Hey Amazon, Hachette… Leave Authors Alone. Sort Your Own Mess Out!

Amazon sent me an email today, telling me how bad Hachette were. That’s what’s prompted this post. They want me to write to Hachette. They even tell me what to say. Really? How low do you have to go when you try to embroil the very people who are suffering because of YOUR dispute?? And don’t think Hachette are any different, folks. Don’t think Hachette aren’t trying to court their authors against Amazon. Well you know what? Fight your own battle. Leave authors and publishers out of it. It’s bad enough we have to listen to it every day, and bad enough we all may end up suffering because of it, but it’s YOUR fight.

Amazon, if you don’t want to sell Hachette books then don’t. And don’t try to have us believe that Amazon can’t sell at a lower price because you CAN. Hachette can’t stop you selling at lower than list price. You do it all the time with other products. And stop trying to tell people your ‘lower prices work’, no matter what generalised data you come up with to try to show it. The PRODUCER sets the price, and if the public don’t buy it, then they’ll drop the price. That’s market forces!

Hachette, YOU let your contract with Amazon run out. Stop telling people Amazon are trying to fix your prices. You can set whatever ludicrously high list price you want for an e-book – you just don’t like the terms that come with that. YOU can’t tell a retailer what to SELL your book at. You know damn fine you’re not allowed to. Didn’t the ebook-fixing court case enlighten you?? And if you want authors on your side, how about giving them a fair royalty – on a par with the 50% that is actually the industry norm for ebooks!

You know why both of these companies are trying to drag us all into it? Hachette need Amazon. They won’t admit that, but they do. Why else are they stubbornly trying to hold out? They know the Amazon market is huge for them. Amazon need Hachette. For all the smaller authors and publishers Amazon have, they know full well that they must have the high-profile books too, otherwise they too would simply let the other go. That’s why both of them are trying to bring others into it.

Sensible, knowledgeable, people already know to see past the annoying rhetoric and loose data that comes from both of you and we’re all sick of hearing about it. Neither of you are the ‘good guy’ in this – just get round the table and bring this ridiculous farce to an end!

[OUT NOW] – Killing Despair: The Loser Mysteries Book Three by Peg Herring

Killing Despair_500x750Killing Despair

The Loser Mysteries: Book Three

By Peg Herring

Published by LL-Publications

PRICES $12.99 (US) / £9.99 (UK/EU) /$5.99 (ebook)

ISBN: 978-0-9905655-1-2  (print)/978-0-9905655-2-9 (ebook)

© Peg Herring

254 pages / 84,130 words

Release Date: August 9, 2014

Genre(s): mystery, suspense, detective series, Southern fiction

 

Does despair end when you finally learn the truth?

Beth Lousiere, once known as Loser, learns there’s new evidence concerning the murders of her husband and daughter three years ago. The crimes, along with suspicion that she was responsible, sent Beth into such despair that she lived on the streets of Richmond, Virginia, for almost a year, lost in grief and pain.

When Beth returns to Richmond to face the past, she finds herself the suspect in the murder of a woman who might have been involved with her husband. To escape arrest, Beth disappears into the anonymous world of the homeless, becoming Loser again.

As events of the past and present merge, Loser comes to realize she’s been framed for murder a second time. Fearing her problems will endanger her friends, she goes deeper into hiding, trying to understand why someone did this to her. Loser is pursued by the killers who track her to Belle Isle, determined to kill her. As she struggles desperately to survive, Loser realizes the life she once thought worthless has become precious, offering friendship, peace, and perhaps love.

Praise for The Loser Mysteries

 “Peg Herring’s Killing Silence was a delightful departure; in the first few pages, I felt that pleasurable anticipation when you’ve just become enmeshed in a story you know you’re going to love.”

—Theresa de Valence

 “—now that I have finished Killing Memories…I hope Ms. Herring is busy writing the third book.”

—Barbara Graham, author of Five Star’s quilting mystery series

About the Author

Peg Herring is the author of the critically acclaimed Simon & Elizabeth Mysteries as well as the award-winning Dead Detective Mysteries. When they’re not exploring the world, Peg and her husband of many years live in northern Lower Michigan, where they garden for the benefit of local rabbits, deer, and elk.

Killing Despair is available in print and ebook formats including Kindle and NOOK and can be found at many online retailers. Visit the Killing Despair page at LL- Publications: www.ll-publications.com/killingdespair.html

Kindle Unlimited – Worth It Or Not?

