Monday, November 9, 2009

Flip the Review Coin

by Jardonn Smith

This post addresses a piece written about one of my Jardonn books, The Tortured Secutor, at the web site, Speak Its Name. Posted as new entry on Frothing Authors blog, and in comment field at Speak Its Name.

I'm all for talking history, so lettuce.

Disclaimer says author submitted this book to Erastes for review. True. In January 2008... back when Erastes and I were members of a Yahoo manlove author's group... back when Erastes's Speak Its Name review site was five months old... back when Erastes was the main reviewer, along with a few author/reviewer partners of whom I was familiar.

I thought we might make a good pair. My Jardonn's Erotic site was four years old, generating around 5000 unique visitors and 200,000 page hits per month. My Tortured Secutor book was two months old and its events set in ancient Rome, so I offered to send the book (print paperback copy was offered, but instead, a pre-correction layout, PDF file was emailed at Erastes's suggestion), and placed a link to Speak Its Name on my Jardonn site.

All right, Speak Its Name got its link and Jardonn got nothing. No review. No reciprocol link. No big deal. I figured Erastes didn't understand the unwritten courtesies of webmastering and would eventually come around with the link. I dropped it, left my link on Jardonn's site sending traffic to Speak Its Name as it was, and forgot about the book review. For the most part, I also forgot about Speak Its Name.

Now, nearly two years later, the manuscript is reviewed... not by Erastes... but by an underling... not just an underling... but a fellow-author unknown to me... and I thinks, "Wonderful! This will entertain me." In the very first paragraph I saw a typo... taht instead of that... and I knew finishing the piece from there would be difficult. Still, I trudged forward, soon realizing the underling's piece is filled with misrepresentations conveniently composed for purpose of making me appear the fool, and I thinks, "Wow! What the hell has this place become? What is this place all about?"

I waste time reading more reflections from authors analyzing books written by their competitors, and understand I've been lured into the syrup of a very ugly place. My heart sinks further as I realize that for the first time ever, I will respond to a negative review. More time devoted to unproductivity (is that a word? god, don't let me screw up the language), the only consolation being that since the piece is not really a review of my book, technically I still have never responded to a bad one.

Believe me or don't, but it's not the piece about the book that coerces me to respond, it's the two-year delay and the implication I just recently sent the book here for review.

I'm all for talking history, and now, the readers, those savvy purchasers of books and the only folks who really matter, know the history of Jardonn Smith, Erastes and the web site, Speak Its Name. Add a footnote: best I can see, there still is no link from this place to my web site, but my link from Jardonn's Erotic Tales to Speak Its Name still sits functioning on my main page.

Damn those Google alerts. This is one Jardonn incident I wish Googlebot had not found.


Anonymous said...

Ahhh, Mr. Smith. The sad truth is that there are some readers out there who just never "get it" as regards some writers, and I think you may have run across that case, here, along with what I suspect is an obvious dislike of the reviewer in question for your publisher, all resulting in what is one of those reviews which comes across vindictive rather than constructive in its criticism. --I can only recommend, in a marketplace wherein everyone and their grandmother seems to think they have the wherewithal to review any book they please, you would do well to chock this review off as the anomaly it likely is and better expend your valuable time and energy in congratulating some reviewer who more obviously recognizes your obviously considerable talent.

Jardonn Smith said...

True. Since my first book's release I've avoided this road, but for some reason this one sucked me in. In the emotional battle between amusement, anger, and satisfaction, they all lose out to nothingness. I feel to be an empty shell, but I is smarter, and I is finished.