Monday, September 24, 2012

Total LOVE or Total HATE--My Reviews.

My short story Absorbed has been on Amazon for almost a year.

It is only 16 pages long and listed under horror, and has always sold at a decent clip. It is listed as a short story and states that along with the number of pages three times on the Amazon lising.

Amazon listed it as free for several months because they saw it several other places free. Then MANY  people got the story and started to review it. Thankfully it has received many (31 five star) good reviews, including a five star Amazon Vine review.

It has also received five ONE star reviews.

These reviewers hated the story so much that it inspired them to create Amazon profiles for the sole purpose of telling everyone how much they disliked the story. The one star reviewers called the story anti-men, too violent, too short, morbid, unsettling  and disturbing. One of them said a horror reader would probably love it.

That is why I wrote it. Because I love horror, and I know there are plenty of horror readers out there.

One wrote although the story was well-written, it was not their type of book.

Another wrote that she thought the book was great and full of surprises, but the story took a dark turn. She would have preferred it stayed on it's original path.

The story is for people who like the dark, the macabre, and the shivery feeling of fear. It is for that slightly off-center group who want to wonder what is around that next shadowy corner, and revel in chill as they wait. It is not for the weak-of-heart. That is why it is listed in the horror catagory.

If you like happy endings, my books are not for you--unless you would put bloody revenge, evil, and psycological mind-twists in the happy ending catagory.

Absorbed is a short intro to my writing--it is not a long and winding epic novel. Although I do not write to specifically offend, I will NOT avoid writing something if it is true to a character or will enhance the story. I do not think horror is a catagory that is concerned with political correctness. My characters will not say "Oh foo when another F word is more appropriate--and more real. This is not for everyone! And that is fine with me.  There are certain genres I do not like, and I usually do not look for books in this catagory.

I do not expect everyone to like my stories. On the contrary, I think it will be a mixed bag. But I would hope that our stories will be reviewed for what they are, and not what the reviewer expected or did not like because they were reading in the wrong catagory.

And if you are reading horror, keep that light on.  :)

Absorbed is currently free on Amazon.


  1. Why thank you Jane Carroll :)
    I'm sitting here thinking up a new evil tale as we speak. Wonder if Bertha would like it??

  2. I think horror brings out those extreme reactions. Most people like a happy ending and horror doesn't guarantee that. Those who feel that way are best off avoiding. So ignore those one stars (or take pride in them) and keep on writing!

  3. Thanks Maria!!
    That is a great way to look at them :)
    And I never thought of it--but you are right...people do like a happy ending, but like I wrote in the post, they are probably not going to find that in what I write.
    A friend of mine said we could have 500 five stars, but the single one star sends us for a tailspin--and it's TRUE.

  4. I really don't care for horror but I do like well written material---and that is exactly what your short is--"Well Written." No one that reads it can deny that. The 1-Star reviews draw more attention to it and I think round it out--making it more real in a sense--so don't worry--embrace them and keep writing stories that draw attention as this little gem has done. Excellent job!

    1. Horror is definitely NOT everyone's cup of tea--or cup of something else...
      I surely expect a variety of opinions, but still feel put-off by the reviewers that judge anyone's work based on the fact that they read in the wrong catagory.
      I do appreciate when anyone spends the time to tell me what they really think--whether it be a one or five star review--and I do not like when I receive a one star with no explaination.
      Thanks Paul!

  5. A good one star review helps sell a book. Mazel tov! I'm sure they attracted horror readers!

  6. I wonder! There was a book that had ONLY one stars and it was doing better than mine in the horror catagory...
    I think I still prefer the five stars Red... ;)

  7. Excellent post! It sounds as though those that gave it a poor review reviewed on what they wanted it to be. They should probably have to take remedial reviewers 101 class again:) Thanks so much for sharing.

    Paul R. Hewlett

    1. Ha!!
      You are funny Lionel :)
      It DOES kind of seem like that.
      I like when people tell me if something is off in the plot, or it is badly written, or even if they flat out do not like the story--but I do NOT like when I am clobbered because the reader thought Amazon gave them an incorrect recommendation! Grrrrr....
      Thanks so much for coming by!!

  8. Great post penelope... This is so interesting and I think that books should be reviewed for what they are too, and not on the basis that the reader picked up the wrong category in their search for something different. I love horror stories and your book is the kind of story that horror lovers look for.

  9. I did not know you were a horror girl Dawn!
    It is sure not for everyone :)
    One day we'll have to talk about what authors you like.
    And YES!! Reviewed for what they ARE.
    Thanks Dawn :) XO

  10. I’m certain you are a busy woman, and most likely won’t have time to read this; but I just had to write and tell you how amazing your works are. I’m sure you’ve heard that plenty.
    I loved Stephen King as a child and, as an adult, you have quickly become my favorite.
    I like to write in my free time. I started trying to write humor, but it always took a very dark turn, so I gave up on humor. The only person that reads my stories is my husband. He thinks I should self-publish, but I would be embarrassed for anyone to read them (not that anyone would want to). It would almost be like looking at me naked (if that makes any sense).
    Anyway, thank you for letting me escape small town America, if only in my thoughts.

  11. You should SOOOO do it!
    And thank you--I'm so glad that you like my stuff.
    Even my husband did not read mine--in fact no one did because I was terrified...and I told no one for a loooong time. And then pushing the publish button almost gave me an embolism. And that is so what it feels like...and I learned to love that feeling. DO IT DO IT DO IT!!!!
    And use a pen-name if you have to--but DO IT. You always regret the stuff you DON'T do!
    Tell me what you decide :)

    1. I honestly can not believed you replied to me! You are on the same level as Stephen King! I just started reading 100 Unfortunate Days, and if I were a lesbian I'd ask you to marry me! I really do want to know you. My email address is if you so get the urge. As for the publishing thing, not yet, is the first thing that came to mind, and I'm pretty sure my mind makes all the decisions around here.

  12. Hi, Penelope. There are some strange folks in the world, aren't there? I haven't had any real negative reviews as of yet, but I'm sure they're coming. At least your stories are being read, which is ultimately what we started writing for. Take care.


    1. James! Yay!!
      Glad to see you hear from you again :)
      And you never know! Maybe you WON'T get any bad ones. I know a few people like that (*cough* Brooklyn Hudson...)give em what they love and the fives will follow...
      If you write it (well) they will five...
      Come back soon! XO

  13. Congratulations on your continued success, Penelope. You know I'm a fan of your work. Those who aren't, well, all I can do is shrug and wonder how they missed the beauty in your words, dark as the subjects might be.

    That said, I almost never trust Amazon reviews of any sort. I prefer to check out what's been said at GoodReads. Perhaps I'm overly hopeful, but I feel that taking the commercialism out of reviews and not directly linking them to sales allows for deeper, more thoughtful comments. That's why the majority of reviews I post are on GoodReads, not Amazon, although if I know the author AND I loved his/her book, I will swallow my weird, anti-capitalist proclivities and post the review on Amazon. :)


    1. I have mixed feeling in both arenas.
      And thank you for your (always) lovely words.
      Although I am certainly a capitalist, it certainly does have its drawbacks and twists things in odd directions. But then again, so do emotions, and I cannot fault anyone for having them. It is all tied in...we never know the feelings that our books will elicit and whether written well or not may rub people the wrong way for whatever reason.
      Thanks for popping Aniko--and as usual making me think...


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