Going Pro—Earning Rhino Skin & Learning Which Opinions Matter

Deborah Smith:

Another great blog from Kristen Lamb

Originally posted on Kristen Lamb's Blog:

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I heard somewhere that, statistically speaking, 10% of people will simply not like us, no matter what we do or how much we try. Whenever we decide to do something remarkable or even just different, this is when we’re most likely to encounter push-back.

Also, if we enjoy any measure of success or achievement, expect to be knifed. This is reality. We cannot control others, only ourselves and how we respond and what we choose to internalize. As writers, we’ll experience this with friends, family and even strangers.

Ah, strangers…

If I met someone and told them I was an HR manager, most people likely wouldn’t reply, “No I meant, what is your real job?”

I wouldn’t have to give a resume of all my accomplishments and proof I made money as an HR manager or even a roster of how many people I had in my charge. Yet, no one seems…

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helping out the cousin . . .

My cousin David S. Smith of Alabama writes Christian devotionals. He’s a retired salesman, so handselling his own books keeps his talents from rusting. Also, he’s not in it for the money, but for the sharing. Anyhoo, I design the covers and my husband does the interior formatting. Book one was God is Real and the new book is Every Day Is A Gift. Ebook and print, at Amazon.
Every Day Is A Gift

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Is Romance Devolving?—50 Shades vs. No One Puts Baby in a Corner

Deborah Smith:

A terrific post from Kristen Lamb about the 50 Shades phenom and its dark side. The commentary/discussion from Lamb’s followers (including yours truly) is also a smart and worthwhile read.

Originally posted on Kristen Lamb's Blog:

Image courtesy of Lisa Weidmeier WANA Commons. Image courtesy of Lisa Weidmeier WANA Commons.

I’d hoped I wouldn’t have to go here, but alas, here we are. Today, 50 Shades of Grey the MOVIE will open for…*record screech* Valentine’s Day. Nothing says I love you like predatory emotional manipulation, sociopathy, abuse and non-consensual sex acts.

Find THAT on a Hallmark card.

And yes, I know there have been other kinky books like this, but 50 Shades sold over 100 million copies and the movie (despite ZERO plot) is expected to gross in excess of $60 million which means I just threw up a little in my mouth this “story” has tipped from fringe to mainstream and that scares me more than a little bit.

No, I didn’t read the book. I don’t need to. Nor do I need to watch gang-rape prison porn to know it probably is unhealthy for the future of women (or even men)…

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Taking on the Blogging Bullies—Ageism, Fear & Misbehaving “Old” Women

Deborah Smith:

I love Kristen Lamb’s blog posts. This new one is my fave so far.

Originally posted on Kristen Lamb's Blog:

Fashion for the Over 30 Woman Fashion for the Over 30 Woman

Writers have a LOT of power. A LOT. Art often not only defines and reflects a society as it currently exists, but it can be a compass for the direction that culture is heading. This said, there was a blogger who sent me into the STRATOSPHERE on Saturday and had me sharpening kitchen knives. As a writer, I strongly believe in giving credit for the writing, but this is a sticky situation.

I won’t mention her name or her blog for a number of reasons.

First, she doesn’t deserve the traffic I might send her. Being a jerk shouldn’t be rewarded and bad attention is still attention. Secondly, I couldn’t trust myself not to be a troll, so I won’t subject her to comments she deserves because, since I’m older?

I’m classier than that :)

Since she’s simple enough to locate on Twitter, FB…

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The Kitchen Charmer is still cooking!

I recently got a flood of emails asking about The Kitchen Charmer. So here’s my communal answer, y’all. Thank you for you infinite patience. It’s still in the works! I probably have 800 pages on the book, although they’re not in sequence and some refer to versions that will never see the light of day. It stopped being a novella a long time ago, partially because it wanted to be bigger, and partially because my readers kept saying they wanted full-length novels.

I take forever. I agonize over every scene, sometimes every word. Some of that is my usual perfectionism; but a lot of it’s from working as an editor and publisher now, which means I’ve got a bird’s eye view of the competition in ways I never had, before. The world is a scary place in which to release our tender book birds.

I’m hoping for a spring pub date, but I’ve quit issuing estimates. I can report that the book is moving along at a faster rate, and going more smoothly, than ever before. Knock on wood. Thanks again for waiting. I hope it’s worth it.

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Troubling News about Kindle Unlimited

Deborah Smith:

I’m seeing comments like Tom’s from writers on Kindleboards as well; the evidence seems to be growing that Kindle Unlimited has damaged sales for a significant number of self-published authors at Amazon. Other factors hurting sales (besides the stagnating ebook market in general) are Amazon’s favoring of its own imprints in promotions and rankings (those Amazon-published books don’t get ahead on the bestseller lists simply on their own merits,) and the changes in algorithms that create more “churn” on the lists, preventing books from sticking at high levels for long. A book has to demonstrate some serious strengths to escape housekeeping sweeps by the algorithm bots. Wouldn’t it be fascinating if we could turn off those formulas for a few weeks and see which books actually sell the best?

Originally posted on T.R. (Tom) Harris - Science Fiction Writer:

Amazon just announced that the payout for Kindle Unlimited rentals (KU’s) is only $1.33 each for October. This compares to $1.52 for September, $1.54 for August and $1.81 for July, the month the program started.

As a result of this drastic drop in payout, I’ve received a number of emails from authors I know about whether staying in Select and KU is worth it at this point. The following is an email I sent to my friend George Hudson, author of Sol Shall Rise. It pretty much lays out my thinking on KU and Amazon as a whole at this time.

“Yeah, George, KU is a problem right now, but it’s larger than that. Overall, Amazon is underperforming. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still the eight-hundred pound gorilla in the room and we need to always be on it. But looking at a combination of much lower payouts for KU, along with the…

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Hachette-Amazon deal–more bad news for the rest of us?

David Streitfield at the New York Times reports: “Amazon and Hachette Resolve Dispute.”

More dominance for Amazon and the big publishers, less opportunity for everyone else?

So far as I can tell from what we know (only the basics) and what the insiders are guessing about, Hachette got what it wanted–control over pricing of its books and an acceptable contract in terms of how much more it will pay Amazon for various promotional services–and Amazon agreed to give Hachette’s books even more promotion. Very similar to Simon & Schuster’s (assumed) deal. If the other big publishers get similar deals (and I’m betting cash dollars they will) then look for Amazon to give much more feature space (and search engine priority) to Big 5 titles and Amazon’s own imprint titles, which already receive a lot of favored treatment. For small and medium presses, hybrid authors and self-published authors in the KDP program, will that further undercut what was once a relatively level playing field?

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