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"Viktor Maxckmillian is a man on a deadly mission: to find his dear wife, Audrianna, who has been kidnapped. For this he has turned to his old pack for help; the werewolves that Viktor has long cut off all ties.

However, Xin, Leader of the pack, is not impressed with Viktor’s comeuppance. He knows that when the shit hits the fan - they all come crawling back to Daddy. .."

Blurb, Do Or Die by E.R. Baine

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Really over publishing....

     When I first engaged in promoting myself on goodreads.com as a writer I had posted a request on one of the r2r posts, that was really pathetic at the time. "Could someone please pretty please read my book for a review." (not my exact words but just as needy). I thought it was really awesome when someone reached out to me and said they would read my book and post a review. And I thought yeah, right we're in business. That was until I had read the person's blog and I thought O-M-G! It was nothing but teen, clean, christian romance. I knew for a fact this person would not give me a good review and I was like really nervous about sending them my novel for a review.

     But, low and behold, the person told me that they changed their mind and I was like Yess, thank you yeezus. Anyhoo, skip time to two years later I'm reaching out to other readers on GR and I thought my encounter with other readers, in regards to what happened before with the first instance, that that would be the norm. That if someone looked at my books, saw the covers and read the blurb they would get that "Hey, this book is not for me." and they would bail on reading it. If you saw that a book was urban-african-american-paranormal-interracial-romance and you liked the opposite would you really humor me? Anyways, anyone who wanted to could sign up, if you didn't...you didn't. Whatever. I wasn't holding a gun to people's head, didn't cuss them out if they didn't. You want to, you don't want to...no worries.

     Putting the fact that I write 'ghetto' I do view my chunksie.com as a startup and I do believe know that I have the chops...I am a writer. Setting aside my BSc and Minor in English, I know all the tropes, I have studied many writers and their styles, I have taken part in workshops, and I attended Writers Union meetings as a teenager (I'm in my 30's now) I was seriously over the whole writing thing. And to tell you the truth, I'm over the whole review thing also. Don't care for it, don't care about it. But like I mentioned before, I'm not a boob, I know that in the world where technologies make money off of head-counting and commenting I understand the entertainment value and the reciprocated ROI off of reviews being everywhere. I get it.

     I have had some doozy reviews. I know a lot of them are lame numb-knots and are not helpful at all. There have been some I appreciated, some not either way, i.e. good or bad.

Personally I find it really funny how desperate the reviewer comes across as if reading my book is a life and death situation and reading my .99c or free novel will kill you.

 The funniest one was this one. I had sent out a re-edited version of my books to persons who had signed up to review my book through LibraryThing and like got about over 50 people to sign up for it, and like got 7 reviews out of it. But this review showed up mere seconds after I sent out this to all the reviewers via email with a re-edited version of ATHGF (Which is currently being re-edited...again.) :

     This is what I wrote in the email:

How are you? You signed up to review my book And The Heart Grows Fonder. My apologies that you received a poorly edited edition of the book.
Please find attached a newer edition of the novel. Please note that my novel is a mystery/paranormal/romance that includes a lot of urban slang. There are hetero and homosexual relationships. It is a diverse novel. If it is not for your liking I understand.
And as for my writing style, I guess I will always be 'unDursley'. If you don't like that too...

Thank you for taking the time to read and review my novel. I hope you enjoy it. Also, if you like them and would like to get future novels free in exchange for a review, I will be happy to send you the next book in the series called Love so Wicked, when it is released.
Also, if you notice any typos, or mistakes please let me know. And any suggestions or ideas that come to mind, like if the series reminds you of works by another author, or the cover style, you can let me know.

E.R. Baine
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      Like how I worked in "unDursely" there? For those who don't know, a big up to Harry Potter fans ;)

      Anyway, I was actually waiting for it though. I knew it was coming and when it showed up I laughed till I almost peed. A few seconds after I sent this email, this showed up.

     Yeah...umm, this person got the book free via the email, which they signed up for...sooo??? But it was hilarious all the same. Yeah, predictable but funny. Is that what Siskel would say? Wow, can't believe they are both gone. (Siskel and Ebert).

     Yes I know, the reviewer wrote the review to make it seem like they bought the book to discourage people from paying .99c for a .99c book. Not only that, notice that it is one of only 8. The last one to date for months now. I told people recently that Amazon's reviews are no good because compared to the amount of books I have sold and given away freely, I attract too many weirdos for them to count. Because there are not enough reviews to warrant getting upset over the bad ones.

