Making the Cut


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Well I did it.

I cut almost all ties with Kindle. I still have three books there two of them are ‘exclusives’ until the end of this month and the other is “Christmas Eve on Olympus”, it’s always been a throw-away story. Just fluff and fun so it can stay for now. I’ll leave the 1&2 Combo Pack with them for now but 4&5 will disappear December 25th (we’ll be having a sale on those two Black Friday through Christmas Eve…just so you know)

Paperbacks are still available on Amazon.com. I figure leaving the paperbacks leaves the reviews visible. Not that I make any great-shakes off paperback sales with them, you understand. I sold a copy of “Dream Weaver” last month list price $14.95. My share $0.59! Gotta love it. Yep, if ya don’t it will drive you crazy!

Anyway, I cut ties with Kindle today for various reasons but lately I’ve been having yet another little pricing incident with them. Customer Service has gotten much nicer over the years, that much I can tell you. But they lowered the price of “Rising Son” to $0.99 without telling me where they found it cheaper and then, after assuring me they’d corrected the error and I could republish it with them…it was still $0.99! I complained again and was told they didn’t have a clue as to what was going on but they’d get back to me by Thanksgiving!

THEN I went in to check my meager sales for the month and discovered that someone else had come in and read for free. No, not through the Lending Library, I try to stay out of that. This person purchased, downloaded, read, and then returned nearly all of the stories in the OF WAR Series. I’m sick of that. Knowing what Bezos’ cut is I really just can’t do that anymore. Ebooks should not be returnable. It’s as simple as that.

And…I don’t shop at WalMart.

That just kept going through my head these last few weeks as Amazon was in the news and people defended this greedy bastard because they love his product but don’t understand jackshit about the process the author/publisher goes through to with Bezos to bring them that product. Most of them don’t even seem to understand why they have to pay for an ebook at all…after all they spent money on the Kindle so why do they have to buy the books that are readable through it. (You don’t own a Kindle book, you know that right, you license it from Kindle. Close your Kindle account and lose all your stuff.)

So, after yet another round of Kindle Got It Wrong and I Pay For It, I gathered my convictions and bit the bullet. As a result, you can now purchase signed Kindle editions of the single stories in the OF WAR Series, OBSESSION, and Dream Weaver. The Sister Christian Series will be made available the same way. OR, Kindle lovers, can buy those ebooks through Smashwords where ebooks are not returnable. The books are still available in the World’s Favorite Format just not on the World’s Biggest Rip-Off Site any longer.

Will my sales go down? Maybe. In the end I don’t really care. I’ve made peace with the idea that I’m never going to be a $0.99 Kindle Millionaire or sell enough over there on a regular basis to pay the electric bill. What money is lost was just a bit of extra change anyway. I’d rather lose it than keep whoring myself out for the $0.99 Brigade and bending over for the I’m So Cheap I Read Your Shit Free Brigade. Whatever money comes my way now I’ll be able to keep most of it, I’ll keep all sales through my site and a nice percentage through the others. Yes, I’m still on Nook! iBooks, Kobo. Yep. Still there. No worries.

I get to reclaim that little piece of my soul I was in danger of losing.

That’s nice too.

Genesis


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I got “Sister Christian-Genesis” back from my first volunteer beta reader….thank you Donna!!! I went over all of her corrections and, in doing so, added in a few touches here and there. Then I did a spell/grammar check on it. There’s nothing more boring or beneficial as I fixed a few more errors and added in a few more touches. The second beta reader….hi Cathy! Should have her file back to me by the end of the week. I’ll go over her thoughts and notes and make more adjustments as needed. With a little help from Donna I went with the original ending so that means “Sins of the Father” is already 8 chapters ahead of the game…Woot!

I think, for the most part, its done! I know that because 1-I’ve been pissy for days and that always happens at the end of a project, 2-I actually formatted it for print last night, and 3-today I feel pretty damn good about it. :)

Now comes the hard part. It’s NOT coming to Kindle. Not this way anyway. When the series is done I’ll ‘bundle it up’ into a ‘boxed set’ and make it a Kindle Exclusive. If any Kindle user just can’t wait that long they’ll be able to buy them in autographed copies from my site. Maybe from Smashwords–not autographed–but that’s still up in the air.

I’m actually going back to my roots and “Genesis” will arrive on my site in signed paperback editions in time for Black Friday. It will hit Amazon in print on December 17th. It will hit Nook on January 1st and be available in autographed Kindle editions on the same date.

As for promo…I’m stumped. I’ll throw out a notice to my mailing list and post in most of the usual places but none of my regular reviewers/bloggers read this type of thing. They all do ‘romance’ and this is being billed as A Very Different Kind of Love Story (people won’t understand, they’ll think it’s “Flowers in the Attic”! hahaha). Of course, there’s nothing ‘paranormal’ about this story. I don’t even know where to go looking for blogs/sites to do promo and, at this time of year, I won’t have much time to put a big push behind it. I’ll check out the review depot on Manic Readers later today and see if I can find a place there that will review an off-beat mainstream novel. Like the OF WAR Series I knew this would be a hard-sell when I decided to rewrite it and put it up for public consumption. I’m not even sure what categories to select on Amazon and Nook other than ‘fiction’. LOL

With any luck it will find its way to a handful of people who will enjoy it. Cross your fingers and light a candle for me on that one, please.

It’s That Time Again…Beta Readers Needed & More


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“Sister Christian: GENESIS” is almost done. Well, actually is done. Or it was done. Until we decided to grab the first 8 chapters from “Lean on Me” n/k/a “Sins of the Father” to add in at the end and round it out a bit more. This means “Sins of the Father” is apt to be a very short novella :)

So I’m looking for Beta Readers! Anybody wanna take up the task? The Rules are the same as always: 1) If I don’t know you don’t ask. 2) You MUST have time to read it, if you’d let me down in the past on this don’t ask for it. 3) You MUST be willing to correct my mistakes, offer your opinion on the overall novel, and make suggestions as to what you would like to see added/subtracted from the story.

