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Messages - C L Salaski

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1
Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon Removing Arc Reviews (thread no. 2)
« on: December 19, 2017, 04:46:38 PM »
That's a good question. I'm happy to work within a system if I know what it is. One of Amazon's biggest problems is that it either doesn't make clear rules or makes what look like clear rules and then enforces them unevenly.

Let's not forget Amazon itself gives out free books for Amazon imprint titles in hopes of getting reviews. (Some of those books have hundreds now.) I'm not sure if Amazon voices the hope or just implies it, but in the case of Kindle Select selections (published by Kindle Press, another Amazon imprint), the hope of a review is directly stated. Amazon gives all nominators free copies of the book, then gives any nominators who write a review more points on their leader board score (which doesn't really mean anything except to the hypercompetitive, but it is an incentive beyond just a free book--something we expressly can't do. I wouldn't want to, anyway, but it would be nice if Amazon led by example and did for its own imprints only what it allowed us to do.)

Good point, Bill. I've often wondered about that. Kindle Scout encourages us to contact everyone we know (yes, friends and relatives) so they can nominate our book, get a free copy, and review it. Makes no sense. Like the old saying, what's good for the goose is not good for the gander.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon Removing Arc Reviews (thread no. 2)
« on: December 19, 2017, 04:29:05 PM »
Yeah some reviews disappeared from Arc reviewers. Anymore, if someone likes your page on facebook and raves about your books that is cause for amazon to pull their reviews.

Crazy thing is, for mega publishers they will pull negative reviews to make sure the rating stays high, and for indie authors they pull the ones that are too positive.

I believe you're right, Lincoln. Sad to say, but that seems to be the way of America nowadays. The big guys are allowed to stomp the little guys into the ground. And since the big guys pay off the politicians and the folks in the justice system, it appears that there is no way things will ever be "fair and square" again.

3
Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon Removing Arc Reviews (thread no. 2)
« on: December 19, 2017, 04:26:11 PM »
Yes - two taken down yesterday but one restored today.

Well, that's good, D. A. When I lost a review before, I contacted Hidden Gems and they looked into the matter. A few days later the review came back. Hoping that will happen again. But getting concerned about how often this is going to happen. I take screenshots of all my reviews. That way when I notice the number of reviews drop, I know exactly which one I lost.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon Removing Arc Reviews (thread no. 2)
« on: December 19, 2017, 04:12:42 PM »
I've just had another Hidden Gems review taken down today. Anyone else seeing this problem rise up again?

5
Writers' Cafe / Re: Hidden Gems ARC Service
« on: December 19, 2017, 04:08:58 PM »
I've just had another Hidden Gems review taken down today. Anyone else seeing this problem rise up again?

6
Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon Removing Arc Reviews (thread no. 2)
« on: December 05, 2017, 02:53:13 PM »
The big publishers send out Advanced Review Copies (ARC's) to newspapers, bloggers, magazines, tv shows, etc., etc. long before they release the book as a publication. For instance, they send them to Kirkus. Kirkus reviewers are always paid; they are professional reviewers who are hired for their knowledge of literature. Either they are paid by Kirkus or they are paid by Indie authors. Perhaps the big publishers pay them a flat fee for so many reviews regardless of what books will be sent--I'm only guessing on that. The newspapers and mags pay their reviewers, too.

So is this just another case of the big boys slamming a sledgehammer down on the little guy's head? What's good for the goose is not good for the gander?

7
Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon Removing Arc Reviews (thread no. 2)
« on: December 05, 2017, 02:00:51 PM »
Yeah some reviews disappeared from Arc reviewers. Anymore, if someone likes your page on facebook and raves about your books that is cause for amazon to pull their reviews.

Crazy thing is, for mega publishers they will pull negative reviews to make sure the rating stays high, and for indie authors they pull the ones that are too positive.

I'm curious. When people I know read the latest novels by famous authors like Grisham or Patterson, they don't leave reviews on Amazon. So where do all those reviews come from by novels published by the big publishing houses? They seem to start rolling in as soon as the books are released. A bit puzzled about this.

