Sunday, March 30, 2014

E-Book Returns: My Thoughts

Kindle And Writing Pad
Kindle and Writing Pad

It's not new, but lately I've seen several authors pushing another petition, this one to get Amazon to change their return policy from 7 days to 24 hours. Here are a few of my thoughts...

 First, from a readers point of view, when I buy books I don't always read them right then and there, sometimes if a book is on sale, I will buy it and then read it in a few days. Limiting returns to 24 hours limits a readers options to buy a book on Thursday, if they get paid on Thursday and then read on Saturday. Also, like a lot of other readers, I can buy multiple books. I am not going to read all of those in a few hours. As to a comment one author said, legitimate readers would never return a book. Not true. I've returned exactly 2 ebooks, both the same day as purchase. One was an accidental buy, when my son got hold of my Kindle and the other didn't offer a sample read and ewww... the writing was that bad. If I'd had a sample I never would have bought it. So legitimate readers do sometimes have reason for return. Granted, these were both within the 24 hour period this petition calls for, but what if I hadn't read a book until 3 days after purchase? What if the book had cost $8.00, (it had better be longer than 5 minute read,) and it was crap? What if the sample was good but the formatting fell apart throughout the book, or it got worse the further in I got. Should I be out the $8.00? Actually, I probably would because I have books I hate but didn't return, but that doesn't mean others shouldn't have the option to let an author know they didn't like a book by a simple return. 

But I don't think that's even the whole point. I also am looking at this from the view point of an author. What if Amazon does change their return policy? This isn't the first or even second petition to request this, so I don't think it is likely, but what would that mean to authors? We already know that there are a lot of ebooks out there of low quality. We know that indie authors get a bad rap for books not being up to editing standards. Now, Amazon takes away return options and legitimate readers are afraid to take a chance on a new author... or worse, Amazon implements changes in their policy that makes it harder for indie authors to publish. I don't want the gatekeepers back. I want the readers to be able to decide what they want to read, even if that means they may buy a book and then return it. I don't believe that most readers that return books are trying to scam the system. I don't believe that Amazon doesn't keep track of returns and penalize anyone that tries to do it on a regular basis, after all, they are in the business to make money. I also don't believe they are going to allow authors to dictate their policy, and if they do, I don't believe it will be without consequences. I remember a similar petition about book reviews and sock puppets and now we have to worry about reviews being removed. I don't want to have to worry about books being removed too.

In the end, I think that while returns are frustrating, it is something we have to live with, unless we want to inconvenience and seriously limit options not only for all of our readers, but for authors as well.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

#55WordChallenge Week Nine 2014


Welcome back to #55WordChallenge!


For those that are uninitiated, the 55 Word Challenge is a contest to write a story in 55 words or less. Not an easy task, but fun and I have been blown away by some of the entries. See for yourself, past contests can be found here. The challenge begins at noon Eastern time every Wednesday and ends at noon Thursday. The story is based on one of three photo prompts. My only request is no porn. I don't want to hear graphic details. If it is erotic, make it titillating, not obscene. I know that can be done and done well. 

The story is to be posted in the comment section below, along with your twitter handle or email address, so I can contact you if you are the winner.
And what does the winner get? Besides bragging rights and this badge, which can proudly be displayed on your blog or website? A paperback copy of Kay Glass's book, Survival Instinct, which will be coming out later this month.
All winners will receive a digital copy of the book. 

I also have 2 additional badges,  An Honorable Mention and an Overachiever badge. To be eligible for the Overachiever Badge, you need to use all 3 prompts.

If anyone is interested in contributing a prize, a book, cover art, whatever you want, let me know and we will work something out. If you are an artist that would like to have your work featured, let me know!

 And here we go... 
 



 
 

Winner #55WordChallenge: Week Eight 2014






Here we are again! I am going to make this quick. School was cancelled today and I have my head on backward and I forgot that it was Wednesday. I need someone to send me a reminder, lol. So here we go. All the winners get a  digital copy Beyond the Binding: Composers for Relief Companion Collection.  In addition, the winner will be sent a gift card to purchase Composers for Relief: Supporting the Philippines.
The proceeds from both these projects goes towards relief in the Phillippines and I am so proud to have been involved with this project. More information can be found here



 




Honorable Mention:



@LurchMunster: I love how you worked your story into the pictures this week.







Overachiever:
penkissespaper: Great job! I love the last line.




 
Winner:



@drshaywest:
Interesting. I want to read more.  :)
The Trial

She magically shifted her human form, her now feline paws making no noise in the snow. Naeris paused at the entrance of the Labyrinth, whiskers twitching as she glanced around. The lonely bicycle leaning against the crumbling mortar wall did not bode well for the person who had entered the temple before her.

55 words (including title) @drshaywest

Thank you everyone! If you are one of today's winners, please contact me with email information, so I can send the prize your way.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

#55WordChallenge Week Eight 2014

Welcome back to #55WordChallenge!


For those that are uninitiated, the 55 Word Challenge is a contest to write a story in 55 words or less. Not an easy task, but fun and I have been blown away by some of the entries. See for yourself, past contests can be found here. The challenge begins at noon Eastern time every Wednesday and ends at noon Thursday. The story is based on one of three photo prompts. My only request is no porn. I don't want to hear graphic details. If it is erotic, make it titillating, not obscene. I know that can be done and done well. 

The story is to be posted in the comment section below, along with your twitter handle or email address, so I can contact you if you are the winner.
And what does the winner get? Besides bragging rights and this badge, which can proudly be displayed on your blog or website? The Winner, Overachiever and Honorable Mention will each get a digital copy Beyond the Binding: Composers for Relief Companion Collection.  In addition, the winner will be sent a gift card to purchase Composers for Relief: Supporting the Philippines.
The proceeds from both these projects goes towards relief in the Phillippines and I am so proud to have been involved with this project. More information can be found here.

I also have 2 additional badges,  An Honorable Mention and an Overachiever badge. To be eligible for the Overachiever Badge, you need to use all 3 prompts.

If anyone is interested in contributing a prize, a book, cover art, whatever you want, let me know and we will work something out. If you are an artist that would like to have your work featured, let me know!

 And here we go... The theme this week is Wonderland... with a twist. All photos are courtesy of Public Domain Pictures dot net.
 
 
Photo Prompt:
 
Cat
Cat  
Circle Maze
Circle Maze
Biking In Wonderland
Biking in Wonderland
 

Winner #55WordChallenge Week 7 2014





We had a lot of great entries last week and a lot of overachievers. Choosing was not easy.  In the end I had to go with these three.



Honorable Mention:


bastetandsekhmet I love the feel of this story and the first experience with death.








Overachiever:



@blanchardauthor: Great job combining all the pictures. I love how you worked in the red background.







Winner:


@FIFTY5WORDS Very chilling!



The crunching of gravel underfoot was interrupted by a shrieking squirrel. Standing together in silence, they watched the rustling bushes through falling leaves.
"What is it Daddy?"
The rustling stopped and they moved closer.
"I don't know" he replied, looking at the squirrel’s bloody remains, "but something tells me, we don't want to find out."

55 Words
@FIFTY5WORDS





All 3 win a digital copy of The Bloody Book of GrotesqueLove. @Fifty5Words wins a paperback copy as well. Please inbox me email and mailing information so I can send the prizes out.