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Messages - MegHarris

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Writers' Cafe / Re: My Nook sales have flatlined
« on: October 07, 2013, 06:38:57 AM »
I just got one too. Must be coming back to life. :D

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Writers' Cafe / My Nook sales have flatlined
« on: October 07, 2013, 05:17:33 AM »
My Nook sales were going along pretty steadily this month, perhaps even showing a slight upturn, and then... they stopped. Totally. I sometimes have days with only a few sales over there, but I almost never have days with no sales. Anyone else seeing a sudden stoppage of sales on B&N in the past couple of days?

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Holy Apple and D2D
« on: October 05, 2013, 03:28:35 PM »
Definitely not just D2D. I had one sitting in the queue from Smashwords since May. I had pretty much given up on it, but there it is today. And it only took five months!

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Writers' Cafe / Re: B&N Erotica Blackhole?
« on: October 05, 2013, 06:41:44 AM »
I don't *think* B&N is that straightforward. They have been known to mess with erotica rankings (they famously added 1000 ranking points to a lot of erotica to get it off their bestseller list a couple of years ago, and they've done stuff like this a little more subtly more recently), but I don't think they hide it in results or anything. It seems to be more of a random, "oops, this erotica title has gotten too prominent on our site, let's push that back a bit" thing.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: You really need to go check your AMZN categories.
« on: October 04, 2013, 11:19:53 AM »
As I was poking through my books and looking at categories, I had a weird page show up briefly. It asked for stuff like the Japanese pronunciation of my title and the "Romanized" title, as well as including this verbiage:

Does this book contain language, situations or images inappropriate for children under 18 years of age?

The cover and book wouldn't load, and when they finally did load, this info went away and the normal KDP publishing page showed up. But I wonder if this is going to turn up eventually, and if so, does that mean they're planning on implementing an adult filter?

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Smashwords update
« on: October 03, 2013, 10:45:07 AM »
Wow, it sure is nice to see my long-awaited B&N money appear in the "current account balance" up to a reasonable date. I hope that all gets into my royalties for this quarter.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Anyone's word count go UP on first pass over manuscript?
« on: September 29, 2013, 08:48:54 PM »
My word count always goes up when I revise.

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It seems that people are worried that kids might accidentally stumble on erotic stuff on amazon or wherever. I am surprised that kids are on the internet on their own in the first place, that just seems really weird to me. I know it happens, my nieces and nephews have their own iPads etc. and the youngest is 7. A 7 year old browsing the web on their own? That's a bit scary to me, but my brother just laughs it off.

Totally agree with you there. I have kids, and I don't let them browse the internet alone till their mid-teen years, and even then we try to keep the lines of communication open so we can discuss anything they run across that is puzzling or upsetting to them. I'm not even a particularly protective mom; I am just very aware of what can be found on the internet. I worry less about an Amazon search than I do about fanfic or Tumblr or even YouTube. Little kids really shouldn't be running around unsupervised on the internet. But the fact remains that parents let them do it, and then when they suddenly discover what the kid has been looking at, they will freak out. They then go screaming to Amazon in protest. But even if the kids are supervised, some covers that can come up in an innocent search (or some hits on Google) can be an upsetting surprise to some parents, who don't always realize exactly what's out there.

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If there was a filter on by default, I'm absolutely certain everyone who writes anything trapped behind it will see a big drop in sales. People tend to take the quickest route through any shopping experience, and if they're just searching for their next read, the bulk won't bother to turn the filter off, since they can find something to satisfy them anyway.

Maybe, maybe not. A good many people are looking actively for hot stuff. A filter might actually help people find it. I'd far rather have a filter that was off by default, though. If not it would need to be very visible, which may defeat the purpose as far as parents are concerned. It's hard to figure out how to turn off Google "safe search," for example. I wouldn't like to see Amazon bury the switch somewhere-- few people would bother to turn it on in that case.

