Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Update on the Stop the BookSurge Monopoly Petition.

As of this morning the petition (Stop the BookSurge Monopoly) has 1117 signatures.

Here is a sample of some of the comments from the cause supporters:

"I guess no amount of money is enough money for Amazon.com. The requirement to use Booksurge is the epitome of greed, and it must be stopped. Otherwise there is nothing to stop Amazon from attempting to stifle competition in other areas."

"Americans don't like monopolies. In this internet-driven day and age, it's a mistake to alienate a group like this. Prices are already soaring. Forcing higher cost and offering lower quality to line your own pockets when you're already doing well is a good way to start losing business."

"As a new author, and one who is not likely to ever reach the fame and stature of a Steven King, I strongly resent this attempt at 18th century style capitalism. Not only that but on their website, Borders says it is going to be using the same technology. Look out, theres another on the loose."

"This is insane. Authors are customers too. Making such a ridiculous demand of them will result in a loss of both authors and customers."

"I have a book through LULU.com, so am affected directly by this ultimatum. The whole thing smells like monopoly to me and is anti-free market economy. If Amazon is allowed to get away with this, they will seek to take over others down the road. How long before they start trying to control content. This is NOT North Korea."

"I have enjoyed shopping at Amazon for years, and don't begrudge them the success they've enjoyed. However, I can't see this push to get print-on-demand titles listed through Booksurge as anything more than an attempt at setting up a vertical monopoly (paired with its acquisition of Mobipocket, an e-book distributor, a couple years ago). Come on, Amazon - aren't you making enough money??"

"Amazon are willfully prohibiting orders for potential customers unless the publishing company sign into their agreements. This means that amazon take a staggering 60% of sale for doing not that much! This must be dealt with, there must be some form of governing body who can oversee this unfair monopoly. For many up and coming authors they feel their hands are tied."

"I am a small publisher that did not go with BookSurge because of quality issues. Now that Amazon owns them and is insisting on Booksurge printing to be sold on Amazon, my business will go elsewhere. It may be tough for a while, but where ever there is a void, the vacuum syndrome fills the void. There will be a new Marketing strategy to follow."

"Outrageous - I will NEVER shop at Amazon."

"As a regular and loyal customer to Amazon, I feel this tactic in forcing authors to use Booksurge is a blatant attempt at blackmail and an attempt to set up a monopoly. Fortunately, there are many wonderful independent booksellers in Seattle where I can purchase my books and cease my patronage at Amazon if this poor business practice continues."

"I'm a reader and author and I've got books on Amazon for sale as well as buying regularly. Because of this move from Amazon I've taken my links to Amazon.com off my website and I've told as many people as possible."

"As a micropublisher, this action could severely limit some of our authors' abilities to distribute themselves. A portion of our business rests on authors being able to connect with audiences through a internet market, and any limitation on that current ability is not acceptable."

"This is disgraceful and a blatant slap in the face to all, filtering from other print on demand book publishers to the authors to the readers who are not aware of what is happening. Who are the head muckety mucks behind this? They must be politicians...or related to politicians...or political wannabees...or just plain obnoxiously greedy quelch-the-free-enterprise system. I'm sending this petition to everyone I know...and hope main media will help get this story out, too. SHAME ON YOU, AMAZON!"

"If Amazon persists in trying to monopolize the market will stop doing business with them. I also manage several clients' businesses that are small publishers. We will do whatever is necessary to avoid dealing with Amazon."

"I shopped at Amazon exclusively for books until now. Yesterday I deleted my wishlist. I intend to delete my account if they do not change their ways. For now I am shopping at Books-A-Million."

"I am also an author. This is awful, just another squeeze on writers. POD and self-publishing will not go away. Somebody, some where, will create another "Amazon" if necessary. Amazon.com should be ashamed. I have loved Amazon and have been a supporter. Now I'm wondering if the big publishers are behind this? I can tell you if this happens, I, as well as many of my friends and family, will never buy another thing from Amazon.com."

"Competition is what makes the USA great. This is an irresponsible move.... I'll take my online book buying from Amazon.com to B&N.COM now. See ya!"

"People should be free to choose who they would like to print their books. They shouldn't be forced to be omitted from a large marketplace just because Amazon isn't getting the printing revenues. I will not be purchasing anything from Amazon if this goes through."

"As a publicist I abhor this move by Amazon. This is a blatantly greedy move on their part that will hurt first time authors, as well as bigger publishers. And over and over again I have seen that Book Surge has very poor customer service, and quality. So we have greed combining with shoddy product. If Amazon does not change this policy I will not use them again for the myriad of books I buy and my authors sell. And I will use my influence as a publicist to encourage others to do the same."

- Note:
The only response I have had from Amazon to these unhappy customers was a echo of their official statement. It seems their Booksurge policy overrides their policy of pleasing their customers. Does Greed rules Amazon? -

Saturday, 19 April 2008

My Book Synopsis

I'm curious to get some feedback on my upcoming horror novella.
(Keep in mind this is still a work-in-progress)

The novella is set in London, England from the years 1795 to 1826
Basically it is being written in three sections, each part telling the story of a member of the Harrington Family and their interaction with two vampires.

