When Someone Refunds Your Book on Kindle

 A paper cut to that flap of skin between thumb and forefinger. An errant hair plucked from your nostril. A blunt stake driven through your heart. None is as painful as checking your KDP reports and finding someone who bought your book has asked for a refund.

The first time it happened to me was for a book that was free. Yes, someone had downloaded a non-fiction book. by me, for free, and disliked it so much, they demanded a refund of all the money they hadn’t spent on it. That is dislike, writ large.

The second refund happened just last week, hours after the purchase, it seems.

Why, why, why? are the thoughts that run through your mind. They hated it and hate me. They think I can’t write or my plotting’s crap, my characters cardboard and they’re going to tell everyone they know not to touch my stuff.

After this vicious paranoia came a spell where I tried to reassure myself. They only had the book a few hours, maybe they downloaded it by mistake, they were looking for a similar title and got it all wrong. Fair enough, no problem.

Then the paranoia returned. They read the first chapter and laughingly threw the book aside. (Bit difficult, when it’s digital, but that sort of thing) They disliked it so much, they couldn’t get their money back quickly enough.

That attack eventually died down, and now I’ve come to accept that I’ll never know who downloaded it and why they asked for a refund. It’s just part of the process. But I’ll be waiting for that paranoia to return when the next refund gets processed…

How do you handle your book getting refunded?

REVIEW: Immortal by Dean Crawford

First up, this book wins an accolade that no subsequent work can ever take away from it, (cue drumroll):

Immortal, by Dean Crawford is the first digital book I've finished.

There you go. Now onto the review.

As a writer of thrillers, I feel the need to see what's being picked up by publishers out there (and, in this case, being given away free at Starbucks).

And this was OK. Three stars.

Biggest plus points: the quality of the writing, the smooth flow, the varied vocab, the attention to detail.

On the downside, I wasn't really feeling every blow with the lead characters (Ethan and Lopez). I got that Lopez was sexy, sassy, a bit of a loose cannon, and that Ethan was carrying some baggage concerning his missing girlfriend. But it wasn't until Ethan got in touch with his father at the end that he started to become a fully-rounded character.

I also found there was way too much exposition delivered in rambling character monologues that were overflowing with technical details.

But, the concept was strong, the start beguiling, and the whole story a little far-fetched for some tastes maybe, though not mine. I also think the author captured the tone of voice and vocab of the civil war vets brilliantly,  somewhat pouring scorn on my belief that not all characters in literature speak with a different voice.

Biggest surprise? That the author is English and lives in Surrey (the story is totally set in the USA, and the author knows plenty of details about the landscapes there).

Since my screenwriting days, I've always known that for the best chance of anything getting picked up by Hollywood, it's best to set some or all of your story in the US, or at least to have a key character who's American. It's a lesson Mr Crawford has certainly learnt.

Billed as the Michael Crichton for the next generation, he's got a lot to live up to.