Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Amazon Dangers

Amazon River image by Jon Rawlinson, via Flickr
This month here at the noble Blood-Red Pencil we are writing about Amazon the giant bookstore/publisher. But of course, there’s that other Amazon - the river and surrounding rainforest - not to mention the legendary race of female warriors. More on them later.

No one would launch a boat onto the Amazon without preparation - why would you treat the digital publisher with any less respect? Both arenas are home to:

Anaconda - the world’s largest and heaviest snake. Can grow as long as 30 feet eating up to 30 pounds of prey a day. On Amazon, the Anaconda would be the newest release by John Grisham or Stephen King.

Jaguar - a solitary killer that climbs trees as a vantage point when hunting prey prior to pouncing on their target. On Amazon, the jaguar is the person who hunts new successful authors and gives them one star reviews.

Piranhas - Perhaps the most famous danger of the Amazon River, red-bellied piranhas are actually scavengers. In the writing world, these might be authors who jump on the latest trend and have a feeding frenzy - people who wrote about wizarding schools or teenage vampires. I suggest you get ahead of the trend - maybe a zombie who never graduates from wizarding school, because he’s, you know, a zombie.

Black Caiman - this is an basically an alligator on steroids. These creatures eat everything in their path, including monkeys, deer, piranhas, and anaconda. We all know authors who eat everything in their path. The mega-bestsellers.

However…let us not forget:

Toucan - this thick-necked bird is known by its multi-coloured beak. He lives in the canopy of the Amazon rainforest. The toucan is very important to the rainforest because they help to disperse seeds from the fruits and berries they eat. Bloggers who spread the word on new books could be toucans. 

Amazon Pink Dolphin - a creature that has survived unharmed for centuries because of local belief that it has magical powers. Perhaps this is the successful author who recommends new writers to their fans and champions emerging authors. An author who attends writing conventions and is never too busy to offer advice or encouragement to all. They do exist. I’ve met a few.

Final thoughts …the Amazon river is responsible for the largest discharge of water in the world and that’s got to be one heck of a current. The digital Amazon is the same. Both should be approached with caution, but can deliver heart-pounding adventures to undiscovered lands.

 Swim safely. Remember, it's a jungle out there.

 Oh…and those legendary woman warriors? Some of them are here at the Blood-Red Pencil. I am honoured to write amongst them.
Elspeth Futcher is an author and playwright. Thirteen of her murder mystery games and two audience-interactive plays are published by host-party.com. Her A Fatal Fairy Tale, Deadly Ever After and Curiouser and Curiouser are among the top-selling mystery games on the Internet.  Elspeth's newest game, The Great British Bump Off is now available from her UK publisher, Red Herring Games, as is her Once Upon a Murder. Elspeth's 'writing sheep' are a continuing feature in the European writers' magazine Elias and also appear on this blog from time to time. Connect with her on Twitter at @elspethwrites or on Facebook at Elspeth Futcher, Author.


  1. All I know about the Amazon is that I am perfectly content seeing it in documentaries from the comfort of my couch. I know less about the corporate Amazon ... except that I get my $.38 in royalties each and every month!

  2. Preparation is the key to success of any endeavor, especially self-publishing!

  3. Almost as scary as trying to get a bestseller at Amazon.com

  4. Wow, Elspeth! I love these comparisons. You've put things in perspective ever so nicely here.

  5. I second what Linda said. And we Amazons here at BRP are lucky to have you as a contributor.

  6. Interesting take on Amazon, but quite perfect. And educational. I just hope that river and its surroundings are not ruined for profit.


The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.


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