Thursday, September 26, 2013

My Book, My Thoughts, My Blog

Yesterday I logged on to Amazon and looked at my book, My Mother-in-law Misadventures. I don't look at the sales often, because, frankly, I gave the book away to pretty much everyone that asked for one. So sales are not really that good. There might be someone in Alaska who read it; I'm not sure I understand the metrics well enough to tell.
What amazed me was that I had a review on Amazon! Woo-hoo! Except it was a single star. "Wow," I thought, "someone really hated my book. I wonder what they thought was so bad about it?"

So here's the review, by Toots456:
"This man disliked his mother-in-law. He constantly belittled her in life and is trying to make a buck off her death. Guess getting all her money wasn't enough for him. Don't waste your money on his version of reality especially when one considers this was his 3rd or 4th mother-in-law."

That was a bit hurtful, but there are really only two people who might write that review - Darling's brother (P) or his wife (E). After looking at the other items reviewed by Toots456 I can deduce that the reviewer was E.
I'm trying very hard not to call her nasty names in return. 
Sales don't indicate that either P or E bought the book. I didn't send them a copy, not in electronic format or paperback (she reviewed the paperback).
To be truthful, I did dislike my Mother-in-law at times. She was hard to deal with and headstrong and sometimes just plain mean. I don't think I put those stories in the book. In fact, I know I left a lot of those stories out of the book, and I left out a bunch of stories involving P and E - because they just are not nice stories.
I did not "constantly belittle her in life." Over the decade we spent living in the same house we certainly had our disagreements, and a few of those were pretty loud. In my defense, Frau couldn't hear too well, so that is a little bit understandable.
I certainly didn't belittle her in the book. I took great pains to remove parts that might even seem offensive, which meant I often removed stories about P and E. If you'd like to see some of those, just drop me a note. I have plenty, and a recorded version of a voice mail message from P as evidence of one incident. I'll let that go.
I'm not "trying to make a buck off her death." Oh, I'm certainly trying to make a buck off stories about her life, but so far this book has cost me money, not made me money. I apologized to Darling about that just the other day and she smiled and told me it was sweet of me to write the book about her mother.
I won't even address the money comment, except to say Darling didn't have to give P and E any of the inheritance, but they got quite a bit anyway. If you knew how much you'd be wondering how they can complain.
"Don't waste your money on this version of reality" - well, I do write fiction, too, but these were real stories. I'd like for thousands of people to spend money on a few stories that make them smile.
"… especially when one considers this was his 3rd or 4th mother-in-law." Really, E? Really? Didn't P have a previous mother-in-law? What in the world does that have to do with anything? She was, by the way, my third mother-in-law.
I wrote a comment to her review, but decided to delete it. That's what my blog is for.

If you are a member of Goodreads (dot com), you'll see some reviews by people who did read the book.

Alison gave it 4 stars:
This book was a quick read for me, and really should be for anyone else at 67 pages. It is a touching memoir of a son-in-law's memories of the time spent living with Frau, his mother-in-law. Some stories are funny, some a little goofy, and some will make you appreciate the "Fraus" in your own life.

The quick snippet stories remind me of a blog, one that was then compiled into a book. Maybe that's the case here and I missed that fact. So the nature of the short stories led to a little bit of repetitiveness in some details. A little more editing with that in mind would have made for a more cohesive book. 

But all in all, this was a fun, lighthearted, and touching read. I enjoyed it!

Christina gave it 4 stars:
What a cute quick read that truly reminds the reader to cherish what you have while you have it, and those around you while they're there.

Dawn gave it 5 stars (she was a give-away winner):
Wonderfully written and laced in wit! Thank you for my autographed copy!

Lachlan rated it 1 star, but didn't say why. April rated it 3 stars but also didn't give comments.

I appreciate the comments. They will help make me a better writer and that's worth something to me.
A review from my sister-in-law means pretty much nothing to me, but it sure is annoying. I notified Amazon that it was offensive and defamatory, and that she didn't even read the book. I hope they pull the review down.

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