Thursday, October 27, 2011

Things I Have Learned This Past Week...

[caption id="attachment_5132" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="The Assassin with Colleen Gleason"][/caption]

1)  Just when I thought I'd seen it all, I was wrong.  I got this review.  I don't even know what "trying to take the mickey out of their readers" means.  Clearly, I am out of touch:

1.0 out of 5 stars

Really?, October 22, 2011

I just finished reading this and still can't work out if it was written by a fourteen year old, or someone trying to take the mickey out of their readers.
The idea was good, but the writing was terrible.

2)  I was at the NINC conference last Wednesday through this past Monday.  The fabulous Lori Devoti did a workshop on formatting your ebook.  She used PARADISE BY THE RIFLE SIGHTS as an example and formatted it for me for Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords (this is why I got it up so fast and had no time to warn folks).  I took fifteen pages of notes.  I am in complete awe of Lori's skills, and I was completely humiliated by how much I don't know.  Meanwhile, I got an email the next day that there are formatting issues with STAND BY YOUR HITMAN for Nook...again.  This is a crazy, crazy business.

3)  Before I went to the conference, I was considered the most knowledgeable person in my critique group about epublishing.  Once at the conference, listening to heavy hitters from Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Penguin/Putnam, Harper Collins and TOR - I realized that I know less than nothing.  Words like "swarming" and "discoverability" and "" are swirling through my head and I fear that if I look at my notes - I won't understand them.  The technology of this business changes so quickly it seems impossible to get a grip.

4)  I learned that 2 Chocolate Martinis can knock me on my ass, but I can drink beer for a long, long time before feeling it.  My usual conference cocktail is the vodka tonic.  It doesn't go to my head and I don't have to go to the bathroom every ten minutes.  But when you're on a beach, you need a beer.  Okay...I need a beer.  Beer is good.

5) I learned that I look forward to the day when all the pirates go to the NINC conference with me.  It is Florida - the perfect place for pirates.  Who's up for some rum?


2nd Chance said...

Let's send Coney after this guy...because he'll make sure it's obvious and messy... Take the mickey out of the readers? Okay...I didn't know you felt that strongly about Disneyland that you were trying to take the Mickey out of all of us...

Back away...slowly back away...


Conferences always leave me feeling like I know nothing, about everything. But the e-publishing/blogging/social networking ones are terrifying. Makes me want to crawl into a hole and hire a publicist. (Tried that, she won't let me stay in my hole much. Sigh.)

I love chocolate martinis.

I'll for making the NINC Conference next year. What does NINC stand for? (Before I sign up for some Ninnies At Nineties Conference...)

Marnee Bailey said...

Isn't take the mickey supposed to mean, make a mockery? How does that even make any sense? This review is silly.


Sorry Leslie.

I make the most awesome chocolate martini. It's not my recipe, so I can brag it.


The Godiva Milk Chocolate Martini

1.5 shots Godiva chocolate liquor
1.5 shots of Creme de Cocao
0.5 shots vodka
2.5 shots half and half

Put it over ice in a shaker; shake vigorously. Put in martini glass (makes two in my glasses). Enjoy!

I would love to go to FL for a conference. I have family in Jacksonville, so maybe soon. :)

Leslie Langtry said...

I wonder if I can make that before I go to work...

hal said...

a godiva martini?? ohh, man.

Sorry about the review Leslie - that sucks, and sucks worse because it doesn't make any sense. At least it won't make sense to anyone else reading it either!

I consider myself fairly technologically adept, and I don't know any of those words you used! So not only does it take a lot of savvy to format epubs, but it's gotta take quite a bit of time away from writing to learn all that. ugh - more non-writing things that are necessary for writing :(

p.s. - we were talking about this blog on Wednesday if you didn't see it - ways you CAN respond to a bad review (complete with cartoon illustrations):

Leslie Langtry said...

Hal - I love it! And I want to be a reluctant adult!

Bosun said...

We shall discover the location of that reviewer, swarm her, and klout her over the head. Will make ourselves feel better AND I've used our new vocabulary. Ha!

Off to read the comments before commenting...

Leslie Langtry said...

Wow, we should have a prize or something for using all the buzzwords.

Bosun said...

