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!

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. 

In Love with Scrivener

It feels fantastic when your systems are working for you rather than against you. I am in love with the software Scrivener, which is a specific tool created for writers.

I found out about it during a Non-Fiction Festival from the NSW Writers Centre (www.nswwc.org.au) last year. Ben Law talked about it and I decided to investigate.

It is one of those things that you don’t know how you lived without it before. The same way I feel about the GPS and mobile phones. I remember the panic of using a paper map guide and turning the wrong way and I have no idea what you did when you were going to be late to meet mom at the mall.

The reason Scrivener is so fantastic is because it makes it easier to organise your thoughts. I have just published a new book in Portuguese at Amazon using Scrivener (“Simplesmente Gerva”)

Converting to Mobi was very easy and quick and none of the issues I used to have with word processors happened. I didn’t need to check all titles were in the same style, check for double spaces or any other ridiculous task that were obligatory before.

Going back to organising my thoughts, each chapter is given a summary card.

For this book, I noted on the cards when, where and who were in each chapter and with this I was able to get an overview of the time flow. Sometimes my character started something on Monday and suddenly it was Wednesday without any change in the day. With this technique and tool it was easy to see the overall picture.

I also acquired a MacBook Air once I discovered that Scrivener doesn’t run on iPad and decided that my writing tools are my number one priority. With the awesome help with my parents I got my new computer, new software and every day I am a happier person.

When I open my small bag, pull out my light, fast, potent little computer, put all my ideas (including this blog) into Scrivener and it can go straight into any format desired, it makes my heart dance with joy.

A bit of pleasure every day…

(Orble Votes: 29)

Real Writer

I remember years ago when I arrived in Australia and I entered the NSW State Library, Michel room and started crying. It was an emotion I couldn’t control.
People have different values and that is why they appreciate different things. This morning I found a new (still with the tag) pair of trousers inside my wardrobe. I think I have a vague recollection of being in the store the tag told me it was from.
Friends who appreciate clothes and shoes could not understand how I had a new garment in my wardrobe and completely forgot to use it, that I had bought it even. They also could not understand how I could cry in a room full of books.

NSW State Library2
I don’t even want to read these books, they are reference books. But the emotion of seeing a large foyer with three levels of bookshelves all around was just too much for me then.
A few days ago I told this story to my friend, we mentioned the library, she said she hadn’t been here and would like to come. Today, my Writing meeting group changed venues and convened here. I felt inspired to write about it. It is as beautiful as I remembered, as emotional now as then.
To try to locate why it gave me such an emotion, it was like being in a dream place, a library you would see in movies. In a third world country culture is far from people’s minds and there is more effort put into more basic needs. That is why I hadn’t seen a place like this before. Only after moving to Australia and going back to Brazil that I visited the National Library in Rio de Janeiro. I cried there too.
Another place that took my breath away was the study room in the Customs House library but returning there years later it didn’t seem as bright as my first impression, I’m not sure if something changed or it was me.
I am here now, with a funny smile on my face and a strange satisfaction in my belly.
I feel like a real writer!

(Orble Votes: 20)

Siri doesn’t get me

The more I try to get the local accent, the more people politely ask me “where is your accent from?”
My phone also doesn’t really get my accent.
I was trying to use it to type some things while walking one day.
So I said to it:
“I am from Brazil but have been living in Sydney for a while”
The phone typed:
“IM imbecile but have been leaving in Sydney for a while”
I replied to that:
“Imbecile is your mother!”
It dutifully typed:
“In this still is your mother”
(Orble Votes: 19)

50 Thousand Words to Nano Victory

2013 nanowrimo winner certificate

Link: nanowrimo.org 

Last November (2013) I did it. I have ‘won’ the NaNoWriMo. I have written 50 thousand words in a month. I did expect to feel happy and a sense of achievement, but I didn’t expect to learn so much about myself while doing it.
The book is not ready, not even as a first draft, but the produce of that month is an infrastructure. It made me feel ready for the next step. I’m still searching for the elusive structure and coming to terms with my narrator. The challenge is that this narrator has to be strong enough to provide colour to the story but not too strong to detract from the main character.
This year is my final year on my Masters of creative writing and the two subjects left are projects where I intend to nail this, and having over 80,000 words written (counting 2012 nano’s plus many pieces I have written for subjects) should give me a good place to start.
What I learnt from the marathon was the capacity to write no matter what, tired after a whole day of hard work, uninspired, sick, write in the morning, in the afternoon, at night. I went through the fallacy that you need inspiration to write and found a well of capacity to do what it takes.
It also introduced me to something that I find hilarious: writing groups. A group of people who get together at a pub, sit down and write together. They barely say hello, there is very little chit chat, often I only learn the name of one or two people in a group of fifteen.
We meet, we put our individual music inside our ears, and we write alone, in a group.
I found groups that keep meeting even after the marathon and keep going to them. Something about having others like you doing the same as you do, having a time allocated and putting the energy to the task makes is highly productive.

NanoWrimo Progress
(Orble Votes: 28)