    But hey, I have been around lots of artists in the past, and was a huge fan of shows like Siskel and Ebert for decades (yep I'm that old)before I started to publish my work online. Which I actually started to do, way back in the early 2000s. Back then I wrote romantic poetry. When I first asked an editor to edit my paranormal romance book, I had asked the editor to edit my work in the form of Alice Walker who wrote the The Color Purple. But that, I saw, was ignored and I let it slide because she did a good job.

     Alice Walker grew up in Jim Crow era and was blinded permanently in one eye. To study her work it was sometimes flawed but it never cramped her style and she wrote beautifully otherwise.  I really liked her paragraph structure.

     So embarrassed, when I read my email years later...totally cheezy:


      Urgh, I cringe. Anyway, life goes on...

     I just want to say I don't have anything against reviewers or reviews. Granted, to hate them I'll have to hate myself. I review stuff too. Though not a lot. I'm just over them.  
     I'm over having to seek them out, I'm over reading them. Of the dozens of things I have bought online (I've been buying things on line for maybe 2 decades.) I've probably left like 10 or 15 reviews, tops. (Excluding fiverr). Reviews aren't reliable anymore in this day and age, Amazon has figured it out, that is why they are trying to reinvent them. Yeah, good luck with that.

     But that review that I had addressed before that was posted here really took the cake. I thought it was exceedingly hilarious...

Click for Link to Original Review.

      So I got the idea in my head to do what every other entertainer is doing today, comment on comments! I'll create a segment in my blog to comment on my own reviews. (I'll do more later.) I don't encourage bullying, but nothing is wrong with addressing stuff left in public forums.

     Jimmy Kimmel link: http://www.gamespot.com/articles/jimmy-kimmel-responds-to-avalanche-of-gamer-backla/1100-6430226/

     You don't see my reply to her reply, GR removed it. But luckily, I had the foresight to copy it and this is it right here...

     Click on it to read it bigger in a new tab.

      Hidden messages :) I especially like that one.  I find her response to this equally stunning:

You really should address your paranoia issue.
I do not leave hidden messages – all of my messages are straight-forward if you really bothered to read and manage to comprehend them
All my comments were directed at your non-existing ability as a writer – I have no ill-will for you as a person. If you experiencing poor health – I wish you a speedy recovery.
You wrote couple of what I thought were absolutely horrible books; I had a misfortune to read them and expressed my opinion – that was my prerogative as a reader. You did not like it, so you decided to address me personally (that’s right, you approached me) through Goodreads and ridicule it in your blog - that was your prerogative. However, even though I have responded to that direct address, please do not delude yourself in to believing that it was of any significance for me. I read a lot and review a lot of books - the good, the bad and the ugly, and yours were just few of many – the only reason that they stuck in my mind is because I found them beyond bad. As far as talking about you, starting anything or following you around online – there goes that ego and sense of self-importance again. Get over yourself. I don’t know you; have absolutely no curiosity to know or hear about you or ever hear from you again and I don’t bother wasting my time and effort on something that holds no interest for me. 

      But I digress. I have posted about having an illness online. Just not how painful it is to read and write. You know, even if she did not, like, construct that post out of finding out what I had posted online about myself earlier I am just so shocked at her response especially since I did not attack her at all. The fact that she went on from the beginning attacking me personally over the story in my book (fictional characters mind you)...it made me think back at another bad review in my lifetime.

       I would never forget when Ebert/Roeper said this about Madonna in her movie, that watching her acting is like watching paint dry. Thinking about that (yeah it is kind of funny) it gives me the chills. I still think, up to this day, it was uncalled for. Even though I will always be a fan of that show, and watched it through the switch out of hosts, I think it sucks it was said.  I'm no die hard fan of Madonna, but I just think negatively about that line, and the show has left me with a bitter taste in my mouth because of it.

