Amazon Has A Fake Book Problem

THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT TO READ IF YOU UTILIZE AMAZON.

David Gaughran

Fake books – powered by clickfarms – are gatecrashing Amazon’s charts. And despite being aware of the issue for well over a year, Amazon has failed to resolve it.

If you look at the Kindle Store Best Seller charts right now, and click over to Free Books, you will see that the Top 20 currently has five suspicious-looking titles.

None of them have reviews. All were published in the last week. They have no Also Boughts – meaning they have had very few sales. Each of these titles are around 2,500 pages long, seem to have duplicated content, and are enrolled in Kindle Unlimited.

What is going on here?

For over fifteen months now, scammers have been raiding the Kindle Unlimited pot using a well-worn trick. They usually pilfer the content first of all – often by stealing an author’s original work and running it through a synonymizer – and…

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Self Publishing…Is It Worth It?

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There they were. Those two words you thought would never happen. Six little letters. You type slowly and reverently:

The End.

The act of completing a novel is huge. Of the billions of people on the planet we are in a very small, select group of Homo sapiens. Soak up the ambiance because shortly you come to the next gargantuan phase of your book: publishing.

You can have your book published on Amazon within a few days. You can use their cover designer for free. You just upload the pdf, collect your ISBN and POOF you’re published. You can do it in your underwear, or less. Clickity clack – baddaboom baddabing. AUTHOR!

Ooooooor, you can compose a query letter, a synopsis and prep a few select gorgeous pages of your work and try courting the shy and elusive literary agent or traditional publisher. And then await the rejections! I am in a group on Facebook that celebrates the Rejection Letter. Mostly they are pre-written form letters and ironically sometimes contain typos.

There is also a deep, dark secret that transpires at bookstores and libraries the world over. [TRIGGER ALERT] Every bookstore and library participate in the culling of books. Books — pages toiled over and written in blood by a writer — get DUMPED. Sometimes the get purchased by paper recycling company, some take truckloads to the land fills. It’s gruesome. Mass graves for literary endeavor.

I’m at a cross-roads. I’ve completed my novel. I can testify that it is definitely “not bad”. It’s a literary fiction manuscript. No vampires. No spacesuits. It’s about….well, here  you can read about it and see what I mean. I had this intense urge to get my manuscript through my editor’s process. I had a drive to finish, to get those pages to Amazon. And then once I was all done I sat with my novel…digitized into a pdf…and I became suddenly aware of relegating my book to the culled pile. Or worse, it never gets to the culled pile because my three friends didn’t have money to buy it and it just sits there, a victim of a lack of marketing and distribution.

Some reports suggest that less than 1% of authors on Amazon create revenue of $50 per day or more. But wait! Use Ads!! That’s right, start paying for your novel to be placed more successfully. It’s maddening.

So here I sit with my little pdf, working on pdf #2 and I’m considering all of the above. I believe I am going to wait for traditional publishing.

I don’t know…I really don’t.

For more reading try these: Claude Forthomme’s BlogNew York Times, The Guardian, Amazon KDP Support Chat

Query Letter Workshop

The Sandpaper Crew, an online beta reader group and Introvert PRESS, are co-hosting a Query Letter workshop on July 8th, 2017. The workshop is for people with current query letter looking for input and recommendations for improvement. The event will last for a 24 hours. It will allow you to post your query letter and receive suggestions from a diversity of viewpoints. We have editors, writers, readers and teachers, all ready to help with constructive criticism.  The Sandpaper Crew is a safe place!

Normally the Sandpaper Crew is a secret group, but we are opening up for the days leading up to the workshop so those associated with Introvert PRESS can find us on Facebook.

Remember the cardinal rule of criticism: take what you like, leave what you don’t.

The following day you can post your updated Query Letter for final applause, and hopefully make a few connections in the Indie Author world along the way.

Here is a link to the event. If you click on “interested” or “going” you will receive notification about details as they shape up.

