Welcome to Biting-Edge, a blog shared by authors and vampire experts, Mario Acevedo and Jeanne Stein. We’ll cover urban fantasy, vampires, pop culture, and all things Joss Whedon. Unlike other fantasy blogs, we don’t insist on body cavity searches (unless you ask politely). Snarkiness is most welcome...though we won't promise not to bite back!

Sunday, June 10, 2012
  What do they know?
Mario here:

Over at the League of Reluctant Adults, we had a lively discussion when Kevin Hearne wondered what to do about an especially snippy email from a reader, one that Kevin shared with us on the loop. Kevin's first reaction was to pen an especially nasty reply worthy of the sender's asshattediness. But we talked the gun out of Kevin's hand and calmed him down. Of course, when we send such a message, we expect the recipient to roll over and whimper, "Thank you so much for pointing out what worthless human being I am. Allow me to eat worms and grovel at your feet." But that doesn't happen. If nothing else, we'll get the bile spewed back by some waste of skin who has less to lose than any of us, so our response tends to be to ignore the fool.

So how do you respond to crappy "fan mail" and lousy reviews? We in League shift through the bilge of our one-star reviews on Amazon. We critique our favorites on the League loop and wonder (not too hard) about the personal issues afflicting said reviewer. We speculate about their demented fetishes, usually involving farm animals, funnels, and the ingestion of various bodily fluids and excretions.

Since one factor that leads readers to your books are reviews, we have an interest in gathering as many positive reviews as possible. Elle Lothlorien regards her one-star reviewers as unsatisfied customers and engages them directly and in many cases the reviewer substitutes their poor review for a better one. (Which gets back to the League's position that a one-star review is less about the perceived quality of the book than it is the reviewer needing therapy.)

In the long run, how effective are reviews? The critics initially crapped all over F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, and we see how that book got pushed into the literary Dumpster.

The top book right now on my TBR pile is Hammer of the Gods, The Led Zeppelin Saga by Stephen Davis. In their review of LZ's first American tour, Rolling Stone wrote: "...they will have to find a producer, editor and some material worthy of their collective talents." We see how history gave that critic a well-deserved noogie.

You'll get no noogies at the ongoing Lighthouse LitFest. I'll be reading at their first ever book fair, Friday, 1:45PM, at the Lighthouse Writers Workshop, 1515 Race St, Denver.

But if you get a noogie at Denver ComicCon 2012, it'll be done with a pencil or a space blaster.
Check me out next weekend at the Colorado Convention Center, downtown Denver.

 Saturday June 16, 4pm  “Paranormal” with Tamela Buhrke, Jeanne Stein, Lynda Hilburn.  (Hyatt Capitol Room 2)

Saturday 6pm “The State of Horror in this Pre-Apocalyptic Age"  with Carrie Vaughn, Molly Tanzer, Lynda Hillburn, and David Boop. (Room 104 )

Sunday 10-11am “Great SF/fantasy/horror books” (Room 104)

Extra! Extra!

My first novel, The Nymphos of Rocky Flats is on sale at Amazon for $2.99.

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Hey, we are on a panel together, the great books one. :)
I was told to show up and moderate. It will be good to see you there.
Thanks, Mario. You can also read the follow-ups. And please, try not to call me any names, OK? ;-)
*The Dos and Don'ts of Responding to Negative Reviews: http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2012/when-you-wish-upon-a-star-you-get-the-pointy-end-the-dos-and-don%E2%80%99ts-of-responding-to-negative-reviews/
*Case Study #1: http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2012/when-you-wish-upon-a-star-you-get-the-pointy-end-author-reader-contact-case-study-1/
Don't forget us Nook readers. Barnes and Noble also has the e-book of Nymphos on sale for $ 2.99.

(I, of course, already have a personally signed hard copy.)
Elle: It's all pimpage for you.
Catfriend: Of course. Thanks for reminding me.
To be honest, I don't generally read reviews posted at Amazon (or GoodReads), unless the reviewer is someone that I know and whose opinion I trust... I've seen far too many "reviews" that are either just plot synopses or an excuse to snark at an author, often for totally bogus reasons, such as cover art choices. Really? Cover Art? As if the author has control over that...
As a content creator myself (photographer), I'm no stranger to receiving withering critiques of my own art via e-mail. Yes, the compulsion to start a flame war is powerful, and perhaps satisfying at first, but it's a complete waste of energy. Energy expended fighting with some trollop is better expended crawling around with cameras come the next full moon nailing down some cool shots. For that reason, I've got a stock "thank you for taking the time to share your feelings with me -- have a great day" response that takes five seconds to cut and paste.

Besides, I'm waiting for more Felix Gomez and I'd much rather you were busy with that. ;-)
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