My Blog

A Message from Amazon

A month ago I tried to leave a 5-star review for a cool guitar accessory I’d bought on Amazon. I got an error message. When I followed up with Amazon this was their response:

Yes, in fact, I know people who’ve bought the same items as me on Amazon.

I know some of the authors whose books I’ve bought, read, and reviewed.

And I have been given books in the hopes I would review them.

Never, once, have I intentionally attempted to deceive or mislead anyone about my own books or my opinion of any other item at Amazon. Hey, I’m that guy ahead of you making you crazy by driving the speed limit instead of going as fast as everyone else. I’m the guy who reports cash earnings and pays taxes on them.

In short, I’m honest, in everything, in every way. I’m genetically incapable of lying or cheating.

When I know that there are folks who are gaming Amazon left right and center and making money at it, folks who are cheating every way possible and getting away with it, but whatever mistake I made leads to, with no warning whatsoever, a full permanent ban from ever leaving a review of anything, ever again, on Amazon, it feels unfair.

I’m no longer raging, but I’m still sad. Maybe even a little hurt.

I was planning on asking for your book reviews in my next newsletter. I won’t be bothering. In fact, you might want to avoid reviewing any of my books, in case Amazon decides we know each other.


Progress on Love Runs Out, Including a Draft of the Cover

20 out of 48 chapters written. Turns out this pass through is action and dialog, and I’ll need a third pass for description before editing. But at a chapter a day, even with time off for good behavior travel to Wisconsin, that pass will be done end of September, and the book finished by end of October.

Assuming editing and formatting can be done in 6 weeks, it’ll be out before year end. (We don’t work the latter half of December, so come the 15th thereof I’m history until 2019.)

Unless I have a major epiphany before then, the cover will look a lot like this. (Click to enbiggen.)


Custom Author Website for $300

We’re considering adding custom author websites to our offerings over at Ausoma.

These would be extremely affordable but worth about ten times what they’ll cost. I have nearly 25 years of experience in web development so I work quickly and efficiently and I love doing this.

For $300 (three hundred dollars) one time cost you’ll get a custom made WordPress site with a blog and as many pages as you need. It will include all the content you provide, text and images, and will be designed to match your book (or whatever color scheme you provide.) Once the site is created you’ll get one round of edits, which includes virtually any changes you like to layout, colors, fonts, text.

There must be a catch, right?

Not really.

What’s not included is the domain name and hosting, which you’ll have to buy from our preferred hosting company Charlottezweb. Domains are $10 per year and hosting is $52 per year. We also provide managed hosting; we charge $25 per year for domains and $125 per year for hosting. Managed hosting means we keep your site backed up, updated, and generally trouble free. It does not include updates, which you can do yourself easily. If you already have a domain name we can use that.

To summarize: a unique, custom WordPress site and blog for $300 plus hosting costs.

I want to do this for one author to work out the kinks before I make this a general offering. Whoever says yes first gets it.

Some of My Work

I’ve done loads of websites over the past 20 years. I haven’t been promoting my web business so my most recent work has primarily been for our own businesses, but there are a few for clients here as well.

This site, of course.

My author coaching site, Someday Box.

Our marketing site, Ausoma.

My music site, tunehenge.

A site for our client, author Errol Barr.

Custom Massage Work, my massage therapist.


I’m Not Supposed to Look at Reviews

[dc]P[/dc]eople were saying such nice things about the new book that I kept popping in to Amazon to see what else they were saying.

Oops.

I’m not allowed to look at reviews. I’ll never learn to really ignore them, so Best Beloved keeps up with them, and shares the ones I need to see. No, I don’t need to see the negative feedback. It’s not helpful, not constructive, serves no purpose to me.

Perhaps the only 2-star review of any of my books, ever (though I did get a 1-star review once that still makes me chuckle.)

Ah, well. Note to self: don’t do that.


Quickdraft of the Next Book is Done

My new writing process includes some initial brainstorming to feel my way through the idea, some vague outlining which is essentially a list of sequences (groups of related scenes) in a spreadsheet, and then a process I call quickdraft.

In essence, I go through the story like a 12-year-old describing a book they read:

“First she does this, and then this happens, and she goes there an, um, some stuff happens I don’t know what but because of that she has to do this other thing.”

Gaping holes, bad writing, no description. It’s just a way to get the story told, the whole thing out there, so I can turn it around and flip it over and poke and prod to see if it holds up.

Today I finished the quickdraft of Love Runs Out, my first novel with a female protagonist.

I hope it’ll be published before year end, but no promises for the moment.

I think I’ll go play with cover ideas.

It used to be called anacrusis before I figured out what I was really doing.