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Messages - Perry Constantine

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1
Writers' Cafe / Re: "NY Literary Magazine Best Story Award"--Legitimate?
« on: December 27, 2017, 03:14:11 AM »
I've noticed many of these dubious services have a tendency to play victim and lay down guilt trips when they're caught red-handed.

2
Writers' Cafe / Re: "NY Literary Magazine Best Story Award"--Legitimate?
« on: December 26, 2017, 07:56:14 PM »
If NY Literary Magazine is still reading this thread, I'd like to respond to their email about how they're destroyed because of people calling foul on these kinds of tactics:

Tough.

Maybe you're completely innocent. Maybe it really was all down to this Asian marketing service. But if you're outsourcing the writing of your emails (and compiling of your email lists) to a third-party, then here's the thing: they're writing under YOUR name. If you're giving them access to your email accounts, that's a tacit endorsement of their tactics. I would never allow a third-party to send an email to my list that I haven't read and approved. That's just common sense.

And playing the victim and getting defensive against authors is just going to give you a bad name. What did you expect would happen after you sent out that email and posted that message on KBoards attacking authors? Did you think they would all shrug and enroll en masse in your contest?

Please.

Take responsibility for your actions. It's your business, your name, the buck stops with you.

3
Writers' Cafe / Re: "NY Literary Magazine Best Story Award"--a Scam?
« on: December 25, 2017, 09:53:58 PM »
Why are you using deliberately misleading quotes on your website, some of which are 25 years old and were made by authors in reference to completely different competitions?

Why as someone already pointed out, has the payment method been blocked by Amex?

Why is it the quote used from John Macrae was made in 1982 in reference to an entirely different award?

Why is it that the quote you have attributed to agent Juliet Pickering and her agency (both of which are misspelled on the site) was taken from an old blog post about how awards help publishers take on short story collections.

Why is it if you browse the "author success" page, none of those authors seem to ever have won this particular award but their quotes are about entirely different awards?

Honestly there are so many warning signs (before we even get to the ONLY 200 monthly nominees in our numerous categories!!!) if you fall for this, I have a nice tall metal structure in Paris you might be interested in purchasing...



Edited. Drop me a PM if you have any questions. - Becca

All this.

Furthermore, it's not unrealistic for writers to assume scam when some mystery site emails us and says "your story has been nominated for an award," then won't say which story and asks for us to submit the story that's apparently already been nominated. Many such scams operate on this kind of "you've already won!" type of messaging.



Quotation has been edited. Drop me a PM if you have any questions. - Becca

4
It also presupposes that the ISP contract is in your name (mine isn't, I don't have my name on anything, not even utilities). This could potentially get amusing and might be a valuable lesson for my neighbours about password protecting their wifi...

That's true as well. And also presupposes people aren't browsing with a VPN.

5
With cause.  I don't think "hurt feelings" is going to unlock any privacy records, but crazier things have happened, I guess.

Oh yeah, absolutely with cause. I was just making a general statement about how an IP can be used to obtain an identity.

6
Neither a name nor an IP address is proof of identity, though.  Unless crow.bar.beer's parents really put that on the birth certificate.  I wouldn't judge... it's charming.

The IP address can be traced to the ISP and then the ISP can be subpoenaed for an identity.

7
Some top notch lawyering there.

Whoever wrote this document also doesn't seem to understand the standard that must be met for a statement to be deemed defamatory. As far as my statements go, all of them fall under the category of opinion. And the notion that I'm not allowed to donate to a fellow author's legal fund is ridiculous, as is the notion that my meager contributions of around $100 in total are some sort of massive investment.

8
I'm doing a closer reading and realizing some of the facts in this about me for example aren't even correct. I am not a resident of NY.

And I'm not a resident of California, I'm a resident of Japan.

9
Writers' Cafe / Re: And! Amazon rank-stripped me
« on: November 21, 2017, 11:45:25 PM »
Why are you making this about you? 

If you want to have a wide vs. KU debate why not start another thread?  It's a topic we're almost all interested in and will probably continue to be interested in.

This thread is specifically about Patty having a BB deal de-ranked by Amazon.  Yes, there are some not-positive feelings towards Amazon in this thread. 

Stockholm Syndrome might be a strong terms, but so is the term that was popular for a long time: Amazon Derangement Syndrome.  ADS.  We're authors.  We like to use lots of descriptive words.   


Find another thread that's more pro-KU or stop looking for reasons to be offended.

Lord knows we're not all in lockstep here at KBoards and you'll find many people who agree with you. 

