Saturday, August 29, 2009

Rayne's Ramblings: The hokey-pokey

This has been a productive summer for me. I used to wonder if the writing would get easier, and now I have an answer. For me, yes, it has. I’m much more relaxed about this business than I used to be.

Part of that is I don’t spend a lot of time out on all the lists, and groups. Maybe I should, I don’t know. Trying to do the personal appearances took a chunk out of precious writing time, so I think it’s a necessity that I limit time spent on the Internet. Does that hurt sales? I don’t think so. I believe that the best promotion is the best book you can write.

When I was first starting out, the prevailing wisdom said you had to promo at the review sites in their “live” chat rooms. I did it. Some review sites bragged of having hundreds of people show up for a chat. When I wasn’t headlining those events, I went as myself, not the author, and I never encountered more than twenty-three people at a “live” chat, even when some rather big-name, New York authors were there.

The prevailing wisdom said, “You must have contests.” So I did. I got to know those people who haunt the lists waiting for a contest. I don’t bother much with contests, these days. T-shirts, bookmarks, promo cd’s – all the little klitchy things. I did them all.

And nothing – absolutely nothing – makes any difference if you don’t have a good book.

If I have just one shot at giving any advice to a new writer, or an old one, for that matter, I make it this: Forget everything that fills up your hours with counterproductive activities, and learn, learn, learn all you can to make your writing better.

And a better story leads to greater personal satisfaction, and that, my friends, is the hokey-pokey of this business. That’s what it’s all about.


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Rayne's Ramblings: Amazon being sued over hacking Kindles

It seems I'm not the only person in the world who understands that what did by removing two George Orwell books from Kindle readers was hacking. Ugly hacking. The very thing Orwell wrote about. The very thing they arrest individuals for doing.

Okay - who at Amazon is going to jail?

A high school student in Seattle is sueing corporate giant Amazon for removing his copy of "1984" from his Kindle. Along with the book, Amazon stole all the notes he'd made as part of an advance placement course in which he was required to submit his reflections on each 100 pages of text in the story. He was 25% through his assignment when he was hacked by Amazon.

Pissed off? I don't blame him a bit.

Hacking is hacking. I bet George Orwell would agree.

Now I wonder if my books will "disappear" from Amazon's website. If so, Orwell saw it coming.