Monday, 31 December 2012

More five star reviews: humbled

A couple of very complimentary reviews have been left on my Amazon page in quick succession, which could mean either that people are coming to the end of the book at the same time or it is actually getting out there to more readers. Either way is fine with me, I'm humbled to be receiving this sort of feedback.

Albert takes you 'back in the day'
Mr B Wozstock

The last time I was so accurately transported back to the 'day' was on a top afternoon spent sitting on a low sofa with mates in a restaurant in Koh Phangan some ten years ago...we were watching 'Human Traffic'. This is testament to Graham. K. Albert's ability to capture the times - many have tried but few nail it so succinctly.

White City gives you an insight into what some of the 'faces' were actually getting up to in order to provide us regular folk with good times during that period in your life when all that matters is getting to the weekend and having all those special four ingredients that make it happen: clobber, music, a gathering and the bits'n'bobs to keep you going.

Each generation has their own set of underground party planners and Albert successfully enlightens us on how one fictional Norfolk faction played their part in making the late teens/twenties buzz for those of us now around the forty mark.

Ryan, our narrator through this journey of deals and danger, is a likeable rogue who you end up championing as his powers of indestructability gradually strip away to leave him exposed and under attack from all sides. Even if you're born of more recent times, where raves take place in organised fashion within warehouses and are conducted by DJs who churn out downloadable delights, or if you're more a thriller fan looking for another take on things, White City is well worth the admittance fee*.

*food for thought for all British film directors.

Excellent read for the chemical generation
Naomi McGregor

Downloaded this for Kindle based on a facebook recommendation, was not disappointed! Great characterisation and plot, got me right caught up in all the action felt like I was part of the era in Norwich even though I have never been there and was still in primary school when it was set. VERY funny in places and brilliantly brought to a close. Somebody needs to turn this into a film, hints of Lock Stock and Human Traffic throughout. Please Graham K Albert write another book for me to read! If you grew up chomping disco biscuits and partying all night as part of the chemical generation (old or new) you need to read this book. Download NOW.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Amazon and the great disappearing review

I would love to be in a position not to notice, to have so many reams of praise beneath White City that the removal of but one review was like someone taking a pebble from a beach.

But I am not. This is a debut, self-published novel and as such its success relies solely on word of mouth, whatever marketing wheeze I can dream up, and the reviews it garners.

So when one review disappears from a grand total of five I'm going to take note.

It was the first review I received, and as such held a place close to my heart. I have checked the rules for submitting reviews and this breached none of them. Worse still I can find no obvious point of contact with Amazon for me to voice my concerns.

A quick Google revealed a number of indie authors in the same boat. Some had more of their reviews deleted than I actually have reviews, which is scary. Even those who had found a way to contact Amazon about it reported no luck with them, and instead were met with the stock response that "it is up to the reviewer to contact us." Hands washed.

So instead of five lovely reviews from lovely readers, I have four. Which is better than I could ever have expected. But now I have been introduced to a whole new reason for worrying. Reviews of my book can disappear at a moment's notice with no explanation, and no chance of remonstration.

All of a sudden self publishing the Amazon way comes with a sinister new undertone. As if I wasn't uncomfortable enough with them not paying their share of UK tax.

I guess that's the risk you run dealing with retailing giants - you are at a real risk of getting stepped on.

Here's a link to a thread on Amazon's own self-publishers' forum that it has made no effort to contribute to: