A book titled ‘Nice!!!’ which was published as a Reddit joke by an Indian called Aniket Mishra has more reviews within 4 days on Amazon than some self-published independent authors can dream of in a lifetime. Published on 21st May 2021, the book is about 30 pages long and just has the word ‘nice’ printed repeatedly. It costs Rs 69 (about 99 cents), is not even available on Kindle Unlimited (a paid subscription that allows readers to borrow ebooks for free on kindle) and already has over 20 reviews/ratings.

There was no way I was going to spend any money on the book to see what was inside, so the ‘download sample’ option on the Kindle app came handy. And here is what the inside of the book looks like, along with what the ‘author’ had to say on reddit about it.

It’s only available as a e-book for now and if you have a dollar to spare and nothing better to do, you could even gift the e-book as a joke to a friend. Although, the thing is, this is not the first time somebody has tried to pull a joke like this. It’s a pretty old gag really, many have “been there done that”.

One of the most famous example is that of Author Shed Simove, who published a book called “What Every Man Thinks About Apart From Sex” way back in 2011. It contains nothing but 200 blank pages, as you would seen in a screenshot below taken from the author’s twitter feed. And he is not even kidding about the fact that the blank book has been ‘translated’ into eight languages. Basically, just the cover page title has been translated into other languages, so people from other countries can gift the book as a joke to their friends or family. Maybe now you have a ‘secret santa’ gift idea too.

Amazon actually even has a disclaimer on the title for unsuspecting readers who might end up buying it with bigger expectations.

So yeah, there is nothing ‘new’ about someone deciding to be all smart and funny and publishing a book with just one word in it, or better yet – no words at all. But with ‘Nice!!!’ raking up 20+ reviews, it’s clear that the joke is working and has takers.

And the bit about the average review ratio is not an exaggeration. Thousands of titles are self-published via Amazon’s ‘Kindle Direct Publishing’ platform and the online giant does very little to control the quality of what’s being produced. It’s a boon and a bane. Which is why a lot of independent authors are constantly wondering how they can get readers to buy their books and leave reviews. You have entire threads on various social-media portals where writers try to figure out what works and what doesn’t work for their book. Sample this tweet by independent author Cadence Beth Bereseford who asked fellow writers about their sales versus review ratio on Amazon. She has written 4 books, which managed to get 25 reviews in total, with the maximum reviews for one book being 8.

I am an independent author, and my debut book was a poetry collection called ‘Death & Darker Realms’ which came out in December 2019. It has 40 poems, is over 60 pages in length and still has less than 20 reviews on Amazon.

Struggling self-published authors might not find the book joke all that ‘nice’, but hey, it’s a weird-weird world out there and things are most definitely not very nice all the time. If you are a e-book reader, you have been informed and forewarned.