Free Shit and Rant To Go

By Evangeline Jennings

An update in two halves. A massive book giveaway and a gratuitous rant.

Over at our sister site, the Pankhearst Review, we’ve been interviewing the authors of the first ten books we liked enough to give four or five stars. You can see the interviews here.

Today we’re giving away their books. More than fifty free books that are actually pretty good. From Syfy to hard-boiled shorts to poetry to YA.

Get some.

And if you knew how hard it had been to find ten really good books, then you would understand why the following rant goes out to all the liars.

Since we started reviewing books, we’ve bent over backwards to be fair, honest, and positive about Independently Published Books.

It’s not easy. Too many of the books we get sent are very bad. Too many of the books that might be good are so poorly produced – by which I mean edited and proof-read – that we can’t hand-on-heart recommend them.

And yet, when we tell someone we don’t feel able to recommend their book, they often come back at us with a long list of their five star reviews and the claim that we’re just not smart enough to get it. They know who they are.

Well, excuse me but we’re smarter than any dickhead who tries to pull that stunt – unless your name is Proust, because I really don’t get him – and we write better than they do. And we work harder at making our books the best they could be. So we know SHIT WRITING and SHIT QUALITY when we see it.

So no, we don’t care if you’re a Big Wheel at a so-called Independent Book Review site. We don’t care if ALL YOUR FRIENDS gave you a five star review. Your book is STILL SHIT and we are BEING POLITE when we say we are unable to recommend it.

But shit books are not the problem du jour. No, today’s problem is all the lying liars who lied and gave that shit book a five star review.

We’ve seen it more and more and more and more and more and more and fucking more.

Writers make friends with other writers. They swap five star reviews. They cross promote. They get their friends to write five star reviews. They tell each other they’re great. Smashing. Super.

They do anything they can to help each other EXCEPT TELL THE TRUTH.

And the never-ending lie fest is killing everything that should be good about independent publishing.

Consequently the editorial board of the Pankhearst Review, has agreed to a radical change in our review policy.

You can read about it here.

Come get some.


4 thoughts on “Free Shit and Rant To Go

  1. Your effort to keep it real has just left me thinking you’re trying way too hard and have become a little too self-satisfied and impressed with yourself.

    You’re a fine enough writer in your genre, but to appoint yourself so lofty a position above everyone else has completely soured me on your views.

    As such, I pulled my Amazon review on your book. Yes, it’s entertaining work. I enjoyed it. I’m not trying to be petty or spiteful…after all, you’ve never said boo about my work…I just don’t want to promote someone who makes so much effort and fuss to cast stones. Even more so because I’ve come to believe you only do so as a means to pull attention to your own writing.


  2. Or I could be accurately reflecting the frustration felt by our reviewers. Two of the eight are yet to encounter a submitted book they could finish.

    I think our average success rate is about ten percent. So here’s an offer for you. Say the word, and I’ll forward you the next ten requests in the queue. You can read them, review the ones you feel able to recommend, and we’ll post the reviews for you. Walk a mile before you cast stones.

  3. I’ve no doubt you’ve received many, many requests for books that are ten pounds, two ounces below substandard. But this rant, which You voiced previously–and I accepted then with a silent nod–is a balloon blown too far now. Let it go to fly free and deflate with a mirthful whoopee.

    You’ve been sent some poor works. So what. Big deal. And who gives a smarmy ‘harrumph’ that a few of those requesting have gotten their under garments in a twist that you politely declined. Fuck ’em. Rise above.

    The better business of writing is ‘mean what you say.’ And what you’ve said here (more so clearly for those who follow the link to see the ‘new guidelines’), is that you possess an infallible eye and ear. And, as if that ain’t enough, your superior senses have been so grossly insulted that the world must hear of your suffering.

    You are reviewing books to promote yourself. End of. As for the glib disclaimer about your grandmother’s golden rule of wisdom…. You must have been too busy text-ranting in class, because the lesson was lost on you.

    You’re a fine writer, (can I refer to the whole of Pankhearst in the singular?) and so I do respect your opinion and I’m sure your sensibilities have been nurpled. But, really….

    Review what you like. Or don’t. Or hatchet job the fools who step upon your doorstep and deservedly suffer your wrath. Hey, skewer me. But this generalizing trash talk about the whole indie market…. It just leaves me changing the channel.

  4. I lost my cool with you there and so I apologize. I’m reinstating the Amazon review for Cars & Girls and want to add that it is your prerogative to call things as you see them and I was out of line to make such a fuss.
    Bygones…I hope.

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