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Messages - Dpock

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Writers' Cafe / Re: What's the best laptop for writing?
« on: Yesterday at 06:50:06 PM »

I don't remember touchpad problems any worse than any other laptop.

There isn't a SINGLE laptop touchpad out there that performs better than a $10 wireless mouse plugged into the laptop's USB port.

Is this is a non-fiction reportage of the event? Based on various media reports?

Yeah, you might want to clarify a bit or risk having the venture sound like cashing in. That said, having spelunked myself, I know how horrifying it can be when things go south. The general public might not appreciate this aspect.

Writers' Cafe / Re: I didn't think we could do this?
« on: July 20, 2018, 07:43:27 AM »
That category (erotic photography) visually demonstrates rather well the downside of non-human curation. Most of the "authors" in the category are just slinging up photo sets from porn sites. If experts from the field of erotic photography curated the category, it wouldn't resemble its current form one bit. The same goes for erotic fiction, where 70% of the content really doesn't merit its shelf space.

This reminds me of (now called something else and radically different), which had "experts" who curated content in any imaginable field. It was quite useful in its early years.

Some content simply can't be curated properly with algorithms and filters.

Writers' Cafe / Re: I didn't think we could do this?
« on: July 20, 2018, 06:50:27 AM »
I didn't think we could do this? (Warning, Amazon link to boobs and bits!)

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

The question is, how did you stumble upon it?


Writers' Cafe / Re: What's the best laptop for writing?
« on: July 19, 2018, 06:24:38 PM »
I ended up getting an ASUS and would recommend avoiding

It's funny how our experiences vary. I have two ASUS computers (desktop and Chromebook) and they're very solid machines. In nine years total, I've had zero issues.

I also have a two-year-old Lenovo desktop running Windows 10. I don't know if my problems with are due to faulty hardware (the Lenovo) or Windows 10. I've relegated it to Netflix viewing.

My single attempt with a Mac ended in tears.

I have an 18-year-old Gateway desktop that still boots and runs Windows 7 without issues. I've kept it around for the grandkids who tend to destroy everything in sight, especially anything electronic.

Is that just how the KU market is?

It can be. Some days there's a steady drip, other days KENP barely moves all morning and then plays catch up in the afternoon and evening. My KENP will vary by thousands daily, so a bit of it is relative. Going from 30k to 29k from one day to the next doesn't seem like much of a drop, but 1000 to 0 can be scary.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Live from RWA
« on: July 19, 2018, 03:09:16 PM »
But will they still qualify for KU? Is this a blow to stuffers? (I'm not sure what it means.)

what Amazon does best is force authors to discount their books to 0.99 so they can reap 65% in royalties. It just isn't profitable for them to take only 30% if they'd support your listing at $2.99 and higher. Whatever Amazon did, they did it to maximize their profits. End of the ugly tale.

Don't they make more paying us 70% at $2.99?

Are you in KU?

Sometimes I get a sale and my rank never changes (I'm not in KU). I've noticed this happening a bit less lately, haha.

Yes. I have a few books (the lower selling ones) that take 10,000, 20,000 or higher swings, and others that move in the 500 - 1500 range all day. Those are the ones I view as "evergreening". The others I suspect are grabbed at random from the shelf after they've read one of my better sellers.

Writers' Cafe / Re: What's the best laptop for writing?
« on: July 19, 2018, 07:58:07 AM »

I also have no problem investing $10 per month but right now I am doing just fine with Google Docs.

Me too. I'm not sure what advantages today's Word has over Google Docs for writing general fiction. With a few free extensions, I'm able to mimic the best features of Scrivener in Docs. The single possible drawback is I don't if virtual Mac is available for Chromebooks to enable the using Vellum.

Otherwise, if Google Docs works for you, the entire expense of using a Chromebook is its purchase price.

I've only noticed (since the purge) my rank swings, instead of being in the 500 to 1000 range, have increased to 1000 - 2000 (meaning they're more dramatic).

Writers' Cafe / Re: A New AMS Thread
« on: July 19, 2018, 07:25:44 AM »
Two mornings in a row (and sporadically over the past few weeks) I've woken up to lower spend and click levels than the night before (I take screenshots at 6:00 pm and 7:00 am PT daily). Has anyone else experienced this?

