Link of the Week – Amazon’s Buy Button (and it sucks)

June 20, 2017

So Amazon has quietly made more changes in the selling of books. One that seems to benefit everyone but the author. Third-party sellers can now “win” the Buy Box. What does that mean? It means this seller would be listed as the default for the Buy Button. It means that these third-party

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sellers can mark books down to whatever price they want (so long as the meet some Amazon criteria…haha).  It also means that slices into any profit the author MIGHT make. I say might because there are various ways these third-party sellers can get their hands on “new” copies that would cut the author completely out of the sale. And it could mean that potential customers may only have a third-party seller as a choice to buy from.

This went into effect back in March and a buzz about it was made last month, but it has only been recently that authors have noticed and/or felt the pinch.

To read more about it, check out the links below to articles from Publisher’s Weekly and Huffington Post (with visuals). Definitely worth the read.

https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/bookselling/article/73542-new-amazon-buy-button-program-draws-ire-of-publishers-authors.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/590b309be4b05279d4edc31f


Link of the Week – Amazon and Third-party Booksellers

May 23, 2017

Why does it seem like Amazon is anti-author? Here is an interesting link to news from The Author’s Guild that reports on Amazon’s newest policy allowing third-party booksellers to claim featured “buy boxes” and how this can potentially hurt publishers and authors.

https://www.authorsguild.org/industry-advocacy/amazons-taking-another-bite-publishing-pie/


Roller Coasters and Crabs

August 18, 2016

On this roller coaster of publication, writers expect to be faced with a certain amount of, let’s say, excitement. We hear the unmistakable clackety-clack-clack on the way up the ride of publishing a book. Feel the adrenaline build as we teeter on the top of the first dive. Throwing our arms high or hanging onto the bar, we plummet down, down, down picking up speed. Hairpin curves with sales, rankings, good reviews, harsh criticism, and how we will be received by our peers.  It’s all part of the fun, right? Right?cc - rf - TexasCycloneSunset640

This summer, the roller coaster took me by surprise by blasting me through a barrel roll. First, I received scores from a prestigious contest I did not final in. Oh, you know how this story goes. The book is either incredibly awesome or the reader would rather drink antifreeze before turning one more page. I’m usually good with that. It means that my writing has produced extreme emotional reactions. But when one of the judges not only claims the book had no satisfying ending but that it wasn’t even a love story, well, that floored me. Most of you know that I write historical romance, paranormal romance, and some erotic romance. Romance is always a central theme in my books, no matter the genre. I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around how a judge felt that the book failed to meet the requirement of a happily ever after love story. Where did I go wrong? Did I go wrong? Maybe not. I try to remember that this is just an opinion of one person and that’s okay.

But wait.  Three different reviewers have given three of my books high accolades in recent days, including the one mentioned above. For them, my tales are a real pleasure to read. I should be overjoyed, busting at the seams. And I am, truly and humbly. While poking around Amazon, I stumbled across another review written several months ago that basically states  my characters suck, my writing sucks, I suck. This was not a malicious attack, but rather someone who simply hated my book. Regardless, it still stings. And this is why I don’t make it a habit of reading my reviews. Then there is the personal message a reader sent to me via social media and another who emailed me just this week. Both ladies took the time to reach out to me, to say they really love my books and want more.

Round and round my emotions go. Yep – I’m a little green in the gills. I know I’m not the only one. Fellow MuseTracker Stacey has experienced the same thrills and chills. And I’m quite certain that most of our writer friends and acquaintances have, too. The stomach-dropping dips are simply part of the ride.

Stacey, a pillar in my support system, probably won’t remember this, but she once said, “You’re a creative crab.”

Huh?

Imagine if you will a basket of crabs. There’s always one who tries to escape but the other crabs in the basket will keep pulling it back down to certain doom. The would-be escapee crab is the creative crab and the other crabs are critics. All this is true whether you are a newbie author or a seasoned pro. The unsavory opinion of one or two really poisons the pot. It is always that bad review or awful contest score that sticks with us, almost negating all the praise. Almost.

We shouldn’t let the critic crabs keep us down. We can climb out of their basket, yes we can. We must remember all the acclaims, successes, happy readers, and, most of all, stay true to ourselves. Dismiss the negativity, honest or otherwise, grab ahold of the rim, and pull yourself up.

Ours is a path that will surely have its ups and down, topsy-turvy flips, and bone-jerking turns. So buckle and enjoy the ride.

Anyone care for melted butter with their crab legs?

 


Editor Shop Is Coming! Entangled!