This is NOT what you’re used to from me. While there are sexual themes there is NO SEX. While there are violent themes there is nearly NO actual violence. Of course, there’s NO romance. This an Adult Family Drama…that makes it ‘mainstream’ so if that’s not your thing please think about it before you ask to Beta Read for me.

If you’re still interested please email me at lisabethdarling@gmail.com

Even though it will be ready well before, the Release Date for this novel is tentatively set at January 1, 2015. If you’d like to read the entire rather raw first chapter of this novel please visit http://www.moonsmusings.com/lisabethdarling/genesis

With all of that said I’m thinking about my New Year’s Resolution…which I never make, BTW. I’m seriously considering dumping Kindle. I am. I made an 11 minute video on the subject yesterday and even uploaded it to YouTube. At the last second I chickened out much to the The Big Guy’s chagrin who couldn’t believe I wouldn’t go through my scathing rant regarding Kindle and Jeff Bezos.

I couldn’t believe it either.

I’m still considering posting it to YouTube at a future date…like after I get my courage together and dump Bezo’s scuzzy ass. Right now let’s just suffice it to say that my morals/scruples/pride are up in the air. It’s hard to have convictions because you have to back them up by doing things like not shopping at WalMart even if it means I don’t Save Money. Live Better. Not getting a Papa John’s pizza even if it is as good as I’ve heard. Not eating at Chick-fil-A even if that too is tasty. I don’t even shop on Amazon.com outside of giving away gift certificates for prizes and that definitely changes 1/1/2015…PayPay Cash Prizes in the New Year!

Unfortunately for me, my morals also mean getting out of bed with Bezos even if I can no longer afford a ‘nice dinner’ at the end of month due to no longer receiving my payment(s) from Kindle.

It’s tough. It is and I’ve been wrestling with this for quite some time.

But that’s most because of the exposure I’ll be giving up (cough…choke) and not actual sales I might miss out on. I’ll make Kindle versions available on my site, in personalized autographed versions, so Kindle people don’t miss out on my crap. hahaha Maybe even though Smashwords…maybe not. I am seriously considering putting my ‘money’ where my mouth is and making Nook my home base for ebooks.

Back to the ‘exposure’. In my humble opinion being a Kindle Select Exclusive is pure crap. Every time I’ve done it the ‘exposure’ I get, the one that Kindle promises me in return for being exclusive with them, ends being BS. I get emails telling me MY books are for sale. MY book is the SUBJECT of the email. It looks impressive until I contact the other ‘exclusive’ authors in the email to find out they got the SAME email but with THEIR books as the SUBJECT line and first in the inner body. Kindle is…probably pretty obviously…soliciting these ‘exclusives’ to other ‘exclusive’ authors and NOT to their millions upon millions of actual customers. I surmise this because the ONLY TIME I receive such emails letting me know about such ‘great deals’ and ‘exclusives’ is WHEN I HAVE AN EXCLUSIVE WITH THEM. Other than that…no emails except their Author Newsletter.

bezos

He even looks like a dick. Literally. A little Nazi Dick.

I’m sick of this rich bastard thinking I should sell absolutely every book I publish with him for a crappy $0.99. No matter how effort/work/time went into it. As far as he’s concerned I’m worth $0.35/per sale while he’s worth $0.65/per sale because he runs the site. It’s all BS. Personally, I believe that as the person who put their heart, their soul, their time, their effort, into everything….EVERYthing cover to cover and beyond, I’m worth a tad more than $0.35/per sale. But, generally speaking, because of Jeff Bezos we’ll never know that for sure. We’ll never know what Open Market would bear for an ebook because he decided to push and push for $0.99 and desperate morons like me went along with him. NO other ebook retailer pushed for an ebook to be made available for $0.99 more than Kindle. None.

I know that little ol’ me, at my ‘level’ can more than afford to walk away from him albeit with a smattering of regret, think of the other authors the ones who have publishers (small presses) and editors and agents and cover artists and PR people. Think about that. Those poor bastards are SPLITTING $0.35/per sale between ALL those people! At least I get to keep the crappy $0.35. Not that it makes me feel any better. Do you have any idea how many books per month you have to sell to make THAT worth your while? Especially when you factor in their extremely liberal Return Policy? And factoring in the fact the that Bezos doesn’t keep track of how much of that novel/book/story you READ if it wasn’t an ‘exclusive’ or available in the ‘lending library’….if you don’t use/have those things then you can read entire books FREE if you do it in 7 days. Just read them and then return them. No one will know and Bezos certainly won’t care.

I wish, I hope, I pray, that places like Hatchette won’t give up. I wish more publishing houses would buck Bezos and WalMart.

If you’re a truly savvy author, that’s what makes other ebook retailers better than Kindle. They don’t allow returns. Not even Nook. Know why? They know how scam artists work and they CARE. Bezos does not.

Since I can’t change the bald headed blunder I have to change myself and as we all know that isn’t always easy. In fact, it’s a very jagged little pill to swallow. Still, I don’t think any of the Sister Christian stories will be made available on Kindle. I can’t do it in good conscience, I really can’t and its gnawing at me like a rabid little rat.

If I can’t go to Outback Steakhouse or buy a movie on Blu-Ray and order Chinese food at the end of the month because I’m missing my Kindle payment I guess I’ll just have to live with that. Then again, you Kindle people will have to buy those books through ME in which case I will keep every single dime. In that case, I might be able to afford Outback AND a movie in the theater. Maybe even a tub of popcorn and a soda.

That’d be nice, huh?

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