KB Featured Book
Stone and Silt
by Harvey Chute

Kindle Edition published 2013-08-14
Bestseller ranking: 713665

Product Description
Big Al's Books & Pals 2014 Readers' Choice Awards: Young Adult Nominee

A ruthless murder and a stolen shipment of gold.

At school, sixteen-year-old Nikaia Wales endures the taunts of bullies who call her a “half-breed.” At home, she worries about how her family will react if she reveals her growing feelings for the quiet boy next door.

Those are soon the least of her troubles. Nikaia discovers a hidden cache of gold, and when police find a corpse nearby, her father becomes a suspect. Worse, Elias Doyle is circling, hungry to avenge his brother’s death.

Nikaia desperately searches for clues to save her father. In her quest to find the killer, she learns about the power of family, friendship, and young love....

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Messages - Elizabeth Ann West

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Quoting lyrics is also pretty lazy writing. Describe a person jamming, screaming into their pillow, putting on a playlist of artists as they light up a joint, whatever but there shouldn't be a soundtrack to the scene.

Basically of you need song lyrics to carry a scene or convey the mood of scene, you aren't doing your job because the lyrics are someone else's work.

Make your automation sequence. Move your Mailchimp list over segment by segment based on where they are in the automation. That way you are moving people over in a smart way. You should only have to remake the emails, and move over how many segments you are moving over.

That's probably the best way to do it in an organized fashion.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon's Author Proofs = terrific value!
« on: November 08, 2017, 08:32:57 PM »
Ingramspark might be better for international and you can use indiefringe17 to get free setup costs this month.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Pronoun announce they are shutting down! [MERGED]
« on: November 08, 2017, 02:47:05 PM »
I mentioned the frustration we are feeling about how a price change can cause a copyright issue and was told "we can request proof of copyright at any time it says so in our terms and conditions"

So. If you have not been hit.... Don't wait. Read those emails we are getting and make SURE you have some way to satisfy Amazon on every pen name you are publishing.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Pronoun announce they are shutting down! [MERGED]
« on: November 08, 2017, 02:28:28 PM »

If you are with Pronoun, email them so they can send an email to Amazon stating your ISBNS and Titles and that you never conferred rights. Also, apparently the emails I sent from my domain, pointing out the tax record etc. would have been enough.

Still not changing that I will keep preparing for storms from any vendor.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Pronoun announce they are shutting down! [MERGED]
« on: November 08, 2017, 01:39:42 PM »
Elizabeth, your experience is the only thing so far that's really making me think it might be worth going through D2D for Amazon. The convenience of having it all in one place is not worth 10% to me, and I don't have the other issues some are talking about, but if we could be guaranteed better customer service to resolve issues like yours (given all the problems people are reporting with Amazon shenanigans lately), that might be worth 10%. I guess that depends on how much help D2D would be in a case like yours, or if going through D2D would help keep it from happening in the first place. I hope people who decide to go that route report back with their experiences.

I am just someone late getting affected. Others without names well known here on Kboards have been dealing with this for months. Some just expect it like Phoenix points out. Sigh.

I am okay to weather this storm because I plan for them to happen as much as I can. That is what I would urge everyone to start taking steps to do: if you're exclusively with Amazon don't think it can't ever happen to you, save for the day it WILL happen. If you're wide, same thing. If you're using an aggregator . . . that can always go sideways too. I remember years ago when D2D had Amazon distro and it poofed overnight, which is what I think happened to Pronoun, because they clearly aren't out of money.

This week sucks for me and I ordered pizza for dinner tonight and I'm going to go binge watch my shows like I do once a week. But I was planning on a go harder 2018 that was publishing more books and finally stepping up to open an author education site that's Mom/part-time writer centric with all videos having transcripts and all lessons in a very reasonable amount of time. Now I'm having to add a few more plans to 2018, but not anything I wasn't already working on....

This too shall pass. Uncertainty in publishing? Never.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Pronoun announce they are shutting down! [MERGED]
« on: November 08, 2017, 11:47:54 AM »
GT59, the same thing happened to a friend of mine. She didn't even realize the book was blocked until an email arrived days later.

