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Are there any people out there writing biographies of obscure people?


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Showing 226-250 of 319 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on 5 Mar 2013 11:07:42 GMT
Waspolly says:
I aree with your comment Ms. A! I wrote & had published a book about my early years living in Richmond in Yorkshire. All my close friends & family have copies, but when they tried to write their reviews about my book, Amazon 'blocked' them because they knew me personally! The world is definally 'mad'!

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Mar 2013 11:10:03 GMT
Dan Fante says:
Only 20 pages? Are you taking the hit and miss?

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Mar 2013 12:15:55 GMT
I Readalot says:
Not 'mad', reviews from F & F are notoriously partial, and even if they had been published very few readers would have taken them seriously anyway as they probably would have all been 5* reviews saying how wonderful it is. You are really better off without them.

Posted on 5 Mar 2013 15:20:36 GMT
F Pleszak says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 6 Mar 2013 13:43:05 GMT
Sou'Wester says:
Absolutely agree. Recommendations are supposed to be unbiased and, with the best will in the world, it's impossible to take a disinterested view of a book by a close friend or relative. Are we honestly to believe that if someone wrote an absolute stinker of a book, a close friend would comment as such in an Amazon review? I'm pleased to hear that Amazon is blocking at least some of these "family and friend" reviews; unfortunately there are still far too many that slip through the net and get published.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Mar 2013 14:53:24 GMT
I Readalot says:
Just imagining this situation - someone's mum writes a terrible book, daughter (or son) writes a completely honest review saying it is terrible, don't think it would go down too well somehow, although the fallout (and possible murder) could be a plot for a crime novel.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Mar 2013 14:53:28 GMT
Waspolly says:
I would certainly give a 'good review' for a book written by a close friend. But I would give no review at all if I hadn't enjoyed it! What is wrong with saying you have enjoyed reading something if you genuinely enjoyed it? Isn't that what reviews are all about? Or does Amazon automatically believe that 'good reviews' are only written by F & F?

Posted on 6 Mar 2013 15:58:19 GMT
I Readalot says:
It isn't a case of 'Amazon' believing or not believing, it is simply a company with regulations, but customer's are likely not to trust a 5* 'this is wonderful' review written by friends or family of the author and such reviews do not benefit the author at all. The majority of reviews on Amazon are completely impartial.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Mar 2013 16:00:18 GMT
Sou'Wester says:
That defeats the whole object of a review. It is just as important (possibly more so) to warn fellow customers away from inferior material as it is to commend good work. I used to do quite a lot of book reviews for a specialist magazine but was absolutely scrupulous in declining to review any publication in which a friend had been involved; for me, to do otherwise would have been totally unethical.
One of the big problems with Amazon reviews of self-published work is the disproportionate number of glowing 5* commendations; it's absolutely nonsensical when you compare it with reviews of much better-known works where there is usually a much more realistic cross-section of opinion.
We should remember that reviews are there for the benefit of customers; not to flatter writers' egos.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Mar 2013 17:33:59 GMT
Marand says:
I agree entirely. I don't think authors realise the extent to which a bunch of F&F reviews can actually be off-putting.

I came across an SP book the other day which had 26 five star reviews within a fortnight of publication. Of the reviewers 24 had never reviewed another book and the two who had posted other reviews, had posted reviews of children's toys on the same day! The subject matter had appealed to me but with this level of dubious reviews I just passed on it.

Posted on 22 Apr 2013 21:48:00 BDT
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In reply to an earlier post on 4 May 2013 05:39:12 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 4 May 2013 05:47:18 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 4 May 2013 06:43:48 BDT
Wow that is jut incredible - - that they thought nobody would notice? Wow. I'm stunned"!

In reply to an earlier post on 5 May 2013 11:34:27 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 5 May 2013 11:37:49 BDT]

Posted on 5 May 2013 11:38:14 BDT
Last edited by the author on 6 May 2013 12:03:49 BDT
I've written a book about my Grandfather - he lived a very interesting life but is as obscure as its gets. Its not pure bio - its what i call Factual Fiction so most of it is based on his memories and intricate research but he's not even born for the first 50 or so pages so i'm dealing with the generation before and i had to weave a narrative around the known facts - probably my biggest invention was a best friend character for my great grandfather.

Edited to not be shameless!

