Kindle Oasis
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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....

Recent Posts

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Writers' Cafe / Re: And! Amazon rank-stripped me
« Last post by TobiasRoote on Today at 01:49:15 AM »
I've just suddenly cottoned onto this issue about rank-stripping.

Whenever I've made my book free in the past it has ALWAYS dropped the ranking from my normal daily setting, and re-ranked it under the free book graph. Only when it was set at $2.99, but Amazon was price-matching it to Free did it continue to show in normal ranking. I thought it was perfectly acceptable practice by Amazon. Maybe I was trialling this new 'rank-stripping' before it was rolled out without even knowing about it. Does it happen on NON-FREE books as well?
Writers' Cafe / Re: Calling all Jutoh experts
« Last post by TobiasRoote on Today at 01:41:25 AM »
I tend to use whichever font I enjoy using at the time. Trebuchet, Calibra Times, etc., When you set your fonts within the configuration for body, body indent, it's a simple matter of changing it to something else. I find that Amazon generally changes the fonts to theirs and as a kindle user I have my favourite kindle fonts which over-ride the book's settings anyway.

I choose fonts that are clear and easy to read. Some are just clunky.
Writers' Cafe / Re: Have You Posted to Your Blog Recently?
« Last post by ThomasDiehl on Today at 01:40:10 AM »
I've been off a couple of months following an accident and some fairly busy months once I got better.
But at least I can now blog about some of the things that kept me busy.

1: I did an author collaboration taking the form of a temporary library of local authors
2: I created a Youtube channel of flash fiction pieces, and I decided to go one up on the existing channels I found by adding text onscreen for listeners to read along
Writers' Cafe / Re: my book launch is tomorrow... nervous!
« Last post by alishapatel01 on Today at 01:35:13 AM »
Congratulations! All the best
Writers' Cafe / Re: Mastodon - the social network, not the band
« Last post by shimmering on Today at 01:34:41 AM »
You click the world symbol to see what's happening in the federated timeline - this appears in the right hand column, and it shows posts from other instances that are connected to that one by dint of someone in your instance following someone else in other instances.

Some instances have a preview screen, where you can see in real time what's going on within them before you sign up, but not all do.

Writers' Cafe / Re: 3 Book Thriller Release Strategy
« Last post by ShayneRutherford on Today at 01:27:32 AM »
50k is a bit short IMO as well, but why all the hate on cliffhangers? Some of the best stories out there have cliffhanger endings (I consider R.L. Stine the king of cliffhangers, he always seemed to end on a "what happened next?!" moment in Goosebumps). Cliffhangers are a hook to get people to read more, and they are pretty effective from what I've seen. To say this is a negative is something I've legitimately never heard before.

Why all the hate on cliffhangers? Well, speaking personally, they feel like a cheap way to manipulate readers into buying the next book. If a series is good, and I enjoy spending time with the characters, I won't need to be manipulated into buying the next book. There's also the fact that when authors take one complete novel and simply chop it into three pieces, it feels a lot like they're just doing it to get more money out of people than they would willingly pay for the same story in a single installment.
Writers' Cafe / Re: my book launch is tomorrow... nervous!
« Last post by alexabooks on Today at 01:17:08 AM »
Hope it's going great  ;) and good luck!!
Writers' Cafe / Calling all Jutoh experts
« Last post by David C on Today at 01:13:41 AM »
Newbie question regarding formatting please. I have my three books ready, covers ordered and supplied and I have looked at a 100 kindle books to decide on the best layout. I have downloaded and bought Jutoh (I am a PC Windows 10 user), and had contact with Julian who has been very helpful. I have worked my way through the manual and played around with layouts etc., no problem.

But I am really stumped on which font to use. Being a typical OCD type I stick to Ariel in Word Processors and I know that Kindle Readers default to Bookerly (can’t find Ariel on my android Kindle Reader), but what about the ePubs on Kobo and D2D etc.? Should I just produce everything in Times New Roman and let the readers decide on their own machines? Or?

Any advice gratefully received.

Many thanks.
Writers' Cafe / Re: And! Amazon rank-stripped me
« Last post by ireaderreview on Today at 01:08:06 AM »
Here are attacks against us by some unknown big tech company (and do keep in mind that we are considerably smaller than Bookbub and that we do WIDE not Narrow - so we are a considerably smaller threat if you were to think of promotion sites as a threat as they circumvent the stores (in effect) and connect readers with authors directly)

These are all 2017 only

1) Attempt to buy us using a shell company in Panama

2) Hacking attacks from Iraq, Russia, US

3) Vulnerability scanning scripts running from two big tech companies' servers

4) Entrapment attempts with people showing up and offering us money to do illegal stuff (strangely, exactly same day as other attacks)