8
Writers' Cafe / Re: Hidden Gems ARC Service
« on: November 24, 2017, 07:43:31 AM »
Just wanted to report back on my experience with Hidden Gems. Ten days out and of the 25 people who signed up to review my YA so far 17 have posted reviews on Amazon.com and 1 on Amazon.ca. The reviews range from a 2 star DNF (which I appreciate in a weird way because it's obvious these reviews are authentic and not sponsored raves) to five stars. Hidden Gems were easy to work with and delivered exactly what they promised. I've enjoyed watching the reviews come in and based on my experience would definitely use them again and recommend them to other people.
Thanks for sharing your experience, Kat. 17 reviews out of 25 readers is great news!

Cindy

9
Writers' Cafe / Re: Hidden Gems ARC Service
« on: November 17, 2017, 10:30:16 AM »
Great service. Most reviewers were in depth and talked about what they liked and didn't like. Quite a bit of reviews, but in a more crowded genre than most. Already scheduled next book for January and then will use again for future books.

Only minor issue is a few reviewers spoiled whole parts of the book, but going get that from organic reviews too. Is what it is.

I'm glad to hear this, Michael. Except for the part about reviews that contain spoilers. That's so sad. But, like you said, it is what it is.

As you can imagine, I'm eager to see how my Hidden Gems experience goes. So far I'm happy with their email responses. They seem like very good people to work with.

Cindy

10
Writers' Cafe / Re: Hidden Gems ARC Service
« on: November 17, 2017, 10:26:04 AM »
CL, my booking was for the 14th so reviews will be due soon. 25 people signed up to read my YA.

Thanks for letting me know, Kat.

I hope you get lots of great reviews!

Cindy

11
Writers' Cafe / Re: Hidden Gems ARC Service
« on: November 16, 2017, 08:28:38 PM »
Thanks, Ahmad! I made my booking last night and am excited to see how it goes.

Kat, how did you do with Hidden Gems?

12
I've never used it. Only AMS. I haven't heard anyone else here say they've tried it.

What is AMS?

13
Writers' Cafe / Re: Vellum: the official thread
« on: September 06, 2017, 05:49:09 PM »
@ C L Salaski

You can just upload the mobi. It is ready to go.


Thank you, Erica!

14
Writers' Cafe / Re: Vellum: the official thread
« on: September 05, 2017, 05:05:44 PM »
Vellum did a beautiful job formatting my novel and creating files for all the different devices. I'm getting ready to launch my book on KDP. Do I need to use Amazon's Kindle Previewer or am I good to go since I have Vellum's mobi file?

15
Writers' Cafe / Re: Using Vellum for Book Formatting
« on: September 05, 2017, 05:02:54 PM »
I've got my Mobi file created in Vellum ready to put into KDP. Do I need to use Amazon's Kindle previewer or am I good to go?

16
Writers' Cafe / Re: Vellum: the official thread
« on: August 27, 2017, 06:24:57 PM »
Hey there, quick question.

Can anyone tell me the payment methods Vellum accepts when you purchase? I'm not seeing this information on their website. I'm especially hoping they accept Paypal.

Thanks!

Yes. I'm pretty sure that PayPal is how I paid for Vellum.

17
Writers' Cafe / Re: Vellum: the official thread
« on: August 27, 2017, 06:24:05 PM »
Well, I got through my problem thanks to Brad at Vellum. I'm back to loving this great software!

I finished my revisions in Vellum, sent my PDF file to CreateSpace, and should receive my proofs by the end of next week.

I know that without Vellum, many people have lots of errors that show up in Amazon's book previews and on the Kindle App. I'm hoping that by using Vellum, there will be no problems with that.

18
Writers' Cafe / Re: Vellum: the official thread
« on: August 19, 2017, 05:43:45 PM »
I am so sorry you have had this happen, but at least you didn't lose the entire document! (Been there, which has made me paranoid).

This doesn't help now, but at the end of each session I duplicate the work document (Vellum, Word, whatever). That way I'm always working on the prime document but there are generations saved (copy 1, copy 2, copy 3... copy 200). When disaster strikes I can step backward to the most recent duplicate and hopefully lose only a day's work at most.

One other thing, if I make changes in... let's say "untested software" (Vellum, Scrivener etc.) I always make the same changes in the master Word file. I know it's laborious but this way you always have a master Word file (Word being a default format pretty much everywhere).

