What goes up…

Unhappy Families (Large)

(Unhappy Families is available for immediate download now here Amazon UK and here Amazon US )

Four days now since Unhappy Families (Romney and Marsh Files #6) hit the virtual shelves.

Like anyone responsible for creating something for others to hopefully enjoy I was on tenterhooks waiting for the first reader feedback. What a relief and pleasure it was to be humbled with a wonderfully encouraging review on Amazon UK the same day. In fact on the day the book became available for reading it received four glowing reviews on Amazon UK. I was fairly bowled over by the positive response and have been further by other Amazon reviews, emails and social-media comments that I’ve received since. Sincere thanks to all for your encouraging messages.

This morning I logged onto the Internet to discover that Unhappy Families was at #822 in the overall Amazon charts and still receiving positive feedback. I was so chuffed that I posted the details of my happiness on my social-media sites. I was riding high on an emotional wave.

What goes up must come down.

To remind me of that central tenet of life, particularly a writing life – you can’t please all the people all the time – within an hour I noticed that another review had been posted on Amazon.com and Goodreads. A two star comment for Unhappy Families.

What goes up must come down. Thanks to Betsy for bringing me firmly back down to Earth… with a bump. Ouch!

Let’s get one thing straight folks: everyone is entitled to their opinion. Betsy didn’t like it. She paid for it and she has the right to air her views. DOUBLE PLEASE don’t anyone think about going over to comment. That’s not what this is about. By all means look but PLEASE DON’T COMMENT AND DON’T LOOK IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE BOOK BECAUSE THE REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS!

So why am I blogging about this?

This is my online diary about being a self-published author. I try to make it a warts an’ all record. Being a self-published author is not all sunshine and lollipops. Naturally, I’m disappointed that a reader really didn’t like the story I’d written. Fiction writers write to entertain not make people wish they’d saved their time and money. But Betsy gave me something I think I probably needed – a dose of reality. And that’s never a bad thing for anyone. Other readers aren’t going to like this book, too, in the same way that all of my books, in fact just about every book on Amazon, has got both glowing and scathing reviews. Everyone’s different. Everyone brings something different to the reading experience. Everyone has to accept this. Especially the writer.

Right, it’s lunchtime here. I’m on this diet that’s working well for me. Every lunch time, a time that I usually start to feel peckish, I head off to the gym for some exercise. That way I miss a meal and burn calories. A double-whammy. Besides there’s a punch bag down there with someone’s name on it…

14 thoughts on “What goes up…

  1. The thing with reviews both positive and negative, is to look at the overall balance between the two. more 4/5 * reviews and the writer is doing well. I,d worry if it was the other way round. ei Gone Girl for me was 1*, what do I know the vast majority thought it great. It is just opinion after all. If the opinions re in your favour then you are winning.

    • David,
      You are quite right. Wise words. Thank you.
      I read Gone Girl and liked not loved it. Same with the other run-away bestseller The Girl on the Train. For me it was OK. I didn’t really get the thousands of rave reviews or the hype. As I said, we’re all different. Viva la difference as they say somewhere.
      Best wishes

  2. It’s all a matter of taste and of course some people won’t like it. They are of course entitled to leave a bad review in the same way that those of us who loved the book can leave a positive review but please NO SPOILERS
    I always try to explain that I loved the book but try to avoid mentioning story lines because I don’t like to read too much when I’m looking at book reviews myself

    Strangely I didn’t like Gone Girl either

    • Hi Denise,
      Absolutely agree with you. Everyone’s different and thank goodness for that Otherwise we’d be living in a right boring world.
      And, yes, spoilers are naughty. They can ruin it for everyone. If I want to read a book I won’t look at the reviews to hard, maybe just a sneek-peek at the ratings.
      I thought GG was OK. But that’s all. Another of those books that I didn’t agree with the hype about it.
      Best wishes.

  3. What a coincidence a punchbag named Betsy! I haven’t read all of the book yet but enjoying what I’m reading so far. It makes me go to bed at a decent hour I’m so excited to continue reading it. Can’t wait for Acer!

