The ‘Zon is just okay for the writer me, a home run for the consumer me.

Aside from a couple of my collections and a short story or three, I didn’t enroll my books in KU. (Kindle Unlimited)

After KU’s inception I did give it the old college try~ two go-rounds. Did not work for me. I didn’t get enough page reads to make it worth my while, despite the fact that if a reader starts reading one of my books, more often than not he or she finishes it.

Besides, I’m a fan of wide distribution and good old-fashioned competition, so I use D2D. I’ve downloaded my books to D2D for distribution for 18 months now. D2D is killing it. I sell five times as many books on D2D (Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Kobo, etc.) than I do on Amazon.

Why? I have no idea. Perhaps it’s because those readers who shop on other outlets are looking for books to actually read, rather than downloading freebies and 99-cent-ers that they never get around to reading? Again, I have no idea. Any notion I may have as to the why’s and wherefore’s is mere speculation.

There are quite a number of authors making big bucks on Amazon. I ain’t one of ’em. I do all right. I do much better via D2D.

On the other hand, when it comes to shopping no one compares to Amazon. At least for the stuff I need.

Let me explain. Well, perhaps I’ll provide an example or two…

I recently needed ear drops. I swim almost everyday. I love swimming and the exercise has helped speed up my recovery. In fact, the exercise is essential to my recovery. But my right ear has been bothering me so I wanted to purchase some swim ear drops – to dry out my ear canals after swimming. Easy, right? One would think it would be easy to purchase swim ear drops in the Napa Valley.

Four pharmacies later, I realized it was not easy to purchase swim ear drops in the Napa Valley. I drove to four separate pharmacies. No luck. I accomplished nothing more than wasting gas and my valuable time, and increasing my stress level.

I drove home, flipped open my computer, checked Amazon, and bought a four-pack with one click.

It’s the same with dog food. Jake has food allergies. (Yeah, he does…) We have two local pet stores. One doesn’t carry the brand he eats, the other maybe carries, if I’m lucky, a  couple cans, zero bags of dry food. That’s it. That’s my entire local selection. Therefore I order dog food from Amazon. I also order bird food from Amazon because although the food my two parrots eat is totally common, the one local pet store eliminated their bird section altogether while the other is always out of the food I want to buy.

Bottom line: Believe me, I’d love to shop local, but I don’t want to drive all over town, stopping at four or five different stores, only to have to buy an item online anyway.

So yeah, the ‘Zon knocks it out of the park when it comes to shopping. For me as an author, not so much. But then I guess doing okay there is… okay. 🙂

Peace. Out.

Don’t go down that dark road.

Writer Beware! Resist the temptation.

orphan black
Sarah, Helena, Alison, Cosima.

Those of you who know me know that I’ve been obsessed with the BBC America show, Orphan Black since the very first episode. (You know, back when it was scraping the bottom of the barrel for advertisers.)

I held my breath, my baited breath, waiting for this season.

I’m so sorry I did. What a waste of good air.

While the show has always been dark, the writers have decided to take the show in a dark’er’ direction, down an, in fact, unrelentingly dark road. Oh, they’ve made minimal attempts at comedy, but they are nothing like the off the wall hilariously funny ironic deeply disturbed comedic moments of the last three seasons.

Of all the story lines from which the writers had to choose, choosing to feature the Neolutian psychos and sycophants was the worst possible choice- IMO. It’s the story I least want to see, find the least interesting and, unfortunately, most disturbing in a stomach churning makes me want to vomit sort of way. Of course the other issue this  season is the increasing number of clones, which, in turn, causes the writers to give short shrift to the clones about whom I actually care.

***Note to writers: Never a good idea to add a clone with a terrible awful weird-ass no-good-reason haircut, who sounds like a garbled version of one of my favorite clones, Helena, but who speaks in such a low whisper I, the viewer, can’t understand a word she says.

Even the best authors sometimes make the same mistake. Get the reader invested, really really really invested in your characters, then backlist said characters and try to get readers invested in new characters. Rarely works. Or rather, it takes a rare talent to make it work. Not. Happening. Here.