Elizabeth, I guess the takeaway then is don't make any changes for the time being unless you absolutely have to. What a mess, once again...  :'(

Yep. For my friend it was a price change that triggered everything. It's bananas.

And I think we are all getting to live the wonderful results of the public shaming of Amazon the last few months the over scammers. Sooo glad the solution is now we are all scammers to Amazon.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Pronoun announce they are shutting down! [MERGED]
« on: November 08, 2017, 11:37:02 AM »
And people respond to copyright email and get their whole catalog taken down. Learned that happened to a friend.

This is a mess. From what I hear Amazon knows and is trying to fix it. But meantime everyone affected is trying to play musical chairs and not get made collateral damage.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Readthrough
« on: November 08, 2017, 08:40:41 AM »
I have actually found that posting chapters of my backlist keeps boosting sales of books within that series. I think readers are far busier than we give credit and we need to be in constant retarget mode.

We typically only promo first in series. But promoting a later book behaves just like a new release of a book in a series, it REMINDS readers there are more where this came from, do you have them all?

First Harry Potter book I read was Book 3. Then I went back and got 1 and 2.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Pronoun announce they are shutting down! [MERGED]
« on: November 08, 2017, 07:07:43 AM »
Please don't think I was in any way skeptical, just curious as to whether there was a logic to it. These things have been happening way too frequently for anyone to feel safe from it. I'm probably somewhat insulated from suspicion by my meagre sales. 

Good luck, and try to let the anxiety overwhelm you.

I understand totally. I am not trying to have a tinfoil hat moment. But it's low 5-figures (like the lowest to qualify for 5-figures) of income that's waiting to be paid this month and next. It's a significant amount of money to ME if they close my account, or in any other way impair my payments over this mess. And delisting my books would cost me about $100 a day right now. I know that's small compared to some, big to others, but it's my situation.

This is why for years on this board I have said over and over again, I work with Amazon, I do not trust them to be my sole vendor. Don't get me wrong, I want my money owed to me. Those are sales of my IP. But, if it IS delayed, I am not destitute. I have the other vendors bringing in enough that I can cover my business expenses and that's something I want to increase to even beyond that. I just won't have a paycheck, which my family plans to have happen from time to time, so even that won't be the end of the world, but it's still not right or fair to me.

I am keeping my fingers crossed they call me and I get this fixed TODAY. This is making it difficult for me to focus on anything else as well.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Pronoun announce they are shutting down! [MERGED]
« on: November 08, 2017, 06:42:48 AM »
Another JAFF author got the same email I did a few weeks ago just on changing her PRICE. All of her books were delisted until she could keep the emails going back and forth to the quality team to get the books back up. They did so with no explanation of why they were all taken down in the first place.

Their copyright check process is broken. it's getting a lot of false positives, and I'm still seeing garbage published in the Amazon store. And at some point, the length of account SHOULD be a factor in getting a pair of human eyes on the situation.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Pronoun announce they are shutting down! [MERGED]
« on: November 08, 2017, 06:40:15 AM »
I used my own ISBN. the 1 hour was to the 24 hour mark from when I emailed yesterday. I waited 23.5 hours, they already got another email to the JEFF email with lots of caps that I NEED A PHONECALL TODAY and my phone number.

If they can send out an email of "respond in 4 days or else" they sure as heck better respond when someone responds back right away.

I own the ISBN on this book on all formats. This is my legal name, not a pseudonym.

I can understand skepticism, because yeah, I've had it myself. Amazon is not screwing ME over, so why would they do this to that author? That author must have done something wrong. Nope. The behemoth can't see the individual and this will get resolved, one way or the other. Regardless, there will be big changes in my business model on the back end of this mess.

Writers' Cafe / Re: What exactly is family saga?
« on: November 08, 2017, 06:34:49 AM »
A family saga is the ups and downs of a multi-generational family across a period of time. Where they used to be really big books, many authors who write them now do shorter books released more frequently than what commercial publishing did because of the benefit of "new" in the algorithms on all vendors.

