Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Update in the Ellora's Cave vs Dear Author lawsuit.

Courtney Milan has posted a FANTABULOUS and amazeballs recap of the recent filings in the EC v DA case, including plain-English summations of evidentiary filings posted in the past couple of days. And, yeah, an Ebola footnote reference even. LOL (That can't be coincidental LOL.)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Authors, Do NOT read your reviews. PERIOD. And DO NOT STALK REVIEWERS!

(Note: I've edited the title of this to reflect that I'm directing this post to authors, NOT to readers. I am of the opinion that reviews are for READERS, not for authors. I don't mean any disrespect to reviewers, because most reviewers are great, just like the majority of authors aren't batcrap cray-cray stalkers. But the truth is, there are authors who cannot handle reading critical reviews.)

There was a disturbing article published recently by the Guardian, written by an author who, long story short, stalked a reviewer from Goodreads, which culminated in the author going to the reviewer's house. The author even purchased a background check on the person and called them at their JOB.

No, I'm not linking to it.

Here's the thing, the author claimed in their article that the reviewer went basically on a witch-hunt to destroy her book.





Are there asshats on Goodreads? Yes. (Hence why it's important to NOT READ REVIEWS.) Are there people who seem to get their jollies writing snarky reviews that are little more than personal attacks on authors? Yes.





I learned the hard way early on with one of my books that you NEVER argue with a reviewer. EVER. At the time, the publisher (it was a small indie press) even supported me replying to what I felt was not just an unfair review, but a total misrepresentation of the book, wide swaths taken out of context and twisted.


I had other AUTHORS, by the DOZENS, writing me privately and cheering me on for standing up to the reviewer, because their books had received similar treatment.


I never should have responded to the review, period. Boy, howdy, did I learn that lesson.

HOWEVER, in NO universe would I have EVER thought about stalking the reviewer. EVER. EVER. In fact, I went the other way, and refused to visit the site. When asked privately about it, I flat-out told people my feelings about the site (and was glad to hear most people felt the same way I did).

It was a very hard lesson I learned, and I have never forgotten it. Which is why I counsel writers to NEVER READ YOUR FUCKING REVIEWS. EVER.


Because if you can't handle some random, faceless person on the Internet being a jackass, and you go so far as to purchase a BACKGROUND check to hunt someone down? Bucky, have I got news for you, you need some serious mental health intervention.

What sickens me is that I'm seeing people, especially authors, who are actually praising this author for what they did.


Flip the script. If it was a MALE author who went after a female reviewer, going so far as to show up at her house, do you think that people would be praising him?


And they'd be right.

Just like the author who did this IS A FUCKING STALKER. I don't give a shit if the reviewer said the author chopped up live babies for smoothies and used puppies for pinatas, IT'S JUST WORDS. It's some random asshat's random opinion.

If you are going to be a writer, you need to put your fucking gator hide on. I talked about this a few weeks ago. If you can't handle the fact that there are people in this world who seemingly get their jollies by being dicks and writing snarky reviews, then get the fuck out of this business NOW. Because it'll only get worse.

Some authors are cheering on the author, saying that the reviewer had it coming.

Um, WHAT? I suppose if she wore shorts and got raped she'd deserve that too, huh?

Oh, boo-fucking-hoo, someone said something bad about you on the goddamned Internet.


Do I get bad reviews? Yeah. So? Most of them look like they were written by a Ritalin-addicted 5-year-old, and if I don't take them seriously, chances are other people don't, either. As a reader, when I see stuff written about a book where it looks like the reviewer has an ax to grind, do you think I give it any weight?


Do you?

Chances are, NO. So why the fuck would you make yourself look like a crazy person by stalking a reviewer on the Internet and going so far as to CALL THEM AT THEIR JOB and VISIT THEIR HOME? Again, the point isn't if the reviewer was in the wrong or not.

The point is that the author went off the rails and STALKED THE REVIEWER. Had the reviewer been sending severed fingers or something to the author via US Mail, yes, I would expect a different response.

But if someone just writes a bad review about your book, or is tweeting shit about you?


