Fly Commentors – FLY

I much like all Independent Artists, am really attached to the issue of net neutrality. Simply because I don’t have the budget to match companies like Netflix dollar for dollar so that I can access the same user base at equal speeds. So when I saw this video on youtube of course I had to share it (plus the unleashing of the trolls is just comedic gold).

If you haven’t already gone to the FCC’s site to comment, please consider doing so – and encouraging everyone you know to do so. It’s easy to do and as John Oliver mentions, you don’t exactly have to be Shakespeare to get your point across on the issue either.

 

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Amazon, Hachette and Smashwords

So – I’m re-reconsidering Smashwords, for several reasons. First and foremost, though the meat grinder is still their prefered method of upload for new titles and though it still sucks mightly, there is now the option to upload checked epub files instead. I’ve yet to figure out how to create an epub that they’ll accept but I think this option really makes them a lot more worthwhile than previously especially since I’ve seen some wonky things happen with my Draft2Digital publications.

Recently files have gone online and offline at D2D with seemingly little rhyme or reason. I’ve cracked down on one cause, which is entirely my fault, while the others seem to have more to do with disputes between the various distributors themselves. My mistakes are bad enough but they come with the territory, I’ll learn from them, make fixes and move onto releasing a better product. My work seemingly caught up in dispute I’ve got nothing to do with? Not so much.

Which is where Hatchette comes in. Initially, I looked on Amazon’s feud with the one of the big six traditional publishers the way I look on anything that seems to spell trouble for traditional publishing – with miserly glee and much mwhahaha’ing. Of course, that was largely because the feud is partially shrouded in mystery (we don’t know what Hatchette’s particular demands are) and slightly because all the articles I’d read on the subject really looked at the situation from a traditional publishing standpoint.

Until I saw an article on Smashwords that clarified a few things I’d been thinking about recently as well as the Hatchette/Amazon feud in a way relevant to me as an independent author. So I’m rethinking Smashwords, again, though the final decision will likely hing on my abilities to use the new tools properly.

 

When To Pay, When NOT To Pay: Book Baby Update

I’ve previously mentioned BookBaby here in the “you’d have to be crazy to pay these prices for this ‘service’ which you could do just as well yourself for free,” column of my When To Pay, When NOT to Pay series. Things have changed though so I suppose it’s worth a quick update.

The primary sticking point for me with BookBaby in the past was their paid ebook formatting and publishing options, all of which any ebook author should be able to do for themselves. Far as I’m concerned knowing how to properly format your own ebook and upload it to the sites of your choosing is as essential as knowing how to change a flat tire and any site that preys on people who haven’t yet figured out how easy it is for authors to do for themselves – is bad news. Now that BookBaby is offering to let authors do these things for themselves, for free, has my opinion of the site changed along with their policy?

Not really no.

There are already a lot of great ways to aggregate your ebook on the various ereader sites, most of which have always been free for authors to use (any cost comes out of the ebook’s price, authors pay nothing up front). Then there’s the various ereader sites themselves for which multiple formatting might be a bit of a pain but it ‘costs’ authors even less than going through an aggregate site. Most of those aren’t mostly in the business of trying to push additional services on Indie Authors (don’t get me wrong, some do offer ‘extras’ like cover design etc. it’s just never been their main money making focus) while BookBaby has always been about selling authors a bill of goods first and selling the authors books second.

That’s just not a great way to get my business or my endorsement.

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

It’s almost that time of year again. Somewhere between when I’ve finished writing my latest novel and before I stop fretting over it like a fussy hen and start writing my next novel. Into this no-mans land falls several events, MLK day, my birthday, Valentine’s Day, Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.

In something like 26 days, all kinds of authors are going to be scrambling for a chance on a very small list that promises to get only smaller as each wrung of the competition goes on. This year I’m contemplating throwing my hat into the ring, if for no better reason than ‘why not.’

Though I’d really like to hear what other Indies think of the contest. Was it worth the effort? Would you do it again? How big was the ulcer you grew from worrying and did it necessitate surgery? You know, that kind of thing.

So leave a note in the comments and tell me your thoughts! Or if you’re a reader and you just want me to tell you when my next book is going to hit Amazon, consider signing up for email alerts.

Start The New Year Off With A New Book

It’s New Year’s Eve and many people around the world are going to be dressing up to head out and party through midnight. However if you’re like me then the only thing on your mind is what quiet little corner you’re going to take refuge in and what awesome new book you’re going to spend the entire day with. After all, New Years Eve is the one day of the year when no one will look cross eyed at you when you come in bleary eyed the next day.

So, for the readers looking to start the new year off right I’ve got some awesome books suggestions to help you ring in the New Year with. Starting with “Toxic Ash,’ of course which was released just in time for Christmas.

When you dance with the Devil – there’s Hell to pay… Somehow Ash survived Nevada but now it’s time to clean up the mess she made in the process. Her contract is up for review and if she wants to avoid a fatal cancellation, she’s going to have to do something to prove her usefulness to The Company and delve deeper into a world of madness in the process.

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While You Were Sleeping…

If you signed up for email alerts you already know this but for the rest of you, I went ahead and released “Toxic Ash,” updated the blog, Facebook and all the relevant hoodads – and then just because I wasn’t feeling like enough of an over achiever I went ahead and made this:

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“Toxic Ash” Is Finally FINISHED

I am finally done with the draft on “Toxic Ash.” Now it’s time for – everything else. Right now it feels like writing the thing was the easy part and that was damned hard. I haven’t sent out an email blast yet, since the publication date isn’t settled – lots of edits need to happen first and I can’t rush a single one of them.

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