Kindle Unlimited - Amazon's latest offering to grab readers

Kindle Unlimited – Amazon’s latest offering to grab readers

Innovative or predatory? That’s two conflicting views being held by some about Amazon’s new service for customers–the subscription-based Kindle Unlimited service. For $9.99 per month readers get unlimited access to Kindle Unlimited titles, with no due/return dates.

So how does it work and what are the benefits, if any?

Well, to answer that, let’s look at it from two sides: from the reader’s viewpoint and from the author/publisher who uploaded it to Amazon.

 

 

 

THE READER’S SIDE

1) You pay $9.99 per month.

2) You can download up to ten titles at any one time onto your Kindle account software/devices.

3) There’s no due/return dates, but if you want access to more than ten books, you have to “return” titles to Amazon from your account first.

4) If you end your subscription, all titles will be removed from your account.

5) You are only able to access titles that authors/publishers have enrolled into the KDP Select.

6) You can only access books published in the US with US rights.

 

THE AUTHOR/PUBLISHER’S SIDE

1) Any titles you have enrolled, or will enroll, in KDP Select with US rights are available for the Kindle Unlimited service.

2) You receive no direct payment for titles accessed, but any title accessed by more than 10% of the ebook will count towards your eligibility for payment from the KDP Select fund for that month. At the moment there is no way to even estimate how many books would have to be accessed by more than 10% in order to receive any sort of payment from the KDP Select fund.

3) Only the first time a customer reads past 10% will count. [If the same customer reads the book a second time, that won’t count.]

4) Even if you remove your book from KDP Select, anyone who had acquired it already and still had it in their account will still be able to read it, even months later. If that happens, Amazon says it will count towards KDP Select (although it’s unclear how, if any, payment would be calculated for a title no longer in KDP Select).

 

So, who is the winner out of all this, the reader or the author/publisher? I say NEITHER. It’s Amazon! They are raking in $10 every month from subscribers.

All this serves to do is get Amazon more “loyal” customers. Amazon has done a lot of good for the publishing industry, especially for small publishers and self-published authors, but this “service” only serves them and here’s why:

a) Amazon doesn’t put in their promotional hype for the program that readers are 99.9% unlikely to have access to the books of any popular midlist author or national best-selling author published by the major publishing houses since they steer well clear of Amazon’s KDP Select program–as do some (but not all) small and indie pub houses.

b) If the reader ends the subscription, they have no access to any books they may have had.

c) Authors/Publishers who enroll books in KDP Select have absolutely no way of knowing what they might be able to earn through this program. It is very possible, as it currently is with KDP Select enrollment, for books to be accessed by readers hundreds and hundreds of times and see nothing in return from the KDP Select fund.

Kindle “Unlimited” promises much, but in actual fact it is very limited in what it can offer readers in the way of accessible books, and authors/publishers in the way of viable compensation. They may say that the fund is “$x-millions this month,” but vast numbers of authors/publishers see little proportionate return for what is an incredible amount of downloads, and I see nothing in Kindle Unlimited that promises to improve that. Amazon knows how to use ebooks for their own ends, and they use schemes like these purely to entice customers to come and stay with Amazon.

We’ll be staying well clear of Kindle Unlimited, and by direct association, KDP Select.

 

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Are you a reader planning to use Kindle Unlimited? We would love to hear your opinion.

Are you an author/publisher with books in KDP Select? Does the fact that these will be used for Kindle Unlimited change your view?

Are you an author/publisher considering enrollment into KDP Select and thinks Kindle Unlimited will work for you? Tell us why.

 

Jim Brown

Jim Brown is the founder/owner of JimandZetta.com providing customized publishing services for individual authors and publishing companies since 2008. He has personally converted over 8,000 manuscripts into various ebook formats. Jim has been a publisher of ebooks since 2003 with his publishing houses LL-Publications and Logical-Lust Publications. Former secretary, and vice president of EPIC (the Electronically Published Internet Coalition), in addition to his publisher services, Jim is available for guest blogs, speaking events, and industry consultation.

