Thursday, April 21, 2016

In Other News....

Just to counter the harshness of the last blog post, I do have some good news! I should finish the first draft of The Princess of Wands: Villainess #3 tonight or tomorrow. I'm that close! I have a couple new audio books coming out as well. And then I shall work on the next Janus Key Chronicles and probably pretty soon have the second bundle for them out too!

After all that, then I think I may work on two projects concurrently: the next Rock Hardin book, and the next Delilah book. Delilah's easier to write, but Rock needs some time in the sun now too. There is a definite plan, folks!

"Free" on Kindle Unlimited Isn't Fucking Free

I try not to go off (too much) on here. This is a positive place filled with smutty books and updates and some weird musings from me now and again! However, I keep seeing this all over the place... and it bugs the shit out of me.

I'm a voracious reader. I devoured Game of Thrones in five hours, just to give you an idea of the speed at which I read. Not a speed reader, but pretty fast. Because I read a lot, and also to do research for writing, I decided to enroll in Kindle Unlimited. Now, a lot of authors bitch about the low payout (and it is), and they feel like Amazon is strong-arming them. If you don't put your book into Kindle Unlimited, then it won't get the visibility other books IN KU will. However, you have to be exclusive to Amazon for the term of being in KU. Kind of sucks for an author.

However, it's fantastic for a reader. You can borrow up to ten books at a time, and I've found some fantastic books this way. Some not so good ones too. Some downright awful ones as well. But I would NEVER have tried those authors had they not been in Kindle Unlimited. In one case, reading an author's book made me a fan of hers. You basically get as many books as you can read for ten bucks a month. That's a great deal!

I pay for that service.

Let me repeat that: I PAY FOR THAT SERVICE.

Yeah, it's only ten bucks a month, and some months Amazon gets my ten bucks for free without me reading shit. Other months, I read the hell out of everything I can get my hands on. It comes and goes. The point here is that money goes out of MY pocket to Amazon's for the right to read the KU books as many times as I want. It's not free.

I can't tell you how many times I've seen authors advertise, "FREE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED!" and it annoys the fucking hell out of me every time. I advertised like that once, then took it down because I felt dirty and weird. Afterwards... never. I'll mention my books are mostly on KU, because they are (mostly), but I never put the word "free" in there. It's not free. I FUCKING PAY FOR THE SERVICE.

Sure, I get it. Authors want to get their books attention. I totally get it. I do! I would love my books to pick up in popularity! And while it's a small thing, saying it's free on KU, it still annoys me. It's false advertising. You heard me: false advertising. Some people might say, "But it IS free on KU! The reader doesn't pay for it." But they do. Hence, it is a lie, a falsehood. Perhaps it's a well-intentioned falsehood. Perhaps the author simply didn't think about it. And I know I'm definitely in the minority here. Heck, I might be the only one in the world that annoys. (But it's my blog, so I write about what I want. :P )Doesn't matter. It is still a false statement.

And I don't borrow those books.

I don't buy them either.

I skip the authors who advertise that way. It annoys me that much it drives me away. If they want to advertise it's on KU, that's great! Do it! We people who are KU subscribers know that hey, we can borrow it at NO FURTHER COST to ourselves, great! To those people who aren't KU subscribers, the word "free" has a very different connotation, and that's where I feel it's really disingenuous. They go in expecting the book to be a freebie if they don't read carefully enough, and lo and behold, it's not.

I can't make anyone stop doing that, but I wish they would. Ah well, le sigh.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Opinions Are Like....

Hidey ho, neighborinos! I know it's been a little while since I blogged, but here's an update. :D

I actually got my first 1 star reviews the other day. I was a little stunned by it, because it was on the audio book versions of The Queen of Swords and The Prince of Cups on I won't say they are high literature, but whomever did it drove by and left one star on "Overall" and "Story" (but I am happy to say they gave the "Performance" part 4 stars which was good! Rebecca Wolfe did a fantastic job on them, and I think I would have been waaaaay more upset if they had voted down her performance!) without leaving an actual review. On Audible, you can do that, which is fine. I get some people may not want to leave reviews with their names attached.

However, it does mystify me as to why the one star reviews. Again, I won't say they are high literature, but they aren't just a three thousand stroke pamphlet (or 20 minute stroke audio track) either! They are free from spelling errors and most grammatical errors. The story isn't just 'And they fucked'. The only thing I can think of is the EPIC miscategorization Audible put The Queen of Swords in... they put it in Romance. It is NOT romance. Not one bit. Not even a little teensy tiny bit. I categorized it on Amazon as sci-fi, dark fantasy, and action. There are sexy parts in it, yes, but it says on the COVER that it is super-powered erotica.

However, that is on the cover, and not in the blurb. I DO mark it as having strong sexual content and violent content as well, so there's fair warning. I can see how someone looking for a romance would be disappointed. Hell, there's a review on the UK Audible site which says that! They still thought it was interesting, and marked it as three stars. That's fair.

The miscategorization? Not my fault. When Audible makes the blurb and categorizes it, they pull the information directly from Amazon. I have nothing to do with the input. All I do is look for producers, approve the audio, upload the cover... that's it. Everything else is automated, which may not be the best system, for examples such as these. I got a little paranoid about it, trying to suss out the reasons.

Then... I figured it out.

It doesn't matter.

Everyone has an opinion and you know what? Everyone's entitled to that opinion. No matter the cause of the one stars, that person did not like them, and that's ok. People who rave about my stuff and rate them four or five? They are also entitled to their opinion. Even middle ground Max in the middle with rankings... yup, they are entitled as well. Everyone has a unique take on things, and it doesn't mean things are bad. It means that person did not like it. That's all.

And I'm cool with that. As the old saying goes, opinions are like assholes; everyone's got one. Instead of taking this as a negative experience and angsting about the why's, I'm choosing to take it as a positive thing. Someone found these audio books and took the time to rate it, so I got a reaction. Isn't that what all creative people want? To create a reaction in people? A feeling?

In other news, up to 66K in The Princess of Wands. I'm hoping to get a lot more written in the next few days. I sense the end coming up, and it's making me anxious!