Wednesday, May 29, 2013

ON THE ROAD TO PUBLISHING



                                                          

Writing has been described as a lonely profession but in this new publishing era there are many opportunities to interact with fellow writers.  Amazon has made something called Kindle Forums available for authors.   You might describe it as a virtual coffee shop.   It's a place to read posts from other writers, write your comments or pose questions and generally connect with writers whom you may or may not have something in common with.  There are some trolls there who amuse themselves by causing havoc.   I make sure to be anonymous when I post.


It is interesting that new writers often post announcements about the release of their new book which seems counter-intuitive.   Although most writers are readers, the Kindle forum is not a venue for advertising and Amazon's stated policy opposes soliciting customers there.   Nevertheless, it seems to be tolerated although there is a some chastisement from time to time.  Mostly those posts are just ignored.



Some writers ask for help with evaluating their cover or their 'blurb'--the description  that goes on their book's page on Amazon's website.  There are some more experienced authors who offer their advice, even if it is not always what the questioner wants to hear.



There are regular discussions on the merits of the KDP Select program.   This is a program that allows authors to make their book an Amazon exclusive e-book for a renewable 90 days.   It is then available to be borrowed by Amazon Prime members and the author can make their book free to all for five days out of the 90 days.   Again, this seems counter-intuitive to me, but some authors assure others that it has been a valuable form of promotion.



I recently read a thread on the forum about returns.   Amazon very generously allows e-book purchasers to return them up to seven days after purchase.   More than enough time to read them and still claim a refund.   Rinse and repeat . . .    After a certain number of times down this path Amazon steps in and refuses the refund but no one is certain what is required to trigger this action.   Meanwhile, authors gnash their teeth and some rail against those who believe anything digital should be free.




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