What does your critique of a bestseller say about you?

School bullying concept 1When book reviewers sit around and slam bestselling books that they find unworthy of their sales rank (think Twilight and 50 Shades), I figure they are simply expressing reader opinions. Authors of those books understand not everyone will love their stories—obviously many have or they would not be bestsellers—and the negative reviews are often expressing the views of non-fans.

These negative reviews, in combination with the positive ones can give an author insight to his or her target market. It doesn’t mean the author needs to change to appeal to the one stars, but it can help the author come to an understanding of what fans want, enabling the author to continue giving it to them.

But when authors sit around and bash bestsellers, that is a different story. Before you argue Authors are readers too!—understand I am referring to when authors—as a group—a group striving to improve their sales—do this. It not only reeks of sour grapes, it is also foolish in the extreme, because instead of focusing on what will actually help the authors’ sales ranking, they are engaging in a negative bashing fest that helps no one.

Instead of a circle jerk where all the authors are slapping each other on the back and agreeing the successful author’s work really sucks, wouldn’t the time be better served to take a closer look at what made the book or author a success?

This doesn’t mean you try cloning the successful author’s work, but you might find valuable information you can incorporate into your own work or routine that will improve your ranking. And really, isn’t that our purpose when we hang out at places like the KDP Forum? It should be. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case over there. I suppose that’s why I no longer hang out at the KDP Forum.

Vampires Continue to Entertain – Meet My Friend, Brandon Hale

0000vampVampires have been entertaining us for centuries. John Polidori’s brought us The Vampyre, Bram Stoker gave us Dracula, daytime TV entertained us with Dark Shadows, Buffy slayed them, Ann Rice exposed them in Vampire Chronicles and Stephenie Meyer’s seduced a new generation with Twilight.

Depending on the author’s depiction, the vampire might be sexy, sparkly, deadly, evil, ugly or funny.

Since Twilight, sexy vamps seem to be the rage, but one new author has decided to explore the darker and less romantic side of the vampire’s nature, in the popular Day Soldiers series.

I first met Brandon Hale, author of the series, about two years ago. Ours is an online friendship, but one I value. At the time I frequented a public online forum for authors, and I kept hearing other writers praise Brandon for Day Soldiers.

At first I thought it was some military book. But I was curious, so I read the preview. That one chapter sucked me in, so I went ahead and bought the book.

You don’t even have to buy the book these days, because the first one in the series is free. You can download it at Amazon. If you like the story, you can continue on with the rest of the series.

One reason I’m promoting Brandon – aside from the fact I genuinely like his series – he was recently diagnosed with cancer. While battling cancer, he has less time to write new books, and market his existing ones – something he needs to do to make a living.

dayI urge you to download that free sample, and give it a shot. I’m not even asking you to buy the book. But if you happen to discover a new favorite author, purchasing his other books will really help him out during this rough time.

If you’re feeling generous, one of Brandon’s friends has set up a gofund account to help Brandon get through these challenging times.

Click here for a FREE download of Day Soldiers

Click here for Brandon’s Website.

Click here to contribute to Brandon’s Gofund account.