Book Review – Hotel 66 – Author: Michael King

Issue #110
Blog #23-2019
Section: Book Reviews
Blogger: Joseph Clay

ThunderHorse Publishing Awards Hotel 66 1.62

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

All books purchased by ThunderHorse Publishing are reviewed and the article published in the The Corral online magazine, or discussed on Spotlighting the Indie Author the podcast or published here on ThunderHorse Publishing’s Website.

This review is also available on Spotlighting the Indie Author

The Corral our online magazine was looking for a spooky tale to review for the Halloween edition. Hotel 66 was chosen and purchased from Smashwords for that purpose.

The Corral reviews are geared to give the reading public an insight to works that are well written, enjoyable to read and worth the purchase price. Once The Corral’s reviewer Christy Warren read Hotel 66 it was evident that this tale was substandard and was bumped from The Corral review list.

Smashwords Data

Hotel 66
By Michael King

After murdering a thief, an MC biker, Christopher Cook, rides en Route 66 only to find a haunted hotel where he meets a beautiful woman named Tiffany West.

  • $0.99
  • Category: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller, Fiction » Horror » Undead
  • Published: Aug 6, 2019
  • Words: 5,121
  • Language: English

The Review – From a Publishers Prospective

Hotel 66 is the poster child of why Independents Authors have a stigma surrounding them that they can’t shake. For more on that subject read The Stigma Surrounding the Independent Artist.

Cover receives 5 Stars. The eye catching cover lends some insight to what the book is about.

Story receives 1 Star. The short story is believable with average characters. The tale fits the criteria for a short story perfectly.

However the plot of Hotel 66 is weak and borders on plagiarism.

The haunted hotel mentioned in the synopses came from the lyrics of “Hotel California” from the album of the same name. Those lyrics are scattered through the 5,000 plus word short story. The writer even mentions the song in the tale.

I know that some people may consider this a work of Fan Fiction. I disagree. Although the lyrics are placed in different paragraphs in the story you can immediately recognize them if you have heard the song. Lyrics are written words that fall under strict copyright laws by the music industry.

Editing receives 0 Stars. A book doesn’t have to be edited by a professional and no book is perfect. The zero stars are due to Hotel 66 being a short story with 5,121 words. The ratio of words to errors was high.

  • There are sentences that made no sense due to words missing or the wrong word used.
  • Spelling errors.
  • The main characters room number changes within six paragraphs.

Formatting receives 0 Stars. This really floored me as Smashwords has a guide for formatting. The writer of Hotel 66 didn’t use that guide and I’m amazed that Smashwords published it. They are pretty strict about formatting.

  • Hotel 66 begins on the copyright page right under the disclaimer.
  • The title is the same size as the rest of the text.
  • The first paragraph of the short story is indented.
  • The paragraph following a line/scene break is indented.
  • Unnecessary spaces between words and sentences.

What can be Learned from this Review

Definition of Fan Fiction

fan fic·tion – (noun). Fiction written by a fan of, and featuring characters from, a particular TV series, movie, etc.

More on Fan Fiction

One other avenue that authors are taking is “fan fiction.” Fan fiction writers take characters and settings from other works and build their own stories around them and, generally, share them online for free. Technically, it’s still copyright infringement. But some authors don’t mind this and, in fact, are flattered—especially if it’s not for profit. Some other creators, however, like horror author Anne Rice, simply won’t stand for their characters and fantasy worlds to be used by others. It’s going to depend on the litigiousness of the creator.

Writers Digest

The key sentences in the statement from Writers Digest are “…share them online for free…” and “…especially if it’s not for profit.”. Hotel 66 sells for .99 cents.

The short story is one of the most common forms of writing. They are usually published individually in magazines such as The Corral and then collected and published in a collection. For more on this read Writing Tips – Word Count; Flash Fiction versus Short Story versus Novel.

Keys to Remember

  • When publishing a work use author notes, tell the reader if they are reading Fan Fiction
  • A writer can not edit their own work. Let someone else do it, a professional is recommended.
  • The lower the word count the more important editing is.
  • An eBook needs to look like a printed book as far as layout. Use the guidelines the publishing site recommends or hire a professional.
  • Don’t publish 1 piece of Flash Fiction or Short Story. Write 5 or more and put them in a collection. A reader who spends .99 on 1 short story, no matter how good it is, is going to fill cheated.

Till next time keep writing, reading and learning.


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