In reply to an earlier post on 5 May 2013 12:07:25 BDT
TomC says:
Please do not use these discussion forums to promote your own book. It is both unwelcome and against Amazon rules. From the "Important Announcement from Amazon":

"Starting on December 15, 2011, all "shameless self-promotion" activity will be limited to the `Meet Our Authors' community."

Put your spam in the "Meet Our Authors" forum. That's what it's for.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/forum/meet%20our%20authors

In reply to an earlier post on 9 May 2013 14:32:17 BDT
Edith and I: On the Trail of an Edwardian Traveller in KosovoI'm not sure whether she's obscure, and it's not a straightforward biography, but I've just published the first book anything near a biography of Edwardian anthropologist, aid worker and Balkan traveller, Edith Durham. The book is called 'Edith and I; on the trail of an Edwardian traveller in Kosovo' and it's not a straightforward biography because I could see that there was as much to write about the people I met and the experiences I had as I researched in modern-day Kosovo, Albania and England, as there was about Edith's extraordinary life.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 May 2013 22:58:50 BDT
koobmrow says:
Markus, I have just read a fantastic book titled 'Rock 'n Roll in a Danger Zone.' (purchased by my wife from Amazon.com) The true story is set in Vietnam during the Vietnam war and is about a musical group of young Australians who toured the country entertaining American and Australian troops. Check it out....you'll be glad you did, I'm sure.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 May 2013 16:59:11 BDT
M. Milne says:
There is good point here about why some people drown in oblivion and others are built up into great heroes. Usually, well-known people are great self-publicists who copy all their letters and have them published by their families so university professors can do easy research. A good example is Sir John Fastolf, who later "became" Falstaff, and who was family with the Paxtons; he is very well known and there are many books about him, starting, of course, with Henry IV. He was a retainer of the Duke of Bedford, who as Regent of France during Henry VIth's minority was the most powerful man in England, yet he is utterly unknown, except for a romantic novel written by Georgette Heyer which was sourced from good English historical documents. She found it much harder to find out stuff from the French period of his life, because when the English were kicked out most documents were destroyed or conveniently "lost". Researching my play "bloody bedford", I read pretty much every remaining document in French libraries from the 20 years between Agincourt and Bedford's death, trying to understand why the English got kicked out so soon after our stunning victory. Eventually I was able to work it out, and learnt a lot about England and France in the early 1400s, and also about Joan of Arc, who was neither a saint nor a sinner, but a remarkable young girl. Trying to understand how grown men could put to death such a person - in such a gruesome manner - was a great lesson in what humanity really means, although of course we have plenty of recent experience of that, too. Bedford remains the least documented head of state in the British history books, probably because (IMO) he detested the whole idea of being a King. He felt it was his duty, as a royal son, but he made sure his own children were never put into such a position.

Posted on 21 May 2013 20:55:13 BDT
Last edited by the author on 21 May 2013 20:57:56 BDT
avid reader says:
My biography of Mary Sophia Allen started with a postcard in a museum. After internet searches I found living people with information about her which has led to a book which I hope will interest people:
From Suffragette to Fascist: The Many Lives of Mary Sophia Allen
From Suffragette to Fascist: The Many Lives of Mary Sophia Allen

Posted on 21 May 2013 21:25:25 BDT
TomC says:
Nina Boyd

Please do not use these discussion forums to promote your own book. It is both unwelcome and against Amazon rules. From the "Important Announcement from Amazon":

"Starting on December 15, 2011, all "shameless self-promotion" activity will be limited to the `Meet Our Authors' community."

Put your spam in the "Meet Our Authors" forum. That's what it's for.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/forum/meet%20our%20authors

In reply to an earlier post on 21 May 2013 22:22:19 BDT
nephran says:
I'm writing about Little Ol' Meses..A quite exceptional and obscure Gnome.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 May 2013 00:48:47 BDT
Avid reader says:
I understand your reasoning but how can you answer the original question set by Marcus without saying something about you own work? It is not an easy thing to do.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 May 2013 06:17:20 BDT
TomC says:
This thread was started in December 2009, before MOA was established in December 2011. It should have been allowed to die, but self-promoters continue to revive it to plug their books.

Posted on 22 May 2013 06:46:06 BDT
M. Milne says:
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Participants:  161
Total posts:  319
Initial post:  25 Dec 2009
Latest post:  31 Jul 2013

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