1. Underlying horrors.
So, when I have trouble sleeping, I pull out my game boy, and I play Pokemon. That sounds horrific enough in and of itself, but it does get worse. First and foremost, Pokemon is a kids game. You run around, catching monsters to train until you can call yourself the best in the country your edition of the game is set in. Sounds pleasant enough, until you actually start thinking about what you're doing.
Pokemon are depicted as intelligent creatures, able to converse with one another and even to speak with humans. Yet, despite all the talk about friendship and such that the game claims to be about, the point of the game is forcing the captured pokemon to fight other captured pokemon in duels until they get knocked unconscious. Worse than that is when you encounter a wild pokemon. It's probably out for a stroll, looking for food or some other menial chore when your slave (because that's what they are) pokemon jumps in front of it and a battle ensues. The slave pokemon gets no choice in the matter and has to fight as its owner commands. For the wild pokemon, the best case scenario of this is a random beating after which its unconscious form will be left bruised and bleeding in the grass where it was found. The worst case scenario is being captured and forced into slavery, spending the rest of its life battling for the amusement and profit of its new owner. God forbid if it had a mate or young waiting for it to return home with food that day.
If that isn't a world of horrors, I don't know what is.
2. Listen to your enemies, for they will tell you your faults.
Enemies is too strong a word, but that's how the saying goes. Anyway, currently my debut novel The Unknown Neighbor is up to six 1-star reviews, more than any other kind. Most of them saying the same things. Some are a bit angrier than others, but still, that is the reviewers space to use, not mine. I hold no grudge against any of them and I will encourage nobody to stand up on my behalf. Everyone is entitled to their opinions.
Now, many people will claim that you should make no attempt to discuss with or contact the people who write you bad reviews. Generally speaking, this is something I agree with, however, when someone appears to be SO upset about your book that not only do they write a bad review, but they also comment on other bad reviews, I can't help but feel a little badly for them. So for those people, I'm posting this information here. If you honestly feel my book (or ANY book which you have purchased through Kindle) is really THAT bad, this is one thing you can do.
"Returning Kindle Books
Books you purchase from the Kindle Store are eligible for return and refund if we receive your request within seven days of the date of purchase. Once a refund is issued, you'll no longer have access to the book. To request a refund and return content, visit Manage Your Kindle, Click the Actions button next to the title you'd like to return, and select Return for refund, or contact customer service."
I want it to be said that I am paying attention and I am listening to my reviewers and those who rate my work. I have been listening, and I am currently scheduled to have a new editor look over my debut novel and give me an opinion on it. Regarding that opinion, I may make some minor changes, or if opinion seems to be strong enough, I will pull the book in order to address some of its weaknesses. I merely wish I could inform some of the people who have reviewed my work of this and offer them copies of the revised version, as they have no problems being blunt with their opinions of the work. I love my family, and I love my friends, but real objectivity seems to be a very hard thing to come by, and no matter whether you think my book is better than sliced bread, or not worth wiping your ass with, I thank you for taking the time to share your opinion.
3. Branching out.
There are many ways authors can get their names into different circles. The easiest way to do that is to simply write in different genres. There is a marked difference between The Unknown Neighbor and my next work Class 5. My first was more of a slow-burn, mystery/thriller horror, while the next is strictly fast-paced action from start to finish. I currently have several starts I can work into my next book, which include a short story collection, a more typical monster horror, or even a fantasy work. It remains to be seen which is the next piece to be published, but I'm working on proving that while I prefer horror to be my main topic, I am more than capable of working in different styles and at least a few other genres. Hopefully, I can pull it off.
Rimmer: "We have nothing to fear but fear itself. Apart from pain. And maybe humiliation and obviously death. And failure. But apart from fear, pain and humiliation, failure, the unknown and death, we have nothing to fear but fear itself. Who's with me?"