I've received 36 books to review, and some of them are awful. I want to get them out of the pile and be done, and not waste any more of my time, or yours, if it's your book. Rather than call the author out, I will post here Rejection Slips, leaving out the writer's name or book title. Those rejected will get an email from me, saying why I think my opinion would actually hurt their sales instead of help, and that I choose not to post a review for that reason. In another forum, I have been encouraged to go ahead and blast the bad books, the writers who rushed out their first drafts, and anything else that gives indie books a bad name. But you know what? It's not my job. And I have early drafts of my own that make me cringe to this day, so I know that the learning process takes time. Writers need readers, not wise guy remarks. Where I can, I try to help.
1) Dear__________________, I cannot read and review your book in any positive light. In the first two pages, you use fuck or fucking fifteen times, for no apparent reason. The narration shifts from third to first person and back again, an artistic flourish that doesn't actually work. The historical characters you mention seem to be known to you only from Harold Robbins novels, and as a reader, I had the sensation of being trapped on a transAtlantic flight next to a loudmouth drunk with no earphones or cotton balls to drown out the rambling, disconnected story. If you want to learn about behind the scenes in Hollywood, read Fitzgerald's The Last Tycoon, or even Stephen J. Cannell. What you need to do is, join a writers group in your area. Accept the feedback of other writers in the group. Go back and organize and rewrite your story.
The hardest thing is sitting down and writing something. You've done that. Now go make it so people will want to read it.
2) Dear___________________, thanks for sending me your erotic memoir. I need to say, whenever I receive something that is a "new kind of book" that uses every type of media, I'm reminded of Hesse's Magister Ludi (The Glass Bead Game), where the monks in the Utopian society are challenged to create the ultimate media event, that will stir all the senses at once, and bring about the greatest aesthetic experience. Unfortunately, in today's world, if you do that Sony/Warner Bros. will come after you with a pack of legal bloodhounds, and sue you and your publisher and the people down the street where you live. The other thing that puts me off is this: jerking off while in a chatroom or Facebook or email session is still a lonely person with pants down in front of a glowing rectangle. You don't know it's your ideal lover on the other end. It could be a thirteen year old kid, a vice squad detective, or someone hoping to draw you out and murder you.
To think that readers will find this erotic tells me, you need to get out more. Get away from the computer. Pull your panties back up and go wash your hands and go out and meet someone. Try interaction with a human you can see and talk to. You don't have to write about all the kinky things in your head.
3) Dear ____________________________, thanks for sending me the first 1200 pages of your trilogy. I won't be reading it or reviewing it any time soon, but I will keep my eyes out for guest reviewers with tremendous amounts of idle time. A suggestion: if no one other than your sister has bought this book from Smashwords, consider breaking it down into smaller sections, and selling them separately. Give the first and second section away FREE, and develop a following of readers interested in the bizarre fantasy world you've created. This is a marketing critique, rather than a writing critique. The first twenty pages of your book contained good grammar and no misspellings, which is a good sign. But it didn't grab me and make me want to read 1180 more pages either. Maybe I shouldn't accept fantasy books at all. Books where the author gets a free ride from having to use accurate and insightful description of the hard cruel world we live in aren't on my list of favorites. I loved Dune, at least the first 3, not the next 20, and Lord of the Rings, but other than that, I prefer the comic book versions of Conan the Barbarian. You see? There are fantasy and sword and sorcery clubs, forums, conventions and readers groups everywhere on the internet. Any of these can do you a better service than me. I'm a narrow-minded pinhead. Thanks for trying.