The entire book is being written as diary entries.

Here are some examples:

August 13, 1795.

There is evil in this world. I can no longer deny that fact, for I have seen its face and heard its voice.
But evil is not repellent to me, as it should be. No, it is great temptation, a banquet of all I have wanted in this life. If I give over my soul. I should be afraid of this, I should flee from all thought of what I am contemplating. Why do I not?
A lifetime of belief is being undone by temptation. I have always done as I was taught. I have always trusted in God, but now I consider rejecting Him. Why? Perhaps my faith was not as strong as I believed.

August 17, 1795.

I talked to Henri regarding my doubts. He told me it must be my choice. I must choose between my beliefs and morals, and my desires. To that I will admit upon these pages, if no where else. For what I must do is selfish, even cruel, and will ruin utterly the life I live at this moment. To make the choice will take me into the shadow.

Friday, 4 April 2008

Writing Tip: Creating Conflict by Theresa Chaze

Creating Conflict:

Conflict is the stress factor, which not only propels the character to change, but also keeps the reader turning pages. By definition in literature, conflict is plot tension: opposition between or among characters or forces in a literary work that shapes or motivates the action of the character. No matter what genre, the conflict creates the drama, which is the backbone of the story. Without the suspense it creates, there would be no reason for the reader to be drawn in to the tale.

Conflict is not limited to physical altercation, but involves any plot twist, turn or ploy that causes emotional, spiritual or physical distress. Threatening to punch someone can create fear, but withholding love can have the same effect. One is physical, the other is emotion, yet they can have the same result. It is the stressor that causes discord and confusion within and around the main character. However, story conflict involves more than a single event; it is better described as a building of scenes one on another like a staircase, until the character has limited choices. By narrowing the character's options, her or his possibilities are limited, thereby forcing the character into a crisis situation. If done correctly, the readers are further drawn into the story, as they are anticipating the next plot twists and the eventual resolution.

Traditionally there are four conflict themes to both short stories and novels; however, in From Blank Page to Book Shelves, there is a fifth.

Man against himself

Man against man

Man against nature

Man against God or spirituality

Man against Fate or Karma (This is explained in From Blank Page to Book Shelves.)

Each theme is a generic conflict category, which help organize the characters and plot. They help define the roles of the characters in relation to their challenges. In this case, man is used as a generic term for person or main character; sometimes the central character isn’t human, but term would still apply. It is the focal point character to which I refer. In small pieces, such as short stories, there is only one conflict theme. However, in longer pieces such as novellas and novels, there are usually diverse characters so there can be more than one theme or a series of interdependent themes that guide the reader to the central conflict.

From Blank Page to Book Shelves--How to Successfully Create and Market Your Book is a new ebook, which explains not only more about conflict, but also about character development, story plot progression and other writing tips. It will also make your publishing experience more successful by helping the author to ask the right questions. The marketing information includes how to effectively use SEO keywords in press releases and low cost to free promotional options. Currently, this ebook is available as an Amazon Kindle or on the author's website, www.theresachaze.com for $7.00. Copies bought on the author's site are accompanied by a 345 page listing of over 2000 independent bookstores.

-I would like to thank Theresa Chaze for joining me here as my guest. As an added bonus, here is a peek at the press release for From Blank Page to Book Shelves--How to Successfully Create and Market Your Book-

Authors: A New Ebook on Writing and Marketing Your Book

From Blank Page to Book Shelves--How to Successfully Create and Market Your Book is a new ebook, which shares writing tips, and marketing strategies, which will make your publishing experience more successful. The marketing information includes how to effectively use SEO keywords in press releases, chose a publisher and low cost to free promotional options, while sharing writing tips.

The first part of the ebook gives basic writing tips. From plot organization to creating conflicts, this ebook help authors understand the basic structure of both short stories and novels. In addition, there are chapters on characterization and sensory writing, which help the authors draw in their readers into a multi-dimensional reading experience.
The second part of the book includes the importance of protecting the rights of the author, not only by copyrighting the work, but choosing the proper publishing venue. Safeguarding a work can be done easily and inexpensively; if done properly it insures that it will be legally protected. Choosing the correct publishing format and publisher can also make or break a book’s opportunities to reach the reading public.
Marketing and Promotions is explained in the third part of the ebook. It describes how the publishing venue affects how a book can be best advertised not only to readers, but also to bookstore owners. In addition, it lists low cost or free promotional ideas that can be used both on and offline. Search Engine Optimization makes press releases more effective; using the correct key words in the proper format will efficiently attract the attention of the search engines, thereby raising the article or site higher in the rankings and drawing more traffic to it.

From Blank Page to Book Shelves--How to Successfully Create and Market Your Book can’t guarantee to place an author on the New York Times best sellers list; however, it will help improve their writing skills and understanding of the business end of the industry.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Theresa Chaze to Guest on this blog tomorrow!

Just a reminder that tomorrow, April 4th, Theresa Chaze will be guest posting here as part of her virtual book tour. She is the author of, From Blank Page to Book Shelves--How to Successfully Create and Market Your Book, and her article topic will be, Writing Tip: Creating Conflict.

Make sure to drop by tomorrow.