Saturday, September 1, 2012

Buying Up Slots One Through Seven


LC Cooper
Copyright, LC Cooper, 2011-2012, all rights reserved

A raunchy, irreverent, and satirical poem about writers who "rent" the top slots at FanStory in hopes of getting tons of favorable reader reviews. This is set to the music of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven," so it matches the song's lyrical structure.

I'm a lady who's told that I spin and weave gold
And I'm buying up slots one through seven.
When I get there I'll know 'cause the reviews will all glow
With your words you will say what I paid for
Oh phoo, need more pumps for slots higher than seven

The sign on the wall says it's all horse manure
'Cause you know some on this site have been scheming
Though I wrote a good book, it's doomed if it sinks,
No one reviews it if lower than seven.
Ouch, here comes more thunder,
A vicious reply from "daddyhummer…"

"LC, you're full of shit, don't be such a pest,"
And my spirit is crushed, am I leaving?
On these pages I've seen much smoke blown between knees
For titles that read like one's blogging.
Ooh, it makes me wonder,
Why some people write such chunder?

In phony whispers they swoon when their tripe shoots the moon
And Recognition goes beyond reason
For some it will dawn, most still crave slot one
And I nearly piss myself from laughter

Though I could hustle and write now, I dutifully review "Tabby's Fat Cow"
Featured List attracts ego queens
Yes, more member-cent pumps I will buy, 'cause in the long run
Recognition comes from owning slot one
Lack of ethics makes me wonder.

Your work is promoted, but it won't go, lack of reviews say so,
Buy more cent pumps to entice them,
To get Recognition, I know, writers I must blow.
When they read this, no doubt they will break wind…

And spew reviews crushing my mood
Owning The List is our first goal
I'll be the lady you all know
Who won't write praise for rhymes we all know
Everything I pen will turn to gold

"Cause the way I play my cards
Rank One will be mine at last.
When I won – winning is all
To own the ranks, no longer toil.

…'Cause I now own all slots one through seven.

Author's Note:

This playful romp targets no one in particular. I'm concerned about a playground for writers and readers that is heavily biased toward those who financially invest in the process, regardless of the quality of the writing and, equally, the reviews.

I rant to challenge all writers to submit your best, and test readers to produce meaningful, helpful, and constructive criticism. Integrity is compromised when we focus on the golden ring instead of enjoying the ride that gets us there.

The following lyrics are to Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven," from the album "Led Zeppelin IV." They are included for comparison, if you wish, but I want to acknowledge the masterful stylings of Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, and John Bonham in their copyrighted work.

There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold
And she's buying the stairway to heaven.
When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed
With a word she can get what she came for.
Ooh, ooh, and she's buying the stairway to heaven.

There's a sign on the wall but she wants to be sure
'Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings.
In a tree by the brook, there's a songbird who sings,
Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven.
Ooh, it makes me wonder,
Ooh, it makes me wonder.

There's a feeling I get when I look to the west,
And my spirit is crying for leaving.
In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees,
And the voices of those who stand looking.
Ooh, it makes me wonder,
Ooh, it really makes me wonder.

And it's whispered that soon if we all call the tune
Then the piper will lead us to reason.
And a new day will dawn for those who stand long
And the forests will echo with laughter.

If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now,
It's just a spring clean for the May queen.
Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run
There's still time to change the road you're on.
And it makes me wonder.

Your head is humming and it won't go, in case you don't know,
The piper's calling you to join him,
Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow, and did you know
Your stairway lies on the whispering wind.

And as we wind on down the road
Our shadows taller than our soul.
There walks a lady we all know
Who shines white light and wants to show
How everything still turns to gold.

And if you listen very hard
The tune will come to you at last.
When all are one and one is all
To be a rock and not to roll.

…And she's buying a stirway to Heaven.

"Stairway to Heaven," music and lyrics © Led Zeppelin


  1. Though I have not gotten tangled into fan story I have had similar experiences. I recently ran into a page that had a list of people you can pay to give your book good reviews on amazon,B&N etc etc and then you can buy facebook and twitter followers and blog readers and on and on... all in the hopes of fooling Joe Schmo into thinking you're popular so that when he stumbles across your page(s) he will think "Wow all these people like it so I must too!"

    Then again that is the sheep mentality that has catapulted such titles as Twilight and Fifty Shades to the top....

  2. It's pathetic, Jo. I've heard of the scams you mention and pity those authors who succumb. What makes FanStory even more pathetic is that Tom, the owner, is now charging AUTHORS $3.00 per month for the priviledge of posting their works on FanStory. This is in addition to the money an author must fork over to promote her/his works on FanStory (to buy up those prime slots - which is a bidding war, by the way). If an author doesn't review tons of other titles to earn prmotion points, then s/he has to buy the "pumps" to get her/his titles visible. Yuck!

    In a similar post on Self-Published Authors' Lounge, about using pen names, some guy wrote of a scam where the author uses 2 of 3 pen names to deceive readers. One of the 2 is used by the author to trash himself/herself within snotty blogs. Then, the 3rd is used to by the same author to write counterpoints in friendly blogs - all this to embroil readers in controversy targeting an author who created the controversy in the first place. Somehow, this is supposed to turn into book sales. "All press is good; no press is bad," I guess.

    Bernie Mack was a terrific comedian and actor who recently passed away. When he was a budding stand-up-comedian, he'd go into clubs, posing as someone who's seen Bernie Mack perform, and talk up the show. This tactic launched his very successful, though short-lived, career.

    Take care,


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Take care,
LC Cooper