Yes, I get that sometimes it escalates. Not even going to go into the cray-cray pool that is gamergate. Not talking about that kind of stuff.

If someone says something bad about your book, IGNORE THEM. If someone's bugging you on Twitter? BLOCK THEM. Obviously if their behavior becomes threatening, if they make direct threats to you, that's different. But them saying they don't like your book?



It's NEVER OKAY to stalk anyone, regardless of the circumstances.

If you are so mentally fragile that you can't handle the fact that the WORLD is full of assholes, you have no business putting yourself out there in a profession that requires a pretty damn thick skin.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Google Play Books for the self-pubbed. (Or: How to rip out all your hair without even trying.)

I know when self-pubbing a book, be it fiction or non-fic, getting it out to as many venues as possible is the desired goal.

HOWEVER. (You knew that was coming, right?)

Google Play.

You'd think for a company that can map the entire farking world in 360-degree-view increments could invent an e-book selling platform back end that didn' know...SUCK.

For starters, it's NOT user friendly. (This coming from someone who rarely needs a manual for ANYTHING.)

Secondly, it's nearly as slow as Nook to get stuff posted. (Again, the whole technology, instant search results, we're the king of tech rep thing Google has going hasn't translated well to their Google Play platform. At least, not the book end of it.)

Third, they have a really unfriendly, bulky, and anti-social reports feature. (Just try it. You'll see what I mean.)

Fourth, trying to format blurb text SUCKS.

Fifth, they have a mandatory discount on your prices that you don't get any say over. (See this post over at Kboards for a chart on overriding it so Amazon et al doesn't price match to Google's discount.)

Sixth, epub files that Kobo and Nook will take just fine, without any problems, will suddenly start spouting weird problems that hang up Google's meat grinder. (Hint: Save your doc as an rtf, make sure you're using styles for normal text versus headers, save it as an html, then convert to epub with Calibre.)

Seven, you need a LOT of OTC headache meds (or alcohol) when loading books into the damn thing.

Eight, it takes FOREVER for the books to process (and you thought 24 hours for Kindle was bad) and update info if you have to make changes.

Nine, good luck finding the publisher back-end. (Hint: Once you do, bookmark that biatch and keep it on your toolbar. And, oh yeah, it's located HERE.)

Ten, when you Google search for help on Google books, you have to weed through about three pages of UNHELPFUL Google help pages to find third-party websites that are, you know, actually helpful.

I could go on and on.

That said, why should someone self-pub with Google Play if it's that much of a PITA?

Because it's there. Because it's free to sign up for it, and if you make one sale there, it's one sale more than you had before, that's why.

But, seriously, it'll make you appreciate Smashwords more than you ever thought possible. (So you know that's saying something.)

Here are some links to help you navigate the muddy waters that are Google Play Books. (You'll have to supply your own booze, sorry.)

Grammar: Lie versus Lay redux.

I've updated the lay/lie post I did a couple of years ago because I found another good resource on it. (Yes, it trips me up, too.)


Monday, October 6, 2014

Book cover design tips.

A few more blog posts I've stumbled across about book cover design.

Book covers, in combination with the back cover "blurb," will make or break your book, especially in today's e-book age. It's not enough to use the built-in cover designer options on some websites. You need to put thought and work (and sometimes money, if you don't have the skills or software yourself) into designing your cover.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

#notchilled - Dear Author defense fund.

Apparently I've made some sort of blacklist for daring to blog about the EC suit against Dear Author. You know what? Fuck it, it's a great group of people to be blacklisted with. And I will ALWAYS support the truth. I'm not a fan of Dear Author, but I'll be the first to say if you have a couple of dollars you can spare toward the DA defense fund, it's a couple of dollars you are spending for someone to find out the TRUTH of what's been widely reported for years now by various authors. I will ALWAYS support that. I hope DA comes out on top in this and the truth is exposed, forever part of public record, and that authors and everyone else owed money will FINALLY get a chance to get the truth and hopefully get their rights back. Let's help DA shine the light of truth on this situation.