I prefer to think of a saga as having a more equal amount of highs and lows and extending a longer period of time than a family drama which often focuses on a specific tragedy. I supposed a successful family drama could easily turn into a family saga :)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Pronoun announce they are shutting down! [MERGED]
« on: November 08, 2017, 05:54:54 AM »
I can't see how we'd need a rights reversal, when Pronoun never owned the rights to our work, the same as Smashwords, Amazon, Google, or any other vendor. For a few of the titles I wanted taken down immediately, I emailed them and Pronoun responded and took them down within a half hour; they were even removed from the retailers in that time period, like, crazy fast. Man, I am going to miss that super-fast response time from Pronoun, ugh!

I agree. I don't need my situation any more complicated than it already is.

As for the books that I published to KDP & then were bumped back to "Draft" status, I received an interesting email that I haven't seen before. Bolding is mine. It's good to bypass writing up something to explain I am the pen name & own the rights (which I never had an issue with, it only took a simple response in the past, but still, lately who knows how that's working). I'm wondering if this is a simplified way for KDP to deal with a large influx of books being transferred:

My email was different.


Thank you for publishing with Amazon. Copyright is important to us we want to make sure that no author or other copyright holder has his or her books sold by anyone else. To publish your book, please respond with documentation confirming your publishing rights within four days:

[Book info for the Whisky Wedding]

Acceptable documentation can include:

- If you are the author and you are republishing your book after your publication rights have been reverted to you, a signed reversion letter from your former publisher
- If you are the author and you are publishing under a pseudonym, a copyright registration using the pseudonym
- If you are not the author, a signed contract between you and the author granting you the rights to publish the book in the territories, languages and formats you have selected
- If you are not the author, an e-mail from the address listed on the authors (or their agents) official website confirming that you have the rights to publish their book in the territories, languages and formats you have selected
- If you are a literary agent, a signed contract between you and the author or an email from the address listed on the authors official website granting you the right to act on the authors behalf with respect to the book

Documentation we cannot accept includes:

- A statement by you that you have the publishing rights without verification by the author/copyright holder
- A copyright application for which registration has not been confirmed

If you publish books for which you do not hold the publishing rights, your account may be terminated.

Thank you,

Amazon KDP

About 1 hour BEFORE I got this email, I had opened up a Help Ticket about the book because the status went to LIVE (in review) it had been a day of that and none of the links were showing the book.

Then I got this email. I wrote back :
"I have been publishing with KDP since 2011. This is published under my legal name attached to my social security number that is in the tax documentation.

This email address is the one that has published this book with paperback, ebook, and audio.

The publisher name on the book is MY NAME: Elizabeth Ann West.

There was no publication rights to revert, they have always remained with me."

For good measure I also wrote back:
"Also I AM the author and this email is from my official website.

I grant myself all rights and territories to publish my books.

To fulfill this bullet:
- If you are not the author, an e-mail from the address listed on the authors (or their agents) official website confirming that you have the rights to publish their book in the territories, languages, and formats you have selected

And you will notice my website is the official website listed on the ISBN. "

And I wrote to JEFF email a very courteous "Been with KDP since 2011, account closure threatened when I HOLD THE COPYRIGHT" and I explain that I have received this email with 4 days threat and I need help please resolving this.

1 more hour and executive gets another email with I NEED A PHONE CALL TODAY

Writers' Cafe / Re: Pronoun announce they are shutting down! [MERGED]
« on: November 08, 2017, 05:26:40 AM »
There are legitimate and honest reasons for selecting Amazon on Draft2Digital, Elizabeth, as I have explained in other threads.

One of those reasons is that Amazon has shortened my the word Australia when sending bank transfers, and my payments have been sent to Austria and to the dead payment files and have been hard to recover.

Amazon lost thousands of dollars worth of my royalties twice. They said that the reason was my bank account name was too long, and their system shortened it. When I was experiencing this problem, over two years ago. I didn't come here complaining, I kept it quiet and worked through emails over six months to Amazon to get my money, which was the correct way handle a private matter. I am an ethical business person.

I only find it necessary to explain now, due to insinuations that an author might not have ethical motives if they are seeking to publish to Amazon via another distributor. Amazon has never blocked me. I'm a busy person, and I also find having one distributor saves time.

