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Topics - Herc- The Reluctant Geek

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Writers' Cafe / More lit fic angst at the The Guardian
« on: January 01, 2018, 04:39:04 PM »
Another interesting story about the death of lit fiction in the good 'ol Guardian. Surprisingly, it has some advice for literary novelists: learn to tell a story.

My favourite bit: 'Worrying about plot and story has long been unfashionable on the literary scene. Style and voice are what gathers plaudits.'

Writers' Cafe / Smashwords Feb payment a bit off?
« on: February 22, 2017, 01:52:27 PM »
Just got my Smashwords payment for Feb (Yay monthly payments) and the $$ they show on the payments screen don't match the payments in my paypal account. It aint much, but I'd had my eyes on that fresh box of toothpicks for a while now and the short payment has put them out of reach again...

Of course, it may not be a short payment because I could have sworn I didn't sell all that much through Smash in the last few weeks. In fact, the numbers in my paypal account feel like the right amounts while the numbers on the sales page don't look right.

Any one else getting weird payments?

Writers' Cafe / Scribd Removing Romance -- MERGED THREAD
« on: June 30, 2015, 03:33:00 PM »
It seems Scribd is having trouble with its all-you-can-read model. They've decided to cut most of their Romance catalogue because romance readers like to read.

Mark Cocker over at Smashwords has posted the letter explaining the problem that Scribd sent to all publishers.

First KU goes pay-per-page, then the company that started all this admits to problems. Is this the end of the subscription services or simply the end of authors getting properly remunerated for such making their work available on such services? Only time will tell.

Writers' Cafe / Hugh Howey in a humble bundle
« on: March 26, 2015, 07:28:36 PM »
For the few that haven't read Wool et al yet, you can pick it up for a song and do your bit for charity as part of a Humble Bundle.

And now we are seeing ebooks begin to more into the more novel distribution/marketing systems used by computer game companies.

Gaming is an amazing look into how digital changes things. There are many exceptional indie titles available predominantly through Steam. Bundles of  (mostly) indie games are offered through a whole bunch of websites for fun/profit/charity. Indie game developers use the bundles to promote upcoming titles, much like the way indie authors use free books. 

Writers' Cafe / RIP Robin Williams --MERGED
« on: August 11, 2014, 05:48:13 PM »
...has passed away.

RIP, Robin Williams.

If he wrote books, they would have been funny

(This is a writer's forum and we have to stay on topic...)

Writers' Cafe / There goes the productivity
« on: March 30, 2014, 12:28:14 AM »
Ignored Titanfall, walked straight past the Diablo 3 expansion, but in 3.5 hrs, The Elder Scrolls Online early access starts and I've got me a ticket.


Been averaging 10K words per week through Feb/March but can't see that continuing with such a distraction. I can only hope it's a crappy game and I'll put it down after a couple of months (you've got to give MMO's a chance).

Anyone else in the same boat?

Writers' Cafe / Q&A with Oyster CEO
« on: January 30, 2014, 12:59:31 PM »
An interesting read about the new subscription service here.

One quote was especially encouraging:

For every book that someone reads on Oyster, they download and start four more books. This is a strong indication that people are browsing and discovering new books on Oyster just like they would in a local bookstore or library.

The world, it's a changin'.

Writers' Cafe / A complete bast***d
« on: January 29, 2014, 10:45:46 PM »
2 days! Just 2 more days and I would have made it through the month without any returns! None. But no, some bugger had to go and return a book today. I don't know who he or she is, but whoever it is, they are a complete and utter *&(^()&*%. Complete! And utter!

Thanks. I feel better now.

Writers' Cafe / Smashwords Oyster numbers up
« on: January 23, 2014, 12:06:24 PM »
And I got 8 borrows :) which is 8 more than I expected for the first month in operation. How'd ya'll do? Oh, and Smash made Forbes 100 most promising companies. At number 69, which is kinda amusing.

Writers' Cafe / Digital thieves!
« on: September 02, 2013, 12:05:44 AM »
Just a heads up for all the hard working writers in Kboard land. I've just googled one of my pen names and there seems to be a new avenue for plagiarisers to rip us off. One of my books, a freeby no less, was available for purchase through a site called for $1.10. It seems that anyone can just upload a file and offer it for sale without any copyright protection whatsoever.

While the site itself looks promising for those wanting to sell outside the normal retailers, it can and will be be used by the unscrupulous to try and rip us off.

I've just found one of my books on published by some clown with exceptional cut and paste skills and no moral compass. He'd also ripped off another two authors that I've alerted through their goodread profiles.

Writers' Cafe / It was bound to happen...
« on: July 30, 2013, 03:43:55 AM »
There's lots of philosophising about religion in my fiction, and I wander from one perspective to another. So when, a few weeks ago, I got a glowing 5 star on B&N for one book and then another on smashwords for a second, written by the same person, I braced myself. The only books left to read were a little more controversial. So this evening, I check in to B&N and, lo and behold, the glowing 5 star was gone and someone had left one star, one word reviews on all my fiction. Double checked on Smash, and they were gone from there as well.

Anyway, just venting.

They should have, at the very least, left a highly emotional and expletive rich review that inflamed tensions and started a long and protracted online flame war in a prominent online community that led to thousands of people buying my books to see what all the fuss was about. But they didn't even have the courtesy to do that. Buggers.