Thanks for the advice, Flay! I appreciate your help.

19
Writers' Cafe / Re: Vellum: the official thread
« on: August 18, 2017, 10:21:50 AM »
Has anyone experienced this problem I've had with Vellum.

I purchased the product and absolutely loved it. However, after correcting a few minor problems the software generated in my original manuscript, I began making lots of changes to my novel in Vellum. I have a habit of obsessively saving my files in Word, Pages, Scrivener, and did the same with Vellum. After about three days of revisions and constant saving, I encountered an agonizing problem.

I had been leaving the Vellum app open while doing all my work. When I was finished with a session, I would simply close the lid on my MacBook Air. However on Tuesday night my Mac was running slow so I shut down several programs including Vellum. The next morning I opened the Vellum app and discovered that all of my saved changes were GONE. The only thing in Vellum was my original imported manuscript. And the revised file is not on my hard drive. I followed Brad's instructions to search and it is nowhere to be found.

How could this possibly have happened? I've been going back and forth with one of the Brads who created Vellum and he keeps telling me the program saves the same as Word, Pages, and Scrivener. Well, it didn't for me. And I did nothing that should have caused this problem. I'm a perfectionist and save all docs constantly.

Has anyone here had this happen to them? Did my download of Vellum get corrupted somehow?


20
I cannot believe how many great novels were not selected for publication by Amazon this month. My past nominations list keeps growing with books I like that I'll now need to buy instead of getting for free.  :o

21
I just saw this book published by Kindle Press on May 24, 2017 (yesterday). It wasn't on Kindle Scout. Or was it and I somehow can't find it?

https://www.amazon.com/Mango-Season-Amulya-Malladi-ebook/dp/B06Y4B3GWL/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1495765062&sr=1-1

I've also tried to find the link on Kindle Books leading to all books published by Kindle Press and it's gone.

Anyone got a clue as to what's happening?




22
For my debut novel, I partnered with a local web developer/artist for the cover. She built it with my...cough...help.
I was pleased with the result.
We printed 100 copies to start.

Then I contracted with Crimson River Productions in London, for a fully cinematic book trailer.
Their Project Manager skyped me to say, "You've got a great story, a great trailer, and a...good cover. Let us help."
I negotiated a deal for two covers. They used stills taken during the trailer shoot with the same model.

When I'm tabling a live event, I routinely see people stop and point at the book from twenty feet away, then come over to check it out.
Little Ella's fierce glare grabs you and pulls you in. Then up close, you can see her eye is really Jupiter. A single strand of hair falls across her evil little nose.

Money well spent.

Yes, that's great, but you can never judge a book by its cover. I didn't even bother to read the excerpt for the last book chosen for publication by Kindle Scout because I felt the cover was unappealing. I just now took a peek at the first couple pages and it, of course, is very well written. So what do we know? It's the story and the writing. Not the cover, not the stats. A well-written, engaging story.

23
How long does our Kindle Scout Campaigns remain on the Kindle Scout website?

I'm worried that button will disappear before I'm ready to publish on Amazon. It's the button you click that emails notice that you've self-published your novel.

Cindy 

24
I only need five more people on my Headtalker campaign for my Kindle Scout book. Anyone? Can you help?
https://headtalker.com/campaigns/thread-of-a-spider-kindle-scou/

My book is Thread of a Spider. Not sure if all the effort I'm doing to keep it on the hot list is going to pay off in the end, but it does drum up interest, doesn't it? I mean when the book does come out won't some of these people be customers. I hope so ;).
https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/38VKPXYJJ6RSH

Just supported Thread of a Spider.

Good luck!

Cindy

25
Yes, Cindy, I plan to self-publish using KDP, CreateSpace, and IngramSpark.

My cover designer completed a cool paperback cover and I just finished my final edit.

I'd really like to get back to writing, but I find it tough to both write and promote concurrently. During my campaign, I started taking a class in abstract painting with acrylics, and that has provided a great way to take a break from the madness as well as a new creative outlet. Just bought a drafting table, so now I can paint at home as well!

That's wonderful, Michael. I'm going to return to painting in oils while I'm promoting my novel. Let me know when you launch on Amazon.  8)

Cindy


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