[OUT NOW] – ARIA: Abandoned Luggage by Geoff Nelder

300_Aria3ARIA: Abandoned Luggage
Book Three of the ARIA Trilogy
By Geoff Nelder
Published by LL-Publications
Print: $14.99 (US) /£9.99 (UK/EU) /eBook: $5.99 (US) £3.99 (UK/EU)
ISBN: 978-0-9905655-0-5 (print)/ 978-0-9905655-1-2 (ebook)
© Geoff Nelder
254 pages / 89,500k words
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Genre(s): science fiction, speculative fiction
“Geoff Nelder inhabits Science Fiction the way other people inhabit their clothes.”
— Jon Courtenay Grimwood

“Geoff Nelder’s ARIA has the right stuff. He makes us ask the most important question in science fiction–the one about the true limits of personal responsibility.”  —Brad Linaweaver

“ARIA has an intriguing premise, and is written in a very accessible style.”
—Mike Resnick

In 2015, a case found in the struts of the International Space Station is brought to Earth. It releases a virus giving people amnesia. They lose their memory at the rate of a year’s worth every week. No one is immune. Infectious amnesia is unheard of. Industry breaks down as people forget where they work and how to perform their duties. People die as they forget their medication, and production ceases along with food, water supply, and energy. A few small groups realise what is happening in time and find isolated refuges. Ryder Nape takes a group to a secluded Welsh valley where safety from the virus is possible. Biologists call the virus ARIA: Alien Retrograde Infectious Amnesia.

In this conclusion to the trilogy, Dr. Antonio Menzies arrives on Zadok. The ARIA-3 bomb had reached there two days previously, causing havoc. Surviving Zadokians consider a mass-migration to Earth to escape the effects of ARIA-3. Antonio’s madness grows, and he makes disturbing discoveries in their laboratories.

Meanwhile, Ryder’s group is now on a Pacific island. His relationship with Jena is unstable and others have astonishing infatuations in tune with the increasingly desperate situation. When their island becomes unsustainable, and the alien-Earth hybrid weed gets out of control, where should they go?

What was the Zadokian’s real purpose with the ARIA viruses, and how does it all end?

About the Author
Geoff Nelder lives in Chester with his long-suffering wife and has two grown-up children whose sense and high intelligence persist in being a mystery to him. He would do most things for a laugh but had to pay the mortgage so he taught I.T. and Geography in the local high school for thirty years. A post-war baby boomer, he is a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society (FRMet S), and his experiences on geographical expeditions have found themselves into amusing pieces in the Times Educational Supplement. Visit Geoff’s website – http://www.geoffnelder.com

ARIA: Abandoned Luggage is available in print and several ebook formats including Kindle and NOOK and can be found at many online retailers. Visit the ARIA page at LL- Publications: http://www.ll-publications.com/aria3.html

Five Secrets Never Before Revealed

Kathleen Kaska, author of the Sydney Lockhart Mystery Series, is sharing five secrets on My Story, My Way. Find out what Kathleen really wants to be when she grows up; who her high-school role model was; and what popular, age-old cookie she dislikes. Stop by and share one or two of your secrets.

http://anindieadventure.blogspot.com/2014/06/five-secrets-from-kathleen-kaska-and.html

New ARIA prequel short story by Geoff Nelder

200x300SFWritersSampler-Cover 2Geoff Nelder’s short story, “Een’s Revolt on Zadik” has been published in an anthology called Science Fiction Writers Sampler 2014 on Kindle at:

Amazon UK
Amazon.com

“Een’s Revolt on Zadik” is a prequel short to the ARIA Trilogy. No humans involved, but there are links with the story to ARIA books one and two.

The Shining: In Tahiti?

Sherlock Holmes has become so popular you can find him almost anywhere—even in outer space. But most of us can’t imagine the Great Detective without thoughts of Victorian London, or Miss Marple without St. Mary Mead, or Nero Wolfe without his Manhattan brownstone.
How much thought do you give to your mystery’s setting? Is it mere backdrop or an integral part of your story?
I think we all agree that when a story’s setting is more than just a physical locale, the story’s plot is greatly enhanced. And when the setting is powerful enough to become a principal character, the story is impossible to forget. Take for example Stephen King’s bestseller, The Shining. Had King set this story in tropical Tahiti, would it have had the same impact? King undoubtedly could have put a spin on the plot and produced another memorable thriller, but for those of us who have not yet acquired King’s Midas Touch, it wouldn’t have worked.
Each time I’ve read The Shining I felt the frigid winter of the Colorado Rockies, the evil spirits haunting the Overlook Hotel, and the desperation of Wendy Torrance to flee the shackles of her prison in the blizzard.
My selection of settings for the Sydney Lockhart series is fairly easy. Each mystery occursSherlockHolmes_mockup02 in an historic hotel. I look for relatively famous ones that are still in operation. I stay a few nights, study the history, and eventually concoct the plot. Using the uniqueness of each hotel enhances the atmosphere of each story, but making the place come alive has its struggles.
When story and setting work together, you’re on to something big. As much as I love the place, The Great Gatsby wouldn’t have worked in Waco.

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