It's every author's personal decision who they distribute through, not ours to question their motives, or assume the worst of others.

I think you misunderstood my post. *I* am having issues with Amazon right now over the copyright baloney. As to why someone would WANT Draft2Digital for Amazon instead of going directly, I can think of a few reasons right now because I am not a happy customer with KDP right now. It would be brilliant if I was facing this same stupid thing I had D2D's wonderful customer service to go "ACK, HELP!" and their help in resolving Amazon's stupidity.

I am not insinuating anyone would use Draft2Digital for any other reason but that it sure would be awesome to have their help when Amazon goes bonkers because KDP has next to NO customer service. How you read otherwise is beyond me.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Pronoun announce they are shutting down! [MERGED]
« on: November 08, 2017, 04:38:51 AM »
Some people are saying we need to ask Pronoun for a rights reversal letter, my issue with that is that's a letter of something I didn't do in the first place. At NO TIME did I give Pronoun or MacMillan an exclusive right to publish the book, that always remained with me. And I don't want to be submitting paperwork to Amazon that gives the appearance that this book's rights at any time left my control.

I am trying to wait patiently for 24 hours from when I emailed them before they get a full blast of military wife who eats bureaucratic red tape for breakfast.

Writers' Cafe / Re: KDP down, or just me?
« on: November 08, 2017, 04:23:20 AM »
HOPEFULLY they are fixing the epic failure of their copyright detection system.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Pronoun announce they are shutting down! [MERGED]
« on: November 07, 2017, 03:41:15 PM »
Be careful when you try to post your books BACK on Amazon. I just got slammed with a prove your copyright on a book published under my legal name. I escalated to the Jeff email, wrote back the quality team and I had already opened a help ticket because the book was stuck in LIVE under review.

As to why anyone would want Amazon through Draft2Digital instead of dealing with them directly. Oh, I can think of a few reasons right now......

Writers' Cafe / Re: Pronoun announce they are shutting down! [MERGED]
« on: November 06, 2017, 04:21:34 PM »
I have another angle on this.

I've seen this with Smashwords and D2D. Both used to distribute to KDP.

Neither of them do, anymore (OK, I think Smashwords might still do some titles but if this still happens, it's heavily curated).

KDP doesn't like this. At all.

Think about it. They stomp on some scammers and cancel their accounts. The scammers simply move to the distributor.

I half-suspect that KDP was starting to make some noises that way, and that Pronoun decided that if they couldn't do KDP, they judged it not worth continuing with.

That's what I figured too. I've seen this before in terms of speed. I clicked unpublish my books on Amazon they were down in less than 5 minutes. Not even KDP is that fast.

I think Amazon yanked distribution, and without Amazon, data is moot. And Amazon is EXTREMELY protective of its data.

And I've heard from others higher up that Amazon wasn't happy about what MacMillan was doing... though I guess we all know now that other publishers don't get told 35% on titles over $9.99.

That's what I'm upset about losing. I had big plans for boxed sets....not anymore.

I only had 2 books there, I was careful because while I understood what they were doing, I knew the party was going to come to an end as soon as people started getting their accounts shuttered at KDP and announcing "NO PROBLEM" and their books were up in a heartbeat through Pronoun.... and people I know took books not going through KDP to Pronoun . . . and just last month Pronoun staff were at conferences like nothing was wrong. There was no indication this was a cash issue, like I said, we're all supposedly still getting paid and we know when publishers go belly up we're the last to get paid.

Writers' Cafe / Re: KU vs Wide - Great article by David Gaughran
« on: October 28, 2017, 05:05:35 PM »
I have a question from something I just read re wide...

So if an author has a series out, do some have their book 1 for sale across platforms but also have it on instafreebie/bookfunnel for nothing? Is book 1 priced on the stores or is it free there also?

i've given books away free in other ways and still had the book for sale in other places. I have 2 books still at regular price ($2.99 and $6.99) even though they are in a boxed set for $2.99 with another novella. No one has ever complained the book isn't priced the same everywhere, mostly because no one keeps shopping for a book they just bought and from paperbacks, they expect stuff to go on sale etc. after the fact.

