Yeah, I’m good at pullin’ in 1-star reviews.
Take my two history books, Tribes and Trappers and Priests and Prospectors.
I got a 1-star from “Sonny” yesterday on Tribes and Trappers. He was so incensed with my work that he had to write out 661 words to make himself feel better.
I guess that didn't do the trick, though, 'cause he had to go back today and leave a 1-star review for the other book.
Honestly, I think this is a disgruntled politician here in Missoula or a failed amateur historian. And I also think this review could help me. Let’s take a look at why.
- Sonny mentions the book was written in pieces and jumps around. I figured some would be angry at this as I’m writing in chronological order, not on subjects. So we might talk about cattle from the 1840s and then cattle again in the 1860s. Most Montana history books will just have a single chapter on cattle.
- Sonny states that the book was written for Jr. High Students (who uses that term anymore?), which I think is a good thing. I wish my Montana history lessons were as interesting as this book is.
- Umbrage was really taken at me for including the percentage of the vote Montana’s former territorial governor, Green Clay Smith, received in the 1876 Presidential election. I’m sorry, Sonny, but this is good information that many people would be curious about.
- I mention Montana’s secretary, kind of like what our Lieutenant Governor would be today. Well, Sonny had no idea what that was and got angry at his own ignorance. Perhaps I could have explained better what the secretary does, but I did so several times. Remember, Sonny gets angry if I repeat myself. I’m sorry, that’s what teachers do so students will learn.
- Sonny's public school teacher brother was called onto the case to see how bad the book was. He agreed it was rubbish and was surprised a college graduate could create such. Well, I was taught by public school teachers like your brother, Sonny.
- According to Sonny, “writing is not my calling.” Jeez, then why did I make more than $3,000 from it this month? Huh.
- Sonny takes issue with me having many different books. “Tarot anyone? Strategies for successful writing? Or greater Web Site traffic? He's got a book about it.” I can tell from this comment that the reviewer is a disgruntled author or failed historian with an axe to grind. How? This part of the review was added in since yesterday.
So Now What?
Overall, I’ll just move on and put out Book 3.
I’m not sure anyone will buy them anymore, however – the same reviewer gave me a 1-star on the second volume the next day. Well, thankfully I have a thick skin and can take it. Will I lose money? Perhaps. But how much?
I’ve sold 32 copies of Tribes and Trappers in nearly a year, and 13 copies of Priests and Prospectors. Not exactly earth-shattering. So will having those sales go to zero hurt me? No.
Will getting Miners and Magnates: A History of Montana, Volume 3 out faster help me? I think so, but I have a feeling Sonny will be my first reviewer, so that might not last long.
If you’ve read either of these two books and thought them decent or even the shittiest thing since sliced bread, please leave a review.
Tribes and Trappers
Priests and Prospectors.