The last few weeks have given me time to think about a number of things. As a fiction writer and a writer of erotic tales, it’s important that I tell an “entertaining” story and at the same time, not sell out to those who want something so specific it questions my integrity as an independent author. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate all of the feedback I get and have never been shy about asking and begging for feedback about my work, but just because someone wants more of “this” or less of “that” doesn’t mean I am simply going to comply. The important thing for me is that I try and reach at least one person – whether they enjoyed the story or not.
While I have some close friends who live near me who have always been supportive and helpful, I get a great deal of feedback from outside the US, which can be exciting knowing that my stories are traveling around the globe, even when it’s a small audience. Over the last few years, I think I have done a great job of being patient when it comes to measuring my success as a writer. I have received quite a bit of feedback related to my work and I am grateful for it. Sometimes I have to beg for feedback, which I really don’t like to do, but I have a few friends who are very helpful and one in particular has been a huge part of my success. I have never met her face to face (not surprising for some of us still in the closet), but her honesty and genuineness has been more than an inspiration to me. She has motivated me without trying. The person I am speaking of is Sally Bend.
I came across Sally’s site via Twitter, where I do most of my book marketing and after reading her reviews of others and having a chance to read her own work, I realized that the style is not important, it’s the interpretation. Sally has reviewed a number of my books and confirmed the direction I was taking with each piece. She is not afraid of giving criticism and at the same time praises authors without spoiling the book.
If you get the chance to visit her site (http://www.sallybend.com) or follower her on Twitter (@bibrary), you won’t be disappointed. Thanks, Sally for your honest and kind words and for reminding me to stay true to who I am… as a writer and as a human being.
Sally was gracious enough to post a web interview with me some time back… Check it out here.
I am growing increasingly frustrated with Amazon right now. So much so that I putout a feeler on social media to see where readers were getting their ebooks from (Kindle or iBooks). The unanimous response was Amazon Kindle – which frustrated me even more because of the problems I was having.
I recently got wind of something I was ignorant about and maybe I still am. I friend from Canada reached out to me not too long ago informing me about one of my books not being available in Canada. As I looked into it I also realized that this was similar to what was happening in the UK and other parts of Europe. I have a specific author page in the UK with Amazon, but as I look at the postings, it indicates that they are available in the US and not specifically in the UK.
Has anyone else seen this issue before? If so how did you address this or is it even an issue? I am curious and concerned as I have been having some major difficulties of late with Amazon and specifically Kindle Direct Publishing which has held up the release of other works I have written. My hope is that this is just another situation where I don’t have all the facts, but if it is Amazon and there is no way to get around it, I may consider publishing all stories on my web site instead and using PayPal or other eCommerce service to sell the books.
I recently read an blog post from another author Ann Michelle (see her post here) Where she discussed the concerns readers have about purchasing her erotic tales. I have seen a similar situation and her options have fantastic merit. The option of creating a “plain brown wrapper” for her books could a great thing for the readers who don’t want to look like a freak when the mailman delivers them. The challenge with this is creating the “fake front” as she described. That is a lot of work and it is important to remember that we do take pride in our passions. Sometimes adding useless pages to reach the story you really wanted to read could discourage a reader.
The “Separate Amazon Account” is a much better option. The only people who are aware of your true identity are the folks at Amazon. I write under a pen name and do this for my authoring of my work and While I am not worried about items I purchase, I am always concerned about maintaining my privacy.
Now one that she left out, which is something I have begun doing after a recent request for of all things autographed copies of the printed books is to use PayPal or another service to handle payment transfers. I have a contact page on my web site that can be used for feedback or to inquire about purchasing books. Rather than create new copies with an inconspicuous title and useless pages of what the reader doesn’t want, I have secured copies of the eBooks that I can email directly to the reader. When they want printed copies, I can send out copies from my personal inventory that I secured for book signings I did in Europe and for the autograph seeker.
Remember that We love having our work enjoyed and understand the struggles of obtaining it, but ultimately the only way to get it to you – is for you to tell us you want it. IF you have concerns tell us and for some of us we can make reasonable arrangements.