the only witness to an act of heinous treason and violent murder. And when she begins to search her memories for details of the night she was taken from her home, details that will implicate a killer, she finds herself the unwary target of an otherworldly dark force intent on silencing her by any means possible.

Check out Breath of Air

If you want your fantasy book added to the list, throw me a comment with a link to your Amazon page!