Latest: Lotus

A Message from Amazon

A month ago I tried to leave a 5-star review for a cool guitar accessory I’d bought on Amazon. I got an error message. When I followed up with Amazon this was their response:

Yes, in fact, I know people who’ve bought the same items as me on Amazon.

I know some of the authors whose books I’ve bought, read, and reviewed.

And I have been given books in the hopes I would review them.

Never, once, have I intentionally attempted to deceive or mislead anyone about my own books or my opinion of any other item at Amazon. Hey, I’m that guy ahead of you making you crazy by driving the speed limit instead of going as fast as everyone else. I’m the guy who reports cash earnings and pays taxes on them.

In short, I’m honest, in everything, in every way. I’m genetically incapable of lying or cheating.

When I know that there are folks who are gaming Amazon left right and center and making money at it, folks who are cheating every way possible and getting away with it, but whatever mistake I made leads to, with no warning whatsoever, a full permanent ban from ever leaving a review of anything, ever again, on Amazon, it feels unfair.

I’m no longer raging, but I’m still sad. Maybe even a little hurt.

I was planning on asking for your book reviews in my next newsletter. I won’t be bothering. In fact, you might want to avoid reviewing any of my books, in case Amazon decides we know each other.


Maricopa

this one wrote itself

ABQ

Leaving Maricopa in a cloud of dust
Ain’t nobody back there gonna follow us
They can stay right there ’cause we ain’t done nothin’ wrong
And we’ll be in Albuquerque by the time they know we’re gone

Leaving Maricopa in a borrowed car
I know we said we wouldn’t have to go that far
But she’ll be busy hanging out with her friends down at the salon
And we’ll be in Albuquerque by the time they know we’re gone

Leaving Maricopa at the speed of night
Had to take the car, couldn’t catch a flight
Heading east on 40 face-first into the dawn
And we’ll be in Albuquerque by the time they know we’re gone

We’ll go to Babylon
Maybe the Amazon
We’ll run this marathon
Up to Saskatchewan
Maybe we’ll go to St. Louis and see that big mastodon
Right now we’ll be in Albuquerque by the time they know we’re gone

Leaving Maricopa in a cloud of dust
Smelling like grease and looking like rust
Tomorrow I’ll be dressed up in silk and you’ll be in chiffon
And we’ll be in Albuquerque by the time they know we’re gone


Overcoming the Enormous Technical Challenges to Digital Conversion . . . is Already Done

Sigil. calibre (yes, with a lower-case first letter.) There’s even one called Hamster.

If you’ve ever searched for a tool to convert your manuscript to an ebook, you’ve come perilously close to drowning in geekness.

Stop. Step back. Put down the chainsaw; you don’t need one to make a toothpick. Especially if you already have a box of toothpicks.

making toothpicks
making toothpicks

Everything I say in the rest of this post will have exceptions. I’ll mention a few at the end, but if your manuscript doesn’t fall into the exceptions, don’t go to exceptional lengths to get the job done.

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Why Affiliate Links Build Trust Instead of Evil

When you click on my affiliate link it’s a gift to me. Not a financial gift; that’s too obvious. The gift is trust.

It’s true that the vendor gives me a gift on your behalf, and you don’t spend one penny extra. But that’s not the point. The point is that when you click on that link you accept my recommendation because you trust me. Because I recommended a book at Amazon or hosting at CharlottezWeb or that you or your male friend shave with equipment you buy at Harry’s, You were willing to at least click the link and go look, and maybe even buy something.

Yes, affiliate links (which we used to call commissioned sales) have been done to death, and are used for every imaginable evil.

There just tools. They are not evil. They are, in fact, a way for us to grow the trust which magically happens even over the Internet when people speak sincerely and genuinely listen.

photo http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1379920 by LuZiVerne http://www.sxc.hu/profile/LuZiVerne


Fifteen Thousand Words: Self-Publishing 101 Q&A

Fifteen thousand words about self-publishing. That’s the conversation I’ve had with Cheryl Campbell, answering her questions about self-publishing. Being a newbie, her questions were basic. Being a smarty, her questions were insightful and clear.

Fifteen thousand words. I’ve written books shorter than that. While most of this content will make it into Getting Your Book Our of the “Someday” Box, 2nd Edition you can read it all here absolutely free.

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Amazon: Price-Matching

Cheryl Campbell

Cheryl Campbell

Continuing our conversation with author Cheryl Campbell

On Jul 29, 2013, at 7:48 AM, Cheryl Campbell <ccampbell.me@gmail.comwrote:Morning!

When reading the terms of service or whatever it’s called for Amazon, for you to get the 70% of sales profits, your Amazon book has to be priced at least 20% less than other distributors, like Smashwords, or they will cut you back to 35% instead of 70%.

That seems a bit unfair, but I guess I can’t really go up against Amazon on that. However I was thinking that if I marketed on fb a coupon for Smashwords that if used would get the price down to the same as Amazon, that might help level the playing field. Does Amazon troll for that kind of thing?… posting of coupons for other sites to get the prices the same as Amazon?

Do Smashwords coupons only work if purchased off Smashwords?* Or do they also distribute to iBook, Nook, etc? I’m thinking they’re probably only good for Smashwords purchases.

Have a great one! I’m off to Pittsburgh for work.
Cheryl

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