And is there a time of day, every day, when AMS does a major update?

Unrelated: My KDP dashboard KENP seems to freeze at 8:00 pm (ish) every night and come alive again at 11:30 pm. There's also a morning freeze usually between 6:00 am and 8:00 am, then again around 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. Is this everyone's else experience too?

A comment was made in another thread and it made me think. How much have black hat/scammy publishers affected the perception of a genre? For this I'm specifically referring to romance but really it could have been any genre they impacted.

My impression is, they didn't invade or taint romance so much as create a hybrid genre marketed primarily through New Adult which, once saturated, forced them into other sub-genres including many outside romance. I'm still certain that had Erotica allowed AMS, they would have aimed there instead.

This hybrid genre could be described as novella length erotica laced with a few romance beats weighing in 100 pages. Their themes seem to fall along into a narrow range with "bad boy" reigning supreme. They've definitely proved there's a huge market for the stuff. It could be that, through their marketing, shady and otherwise, they've brought many younger readers into the romance genre. There's always a silver lining.

Writers' Cafe / Re: New cockygate/stuffergate article on The Verge
« on: July 18, 2018, 10:42:45 AM »
Except the tone of your post and the words you choose, imply judgement.

Oh, absolutely.

Writers' Cafe / Re: New cockygate/stuffergate article on The Verge
« on: July 18, 2018, 08:03:23 AM »
Dark energy? It's just energy. It's making money. While I don't agree with the tactics because of the apparent unfairness of it -- especially when viewed by someone like myself who merely writes and puts books out with a minimal amount of marketing tricks -- business itself isn't necessarily fair. One could say that business energy is 'dark energy' by default. You run a business to beat the competition. Is that dark?

I doubt even a careless reader, unlike yourself, would draw similar conclusions from my post. I never characterized a business impulse to "beat the competition" as dark energy.

I was alluding to a specific group of authors whose charismatic leader, one with a penchant for diamonds apparently, founded his "writing" career by penning rape fantasies posing as a female. As a career move, that seems pretty dark to me.

Hoping to cash in on his rape fantasy success, as any good business person would do, he broadened into bad boy pseudo romances and rounded up a cabal to support his efforts. One sees no light creeping into this scenario, especially when looking at his unctuous promotional newsletters, most of which began with "Hey There Beautiful" or similar, written from the perspective of a true pandering "bad boy" (a persona nurtured even in his Author Central bio). Icky comes to mind.

This isn't what surprises me. I save my eyebrow-raising for trying to imagine his fans.

Unsurprisingly, he appears to be back and under a not too dissimilar guise to chase the same jackpot.

Writers' Cafe / Re: What's the best laptop for writing?
« on: July 17, 2018, 05:57:55 PM »
Unless, of course, you're one of those crazy types like me, that likes to take my laptop and go places like a picnic area in the mountains, where there isn't even so much as a signal to access the cloud. Not to mention the fact that, having access to the cloud with a Chromebooks necessitates the need for ONE MORE monthly payment for an account. An account that would be completely useless unless you are somewhere you can access the internet, which also means, tadaaa, no access to Google Docs, One Drive, Dropbox or any other cloud based storage system.

Google Docs is free and accessible on any device as well as offline.

Writers' Cafe / Re: What's the best laptop for writing?
« on: July 17, 2018, 02:38:00 PM »
Brevoort, and a few others, have the right take on Chromebooks.
No hard drive?
Just plug in a usb portable hard drive.
Write in Googe docs. Even offline.
Your work is saved automatically.
And that battery just goes on and on - 7+ hours

My ASUS Chromebook goes 10 active hours without a charge. When I do plug it in, it's fully charged in an hour. I might not open it up for a month at a time when not traveling. When I do, it's up in a nanosecond, fully updated, always ready to go. As there's not a great selection of desktop Chromebase computers, I'm thinking of just buying a 27' monitor and plugging my Chromebook into that.

