Did the Reviewer Read the Book?
March 3rd, 2010
I got my first (and so far only) one-star review. I read it over, and I have to say, it seems that the individual may not have actually read my book. The first statement in the review is:
"I'm little confused as to why this book exists."
That's pretty clearly addressed on page 2:
The Piercing Bible is primarily directed toward piercees, but it also contains a wealth
of information for the parents of children who want to get pierced or are already
pierced, teachers who work with pierced students, health-care professionals who deal
with pierced patients (whether treating problem piercings or performing unrelated
medical procedures), and piercers who want an authoritative reference work or an
educational tool for clients.
Why This Book?
Piercing can be dangerous, and it is far more complicated than most people realize.
The hazards range from tearing, scarring, migration, and rejection to localized bacte-
rial infections and, though rare, serious infections. Consumers need facts about the
risks, choices, and best practices involved. People who interact with piercees also need
to be informed about various aspects of piercing. Many myths have persisted, even in
academic and medical literature; they are finally dispelled here, too.
Body piercings are often associated with tattoos, and they are frequently performed in
the same establishments. However, tattoos are comparatively straightforward; healing
is rapid, and there are seldom complications. The same is not true of body piercings.
Piercings require special attention during a prolonged period of healing plus regular
maintenance once they are healed. There is a baffling array of options for where to
pierce, what jewelry to put in the perforation, and how to care for the wound. Many
people get the bulk of their “facts” about piercing from the Internet; unfortunately, the
Web can be unreliable, offering contradictory information from questionable sources.
Countless piercees have experienced needless pain, healing problems, and undesirable
outcomes from a lack of sound information.
Will your pierced body part turn green and fall off if you don’t follow every rule and
guideline in the book? Probably not, but by educating yourself and being conscien-
tious, you will have a much greater chance of having a healthy piercing that heals well,
gives you a minimum of trouble, and provides the greatest enjoyment. Admittedly, not
every piercee who fails to adhere to sound practices has a terrible catastrophe—but
some of them do. This book takes a cautionary tone because the risks are real.
The reviewer also thinks I gave "incredible detail in how to perform the procedures" yet the procedure portions only provide an overview. There are details provided on the placement and anatomy considerations so that you can be assured your piercing will be situated properly, but the piercing procdures themselves don't provide nearly enough information to instruct someone to pierce. The book makes the point several times that home piercing is not suggested, and the entire book is a treatise about seeking a skilled, professional piercer.
From page 56:
Although it’s not necessary that you know every detail, familiarity with the common equipment and procedures can help you form realistic expectations and evaluate whether your piercer is working in a
manner consistent with accepted practices. This chapter introduces you to the instruments and technical aspects of piercing; it is not an instructional manual on how to pierce. Always patronize a competent professional; do not attempt piercing at home.
The review goes on,
"So if it's not for the benefit of people wanting to give it a stab (so to speak) then who is it for? People wanting to get these piercings? That's got to be a fairly select market. Most people (albeit not all) just want to know whether or not it's going to hurt."
Yes, indeed--the book is primarily directed to people who want piercings (and those who have them). Simply because the revewer perceives that to be a select market doesn't diminish the value of the information. And, in fact, the book sold out less than 6 months after it was released and went to reprint. So, this reviewer discredited piercees by thinking they're (mostly) shallow enough not to care more about what they're doing to their bodies. Clearly many piercees desire to be educated, and I'm happy and proud to help.
As far as my alleged "my way or the highway" approach, I do provide the disclaimer on page 3:
Substantive research studies, statistical analyses, and other definitive resource materials related to modern piercing are in short supply; therefore, the information, practices, and procedures described in this book are largely based on my own extensive, clinical experience. I’ve integrated industry standards where they exist, but there is still precious little that is truly standard, so my opinions are a primary component of many chapters.