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Topics - ellenoc

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The Book Corner / Holiday Traditions - the 4th of July
« on: July 01, 2018, 08:24:34 PM »
Do most of you have holiday traditions in books? Tonight I was reading a mystery that wasn't holding my attention and wandered over to my bookcase. One book I kept in hard cover when I got rid of all but a few physical books some years ago is McCullough's 1776. So now it's sitting on my chair-side table ready to go. It seems I re-read it every year about this time.

Writers' Cafe / Smashwords selling unpublished books
« on: June 20, 2018, 12:27:21 PM »
Can anyone give me an email address for Smashwords? My books have been down from there for more than a year and all of a sudden they have sold copies of two books.

Writers' Cafe / Free Promotional Copies?
« on: November 30, 2017, 09:36:29 PM »
One of my books shows in the monthly reports that 2 free promotional copies went out. None of my books has ever been free for any reason since I first published in 2010. Does anyone know of an explanation for this? I'd be inclined to shrug it off as only 2 and an Amazon glitch, but I'd be very unhappy if it continued this month and ended up as a lot more than 2.

Let's Talk Kindle! / Home Screen View Question
« on: November 14, 2017, 02:46:18 PM »
Is there no way on the O2 to get a list view in the Home screen instead of covers? I've tried what I think did it on the O1 but can't see that it had any effect much less what I want.

Writers' Cafe / Email address change
« on: July 28, 2017, 09:29:50 PM »
I've had the same personal email address for at a guess 25 years, and it was all I had when I started publishing with Amazon (and other vendors, but since I'm in KU now, they aren't an immediate concern). Since then I set up a website and have an author email there, but almost everything that counts comes through the older address.

That older address is tied to my dial up account. I finally have wifi, and need to give up that account with it's monthly charge and would love some advice.

Have any of you changed your email with Amazon? Did it go smoothly? Messing with my financial arrangements there worries me.

Do any of you have advice about what to replace the personal account with? It seems a lot of people use gmail, but I had to set up a gmail account to get my Android phone working, and it's not reliable. If I send test messages to that address, sometimes I get them and sometimes I don't. Maybe it's the app on the phone, but it doesn't inspire confidence.

Thanks for any help.

Let's Talk Kindle! / Whoops and Whew
« on: December 13, 2016, 02:03:16 PM »
Since I now have 2 Oasis covers, there is always one laying around close to hand as a spare. I've been leaving the spare cover on my bedside table lately so it's close at hand if I need it reading in bed. Yesterday morning I discovered a bottle of water, which still had a bit of water in the bottom, had tipped over onto the Merlot cover and the cover had a large, dark wet spot where the water had soaked in.

I didn't worry about the battery in the cover as the wetness was on the large part of the cover, not the smaller side where the battery is, but I did think the leather might be permanently marked if I didn't do something, and I like the looks of that cover a lot. So I dug out the saddle soap (old horse person here) and gave the cover a good dose. It didn't change the look of the spot as I did it, but to my delight when everything dried, the spot had disappeared. I'm glad this happened with the Merlot and not the Walnut, which I'm not sure would handle saddle soap the same way. At a guess it would change the suede-like texture, but I'm not about to give it a try and find out.

Needless to say, the spare cover is no longer going to sit in that particular spot.

Writers' Cafe / Stupid mistake with beta reader, need advice
« on: August 25, 2016, 08:56:39 PM »
I have since I first published avoided letting anyone beta read for me who asked to do it. With this last book, however, I made the mistake of finally saying yes to an eager beaver who comments on my blog. I figured she was too much a fan to give valuable feedback, and I was right, but that's not my problem.

In the Vellum thread I posted about my disappointment that there's no way to send a one-book sized file to people before publishing. I had promised beta readers a copy of the final book. So I sent them each a $10 Amazon gift certificate. The people who have beta read for me in the past never post reviews, and it's not a problem.

