So, I wrote an “inspiring, comical, feminist” (to summarise a radio review) chook-lit sort of novel about happiness in the earthquake epoch. That’s Fixing Mrs Philpott. Yes, it contains a few sex scenes, but most novels do, don’t they? Then I got distracted and failed to solicit those first few crucial reviews, leaving the book to languish unnoticed on Amazon/Kindle.
Uh oh, not entirely unnoticed. Along comes this email from a guy I’ll call Ron. Wallowing in apologies because he has written a “smart-alecky and flippant” review that “must have hurt your feelings.” Here it is.
Shocking! (3 stars) By Amazon Customer on July 16, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition
This novel, which would be better titled ‘Filling Mrs.Fusspot’ is based on the preposterous idea that women actually enjoy sex! Well, I never. And this from a Vicar’s daughter. What ever happened to the sage advice from the private journal of Lady Hillingdon: “When I hear his steps outside my door I lie down on my bed, open my legs and think of England.” But seriously folks, what most of these accounts convey is just how repressed most of these women are. Clearly, the Sexual Revolution still has a long way to go. Still, an interesting read.
Well, he didn’t hurt my feelings, because I’ve been communicating with readers for the last 40 years. This is generally a great source of delight, but not everyone likes my books, and I have encountered the occasional slobbering idiot with a hidden agenda. However, he did astonish me: how stupid can you get? In the end I’m laughing … and I pity him.
- He fancies himself as an author — and this is the quality of writing he is willing to share with the world? By the way, he stands by his opinion.
- His “review” was anonymous, but he emailed me to claim responsibility — yes really, like ISIS!
- He is trying to write fiction but he doesn’t understand that fiction may legitimately feature any conceivable character including a quaint old lady stuck in a time warp.
- He thought my feelings would be hurt; no, but as a writer I’m annoyed because Amazon reviews are hard-won and influential.
My tragic reviews data for Fixing Mrs Philpott
Only a tiny minority of readers write a review. Half of my reviews for Fixing Mrs Philpott consists of a single thoughtful, genuine review. The other 50% has been squandered on — let’s call a spade a spade — sexual harassment.
What do you do with an inappropriate review?
I don’t know what’s best — what would you do? Nothing, if it’s one of 20 reviews. But because it’s one of only two (tragic, I know) here’s what I’ve done:
- smiled an evil smile
- clicked “Not helpful” and “Report abuse”
- made Fixing Mrs Philpott (Kindle edition) FREE on Amazon for the next 5 days: Monday 21 August – Friday 25 August; I’ll repeat this as often as I’m allowed
- BEGGED you to download the Kindle edition as a gift from me to you, and if you possibly can, to write even the tiniest little honest review
- crossed my fingers (not legs).
Thank you in advance, dear reader-writer
I know you’re probably a writer as well as a reader. And that therefore you understand this situation. I was going to say, you have much more understanding than Rob — I mean Bob — sorry, Ron— but that goes without saying.
Forgive me for venting. This is not my problem alone. If I had 20 reviews, it would not be a problem at all.
Meantime I do hope you enjoy reading this novel. I love giving it away free and I’ll do it whenever Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) allows. F