Showing posts with label forums. Show all posts
Showing posts with label forums. Show all posts

Friday, 3 February 2012

I've Been Interviewed...

Following my donation to writer Steven Chapman in November, who was growing a moustache for the annual Movember fundraising event, Steven offered, as a thank you, the opportunity for his supporters to appear on his website in some form...

As I don't yet have a book to promote I opted for an interview about writing and me.

Actually Steven was trying out his interviewing skills, so I was happy to volunteer. He did brilliantly, so a big thank you, Steven. :-)

So if you want to discover my writing day or how I tried to sell romance to non-romance readers just click the above link and you can read my efforts...

And please leave a comment on Steven's blog if you enjoy the interview.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Kindle Direct Publishing- Good and Bad News...

KDP is in the news again.

Today the Bookseller highlighted a million KDP e-book sales by John Locke. Now that has obviously taken work, but he has written nine novels- his latest  is called How I Sold 1 Million e-books in 5 Months.
I suspect he'll get a lot of sales from that one too. But well done John Locke.

A lot of writers have taken to selling their books with KDP and Smashwords, and they're enjoying the opportunity to finally get their work to readers and to earn money from their writing.

But some are holding off taking that step. That could be because of the latest complications on that emerged in the US press late last week. SPAM- and let's not be polite, piracy.

A report appeared in the Los Angeles Times on the 16th, 'Spam is clogging Amazon's Kindle'. The article mentions thousands of e-books being produced without the need for any writing of their own. They use PLR- Private Label Rights (not to be confused with the UK's Public Lending Rights PLR).

I read an explanation on a US blog that this system allows for content to be bought and reused in any form, even an e-book if so wished. Now as long as the original writers have provided that work for use in this way and are happy, then fine.

But it's claimed these books, often priced at 99cents alongside normal priced e-books, results in you having to look through quite a few books to get to those original, hard work put into writing them, e-books...

Sadly there are scam artists who are getting e-books by writers who are selling well, then republishing them with a new cover, and a  new title, but aimed to appeal to "a slightly different demographic" (Paul Wolfe, an Internet marketing specialist, quoted in the LAT article).

Stealing someone else's work and selling it, is PIRACY- plain and simple.

Carol Arnell who brought my attention to KDP originally (and did a Q&A on the subject) has knowledge of this.

"I've just had an email from someone who has found their Kindle book being given away for free on a site. She emailed the site last week - Of course it is a false address as she hasn't heard back."

Obviously once a writer discovers their book being sold by someone else on Amazon they can report it, the fake work is copyright infringement to start with so removing it for that reason shouldn't be an issue.

Carol added: "Thinking back to my one of my author friends whose book has been stolen, and the book is now being downloaded for free somewhere. I cannot see what the hacker would gain by doing this. They're not making any money from it. I can only think it has been done through jealousy. The author concerned has sold many thousands of this book on Kindle."

This highlights another problem. If a hacker resells your e-book under another identity they will be getting the 35 to 70% royalties, so there is financial gain behind their actions. They are clearly guilty of piracy.

But what is the reasoning behind those who provide the books for free? Envy? Belief that the writer gets enough from legitimate sales so they won't miss the ones the hacker gives away? Or are they just ignorant?
Whatever their reason they are certainly ignorant.

We all know how quickly the issues on KDP can soon be repeated by the version. Writers have been finding it increasingly difficult to advertise their books on the Kindle forums because problem posters have led to clamp-downs.

Now successful sellers are going to need to be aware there may be pirate copies of their work for sale, or being given away for free.

As for the free copy thieves- checkout the provider for their sites and complain about their piracy.

Amazon will have to do something to stop the piracy under their nose. They have too much to lose if they don't...

Monday, 23 May 2011

A Book to Help Me...

Well I hope it will...

I know a few writers (on a forum I contribute to) have mentioned Evan Marshall and his 'Section Sheets', so last week I had a look at Amazon to find out more. 'The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing' had a look inside option available, so I was able to see what the book covered and read an example.

I bought it from another online supplier in the end- and it popped through my letterbox this morning. So I'll be reading this over the next few days and making notes.

Back in January I got the feedback from the two novel competitions at the writers' club and it was clear that I had a problem with my characters- a character who was dead was the most interesting one and the others weren't too good- a bit flat.

I decided I needed a new approach and since then have been considering what I needed to do, but health issues have rather interfered with the process to date.

Meanwhile more ideas and characters have been stacking up. I know that's good in one way, as I'll have plenty of options to work on.

So I've resolved that as soon as I finish the current short story I'm editing- and get it sent off, I'm going to make a start on one of my longer ideas- a novella length.

I decided that the Plan just might help with my characterisation problems- and having only taken a brief flick through I can already see elements that will help me.

I know my strong area is dialogue, so I can concentrate on improving my weak points now.

I'll let you know if it works...

Have you had, or got, a weak spot in your writing? If you're willing to share, how have you tried or resolved that issue?

Now I'm off to start reading...

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Kindle Direct Forums- What You Need to Know...

Author Carol Arnall- who kindly provided some further information on Kindle Direct Publishing   (in April) has recently made me aware of an issue relating to the use of the Kindle forums.

"I don't know if any of you know but have changed the rules on posting in their Kindle Discussion Forums. You have to post in the new Author Forums now otherwise your posts will be deleted and you stand a chance of being banned! I'd say read the rules first before you post in the new forum they have created."

(Like any forum there are people who abuse the rules- whether intentionally or through failure to understand and follow them; as a consequence everyone has to jump through hoops to comply to even stricter rules.)

Carol added. " A friend of mine got banned from two weeks ago for leaving his website in his post! He only posted over there once a week. They are getting even stricter because of the fly by posters. There are still threads where you can just leave a link and not say anything apart from a line about your book."

Carol has also provided two links that currently seem to be okay, here and here but do check you qualify to post on them first.

So the advice is check first, otherwise your promotion efforts could be wasted.

Just to remind everyone, this only relates to NOT