My First Book Review (Ever)

Tom Lichtenberg at Pigeon Weather Productions reviews The Garbage Man:

Of the four, the one that did make me take notice was The Garbage Man. This story begins with a language of its own, and I liked that. I didn’t really care for the direction the story went in – to tell the truth, I completely misunderstood the first few pages, and believed that the protagonist was not a human but some kind of machine, which would have given the story more possibilities (in my very humble opinion).

In any case, I’m not recommending any of these stories especially. Trikes and Aliens was cute. The Garbage Man was kind of creepy but also contains some interesting writing. The Saxaphone Player is by one of my favorite Smashwords writers but this one didn’t make me want to go and pay, while The Shackles of Cause didn’t show me enough before the sample ran out.

…I’ll get to the review in a moment, but first I must say that it feels wonderful to be read and reviewed. It’s the best thing to happen to me since I decided to make my eBook book free (which made me feel bad).

I suspect I’m just one of a million no-name, attention-starved authors who are publishing with hopes of fame and fortune, who comes to realize he wants readers more than either of the two.

I priced my book at first 99c, then I watched it sit the digital shelf for a couple of weeks without purchase and felt terrible about it. People were downloading samples but nobody wanted the buy the whole thing, not even for 99c.

It was a difficult decision to make the book free, but the truth is (say it with me):

I, Pete Simon YOURNAME, am a no-named author. If I write publish a book I will make 0$ from it, people will sample my work indefinitely and I will be no richer and no better known for it.

Giving away free art feels so unfair, but it brings you closer to what you really want: the hearts and minds of your audience.

Now regarding Tom’s generous review…

When I was working out the character, I was trying to put myself inside of a mind of a man whose main experience with people had been what he saw of their hacked information, he had become so distant to the human race, he no longer recognized real-world faces as human. Maybe I pushed it a little too far, the sense of other-worldliness as the main character sees the world.

I do like the possibilities Tom is hinting at, maybe this man was a robot who understood everything he saw in the world by what he saw at the dump. Maybe it seemed that the people around him were inhuman, when actually he was the non-human…

Still, the idea that I fell in love with was about a man who lived in tragic circumstances, who was injured by his sense of inferiority and place, whose sense of love had contorted toward the personal data he hacked from computers by Tire Swing candlelight. He lived in a shunned corner of the world, sustained only by a fragile dream.

I love robots, God knows I do, but I love complex humans more. Humans, after all, are the inspiration of robots.

Read The Garbage Man for free here.

Friday, August 10, 2012