Tight-fisted, penny-pinching, niggardly, and seemingly endowed with self-professed literary acumen. These are the new self-proclaimed book critics that seem to be crawling out from behind their rocks in greater number in recent months. Too miserly to spend a dollar or two on an ebook, or too lazy to contact authors for review copies, they instead load up their Kindle with freebies they find, and then take sadistic delight in spreading their distain across the Internet.
One particularly nasty example of this came to my attention a few days ago.
For a long time now, I have had a free ebook available. ‘Vandalism of Words’ is a promotional book that I published over two years ago to support my blog. It is a collection of over 140 of my better blog posts, short stories and a few poems. Not a literary masterpiece by any means, but suitable material for a free offering on a blog such as mine. That it is has been downloaded by the thousands tells me that it has been quite a popular give-away. It has even sold quite a few copies in paperback and received some very complimentary reviews from readers.
However, one gentleman (for want of a better word) decided that he didn’t particularly like the book and was most upset to discover what the book contained. Although in his review, I was actually quite pleased when he stated that the book contained ‘self-deprecating narcissism and pointless rants’. That sums up The Vandal quite well I think. That he didn’t enjoy this free book was fine by me and his posting of his review fine as well.
If it had been once.
For some reason, this fellow decided in his wisdom to post his review repetitively. By doing this he embarked on a personal attack that was cowardly and extremely mean-spirited. These ‘spoilers’ however are becoming more frequent as this is not my first experience with this type of low life. There is little one can do to combat these people other than to report them as ‘spammers’ to the various social networks they use.
These people are not book reviewers by any standard. None of them post on their own blog, none of them request review copies that are available from most authors for legitimate book bloggers and reviewers. They instead, spinelessly hide behind the anonymity of social media handles and spread their poison. Such are the freedoms that we enjoy on the Internet now, there will always be those few who abuse it.
I think this was yet another fine example of one of my now famous narcissistic and pointless rants.