Whenever I buy or receive a new book, the first thing I do is I check the book out on GoodReads and Amazon, and something I’ve noticed recently is that authors will rate their own novels on GoodReads. Now, I must admit, that is a huge bugbear of mine because of course your work will be 5 stars out of 5 otherwise it wouldn’t have been published. An author wouldn’t let their publisher publish a book they think is sub-standard so it goes without saying they must be proud of their work. Even worse is when they proceed to list reasons about why you should read their book. I don’t know about you, but for me that puts me off their work. It truly does.
So you can imagine my horror when on Amazon one day I saw that Mandy Baggot, a POD (print on demand) author had reviewed both of her novels on Amazon. I cringed for her, I truly did. I’ve read one of Mandy’s novels but if I’d seen those Amazon reviews sooner, I wouldn’t have because I would have been too put off. I mentioned it on Twitter and Mandy saw the Tweet (I didn’t name her in my original Tweet) and told me she doesn’t care if I name her because she’s proud of it. “Because she needs all the publicity she can get” were her words if I remember correctly. I told her my point of view, that I think it’s wrong and we left it at that. Until I saw Mandy’s blog today where she whinges about my conversation with her, calling it an argy bargy, but it was a conversation – I stated my opinion, she stated hers. End of. But, no, she says I have too much time on my hands.
What got me the most about her blog post was that she then explains that she has to review her books on Amazon because she “doesn’t have the backing of a big publisher or a team of marketing experts”. Now as far as I’m aware, that’s because she chose to self-publish her novel. The reason she doesn’t have a big publisher is clearly because there is not a publisher at this moment willing to publish her books, so she has instead gone down the POD route. Nobody forced her to do that, there was no gun to her head.
Quite frankly I assume most POD authors do it for their own satisfaction rather than any other greater good. There’s nothing to be gained from going down that route, mainly because you have to do all the leg work yourself and it’s hard enough doing publicity and all of that with a publisher never mind without. You’d need to sell a lot of copies to recoup anything back and I doubt there’s any real win when it comes to going down that route. I would love to have a frank discussion with Mandy for the blog on why she chose to self-publish because I truly can’t see any gain from it and it fascinates me why someone would go down that route.
I didn’t mean to offend Mandy Baggot, it’s just my opinion that I don’t like authors who review their own books. I am allowed an opinion, am I not? I could understand if I called her names, or if I personally attacked her, but I didn’t. I said I was shocked that an author would review their own book and be so blatant about it. Mandy told me I could name her and I told her that I didn’t agree with it. It doesn’t mean I have too much time on my hands, it just means I have an opinion. I’m allowed an opinion, and just because someone disagrees with me doesn’t mean I should be slated for it.