The site is the brain child of Jefferson Smith, a writer who admits he’s disenchanted with the professionalism of a lot of the indie-published ebooks he’s seen. So he reads an ebook while he’s on the treadmill each morning. He gives each story three strikes (which he calls WTF’s) against reader immersion before he stops reading. Then he reviews the story and tells what pulled him out of the story, if anything did.
This is what Jefferson Smith says about his review process:
If somebody is charging us money for their books, we have the right to expect a few things. They should be good stories, well told, with proper spelling, punctuation, and grammar. The logic of the story should be consistent, the choices and behaviors of the characters should be plausible, and they should actually be doing something. Something interesting. Something worth telling stories about. A book that gets all those right will probably go the full 40 minutes with me. Sadly, a great many indie books do not seem to get those basics right.
The really cool thing is that he analyzed his results after he hit 50 reviews, and wrote an excellent article detailing the flaws he was seeing in ebooks, as well as some reasonable grouping of the flaws into categories. His conclusions are startling, but also very useful to writers.
Check out the article. And definitely check out the reviews…he’s brutal but fair. Reading the reviews is sort of like a condensed course in what not to do in your own stories. As for me, I’m sending my next ebook to Jefferson Smith…’cause I’m willing to take the “Immerse or Die” challenge. How about you?