Writers' Cafe / Re: New cockygate/stuffergate article on The Verge
« on: July 17, 2018, 10:18:49 AM »
Doubtful. There aren't many things that will bring in six figures a month for as little effort as they have to put in. How much effort does it take to buy ghostwritten books? Or hire someone to slap covers on them? Hire bot/click farms on Fiverr? Buy and sell newsletter lists with your BHM buddies? The tools to create/manage multiple accounts and the books in them are all available in the usual places, and no doubt they've got tools now to automate AMS ad campaigns. Better yet, hire a shady PA to do it all for you so you can sit back and sip champagne while you chat with your fans on FB.

I suspect it takes a lot of effort, organization, capital, and brass round-shaped things to really pull it off. It's quite a commitment. It requires an abundance of really dark energy.

And of course, it takes a market for schemes to work. I think that's where things got really skewed. I'm not sure what came first, the scammers, or the market for scammers, but I doubt the market for ex-navy seal bad-boy billionaires is really so huge. That's where the bots came in, both for lifting ranks and generating page reads.

Writers' Cafe / Re: What's the best laptop for writing?
« on: July 17, 2018, 08:52:24 AM »
Maybe this is a UK-centric view, but Chromebooks are no longer cheaper than the cheapest Windows 10 laptops.

In the U.S. you can buy a decent Chromebook for $150. A quick look at cheap Windows laptops came in around $200.

I think it definitely disproves the popular theory that some authors are too big for Amazon to boot.

Some might think "Amazon is stupid to do this. They make them a lot of money."  Personally, I'm of the mindset that nature abhors a vacuum.  Others will rise to fill those spaces.

For now, at least, KU gaming has been dealt a serious blow. Many of the victims of yesterday's sweep still had uncamouflaged stuffed books on their shelves and in a sense were asking for it.

I'm not sure where they can go next. The triple-spacing, large font schemes have been largely disproven as effective in manipulating KENP.

Writers' Cafe / Re: What's the best laptop for writing?
« on: July 16, 2018, 09:33:33 PM »
No hard drive? So, does that mean everything is in the cloud?

Your choice. I attached an external HD to my Chromebook to save everything locally too.

Writers' Cafe / Re: What's the best laptop for writing?
« on: July 16, 2018, 03:24:56 PM »
I have a Macbook so I can work anywhere. When I'm in my office, I plug it into a setup like this...

I don't know how anyone uses the Mac keyboard or mouse that comes with their desktops. I first thing I did with my iMac was toss both in the bin. It was the same with a new Lenovo desktop keyboard and mouse -- utterly useless.

Writers' Cafe / Re: What's the best laptop for writing?
« on: July 16, 2018, 10:16:03 AM »

I am thinking of getting an Apple desktop for Velum and to upload to iBooks.  I might just try to get a used one, because I think the Chromebook can be my daily computer.  I'm happy with no frills.

If only for Vellum, you can buy a Mac Mini pretty cheap and attach it to a large monitor.

Writers' Cafe / Re: What's the best laptop for writing?
« on: July 16, 2018, 09:37:31 AM »
A few months ago the latest Windows update completely destroyed my 2 year old laptop.  I don't ever want to use the Windows operating system ever again.

My rather expensive Lenovo desktop, also two years old, was nearly destroyed by an April Windows update. It got stuck in a "self-repair" mode until I found a Youtube video workaround. Once I was able to boot Windows, it refused to validate my account via "activation". It asked for the product key. Fine, where is it? It's not on my receipt (from Bestbuy), the box, the back of the computer. So, now when I use the Lenovo, I'm a "guest" -- on my own computer. If I restart it I lose everything saved to its hard-drive, so I NEVER TURN IT OFF. Once a week I hear a ding telling me Windows is going to install an update. If I don't catch it, when I start it up again I have to re-sign in everywhere I go, download Chrome, etc., in short, it's a pain.

My backup ASUS desktop running Windows 7, almost ten years old, works flawlessly. I replaced the HD last Fall. That's it for maintenance.

My ASUS Chromebook works like charm. I plan to buy a desktop version when more become available. I only need a PC to run Photoshop Elements, and hope there'll be a Chromebase alternative soon so I can ditch Windows once and for all.

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