I thought you were a reluctant adult. After all, your stuff reads like a 14yr old boy wrote it. (Seriously? That woman's a loon. Terrible writing. Why I oughta...)

I'm actually on Yesterday it said I'm influential about moms, rugby, and guitar. Few weeks ago it was congress, brownies, and pirates. Go figure.

*jots down recipe ingredients for heavy drinking....errr...writing this weekend*

NINC is the Novelists, Inc Conference. I'm all for it. As soon as I get published. LOL! (I live at the beach so not as much of a draw for me.)

Bosun said...

I refuse to let this ebook formatting stuff intimidate me. There are people who know how to do it and I shall pay them to do it if/when the time comes. I'm not a techy and never will be. I'm a writer. I bow to those writers how can be both. I cannot.

Bosun said...

BTW, I see from the picture that you got lei'd. Good job.


Donna said...

Sorry about the crazy review, Leslie. And I know what you mean about feeling on top of things until you get around the experts. LOL It's all changing so fast, and it's hard to keep track of it. And then they change it again so much that THEY can't keep track of it (like Klout changing their algorithm, or Facebook moving furniture around so much that everyone gets lost).

I always like to fall back on William Goldman's quote about movie execs, since it works everywhere: "Nobody knows anything." LOL

Hellion said...

Leslie, that really was a craptastic review--but on reading these reviews I've learned that most of them don't have a sense of humor...and they certainly don't have a grasp on grammar, which they were bold enough to complain about. (Seriously, if you're going to complain about an author's grammar errors--and it happens with every author it seems--don't do it while committing grammar errors of your own.) And since they don't have a sense of humor...and they can't write, their opinion doesn't matter a hill of beans to me.

Besides I don't listen to Amazon reviews. I find friends who have read the book and ask them. Friends can be trusted. Meth users on Amazon cannot.

And you're crazy if you think we'll go to this conference after you scared the crap out of us with your realizations you knew nothing, you were overwhelmed, and you didn't know how to use the buzzwords in one sentence (like Bo'sun did). I mean, I *LOVE* Florida, but using my vacation time to realize I'm massively ignorant and unskilled--not my idea of a good time. Of course, you do mention alcohol and that sounds like it would take my mind off it. *LOL* It will take more work to persuade me.

Donna said...

It will take more work to persuade me.

Definitely my favorite comment of the day. :)

hal said...

Friends can be trusted. Meth users on Amazon cannot

This needs to go on the "best pirate quotes ever" list

hal said...

I've been drowning in this author-marketing class I'm taking this semester, and we talked some about Amazon reviews. But the very best thing I've picked up from this class, by far, is my new mantra:

I am not writing for everyone. I'm writing for my market.

Everyone else can go screw themselves. I'm writing for the kind of people who like my type of book and my writing in particular. Those are the people I'll market myself to, and those are the people I care about the reactions of. Not the rest of the world, who will likely have all sorts of comments about how much they hate the way I write. More power to 'em.

Demi Spawn said...

I just finished reading this review and still can't work out if it was written by a fourteen year old, or some visually challenged Visigoth trying to make out the tricky words with out putting on their readers. The idea was good, because reading and talking about reading is good, but the writing was terrible.


Leslie Langtry said...

You guys crack me up. And I can't figure out why I didn't drink rum on this trip! Teri, a lot of authors have paid through the nose toget their books up - so you have to be particular. I had an editor tell me she'd edit my book for $100 an hour. Yeesh!

Bosun said...

Guess I'll just have to pay you for those notes. LOL! We can pay in rum, right?

Janga said...

Did you read the other review by this person? My impression is of someone more concerned with showing how clever he/she is than with illuminating the book being reviewed. Leslie, I admire any author who reads reviews. I'd never be able to do it.

If editing pays $100 an hour, maybe some of us should reconsider our career choices. ;)

Leslie Langtry said...

Oooh! Payment in rum!!! No, I'll happily share the notes with you and the other pirates. I'm planning to type them up this weekend. You do need to download 3 free programs: Calibre, Sigl, and - or maybe the last one is just what you validate the document through.

Leslie Langtry said...

I always read them - My skin is very thick. Most of them, like this one, make me laugh.

Hellion said...

If editing pays $100 an hour, maybe some of us should reconsider our career choices.

