Tag Archives: Barnes & Noble

Ghostly Writes – Interviews

Introduce Yourself and where you’re from.
Mary R. Woldering From Euclid, Ohio USA

Tell us about your writing journey?
I’ve always been a storyteller. Now I am a chronicler of dreams and visions. I began to publish my writings at 65, so technology is still a great unknown.

What is your story about?
Three ghosts in a haunted mansion. One is a demonic spirit trapped in a staircase, another is an angelic young girl trapped in an upper room. The third is the spirit of the witch who trapped them, returning to finish her work.

Why did you choose this topic/genre?
The story is based on some paranormal research my friends and I did in 1970 combined with stories we had heard about these spirits. I always wanted to write the story as it was, in part, an origin story for one of the characters in my Children of Stone series

Why publish in the Ghostly Writes Anthologies?
It was suggested that I do that by another contributor.

Share your experiences of helping each other in the Ghostly Writes Group.
I doubt I’ve been much help, but Mara Reitsma has helped me.

What other Anthologies have you participated in and for what reason?
Dreamtime Dragons 2017 – again, it was suggested that I write a story for that group

What scares you the most? A Snake or a Spider? Why?  If something else, tell us about it.
Spider more than snake, but large jumping and flying insects like moths or cicadas  or flying cockroaches upset me from my childhood. They would crawl across my ceiling in the house we rented and one night one fell on me.

What is your favourite part of Halloween?
Giving out candy and frightening passers by

How do you celebrate Halloween?
Same as above

Share your favourite Halloween celebration from your childhood.
Getting candy as a child. Later on it was communicating with spirits

LINKS

Amazon:
https://amzn.to/2DMvkKJ

Page/Group:
https://bit.ly/2ubYwv1

Author Page:
https://bit.ly/2x1PZJe

Website:
https://www.maryrwoldering.com/

Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/maryrwoldering/

Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7398194.Mary_R_Woldering

Twitter:
https://twitter.com/ChildrenofStone

GO WIDE WITH REVIEWS – Amazon Reviews

This blog post is from Anne R Allen and dated 22nd April 2018.  It is all about Reviews, what is happening with the end suggesting we go WIDE with our REVIEWS.

To me it makes perfect sense. Here is her link so you can find more informative posts.

http://annerallen.com/2018/04/amazon-paid-reviews/

Authors Beware: Amazon Gets Medieval on Paid and Traded Reviews

by Anne R. Allen

 

 Amazon’s paid review crackdown may have punished “over a million” innocent customers.

My inbox has been bursting with unsolicited emails for the past few weeks. I must be on a new list of “easy prey” circulating in the the author-scamming community.

Several sleazy guys with dodgy language skills have hit me with nasty ones. They use the classic “negging” approach perfected by the “how to pick up girls with low self-esteem” folks that hang out in the rape-y sub-basements of Reddit and 4Chan.

These emails will “analyze” the Amazon buy page of one of my books—always assuming I’ve only written the one—mansplaining how I’m too stupid to know it’s overpriced, too short, has a bad cover, a bad sales rank (even when it’s a bestseller) and of course, has an insufficient number of reviews.

(BTW, for those who don’t believe me when I say books are getting shorter, Porter Anderson and Hugh Howey both gave my “shorter books” post a nice mention at Writer Unboxed this week.)

The emailing creeps have no idea I’m with a small press, and they’re actually dissing my publisher. But I can imagine this approach is pretty effective on self-publishers, especially relative newbies. Some judgey stranger offering unpleasant criticism in your morning email can shake an author’s confidence.

And they’re counting on that. Once you’re feeling vulnerable, they pitch bogus or wildly overpriced services, “break into Hollywood” scams, worthless interviews, and that old warhorse, paid Amazon reviews.

In May, I’ll address the problems of the overpriced interviews and other scams.

But when I started to research the paid review business this week, I ran into a bunch of new dramas and draconian changes. So I decided to devote this post to the latest Amazon review horrors.

DO NOT Pay for Amazon Customer Reviews!

One email notified me that I’d failed to get “enough” reviews on my new Author Blog Book. But I could get 25 Amazon reviews from him for only $900!

Dude, here’s the reason many of us “fail” to get tons of Amazon reviews anymore: scammy review-sellers like you.

This is because Amazon fights paid review violations with robots, which are wrong more often than not. And they’re scaring off real reviewers.

In 2016, the Zon changed their TOS to require reviewers to be Amazon customers and forbid any payment—including free products or gift cards—to reviewers of anything other than books. (Book reviewers can review free books as long as they disclose.) This was supposed to crack down on the rampant gaming of Amazon’s review system. For more, see my 2016 post on Amazon’s New Review Rules. 