I don't see people "barking" at your tree specifically or trying to convert you!

Thanks for the reminder of why I don't come here as often as I used to.

10
Writers' Cafe / Re: And! Amazon rank-stripped me
« on: November 21, 2017, 07:28:45 PM »
Let's put aside I don't think anyone is denigrating anyone :)

That said, just on point of fact, the two camps are not equal in terms of industry impact. KU authors are commodifying (ie. driving down margins) for the industry as a whole. Wide authors are not (although I guess one could argue that the permafree authors are; but realistically they are only permafreeing one or two books max, so their impact is negligible).

I 100% agree that everyone should do what is best for them. But at the same time, if in doing so you (and others) are contributing to the erosion and instability of the industry, driving down pricing power for authors in the aggregate, empowering zon to become a monopolistic powerhouse, etc. -  you should at least understand those who have an issue with that (not with YOU, but with the general trend of kowtowing to zon)... even if, and though, they nonetheless respect your right to do whatever you feel like (and most probably understand why authors feel they have no choice but to play the game the way zon tells them to).

Then make noise to the other channels to provide more tools to improve discoverability. Make noise to them to drop the curated placements. When I can make more from KU in a month than I make on all other platforms combined due to lack of discoverability on those other platforms, then I have a financial decision to make. As much as I hate being exclusive to one channel and as much as I would love to go wide, I can't pay my bills with good intentions.

But if you think telling exclusive authors that they're contributing to the erosion of the industry and accusing them of having Stockholm Syndrome will win you any converts, you're barking up the wrong tree.

11
Writers' Cafe / Re: And! Amazon rank-stripped me
« on: November 21, 2017, 03:44:31 PM »
I'm no more special than anyone else.

But. I just want to say this, for those who still suffer from Amazon Stockholm Syndrome: Amazon operations are run by computers. There is no human checking any of this. They feel nothing about you, about me, or anyone else. Please bear that in mind next time you feel anything towards Amazon in terms of loyalty or gratitude. They will NOT return your adoration. They're a big frikken steamrolling company. Use them, but be on your guard.

I'm really sorry this happened to you, but can we please stop insulting those who make the choice to be in Select? I'm not in Select out of any sense of loyalty to Amazon nor am I in it because I'm suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. I was wide for four years. I'm in Select now because I make more money from KU in a month than I made in a year on all the other platforms combined. My decision is purely based on monetary reasons and the fact that the extra income is giving a big boost to my savings.

I don't denigrate you for being wide, you do you. Please show the same courtesy.

12
Writers' Cafe / Re: Calling all Superhero Writers (and fans)!
« on: November 20, 2017, 04:24:36 PM »
You should probably create a sign-up form through Google or something so I have something to send people to.

13
I need someone at Amazon to take about 45 seconds and code a redirect to my book page from the URL that PW has listed on the review. There is no way -- none -- that PW will fix the URL before Monday. The erroneous URL is an Amazon address, it should be a no-brainer. I could do it in two minutes.

No one at Amazon is going to create a custom redirect for you. As Wayne said, there's no benefit in it for them. In addition to that, the people you get in touch with when you contact Amazon support are not techies. They're customer support. They can request changes be made but for something like making a custom redirect URL? Not gonna happen. The only way you're going to get this fixed is by getting PW to change the link.

14
Writers' Cafe / Re: Calling all Superhero Writers (and fans)!
« on: November 19, 2017, 04:21:14 PM »
I was thinking about running a promo Jan 1-15 for Sci Fi and Fantasy. It would be to give away complete stories or books (no incomplete stuff). People might be looking for freebies to put on their new ereaders, right? This would be open to all of Sci Fi but I'm floating the idea here first because I want to see if there's enough interest to have a solid superhero group represented.

Bookfunnel's not as big as Instafreebie on giveaways yet, but the delivery method is easy for readers and it's cheaper per month for me.

My biggest things are:

1. Would the rest of you be interested in joining in such a promo?

2. Is there a kind soul who could throw together a graphic for the header? I am hopeless at graphics. In exchange, I would be willing to give you a token so you could collect email addresses on Bookfunnel without paying for an account yourself (good for one month's use or 1000 addresses) or set your freebie at the top of the page. Otherwise, I'll have to hit fiverr or something.

I get two of the tokens every month so two people who don't have Bookfunnel could use the giveaway feature for the promo - one for the graphic artist if they want it, and the other to whoever asks first.

I'd be willing to participate and I could make the banner. Have you posted this in the Facebook group?