This woman, however, eagerly told me she was going to post a review on Amazon. I told her not to, that Amazon would just take it down. Her reply was she'd say she received an ARC copy in return for an honest review. I've never sent anyone any kind of copy in return for any kind of review and didn't send her either the beta draft of gift certificate for that reason. I told her that wasn't the truth and not to do it.

Lo and behold she's gone and posted a review on Amazon. I've emailed her and asked her to take it down.

When Amazon tumbles to this, will they simply remove the review, or will I be in trouble? If she doesn't take the blasted thing down, would I be smart to ask Amazon to do it?

Writers' Cafe / iPad Mini Mavens - Advice on loading book?
« on: August 25, 2016, 04:38:53 PM »
I sent a copy of my latest book to a friend who is all-Apple all the time. He loaded it onto his MacBook without a problem, but is having trouble with his iPad Mini.

What he did was load the book into the Cloud then tried to download it to the Mini. What he got was an offer for the free sample of the book, which makes me think he was switched to Amazon and buying mode somehow. Can anyone give advice on how he ought to go about this? Reading even this short novel on a laptop would be tedious, at least for me.

Writers' Cafe / Help with keywords?
« on: August 22, 2016, 07:35:44 PM »
I just published my latest romance. It's third in a series that started with a "real" western romance set in the late 1800s, then the second book was set in 1899-1900, and I still categorized it as a western, although it only is kind of. This last one is set in 1905 against the background of an automobile race across the Great Plains.

So I'm having a bad time with categories and key words. I finally settled for Historical Romance>Twentieth Century, which it is, although I don't believe anyone would think of it that way. And Western Romance because there are still some horse and buggy type encounters, and since Books 1 and 2 are in that category, it seemed wise.

Does anyone have any suggestions for keywords? I feel like I saw something here on KBoards a while ago that made me think, aha, that would fit, but of course I didn't bookmark it or write it down and can't remember. I didn't even use all my keywords when I uploaded. It's a second chance romance.

Let's Talk Kindle! / Pleasant surprise
« on: March 29, 2016, 04:44:41 PM »
I recently started training my dogs for tracking and so have been reading internet articles and trying to acquire books on the subject. Since it's a very niche area, the books tend to be expensive and paper only. I really don't like buying paper books any more, but what's a dog person to do?

So imagine my surprise when I looked up Tracking Dog: Theory and Methods by Glen Johnson and found it available for Kindle for $9.99, less than half the price of new and if I remember right, $6 less than a beat up used copy. I hesitated a bit because I knew there would be a lot of diagrams of tracks and photographs in the book and my experience with those things on 6" Kindles has not been good, although mostly what I've been unable to read have been maps.

I decided to get the Kindle version and if the diagrams were useless return it and order a paper version. To my surprise and delight, on the high resolution screen of the Voyage, the diagrams are clear and no problem at all. Yay Kindle.

Writers' Cafe / Have a PaperWhite and a KU account?
« on: October 02, 2015, 05:23:48 PM »
In the ongoing thread on Vellum it's been remarked that buy links don't take you to the product page for a book properly using a Paperwhite Kindle, and it's an Amazon problem. I donated my PW to my dog club's fundraiser when I got my Voyage, but I'm having trouble believing this. That was only a year ago. Surely I tested my links with my PW and they worked.

Is there anyone who has a PW and a KU account who would be willing to download my novel, Beautiful Bad Man (link in my signature), test this, and let me know? I say BBM specifically because I've been updating the Other Books By section in my books and know that one has been updated. The TOC will take you right there.

Writers' Cafe / Mac experts, help please
« on: September 26, 2015, 03:28:14 PM »
Call me cynical, but I don't believe the Windows version of Scrivener will ever catch up to the Mac version. L&L continues to develop both, and since the Mac version started out ahead, it's bound to stay ahead.

Anyway, for some time I've been thinking about getting a Mac, because of Scrivener and lately because of Vellum. If I were to get a refurbished Mac Book Pro, what would I need for it to run well? L&L says Scrivener needs 10.6 Snow Leopard or above, but some different places specify 10.6.7 or 10.6.8. What would be safe and sure? Is 4 GB of RAM (is it still called RAM in a Mac?) enough to run these programs well?

