I do have a post half-written. I really do. The problem this morning is that my attention is fragmented. I’m waiting for the repairman to get here to figure out what is wrong with the dishwasher that is less than a year old and, fortunately, still under warranty. My brain is busy trying to work out two different novels. That’s usually not enough to bring me to a complete stop but these two novels are very different in both genre, plot and writing. One is finished but needs major edits and the other is one-quarter written. The result of all this is that my head feels like that old cartoon of the human head with the Xs over the eyes and the cuckoo popping in and out of the top.
So let me touch on a couple of things. First of all, I had someone (and I will let you guys guess where they came from) basically accuse me of not having read Scalzi’s post that I referred to in my Saturday blog. The entire basis for this person — as well as the condemnation from the referring blog — seems to be because I didn’t link to the Scalzi post. Instead, I linked to Teleread. Well, let me set the record straight. I did read the original post. I didn’t link to it because I know the readers here on MGC have the ability to google and find the original source if they want to read it. Teleread had excerpted the parts I wanted and I happened to also agree, for the most part, with what Chris Meadows had to say. So, that is what I linked to.
There are basically two reasons why I don’t link to a post. The first is as I stated above. I know our readers here can go find the original if they want to. The second is when I don’t want to send additional traffic their way. This isn’t unique unto me or MGC. It is something many bloggers use. But now it appears that it is a reason for those who don’t agree with what someone says to accuse that person of not having read the piece. I so love that sort of “logic”.
Something else has come up of late in several of the groups I belong to: authors, all too often indie authors, buying ads and comparing their work to either the masters of Science Fiction and Fantasy or to whatever the the current best seller happens to be. I saw one yesterday where an author was trying to give away copies of their books by comparing their work to that of David Weber and the Honor Harrington series. No attribution for the quote saying it was as good as or in the same vein as, which left me to assume that the author was making the comparison. Worse, when following the clickbait link, it went to the author’s website and you had to give your email to get the book. The problems I have with this are multi-fold.
First, if you want readers to take such claims like “this book will remind you of David Weber’s Honor Harrington series” or “this is the next Twilight” or whatever, have the quote be by someone who the reader will recognize. Don’t just say it because you believe it. More often than not, when I see claims like this without attribution being made, it is an indie author doing it. That smacks of being a rank amateur. It can also be seen as misleading the reading public if your book doesn’t live up to the claim.
Second, if you want to give away books and want to do it from your own mailing list, be upfront about it. Don’t use a clickbait ad that you mirror on your Facebook or Twitter feed to direct people to your website and then spring it on them. For one, a lot of people will stop and leave the page the moment the email sign-up requirement becomes clear. The last thing most of us want is more email, especially unsolicited email, coming in. For another, I am always hesitant to download anything from a site I’m not familiar with and there are a lot of folks like me. We have been warned time and again to be careful of viruses and worms coming through email links.
If you want to give copies of your work away,either set it up through your publisher or, if you are an indie author, through the outlets your books are available from. There are ways to do it. If you aren’t sure what they are for any given e-store, either check the FAQs for that site or ask online. Someone will know the answer.
Finally, I saw a thread in one of my online communities today that blew my mind. The posters were commenting on e-books they had gotten that had no covers. What? If you are an indie author and you haven’t yet figured out how to embed your cover into your file, ask. The last thing you want is for your readers to open your e-book on their phone or tablet or ereader and not have a cover there to entice them into continuing on. It could be you simply don’t have it tagged right. It could be you had an issue uploading that you aren’t aware of. Please, please, please download your e-book after it has been uploaded and make sure everything went as you expected. Indies are gaining respectability — despite what some would have you believe — but that will only continue as long as we continue to push for better quality for what we put out.
Okay, the repairman is here. More coffee is still needed and my brain is still scattered. Until later.