Writers' Cafe / Re: KU vs Wide - Great article by David Gaughran
« on: October 28, 2017, 04:30:34 PM »
The personalization showed up this year in the last few months.

Friends and I have played and documented extensive sessions of what do you see and what do I see at the same moments to tell how much variation there is.

When someone is NOT logged in, and has cookies etc. off, yes, Amazon makes it's best guess.

But the second someone has ANY kind of personal purchasing information available for Amazon to use, it goes AHA! and there are slight changes. Differences we've noted have been same books different order, different titles was minimal unless one of us had actual purchasing history in that subgenre.

What this also means is that marketing efforts to just become king or queen of the hill are giving less dividends than a year ago, and I've seen that complained about as well.

But at the end of the day, if people can't understand the importance of the poplist, no amount of forum posts are going to persuade them otherwise. They way I figured out stores I sell my books on is going and behaving like a customer and figuring out how they sell me books and going from there. I use different keywords on different vendors, sometimes even different categories.

The poplist is more subtle. It's harder, you have to go look at it daily and you have to have a book top the poplist in your genre to see the effects, especially if you do it without being on the top 100 sales rank list. Then you're like "OHHHH."

Writers' Cafe / Re: KU vs Wide - Great article by David Gaughran
« on: October 28, 2017, 02:25:26 PM »
Hey Elizabeth! From memory, the last thing I heard was that a free download counts for 1/10th of a sale for the poplist. Has this changed, do you know?

My last conversation with Phoenix was that free no longer counted towards the Pop list. And I haven't been seeing FREE books in the poplists, so I believe it.

Donated. Glad to hear the motions went as well as they could and that your lawyer was on it. Sucks it's another year of your life and I know it's not been easy on you. I will continue to support each month as royalties come in.

Writers' Cafe / Re: KU vs Wide - Great article by David Gaughran
« on: October 28, 2017, 11:43:35 AM »
So like right now when I go to the main romance page: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=lp_154606011_nr_n_24?fst=as%3Aoff&rh=n%3A133140011%2Cn%3A%21133141011%2Cn%3A154606011%2Cn%3A158566011&bbn=154606011&ie=UTF8&qid=1509215348&rnid=154606011

And I scroll to the bottom where books are listed individually. There are 2 sponsored titles and then The Hideaway and Fairytale. The Hideaway is currently #44 in the Paid Kindle Store, and Fairytale is #203. Fairytale by Danielle Steel is $14.99, so it's difficult for better sales ranking books with lower prices in romance to beat it.

You can see from the overall romance poplist it's a good 50-50 split of $3.99 and less price points and $9.99 and up. But if you were to look at the Top 100 Overall romance list for sales ranking, 15 of the top 20 are KU, only 2 books are higher than $4.99 in price point. If you looked at one (the bestseller list) you would think "Man, NO ONE is buying books in romance they're all KU and NO ONE is spending more than $.99!" But if you look at the poplist, you get a very different view of the market.

And it's a balancing act between the two depending on your strategy, marketing, and abilities.

I chose to go publish less often, stay focused on one genre that's a niche that can support $9.99 and $14.99 price points. I can post chapters on my blog to keep sales going. Lately I've had 2 Bookbubs but before this August, I hadn't had a Bookbub in 2 years. I built the publishing empire I wanted after being here for 4 years and knowing a few of the options available. Some experiments didn't work. Some experiments I still have on my To Do list. But by having a very clear vision of what I wanted and where I wanted to go, it was easier when things were a slight setback to go "that's okay, because I'm still making progress here, here, and here."

If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got. :) I encourage authors, no matter WHAT path or program they choose, they educate themselves of the ins and the outs and know the WHY behind what they're doing. A permafree for example.... everyone says if you are wide you must have a permafree. that didn't really work for me. Why? Because I was already blogging chapters. I had already solved the low barrier test to adopt problem, so throwing the same solution down for a problem already solved didn't move my needle. Doesn't mean a permafree won't work for another author. They should try it. And watch their data. And try other things, and compare. :)

Writers' Cafe / Re: KU vs Wide - Great article by David Gaughran
« on: October 28, 2017, 11:28:56 AM »
All of the categories on the left hand side will take you to the poplist page for each category.


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