Hi, I’m Oscar Allen

cropped-crab-1990198_1920.jpgSo, I wrote a book. I did all the things indie self-pubbers do.  I bought a cover on 99designs, I formatted the manuscript in Scrivener, and I uploaded the whole kit to all the appropriate e-reader publishing sites.

Then nothing happened.

I sent free copies to friends and family. They promised to write reviews, somewhere, anywhere. I’m still waiting. The scumbags left me high and dry.

So, my book’s sitting there on Amazon, like a half-empty beer the morning after a party. It’s warm and flat and who doesn’t finish a beer? Your scumbag friends, that’s who.

Right after self-publishing, there’s this agonizing period of nothing. Nobody’s buying your book. Nobody’s rating it. And you gaze with envy at the other Kindle books who have stars upon thars.

It’s sort of like finding a job after college. You need to get a job to have experience, but you have to have experience to blah blah blah. The same thing applies to selling an e-book.

I got this idea staring at my book’s page on Amazon. There’s the scrolling ribbon at the bottom announcing that customers who bought this book also bought all these other books and, say, fella, why don’t buy one of these too? Except when you haven’t sold a single copy, it says “viewed.” Customers who viewed this item, etc.

What did I find in the viewed ribbon? More books with no stars on thars.

And I thought, I’ll give you stars, little guys. So, that’s what this blog is going to be. I’m going to read books with no ratings, review them here, and them give them stars.

Ding. Attaboy, Clarence.

Here are the guidelines, more or less:

  • I’m a slow reader, all right? I’m an ever slower writer. I’m going to start reading books with no stars. Someone might beat me to the stars before I finish, but I’ll make sure they have no stars when I download them to my Kindle.
  • I’m going to keep them short. I’m busy. You’re busy. When I’m scrolling through reviews and someone writes a five thousand word capstone thesis, I seriously want to die. I’m not going to be that guy.
  • I’m going to try to find first time publishers. Or folks with only a few books out there. They’re the ones who need stars.
  • I’m not going to shit all over books. We all put a lot of work into these. There are plenty of podcasts out there. Daddies who drink. Folks who don’t even own televisions. You want witty, critical repartee, go there.
  • I’m not going to do an undergrad-style literary analysis. I’m just going to tell you what I did like and what I didn’t.
  • Wish me luck.

See you soon. Read indie books, scumbags.

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