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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Guest Post: Fairy Tales, by Scott Nicholson

Today's guest post comes from author Scott Nicholson.  Make sure you stick around till the end for news on how you could win a Kindle 3!

 Fairy Tales
By Scott Nicholson

It’s probably no surprise that I ended up as a story teller, since my grandmother was
named Cinderella.
(No, this isn’t the one who told ghost stories and loved to hoard burial cakes in her
attic.) And my grandfather built strange guitars, with five strings of different lengths.
He was one of those maddening geniuses, an inventor who came up with all kinds of
brilliant mechanisms but never managed to make any money from them. He’d design
guns, motors, bicycles, and other gizmos, somehow make them run, but also make
them so inefficient and impractical that they were guaranteed never to be replicated.
And, of course, schizophrenia runs in the family. It usually manifests as a mild mistrust
or paranoia—this is on my mom’s side of the family, not my dad’s side, which is
mundanely ruled by depression, alcoholism, and homicidal tendencies.
I have an aunt who lives without running water because she’s afraid “they” might find
out where she lives if she requests water service. During Reagan’s Star Wars phase,
she proclaimed she would be willing to collaborate with the enemy (the Russians again,
at that time) in order to survive. As if this woman, who was afraid to have a phone book
in the house, had any knowledge or information that could possibly enhance the power
of an occupying force.
She managed to pass that on to her son, who found me on Facebook and wanted to
buy my books, but he doesn’t have a credit card or checking account because banks
can’t be trusted and, like, they’d know how much money he had. As if he ever had any.
There’s a saying in the publishing world that it gets much harder to sell your book once
you’ve used up your circle of relatives. I won’t say my family doesn’t read, because a
couple of my brothers have read some of my books, but they’re not much help in a book
blitz. None of them use Facebook or Twitter, and none of them really even use e-mail.
And I certainly can’t bribe them into writing glowing reviews for the books of mine they
haven’t read.
One complaint readers make about books on Amazon, especially those of indie or
small-press writers, is that relatives are writing all those five-star reviews. My relatives
don’t have Amazon accounts. That’s really debilitating when you want at least 10
reviews so people will take your book seriously.
I didn’t marry wisely. My wife said she married me primarily because I was a newspaper
reporter and therefore I’d have to give free publicity to her community arts organization.
I figured I’d get at least three or four more five-star reviews out of the deal, since she
has siblings. But, no, they don’t have Amazon accounts, either. Maybe I should have
married into the Bezos family.
The best I’ve been able to do is make my wife buy one of my books with her account
during those periods when I am on a promotional blitz and I want my ranking to move
up. I believe I’ve always asked her permission when she made me do it herself, though
once I posted in a forum as me when I was unknowingly logged in as her, then I had to
pretend to blame her for saying something dumb.
I tell you, storytelling is hard work. Lying is much, much easier. That’s partly why I gave
up being L.C. Glazebrook (the pen name came from Cinderella and my grandfather).

I wasn’t sure how long I could sustain a lie of that magnitude, especially when a fake
person has no relatives that can be forced to buy books.
I even reviewed my own books at Amazon, under my own name, though I actually
used the space to tell funny stories about how I wrote the book. Someone ratted me
out to Amazon (I find it incredible that someone takes the role of “promotion police” so
seriously that they go around looking for violations of Amazon’s conduct policy), and
Amazon took them down and sent me a warning message—though the tone of the
message was clearly “We can’t believe somebody complained, either, but rules are
rules.” I didn’t realize opening making fun of myself was such a serious crime, but I
swear I’ll never do it again.
No. Writing reviews for my own books is L.C.’s job from now on. All I have to do is get
her an Amazon account, and get credit cards for her schizophrenic siblings so they can
buy my books and never read them.
And they all lived happily ever after.

For every book of mine that hits the Top 100 during the tour, I will throw in an extra Kindle 3 giveaway. Tell your friends. Amaze your neighbors. Shock your therapist.

Scott Nicholson is author of 12 novels, including the thrillers Speed Dating with the Dead, Drummer Boy, Forever Never Ends, The Skull Ring, As I Die Lying, Burial to Follow,and They Hunger. His revised novels for the U.K. Kindle are Creative Spirit, Troubled, and Solom. He’s also written four comic series, six screenplays, and more than 60 short stories.
His story collections include Ashes, The First, Murdermouth: Zombie Bits, and Flowers.

