Amazon Eats Reviews

Many self-published authors are complaining about the same thing: Amazon deletes reviews.

The issue is, Amazon keeps eating the reviews from the people I know, I had about 8 reviews on my book Simplesmente Gerva and they deleted them all.

I don’t agree with their system. I know people that are related to me or are my friends are biased, but where do you start?

To attract unbiased reviews, you need reviews! With reviews from people you know, you will attract people to buy the book. Some will like and some won’t, but it doesn’t matter as long as you start the ball rolling.

With Amazon policy of deleting reviews I’m left with no starting point.

I’m retorting to begging, and selling my soul, https://taniacreations.com/2016/05/27/lucifer-the-amazon/, the next step might be a bit more drastic…

There I am at a corner, mini-skirt, trashy top, more make-up than I ever used, twirling my purse. A car comes along, a man opens the window and leans to speak to me.

‘How much?’

‘1 review for one hour, 2 reviews for four hours or 3 reviews for the night’

‘Hum, okay, I’ll take the four hours option.’

Cool! The make up certainly paid off! I give him a card with some web addresses.

‘Payment first! Go home, read the books, make the reviews, come back tomorrow, I’ll be waiting’.

Save me from myself, review my books!

Sideways Reality:

www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01DRNHT4G

www.amazon.com.br/dp/B01DRNHT4G

www.amazon.com/dp/B01DRNHT4G

Simplesmente Gerva:

www.amazon.com.br/dp/B00M5NICLY

www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00M5NICLY

www.amazon.com/dp/B00M5NICLY

Fio da Meada:

www.amazon.com.br/dp/B007XAJOFM

www.amazon.com.au/dp/B007XAJOFM

www.amazon.com/dp/B007XAJOFM

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Socialise Quietly and Write

Most Tuesdays, after work, I go to a Meetup in Sydney CBD for writers. It goes for two hours and we get together, sit down, and write.

A few people talk and exchange experiences once the clock reaches eight pm, on the dot. Others write until they have to go home. I write until I’m about to drop.

I cannot stop writing, it is usually one of my most productive writing moments of the week. I often get “in the zone” and produce high quality work, writing hard up to nine or ten.

Pumped by a guilty late-night-coffee — which will most certainly keep me awake or make me have an agitated, unrestful night — I think the sacrifice is worth it. Every time I debate, to coffee or not to coffee…

Tonight I have churned some great paragraphs and ticked many items of my to-do list for a specific project.

Trying to write, publish and promote your own books while working full time is a little bit like trying to give birth while driving a horse-cart with a spooked stallion must be. Creating life, giving birth to characters, while your attention is constantly demanded elsewhere…

The road doesn’t end though, so I keep bouncing, reins in hand, YEEHAW!

What are Kindle Singles? Is my book one?

I have recently self-published a Kindle book composed of four short stories. My initial idea was to publish it as Kindle Singles.

I am not sure that Amazon is very good at communicating stuff, of I’m not very good at understanding them.

I had a completely wrong perception of what Kindle Singles are. I thought they were shorter books and that you should add them to this category if your book was shorter than the usual novel length. In my imagination, it was your duty to classify a book as a Kindle Single, if they were smaller, so the client could know what they are buying.

I didn’t realise Kindle Singles are something else altogether. Yes, they are shorter books, novella size, but they are hand picked by Amazon to be classified as so. If your book is chosen, you benefit from Kindle Singles promotions, which gives your book a bit more visibility. Therefore, being a Kindle Single is something special.

This means that you have to apply, to send your work to the Amazon editors and wait six weeks for them to evaluate it. Then you might become a Kindle Single. 

Just when I was about to submit it I read “no collections accepted”. I sent it anyway, probably part of my Brazilian DNA that would not allow me to give up without a try, an attempt of bending the rules.

It didn’t work, so “Sideways Reality”. [at Amazon AU, US, BR] is not a Kindle Single, but I’m still proud to call it my own!

Emotions when Publishing a New Book – Sideways Reality

Releasing my first book in English, at Amazon, with my own name, brings to the surface many emotions and their counterparts.

The book is a little collection with four short stories in fantasy and fiction. I loved writing this one I’ve called “Sideways Reality”. [at Amazon AU, US, BR]

The moment I received the message saying it was out-there, four thoughts came to mind…

First an excitement, a sense of accomplishment, of doing something I said I would do, ticking a box. But also an amazement, I confess that I love the stories I’ve created, the ideas in them. The funny thing, is that when I read it I keep thinking “where did that come from?” Inspiration feels more like something that comes from outside and takes possession of your body and your hands and your mind.