No kidding!

Though I have a CP who is doing this for a guy and she says his book is bad, like way bad. Hero's Journey on steroids bad. Cliched and he doesn't realize it. *LOL* It'd be hilarious if he wasn't so darned tragic about it.

I'd *love* to edit Leslie's stuff for $100 an hour, because her stuff's great. It's editing the majority, which is likely to be like this WonderFan's epic opus, would be a chore. It wouldn't be worth $100 an hour. *LOL*

Leslie Langtry said...

Aww, shucks...

Bosun said...

You do need to download 3 free programs: Calibre, Sigl, and – or maybe the last one is just what you validate the document through.

Is this written in mandarin? Might as well be.

Leslie Langtry said...

I know, right?

2nd Chance said...

Marketing! HA! Time to write another blog about the trevails of ... marketing! I can clear this deck in no time at all...

This conference sounds good! Florida,!

Demi Spawn said...

My sincere apologies to the Visigoths.
Under the circumstances I do believe that a little ASSonance was ViVierrry appropriate.

Speaking of Visigoths ... the greatest Visigothic legacy ( besides having a really cool awesome sounding name ) was their law code. Their code, aka the Liber iudiciorum, formed the basis for court procedure in most of Christian Iberia for centuries.
The laws govern and sanction family life and by extension political life—the marrying and the giving in marriage, the transmission of property to heirs, the safeguarding of the rights of widows and orphans. Particularly with the Visigoth Law Codes, women could inherit land and title and manage it independently from their husbands or male relations, dispose of their property in legal wills if they had no heirs, and women could represent themselves and bear witness in court by age 14 and arrange for their own marriages by age 20 .Gotta love the Visigoths. Or as I like to call them ‘You-go-girl-goths” !
Where was I? Oooh! So? Soooo we have established that the reviewer in question is A. A 14 year old or older. And B. I am over 14, and a woman. Therefore I, and every other Pirate, have the right under the Liber iudiciorum to represent themselves and bear witness in court.
Demi “Demon” Spawn verses Da Mickey

“I’ll make this quick. Cuz I gotta go grocery shopping before I sack Rome.
Please refer to …
Book II: Concerning the Conduct of Causes
Title I: Concerning Judges, and Matters to be Decided in Court
Title II: Concerning Causes
Title III: Concerning Constituents and Commissions
Title IV: Concerning Witnesses and Evidence
Title V: Concerning Valid and Invalid Documents.

P. Kirby said...

The actual technical stuff--software--doesn't bother me. I'm a nerd and a former programmer. But all the marketing/social networking is just overwhelming. Especially since, I'm not as connected as most people are nowadays. I.e., I don't have a cell phone that connects to the internet. (I don't have a cell phone, period.) I can't just log on and check my FB/Twitter/Google+/email while I'm grocery shopping or working in the yard. I'm rather unenthusiastic about stuff like late night chats because I'd rather spend the time with my husband.

Anyway, that review is lame. When I hate a book, I HATE a book. Loooong, snarky rant on Goodreads or elsewhere. The best that reviewer could come up with was a couple of incoherent sentences? Piffle. What an amateur.

Demi Spawn said...

Title I? We are Concerned.
Title II? We have Cause to be Concerned.
Title III? Causes that Concern the Assassin and her Constituents. That’s you Pirates..
Title IV? The evidence: Well. The review in question is a very short review. Short on substance and evidence. See, you have a right to your opinion Da Mickey. But with out examples or evidence to back up that opinion your opinion has little merit in da Reading World.
Next I’d like to call to the witnes stand … Captain Hellion. Or at least I’d like to call on her words:

“and they certainly don’t have a grasp on grammar, which they were bold enough to complain about. (Seriously, if you’re going to complain about an author’s grammar errors–and it happens with every author it seems–don’t do it while committing grammar errors of your own.) And since they don’t have a sense of humor…and they can’t write, their opinion doesn’t matter a hill of beans to me. “
Thank you Hellion.

