The Great Amazon Review Quandary, that is
There are three facets to my confusion, a sort of Trinity of Interconnected Perplexities: the need to Market, blatant Review Inflation, and a reluctance to come off as ‘that guy’.
Of course I want to get my work in front of potential readers, but I’m just one special snowflake in a huge flipping blizzard, and I simply don’t have to the funds to hire a PR firm, or the time and inclination to incessantly pump the Social Media well.
Then, between sock puppets, paid-for-reviews, and shill-and-gush marketing, Amazon review numbers may have gone through the roof but their credibility has plummeted. I mean, how does John/Jane Doe’s 50 Shades of Western Zombie Romance Vampire Apocalypse get twice, thrice the reviews of masters like Gibson, King, Rothfuss, Tolkien, Peake, Cronin, et alia? It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that (authentic) swing.
(Side Note: I worry for western civilization when I hear people are cashing in on Dino Porn It’s rumored those two ladies paid their way through college with their writing. Good for them, I guess, but big ‘WTF?’.)
As an Indie author I get that marketing is in my hands, but the last thing I want is to be the turd in the pool in every room, chat, forum, thread, FB/Tumblr/Pintrest/Twitter feed always pimping my books.
Not everyone is interested in genre fiction. Buying or reading one of my books doesn’t then obligate the reader to be my Publicity Squirrel. I want to contribute to any community I’m a part of, be it physical or online, not just take. Sure, I ask folks to read and review my stuff, but it’s rude to presume or guilt them. I figure what I really need to do is write things worth reviewing.
So there it is. I’m open to feed back, recommendations and suggestions.
P.S. Book Announcement coming tomorrow.