15
Writers' Cafe / Re: Trigger warnings in book descriptions
« on: November 04, 2017, 01:37:12 AM »
Don't really get all the hate towards trigger warnings. I don't use them myself, but I don't care if another author wants to use them and it certainly wouldn't stop me from reading a book.

16
Still waiting for OP's ROI.

Bueller?

He never shows it. He won't even share his website or the title of a single book.

I can understand the need for anonymity. But when you're being pretty forceful in telling an entire community of authors that they'd be more successful if they pulled their books from Amazon and sold them from their own website, then you should provide some proof to back that up. You don't have to show us your actual figures, but some indication that you know of which you speak seems like the courteous thing to do.

17
I know I've said this before, but I was one of the Survivors of this Bully. I didn't stand up for myself. Still haven't. I'm a coward. You standing up for yourself and the rest of us lifted a huge burden from my shoulders and allowed me to hold my head up high again. Thank you for that from me and many, many others. When the new site goes up, I'll be contributing again. Please keep fighting for you...and us...and the many newbs who are STILL getting taken in by this badly behaving author's smooth-talking.

You're just human. Most people will avoid conflict whenever possible, even if it's to their detriment. If I were in your shoes, I'm not sure I would have done things any different from you.

18
Thanks, y'all. I met Christina yesterday and she asked why. I've given that question a lot of thought and tried to explain it to her. As a kid, I was kinda small and bookish (is that word still used?) and I was pushed around a lot. We had a playground bully where I grew up. This was like '64 or '65. This kid was bigger than most. One day I saw him sitting on another kid slapping him, and something clicked in me. Long story short, the bully went home crying. Don't get me wrong, I got bloodied, but I rode my bike home with my head up. That kid was the reason I became a Marine.

When a stronger person pushes others around, and in this case, I'm talking financially stronger, because having met Christina, I now know her to be a powerfully ethical person. I can't ignore it. Nor should any person with a good moral compass. What I did was easy. Christina's the one getting bloodied. She's the one going toe to toe with the playground bully, and she's doing it for all the kids on the playground. But, I can now guarantee you one thing, having met her in person. That young lady will ride her bike home with her head held high.

This ain't over, y'all. There will be further funding needed. What I've contributed so far is about 10% of last month's income. Many of you have done that and more. I ask you to continue doing so. This isn't charitable giving, this is investing in the clean up of OUR community and is easily worth the investment.

Wayne is Captain America.


19
Writers' Cafe / Re: I think zon should derank for cats
« on: October 01, 2017, 04:16:28 AM »
I think Amazon need a third ranking chart. Paid store, Free store, KU store. Remove all KU books from the paid store ranking system, and have them in their own rank chart. The result would be to remove all the crap from the top of all the categories, and put it out where it belongs, in a KU only chart.

That's about as likely as Amazon removing the exclusivity requirement from KU. The rank boost is one of the carrots Amazon uses to get authors into KU. For some, the rank boost is far more important than the page reads. And while having a separate KU chart might help deter scammers, it wouldn't do a damn thing about category stuffers. You'll still have people shoving paranormal romance into the superhero category and those books will still outrank the actual superhero books because PNR is more popular than superhero fiction. Not all those books are high on the category charts because of rank manipulation.

No, Amazon needs a total overhaul of the categories. It's too easy to keyword into the wrong cat by accident (or on purpose- there's really no incentive for authors bit too get into as many subcats as they can) and it's not clear what every category means. Who is to say if something is urban fantasy or PNR or if a romantic suspense featuring a lawyer is also a legal thriller it if something is coming if age or if a romance focusing on the heroine's growth qualifies as women's fiction? There are no clear guidelines from Amazon themselves.

Absolutely this. What Amazon needs to do is completely eliminate the whole system of using keywords to get into additional categories. Instead, when authors set up a book in the dashboard, Amazon needs to give them a complete list of categories and say "choose five categories or sub-categories from the list below."

That would eliminate accidental miscategorization. With a limited number of categories to choose from, some would-be stuffers might be forced to be more strategic about how they choose their categories. This wouldn't stop those who intentionally miscategorize because they have an extra category option, but it would prevent them from using ignorance as an excuse. "Oh, I didn't know that keyword would put my book into the wrong category" wouldn't work as a defense if caught.

20
Writers' Cafe / Re: foreign authors self-publishing on Amazon
« on: October 01, 2017, 04:02:54 AM »
I think you're kind of referring to a Murakami type of effect. He seems to have a very un-Western & surreal style that has been appreciated by Western audiences, because its so unique. Or at least, that's my limited understanding of it. I'm clearly no expert on the conventions of Japanese literature.