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The only people who benefit from a checkbox style filter are those writing taboo stuff that currently gets hit with the adult filter.

Right now, the "taboo stuff" is what gets filtered. But tomorrow Amazon could get complaints on other stuff and start filtering that, too. When kids can see sexy books in a search, there are always going to be complaints. I suspect we all may benefit from an on/off switch in the long haul, because it will make knee-jerk reactions and sweeping bans on Amazon's part less likely. But there's no denying that the devil is in the details. It would depend on how it was implemented, and given Amazon's handling of the "adult dungeon" I don't exactly trust them to implement a system that benefits authors.

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Writers' Cafe / Why isn't Amazon showing my review average on some books?
« on: September 28, 2013, 06:45:13 AM »
I apologize if this has already been discussed, but I didn't see a thread. I have noticed lately that when you search on my name, some of my books show up with the stars indicating review average, and some don't. Thus it looks like some of my books don't have any reviews until you click on them. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it-- none of the books thus affected are under an adult filter, nor are they any hotter than my other books. Quite a few of the books under my "regular" romance name are missing review averages in a search, too. Is this just a glitch that will get corrected, or is Amazon messing around with their site again?

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But what about Erotic Romance or explicit NA? Should that be under the adult filter?

I would put erotic romance under a filter but not "steamy" romance, personally. How to define the limits would obviously be the big issue. But the details of how to do it would clearly be up to Amazon-- and I'm sure no matter how they do it, many of us would disagree with it. Still seems preferable to random, unknowable, unpublished "guidelines" to me, though.

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The solution is for Amazon to institute an adult filter on the site. That is the practical solution.  But then there is the issue that erotica authors wonít use it. Even when I browse on Smashwords with the adult filter, I come across obviously erotic content where the author chose to not label it adult.  If authors donít use the filter, the filter doesnít work.

Absolutely. If they do a filter like this, erotica authors need to use it, and to correctly label their stuff "adult." If they don't, then Amazon should lower the ban hammer. But honestly, I don't think many erotica authors would have a problem with their stuff being labeled "adult"-- as Diana & Lacey pointed out, it would actually help sales in many cases. The reason people are ducking the "adult" filter isn't because they have a problem with their stuff being labeled adult, but because it's implemented erratically, and because it makes your book really hard to find in and sort of cheats by making casual readers think your book isn't on Amazon at all. If Amazon consistently put adult books into an adult area, it'd be easier for people who want them to find them. Of course there will still be people who try to avoid it, but that can be remedied pretty easily by warning/freezing of accounts, I think.

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Bottom line (IMO) is that Amazon is prioritizing customers complaining about adult material found while searching for keyword related items. I say that because I hear a lot of rallying that smut writers are being maliciously targeted. Despite filters that have been in place for awhile now I still see smut while searching for misc stuff. I don't mind but I'll bet tens of millions of other shoppers do.

Well, then, why don't they just institute an adult on/off switch? They've been muddling around with adult titles for a long time now. Why not just do like Smashwords and have a real, proper adult filter that people can use or not, as they choose?

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Smashwords Sales Report???
« on: September 25, 2013, 12:02:42 PM »
Go to Dashboard, then click "sales and payment report" on the left, then click the year you want. This will bring up a report.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Putting all of your pen names under one website
« on: September 24, 2013, 11:47:39 AM »
I have a publisher website for all three of my names. I don't think anyone looks at any of my websites, so I doubt this helps me sell books *laughs*. But it's out there so readers can find all my stuff if they're really curious. :)

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Writers' Cafe / Re: WHAT is up with all the Billionaire books?
« on: September 24, 2013, 09:42:14 AM »
I don't quite understand why the billionaire thing would annoy anyone. It's just a trend, like werewolves or vampires. Yes, it's a slightly silly trend (there are virtually no young, sexy billionaires anywhere in the world), but it's no sillier than werewolves, really.