     These admonishments from the reviewer about me or my book, they don't affect me. I understand that to a lot of artists out there, online bullying in the form of reviews do matter. I know there is talk about Kurt Cobain not being able to handle criticism and that it may have played a factor in his depression. I do feel sorry for writers like Earnest Hemingway who couldn't live with his illness and presumably his lessening writing prowess and took his own life. I'm not like that. Only because, ironically, I grew up in a predominantly conservative catholic household, so to read and write romantica i.e. romance mixed with erotica like Fifty Shades Of Grey, you had to hold your own mentally. Yeah, Kim Davis would not have lasted a second in my house after her second divorce. And if she had committed suicide the rhetoric would have been "good riddance, only stupid people commit suicide."Just like, "Only stupid people smoke" I don't smoke, "Only stupid people do drugs." I've never done drugs. "Only stupid people drink alchohol." Yeah, I've never been drunk...Maybe my mom might be on to something here...Best parent of the decade award anyone?? (The weirdest thing about me growing up ultra conservative is that I was always taught I could do anything I set my mind to. No matter what, including writing romance, super weird).

     Anyhoo, yeah. What had attracted me to review the comment on LSM is that it had been the fact that it was so intuitive. Not that it was logical, fair, balanced and on the mark. It was totally off and missed the mark. I think none of these things about it. Mostly because it attacked some of the very best things about the book. My writing style...influenced like I said by my love of reading manga for decades, and the great scene where Lincoln walked in on his sons having sex with the nanny, and my fooling readers to think it was his husband having sex with another guy. Totally awesome. There are going to be some other tricks like that in my books readers, beware.

     Not only that, the reviewer attacked one of the main themes of the book. Child protection/ child advocacy. Not just because of the ending of the book and the DNF title, I totally did not believe that this person did not recognize the "in your face" child advocacy theme of the novels. Yes, the entire series, the main theme is child advocacy. The whole point of my main character's actions is based on the murders of children. That has yet to be revealed in the story. The main storyline, my character's   "white whale"   has yet to be revealed, it will be revealed at the end of the next novel in the series Love So Wicked.

     But the case of child advocacy is rampant throughout the series. Many of the characters have hangups from childhood. Viktor protecting his adopted son from a pedophile  in the toilet, the DuMont character being a parody of DuPont and the pedophile DuPont heir that escaped prison time. The whole book is filled with child themes and I do not believe for a moment that this person did not read up until the end of the book. It is almost like they chose the very things that were good about the book and commented prolifically on them in a vile way to vilify the good parts. So, I took up the challenge and commented on the review. Which I have done before, but mostly on forums that don't exist today and are nothing but squiggly lines of garbage (an actual technical computer science term) on the internet.

     Quite frankly, the reviewer's response tickled me pink. Cute, that would be totally something my mommy would write. (She just reads regency and clean/christian romance). And really when I did read the review and saw a pic of the type of reviewer it did remind me of those hip-hop vids where they have the proverbial white ladies that for some reason took a wrong turn and ended up in a Silento throwdown:

Or Get Crunked Up hip hop video shoot, remember this...

     I love Hip Hop music themes. White people in afro centric films really have bad reps don't they. At least in hip hop memmes and towards black people in movies and TV. Even Haggis utilized the common trope in the HBO drama Show Me A Hero about NYC housing. When the people who won the lottery that lived in the ghetto came off the bus to check out the new homes. There was an old woman looking at them scornfully as they got off the bus. IMO, the trope is a distortion of  the  Alfred Hithcock old lady character to drive sympathy towards poor old lady, instead it is used to drive sympathy toward ethnics in black-centric films. Still cool.

     Look, I'm not a boob. I know why GR removed my post and it had mostly to do with my referring to a site that reflects poorly on GR. I didn't curse the reviewer, attack her, call her all kinds of names. I simply commented on the review. Which, as I said earlier, I believe die hard fans of my books will appreciate. I have to defend their right to read what they like to read, you know, as the object of their affection. JK.

    And to be honest, maybe it is because I have studied the work of writers, along with the path in life they chose, like where they lived when they wrote the story they wrote and how old they were and how the events in their life eventually changed their writing through their lives. I don't get upset with the reviews that I see online. Or the reviewer. I feel more sorry for Amazon, their script  is really bogged down at this point. That is why authors put money to advertise on GR and continuously get pissed that the money just stays in the account or the results are less than effective. They have to pay a lot of money to be noticed by the right people on GR. And not all the reviews are top quality, like my books, they are mostly spammers.