    • Hi Bobbie
      Haha that made me laugh. (I needed a laugh.) Funnily enough, it’s not just a punchbag, I also needed a name for a horribly mutilated victim for the next book. Problem solved!
      Good to know that you’re reading and enjoying the latest. Thanks for your support.
      Acer is coming!
      Best wishes

  4. Hahaahaaaa……..you make me laugh! I am reading and enjoying Unhappy Families right now. Everyone is different I know, but I am – as with all of your books I have read – really enjoying the it! I won’t read the reviews until I after review Unhappy Families when I finish reading it. I am sure there will be many, many more happy than unhappy readers. Go give that punching bag a big work out! Cheers and Happy New Year to you and the family.

    • Hi Annette,
      Thanks for your cheery message. It’s always a nice way to start my online day.
      Good to know that you’re enjoying the read so far. I hope that continues to the end.
      Not sure I’ll be doing much typing today as my fists are horribly swollen and bruised. (Forget a knife and fork for the next few days. Impossible!) The gym said they’d never seen anything like the way I took that punchbag down in the third round.
      Happy New Year to you and yours also. 🙂
      Best wishes.

  5. I liked the book very much. It had some surprises. I am still thinking about them.
    Don’t worry about the reviews. I am a teacher and my end of term evaluations range from “best teacher everyone” to “fire her.” We can’t please everyone.

    • Hi Brenda,
      Many thanks for letting me know you enjoyed the read. I appreciate it. You gave me a good chuckle with your end of term feedback. You may or may not know that I too am a teacher (I’m on a year’s sabbatical to see if I can make this writing lark work. As a teacher you’ll probably understand why.) so I know exactly the kind of thing you experience.
      Best wishes

  6. I received a kindle fire for Christmas with the intention of reading more books on our imminent holiday to Goa at the end of January. Having said the above I am a self confessed non reader, and prefer to watch the various news channels than to contemplate opening a book. So i gritted my teeth and decided to try to find something offers interest read read. My wife and I enjoy watching the various detective programs, however when I force myself to read I usually look for historical books. So armed with good intentions to try to find a good book I embarked on a voyage to discover something reasonable to read. Two days later and disappointed at not really finding something to grab my attention I decided to have another go..
    My wife Lorraine and I are both retired and live in Hastings and we both enjoy cycling. Having already ventured along cycle path to to Pevensey and the cookcoo trail a few times, as well as Winchelsea, Rye & Camber for a couple of years. This year 2015 we decided to try the appealing flat Romney Marsh. So with my interest in detective fact & fiction and the fact that ‘Rope Enough’ was free hahaha! Plus the local interest, I decided to give it a try. So armed with a cup of Auckland breakfast tea, I decided to finally give both book and New Fire a go.
    Well Oliver I must say although I am only on chapter five and I love the way you write which makes it a very enjoyable,easy and relaxed read. I am really looking forward to reading more in the series and my quest has begun to read them all. Thank You.

    • Hello Kenneth
      Many thanks for taking the time and trouble to get in touch. Given your self-confessed lack of enthusiasm for reading fiction I’m flattered to learn that you’re pleased with your discovery of Rope Enough. I hope your enjoyment continues to the end of the book. I’m currently working on book seven in the series so plenty more available.
      Hailing from Romney Marsh and having lived there for many years, I know Hastings and the surrounding area well.
      I don’t usually like to push my books with readers who get in touch but… seeing as you might have a local interest to engage, if you feel like reading something even closer to home my Booker & Cash series (two currently available and a thrid in production) are set on Romney Marsh proper. You can find details of these at the link in my menu bar. Anyway enough about that.
      I don’t live on the Marsh at the moment but I do visit every year. I love cycling around the narrow country lanes (nice and flat) and dropping in on favourtie pubs for a good pint.
      Enjoy your new lease of reading life with the Fire and your forthcoming holiday.
      Thanks again and best wishes

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