I have two billionaire series. What I like about them is the power issue-- you have one guy who's rich and powerful and used to getting anything he wants at the snap of his fingers, and another guy or gal who is not rich and who may resent the wealthy guy's attempts to control them, even as s/he is dazzled by the wealth and glitter. This is what I find interesting about the idea, personally.

This makes me wonder-- has anyone written a female billionaire book? That would be an interesting but different power dynamic.

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Erotica is a part of romance and you cannot measure romance on a 1 to 10 scale and its my humble opinion that erotica cannot be separated from romance because i feel the difference is how you describe it...

Erotica and romance aren't the same thing. Erotica may be part of romance (in real life if not in every romance novel), but romance is not always part of erotica. You can have sex with someone without caring about them in the slightest, after all.

In the case of erotic romance, it's necessary to separate them because people like to know what they're reading. A fluffy romantic comedy with no sex is not the same thing as a woman having sex with five billionaire brothers with tentacles and a whip fetish. Readers want to know what they're getting, so it's necessary to put your book into the correct subcategories, or you will wind up with some very ticked-off readers. :)

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I'm not quite sure what you're asking, but... romance has always been the overarching genre; erotic romance is just a subgenre, like historical romance or romantic suspense. And all romance isn't sexy, nor are all sexy romances erotic. Romance is a huge, broad category with many different subgenres, and erotic romance is only one of those subgenres.

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However, you said romance is also done without sex, are you trying to say that if a couple didn't a get a chance for sex? because psychologically romancing between people happens when they are sexually attracted...

I think that's kind of beside the point. There are plenty of romances written without sex (generally called "sweet romances"). Sure, the people involved probably usually would have sex in real life, but that doesn't mean it has to be shown in writing.

19
Wait... there's a space behind my computer?

*checks*

Well, I'll be. I thought that pile of junk was just part of the desk...

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This site also lists "Erin Hunter." As in Erin Hunter, the trad published author (actually authors) who wrote all those billions of Warriors books my son loves? I really doubt someone like that would need to buy fake reviews.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: I'm in the top 100 in the Amazon store without bookbub
« on: September 21, 2013, 03:54:53 PM »
Wait-- how do you get an Amazon ad??

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Another school district bans another book...
« on: September 20, 2013, 05:33:04 PM »
I'm amazed. Invisible Man is a classic, and I can't remember anything particularly shocking or risque about it.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: The Danger of the Word "Gay"
« on: September 20, 2013, 05:09:30 PM »
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You know what, I will re-publish LOVE YOU BABY and add contains incest to the description. Maybe horror-erotica. strange book. will take two weeks to pass reviews I am sure.

I could be wrong, but I think if a book is labeled both "incest" and "erotica," Amazon will refuse to publish it. This is why there's a lot of pseudo-incest around. Incest that isn't erotic, like Flowers in the Attic, is a somewhat different story.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: The Danger of the Word "Gay"
« on: September 20, 2013, 04:48:01 PM »
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I BEG your pardon? All gay literature gets nothing but one-star reviews? I hope you are joking.

I believe he was speaking with reference to one of the posts that was removed for homophobic content.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: The Danger of the Word "Gay"
« on: September 20, 2013, 04:41:41 PM »
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The lack of warning on Incest and saying strong sexual content was wrong. I removed the book. I like how the book here gives the reader a choice by mentioning M/M.

It is important to clearly mark books with anything that might be upsetting or distressing to readers. (I bought a book a while back that featured "water sports," a term I did not recognize in my naivete. But at least it was labeled.:D) Incest is absolutely a biggie that must be labeled, because many people find it squicky (and other people actively seek out books that feature it). I personally dislike that it's necessary to mark books "m/m content," which is, as my daughter would put it, heteronormative (one doesn't generally have to label a book "m/f content"), but it does help steer away readers who will dislike the book and give you one star reviews, so it's best to do it. It's not so much a warning as it is a helpful label.

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