A word to the wise

All  virtual book tours are not the same. It’s impossible to vet them but I had found a website that recommended Enchanted Book Promotions. It seemed legitimate. It had a review only option and that’s just what I wanted. After a few weeks, I contacted,  Majanka who owns the site to see if there was anyone who signed up for a review. She said four people had signed up and in fact two reviews were posted on Goodreads and Amazon. At the time I didn’t realize that the owner of this tour’s name was Majanka. So someone named Carli posted a really good review on Amazon. Five stars with a lot of praise. I loved reading it, so I went back to read it again. It was gone. There was another review by Majanka on Amazon giving me four stars and in a short while that review was pulled as well. Two reviewers from the same promotion company had their reviews pulled. I wrote EBP. Majanka had no idea why Carli’s review was pulled and she said Carli was looking into it. Then I realized that Majanka was the owner. So the owner is forbidden to post on Amazon? Very suspicious. I’m thinking that she and Carli are the same person.

This is a very busy lady. She supposed to be in law school, is a prolific author, and manages several websites and this promotion company. Needless to say she has stopped interacting with me, took my money and there are no reviews forthcoming. Majanka did post her review on Goodreads but Carli has not, even though I requested it so I don’t know  if it’s because Carli is Majanka. I also found a site that has analyzed Enchanted Book Promotions and it says it resides in Brazil. When I sent her money through PayPal it wanted to charge me more for sending money out of the US.

So buyer beware.

 

 

 

 

 

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Facing reality

Here’s the situation. Selling one’s art is a hard business. Too many sites are giving away books or if not free almost free at 99 cents. Readers expect that now from indie authors and from traditionally published books close to becoming remainders. Too much free stuff out there so how can one attract a paying readership? Well, first get published by Penguin et.al, be touted as a bestselling author, and get a large advance. For the unknown indie author you become like the Maytag repairman with a big difference. The repairman doesn’t work for free but indie authors do. Oh, there are success stories about how by giving away your work as a loss leader brings a paying readership. It happens…sometimes. Also, I’ve noticed that some indie books have thousands of reviews and even some traditionally published work have thousands of reviews. Of this I am very suspicious. I think you can buy programs or companies that create reviews with bots. But thousands of good reviews do bring some paying customers. And if you buy enough of your own books it can became a best seller. Lots of scams to fake the paying readership.

So what is an indie author like me to do? Face reality and give in. So I took my award-winning book Sunspots off Smashwords and Google and made it exclusive to Amazon KDP Select and I’m giving it away in a five-day promotion. You can download a free copy here:

amzn.to/2A9Fm82

There have already been 6 downloads on the first morning after months of nothing.

Oh well. A writer needs to be read and luckily my living expanses are covered. So please read Sunspots. I know you’ll enjoy it as can be testified by the really good real reviews.

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A month of accomplishments

I grabbed the bull by the horns and went for it. I had gotten impatient and annoyed at the query route. Rejections were piled so high I couldn’t breathe. I reworked the letter several times, rejections kept coming. What to do? Life is too short to be at the mercy of finding the one “yes.”  So I just went for it. Got my book ready for Kindle and ready for paperback. All the files were ready to go and I hit send. Voila. Live on Kindle and live on Kindle Direct Publishing. I chose KDP because I thought it was the new direction away from Createspace. Yes and No. Createspace offers better distribution than KDP but I didn’t know that.  In time, KDP will expand its distribution and I suspect Createspace will go away. Too bad the distribution right now is so limited. Only Amazon outlets. Oh well. But my sales reports for Kindle and paperback are in the same place. So fingers crossed I made the right decision.

Then I just went for it with my audible book. Took all my files and uploaded and held my breath. ACX checks for quality and structure of your files. I made a few mistakes with combining my dedication and opening. Easy peasy fix. Sweated out the quality part because I just sat with a mike in front of my computer. No recording studio. I learned how to use Audacity software to edit extraneous sounds, add some consonants that had dropped off, and rerecord bad parts of sentences. Viola, it passed the quality check. Two years of dedication to this project. I kept editing and editing and my husband said “enough just send it in.” I did and now it’s DONE and for sale. WOW!!!

Then I had I hard time with Facebook’s like box for my website. Facebook changed the way to create it and now it was set up for developers working with source code. I used iWeb to create my site and it wouldn’t let me edit the source code. I called Apple for help and found out that iWeb was no longer supported. Stopped years ago. The tech guy suggested Sandvox. So, I was hesitant to learn a new web design software, but I just went for it. I discovered that built into the software was an easy way to create the Facebook like box. Voila! Easy Peasy.

What’s next? Working on my next book project and narrating my next audible book. Plenty of stuff to keep me busy for awhile.

You can find my new book here: Kindle and paperback:

https://www.amazon.com/When-Stranger-Comes-Karen-Bell-ebook/dp/B075MR6JVG

https://www.amazon.com/When-Stranger-Comes-Karen-Bell/dp/1549772325

My audible book here:

https://www.amazon.com/Walking-with-Elephants/dp/B076FH15MX

And newly redesigned website here:

http://www.karensbell.com

 

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When I was a kid

When I was a kid the cold war was real. We worried all the time that a nuclear weapon would be unleashed and blow us off the face of the earth. By Russia. We had drills where we crouched down under our school desks or went into the school hallways for protection, as if that could protect us. Crouching under desks, gathering in hallways to shield us from a nuclear holocaust. None of that would help anything but people must have thought you couldn’t tell children that in a matter of seconds everyone would be dead. That NYC would be gone. Nothing left. Total annihilation. By Russia.

But we children guessed that our future was precarious. Into my teens we worried. About Russia. Our arch enemy Russia. A movie came out, On the Beach with Gregory Peck. The aftermath of a nuclear war. The only spared continent was Australia. Intact. Buildings intact. The rest of the world was gone. Nothing. No one. But the radio active fallout drifts over to Australia and one-by-one everyone dies. The end of humanity on planet earth.

No one wins a nuclear war. We have a moron for a president that grew up in the same time period as I did. Maybe in boarding school you didn’t have to crouch under a desk. Maybe he was too dumb, like he is today, to understand the enormity of the paranoia. The abyss of fear that this could be the future of mankind. By Russia.

Trump is a friend to Russia, a puppet of Russia, thinks Putin is a great man. Thinks that threatening a nuclear  holocaust on Twitter is tough guy talk. Tough guy talk to someone as unstable as he is. Trump needs to be put in a strait jacket and taken to a mental hospital. He is dangerous, evil, moronic, and stupid. He threatens humanity more than anyone. He holds the codes. He can start a nuclear war with those codes. Why won’t the Republicans remove this lunatic as unfit? Why don’t the people rise up and shout, “WE DON’T WANT NUCLEAR WAR! TRUMP MUST GO!!!!!

Our future as a planet, the future of the human race depends on what we do right now. The bullish stock market will be blown to obscurity. Thinking that Trump is making you rich is an illusion that will blow up with our world. Supporters of Trump are fools that don’t get it. The emperor has no clothes. He never did. He was never president material and we all may pay the price.

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New book released!

I am happy to announce that my third novel is available for Kindle. Paperback coming soon!
 
 
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