And... I understand new models are coming out right about now. Would waiting until close to the end of the year mean more older models available and at a better price?

Thanks for help and advice.

Writers' Cafe / "Enhanced Typesetting Enabled" - Kindle Ebooks
« on: August 12, 2015, 07:10:28 PM »
Over in Let's Talk Kindle users have mentioned the new Bookerly font that came with the PW3. With the most recent update, it's available for the Voyage too. If I remember right, it's also available for the Fires. And Bookerly is the font that is supposed to make lines on the Kindles more even without huge spaces between words and short lines when the software can't achieve justification. I think it's even supposed to introduce hyphenation.

Today I also noticed that a book I looked at had "Enhanced Typesetting Enabled" on its product page. I don't have the latest update on my Voyage yet (I have dial up internet at home and will have to get to a wifi connection to get it).

Seeing that on a book made me curious, so I went and looked at my own. All my books have been formatted the same way, but 4 books and the short story have the Enhanced Typesetting Enabled notation. Three do not. Does anyone know what is needed to enable this enhancement? Maybe I'll try re-uploading one of the ones that doesn't have the notation to see what happens.

Let's Talk Kindle! / 3G Down?
« on: May 01, 2015, 03:39:11 PM »
My Voyage isn't downloading anything and hasn't been since the middle of last night. Called Amazon and after all the usual tap this and do that, was put through to someone who told me AT&T is doing updates and it's not Amazon's fault, etc. My first Voyage went back because of modem problems, and I don't trust this one because of past behavior, so I tend not to believe it. If AT&T is the problem, why will it take me to the Amazon Store and let me buy or borrow things? Which are then never delivered. It won't restore anything from the Cloud either.

However, I will say that my KK, which has never hiccuped in its life, is doing the same thing. Is anyone else having this problem with 3G?

The Book Bazaar / Without Words-New Western Historical Romance
« on: September 23, 2014, 07:58:22 AM »
My new Western historical romance, Without Words, is now available on Amazon for pre-order at a discounted price of $2.99. Price after September 30th release $4.99. Without Words will also be available to borrow through Kindle Unlimited.

You can go directly to the Amazon product page by clicking on the cover image in my signature below.

The story:

Bounty hunter Bret Sterling kills Rufus Petty, thief and murderer, less than ten feet away from a frightened, half-starved woman. Rufus should have surrendered. The woman should have kin to help her. But Rufus went down shooting, and the woman has no one. Bret figures by the time he finds a safe place to leave Hassie Petty, he’ll earn the five hundred dollar reward several times over.

Hassie doesn’t mourn Rufus, but the loss of the ten dollars he promised her for supplies is a different matter. The bounty hunter gives her nothing, takes everything, ties the body on one horse and orders her on another. Afraid if she defies him, he’ll tie her down tighter than Rufus, Hassie mounts up and follows the icy-eyed killer.

Mismatched in every way, the sterling man and petty woman travel the West together, hunting thieves, deserters, and murderers. Wary traveling companions, friends and partners, lovers, Bret and Hassie must decide what they want, what they need, and the price they’re willing to pay for love.

Writers' Cafe / Any way to give coupon for Select book?
« on: September 22, 2014, 06:30:50 PM »
Is there any way give a coupon for a free copy of a book in Select? I'd like to submit my newest book to a review site that has reviewed my books in the past, but they want a coupon for it. In the past I just used SW, but I assume if I upload to SW, I have to publish the book there to be able to give a coupon, and of course I can't do that.

Writers' Cafe / Pre-order in UK?
« on: September 08, 2014, 11:31:47 AM »
A commenter on my blog just said pre-orders aren't available for those in the UK. Is this true? I assume if it is, then they aren't available anywhere except the U.S.

Writers' Cafe / Help - pre-order mistake - RESOLVED
« on: August 14, 2014, 09:11:42 PM »
I passed on the news about the pre-order ability to a friend who is getting ready to self-publish for the first time. Her book is basically ready to go but out to people who review ARCs, and she doesn't want to publish until October 1.