But there really are not many examples of that. I suspect Murakami's style has made him a success because its 1) different without being too different, 2) he's a brilliant writer, 3) he is incredibly lucky. I mean, it's hard enough for a native English-speaking author to become big (although to be fair, indies don't have to be the level of Murakami to be successful).

Murakami's surreal style doesn't have anything to do with the language used in his stories and everything to do with the kind of stories he writes. His work is unique in Japan, but it's more because he's heavily influenced by western literature (something the Japanese literary establishment has criticized him for).

As far as his translations go, they are unique, but not for the reasons you suggest. Murakami is himself a translator and has translated books from English into Japanese, but he doesn't translate his own books from Japanese into English. He works very closely with his translators and encourages his translators to "adapt" his work into an American context as opposed to just a straight English translation.

21
I believe the opposite. For some people tangling with her has been their worse nightmare and this compounds an already horrid situation. There are people who have gone to ground over her bullying and hoping like hell all this blows over the top of their bunker  :(

Well, this might actually work against her in other ways. Not necessarily with people trying to stand up to her legal threats, but with them deciding her services just aren't worth the hassle. I don't know about the rest of you, but if a service provider I regularly used started making not-so-subtle threats about her ability to sue anyone she wants at no extra charge, then the first thing I'd do (after I stopped laughing at how ridiculous that claim is, of course) is find another service provider.

22
I don't have a legal background but I would call that "scare tactics" aimed at anyone who might be thinking of telling their story/sharing evidence with Christina.

My thoughts exactly.

23
BUT - I just wanted to ask, has anyone delved into Storyshop yet? It's a paid subscription from the SPP guys. https://storyshop.io/ 

As far as I can tell it's like an outliner and a wiki-type arrangement in one. I think they have talked about expanding it to a Scrivener-type setup too so it can all be incorporated, but I don't like subscription models for software in general (being from the pay-once-and-own-it generation) so I'd be interested in anyone who has found Story Shop to be superior to the other story/world mapping software out there.

I use StoryShop. If you funded a certain amount when the Kickstarter was going, you got free lifetime access so that's what I did. There are a lot of features about it that are cool, such as the ability to create different worlds and their character creation questions are pretty useful. It's very slick, but one of the things it's missing (though this is something in development) is story structure templates. Right now, there aren't any templates, just the option to add story beats and link the various characters/elements to it.

If you have a big world with a lot of characters in it, StoryShop is definitely useful because everything is linked together. When you type a character's name, you can link it to that character's profile. So when going through your story beats, you click on a character's name and all their info is there. Also really good for collaboration.

But until they get those templates in, it's not very useful for plotting.

24
Seeking justice should never be about money. Yet, that's what our legal system has become. Christina, check with your attorney on this if you don't already know. but, if the defendant were to pull every delaying tactic possible, simply to force it to be a matter of who has the deepest pockets, what will the total legal fees be? Will the current fund amount cover it? What would be the longest time table?

At the end of the month, the $25K will be fully funded. That, I guarantee. If others in our community miss the mark, I'll cover it. If this goes to the end of October.... Well, I just released a book on August 23rd, and it's doing pretty good. It'd been a slow month up to that point, but I'll have well into five digits of blow money available at the end of October. My pool's done, the driveway's finished, and the down payment on my next boat is in the bank. I've run out of things to spend money on.

Most folks in the community know who and what I am. Cheaters, bullies, and criminals get no quarter from me. I'll say it again, so that the opposition can read me loud and clear. Money will NOT be an issue in this proceeding. Full disclosure: I'll earn over $400K this year and I only pay myself $120K. My charitable giving eats another $25K, so there's still a huge hunk left. I can wait a couple more months for the boat.  ;)

Wayne, when we get a chance to meet, I'm bringing you a bottle of rum. You're amazing!

Wayne and Elizabeth, I've sparred often with you both. And while I likely won't stop the sparring (too much fun!), please know whatever professional differences we may have, you have both earned my utmost respect over these last 4 months. In the ways that matter most, we have no differences. Thank you for helping me see that. And for putting community first. ♥♥♥



Seconded (and Giphy apparently won't let me embed gifs on message boards anymore).

25
This is the answer she was supposed to be giving when she asked for more time to file, then tried to get the case thrown out of CA?

Stalling tactic. She's trying to drag this out as long as possible.

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