     Right. Back on topic. When I see reviews like that, the ones cussing me out, my mind goes to Treyvon Martin's friend Jeantel who was mocked for the way she talked and the trouble she had with her English. A true testament of the inadequate education available for minority black children in America. My mind goes to the illiterate adults I associate with sometimes. I think about how my mother faked the address on all of her children's High School applications so we could get into good schools. I think about all the children that have been murdered, some as young as nine years old in my area, who would have led a hard knocks life to begin with. Whose murders would never be solved. And whose dream would never come true. That is what crosses my mind. Whether I was gifted early on in my writing or not, I'm not the one sullied here. I think of all the people who struggle with the English language and realize I'm not one of them. 

     I know everything that is both wrong and right with my writing. Which suspiciously, no one has mentioned. That I write in the Queens English, but my sentences begin with but, from and, and. I use ghetto slang in the sentence structure in formal speech. What else, my favorite topic that no one has inquired...WTF is the story about?? The main plot has yet to be revealed, 3 books in! Who does that? Besides Robert Ludlum. So, that is another reason why I don't take on the reviews. Other than the sick freaks that keep implying I'm a 12 year old girl that writes erotica, (those are quite disturbing) Aside from the typos, which have been fixed, I don't take on reviews for myself personally but for all the other people out there who live their lives in a cloud of illiteracy. 

     I think though that Amazon is going way overboard with their censorship of me - the writer. I feel that my marginal discourse is threatened by their deleting of my posts. They even came back to me and said they cleaned up my blog of any promotion. I told them I have no words for what they have done. But I said what the heck, remove me as a GR author. So now I'm just an average Joe Schmoe on GR reading and keeping account of my books. I don't think you guys understand just how far Amazon's neurotic tendencies get. This is a link to my post on my blog on my author's page on Amazon, notice that the first lines of the link is whited out and No Preview Available is marked on it.:

  Coincidence? Nope. Amazon is going to some pretty petty extremes with this reviewer. Makes me wonder if this is truly common practice. I'm not so hot a writer that they have to worry about my addressing reviews, do they? If this person was a bot, like the femme bots on Ashley Madison, I would get it, but this is just taking it a little too far. Kind of scary. 

     At the end of the day I didn't think it would be wise getting too caught up in the Amazon ecosystem. I'll post some of my books on my web-space for a while. Urgh, white space amazon is spooky.  

     For the record, I think that Amazon is taking an askew road to ending discourse on their platform. Discourse was turned into an art form by Siskel and Ebert. Then Richard Roeper. Discourse ended slavery, discourse ended the holocaust. Discourse united Germany. Discourse started the civil rights movement and started dialogue on the war on women. They need to be less heavy handed on their approach or they'll luck out on the good part of bad discourse. But hey, it is their platform, not mine. 

Anyway, this back and forth with GR is what made me make the decision to get off of Amazon.


      At the end of the day, I know I may not be no King Kunta, but I don't need no new fake friends.And I decided long ago I love writing, I write what I want to write, and nobody is going to dictate that pace. Just like Dave Chappelle, I could be making a teacher's salary doing what I love and I would not care, I'd be doing it. In fact I'll outdo Mr. Chappelle and say I could be making negative digits on all my series going down the line, with just two people reading the series right through, I'll be doing it.

     What I hated the most was that removing my replies made it seem like I had cussed out the reviewer or something. I did not even reply to what the person had said in the comments, but had posted a link to my response online in GR instead. I talked about the review, I didn't curse out the reviewer, this is what pissed me off the most. Now, people would see a one way dialogue where it made me to look like the bad guy. Urgh!

     I asked GR to remove me from their author's programme.
     People may think I am crazy for locking myself off from the thickest link to an entire swath of readers, but I don't care. As far as I am concerned all I have to do is stay black and die. 

     Because all my books auto pop up on GR as I post them on Amazon, I took my books off of Amazon as well. They'll be available on Smashwords and AllRomanceEbooks from now on until I decide whether I want to post everything for free online.

     K for the fans. If you haven't stalked me online, yes I do have an illness. I mentioned online that writing for me was like something I had to do before I die. Urgh, sounds morbid, I'm not dying, or near death. Take your head out of the gutter. I won't mention what it is but it's not serious anymore.
     Pain, that is the one thing that has kept me from finishing LSW (Love So Wicked). I think I am over the pain, it is more like my mind is anticipating the pain so I don't write as much. But I'm cool. Most of the story will be revealed at the end of LSW. It will be online for you to read. My first three books will always remain published.

     In the mean time, I wish for everyone who reads this post to do their research and find out about volunteering to help teach kids, and adults to read. Find out about literacy programmes in your area and help people out. You can save a lot of lives by teaching people how to read.

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