News – July 13, 2015

A quick round-up of new and notables:

Scribd. Screwd.

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I’ve been exchanging emails with a number of readers who are pretty pissed about Scribd’s decision to yank most of the romance and erotica titles from their line-up.

For romance readers who read voraciously, price is critical.  So subscription services like Scribd are a god-send.

If Scribd removed romance titles because “romance readers read too much” and they’re losing money over it, then that tells me that their business model is faulty.  A faulty business model can be fatal, so I will be interested to see how Scribd fare over the next few months.  Romance is more than 50% of most retailers’ sales, and Scribd just told romance readers they aren’t welcome.  Not a good move.

Scribd removed all my romance titles except the free ones.  In other words, they’re going to charge readers money to read books they could get for free anywhere else.  So I removed all my titles from Scribd.

Help yourself to my free titles from any other retailer, instead!

TipIf you’re an Amazon reader, you can also get Mobi formatted books from Smashwords and from All Romance eBooks, and sideload them to your Kindle or Kindle App!

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From the Mailbag:

mailAmazon deleted my review of your book.  — denila8

Did you see this Amazon review thing?  — Ella

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My thanks to everyone who emailed me or contacted me on Facebook, etc., to let me know that Amazon were doing another review crack-down.

Amazon’s review policy isn’t new, but every now and again they go on a witch-hunt and delete any reviews they think are “sock puppet” reviews — reviews that the author has paid for, or arranged in some fashion, that falsely enhances the book.  If Amazon believes there is any sort of personal relationship between the author and the review, including on-line relationships, the review is dumped.

Unfortunately, a lot of legitimate reviews are slaughtered in the process.

I’ve had a couple of reviews deleted that I know of.  As I have over 1,300 reviews just on Amazon.com alone, it’s hard to keep track of all of them, without the reviewer actually notifying me that the review was removed.  I lost the reviews that I did because I sent out an Amazon gift card as a contest prize and Amazon see that as “payment” for a review.  For that reason, I will be thinking hard about future prizes for contests — and if you have any good ideas for what you’d love as a giveaway, let me know!

Other than that, there are a couple of things you can do if your review is removed. 

  1. You can respond and let Amazon know that the review is legitimate.  Very few reviewers have had much success in appealing, but it’s worth protesting rather than meekly accepting their judgement.
  2. There are other ways you can tell the world how much you enjoyed a book other than your deleted review on Amazon:
    1. Put your review on Facebook/Pinterest/anywhere else, with a notice that it was deleted by Amazon.
    2. Add your review to book review sites like Goodreads, Wattpad, and Shelfari
    3. Add your review to other book retailers, instead, like Barnes and Noble, iTunes and All Romance eBooks.
    4. Tell everyone you know about the great book you just read.

I will not be severing my on-line connection with readers.  If Amazon want to remove reviews because readers like you want to stay connected with me, to learn of new books, etc., then that might be the price I have to pay to keep you updated about my books.

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June’s Indie column at Night Owl Reviews

IndiePrimarily for authors, this is the column I have been writing at Night Owl Reviews for over two years now.

June’s column is up.

Link.

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Link Love

Cool stuff I’ve found:

1.  The Art of Making a Book – a video that shows you how books used to be made.  The modern process hasn’t changed too much.  Everything is now automated and done by machine, eliminating the time-consuming hand stitching, etc.  But the compilation of pages and trimming them, then wrapping the cover around them and gluing it all together is still the same basic principles used in modern book printing.

2. Romance Novels Are Primed To Make An Impact On Society, So Stop Calling Them “Trashy,” OK? — After being burned by Scribd and Amazon lately, you might find this article a balm for your wounds.

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Until next week,

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2015-07-13T04:50:44+00:00