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50 Best Indie Books of 2018 on ReadFreely

 
About Three Authors: Poison Pen

About Three Authors: Poison Pen

Voting is almost done for this year’s ReadFreely’s 50 Best Indie Books of 2018.

 
Poison Pen made the shortlist, and I’d love for you to help me out and vote for it. You can vote twice for each email address.
 
Here is a direct link to the form for voting for it (they seem to have a bug that redirects links to their home page, but clicking on it a second time usually does the trick):
 
 
Thanks for your help, and thanks to the readers who nominated it.
 
If you’d like to check it out, you can find it at various retailers using this link.
 
Also, anyone in the Newmarket area can check it out of the Newmarket Public Library (just got the cheque in the mail for that one–woohoo) and read it for free.

The Amazon Game: Are Books Disappearing from Amazon’s US Site?

Lately, indie authors have noticed something hinky with Amazon’s e-books. They seem to be disappearing from the Amazon US site.

When my novels fell victim to this crime, I tried to find them via my Bookshelf in KDP. Here’s what I found, using my novel Poison Pen as an example:

I’d never seen this “feature” before, but today I noticed that when you hover over “Live” on your KDP book, you get this:

PP_Availability

When you click on “See title availability details” you get this:

PP_AvailabilityReport

When you drill down into “View details” in the row pertaining to Amzon.com (notice the Status for it says “Limited availability”), you get this:

PP_USAvailability

Notice how in Canada it says “Unavailable”?

Scroll back up to the image with the Availability Report for Poison Pen. Notice how the row for Amazon.ca says “Live”? When I view the details on that, I see this:

PP_AmazonCAAvailability

It seems Amazon isn’t removing e-books and making them unavailable for purchase. They are mucking around with visibility depending on the country you’re in. This is causing frustration amongst authors who want to check their pages on countries they don’t reside in.

What’s scary for us non-US residents is the fear that users searching for books to read will no longer find these books in the search results. I’ve often searched in Amazon US for something and then clicked on the CA link to view it on the Canada site. Now that I understand (I think) what’s happening, I’ll do those searches on the Canadian site.

I’ve also noticed that direct links will get you the book’s page in the US even if it’s unavailable for you to purchase there.

While this new feature *cough* bug *cough* will take some getting used to, we’ll have to see how it shakes out and affects sales.

Amazon: unilaterally moving the goal posts for authors once again.

Injury Shortlisted for Best Book Award

InjurySo excited. I received this notice from ReadFreely and would like to politely beg, I mean, request you to please vote for Injury:
 
Hi Val,
 
At ReadFree.ly we’ve started an exciting new competition to crown the Best Book We’ve Read All Year. And Injury has made the shortlist….
 
…So what do you need to do? Nothing really; you’ve already done the hard part, you’ve written the book. However, you may wish to encourage your fans to visit our site and vote for Injury: there’s a link on our homepage, or they can go here – http://www.readfree.ly/bbwray2018/ ….
 
If you’d like to read Injury, you can download it here for #FREE: https://www.books2read.com/injury
 
Thank you for your help and support!

Ian and Daphne’s First Kiss

poison pen ebook cover 30june2017I’m thrilled to be featured as a guest blogger on Bonnie Phelps, Author blog. I’m sharing the first kiss between Daphne and Ian from my Romantic Suspense, Poison Pen, which is part of the About Three Authors series.
 “Today on First Kiss Friday, we welcome romance author, Val Tobin, and an excerpt from her Romantic Suspense, Poison Pen…”
Visit Bonnie’s blog to experience the kiss.
 

 

Calling All Book Bloggers and Authors #thebookrobinhoods

AuthorsIf you love to write, if you love to read, if you love to read and write, then let The Book Robin Hoods be your new hangout.

Here, you will find the Book Thieves, the featured reviewers of the Book Robin Hoods. They are hand-picked, vetted to ensure their honesty and reliability. Once approved, book thieves can receive review requests from authors.

Here, you will find The Storytellers. As a blogger, you can request ARCs from selected authors. Val Tobin’s books are featured on this site! You can find her on the Storytellers page. Read posted excerpts from novels in the Forums and discover your next favourite author.Bloggers

Note: The Book Robin Hoods do not work with erotica/nonfiction/graphic horror authors at this time, nor do they work with first-time reviewers, meaning that reviewers have to have previous experience and a running blog or platform, however small.

Form for bloggers to join: https://goo.gl/forms/MWVkZ9EVJkpPHY1y1

 Form for authors to join: https://goo.gl/forms/dbGK2fs9Kh3y23tz1

 

Venturing into Non-Fiction #FLLitReview

I’m in the process of winding down my current project. In the editing phase, Poison Pen will soon be completed and ready for release. By soon, I mean another month or so. After I complete my line edits and proofreading, it has to go to my editor (and then back to me for more polishing). But it’s amazing how quickly things happen once I’m over the editing hump.

The next project is a non-fiction book, called Changed for Life: The After-Effects of Near-Death Experience, based on my master’s thesis.

giphy

Via Giphy

The subject of near-death experience has fascinated me from the moment I first learned of it as a teenager. Rather than trying to prove or debunk the veracity of the experience, I chose to study the after effects, which are just as interesting.

One of the surprising aspects of this topic was learning about how even those who haven’t had the experience can be changed by it.

The book should be a fascinating read for anyone curious about what happens when we get a second chance at life.

To help me with the herculean task of completing further research to expand the existing manuscript, I’ve enrolled in Futurelearn’s “Research Writing” course offered through the University of Wollongong in Australia.

What I would do if I couldn’t be a writer — #MFRWAuthor

When I was a preteen, my sister and I had a friend with whom we frequently had sleepovers. During these nights, we’d pose “what if” questions to each other: What would you choose if you were on a desert island and could only eat one food? What would you choose if you could only listen to one song? What if you were tied up and couldn’t move?

For me, these questions always posed an interesting challenge, but the issue wasn’t deciding how to whittle my options down to one. And yeah, the tied up question was weird.

giphy3

via giphy

What it made me want to do was rebel against the restrictions. My problem wasn’t how to pick one option to live with forever — kind of like marrying one food or drink — it was how can I circumvent the rules? I missed the point of the question: picking a favourite food/drink/song. These questions threatened my control. My knee-jerk reaction was to fight them.

If I were tied up and couldn’t move, I’d blink my eyes. There. I moved.

giphy4

Okay, fine. I’ll just roll my eyes then. (via giphy)

This is my long-winded way of saying that the question of what I would do if I couldn’t be a writer triggered that knee-jerk response.

What would stop me from writing? Paralysis wouldn’t. With today’s technology, I could get around even that. Lack of money hasn’t stopped me and neither has a shortage of time. Whatever restrictions exist, I work around them. Or plough through them.

I suppose if somehow I had no outlet for publishing my work, it would mean I couldn’t be a published author, but I could still write. I’d write for myself. It’s something I’m compelled to do, not something I choose to do.

I guess the real question asked here is what would my job be if I couldn’t publish my work? Editing doesn’t count as writing, so I’d do more of that. I can’t imagine not working with words in some way. Even when I did software/web development fulltime, I wrote. Even when I didn’t publish anything, I wrote, so, you see, I’ve already been there and done that.

You can take the publishing away from the author, but you can’t take the writing away from the writer.

For more posts from other writers on this subject, check out the MFRW 52-Week Challenge post for week 4.