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Does size matter?

Here’s an interesting blog post about Kindle Book covers that I stumbled upon today.  It’s old, from a few years ago, but it’s helpful for newbies, like me going it on our own, to try and figure out what works best.  Read it here.

 

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Gatecrashing the Book Charts

Amazon has a Fake Book Problem

Have you ever come across strange books at the top 20 with no reviews or sales and wondered how they got there?  Or who wrote them? Well, maybe no one wrote them? Here’s an interesting article about how they got there. Read it here.

 

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Tell Amazon to stop taking down reviews

Amazon has started taking down reviews because they believe the reviews are done by people known to the writers. As if that’s something wrong.

Now we all know that self published writers rely a lot on reviews to get their books out there.  It’s part of the marketing strategy for most indies.

But do we know all the people who review our books? I don’t think so.

I don’t review books by people I know. I review them because I find a book interesting, or I follow an author and I like her/his style of writing and want to read more, and once I’ve read the book, if I like it, I leave a review. It’s my way of saying thanks for writing a great book.

I have ‘met’ a lot of writers on Facebook and Twitter. I’m a member of an unimaginably large number of writer groups. We discuss writing, share experiences and help each out out, not necessarily in that order. We also  have loads of fun hanging out in the community. Sometimes, if we find we click, we include those new writers in our friends list. But do we personally know all of them – no.

So when someone reads and reviews our books, it mean s/he is doing it because s/he likes our book and is appreciative of it and wants to let us know in the nicest possible way – by leaving a review.

But Amazon has started to take down reviews because in some strange logic that they only seem to understand, they assume that we have asked, or personally know all the people on our Facebook or Twitter lists.

Maria Lazarou has just started a petition to get Amazon to reconsider their decision. If you are an indie author, or if you support indies, or if you love reading, please consider signing the petition. You can also leave a comment to let Amazon know why you think their move is not a good one. To sign and leave a message, go here.

 

Featured

Beneath the Masks – Kari Holloway

My review of Beneath the Masks is up at Goodreads. You can also read this delightful short story at Amazon here.

Beneath the Masks by [Holloway, Kari]

“I wasn’t too sure what to expect as I’m not into fantasy but I was pleasantly surprised and glad I read Beneath the Masks. I liked the start, how the scene is set with the three moons glowing in the sky and then moves to the ball inside. It felt a little like reading a historical romance but with the touches of fantasy. The story ended at just the right place, keeping readers wondering if there is more. Loved it.”

 

A Gift for Life – Join me in the Song Of Sahel

I’ve been busy working with friends from around the world on a new anthology to be launched next month.  Song Of Sahel brings together some of the artists who collaborated on Every Child Is Entitled to Innocence as well as many new and interesting artists. Song Of Sahel is unique as it is not merely poetry and prose but will include paintings, artwork, music and photography along with poetry and prose. Song Of Sahel will be published by Plum Tree Books as a multi-media kindle and will be available on Amazon. Proceeds of the sales will go to SOS Sahel, an NGO working in the Sahel region of Africa.

The Song Of Sahel is yet another brainchild of my friend Dr. Niamh Clune.  A month ago Niamh decided to bring together a group of artists to produce this unique anthology to help raise awareness and the much needed funds to help the people of the Sahel. Spurred by a poem about the plight of the people in the Sahel by Wayne Tolbert one of our gifted poets, the Song Of Sahel was born.

Why in the world the Sahel? You may ask. And here’s the reason.

Millions of people are affected daily by adverse weather conditions around the world. Yet none are harsher than the severe drought prevailing in the Sahel – a narrow band of semi arid land south of the Sahara. Encompassing countries such as Senegal, Mali, Burkino Faso and Niger the Sahel once boasted of some of Africa’s most influential civilizations. It is today one of the poorest and most environmentally damaged places on earth.

Soil erosion, deforestation, insufficient irrigation, desertification, drought and overpopulation are just some of the problems faced by the people of the Sahel. The incomes of the people have reduced and finding food has become a luxury. Many people are forced to eke out a living outside of their traditional occupations of herding and farming drawing them to the cities where overpopulation creates a whole new set of problems. And as always it’s the children that get affected the most.

Aid agencies based in the Sahel region are working nonstop to help alleviate the suffering of the people of the Sahel. But are we to leave the work to aid agencies alone? Do we merely give a few coins in support to whatever charity and then turn away hoping they do the needful? No. As artists we need to do more. Much more. We may not be able to give much in terms of money but we can together give our talents to make money that will feed the hungry and buy books for the children.

We can help and together we can make a difference.

I ask you, writers, poets, painters, photographers, bards, singers, songwriters, musicians and the occasional town crier to join in with us and help make a difference, even a slight difference in the lives of these people.

You can contribute anything, the only criteria is that it has to be about the Sahel region. Song Of Sahel already includes artists from around the world – from the UK, US, Ireland, Spain, Sri Lanka, Canada, South America, India and Australia who have joined to raise awareness of the plight of the people living in the Sahel.

We are accepting submission until August 15, so hurry and send them in. You can contact us via www.ontheplumtree.wordpress.com on how to make a submission or how to link with us.

Song Of Sahel will be launched worldwide on September 15 at

http://www.facebook.com/events/455785594445002/ 

or www.ontheplumtree.wordpress.com

You can meet some of the artists involved in the project, listen to music composed especially for the event and hear live recordings of some of the poems submitted. You can also listen to a radio broadcast.  The event begins at 10 am GMT and will continue round the clock until 10 am the following day.

I look forward to meeting you.