A Touch of Greek (Out of Olympus Book 1) by Tina Folsom or Thoughts on Free Books and Self-Publishing
Publication Date: September 30, 2010
In A Touch of Greek by Tina Folsom, the Greek god, Triton (son of Poseidon) is beautiful and selfish. He has an affair with Zeus’s mistress, and Zeus punishes him by stripping him of his powers and sending him to the mortal realm where a woman must love him for himself and not his beauty. The catch? He’s sent to the beauty-obsessed United States.
That I’m reviewing A Touch of Greek may be misleading because the book itself is not so much what this review is about. It’s labeled paranormal romance and self-published by the author and, as romance goes, I’ve read worse. Many of the reviewers of this story thought that the book should have been labeled erotica. I disagree. While it is more sex than plot, it’s hardly enough sex to be erotica. Will I continue reading this series? No. I don’t regret reading A Touch of Greek, but I don’t have any burning desire to read on with these characters.
This was straight-up girl porn. Greek god walks into a bar and beelines for a hot woman who is with her not-so-hot friend. Said god notices not-so-hot friend when she drops ice into her cleavage and suddenly she is all he thinks about. He, a former man-ho, and can’t even contemplate having sex with anyone but this not-so-hot figurative goddess. If you’re so inclined and to read A Touch of Greek, I suggest making a drinking game of how many times Triton’s erection bites into the zipper of his jeans. I am not similarly equipped but if I were, I would imagine after the second time this happened to me, I’d be investing in sweatpants. I know, romance writers, not as hot to the imagination as jeans but then I’m a practical kind of girl.
I laughed out loud several times at the language used during intimate encounters (“If he didn’t taste her now, he’d die of starvation.” “I’m always hard for you.” “Only you can save me.”). The author also had a very interesting solution to the “he’s immortal and she’ll age” that so plagues couples in books about vampires. I suggest aspiring writers with the same dilemma to check this book out.
As I said, all not the point of this review.
A Touch of Greek has 95 reviews and held a five-star rating until Amazon offered it free for a few days in December. When looking at the reviews of those who didn’t like the book, I noticed a number of people saying that they’d read a few pages and stopped because they hadn’t realized it was erotica. While I don’t think, if I’d only read one chapter of a book I’d write a review, these folks obviously felt that they had a responsibility to warn others.
From what I understand from authors with whom I’m friends on Facebook, they’re not given a choice as to if their books are offered free on Amazon. The authors I’ve observed are inevitably excited because offering the book for free is a great marketing tool to sell the rest of their list. But what about when it’s not? What if people reading the reviews and seeing these folks who read a chapter or less decide not to buy the book based on what they’ve said?
A number of folks have blogs on Facebook where they advertise free Kindle books for users and when I first got my Kindle, I went through the happy, “OMG, THEY’RE FREE!” phase. I have books that I’ll likely never read and already some that I wish I hadn’t. Does that make an egregious breach of contract between the author and myself? No. I believe that it’s up to readers to be responsible in their book buying. If you don’t read the description, whatever you’ve downloaded and decided to discontinue reading is kind of on you. To my mind, it’s a disservice to an author to post a negative review just because we feel that they’ve misclassified the book.
To add to the “fair assessment” column, I do think this author could have used an editor. I know a lot of self-published authors have a group of betas who are not professional editors and probably already in love with the author’s work, so as much as they try, how thorough can they really be? Can a self-publisher write into their budget a professional editor? Probably not. We readers, we notice. To be fair, these are the sort of errors we see happen to professional writers as well…. NYT Bestselling author, Janet Evanovich, springs to mind. She’ll tell you that her senior moments contribute to errors the likes of changing a character’s name, but she has professional editors working for her so not everyone in the room should be having a senior moment at the same time.
As much as there is to read out there, Amazon self-publishing is adding exponentially to the list. If you listen to J.A. Konrath and Barry Eisler, in the future all we’ll see on our bookstore shelves are Indie choices which, for me, changes nothing. I like who I like and I will read what looks good but, for them, it’s going to be all that much more difficult to succeed.
Read an excerpt and buy A Touch of Greek by Tina Folsom on