So she wanted to do the pre-order thing, went the KDP, uploaded her book and cover and couldn't find any way to set it up to pre-order. And having not done this before and not knowing what else to do, she clicked on "Save and Publish." Needless to say she's not a happy camper and I feel guilty having started her down this path. I told her to email KDP right now and to call them first thing tomorrow.

She can't find a phone number and I don't have one. Does anyone have a phone number? Better advice?

Has anyone tried this new preorder thing and seen how one actually does it?

UPDATE AS TO RESOLUTION: My understanding is this person ended up with the book on Amazon twice - once simply for sale and once as a pre-order (you wouldn't think you could do that, but she says she did). When she unpublished the one for sale, the pre-order also disappeared. Whether that was some automatic link or whether her emails to Amazon CS resulted in them doing that is a mystery.

She finally got a phone number, and the CS people were uncooperative. They said she'd taken down a pre-order and therefore she was banned from doing a pre-order for a year. How vociferous she was in disputing this, I don't know. She's an email friend. She did get escalated one level beyond the first people she dealt with, but they refused to let her go higher. So sometime today someone from Amazon called her and said they were "making an exception" in her case and reinstating the pre-order. So right now as far as I know, everything's fine.

The whole thing does mean, at least to me, that one had better be darned careful in setting up pre-orders. I'll be ready to try it in a week or two and will be as careful as the first time I ever uploaded a book (when I printed Amazon's instructions and went step by step).

Writers' Cafe / Scrivener has corrupted me
« on: June 08, 2014, 01:01:55 PM »
I have admitted other places, maybe here in KBoards too, that I have what a friend describes as a "plodding linear mind." He doesn't mean that as an insult as his mind works that way too, and it is descriptive. I do things in orderly fashion. I can be all but OCD about it. Admittedly when I wrote my first books, there were times when I couldn't find a way to say what I wanted to, so I would leave an unsatisfactory attempt in place, finish the rest of the book, and go back and find a way to manage what I'd skipped. Until last night that was the closest thing to out of order I ever did.

Two books and a novella ago I switched from WordPerfect to Scrivener for my writing. It didn't change the fact I'm an outliner. I use Scrivener's outline feature, have a nice, neat line of chapters and proposed scenes in my Binder and off I go. When things change as I go along, I take the time to change my outline. During revisions when a change in Chapter 20 affects things that went before and after, I use the outline to find those places easily.

But last night I wrote a Scene Out of Order, not a skipped or unsatisfactory scene I'd left a place marker for, but one way down the line. I have no idea what got into me. When Kris Rusch would make references in her blog to doing that I was always appalled. How could anyone do that? I guess I just found out. I was progressing along in my usual plodding, linear way. I'm at about the halfway mark, and I finished a chapter that worked out quite well. What comes next is the kind of thing I'm good at and that isn't usually difficult.

The scene I skipped to will come at about the three-quarter mark and is the kind I usually have great difficulty with and sometimes struggle with for days. It's been looming in my mind, and I had been thinking about it and all of a sudden I had ideas about it I was afraid would escape, so I wrote it, and now it's sitting there way down the Binder in Scrivener, sticking out among the empty scenes before and after like a sore thumb.

I have no idea what got into me. But I'm sure it's Scrivener's fault.

Writers' Cafe / Blatant brag
« on: May 03, 2014, 07:57:19 PM »
My apologies in advance, but I can't help but brag about this. I admit I love the All About Romance site because they have been good to me. My Western Historical Romance Sing My Name was the first indie romance the site ever reviewed, and they gave it an A and Desert Isle Keeper rating back in late 2010. Since that time their reviewers and forum participants have said a lot of nice things, and AAR has just finished updating its mini-poll on Favorite Frontier/Western Romances.