June 7, 2016

Polish your pitches! (Rules are listed at the top of the blog and it will go live next week.)

Get ready to have direct access to a senior editor at Entangled Publishing!

Learn what type of manuscripts they’re looking for right now!

http://www.entangledpublishing.com/

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Link of the Week – MuseTracks Agent/Editor Shop

March 22, 2016

It’s been a long hiatus but MuseTracks is bringing sexy back. Er, I mean Agent/Editor Shop.

Here are the quickie deets. Got a great polished, ready-to-go story? Want to fast track it in front of an agent or editor? Send it to MuseTracks during a predetermined limited time. We post it on MuseTracks for an agent or editor to “shop”. Just like in a supermarket or atrociously lit dressing room,  after squeezing for freshness or trying on the latest fashion, if the agent or editor finds something they like, they will let us know. We, in turn, will contact you with the details—where and what (full or partial) to send. It’s no fuss, no muss, no cost, and a nothing to lose approach.

It’s been a long time since we hosted an Agent/Editor Shop. We are pleased to announce Borough Publishings will be our editor guest March 27th. Get those pitches ready!bpg-badge

For more info, click HERE or just click the above Agent/ Editor Shop tab in the menu bar.


Editor Shop With Boroughs Publishing

March 18, 2016

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March 27, 2016!

What’s “Agent/Editor Shop” you ask?

 

This isn’t a contest… there aren’t any winners… just a chance to put your pitch in front of acquiring agent/editors(s). They’ll read the pitches and request more if your pitch grabs their attention. What they request is up to them. We do not make guarantees.

Agent/Editor Shop will only be “open” one day, per quarter, and we only take the first twenty pitches.

After the pitches go live on the blog, the agent/editor reads and decides if they want more. They will then contact us and we will forward on information to the author(s) who received requests. We will also post results after the agent/editor contacts us. Just the total number of requests made—no specifics or names.

The rules are simple and easy to follow. They must be adhered to in order for you to be considered by our guest agent or editor.

 

**Very Important**

Please check each agent/editor’s website for what types/genres they accept.

 

  1. We will post a big green GO! on the HOME page the Sunday morning of the Shop. All entries must be submitted on that day. (1 Day Only) Sunday, March 27, 2016
  1. You will send your entry to musetracks.blog@gmail.com
    NO attachments. All the required information must be in the body of the email.
  1. Only one pitch per email. No exceptions.
  1. The pitch must be 200 words or less. No exceptions. Word count WILL be verified before your pitch is accepted. (Contact info is not counted toward your pitch word count.)
  1. Please put Agent/Editor Shop in the subject line.
  1. The email should follow this format:

Title

Genre/Subgenre

Word count of manuscript

Your 200 word synopsis pitch

  1. We will take the first 20 pitches. A big red STOP! will be posted when we have 20 viable pitches. (Please note that we will not contact you if these rules are not followed. They simply will not be used.) If your pitch was one of the first twenty to reach our inbox, you’ll see it posted the next day, on the main page of the MUSETRACKS blog, for the shopping agent/editor to peruse.

This is a great opportunity to get in front of an agent/editor, so most important of all—polish that pitch until it shines! Hone your synopsis. Double check spelling and grammar. Strictly follow the rules. Breathe.

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MUSETRACKS wishes you the best of luck!

The number of requests made will be published April 1, 2016!! No joke.


Link of the Week – Amazon’s Quality Control

January 26, 2016
credit - Nicolas Raymond

Artist – Nicolas Raymond

Authors, you may or may not have heard that Amazon will now begin implementing warning labels to books.  The reasoning is to make sure books sold through Amazon meet high standards. It’s their way of quality control. Sounds good, right? No one wants to purchase a book with loads of typos, poor story structure, and bad formatting. Certainly, this new flagging will begin to cull out the bad apples, those people who simply throw up unedited content and/or blurry or pixelated covers with nary a care. Yep, good stuff.

But I’m willing to bet this will backlash negatively on undeserving authors. Especially with this little gem “Content that does not provide an enjoyable reading experience.” Too many trolls out there.

This week’s link is to Amazon’s Guide to Kindle Content Quality.

https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A1MMQ0JHRBEINX

And here is a blog post from eNovel Authors at Work which gives more information and advice on what to do if your book is flagged.

http://enovelauthorsatwork.com/amazons-new-rules-for-kindle-authors-in-february/

More about Amazon, book typos and what will cause Amazon to flag books on Words on Words.

http://johndopp.com/writers/amazon-kindle-spelling-mistakes/

One last link, just for fun. Suggested Warning Labels.