Will Authors Start Using the F-word to Generate Buzz?
For Marketing. It seems the Charlie Sheen school of publicity has hit the indie publishing scene in a big way. Author Jacqueline Howett took great exception to book blogger Big Al’s review of her indie novel. Big Al’s crime? He complained that the typos and grammar errors made the novel unreadable, although he apparently read all the way through and said that the story was actually good.
Keep in mind that this critique came from a man who reviews indie-published e-books as a preference, so he’s probably seen some typos and grammar errors in the past. Even Amanda Hocking admits that she needs better editors, which is one of the reasons she signed that seven-figure deal with St. Martins.
But Howett’s response was scripted out of a road rage incident with a drunk driver. She says Big Al didn’t download the re-formatted novel AS SHE ORDERED! Wow! Who orders around a reviewer who does this job for free?
But the crazy part is that big Al wasn’t complaining about the formatting, but the grammar and the sentence structure. He gave examples that she didn’t refute; in fact, she claimed there was nothing wrong with her writing.
Now here’s the scary part: after this exchange began her sales spiked. I guess people were curious to see the train wreck. I wonder if it was intentional that she dropped the f-bomb in the comments of Big Al’s blog after that. Twice she stated, “F–k You!” in response to comments.
I checked her Amazon ranking and it’s actually at 41,000. Way down from the top 1000, yes, but higher than it apparently deserves. Given the multiple bad reviews, I’m guessing it should be down around the 100,000 level.
So I have to decide: would I go rude and ballistic to make a name for myself? No. I just can’t do it. I was raised to be polite and respectful–especially to people who are doing me a favor. I’d rather be known as courteous by a few than as an asshole by many. Oops. That just slipped out.