Tuesday, July 23, 2013

KDP Quality Notices

KDP Quality Notices
Authors beware!

The latest low blow for Indie Authors – Amazon is sending out Writing Quality reprimands!
            I just received two of the dreaded missives, one for each of my two suspense  novels. According to their message, “readers” complained. What’s seems odd, is that my latest book, which has been professionally proofed, had two errors pointed out. I’ve read others’ eBooks, many which have errors in nearly every paragraph. Are they getting these notices?
Don’t get me wrong.  I’m all for Amazon tightening the reins. In the end it will only improve the quality of independently published books. But it stretches my credibility meter to believe that more than one reader notified KDP to report a book (my latest, Relative Malice) because it contained two typos.
I’m in the process of fixing them. In fact, She’s Not There, my first book, has been re-proofed and it is now being reformatted.
My advice to independent authors is:
1.     Hire a professional proofreader.
2.     Have that person reproof after you’ve made your changes even if you must pay more for this service. If you don’t, you may be inadvertently adding more typos, etc.
3.     If you are a first time author and are thinking about asking a friend or relative to do your proofing, think twice. Unless that person is a proofer by trade, you could be setting yourself up for problems after you publish.
4.     Is there such a thing as too much proofing? No! That may be true for editing, which could easily be an infinite process, but proofing needs to be perfected before sending out the new book notices!

Dear readers,
I have to apologize for yet another post on proofing. But the Amazon notices were very upsetting for me and I’m hoping that sharing my experience will help prevent other authors from getting one of the “Quality” notices. I’ve learned the hard way that it pays to spend the money to make your book a polished product. Apparently, I’m still learning!
Have a wonderful week,


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Summer Slump, 7 ways writers can survive poor sales and heavy distractions.

Summer Slump

7 ways writers can survive poor sales and heavy distractions.

Finding it difficult to stay positive when book sales drop 

and warm-weather activities beckon? You aren’t alone. 

There are five authors in my writers’ group, and one by 

one, we’re feeling the effects of July on our book sales and

 our attitudes. We’ve commiserated and come up with a 

list of ways to stay focused and positive.

1.                    Take a break without guilt. Sit on the porch and read a book, go for a walk, enjoy a parade, a festival, whatever makes you feel good on a summer day.
2.                   Try something new to market your writing.  If you’re one of the many whose sales have gone south since June, try something different. Do an interview on your blog, try a Goodreads giveaway, something you haven’t done before.
3.                   Plan ahead.  Use your time to work on the next big push for your book, a new release, or short story. The most successful events are well thought-out. Be sure your next one is great.
4.                   Don’t omit writing time. Try setting a page goal for the coming week. It’s hard to do a daily commitment during summer, but setting a page goal will keep you using the time you do have. Keep your goal achievable!
5.                   Examine your successes.  Look back on what has worked for you during the past months. Don’t lose sight of the things that you both enjoyed doing and worked well for you. With those in mind, develop a plan for fall.
6.                   Carry a notebook or a small recorder.  Creative ideas can pop into our heads when we’re having fun. Find a way to capture them.
7.                   Misery loves company. Spend some time with fellow writers. Brainstorm with them. You’ll be amazed how much better you’ll feel having shared your doldrums and bounced new ideas around.

Dear Readers,
I try to blog on issues I’m dealing with myself and this one sure fits in that niche, unfortunately. My book sales have gone south, and my attitude with it. Hopefully you’ll enjoy knowing that you aren’t the only one, or even better, share a pointer or two if your summer is going well.
I’m writing this on a hot, muggy day in NW Wisconsin, one in which the bugs and the humidity make going outdoors a challenge! So at least outdoor temptations aren’t too bad. Of course, the screen porch is calling my name right now, with a good novel (Marcia Clark’s latest, Killer Ambition) and a glass of lemonade.
Till next time, hope you had a great Fourth and are enjoying summer,