The Greek Seaman phenomenon: A strangely effective marketing strategy by a writer who knows no better

A self-published writer has caused (it appears) everyone in the universe to denounce her by responding (very) inappropriately to a review of her book that she didn’t like.

Welcome to another facet of the new world of publishing! In my opinion, the people who are getting in a twist to defend the reviewer are wasting as much time as is the sadly semi-literate author — on the other hand, she is apparently selling quite well right now as people clamour to have a look at how bad her book is. So if the bottom line is monetization, who cares?

And six months from now, people are going to forget the uproar, but remember her name and the title of her book somewhere in the backs of their heads, and contrary to all the doom and gloom from posters on this thread, her career will be launched.

BigAl’s Books and Pals: The Greek Seaman / Jacqueline Howett

“You obviously didn’t read the second clean copy I requested you download that was also reformatted, so this is a very unfair review. My Amazon readers/reviewers give it 5 stars and 4 stars and they say they really enjoyed The Greek Seaman and thought it was well written. Maybe its just my style and…..”

I am becoming a staunch defender of self-publishing by the way. More on that soon. I have several blog articles in mind but haven’t had time to write them. :)

To my mind, the funniest (and most off-base) comments on the blogspot thread are the ones that say that the author is giving self-publishing a bad name. The rep. of self-publishing is already several floors below the basement. It will be up to some of us stronger writers to improve its credibility. It’ll happen, but it will take a while.


8 responses

  1. Nice post, Mary.

    It’s too bad she can’t channel her, um, passion into her fiction writing with the same ardor that she uses in her responses to her reviewers. That might make her book as entertaining as her blog posts.

    Thanks for sharing and for the analysis. I hope more quality spills over into the self-pub world to counteract the bad PR.

  2. Thanks for posting this — I wondered the same thing, too! On the one hand, it all sounds pretty awful. But on the other hand, I’d never heard of this author and her book before and now I’m looking up pieces on it and her all over Google! So she may be onto something. Hmm. Excuse me while I now go and tell all reviewers of my book on Amazon to **** off!

  3. I don’t think it is selling that well although the author bragged in one of her responses that she sold more because of that review and the controversy.
    The Page Rank keeps climbing steadily, while the negative reviews on the Amazon page are streaming in.

  4. Someone pirate this work, post haste!

    It is infuriating to think that a talentless author like Ms. Howett is profiting from her own vitriol!

    Be content with the sample chapters if you must see the spectacle for yourself! Let’s see that this hateful and immature woman doesn’t get another cent!

  5. Mary, she’s not selling well. If you go to the Novel Rank site which tracks sales on Kindle, you’ll see she’s sold little since this whole donnybrook began. Most of the one star reviews are not verified sales, so people probably downloaded a sample if that. Her blow-up brought out further trollish behavior on the part of those who used it as an excuse for their own boorishness. My own concern is despite the fact that she is one individual, others will point fingers and use this as evidence that all “indie” authors are unprofessional an “all” self-published books are riddled with errors. The irony is that Big Al was kind in his review and is a staunch supporter of independent authors.

  6. Thanks, all. And Marion, your info was of particular value as I didn’t know about the novel ranking site. Thank you. I’ll hunt it down. I don’t think she can drag down the rep. of indie authors for long. :) James Frey got everyone going about traditional publishers for a while, but they — and he — overcame it eventually.

  7. The only people who have any moral right to say whether Jacqueline Howett is worthy or unworthy are those who purchase her book. I am a self-published author. When a guy on a forum tried to lecture and patronize me, I bluntly told him that his blessings or disapproval could go to hell.

    Unlike in professions like medicine or law, there are no set standards in writing. Anyone who can write is free to do so. The only obvious caveats are not to do anything illegal like libel, physical threats, incitement. So long as Ms. Howett did nothing illegal in The Greek Seaman, she is free to publish as she bloody pleases.

    For too long, these self-annointed aunties and nannies have dominated the publishing industry. Now, new technology like print-on-demand or self-publishing enable common people to participate. Yes, bad eggs will sometimes surface, but let the people sort out who is what. The errors of cyber-democracy are a thousand times preferable to the dictatorship of the closed shop.

    • I have to agree with every word you’ve written. However, it is wise not to respond to critics: if you’re going to publish something, you have to take the consequences without whining or justifying.

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