5) Bidding against searches for us. No reason at all to do that. Only started this year. On the phone we had an incident where a less tech savvy author found the ad so similar to our link he ended up at this big tech company's site and got stuck there

6) Email server hacked

7) Someone scanning our emails 24/7. When new emails are sent within ONE HOUR (whether it's day or night) there are people from 2 different large tech companies' servers visiting the mentioned sites (even one that is not publiclly available anywhere)

8) Click fraud using scripts running on their company servers. No response at all when contacted with evidence. Stopped for a month or so and then restarted

9) Mysterious delays of 8 to 24 hours for promotions - before rank starts moving. So same readers who in 2014 and 2015

- used to start buying books as soon as promotion started

Now for some reason ALL wait EXACTLY 16 hours to 24 hours before they begin buying

One interesting side note on this is that by early 2014 our curated books were taking 15 to 25 spots in the Top 100 Free Books each day

Now we have 4 million additional readers (as compared to 2014). If there were no 16 to 24 hour delays, given our size, we'd be taking 40 to 60 spots (of course, Bookbub would take top 20 to 30 - however, we'd take much of the rest).

That would mean - the Top 100 list of free books would be 60% to 90% dominated by the two biggest promotion companies

Awfully convenient that instead we see 8 to 24 hour delays and take far fewer spots than 40 to 60 in the Top 100


Please keep in mind that we are a much smaller threat than Bookbub because

a) We have 5 to 20 books per genre per day, meaning the books get to top 100 in genre lists on paid, which are much less dangerous than top 100 in the store on paid side
b) Highs are things like 100 sales in a day and 2,000 to 3,000 downloads in a day

Now imagine the things being done to a site that

a) Is 1 book a day per genre, thereby taking up the most valuable spots in the bestseller lists
b) is launching paid books into Top 100 Paid
c) Is launching free books into Top 20 Free

The assertion that 'they are not even aware' is absolutely an assumption and a weak one. I mean nothing against the author. I'm just presenting actual facts that people at large tech companies are VERY AWARE of what the promotion sites are doing. To the point of hacking attempts and email hacks and scanning for vulnerabilities and trying to buy them via shell companies

Smaller promotion companies got weakened simply by some algorithm tweaks
Medium promotion companies were attacked using a mix of measures like - algorithm delays, hiding book from pop lists and bestseller lists, removing tail, removing book from search, etc.

With us, because we're growing very fast, they have to go a bit extreme like 8 to 24 hour delays. So first day - it's as if our readers all decided to wait EXACTLY 8 to 24 hours before buying. Impossible

Now with Bookbub they don't really have any avenue. So they tried things like reducing tail etc. However, they have realized that more drastic methods are needed

There's a 50% chance one or both the founders of Bookbub will experience a life changing event in next 6 months and then will magically decide to sell to one of the large Silicon Valley tech companies and then it'll just disappear. Like Google bought Oyster and closed it down

Please Note: I'm in no way wishing anything bad to anyone. I'm just saying that something will happen that will cause these people to sell their company, even if they don't want to sell. It's $100 billion a year (books, textbooks, medical and legal books). There is absolutely no way they let a bunch of relatively very small companies running book promotion lists just completely replace them.

If you connect readers to authors, you control EVERYTHING. Look at how much power Google has over newspapers and websites
Now in books, who is Google?? Hint: It's the same people who are being attacked. It is not that big tech companies are not even aware. They are PAINFULLY AWARE

If these attacks don't work then we'll have the next level of attacks. Honeypotting and honeydicking and PR fiascos and allegations of improper conduct and such
If those don't work then things will be escalated one level higher
Writers' Cafe / Re: Messenger Bots for Authors - why you need one!
« Last post by AJC on Today at 12:57:11 AM »
Hmm, that's interesting. So you could theoretically make the lead gen ad a bot opt-in (but hold off on the bot contact), then integrate those leads into Mailchimp and email them. Or, presumably, you could set up the lead gen to be both bot opt-in and email opt-in. Then, if they don't open emails, create a custom audience to nudge them by bot. Right?

I ask because I'm trying to tweak ads at the mo with small budgets. I've not yet scaled up, so it would be good to sort this out before I get many subscribers.

No, that wouldn't work. They have to give you their email address, you don't get access to it just by virtue of their subscribing to your bot. The second part, yes, absolutely. That's what I'm doing with one of mine. I have a JSON ad that runs to my bot when they can get a free book, no email required. If they want to enter a draw for a box set, I grab their email. (another, second free book would work, or something else to tempt them) I then have an email list for re-targeting with ads. Why is this different? Because in those first few messages you really can build a strong connection with the reader that you simply can't do with an email. Especially one that might go to spam or get missed in alongside the 500 other author emails they get that day!
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