The Only Rule Amazon Truly Cares About

A very worthwhile read…

David Gaughran

On Monday, I found out that some bug hit a German e-book site causing the reactivation of long-dead listings, including one of mine, putting myself and some other authors in breach of KDP Select’s exclusivity rule.

Amazon pounced into action and cancelled my Countdown deal which was scheduled for this week, screwing up a carefully planned promotion. And despite pledging to resolve the matter and restore the promo, Amazon has not done so.

I’m going to go through what happened in detail so you can be sure that I acted correctly at all points – because there is a lot of shadiness going on at the moment – but feel free to skim some of the details if you wish.

Let’s Get Digital and Let’s Get Visible had never been in Select, so I decided to throw them in for one term as an experiment at the start of July…

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Stones on the Desert Floor

I have died a dozen times, maybe more. Truth be told, I have lost count; or perhaps more accurately, I have lost interest in counting.

I died in Phoenix, AZ in 1987. My body was never found. Local newspapers posted a short public notice on page seven a few days after my disappearance. It ran on a Tuesday. It dropped from print by Friday.

A few years later I died in Jackson, MS. I had been working midnight shift at a warehouse assembling wrenches into kits packaged for a Father’s Day promotion for Sears. When I stopped showing up for work, inquiries were made. I don’t make friends though, so there really wasn’t anyone to ask. My landlord knew nothing. After a few days a new person from the temp agency who hired me sent a new worker to fill my spot at the warehouse. I imagine that was the last time I was thought about in Jackson.

This story gets repeated over and over: Reno, Monterrey, Yuba CIty.

The act of killing myself is hard wired. My neuroses keeps me away from people. I’ve learned to live a solitary life. In the arena of mental warfare I am my own worst enemy. I stand alone, girded by invisible walls fortified with paranoia.

I work at night. I sleep during the day. I’m not some teen-aged fantasy of a real life vampire. I am the mundane phenomenon of depression and anxiety left unchecked. My skin does not sparkle, it’s merely pale from preferring the shadows. I don’t rise at night to consume the sanguine blood of my victims, instead I eat from convenience stores at odd hours, at different times. I do this so I do not encounter the same people at the same time. That leads to acquaintances, and relationships. I am not interested in that paradigm. Not any longer.

I died in Baltimore, Poughkeepsie, Wilkes-Barre, and Coeur d’Alene too.

The warehouse work I seek through temp agencies is simple. As long as you can pass a drug test and you don’t have active warrants, you can get a job. Warehouse work involves placing different objects into baskets making consumer products to be sold in boutiques. I’ve made lotion baskets, dried goods baskets, candy baskets and hermetically colored condom baskets. I once made a dried fish, preserved eel and wasabi dried pea basket for something called the Shogatsu. I’m an expert on cobbling things together. It’s the process I use I recreate myself after I die.

I died in St. Louis, Salt Lake City and Oakland.

As I insinuated, my deaths are not corporeal in nature; they are psychic. The seed of anxiety deposits in my thinking. It is nourished by the frenetic energy of my troubled cognition. The seed takes root and grows until the trunk and branches erode my lucidity. The only thing that has ever stopped the mental pain is to leave, simply walk away from whatever life I have. Each time I do, my psychical template descends into a malaise from which I cannot escape. So I die, and move on down the road to the next town.

That’s why now, as the vulture’s beak, strong with practice, pulls the remaining sinews from my skull I am surprised at my sadness. It’s an emotion I thought lost, but looking down upon my deteriorating body I find myself, unexpectedly, wanting to live. I have died so many times in the minds of others, I thought naught what it would feel like when I actually did depart from this plane.

I don’t like it.

I find myself pining to try again in life, to find a reason not to die away. I am struck by the irony of my seeking death as an escape, only to suddenly want to escape from the death I have so long sought.

I don’t remember anything from when the semi hit me. I had walked along the side of US Route 95. I was headed North, away from the heat and insular culture of the City of Yuma. I had enjoyed the sound of passing traffic, the white noise present during my northward trek out of Yuma. The truck had drifted a few feet to the right onto the shoulder without the driver’s knowledge. The moment of impact registered as a bright, white light.

Then nothing.

Nothing until I realized the yawn of morning and the presence of sunlight sufficient to see myself lying on the hardpan dirt of the Sonoran Desert. There I lay. My legs contorted unnaturally. My face immersed in the Earth. My backpack resting a good distance away seemingly unmolested. My body, just far enough away from traffic to lie unseen among the sage and stones, lay crumpled and still.

Time takes on a different role after death. It is no longer linear. The view I see of myself from wherever it is I am, is constant. I can see today, yesterday and tomorrow. Today I see the vulture, harvesting the final nutrients beneath my tattered clothing. The protuberance of a humerus bone clutching onto its radius counterpart with a weathered ligament poked through my clothing. My sun soaked skull revealed my occipital bone through scattered, matted blond hair. Blond hair tinged with dried blood.