To be eligible for the Kindle DX, simply post a comment below with contact info. Feel free to debate and discuss the topic, but you will only be entered once per blog. Visit all the blogs on the tour and increase your odds. I’m also giving away a Kindle 3 through the tour newsletter and a Pandora’s Box of free e-books to a follower of “hauntedcomputer” on Twitter. Thanks for
playing. Complete details at http://www.hauntedcomputer.com/blogtour.htm


  1. Storytelling is REALLY hard work. >_<

  2. And I thought my family had issues. The holidays must be fun around your house, especially Holloween.


  3. Funny picture - you look like a chunky Stephen King in that one. :)

  4. Just finished reading your first October Girls book. Loved it! It appeals both to YA and those oldies who are still young at heart. I'll write a review as soon as I find some time. I can relate to your family members being worthless when it comes to the internet and writing reviews. With a few exceptions, mine don't even speak English well enough to read my book nor do they have credit cards or Amazon accounts. And there is nobody around right now I would marry just so he could write a review. Bummer. Still enjoying your tour and discovering new books of yours.
    And, ahem, that photo! What happened? How were you able to gain all this weight in such a short time?

    Great picture of the "book rat" on top of the blog!


  5. On a good note Scott, by not having many family members who read, you at least won't be pressured to give many books away. I've never published a book myself (I do have one novel completed and another 3/4 done, just not sure if I'll do anything with them as I've been writing them just for fun) but my best friend has published 3 of his so far and we have found it funny how both friends and family members feel entitled to get a free copy...and then they don't even bother to post a review once they do get a free copy. So what we've seen so far is that a story teller gets to spend a load of time creating wonderful worlds for us to visit, editing his works, getting those works printed or published, paying for copies to give to those folks who should actually be the first to run out and BUY the books and then begging those same folks to write a simple review which most of them don't do. Heck, I don't think most of the friends/family who do end up with free copies even bother to read the books. Its a rather strange scenario.

    calseeor (at) gmail (dot) com

  6. Innana, that's funny, the caption for that picture on my web site is "Am I Stephen King yet?"

    Christa, I think polygamy is legal in California, isn't it?

    Eric, good point, but at least in the e-book era I'm just giving them a file.


  7. Eric,
    You bring up some good points, but having never been published, I look forward to having to deal with that dillema. I'm sure it will be a bit frustrating. Keep up the writing Scott. There are plenty of people ready to comment and review your books. I'm sure this blog tour will help too.

    Wakincade AT gmail DOT com

  8. After your description of family - can see why you write horror. Sheesh.

    Eric brings up a good point about friends & family expecting "free copies" - annoying. When my new one comes out - not even mentioning it to them.

    I've never asked for reviews - maybe that's a mistake - but a review from a friend or family member, to me anyway, would be meaningless. Would rather see something unbiased. I like the idea of fairplay.

    THE RED CHURCH (reading now) is a grabber. Will be on the beach in a an hour or so - clicking thru its "pages". Keep up the good work.

  9. Interesting post!

    monacart32 at hotmail dot com

  10. Gotta love your family! :D Thanks for the lovely post, Scott!
    You can reach me at luvpinkpanther@gmail.com

  11. ah, craZy family. love it!

    hancoci_s at msn dot com

  12. Entertaining post!

    chey127 at hotmail dot com

  13. Thanks for the chuckles Scott, fun post!

    Unfortunately, I don't do Facebook or Twitter either, email is enough to keep up with along with the rest of my life. So I can't help you there.

    I have done my part with reviews, tagging and purchases though.

    Until tomorrow.


  14. pick me pick me pick me - I'm over here waving my hand maniacally! I want to give a kindle to my sister in law and I promise to buy some of your books to load on if before I gift it :)


  15. Thanks for the chance to win.
    bkhabel at gmail dot com

  16. "Christa, I think polygamy is legal in California, isn't it?"

    LOL. Wouldn't surprise me if it were! Let's put this way: the decent guys in my age range around here are either married or gay. The other ones . . . well, I won't go into it. Perhaps, I should move to NC!

