Vetted ~ Audiobook

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Allyssa is a young college student living her life to please her upper-crust family who want her to take business courses, join her father’s business, and marry the “right” man.  Allyssa loves animals and yearns to take courses that speak to her heart, but her family are deaf to her pleas and she is unable or unwilling to stand up to them.

Fiona is an older, more established woman; a veterinarian working towards the goal of starting her own large animal practice.  When a young woman arrives on her doorstep one night carrying a dog she may have fatally injured with her car, Fiona is thrown for a loop.

Vetted—a life that neither woman anticipated, but each learns they want desperately.

Will their families, the fates, and rustlers finally bring these women to their knees?  The only way they can survive is to stand strong together, but are they both ready to fight for what they want?  Only time will tell….

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I love Amazon, but…

1 Amazon.jpgI love looking through amazon, finding books, movies, and just stuff.  They are my go-to vendor of choice…however…

As an author, I must protest at their arbitrary censoring of material (lesbian fiction) and erotica.  If someone doesn’t want to read what I write, then scroll on by…my feelings won’t be hurt.  For Amazon to censor it though, that really annoys the heck outta me.

Then, there is the percentage game they play.  I took this from another’s post, it is not mine, and I’d give credit if I could remember who it was who originally posted it:

A bit of information that may, or may not, be of interest to anyone who has ever wondered about royalties earned by authors.

I noticed on a sales report that some of my books sold on amazon.com only earned 35% royalties (I get $1.75 a sale, amazon keeps $3.25) yet others I receive 70% (same region, same book, same price, sold on the same day)

I made an inquiry as to why and it turns out, an author is only entitled to 70% royalties if the buyer is in the US. So if a buyer, like myself for instance, subscribes to amazon.com but lives in NZ, the author is only entitled to 35% of the sale, amazon keeps the rest.

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So, Amazon, arguably the LARGEST retailer of books in the world keeps taking, and taking, and taking.  It’s a few cents here and there, but when you multiply that by the millions of authors out there, it adds up.

Don’t get me wrong, I really appreciate that Amazon makes it easy for me to publish a book and get it out there, but they are making it difficult to be seen if you write any erotica, if you are a lesbian (a lot of lesbian literature is put under gay literature…um, I don’t play with the guys, I want a SEPARARATION of that patriarchal idea), or if they arbitrarily feel like it they will recategorize your books, or so it seems.

I don’t want to say they are homophobic, I fully believe Facebook has that market cornered, but I have to say they are taking pennies they don’t deserve and finding ways to take more.

createspace-logo.jpgThey bought Create Space a few years ago.  That is a platform by which authors can publish paperbacks on demand, so they don’t have to keep an inventory.  Great concept right?  Create Space even had its own ‘store’ to sell your books direct, the author made more money through their store.  Now Amazon has eliminated that store because they don’t want to pay out the money and apparently it competed with their main site?

downloadAmazon also owns Audible or ACX where an author can get their book produced as an audiobook.  I don’t know a lot about them, but I’m betting there are some similar things in the works for their platform.

Goodreads.jpgAmazon now owns Good Reads, a place you used to be able to get a fair review for your books.  However, if you don’t get a fair review, say someone is targeting you, bad mouthing your books, a lot of the time they won’t take down the review.  Now that Amazon owns it, how long until they ‘think’ it is competing with their own review process and starts eliminating services that Good Reads now offers?

There are a host of things Amazon owns related to the publishing field, I don’t object because as an independent author, I utilize such things, but…they are too big to fight, they are the big ‘bully’ on the block in some things, and they are nickel and diming us authors to death….

My suggestion to you all, buy publisher or author direct when and if it is available.  This eliminates that ‘3rd party’ that is Amazon.  In my case I do have them offered so you can buy direct from me.

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Letter to Jeff Bezos of Amazon

I encourage each and every author I know, even the reviews, fans, and followers to write to Jeff@amazon.com a similar letter:

Jeff Bezos

Chief Executive Officer

Amazon.com

Dear Mr. Bezos,

I want to thank you for providing such a platform as KDP Publishing and Create Space for authors to self-publish as well as small publishing houses to use print on demand and e-books.

Recently it has come to my attention how harsh the culling of reviews has become.  When we, as self-published authors or small publishing houses complain about a review that may have been a little harsh, or the book unread, or someone buys it and returns it in a few hours when they have read the whole thing, we are frequently ignored.  When we have faithful followers we will now be punished because you look at our social media friends list, our faithful followers, and decide that these reviews are not earned and remove them.