You can find their entire blog post and poll results here:
but I can't resist copying the Top Ten list in full:

    Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold (2010) by Ellen O’Connell
    Dancing on Coals (2011) by Ellen O’Connell
    Sing My Name (2010) by Ellen O’Connell
    Texas Destiny (1997) by Lorraine Heath
    Beautiful Bad Man (2012) by Ellen O’Connell
    The Gamble (1984) by LaVyrle Spencer
    Always to Remember (1996) by Lorraine Heath
    Hummingbird (1994) by LaVyrle Spencer
    Silver Lining (2000) by Maggie Osborne
    Pieces of Sky (2010) by Kaki Warner

Admittedly this is a small, niche subgenre, but it's my small, niche subgenre, and admittedly I suspect my hardcore fans turned out in force to vote, but how nice it is to have hardcore fans.

Beautiful Bad Man also won Ind'Tale Magazine's 2012 Historical Americana RONE award, which is judged in the last round, so since I'm bragging, I'll mention that while I'm at it.

Writers' Cafe / Scrivener for Mac - machine requirements
« on: March 09, 2014, 07:34:22 PM »
Today I read a description of how to compile for mobi from the Mac version of Scrivener, and it shows you can do all the things that have kept me from creating my mobis through Scrivener (which I use for writing). I know Literature & Latte says the PC and Mac versions of the program will soon have all the same features, but I guess I don't believe "soon" is going to be soon enough for someone my age.

Anyway, it occurs to me I want a Mac if only for compiling, and prices on used Mac laptops aren't too outrageous. Can any of you who use Scrivener on your Macs give me an idea what specs are necessary to run Scrivener well? I found minimum requirements, but at least for PC, minimum is, well, minimal. Since I'm looking at used, needless to say I'm not expecting the fastest Mac rocket available, but I don't want anything that's going to stutter, cough, and churn either.

The Book Corner / Children of Authors
« on: October 26, 2013, 02:22:55 PM »
Does anyone else feel as ambivalent about this as I do? IMO Felix Francis is not a spot on father Dick Francis's typewriter, but I read the books he writes with his father's name emblazoned on the cover. I enjoy them a bit and still feel stabs of regret for what they aren't.

Yesterday in CostCo, I saw a familiar-looking book cover. Yes, it was a book by Ann Hillerman, Tony's daughter, continuing the Leaphorn and Chee series. Except the characters have personality transplants, and while the feeling of NM landscape is there, the feeling of the Navajo reservation isn't. Yet I know if there's another one, I'll read it, because something is better than nothing.

Not a son or daughter, but I feel the same way about the writer who is continuing Parker's Jesse Stone series. It's not the real thing, but....

Let's Talk Kindle! / Trade In?
« on: October 03, 2013, 01:23:59 PM »
I saw references in another topic to trading in a PW1 for a PW2. This was news to me. Could someone please give details or a link to where I'd find such information?

Let's Talk Kindle! / Sharing Kindle Notes?
« on: May 23, 2013, 04:45:19 PM »
I have a lady doing a beta read on my newest book who has just emailed me that she's making "footnotes" on her Kindle and hopes I can download them.

She's a great reader but truly very bad at tech stuff. My guess is she's making notes. Is there any way I can get these from her?

Let's Talk Kindle! / A Reason I Love My K Driven Home
« on: December 27, 2012, 11:59:53 AM »
One of the reasons I love my Kindle is that it has stopped me from accumulating piles of books all over the house. Still, in the years since the K1, I never did the clean out of my bookshelves that I always intended - until this week. My computer room, which is small, has bookshelves on two sides. I want to take out the shelves on the short end of the room, make the room bigger, and keep only those books I use for reference and those I know I will reread. So I started in. Dealing with all those books, dusting, heaving, rearranging.... I've never been one for repurchasing any book for Kindle that I already own in paper, but all I could think of was I wish I had these for Kindle and could just get rid of them all. I've loved books all my life. My own attitude surprises me, but there it is. I have every one of Dick Francis' books sitting on a shelf in a pretty row, and I'd get rid of every one and buy the Kindle version in a minute if it weren't a financial extravagance I can't justify.

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