Last week, I wrote about the need to read, write and review and not necessarily in that order. I promised to be back with more on the topic. I’ll be honest, that’s not going to happen today. I’m up to my eyes finishing several projects and deadlines are looming. That means my mind is busy running around screaming in panic. That’s not the mindset I need to tackle the promised topic. So I’m reposting a piece I wrote last year about reviews. It is as pertinent now as it was then.
Once again, there are rumblings among indie authors about how big, bad Amazon is being mean. I’m the first to admit Amazon isn’t without fault. It takes actions, mainly due to automation, without warning. Innocents can and sometimes do get caught in the massive bans wrought by Amazon bots. For those wrongly caught up in the bans, the process of getting their accounts reinstated can be long and frustrating. They are why Amazon needs to look at their process and change it.
It’s a new month and you know what that means. Amazon is being hated all over again. No, I’m not talking about the technical glitches it had yesterday during the early hours of its Prime Day event. Yes, I’m one of those grumbling about it because I missed out on something because, when the item went live and I clicked on it, I got the “Oops, we are experiencing a problem right now”. I lost out on the item as a result. But that’s not the current outrage, at least not in the writing community. If you’re on social media or if you follow the Kindle Boards, you know there’s a new round of “Amazon is pulling author accounts without explaining why!”
I’ve seen some references to some author having his or her account yanked. Then others chime in and claim they know someone else it happened to. Now, all this might be true but when I see no supporting evidence, no names, not substance, I find myself wondering. When someone dares to comment that it looks like a dogpile or witch hunt, they’re slammed by others in the thread. After all, if someone said it happened, it did and Amazon is evil. Read more
I’ve written before about how important it is for any indie or hybrid-author to keep up with the terms of service for all outlets for their books. That is particularly important because those ToS are fluid. Every store changes them from time to time. Sometimes it is in response to a problem they have seen. Sometimes it is in response to what other stores have done. The reason for the change isn’t really important. What is important is that we, as authors, know what the rules are and do whatever it takes to stay in good standing with the store. Read more
I woke up this morning not having clue one about today’s post. I’ve been neck deep in rewrites as well as doing an editorial job for a new author who is totally AWESOME. Add in my own work hijacking me yesterday and the day before into a different project and, well, MGC fell down the proverbial rabbit hole. As I searched for a topic, I came across a thread where an author was talking about their new strategy for success and, well, al I could do was shake my head.
For anyone out there thinking about writing, the first rule you have to understand is that writing is a business. As with any business, you have to do your homework. You need to know what your various distribution paths are and the requirements for them. You need to know your audience. You need to be able to supply a product that is not just good enough but that is unique in its own way. You also have to be aware of the rules for your distribution outlets because, if you fail to follow those rules, you can find yourself tossed out of that distribution arm and figuratively, if not literally, standing out in the cold. Read more
The other day, I opened one of my social media accounts to the chest beating and teeth gnashing of a number of authors. No, it wasn’t a mass rejection by publishers that caused their angst. Nor was it news that their Amazon KDP accounts had been canceled. It was the sound we hear every couple of years when Amazon decides to enforce its terms of service when it comes to reviews and authors — and other product suppliers — suddenly realize their review numbers have diminished, sometimes drastically.
In a conversation with several author friends about this last night, I wondered if I was odd. Okay, okay, I know I’m odd. I meant more odd than I already knew. You see, other than occasionally checking my reviews to see if there’s a common thread in them, I don’t pay that much attention to them. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate every review I get. But like many writers, I’m insecure. Putting a new book out is like shoving my baby out into the world on his own for the very first time. I’d much rather keep him home and safe, whether that’s what he wants or not. When it comes to writing, it is too easy to obsess about negative reviews or to start to believe the positive ones — if that happens, it can keep a writer from turning a critical eye to their own work. Read more