First and foremost, I have full respect for every single person who contributed to this book. They are all lovely people, and I absolutely love the work they all do; in one person’s case, they inspired me to write about VR here in Virtual Perceptions. And as I stress at the end, this book should be read and bought by any enthusiast. Go buy it. It is here. Do it.
But let me lay it down here; the way this book was created just makes me angry. It is cheap, exploitative, and it uses talented people as a means to an end. It’s hollow. It’s a hollow book where the author had no input, no original thought. It was a way of using others to rise up the Kindle ranks without actually having to write extensively on a subject.
But you know what? I gave this book five stars.
First, why do I think it is exploitative? Well, we have dozens of talented immersive reality specialists who have their views on the industry, and give them for all to hear. That’s wonderful; of those I know who contributed, they are lovely people who know what they are talking about, and deserve to be heard.
Yet they are all also people with significant Twitter and social followings; the kind who not only find them interesting, but engage. In a way, they were carefully chosen. And what the author seems to have done is sent a few pre-packaged questions to each of them over email, and asked them to fill them out. The end product is solid answers from the best in the field – but none of it was written by the author.
Then the comments were put together and compiled into one, free book. Free is key; it is the absolute lowest boundaries for any person to click on a book and have it bought. Once released, the book gets shared on everyone’s social media at the same time; fans see it, fans download it, book spreads like wildfire.
But that’s what I find painful. Without writing anything original, engaging, or even lengthy, the book written by dozens of others rises up the Kindle ranks and gets seen by thousands of people, and the author gets prestige and credibility in the industry from minimal work. It’s like climbing a ladder, only you write a short letter asking ten people to lift you up and carry you to the top without moving a hand or leg. As someone who knows poets, illustrators and authors who struggle, I find the work without heart and, at worst, terrible.
But I am giving it five stars. And a review. A positive review.
Because despite the low way in which it was created, and despite how I greatly dislike how it was made – I want as many people as possible to see it. A good review and five stars on a Kindle book does wonders for rising up the ranks, far more than a download.
These are good opinions. Good, thoughtful opinions from industry veterans who deserve them, and deserve to be read. And I want as many people as possible to see them too. I hate the means, but I want the ends to be as positive a force as possible.
So those are my thoughts. Bit of a rant, but it is 11pm here so what can you do. You can download it here, for free.