Personally, I have 4600 followers on Facebook alone.  I have another 19,500 on Twitter.  I also have 25,200 on my blog.  I couldn’t POSSIBLY know EACH and EVERY one of these people.  I’m just grateful that the hard work I have put into promoting myself as an author is paying off in the form of faithful readers who help support me by reading my Novels, Novellas, and Short Stories.  To find out that their continued support in the form of recommending my books via a review may be stopped is a little alarming.  Yes, any system can be abused, we see it every day in the form of those giving bad reviews because they don’t like an author, but if we report it, it can be and frequently is ignored.  Not every book or story I write is going to appeal to every reader, that’s the great thing about it though, variety.  If I deserve a bad review, I should take it, but if my fans choose to leave me a good one their integrity is questioned?

Yes, some of these fans have become ‘friends’ over the years of my publishing endeavors, but they started as fans, they read my works and the works of my authors, and I encourage everyone to leave a review whenever possible.  Now, because they are on my ‘lists’ they may be suspect?

I am also a small publisher, I encourage and in fact teach my authors to promote themselves through social media in the form of blogs, Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and any other social media platform that may help them sell a book.  Finding readers is easy, keeping them is hard…and when they show that they are faithful fans their reviews are helpful.  So a practice whereby your people, your algorithm’s ‘decide’ which reviews stay and which go may not be as good an idea as you might think.

I have to question if this happening to the truly big sellers of books?  Do the Danielle Steel fans get monitored for this?  How about Johanna Lindsey?  Even dead authors like Louis La’Mour or Beatrice Small, are their reviews being monitored?  Or are you only targeting newer authors, smaller authors and presses?  They couldn’t possibly ‘know’ the millions who follow them, how could I know the tens of thousands who follow me?

I also have another question for you?  Is it true it takes 25 or 50 ‘reviews’ before Amazon will ‘promote’ a book in the same genre?  If so, then are you watching as 25 or 50 reviews appear instantly on some author’s new releases to make them best sellers?  Isn’t this suspicious?  When only 1-2 appear at a time you now are suspicious of those?  You wish to take away those from these authors?

I, personally, find it a little creepy that now our social media platforms are being ‘watched’ by the giant Amazon to see if we are ‘friends’ with our ‘reviewers’ so that these reviews can be flagged and taken away.  How ‘big brother’ of you.  Don’t you think there are more important issues to worry about such as the theft of someone’s intellectual work in the form of torrent sites, the targeting of some authors in the form of trolls, or simply, good customer service?

I personally hope that these rumors about these review practices are simply that, rumors and that it won’t happen large scale as it is being stated.  It’s a sad day when we can’t even trust that the company we place our works of art in the hands of is now second guessing things, watching out ‘for us’ in a way that is very invasive.

Amazon is a huge company, I understand that.  I personally spend hundreds of dollars at your site every year and love its convenience.  It scares me though as a writer and publisher that the dollars we count on to earn at your site may be in jeopardy because of some practices that are too intrusive.  Please rethink this policy.

Sincerely,

K’Anne Meinel, Author

K’Anne Meinel, Publisher of Shadoe Publishing

MALICE MASTERPIECES 2

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Paperback

E-Book

Matrimonial Malice (Book 6):

Alice is getting married, has she finally fallen in love…and first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby or babies in the baby carriage?  Is this possible for Alice’s cold little heart?

Mourning Malice (Book 7):

Dealing with the death of her wife, Alice finds raising a teenage daughter and two other children to be a challenge.  She hadn’t planned to ever be a parent, but for the love of her wife, now deceased she will do what she has to.

A threat to her teenage daughter leads to other revelations that bring out the ‘old’ Alice we all know and loved….her predator instincts are aroused…what will she do next?

Murderous Malice (Book 8):

Alice finds out the truth about the past year and the manipulations others have enacted on her and her family.  Her anger burns hot and she returns to what she was born to be…a killer.  Our anti-hero returns as she wreaks vengeance for the sake of her family…

Mental Malice (Book 9):

Kathy has to deal with the mental damage as well as the physical that has been inflicted on her. Between Federal Agents, Doctors, and her own family the stress is nearly killing her. Can Alice be patient enough to wait for her wife after she has been gone for so long, both mentally and physically…can Alice wait to extract revenge for what has been done to her wife?

Menacing Malice (Book 10):

Kathy has figured out Alice’s secret.  Can she deal with the enormity of realizing what a monster her wife is?  Will it destroy their marriage?  Will it destroy Kathy?  How can Kathy survive with the knowledge of what Alice is capable of?  Can Alice share herself completely and honestly with her wife?  Can she let her keep this knowledge?

Author Central

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Are you aware of Author Central through Amazon?

I’ll admit I’m not too ‘up’ on it.  I do have an author page on Amazon and I ‘claim’ my books, but today I discovered a little known gadget on it that allows you to be notified every time a new book comes up under MY name….so if you got a moment, go to the link and subscribe to said updates!  I think it’s a nifty little gadget to add to my many ways to reach out to my readers and let them know that I have a new offering for their reading pleasure!

Author Central