Stars, Stripes and Reviews…


American flag

Happy 4th of July!!!

Okay, so it’s a little before the 4th, but I don’t want to miss out on wishing you all fun in the sun with your family and friends.

Over the past few days I’ve had some highs and lows. I’m going through a low at the moment. But I don’t want to get into that here. I want to focus on the better parts so this way I won’t get dragged down into some dark abyss from the likes of which there is no return.

A High: Yesterday was Indie Pride Day!!!

What’s that you may ask??? It’s a day that Indie Authors band together and promote the hell out of each other! There was even a party on Facebook! (Isn’t there always a party on Facebook?) And as of right now, I’m like 10 likes away from 400!!!! I think I may start up my post-it note pictures again. Those were pretty fun.

Another High: I got past the block that I had with One for Sorrow!!!

It’s not done yet (insert sigh here), but we all know that one of my major hang ups is writing love scenes. I’ll read them to death! But writing them is really awkward for me. So, with everything that I’ve been struggling with getting past this scene is a big thing for me.

A Third High: I’ve signed up to do another Facebook Party!

An author I met at the Indie party is having a party of her own in August. It’s the Fight for the Fae Cover Reveal and it will be hosted by Ariel Marie. I’ll post more information the closer we get to the party. I’m going to be doing my FIRST EVER Author Takeover!!!! It’s so exciting to think that I’ll be the center of attention for an entire hour! (I honestly think I’m gonna be sick. If any old pros have any tips or tricks, I am all ears!)

Now, it’s time for a couple of Lows… I hate them. But without them, the highs wouldn’t be as sweet.

And funny enough, the 2 major lows that I’ve learned about have to do with Amazon.

Low #1- Being paid by the page.

I don’t know how many of you know this, but Amazon has taken it upon themselves to pay authors by page. People were outraged and ready to pull their work from the Amazon roll call… except, it was for books enrolled in the KDP Select program.

Now, when I explain things, I like using examples. I’m going to use Tangled Temptations by me, and The Sweetest Thing by TB Bond (yes, she knows I’m using her title). Both of these books are in the Lending Library. Tangled Temptations is 207 pages, while The Sweetest Thing is only 27 pages long. Amazon thinks they should level the playing field by paying per page read.

When it’s broken down that way, it makes some sense. A lot of people jumped the gun and instantly thought that Amazon was going to do this for books across the board. They haven’t yet. KDP Select is not something you HAVE to do to get your books out there and noticed. I have my own reasons for having my books in the program, and while I can see their side of things, it’s also a little busted that now authors that try to make their home writing novellas and shorter stories have to work triple time for someone who writes longer novels.

Then I found Low #2 and it broke my heart.

A Book Blogger/Author on Facebook (I hate to say, I’m on FB a LOT more than I am on Twitter) shared her story of how she went to review a novel and Amazon will not publish it because they feel that she “knows” the author. From the little bits that I have read, and I will admit that I haven’t searched out every single detail of the story, she knows this author online only. I don’t think they met face to face ever. She likes the author’s FB page and follows her on Twitter.

Everyone is upset because of Amazon really has no right to just say “You two are friends and so you can’t seriously give an honest review of their work.” Add to that the new algorithms that I saw something about. Newer reviews are going to be given more of a weight than older ones, and if you seem like you know the person, then they’re going to remove it. I may as well have no reviews!

I try to think of reviews like a quote from an old video game, Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2

I’d rather have 100- 3 star reviews saying that my story needs work than 20-5 stars waxing poetic about how awesome I am and blowing smoke up my chimney… just saying.

Now… here’s where a catch-22 comes in to play. There are author groups and websites that won’t consider your work for whatever type of membership, or anything unless you have over a certain amount of reviews! And I’m not talking about 5-10. I’m talking 100+

Yeah. And let’s not forget to mention that indie authors and bloggers are a tight group! We’re bound to become friends/followers of each other! I can’t tell you how many authors and blogger that I (stalk) follow on both FB and Twitter! Now, I don’t go reviewing books anymore because I don’t want a tit-for-tat situation. Less drama for me that way. If I don’t like a book, I just won’t read it again. My really close friends will know my thoughts, but I don’t want the author to get upset and then go and bash my book for the hell of it (it hasn’t happened, and I don’t want it to! I looked at the reviews that I wrote and they could be considered harsh but honest. I don’t want a personal attack. Been there, done that.)

So basically, Amazon is getting a little big for its britches. As Indies we’re going to have to band together and figure out a way to either cut Amazon down to size, or figure out a way to live with their changes.

I know this post was long and a little (lot) all over the place. I want everyone to have a Happy 4th! I’ll keep everyone posted on the progress with One for Sorrow. And I’ll see you all next time!!!