I've got a book that was perma-free until I changed it to a pen name. Now it shows a price, but still has a free ranking and I'm still getting numbers of free downloads in my report. I'm in Australia, so was wondering if maybe Amazon has uncoupled US and Aus prices, which may be the first move in establishing an Aussie storefront (and hopefully paying directly into Aussie banks *fingers crossed*). I would greatly appreciate if one of our American friends could check the price for me. It the book in my sig 'I was an Internet Addict'

Writers' Cafe / Smash has updated
« on: December 15, 2012, 04:31:34 AM »
Almost everyone except good ol' B&N :)

Writers' Cafe / The winds of change...
« on: November 15, 2012, 03:51:04 PM »

Writers' Cafe / Just figured out why it's so hard to sell on Smashwords
« on: November 03, 2012, 06:13:47 PM »
Typed in the title of one of my shorts - it didn't come up (yes, the adult filter was on and no, it's not an adult title). Hmmm, I thought, I'll try my name. Being lazy, I just typed in my surname. Still nothing. Only when I typed my full name did the search find any of my books.

So we can add poor search functionality to retro design as a big impediment to Smash as a retailer. Makes me a sad Panda :(

Writers' Cafe / Kobo royalties on Smashwords
« on: September 22, 2012, 10:52:22 PM »
It seems that Kobo has changed the royalty they pay to Smashwords to match what they pay direct. Prior to 15 July, they paid $0.59 for $0.99 sales. After 15 July, they pay $0.38. I have two sales on 15 July - one paid a 59 cent royalty and the other a 38 cent royalty  :D.

Just had a look at another of my pen name sales and they have a few 38 cent royalty payments and then go back to 59 cent. I can't tell why the rates differ. They are mixed US and Canadian sales. Most unusual. Anyone else notice something like this with Kobo through Smashwords?

Writers' Cafe / It's starting to get a bit out of hand
« on: September 05, 2012, 12:18:18 AM »
The posting of false, negative reviews is starting to get out of hand. Someone has just left a one-star review of one of my accounting study guides, which is fair enough. If she didn't like it, then she is entitled to say so. The problem is, she said that 'equipment' was misspelt, which is not true (checked my master file). I checked her other reviews and, surprise surprise, she has only ever reviewed two books, both on the same day - one a five star and mine, a one star.

It's ridiculous. It's an accounting study guide for heaven's sake. Costs all of 76 pence. I can't imagine anyone feeling threatened enough by it to try to bury it.

Writers' Cafe / Has all the turmoil in Europe...
« on: June 20, 2012, 06:20:04 PM »
...had an effect on book sales? Because my sales in UK/DE/Es/It have fallen into a hole.

You'd think they would want to buy more books on democracy and accounting with all the troubles they've had over there.

Writers' Cafe / Egad that's a lot of books and money...
« on: June 08, 2012, 07:35:45 AM »
For the first time we can see inside Smashwords and it looks busy. There an article on Forbes about smashwords and it makes interesting reading, especially this bit:

Coker projects $12 million in revenue this year, double last year’s take.

No wonder things are slowing down over there. Mark's busy counting when he should be grinding and approving  ;D Congrats to Smash for doing a lot of things right when no else seemed to have a clue.

The entire article is here, and I got a heads up from Smashwords update.

Writers' Cafe / Anyone having trouble updating stuff at KDP?
« on: June 01, 2012, 06:35:47 AM »
Tried to update a book file on Monday but it wouldn't, so I contacted support and they told me it takes 24-48 hrs for changes to go through. It's Friday and still nothing. Today, I tried to update banking details and it got stuck on 'Saving Details...'

Is anyone else having issues or is Amazon just persecuting me?

Writers' Cafe / The essence of the forum troll...
« on: May 24, 2012, 11:23:05 PM »
Got Diablo III last week and my productivity has ground to a halt, but it's not the game that's been the focus of my attention, it's the official forums. Even with moderation, the amount of spite and bile being poured into the internet at those boards is stupefying.

This is an aspect of modern life just begging to be depicted in literature. The question is, how does one capture the essence of a forum troll? How would you write one? I must admit, I'm having trouble coming up with a plotline that would do it justice. Any ideas?

Writers' Cafe / I don't get the B&N rankings
« on: May 23, 2012, 08:47:08 PM »
One of my books is sitting around 28,000 at B&N, but I haven't sold a copy in over 6 weeks. Other books zip past it, backwards and forwards, changing position with each sale.

It's funny, because it's not stuck at one ranking and moves in a rage of about 500, apparently at random. Now I don't know if it's a smashwords reporting thing, or that it's just a glitch in B&N's system, but it's driving me crazy.

Anyhow, rant over. Just needed to get it off my chest. I'm off to see if buying that bloody artisan bread book will get it off my recently viewed list.

...when you get a return for a book that you haven't sold a copy of yet. I hate having to subtract when counting sales  :(

Writers' Cafe / Smashwords testing out direct deposits
« on: April 30, 2012, 08:38:33 PM »
So, do you think this was in responce to the paypal broohaha earlier in the year?

I dream of the day when all royalties from all sources are deposited directly into my bank account. The fewer the middlemen (or should that be middlepeople in these language conscious times?), the smoother the process.

Here's the link:

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