But many innocents lost reviews too. Some long-time reviewers decided to review only on their own blogs. There’s a lovely review of my Author Blog book on Mark Tilbury’s blog the “negging” guys won’t see, but it gets Tweeted a lot.

A review on a blog is useful, and can be quoted in Amazon’s “editorial review” section, which often has more clout with readers.

But Amazon has recently made more draconian changes. The guidelines have been modified again, and so have the punishments.

It used to be that customers violating Amazon’s TOS were banned from SELLING on Amazon, but the new policy bans them from BUYING.

Your account will be deleted. No warning. No explanations.

If you feel the need to buy reviews, the legit ones (like Kirkus) may be valuable to you as “editorial reviews” and can provide quotes for advertising, but paid reviews in the “customer review” thread are a very bad idea. No matter what the “neg” guys say.

Amazon’s Review Police-Bots Deleted “Over a Million” Innocent Customers’ Accounts this Month.

Amazon’s latest police-bots are out for blood: if they even suspect you of breaking the rules, your account gets deleted with no warning.

Suddenly Fire TVs don’t work. Alexa is silent. Books you’re in the middle of reading…gone. No Amazon streaming TV. Your account no longer exists. No refunds. No apologies.

In late March, these mindless thug-bots deleted innocent customers’ accounts by the 1000s (“over a million,” according to some.)

There’s a rumor this came from a hack designed to discredit Amazon as a part of recent political attacks the company, but Amazon hasn’t acknowledged a hack.

The victims got this explanation:

“The account has been deleted for one or both of the following reasons.

  • Your reviews were posted in exchange for compensation, such as gift cards to purchase the product, product refunds, review swaps, or free or discounted products, and/or
  • Your account was used for commercial purposes.”

Digital Trends investigated.  Amazon’s explanation:  “Amazon has taken action against bad actors and those who have violated our community rules.”

You can read victims’ laments in the Twitter thread  #AmazonClosed. They don’t sound like “bad actors” to me:

“My account was closed…but I quit reviewing last year when Amazon changed their TOS!”

“Amazon closed my account after 15 years. Prime member, Kindle books, gift card balance. Need answers.”

“RUDE reps, supervisors and all sticking to the same script.”

No apology for a month of lies and customer service failures.”

“student couldn’t use an audiobook she needed for her history class.”

“Closed my account, but are still charging my card for Prime.”

Some accounts have reappeared. But plenty have not.

Facebook groups have formed to file class action suits, so this drama will unfold in the courts. You can read more at Business Insider, and EdSurge. But for some reason, this hasn’t made the major news outlets.

Amazon’s Robots Do a Lousy Job of Policing Paid Reviews, but Don’t Put Yourself in Their Crosshairs

Nobody knows if any of these 1000s of people actually traded or bought reviews. Or if they’d ever reviewed anything.

But we can be pretty sure that if you DO trade or buy reviews and you’re caught, your career—as well as your shopping—is over on Amazon.

So don’t listen to the negging and send those review-sellers to spam. Even if they seem legit. ANY compensation for an Amazon review—no matter how “fair”—can get you the boot.

Amazon’s Escalating Scam Problem.

The paid review problem isn’t the only scam-policing that Amazon’s robots have got wrong.

Real Reviewers Are Leaving Amazon.

The most recent crackdown doesn’t only involve draconian punishments for suspected paid reviewers.

Amazon is also banning reviewers from posting in more than one Amazon store. It used to be reviews could be posted in the US Amazon store as well as Canada, UK, Australia, etc., so a UK reviewer could also post a review on Amazon.com, where it had a potential to increase a book’s sales and get it into Bookbub and other newsletters.

But since overseas review farms have been abusing this practice, Amazon is now requiring that reviewers spend the equivalent of $50 per year in eachAmazon store, every year. (That’s a big change from requiring a one-time purchase of $50 or more from any one Amazon store, which was the rule instituted in 2016.)

So honest reviewers, who are working for free, are now supposed to pay to play. And pay a lot.  According to reviewer Barb Taub, “In the name of discouraging ‘fake’ reviews, [Amazon’s] new policy requires reviewers like me to spend $50 on Amazon’s US site and even more, £40 on Amazon UK. before I can share my review.”

Book reviewers like Barb Taub have had enough. The comment thread on her post shows exactly why it’s so hard to get real Amazon reviews these days.

Some examples:

“After trying multiple times to submit it, only to be rejected without explanation, I have given up.”

“If it’s too hard to post reviews on Amazon, I’ll just post them on my own blog and call it a day.”

“I can’t help thinking this policy change wasn’t well thought out. It just sort of appeared with very little fanfare.”

“I’ve been a loyal Amazon reviewer since 1998 (it’s tells you when you became a customer) and yet they decided to pull all my reviews….When I emailed them on the matter they quite rudely told me they didn’t need to answer my questions, it was final.

