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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Fringeville Edition #70, April 07 2012

It's been weeks since my last post. For those of you who don't know, I'm managing a political campaign and there just aren't enough hours in the day for everything I need and want to do.

So, tonight, I decided to give myself an early Easter present and post something, only I'm drawing a total blank. So as a fall back, I'll write a bit about some things I've been meaning to post about and simply haven't had the time.

Kindle Adventures.

I've put three works up on Amazon: A short story, a short story collection, and a novella. Overall, the experience has been great. It's challenging to have total control over a project, but its rewarding when the work is done.

Here's what I love about Kindle self-publishing: You can get your work out there without going through all the middlemen of the traditional publishing world. YOU are the author. YOU format the book. YOU design the cover. YOU select any artwork. And YOU market it (with help from Amazon, if you're in their KDP Select program).

It was neat to see my last book climb as high as #29 in one of the free book categories (the book was free for a weekend promotion). More than 300 copies were sold. Most in the U.S. and the rest in the U.K., Germany and one copy in France (I wonder if they're eating brie while reading it in Paris?).

Here's what I hate: First, while it's exciting to see you book climb up in the rankings during a free promotion, once the promotion ends it drops quickly. I suppose this is to be expected for unknown authors, but it's not much fun to drop from #29 in a free category to #70,000 once the promo ends.

Next: there's way too many spam books at Amazon. I've had my books jump several hundred THOUSAND in the rankings because of a single sale. That tells you Amazon has too much crap in the pipes.

Here's another issue: The huge volume of spam books at .99 cents pressures writers to sell their hard work for a pittance. Many good books are going for $2.99 or less. (Sorry, I won't do it. With the exception of occasional single short stories, my stuff's going out at $4.99. I gotta eat.)

Lastly: Too many authors are lazy. I've seen many promising books that are simply slapped together with no attention to detail: poor editing and funky formatting abound. Dammit, folks, show some pride! If someone gets distracted from your book by an unexpected change in font or a sentence without verbs, you're doing a lousy job. Your Kindle book is a reflection of you. Granted, there's a learning curve. I certainly experienced it. But small mistakes aren't what I'm talking about here. I've downloaded books by established authors that had sporadic minor errors. It happens. But when books look like first drafts and are chock full of layout errors, that's just plain laziness. Get it together or get out of the pool.

* * *
OK. I've had my Amazon vent. On to other things. I'll just do a rapid-fire list:

1)  I haven't had wings in weeks. My cholesterol thanks me, but dammit I'm in withdrawal.
2)  If I hear the name Jerry Sandusky one more time, I just might kill myself. Enough already.
3)  Nothing beats deep-fried turkey. That was Holy Saturday dinner. Frying the bird and sipping a Monty Python Holy Ale (or two) with my son. It doesn't get better than that.
4)  The house smells like Easter ham and kielbalsa. I love Easter.
5)  I've been taking so many campaign-related calls that my phone is actually starting to overheat, no matter which battery I use. I'm worried it's going to explode like a Star Trek phaser on overload. If you hear a boom and see a glow on the horizon, it's probably me on my way to orbit.
6)  I continue to work hard at not growing up completely. So far, so good...

Happy Easter!