At the end of this post I’ll be sharing an exciting announcement with you all, so be sure to get in on it!
I’ve always been pretty vocal about my dissatisfaction with Amazon’s five-star rating system for books, the main reason being that five stars seriously limits the flexibility I’m able to have while expressing my opinions. So I decided to take matters into my own hands and construct a template for a ten-star rating system.
Currently, Amazon suggests the following criteria:
1 Star = I hate it
2 Stars = I don’t like it
3 Stars = It’s okay
4 Stars = I like it
5 Stars = I love it
Yuck. So…basic. So pessimistic. It sounds more like one of those convenience YA protagonists monologuing about her crush than a respectable review system. Does anyone even follow those criteria? I don’t.
Allow me to propose the following ten-star reviewing method:
1 Star = I read two chapters, burst a blood vessel, and fed the book to my pet turtle Franklin II.
2 Stars = I read three chapters, got a headache, and shook my head disapprovingly in Franklin II’s general direction.
3 Stars = I finished the book, but frankly, Franklin II is more interesting. And he’s a turtle. He doesn’t do anything. And his food smells weird.
4 Stars = The book’s okay for some light entertainment if I’ve got nothing better to do. Unfortunately, Franklin II and I had a game of marbles scheduled for today, so I won’t be reading much. Franklin II is bad at marbles. This could take some time.
5 Stars = I don’t regret spending a few bucks on the ebook. I enjoyed the general story, but there wasn’t anything remarkable about it. I might recommend it to Franklin II, since, being a turtle, his literature standards are fairly low, but he’s more of a mystery novel chap.
6 Stars = It’ll probably find a spot on my shelf, assuming the cover looks nice. Franklin II is irrelevant now. He can’t even see the shelf.
7 Stars = I quite enjoyed the book. I tried to have a meaningful discussion about the character development with Franklin II, but he was chomping on a lettuce leaf quite rudely, so I got mad and left.
8 Stars = Hmm, impressive. This book really stands out, possibly enough to earn a spot near the top of the shelf, where over time it’ll acquire a Franklin II-esque aroma. Gross. Franklin II stinks.
9 Stars = I read this book out loud to Franklin II after I’d finished it. We both teared up at the end. I’ve never seen Franklin II get so emotional. It was a beautiful bonding experience.
10 Stars = This book is extraordinary. Franklin II and I built a shrine for it, and on the second Tuesday of each month, we spend ten minutes in contemplative awe in front of it. Sometimes we even split a potato chip.
I hope the King of Amazon sees this post and takes the necessary steps to make my method official. In the meantime, Franklin II escaped his tank again. Gotta go find him.
Okay, now for the big announcement!
After a week or so of careful consideration, consultation, and calibration, I’ve decided to start a Wattpad account and serialize one of my backburner novels. Whaaat? Yes. I know. I think the earth just shifted on its axis. Here’s a fancy shiny thing for you to look at and be amazed:
A band of escaped slave children face a world that wants them back in chains…or dead. Their struggle for survival begins in the uncharted wilderness and ends in a city ready to tear itself apart.
Placeholder cover art by yours truly.
So why take this project to Wattpad? Several reasons. I’ve been puttering away at the manuscript for the better part of five years now, never really prioritizing it, so I figure this will be a good way to stick with it and finish it. It’s also the only novel I’ve written that doesn’t follow a developed outline, so a weekly chapter system fits perfectly. Third, The Broken City of Crows is longer and more ‘traditional’ fantasy than what I usually write. Why not try something different for it? Lastly, I really like the idea of getting feedback from readers as we progress through the story.
The first two chapters of The Broken City of Crows are already posted on Wattpad. Go read them here and tell me what you think! Any shares, tweets, or promotional smoke signals are greatly appreciated as well.
From here on out I’ll be posting single chapters every Friday or Saturday (depending on which works better for potential readers). And yes, I’m still writing Where the Woods Grow in Flames, don’t worry!
Anyways, I’m really excited to try this out. I don’t have super high expectations, but I’m curious to see how far we can go! Any support from you guys means the world to me, so let’s get going. Come along, Franklin II. We’ll be late!
Have a great day, friends!