THE RETROACTIVIST by Nate Ragolia

If you enjoyed Orwell’s 1984, Huxley’s Brave New World, or even Pixar’s Wall-e  there is something for you in Nate Ragolia’s The Retroactivist. Throw in a bit of nuanced Stepford Wives and a splash Bellamy’s Looking Backward and you have a sense of the novel: a speculative fiction piece focused on what truly qualifies a society as utopian and a person as happy.

(More below cover art)

The Retroactivist by Nate RagoliaSet in the year 2087, government has solved hunger, illness, social strife and all major components of societal duress. Citizens travel the world via tube cars and enjoy cocktails made in convenient replicators. Sexual gratification is omnipresent and all activities are scheduled and paid for by the flick of a wifi wrist band. The primary goal of citizens – enjoy life.

Society is ‘perfected’, yet perfection leaves main character Reid Rosales unfulfilled.

Akin to Alice tumbling down the rabbit hole, Reid finds an underground sect of fellow Citizens with a shared longing for the past. Reid decides to eschew the safety of perfection for the excitement of uncertainty.  He leaves his sultry girlfriend, a cush apartment and a life of leisure in the United Sociocracy of the Americas and immerses himself in the philosophy, economy and society of the 20th century.  His newly acquired cohorts band together and take it upon themselves to be ‘retroactivists’.

Revolution ensues.

Ragolia has a knack for presenting the fantastic as believable, unfolding a unique perspective on what it means to be genuinely fulfilled, not just comfortable. I have a sense if Margaret Atwood and Ayn Rand sat down for an afternoon of Chardonnay, they would have lots to say about this novel. Ragolia also gives the reader a treat by nestling into the novel subtle references to the 20th Century that if you are on your toes you will read with a smirk. The Retroactivist reads quickly, has a steady pace and is a tribute to what Indie Authors have to offer. Kudos to Nate Ragolia. Buy it!

 

Reveiew by Josh Jones

 Intovert PRESS  PO Box 91071 Columbus, OH 43209

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Grace Harney’s Advice on KDP Select

First of all, what is KDP Select? It’s pretty unlikely that you don’t know already what this is, but for the sake of full disclosure and those that don’t know, it’s basically a 3-month, optional contract you can enter into with Amazon. If you’re like me, and you have just one book– –don’t do it! […]

via Enrolling Your Only Book in Kindle Select = 3 Months of Regret. Here’s Why. — Grace Harney

Monolith

Hello folks — here’s a chance for a short story submission. Monolith will be accepting short stories starting in June via Monolith. For all the details you can join Creative Writers on Facebook for details. Post questions if you need more info and cannot find it.

Antony M Copeland

I recently had a hare-brained idea to make an anthology. That’s a short-story collection in case anyone knows. Have you ever had a nagging thought in your head saying, “That doesn’t seem too hard? I bet even I could do that!”? In my case, it rapidly evolved from “Maybe I should try?”, through “Do it do it do it do it do it…”, to suddenly finding myself posting this in the Creative Writers group on Facebook:

Anthology

Soon the group was discussing the idea at length, getting excited and helping me pick out a font for the cover.  Before long the group had a brand new pinned post and I was challenging the group to coming up with a cover image that would be appropriate for both the series title, Monolith, and the theme of book one: New Beginnings.

Here are some of the early mock-ups for the front cover:

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Writers in Co-Housing

Some people shudder at the thought of living with other writers; others think that’s the solution to a lot of problems. What do you think?

Me? I’m a writer, but of course that does not explain the entirety of my person. I’m a carpenter, a singer, a gardener, a minimalist…so many facets to who I am. I’m also struggling to make a living as a writer. I’ve made in-roads, but I’m not there yet. I’ve finished my first novel and am getting that to market. I’m trying my best to create a marketing network. I want to spend more time writing and less time ‘earning a living’.

Who would be interested in creating a non-profit entity focused on finding writers seeking to decrease their overhead, increase their writing potential and live with like-minded folks?

If you are, check out a new group The Writer’s Consortium to discuss the possibility of creating writer co-ops, writer co-housing, writer communities…you pick a noun to describe what you seek.