My contribution to Rosie Amber's weekly Friday Five Challenge!
It's an interesting exercise for writers ~ it shows the little things that can put potential readers off that click-buy!
Anyone with a blog can join in ~ here's what you do:
IN ONLY FIVE MINUTES….
1) Go to any online book supplier
2) Randomly choose a category
3) Speed through the book covers, choose one which instantly appeals
4) Read the book bio/description, and any other details
5) If there are reviews, check out a couple
6) Make an instant decision: would you BUY or PASS?
You can check out others' contributions on the #FridayFiveChallenge hashtag on Twitter (click link!) This week I chose the subject 'rock humour' (and was, ahem, delighted to discover my book FULL CIRCLE on the second page!!). I had a five minute browse up and down, and was eventually attracted by this cover and title.
Dispatches from a Dilettante by Paul Rowson (links to book)
I loved the cover - it makes me think of a much travelled journalist drinking a cool beer outside a rundown bar in Cuba, or similar!
Here's the blurb:
‘Dispatches from a Dilettante’ is a rampage through a chaotic career, encompassing rock music, religion, royalty and renegade kids - stretching from the Caribbean to Cambodia.
It’s a memoir on the absurdity of endeavour and a restless lifestyle spent working exceptionally hard trying to avoid it.
There are close encounters with Jimi Hendrix, the Prince of Wales, ex footballers and the current Head of the Catholic Church in England, together with bar room brawls and board room bitterness.
Whether it’s the drugs and desperation of life on a Welsh housing estate or discussions in the Gardens of Highgrove it’s a life lived whimsically, from the higher echelons of business to the gutters of Phonm Penh.
It’s about a music-loving meanderer who has never quite got over being at Woodstock.
Hmmm.... reading between the lines I suspect that the close encounters with people like Hendrix were but fleeting, and the 'gardens of Highgrove', etc, is careful name-dropping, added to impress the potential reader. Cynical, moi? It all sounds a bit smug and 'oh, I'm such a hilarious and fascinating maverick'. I have an inkling it might be much made of nothing much all the way through; the reference to 'the gutters of Phnom Penh' doesn't mean he was actually in them - and it's spelt wrong! Actually, the more I read the blurb the more I find it a tad nauseating.
Reviews: Six, all glowing five stars, five of them written shortly after publication. I got the impression (by looking at what else they've reviewed) that at least four of the reviewers are friends of the author. I'm the first one to say that there is nothing wrong with real life friends reviewing your book if they've genuinely enjoyed it, but six five stars and nothing else at all means that either he's rubbish at marketing (fair enough), or nobody else considered it worthy of review.
Price: £5.10 ~ you're having a laugh! At that price, perhaps it didn't sell well enough for anyone else to know if it was any good or not.
So would I buy or pass? Pass, for sure! Memoirs by unknown writers are all over Kindle, for a couple of our English pounds or less, and many of them are about stuff you really want to read about, not just some bloke telling you how wacky he is.
Now, I must go to #FridayFiveChallenge and read everyone else's...