The writing happens more through me than by me.

I often put ideas down for future writing. Months or years later, when I’m looking for something to write about, I don’t remember writing some of these notes.

Second is that I cannot tell attest for the quality of my writing in any degree. After reading something a couple of times, I completely lose perspective. I’m not sure people will understand what I’m saying. It is completely illogical, a sense that the reader could not discern one word from the next. I feel hopeful that they will though, I have chosen a very good free lance editor and she helped me with the right questions and by doing a thorough job.

This is harder for self-publishers, like I am at this point. My editor is a free lancer, and only one. I read the work several times the normal way and out loud at least once, make many corrections. But in the end I hope and trust that it is finished, no matter the result, at this point I don’t care as much either way.

Then, when the book is out, that is when the Big Fears kick in. Fear of sending it to my friends and specially work colleagues and what they might think. Also the fear that there is a typo or a grammar mistake or just simply something wrong with it. The ego shudders…

I feel as if my subconscious think that if someone doesn’t like the book, my arm will fall out, or a leg, or my head will roll.

I have gone through several stages of learning to accept and understand that feedback is great, and needed and improvements and lessons come from all points of view. But the subconscious was asleep in all these lessons. The Ego was listening but decided that it didn’t care.

On the other hand, I feel brave for having gone through with the process, fears and all. Also, it seems that by previously self publishing two books in Portuguese I have gone over the fear of the publishing itself. 

The Snowball Experience in Writing

I was talking to my best friend the other day and we were wondering if the concept of snowball was for real. We remembered the snowballs you see in cartoons, rolling down getting bigger and bigger getting memento and engulfing bears, beavers and other characters.

When I decided to go skiing we decided I had to make an experiment and we laughed with the imagination of me releasing a small little ball at the top of the mountain and it growing taking many skiers before it got to the base of the mountain.

snowball trail

When I went to the top of the world I make good on our promised and released the ball. I made sure there was a structure on the way to stop the disaster from happening. I released a small one, the size of a tennis ball and it rolled surprisingly quickly, getting slightly bigger and rounder. But it got stopped by any imperfection on the snow surface. A ski trail, a slight depression was enough.

I think that if the balls were bigger, at least big enough to not be stopped by shallow creases on the snow, it would become a cartoon-like snowball. It was at least as large as a soccer ball…

That got me thinking about writing and the way you need to get to a certain body of work before your ball rolls without being stopped by any intersession. If you take the time to create your soccer ball, eventually, things will become easier, growing and rolling unimpeded.

You will still need to keep creating and offering the ball enough snow-words to amass and keep going.

One little ball won’t go very far, but a good sized amount of writing will get you somewhere with many surprises and new characters being picked up on the way.

What Happened to Orble.com?

Orble.com, a large community of bloggers, disappeared overnight taking with it years of work and sweat of thousands of writers.

What I find strange is that I couldn’t find anything explaining what happened. No chat over the internet, no emails advising it would happen.

It is so disrespectful to the writers. I know it was a free community but there is responsibility even if the currency wasn’t money. We have offered the community our most precious gift, our talents, passions in words. Even a post-the-fact announcement would have been better than nothing.

In my last statistics report, from the 27th August, 2015, one of my blogs “Aussie Folly” stated:

Rank for www.orble.com (Aussie Folly): 477 out of 21910

21,910 blog sites gone…

I am fortunate to have had all my writings backed-up offline but it still makes one sad to see the history, the work I have done, simply vanished. I noticed things were going badly once the special domains went offline and I managed to copy the main blog here.

In the end this has made me move to WordPress and learn how to make the best of it. It gave me incentive for the change and developing new blogging skills and knowledge.

If you have been an Orble blogger and knows anything of what have happened please post a comment. Just knowing more about it would help with the feeling of loss not only mine but of all the community members.

Into Focus

It is working. Having made a decision on what to write, I’m feeling inspired and motivated. I am re-creating my website in WordPress, for now it is www.taniacreations.wordpress.com once it is complete I will divert my domain name to it.

What I am looking for is something many creatives say you should not look for: validation. What I call “the green book”, The Icarus Deception, is the book that made me understand the internal need we have for validation and how to transform it in me.

In a sense what I am looking for is not for others to validate my writing, it is for others to recognise what I know it is true: that my writing has value.

Not because I need this internally but it’s public view will help me in my future pursues. I intend to submit texts for competitions and any sort of writer incentives I can find. Having viewers, blogs, votes and prizes will help with statistics when continuing my path to becoming a full time writer.