I find myself in a perpetual orbit above the body I knew as mine. A body that had been given the chance to live a life, but whose mind never allowed it function.

I have truly died. I am now departed from myself, watching my body slowly become part of the lonely Sonoran Desert. My broken phalanges, now but small stones on the desert floor, lay scattered without intention or purpose akin to the lives I used to live.

Looking down now, I recognize my future is extinguished. Yet here I am, still awash in the memories of the lives I lived. To what end have I come? I have become what I sought in life, to die and be released from life. And now, in a place absence of pain and anxiety, I mourn myself, my fettered existence.

Death, I realize, is not the answer; it is a premature conclusion without recourse, without remedy.

In life, I used death like a Tarot card placed in front of me time and time again. The Tarot card, depicting a skeleton with an arm raised toward the seeker, is not about death; it is about change. I see now my life repeatedly sought change, not death. I hungered change, a change I was unable to affect with my aberrant mental faculty.

I see that now. I see that now, as plainly as I see my body quartered among the sage and boulders.

 

Josh Jones is a writer currently living in Columbus, OH. He is co-founder of The Writer’s Consortium, a non-profit project forming co-housing relationships for active writers. Josh’s day job is installing permaculture gardens for sustainable households and businesses which takes him all over the United States. When work allows, he’s off long distance hiking having trod most of the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. Josh is a novelist of literary fiction exploring realistic characters with societal obstacles to overcome. He is also a ghost writer for a wide array of topics.

Fame and fortune have yet to catch up with Josh, so you can easily contact him at the following links.
Author networking site: https://introvertpress.wordpress.com/

Source: Stones on the Desert Floor

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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IntrovertPRESS Author Spotlight: Rob Cooke

Moonshiner’s Legacy     Sara’s Swamp Blues

Coming soon: The Lost Song of Miriam Landry

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Rob Cooke wrote early scenes of Moonshiner’s Legacy while undergoing treatment for cancer. He took his kids to the library, checked every book about the era in his novels and built the story one page at a time. The whole family was involved. From those research adventures with his kids, his series began. Moonshiner’s Legacy starts with Bo Barnum and his pursuits of handling the family moonshine business. Sara, his daughter, and granddaughter to a Creole Indian, is the focus of Sarah’s Swamp Blues.

Rob’s stories unfold with dynamic roots growing into the deep Southern culture of 1920’s Arkansas and Louisiana. Receiving 5-star reviews, Sara’s Swamp Blues continues the legacy into the violence and tumult of the 1950’s. Rob himself is from Nebraska and has a passion for Depression Era themes, especially the music of that time period. He is also a budding guitar, banjo and harmonica player.

Connect with Rob here. Please re-post and re-tweet to support Rob!

Thanks for visiting the IntrovertPRESS site. We are pleased to spotlight our authors and their literary ventures. If you would like to see the authors supported by IntrovertPRESS click here.

The Writer’s Space

The Writer’s Space is celebrating indie authors.

If you’d like some buzz about your book and would like to be featured in the “Author Promo” send in your details as a message to Shirani Rajapakse. You can also tweet her here.

Strictly for self published authors, or authors published thru small presses only – but no traditional or vanity presses.

Here’s what you need to send in:

Your name, the name of the book, genre, something about the book – a blurb would do, a short quote from the book, an author photo, a photo of the book, links to the book (where it can be bought) and links to your blog, FB page Twitter etc, or anyplace you want people to contact you.

Also include a short author bio (max 200 words). Please note only one book per author, so if y’all have zillions of books please select one for this promo. Trying to give everyone a chance.

Launching a book?

There’s a new section coming up for book launches.

It will include the same information as the book promo with some additional details. Contact Shirani on FB to discuss this further.

#writerslife #bookpromotion #indieauthors #indiepoets #TheWritersSpace #writers #authors #books #amazon #lovewhatyoudo #kindle #poets

Author Networking

Let’s face it….we thought writing the novel was the hard part. And it was. It was VERY hard. So it seems almost like undue penalty that we, as indie authors, have to battle social media to sell our books in a cyber atmosphere of seemingly unending dead ends.

Give a long sigh. Maybe pour a few fingers of whisky. Whatever you need to do… to prepare for that foul bastion of mmm….mmmarrr….ok, say it with me:

MARKETING.

Take the first step. Join forces with authors everywhere – including here – let’s utilize one another to place our books in front of a multitude of potential readers. It’s not the solution to becoming a best seller — but it is a solid step in combating obscurity. That’s the real enemy – obscurity.

Let’s fight it… TOGETHER! Join us: Introvert PRESS.