Authors banned from reviewing books on Amazon?!

An American Pit Bull Terrier muzzled. Español:...

How is this dog and owner like an author on Amazon? Both are being punished for the actions of someone they didn’t even know. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The latest publishing industry kerfluffle is Amazon’s banning of authors from reviewing books in their genres. You can read more about it here.

This is of course ridiculous, and there are so many reasons why. Continue reading

On Spoilers. (I Hate Them.)

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A 2011 psychology experiment indicates that spoilers don’t ruin a story, but rather enhance it.

With all respect, in this regard psychology has its headlight plugged firmly into its tail-lamp. And that’s coming from someone who makes her day job in psychology and behavior, so you know I feel pretty strongly about this. Continue reading

Self-Publishing, Royalties, and Self-Worth

So I just got an email notifying me of my first Kitsune-Tsuki royalties. So of course I had to tweet about it.

Of course, I knew that I wasn’t putting out Kitsune-Tsuki for money. That’s good, because all single-digit humor aside, percentages on a 99¢ ebook ($4.99 in paperback) are not exactly going to pay for a trip to a warmer climate. Continue reading

How To Help Your Favorite Authors – Guest Post

A question I’ve received several times on Facebook or elsewhere is, How can we help promote? I love that people want to help me (and other authors) promote their books. Here’s a great little article by Lindsay Buroker on promoting an author’s work. Not just for me — do this for any book you enjoy!

As authors, we spend a lot of time trying to promote our books. Our biggest obstacle is obscurity because there are a lot of books out there. No, really. A lot. Continue reading

Book Covers & Badasses

Today Rob Thurman released the new Cal Leandros cover. She is rightfully excited about it.

Okay, yeah, this cover’s pretty cool.

And there’s a lot to be excited about: the flying glass, the hair sweep, the handcuffs, the blood, the composition and movement, the gun…. No, not the gun.

The gun’s what jarred me out of the cover’s mood when I first saw this. Not because I don’t like dark sexy guys with guns (who doesn’t?), but because I like my dark sexy guys to be good at what they do. Continue reading

Your Sample Should Include a Sample.

ebook reader with book image

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Okay, I am pretty equal-opportunity when it comes to paper books and ebooks. I have minor preferences — I like paper books for plane trips (no obligatory power-down!) and ebooks for reference material (I have no guilt highlighting and annotating a ebook, while defacing a paper book even in the name of education feels wrong) — but I feel fairly egalitarian about the whole thing.

I can flip through a paper book in a store and get my own free sample; I can’t with an ebook. Both types, however, offer (or suffer from) electronic sampling. Amazon automatically provides peeks of a book’s first 10%, while other sites allow the publisher to set a sample (my Smashwords account is set to show at least 20%, for example). Publishers (and self-publishing authors) need to consider this when laying out their books. Continue reading