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Topics - DarkScribe

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Writers' Cafe / A couple of KU points to ponder.
« on: July 31, 2018, 08:06:07 pm »
I have noticed two issues with KU that - in my opinion - should be remedied. Firstly, when reading something downloaded from KU/Prime, when you reach the end of the book you are presented with a page that will allow you to "star rate" the book, and then offer you the opportunity to give a review. The problem is that unless you have an active WiFi connection - and I often read in places where I do not -  it will not allow you to rate. Ideally it should accept the rating and transfer it the next time you have internet access. In the same situation, if you have downloaded KU/Prime material, have read it either all or in part, but do not connect the device to WiFi before you return the books using another device or computer, it does not count the pages read. I think that many people will have their books and multiple devices and return them on a device that was not the one used to read them. I have several Kindles, plus iPhones & iPads that I used to read, but have not ensured that each was allowed to connect to Amazon before returning and selecting new material. Point two was more difficult to confirm, but managed with the aid of someone who had books in KU that were not getting borrows. Multiple reads of her books with them returned by using a computer account and not the device resulted in zero reads.

Of late I am seeing many titles that include the superfluous words "A novel" in their title? Why? Do they feel that if not identified as a novel, the potential reader might confuse it with a Pineapple Cream doughnut and try to eat it? It makes little sense to me.

Writers' Cafe / Do many keep an eye on this Amazon link?
« on: June 24, 2018, 10:43:12 pm »
I have not noticed this Amazon offering being discussed, but their list of the top most read or most sold books is interesting. In the most read, Harry Potter still has six places out of twenty. Stephen Kings still holds number one spot. Their "Amazon Editors" ten best reads of the month are clearly promotion - there is no consistency in style, genre or quality from month to month.

Writers' Cafe / A question about Kindle Unlimited recommendations.
« on: June 20, 2018, 09:13:38 pm »
I use my Prime/Kindle Unlimited to find new writers who might interest me. I have only EVER downloaded Noire Fiction, Historical research, Books on technology, (It, alternative-energy research, medical research, permaculture gardening.) Nothing else, and no one else uses my account. In my regular emails from Amazon, or on my KU page, "Recommended for You" consists of Romance, Erotica, female oriented fiction - covers with near naked men and women and titles that are suggestive.
Are others experiencing this inappropriate targeting? Has there been a coup at Amazon? Have iBook/Kobo supporters taken control?

Writers' Cafe / Bill Clinton as collaborator doesn't harm book sales.
« on: June 06, 2018, 07:43:10 pm »
The Bill Clinton James Patterson collaboration on "The President is Missing" is doing well. Taking more than $26,000.00 per day in eBook sales alone three days after release. This would have to be the highest profile Ghost Writer among James Patterson's stable.  I have a copy - not very impressed so far, but I'll give it time.

Since renewing my Prime Membership I have been bombarded with email from Amazon promoting various books. They all seem to be Kindle Unlimited/Prime. I downloaded a couple that were well reviewed, one of which was excellent, from a new writer who is sure to go far. The other, although more highly rated, was appalling. I ran a Fakespot check on the latter and got the "Our engine has profiled the reviewer patterns and has determined that there is high deception involved". I have found Fakespot to be reliable and much simpler than slogging through dozens of reviews and checking Bona Fides of reviewers manually. If a potential purchaser can check a book using Fakespot, why doesn't Amazon?

Anyone using it yet? I have just downloaded it and it looks good so far. A lot of people - writers that is - have been waiting for this. They have a free thirty day trial for those who are unsure. I am curious as to opinions.

Writers' Cafe / A new way of reading...
« on: March 01, 2014, 04:19:47 pm »
This appears to be an interesting direction for eReaders. Already available in Beta. I think that it will polarise readers, i.e., I would not prefer it to conventional text as I already speed read and read sentences, not words. A lot of people will probably find it useful, though it is impossible to check back if you feel that you have just missed something - like sorting out dialogue tags.

I think that it should be very useful to most self publishers, but there has been very little on-line comment about it.

Writers' Cafe / Some negative aspects to Amazon's Australian site
« on: November 14, 2013, 12:34:57 pm »
I have had a play with the new Aussie site and have definitely decided to avoid it - as a reader. For those publishing from Australia the benefits might outweigh the negatives.

On the Aussie site all reviews are gone unless from an Australian and written since the site opened. It makes it pointless to consider purchasing from the Aussie site - you have no idea what you are getting. On top of that, all reviews you have written are now gone -on the Australian site - they are still on the .com site. You have no reviewer status or rating - you lose the lot. All purchases are gone, if you go to manage your account on the Aussie site it says you have no purchases. It appears that if you publish on the Aussie site your rank is not connected to the ranking of the same book on the .com site. Australia has a much smaller market, our entire population isn't much more than a half dozen large cities in the US - giving Australia eBook promotions a much reduced market. This might change, or might be related to delays in Amazon's processing, but at the moment looks bad. Australian's want to sell as many books as possible, they aren't interested in focusing on selling primarily to Australian buyers.

We have tested with a couple of books from Australian associates and are finding the difference in position and prominence to be obvious. There seems to be a bias that will raise the profile of a new publication from an Australian author on the Australian site and leave it buried on the .com site.

If you select any book  "Australian Authors" and display by rating, then look at the same books on .com there is a huge disparity. 

It is a giant step backward as far as I am concerned. I have no interest in Jingoism being applied to my reading choices, either as a reader or a publisher, particularly not when it limits any potential market so severely. The Australian market is too small to be separated from the world market. The other problem is that it is likely that many Australians will decide - as I have - to not use the site and stay with the .com site. This will further stifle sales from Aussie Amazon.

In my opinion - fail!

Writers' Cafe / In the vein of recent "How did this get published" threads
« on: November 10, 2013, 05:37:51 pm »
Unable to sleep in the early hours of this morning, I read The Racketeeer by John Grisham, one of his recent releases. It was appallingly bad. Plot holes, improbable and implausible are two words that apply to much of it. It was disjointed, illogical - basically a mess that might be acceptable in a first effort from a new Indie writer, but not from someone with as much history as Grisham.

Then, on the last page I found this.

This is indeed a work of fiction, and more so than usual. Almost nothing in the previous 340-odd pages is based on reality. Research, hardly a priority, was rarely called upon. Accuracy was not deemed crucial. Long paragraphs of fiction were used to avoid looking up facts. There is no federal camp at Frostburg, no uranium lawsuit (yet), no dead judge to inspire me, and no acquaintance in prison scheming to get out, at least not to my knowledge. Inevitably, though, even the laziest of writers need some foundation for their creations, and I was occasionally at a loss. As always, I relied on others.

You have to wonder...

Writers' Cafe / It seems that George R.R. Martin is not a fan of fanfic.
« on: November 08, 2013, 12:52:16 pm »

Be interesting to see whether he takes it further than just a hurrumph! or two.

Do some Googling before deciding to update. Many thousands of people are suffering a massive loss in battery life after the update. My wife updated and her iPad 3 now lasts a little over three hours before shutting down with a low battery warning. Three people in our office are experiencing the same issue.

Apparently true romantic love doesn't exist - if this women is correct. No forever after.

I hope that no one tells my wife - I like things as they are.

Writers' Cafe / Hmmmmmmmm...
« on: January 21, 2013, 12:57:16 pm »

The Book Corner / Maybe the Monty Python team have taken over Amazon.
« on: October 23, 2012, 01:23:13 pm »
If they haven't - how can anyone explain this?

(These books are being advertised - direct from the author - in local papers here (Australia) for au$29.00 new.)

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