  17. "the decent guys in my age range around here are either married or gay" - oops, didn't mean to insult all those decent guys I haven't met yet! Gee, I'm getting into trouble here.

  18. My birthday today, cross fingers to win!


  19. Don't worry, Scott. I have at least five other folks living upstairs in my head, so I'll be good for at least six reviews for each of your books. And who knows, there may be plenty of others living there I haven't met yet. :P


  20. Wow, your family reunions as a kid must have been totally wild.

    caity_mack at yahoo dot com

  21. Interesting post. ;)


  22. This looks interesting!
    couponhuntingchik at gmail dot com

  23. Hey, I remember that review you posted of yourself. Thought it was funny and totally up front. I like how I'm enjoying your posts and learning from you, plus finding other people's comments informative and fun. For instance, I suspected people who would expect free copies would be the last ones to ever post a review for you, so good to have that confirmed. I'm also enjoying meeting your fellow followers. varbonoff22 at cox dot net

  24. I believe story telling is in all of us. Putting it down in a novel or short story takes more effort and not a little talent. Scott is the master story teller.

  25. Ha! This is a great post! I know I've seen authors write reviews (if you can call it a review even) on shelfari. It doesn't really do me any good, but maybe someone will see it has one review and they won't really even care about who wrote it. I know things work differently on amazon though.

    candace_redinger at yahoo dot com

  26. living your passion is not easy but joyous. spvaughan@yahoo.com

  27. Famil-----We are all stuck with it!

    kissinoak at frontier dot com

  28. Hi Scott, You are a very good story teller. You can spin yarns for sure.lol.. You can't have that much drama in your family, can you?
    I am still following you and hope I win a Kindle..

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

  29. I enjoyed the post and the blog tour. I look forward to more great posts.

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  30. Your family sounds worse than mine!!

    dulcibelle [at] earthlink [dot] net

  31. I'm having to write this from school because my internet at the new place is STILL NOT WORKING! (GRRR!)

    I find it shocking, sad and SHAMEFUL that you complain about your relatives, their financial savvy (not having credit cards---and keeping out of debt) and almost bad mouth them just because they can't write you a positive review.

    I find it also shocking, sad and shameful that you FAILED to note that YOU are the black sheep (er...goat?) of the family! All of the other Nicholsons are utterly embarrassed by your barnyard loving antics, your blatant need for fame and fortune, and the constant embarrassment of your books being out there in print---giving people the WRONG idea about life the boonies!

    Yet, while they could have reaped all sorts of financial reward and celebrity of their own, they have remained MUM on the topic. After all, you ARE kin! Blood is thicker than water---or moonshine! Sure, the were invited on to the "Jerry Springer Show" a time or two to discuss you--and it was mighty tempting--but they just said NO. And here you are bad mouthing them because they prefer to shop in REAL bookstores instead of online.

    Judging by that photo of you, I suppose "fame" has gone to your head. I just hope your sweet, but amazingly fat big aunt Bertha doesn't accidentally sit on your head again. This time it looks like it might just POP (like a zit or something!).


  32. Scoot, mind if I send you a few of my relatives?

  33. I have an Amazon account! Send me one of your books and I'll surely give you a good review there! :)

  34. Sounds like an interesting family. I have my own interesting family, though in a different way. I bet your childhood was much more fun than mine, though :-P
    teawench at gmail dot com

  35. Still hoping to win that kindle. I think my husband would like the DX better than the regular one I have.


  36. Sounds like you have a very interesting family. My grandparents had a Cinderella in their life as well, but she was a tiny little black dog that loved to chase little bouncy balls that you'd get from gumball machines.
    Thanks for another entertaining read Scott. I've fallen behind a bit, but catching up today. Not a bad way to spend a lazy sunday.


  37. My family is crazy to hafe have spent time in the nut house and the rest Are drunks well at lease some of the newer family members know how to use a Computer


  38. That is weird that you can't comment on your own books. Thanks for the great post!

  39. Thanks for the contest!


  40. great post about the relationship between you and amazon
    bmcbroom at gmail dot com

  41. I'll be looking for LC's reviews, I hope she decides they are all 5 star rated, it would be a shame if she didn't enjoy them.

    waitmantwillie at hotmail dot com

  42. Sounds like you are the only 'normal' one in your family...or are you? :)

  43. thanks for the chance to win!!