“Meanwhile, the fake reviews carry on getting posted……”

Driving away real reviewers just opens up the market for the fake review farms where neg-guy hangs out.

It’s Time for Reviews to “Go Wide.” 

Read the Rest HERE

by Anne R. Allen (@annerallen) April 22, 2018

Book Reviews with Amazon…Yeah Right!

Why oh why is Amazon making it even harder to put up reviews for authors.  First they curtail your reviews because you supposedly know the author or you publish the author or help them publish.  Now Amazon is telling you to spend over $50 to actually put a review in place. That would be a years worth of books to me.

WHAT….  Yep you head me right. It seems they don’t want Indie Authors to be reviewed. If this really is the case then why are we all still selling through them?  Why aren’t we using Lulu or Ingram Spark. Why aren’t we using Draft to Digital or Smashwords…they both do Mobi aka Kindle files. I’ve not seen or heard of Barnes & Noble or Kobo refusing your reviews so why is Amazon? What is their problem?

I have heard about biased reviews – nope I won’t give one to anyone let along an author I would call a friend.  In fact I’m more inclined to be harsher on them than someone I don’t know. I’ve heard about paid reviews and farmed reviews. I wouldn’t use either. So coming down on people who are in the same social media group, chat on the odd occasion doesn’t mean they are great friends, after all social media is all about making connections. I mean you chat with your fans don’t you?

HERE IS THE ELIGIBILITY

Eligibility

To contribute to Customer features (for example, Customer Reviews, Customer Answers, Idea Lists) or to follow other contributors, you must have spent at least $50 on Amazon.com using a valid credit or debit card in the past 12 months. Promotional discounts don’t qualify towards the $50 minimum. In addition, to contribute to Spark you must also have a paid Prime subscription (free Prime trials do not qualify). You do not need to meet this requirement to read content posted by other contributors or post Customer Questions, or create or modify Profile pages, Shopping Lists, Wish Lists or Registries.

Maybe it is time we all left reviews about Amazon
and how bad they are getting!

 

Uploading your Self-Published Paperback to Lulu

LULU has been publishing books since 2002 with over 2 million titles published. Lulu has developed into an outstanding company with many advantages over both Createspace and Kindle which in recent years caused to many hassles for me personally to want to use them any longer.

One of my favourite parts of Lulu is the LIVE CHAT which helps you through the process of uploading your manuscript if or when you get stuck.  It is a bit of a learning curve and I have gathered the images of the process for everyone to use for any paperback publishing with Lulu.  I will eventually do eBooks as well.

First of all you need to create an account using your email address and finding a unique password. After you sign in you’ll  need to click on CREATE to find the image below.

In Image 1 (above) you will find two tabs PRINT BOOK and EBOOK. For this presentation you need to click on PRINT BOOK and it will open to image 2 shown below.

In image 2 you get to choose how you would like to publish your print book.  If you look at the selection you will find they also do hardback covers. Most authors use the Standard Paperback and the US Trade size (6 x 9)

In image 3 it gives you the details of what your paperback will be. It also gives you the manufacturing costs.  In the box it says 100 pages will cost $3.25 USD.  Obviously the more pages the more the cost. This cost is also what the author will be able to buy their own paperback copies at.  You can download the Template, look at Volume discounts and Spine measurements. To proceed to the next stage you click on MAKE THIS BOOK

Image 4 tells you what Binding you have chosen, what Size your book is and what the Interior will be like.

Image 5 is the start of making your book. As you can see you need to put in your BOOK TITLE and AUTHOR NAME and then tell them what you wish to do with your project. The choose depends of what or who the book is for.  Some people may do memoirs or family history books which they like to keep private. Most fiction authors tend to pick the RECOMMENDED so the book is distributed worldwide.  

In Image 6 you get to choose what kind of ISBN you want or even if you want one. Some authors buy their own ISBN and those on a budget generally pick the ISBN from Lulu.com, which can only be used on Lulu.com.

Most distribution/publishing websites you upload your paperback manuscript to will offer their own FREE ISBN to you. You may have your paperback on several sites and they will all have their own ISBN…that is unless you bought your own which cost quite a lot.  Also note if you chose not to use and ISBN then you will be restricted with what you do with your book.  

In Image 7 we have decided to get the FREE ISBN which gives you the barcode for the back of your book and you can also put this number inside your book. You need to download and save your BARCODE to a safe place on your computer.

Now we are getting to the interior of your book.  In Image 8 (above) you need find your manuscript. Click on CHOOSE FILE, hunt down your story (we find PDF is best) and then click UPLOAD and wait for the file to load.  Fight at the bottom you will find the Filename once it is loaded. Make sure there is only one file there and delete any extra or old ones in the instance you have to upload again.