And finally that brings us to Title V: Due to the no sensus-of- humorus and the grammar-itick-awful-ill-inousness of said document, the validity of said document should be called into question. And lets take a closer look at the word … mickey. WTH? WHAT is that supposed to mean? If its so ambiguous that your readers can’t figure it out … Then … it has no meaning. Unless. We have established that the defendant has neither a sense of humor nor a grasp of grammar. Therefore. It is not inconceivable that the defendant would also be guilty of *gasp* typos and spelling errors. Therefore. It is not inconceivable that the defendant was not intending to type out the word ‘Mickey’. they were trying to type … MONKEY!

I’d like to call to the stand … Peter Gabriel.
The video

Gabriel himself has described "Shock the Monkey" as "a love song" that examines how jealousy can release one's baser instincts; the monkey is not a literal monkey, but a metaphor for one's feelings of jealousy.

Thanks, Pete. So there you have it. Jealousy can release one's baser instincts. Tragic *dramatic sigh* but true. I’ll quit monkey-ing around and get to the point. All the evidence suggests that Da Mickey aka Da Monkey was in all likelihood over wrought with … Jealousy. Jealousy over the Assassin’s Literary Aplomb.
The review was uninformative, lacked grammatical correctness had no humor, and had a probable motivation based upon jealously. Ladies and gentleman of the jury I ask, based upon the evidence presented here today, that you find Da Mickey Guilty of writing … a bad Bad Review!

I rest my case.

Bosun said...

Pat - I'll help you market/network if you'll handle the techy stuff for me. (Not that I have any need for techy stuff, but a girl can hope.)

Piffle is my new favorite word of the day.

Hellion said...

Piffle. What an amateur.


Thank you Hellion.

It's so nice for my words to be acknowledged as the winning argument in a debate. *LOL* Thank you, Demi.

Are we ever going to figure out what a Mickey is? *suddenly has the 80s song in her head*

Janga said...

According to the OED: colloq. (chiefly Brit.). to take the mickey (out of) : to behave or speak satirically or mockingly; to make fun of, satirize, or debunk (a person or thing).

Janga said...

Hellie, now you have passed the earworm to me. "Oh, Mickey, you're so fine./ You'ure so fine you blow my mind." It was my youngest nephew's favorite song when he was three and he sung it endlessly. LOL

Bosun said...

I have that album. Worst Christmas present ever. And I got some doozies over the years.

My grandmother (a Brit) was nicknamed Mickey. She'd be the first to mock anyone so the name fits.

Hellion said...

I would have loved that album. Much better than most of my presents at Christmas. *LOL*

" don't understand, you take me by the heart when you take me by the hand..."

*dancing around, waving imaginary pom-poms*

Sorry for the earworm, Janga. But it was bound to happen with all this talk of Mickey.

Leslie Langtry said...

I love Toni Basil. Now I have the earworm.

Bosun said...

I will save you all from the earworm! I have no desire to see the movie Breaking Dawn, but I think I'll be getting the soundtrack. This Christina Perri song is awesome.

Janga said...

Oh, lovely, Ter! Is your twelve-year-old as eager to see the movie as our twelve-year-old? A. has a countdown calendar.

Bosun said...

As a matter of fact, she just asked me when it comes out. Thankfully, she's been more interested in reading than movies lately. But I'm sure she'll pester me when the time comes.

Janga said...

Ansley is reading too, but I'd like to see her read more than Nancy Drew and the paranormal stuff. Not that there's anything wrong with either of those. I'd just like to see her read a greater variety. I'm giving her Sharon Sala's My Lunatic Life for Christmas. It's paranormal, but it has a lot of humor and some solid adolescent issue stuff as well. I read and reviewed it and thought it was cute.

2nd Chance said...

Lalalalalalalala... No earworm for me!

2nd Chance said...

Hey...Leslie...I got a great review... I'll share it with you!

Bosun said...

Janga - Kiddo adores the Canterwood Crest series by Jessica Burkhart, which already has 12 books and is beginning anew with a new cast in January. Definitely pick up CC Hunter's (Christie Craig) Shadow Falls series. Two books out so far and Isabelle loves them.

Right now she's sailing through Alyson Noel's back list. She started with the Immortals series, which is paranormal, but the rest of the back list is straight teen angst contemps. She read the last one in less than three days.

Chance - I can't get over how AWESOME that review is!

2nd Chance said...

Yeah... ;-)

I read it aloud to my mom...even the curse words...

HA! Take that, bludgeoned reviewer!