  44. "I believe I’ve always asked her permission when she made me do it herself, though
    once I posted in a forum as me when I was unknowingly logged in as her, then I had to
    pretend to blame her for saying something dumb."


    This post was a great read.

    Twitter: MachineTrooper

  45. Thanks


  46. Count me in, please.
    Thanks for the chance to win.

    I have no idea how you can daily come up with new fun stuff for us to read. Guess that's why you are the writer and I am not.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  47. I think that I am the only one in my family that ever read for pleasure. I don't ever remember seeing any of my brothers pick up a book. It was those things that made me believe that I was adopted (that and the fact that I was the only one that was tobacco free).


  48. You are too funny, Scott! Have I told you how much I'm enjoying your tour?


  49. I'd love to read this book (and the rest of the books he's written) on a new Kindle!

  50. @Eric, an October beach! I am jealous (I'll be there over Thanksgiving...)

    @Lorraine, thanks for your loyal service, it shall be rewarded in this life or the next

    @Dee, I wish I could pick an enthusiastic waver, but the public library is doing the picking so I don't choose a friend (and all of you are becoming friends!) That's why I hope I sell enough books to give away more Kindles.

    @Candace, I've always said that the total NUMBER of reviews is more important than the star ratings--which is why I encourage people to write reviews even if they hate the books! It's all entertainment.

    @icedream if LC doesn't give me five stars I'll make up stories about her on the Internet

    @scooter good thing your family didn't adopt that trendy habit of paper chewing...

    @yes Margay, you have but I always like hearing it again!

    @Cindy, good luck in the contest (but if you don't win, I hoe you get one for Christmas)


  51. You're lucky. My relatives just pat me on the head and say, "Isn't that sweet? Little Maggie wrote a book."

  52. And I thought I had a "colorful" family! Maybe I should be grateful . . .

    baychriz at gmail dot com

  53. How un-boring your family sounds!
    Great fodder for stories, I'm sure.
    pippirose59 at gmail dot com

  54. I'm soo far behind in this blog tour as I am a blog addict and keep reading the previous blogs you visited!


  55. There is always at least one in the family but it's even more fun to have a bunch.


  56. I suppose many Amazon reviews come from family members and friends. Personally, I wouldn't know who to ask, and I would much rather prefer to get honest reviews.


  57. Broke down and bought a new Kindle yesterday, but I'd still like a DX. Thanks fro introducing me to blogging and making it painless.

    Jeff White whitejw@ameritech.net

  58. I love the little rattie at the top of the page! My daughter has two and they are so lovable. Your posts always make me laugh. Thanks :)


  59. Lol. Someone actually ratted you out? What a doof!

  60. Seriously I just dont know how you do it.

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  61. Ha!

    Sometimes the truth is even better than fiction!


  62. You know, Scott, I hate to tell you this---but actually putting in writing that you did not marry wisely may make your illiterate, schizophrenic, paranoid family members a tad bit smarter than you!

    J/K - great post! ;-)


  63. You know that a person has nothing better to do in their life, when they turn you in to Amazon for reviewing your own books. If you had really wanted to be devious about it, you would not have done it under your own name..... It takes all kinds, doesn't it?


  64. That's quite a dilemma, but hopefully this blog tour will garner you both buys and reviews.

    Your family makes mine look normal by comparison.

  65. I sometimes wonder about the Amazon reviewers. Have they actually read the book?

  66. Well aren't those just lovely genes? I mean, you got all the chances of having all sorts of menatal illnesses... All together at once *giggle*

    mayarend -at- yahoo.com.br

  67. You had to take down your own review? Too funny!

    urchiken at gmail dot com

  68. From your description of family members, I think we may be related. Do you have any relatives in Charleston, West Virginia?


