Monday, September 10, 2012


Healthwise, I had a week of earache.  Better now.

After August 31st, I did not keep writing full steam ahead with Neferseshotep because there were some things bothering me in what I already wrote.  Part of what I rewrote is the excerpt I had up on the blog, so I've updated that (on the Neferseshotep tab, up on top).  More conflict - even though neither character is voicing it.   Would a good comparison be two guys giving each other fist-crushing hand shakes while exchanging pleasantries?

I plan to outline the sequel for The End of the World Sucks in October, then write it during November (National Novel Writing Month).  I have a couple of small ideas already, but I'm trying to concentrate on Neferseshotep, which may be published after the Sucks sequel because it's not as simple so editing may be more time consuming.  My Egyptian priest presents deeper problems than Vanna's quest to stay alive.

This weekend I had my first book signing at a golf outing for Summit Animal Rescue.  I was already signed up to volunteer for an indoor position, and another volunteer in the group has written a children's book about cats ... long story short ... I'll be working the sales table with magnets, t-shirts and the books for the day.  

Coincidentally, I only found out last week that one of my neighbors has also written her first book.  She is going the traditional publishing route, has a publisher, and is about to receive some cover art to look over.  I didn't get much more info than the proposed title and she's a member of the NJ chapter of Sisters in Crime.

I think it's fantastic that others are actually doing something rather than thinking - 'One day I'm going to write a book...'   I do need to get my act in gear so we can crosspost info.  I'm missing facts since I'm unable to come up with decent search results through Google.   Sorry - I was doing yard work, and unprepared for books to spring up in the conversation so didn't have 'I'm an author' business cards handy. 

Last week, I had been reading about authors paying for reviews.  From writing fan fiction for so long, I know the read -> review rate is low.  Less than one review for every hundred page views, and that includes troll reviews from sockpuppet accounts that seem to have a thing for me.   So I was thinking that four reviews on my book after only two months wasn't dreadful based on the quantity of sales because I was slightly ahead.   I was also pleased with them because they were reviews with substance.

As you can see from a previous blog post, I kept my costs low to self-publish.  I'm not at a breakeven point yet, but I'm creeping towards it. So I'm wondering if I could buy 50 5-star reviews on Amazon for $999 - what does that get me?  That's a lot more books that I would need to sell. Will 50 rave reviews sell them for me?  What are these reviews going to say, if the reviewer doesn't read the book? 

Anyone can come along and give it a poor review still.  Also, I would write an angrier review if I felt I was duped into buying a book.  The Amazon rating system might let the angry/disappointed review disappear off the page, but all anyone needs to do is click on 1 or 2 star reviews to find it. 

While downloading some free Kindle books, I succumbed to the temptation to search for my book.  One of my reviews was gone.  Since I hadn't taken a screen shot of it I have to rely on my memory, but I think it was a verified Amazon purchase.  Only having four, I did note that one was not a verified purchase, but that one's still listed. 

It might be that I have some sort of mental disorder, but I did wonder about the one review that was not an Amazon purchase.  It's not even about uncovering who it is, they can keep their anonymity.  I'm curious about how they read my book - the one Nook copy that was sold belongs to someone I know who does not have an Amazon account.  The paperback either needs to be purchased through Amazon or me, and they can't get one from me until I have a book signing.  Could someone have made a purchase through Amazon and thought so well of my book they loaned it to someone, and then that second person's so taken by it, they jumped on Amazon to leave a review?  That seems ridiculously optimistic of me.

So now that I've admitted I think about 'how'd that happen?'  over little things, I was curious what happened to that missing review.    Why would someone take the time to write a review, and then delete it a month later?  I emailed Amazon to see if it was Amazon or the customer that removed it.  Customers can do whatever they like, but if it was Amazon, I'd like to know why so I can dispute it if the reason is not sufficient.  I got a scripted reply back that Amazon can only discuss it with the reviewer.  That doesn't answer my question.

But then, I received a new four-star review.  It's a good review, and since it's four stars I have a little variety on the page.  Hooray for four stars.

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