Help Required!


Addiction takes many forms: drugs, alcohol, nicotine, gambling, pornography to name a ruinous few. While my addiction is not one of the above its effects are proving destructive, harmful and controlling. My addiction is threatening my marriage, my sanity, my work and my relationship with the goldfish. My name is Oliver Tidy and I’m addicted to reading Smashwords synopses. And I’ve never had so much fun. I thought, ‘A Confederacy of Dunces’ was amusing. I found ‘A Spot of Bother’ laugh out loud hilarious. Tom Sharp can have me in stitches. But nothing, nothing at all has prepared me for the level of mirth that I experience when I go fishing for laughs on Smashwords.

My wife has just come storming up the ceramic tiled hallway in her rather noisy slippers to tell me for the third time to keep it down because she is trying to get the baby off to sleep. I would try to explain to her what’s so funny but she’s not in the mood and English isn’t her first language.

I know that my time would be better spent writing instead of looking for cheap entertainment. I want to sleep when I go to bed, I really do, but when I close my eyes I just see the profile photograph of the rather fat, elderly gentleman with a silver beard and glasses posing in his Sunday best, like some benign senior citizen at a family occasion, who writes erotica and whose DIY covers feature the most amateurishly constructed unerotic nude shots.

I can’t always be sure whether people who contribute to the site are trying to be funny, are maybe running a spoof page as a piss-take or whether they are serious, which of course would be the funniest option of all.

Can I share a couple of gems from tonight?

‘Hookers’ – My experience with hookers… Hookers are prostitutes. Hookers sell sex. When people solicitude sex with hookers; it could be because of sexual fantasies or a number of things. Having sex with hookers and addressing the good times with hookers is, ‘Hookers’. Price $1.99

This particular author’s next offering is:

Finding Jesus – A original story for children helping to encourage children to believe in Jesus and help make the world a better place and a happier place. Price $2.99

And one particular review that caught my eye.

While I thought the murders that were taking place in the background of the story was a smart move on the author’s part I was confused as to whether Cor was a vampire or if he just suffered from severe allergies. I think I would have enjoyed the story a little more if the main character wasn’t a vampire.

I’m seriously wondering if maybe I could turn my addiction to my advantage and then I could call it research. Perhaps I could write a book to cheer people up. I could call it ‘Trashwords’ Synopses’ and just fill it with the best examples from the site. There might even be a series in it.


4 thoughts on “Help Required!

  1. Hello Pete. Thanks for the comment. I’m concinced that the review was serious and that killed me. In fact, I’m laughing again. FYI the best synopses I find are for erotica titles and for all the wrong reasons. It’s difficult to call browsing this section for giggles a waste of my life as it is rarely without reward.

  2. Oh I get some crackers to proof and edit! Especially when I was starting out and freelancing for online publishers. A lot of those are just vanity presses, and they get all the mad people sending their manuscripts in. Unfortunately there’s a strong correlation between the idiocy of a plot and the likelihood the author will make you sign an NDA, so most of them must remain secret, but there was one “psychological thriller” where literally the only thing that happened was the female protagonist had to turn down an engagement request because she badly needed the toilet and for some reason couldn’t tell him or ask him to wait. Then aliens turned up, but not in any way that could be considered eventful. The book ended with her bursting into tears, presumably at the sheer inanity of it all.

    I try to be helpful and constructive. I think the best thing about the internet publishing boom is that everyone can write what they want, even if it seems weird to other people. It’s not like there’s only a finite number of words to go round. But with some people you have to question whether they’ve ever even encountered a story before, in any form. I’d love to know what they’re seeing in their heads that makes it great. (Also I’m happy to mock that guy because 90% of his punctuation was …! or !!!! and I had to correct every single one of them.) I swear I’m the only person who’s ever read a lot of these books cover to cover, and I include the authors in that.

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