  69. Thanks for the chance to win...I'm dying to have a Kindle! :)

    kt1969 at comcast dot net

  70. I'd love to have a chance to win!


  71. Like Lorraine, I don't do Twitter or facebook; but I too am doing as much as I can re purchases, reviews, and tags. And faithfully following the tour!
    Gail Lang in Florida
    cowgirl3000 AT gmail DOT com

  72. Funny and interesting post, Scott. I really enjoyed it.

    Btw, when these readers claim that family and friends write all the 5 star reviews...what if they really liked it? Shouldn't they be able to review like anyone else? LOL


    P.S. I made sure I was actually logged in to Wordpress this time. You don't know how many comments I've made on your blog tour that got wiped out because I wasn't logged in. That's why I don't like blogspot. LOL

  73. Crazy cool! Thanks Scott!

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

  74. LOL lovin this blog tour!

    dreamer dot ima at gmail dot com

  75. Trolls exist in all shapes and sizes. It's a wonder someone would be so ... insufferable towards an instance like that and take the time to complain to Amazon. Go figure.


  76. I didn't know that rule existed that you couldn't comment on your own book...even when posting as yourself. Weird.


  77. Interesting...


  78. What a flattering picture, I might get a new publicist or photographer :)
    hmhenderson AT yahoo DOT com

  79. Another winner!!
    cjwallace43 at gmail dot com

  80. Love the blog... and the free kindle.


  81. @Maggie Yeah, people who write books are "peculiar"--just make sure it doesn't mess up your day job

    @Jeff enjoy that new Kindle!

    @Kristie it's easy to spot the people who haven't read reviews, and the people writing the one-stars are usually unintentionally hilarious by showing their illiteracy

    I tend to think people make a bigger deal out of reviews than they should--it's Amazon, not the Nobel Prize for Literature judging committee!

    Scott Nicholson

  82. I'm pretty terrible at writing books reviews but I'll try my best when I'm done reading a book by you. :)

    conrad.jd (at) gmail (dot) com

  83. Hello Scott,

    I didn't realize how important Amazon reviews were for writers. Perhaps because I don't really use them myself. If I'm at Amazon to buy a book, I've already made up my mind about it.

    Still, I wrote a review of the Red Church and The Harvest (now Forever Never Ends) years ago and posted them on my blog. Can I also use them for an Amazon review or must I write a new one?

    Thanks for the chance to win,
    Greg "The Undead Rat" Fisher

    theundeadrat (@) gmail (.) com

  84. Enjoying the tour....would love to enjoy a Kindle 3 too! *wink* ;)

    purposedrivenlife4you at gmail dot com

  85. Great post! So funny and it is reassuring to know I'm not the only one with a wacky family.

  86. Great post! Enter me please!


  87. I love it! Please enter me in also.

    ....Tiffypoot @ (aol.com)

  88. Creepy picture. Strange family. But I bet you are getting some great reviews now. I will be adding to the pile as soon as I finish reading…

  89. Enjoying the tour, it's a crazy post!!

    Can't wait to read!

    Dottie :)


  90. Great family! We have mental illness genes in mine also: ADHD and bipolar.

  91. Great post.
    Count me in.


  92. great blog and contest!

    marjoleinbookblog at gmail dot com

  93. Thanks for entyering, everyone, entries here capped at 97--please join later stops and return to visit Book Rat often. Thanks for hosting, Misty!

    Scott Nicholson

  94. The “friends and family” sales are great--when you get them--and can help a self-publisher a lot in terms of recouping expenses. But that’s only if they buy them. I know for my extended family, most bought my first book. Then nothing for a long time until another book came out and I had a book launch at a bookstore for it. Then nothing. And, to this day, still nothing except one sale (I think). But that’s okay. Some friends have helped fill in the gaps and I’m thankful for their support. I know that if anyone in my family or circle of friends wrote a book and published it, I’d buy their every release.

    In the end, though, friends and family are readers so either way, a reader gets a book, and that’s what matters.

    Coscomentertainment [at] gmail [dot] com


    BLOOD OF THE DEAD and ZOMBIE FIGHT NIGHT available for the Amazon Kindle. Grab your copies here!

  95. What a super, funny pic/

    dorcontest at gmail dot com

  96. I would love to be entered!

  97. that picture is just a little creepy.

    jlynettes @ hotmail . com

  98. hufflepuffgrl13@yahoo.com

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