Image 9 shows you your manuscript uploading.

Image 10 Shows the file finally uploaded. It is at this stage you can download the new file to review it at your leisure and check for issues.

Next comes the BOOK COVER. Your graphic artist will have sent you a full wrap PDF book cover or the individual front and back images for you to upload.

In the Image 11 is shows the old cover system. This is where you can upload a front cover and back cover jpegs. Lulu will make the Spine for you. You will need to pick a book style, remove the writing on the cover because it should already be on your images. This is unless you are going to use their template and build your own book cover. As you can see above your barcode is already set. You will only need to add it if you are NOT using their template. You will also need to choose a colour for your spine to match the images you uploaded and put in the book title and author name etc. Remember all images need to be 300 dpi.

I WILL DO A PRESENTATION FOR THE OLD BOOK COVER STYLE IN ANOTHER POST.

Image 12 is the one piece PDF book cover. Like with your manuscript you CHOOSE FILE and UPLOAD. This cover must have the exact measurements of the book it is covering. 

All cover images need to  be 300 dpi images

Image 13 is showing your book cover being uploaded to Lulu. As you can see it works the same way as it did for your manuscript.

 

Image 14 shows your Print Cover is ready to be downloaded and be reviewed prior to proceeding to the next stage.

Now it is time to describe your project. In Image 15 (above) you need to fill in the category, if it has explicit content and also the keywords for future readers to find you book to buy.

In Image 16 – it is a continuation of the page. Every book needs a synopsis or a book blurb. This is a description of what your book is about. Make sure it entices your readers in. Like with the first line in a book, the first line of your book blurb is important to your SALES.

Underneath the description you pick your language, copyright notice, license, the edition of your book and who your publisher is.  The copyright notice will generally use your name. Many Indie Authors also use their name, and small publishing house name (depending on how much work the said company does for them) or make their own company to use as Publisher.

Now it is time to work out the cost of your book. In Image 17 it shows you three columns. In the first one is SET YOUR PRICE. They show you a minimum price (£8.00) and a price they choose of £15.50. In the next column it shows what your revenue would be if you abide by their pricing. From Lulu you would earn £7.73 and from extended distribution you would get £3.00.

£15.50 is a bit high for a book. This particular client chose £10.00 which meant their revenue ended up lower.  The good thing to remember is you can change your prices at any time.  

Also in column one is the DISCOUNT Tab. It is here you can run a SALE with whatever Discount you wish.  Many authors do this type of thing with a new release or during special holidays they celebrate.

In image 18 it is generally for first time customers. You will need to sort out your payment and tax records. For authors not in the USA you will need to fill in a W-8-BEN .  Once the tax info is filled in, email it to the company.  Lulu pay via PayPal which means you end up getting paid once your sales hit a certain target.

Time to REVIEW your PROJECT in Images 19 & 20

This is your final opportunity to check out and review your book cover and book interior online. Download the PRINT READY FILES. It reminds you what your BOOK PROPERTIES are. Also check the DESCRIPTION – usually on the right, for spelling errors and grammar.

Image 20 with the final details. Note you can change the PRICING and LICENSE here as well as who can see the book. Once you hit the next SAVE & CONTINUE it will PUBLISH to LULU and YOUR AUTHOR PAGE.

YOU HAVE PUBLISHED YOUR BOOK TO LULU

What else do you have to do?  You need to decided if you want to extend the distribution to Amazon, Ingram and Barnes & Noble. To do this you have to purchase a PROOF COPY from LULU.

GLOBAL REACH FOR YOUR BOOK

You want to go for GLOBAL REACH? You’ve ordered your PROOF COPY? Then you can move forward. You click on the Global Reach tab in the below image and it will take you to another page.

Your submission will be pending until you have received and proofed your paperback. Once you have approved the book you will be able to GO GLOBAL.  Please remember if you have to make any changes to your book you will have to upload a new copy and order another PROOF COPY.  This is why it is imperative to make sure the PDF copy you download in REVIEW YOUR PROJECT is correct.  

As an Author I have had to order three PROOF COPIES due to something I missed. Triple check if you must.

 

 

FINAL APPROVAL OR CREATE A REVISION. TO GIVE FINAL APPROVAL GO TO YOUR PROJECTS PAGE AND YOU CAN APPROVE IT THERE. oVER THE FOLLOWING WEEKS YOUR BOOK WILL BE DISTRIBUTED WORLDWIDE TO ALL ONLINE STORES.

ALSO REMEMBER YOU CAN BUY IN YOUR OWN COPIES TO ON SELL AT BOOK EVENTS, SIGNINGS ETC.

 

THAT IS ALL FOR NOW. I DO HOPE THIS HELPS. IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS

PLEASE ASK.

THANK YOU!