An odd thing happened to me on the way to my blog yesterday. I got up early to check the tour schedule, and although one of yesterday's stop (a spotlight) and Wednesday's guest post was there, I decided to wait to see if the review I was supposed to have posted. This seemed fair to me since it wasn't even 9 O'clock.
While I was waiting, I received this message from the tour coordinator of WorldWind Virtual Book Tours.
And this was the picture attached to said message:
I will admit, I was mortified. I was also baffled because while an older version did have issues, which is why it was updated, it wasn't that bad. While I was in that moment, my biggest concern was fixing the problem to get the best possible edition of the book to the blogger. In fact, I checked all files and offered the fix to do just that.
The doc I am referring to was sent in for tour use on June 29th (that screenshot will be shown in just a bit). As you can clearly see for yourself, I admitted to a glitch in the mobi file and offered a solution. This was the end of the conversation, so I figured my suggested action had been taken. Apparently, I was mistaken.
Several hours passed and still no review. This didn't make me very happy, but I decided to just go with it and blog about what I did have. Just as I was about to do just that I was alerted through the blogger's post on Twitter that the review did post, so I checked it out. Just as it had been the day before, I was floored by not only the reviewer's lack of knowledge of Children's books but also the reviewer's lack of common sense and common decency.
Here's a breakdown of the review in question written on the Kid Lit Reviews website.
The first thing I noticed was the reviewer's lack of attention to detail. The aunt's name is Jaimie, like mine. She got that right when she posted by book's details (the screenshot is coming up). Also, the end of the book shows Holly and Hunter's parents so not quite sure what the reviewer meant when she referred to the aunt as the guardian, however, I see it as yet another example of the reviewer's lack of attention to detail.
Once again, there is a call to violence by a blogger who wants a longer story. Once again, there's a lack of attention to detail and also a lack of knowledge when it comes to writing for children. '
The reviewer in question posted this at the top of her post. It's the details of The Lil' Defenders. See the page numbers? Although would prefer a few more, this is actually par for what is considered an acceptable length for the age range. I have published other books in this age range that were longer and the constant complaint was that it was too long to keep the children's interest. Now it's too short. Rubbish.
As for the littering, this book was initially slated for an Earth Day release. After a request from my niece, the book's release date was changed to May 20th, her birthday. However, I already had the story done, so the littering theme stayed.
Once again, I point you to the screenshot above showing the book's details. For the page and age range, my book was spot on. The kids and the Lil' Defenders deserve a more knowledgeable reviewer.
This one I somewhat do agree with. There were illustration issues. After the book released on May 20th both my niece and nephew told me, without hesitation, that there were issues. So, during the long Memorial weekend both of them sat with me and helped me fix the biggest issues there were. Even so, at the midpoint in the book, the kids do appear to take on an older look. I say appear because ironically, the skin tones and hair coloring do match. The head and body structure in general also match. What I believe the reader is seeing (and they should see it) is the transformation in the attitude of the kids. They are no longer typical children; they realize they can handle their own situations without running to an adult. The change you see in the characters is confidence and independence.
Also, did you notice this seems to be out of sequence? I'm posting it just as it is on the website. Another lack of attention to detail.
First of all, I've already explained my bad guy choice. Originally I considered a littering monster (a monster made of litter that spreads its own filth). I decided not to do this because the superheroes were children on their first mission. Also, I wanted to stick to something real to keep it relatable to young readers, which is the point of writing for children.
As for the claim that this isn't a picture book, did she not just mention pictures in the previous paragraph? As for the other issues she referred to, blatant lies.
Look at the page on the right (actual book page picture). It is one of the pages displayed in what the blogger supposedly saw (near the top of this post), Does it look like what the screenshot shows? No, it doesn't. Also, I think this proves this book is a picture book.
This review blogger also went on to post personal information and had the gall to post my illustrator's contact info, which I did not myself send for the tour. And the kicker of that is she claimed she had my permission to do so, she most certainly did not. I won't be posting this information on my blog, and this is also the reason I am refraining from posting the link here as well.
After reading this review, I was fed up with the whole situation. I sent an email to the coordinator of the tour expressing my desire to suspend reviews from the tour since all reviewers thus far have been biased. I have yet to hear back from her.
While I was waiting for the reply that wouldn't come, I did some checking into just what this reviewer had read. I considered that perhaps she was the reviewer that was referred to in the early morning email chat I had with the tour coordinator (can be found above). As I looked through more messages, I noticed that Kid Lit had requested and received a paperback. So if this was the blogger in question of yesterday morning's email chat it was a scam. And yes, I have confirmation of my claims.
|Request from Kid Lit for a paperback|
|Confirmation of delivery to the name (address hidden) provided in care of Kid Lit|
Now the story should end there but it doesn't. As much as the whole incident shouldn't have happened, what happened next was what I now believe to be an intent to add insult to injury. And no, I don't say that lightly.
As I already mentioned, I contacted the coordinator in the afternoon but she never replied. Just before dinner, I received a Twitter notification. Apparently, the coordinator thought the above review was a great one. This leads me to believe she either posted the link without reading it or she's gone rogue. Either way, she certainly doesn't look like a serious reader.
I immediately sent her a reply tweet:
And it was promptly deleted. Guess she's reading her messages after all.
As I said, all of this was avoidable. Remember me telling you about sending the updated doc prior to the beginning of the tour? This took place eight days after the Kid Lit reviewer received her paperback.
While I think it shows a complete lack of responsibility to lose a book you're supposed to be reviewing and then don't bother to do anything about it until the day your review is due, I suppose it does happen. I can even understand providing reviewers the format they requested but when you're told there's an issue and then told by the author the other file options are fine you rectify the situation. This didn't happen in this situation, So from here on out I will not be posting further about this tour even though I am sure it's still going on. It is now obvious to me this is all being done purposefully and with intent to kill my book's sales. And this is exactly why the Indie community is still looked on unfavorably. Trolls are ruining it for everyone.
Until next time, happy reading!