A write old life.

Dougie Brimson. Author, screenwriter, serial moaner.

How authors can beat the Amazon trolls.


amazon, itunes, ebooks, author, brimson, football, soccer, troll, bullies

An Amazon troll.

I love Amazon, it is amazing. Not simply for the fact that it offers brilliant prices on just about everything but because it’s where I sell most of my books. Not just in the UK either, but around the world.

However, my favourite online retailer does have a dark side and it is one which all authors need to be aware of; the forums.

As an idea of course, a place where readers can talk about books is brilliant. Not just to enhance the experience of readership but also because a lot of people like to support authors and promote new ones which is not something to be sniffed at. Conversely, it is also a great way to let people know that you might not have enjoyed a particular book as well as hopefully, providing an explanation as to why. This however, is where the problems can sometimes arise.

Now I always advise authors to avoid responding to reader reviews and especially to comments for the simple reason that reviews are an individual’s opinion and are generally posted for the benefit of other readers. And whilst they can be incredibly useful to authors for all kinds of reasons, they are not written for them/you/me.

There are inevitably exceptions to that, the primary ones being to thank someone who has been particularly complimentary or point someone who has loved a book in the direction of a sequel if such a thing exists. However, when someone posts something negative, be it about the story, the writing or even the grammar, whilst the natural instinct is to respond, it is imperative that you avoid the temptation and instead, bite the bullet and take it on the chin. If you don’t, you potentially open yourself up to a world of pain. For the forums are also home to all kinds of trolls. And literary trolls like nothing than a sniff of a stroppy author.

As a result, before you know it you could find yourself under attack and those attacks can be very personal indeed. They can also be relentless as literary trolls hunt in packs. And don’t think they will confine their activities to Amazon either. Oh no, upset the trolls and they’ll fairly quickly be rubbishing you on Goodreads as well as various other sites. And those attacks can go on for weeks, months, even years.

Indeed, so bad can they get that they don’t just damage the book, they can easily undermine the reputation and even confidence of the author. I know of numerous authors who have actually withdrawn their books from sale because they can’t handle the abuse they’ve received. Occasionally, they have got so bad that the police have had to become involved.

Quite what drives these people on escapes me. Although I suspect both jealousy and sad, empty lives have a lot to do with it. However, to delve into the psyche of these bullies gives them exactly the kind of power and importance that they crave so it’s far better to simply laugh them off, ignore them and simply keep churning out good solid work. Because ultimately, that’s what they want to stop you doing, which is ironic given that they all claim to love books.

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top dog, brimson. hooligans, author, film, screenwriting, violence, crime, thrillerDougie Brimson is the author of 15 books, the bulk of which are now available as eBooks. These include the thriller, The Crew (the most downloaded football book of 2012 which is now FREE), its sequel, Top Dog, which is soon to hit the big screen and the new comedy, Wings of a Sparrow.

Details of all books as well as links to buy can be found by clicking here!  

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2 comments on “How authors can beat the Amazon trolls.

  1. Lao Chen
    November 23, 2013

    Those people aren’t trolls. They are venomous haters.

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