The only character worth watching thus far? Ferdinand. Orphan Black fans know who and what I’m talking about.

Ferdinand

I realized after this most recent episode that Orphan Black is no longer entertaining. It’s depressing. With a capital D. As in, Depressing. I’m done with the show for now.

Ah well. Orphan Black had a moment. Now it’s gone. Happens to the best of ’em.

In the meantime, I’ll stick with Vikings and Game of Thrones. Oh, and when it returns next season~ Lucifer! (Such a guilty pleasure!)

Lucifer

 

Been reading. Recommends.

Thanks to my friend, author Anny Cook, I read my first official Regency. LOL! Seriously – LOL! The book was off-beat, atypical, laugh out loud funny and no – there was essentially zero sex, which I very much appreciated in my current nonpron mood. Rake’s Ransom by Barbara Metzger.

Rake's Ransom
Entertaining as all get out.

My dear friend, author Penny Watson, introduced me to Cecelia London, author of The Bellator Saga. I read the first book, Dissident. Cecelia brings her characters to serious life. They are no holds barred, alive. I can see and hear her protagonists speak. They speak to me. If you hate a series, well, all I can say is don’t read it– the book ends in a big old cliffhanger. If you love a series, go for it. I’m on my way to Book Two.

Dissident
Pretty cover!

If you want to be all sad and inspired and, well, simply feel, read When Breath Becomes Air, by (the late) Paul Kalanithi with an introduction by Abraham Verghese. It will make you cry. I’m not sorry for that- there’s no avoiding tears.

When Breath
A beautiful book.

So now you got some good recs. Go! Read!

 

To Review Or Not To Review, That Is The Question.

I’ve been busy reading nonfiction. Recently I finished (couldn’t stop reading) an engrossing work of nonfiction. I was so enthralled with both the quality of the story-telling and the writing that I ran over to Amazon and left a five-star review.

The next morning my sister recommended a book on the same subject. She hadn’t read it but a friend of hers had recommended it to her. This was a much shorter work, 71 pages to be exact. A little pricey at $2.99, but I figured, eh, 71 pages. I can read that in an hour or so. I did. Yeah, same subject matter, awful treatment of said subject matter. I found the author’s voice offensive and disingenuous, and her sloppy unedited style off-putting to say the least. In fact, the quality of the book was so poor, especially in comparison to the beautiful book I’d just finished, that I headed over to Amazon in a huff, prepared to write a one-star review so other potential readers would beware.

I stopped myself- for two reasons. First, regardless of how bad the book was, I decided that writing a one-star review was a waste of my time. Second, I noticed that every reader/reviewer who had given the book less than four stars had been deluged by mean-spirited, nasty, snarky, insulting comments regardless of how well-written the review. Even if I hadn’t already decided to skip the review, boy, those bullies would have stopped me in my tracks.

You know, it’s ironic that the subject of both books is, get this… unconditional love. Seriously. So book A is actually about unconditional love. Book B, which is supposed to be about unconditional love, comes complete with a posse of conditional bullies.

Sheesh!

Herein lies the problem… I appreciate a solid review, regardless of whether the review is positive or negative. A review written by a screaming fangirl is of no help when determining whether or not I might enjoy the work. So those of us who are inclined to write legit reviews are discouraged, nay, terrorized, into not writing a review by roving gangs of bullies.

I’m not telling Amazon what to do. But I am saying there are consequences.

The consequences?

A. I’ve heard from other real readers that they no longer leave reviews.

B. I no longer trust any four or five star review on Amazon.

Just sayin’…

#Freebook #Romance #Foodieromance #Contemporaryromance

Our anthology – A Matter of Taste – is free all week! November 2-6. This is a terrific read – sweet, spicy, extra-spicy. Authors Tina Donahue, Stephanie Berget, Amity Grays, Sandra Cox, J.W. Manus and myself.

AMatterofTaste_antho

Get if for free right here~

A Matter of Taste, From the Sweet to the Spicy, Romance for Every Palate.