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Kindle Unlimited and why you won’t find my books in this program.

A few months ago Amazon rolled out another program. As a hybrid author (I self publish books as well as publish through small presses) I received several e-mails touting the beauty of joining the program. I absorbed what was sent to me, talked to other authors and came to a conclusion, in my husbands words, it was suspect. Too many promises of how wonderful it would be. One particular phrase came to mind. All that glitters is not gold. Me being me decided to wait and watch.

Don’t get me wrong there are staunch supporters of KU and opposition who hold just as much conviction when it comes to discussing KU in the authors world. Personally I have decided it is not for me and honestly never will be. Allow me o tell you why.

Amazon did something amazing years ago buy giving indie authors a way to promote their work and find readers while the large publishing houses shut us down. For that alone I will always be an Amazon supporter, however I cannot get behind KU (Kindle Unlimited because it is the total opposite of what Amazon started all those years ago.

From a readers perspective it is fantastic and as a voracious reader I know exactly why. pay ten dollars a month and borrow as many books as you can can as long as you want to read to your content. In this economy every penny counts , so yeah, the concept is ingenious. The potential to read is quadrupled, as a greedy reader it is the perfect solution to my never ending desire to consume the written word.

As an indie author – I’m screwed.

Put simply, as an author KU wants to put us all in one big pile whether we worked hard for our readership and developed a fan base, No matter if we cared about our intellectual property and took the time to have it edited and made sure the cover art complimented what we worked so hard to write.  Well – to put it nicely there are some authors that do always put the work into their books and decided hey I got an idea wrote a short story and boom self pubbed it on Amazon without care, as long as they get compensation for it. Yep, every author.writer gets plopped together and we are supposed to share the profits of a portion of this ten dollars a month from x number of readers who have joined the program. From that stand point alone it isn’t fair or worth it.

I worked hard to develop a fan base, talking to any reader who wants o speak with me, answering every e-mail that is sent to me. I put thought into contests and join blog hops to meet new readers. I drive, fly, catch the train, whatever to visit outside venues for book signing in a continual effort to grow and be seen. I have give away’s to thank the reader for taking the time to open my book let alone read it.  Then when it comes to actually publishing my own book…

Let me break it down for you. The average cover for me can run anywhere between 80 to 200 dollars. Editing, depending on the length of the book can run between 275. and 900.00 bucks. Formatting to place with different distributor  – 25.00 to 100.00  all out of pocket upfront expenses for an indie author before book one is ever sold.

Along comes Joe Blow who finds wrote a book, didn’t take time to clean it up, slaps a cover on it and uploads it to KU to sell.  I’m supposed to share my profits with them. Because my readers came to KU to find my books and Joe there has brought absolutely nothing to the table. I think not.

Or how about us authors who choose not to join the KU bandwagon. Some of us have taken deep losses in revenue and readership because KU books are promoted first whether they are again good or not and those of us that aren’t in the program are pushed way down so far that eventually you will get tired of scrolling before you ever find our books. In other words if a reader isn’t looking for you you may never get found.

Are there pluses to the program. Sure, for new authors, it will get you noticed since your book becomes prominent. If you didn’t have a fan base, you may be able to build one of the other well known authors who are part of KU. Don’t get me wrong there are some diamond in that muck pile the authors are being thrown into and if the reader/author is lucky that book will be6 found. For me tough the cons outweigh the pros and I a a little fish in the shallow end of the pond.  :)

Anyway, if I rambled a bit sorry. These are my thoughts and personal opinions, agree or disagree let me know I love a good and thoughtful discussion. Have a great day. Talk to you later.

Kass.

Sorry – I forgot to add that once you join KU as an author it limits your profits because you are expected to leave your book only in KU for 90 days limiting your revenue capabilities and if for some reason you forget to remove the book from the program after the 90 days you are automatically re-enrolled.

Egg Nog Latte

It’s the season, my friends. My middle son sorta got me hooked on eggnog, but here’s a twist on a traditional favorite.

INGREDIENTS
1/3 cup milk
2/3 cup egg nog
1 (1.5 fluid ounce) brewed expresso
Pinch of nutmeg

DIRECTIONS
Pour milk and eggnog into a steaming pitcher and heat to between 145 degrees F to 165 degrees F (65 to 70 degrees C) using the steaming wand. Brew the shot of espresso, then add to mug. Pour the steamed milk and eggnog into the mug, using a spoon to hold back the foam. Spoon foam over the top. Sprinkle nutmeg on top of the foam. Read more…

Cora Blu Happy Memories.

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Courtesy of photorack.net

Courtesy of photorack.net

Normally when I write a blog, I try and make it interesting and worthy of your time. Today I’m in a fog because my sister’s father-in-law died Thursday morning.

For many that person is family by title only. I’ve known him since I was eight years old and our families are crazy close.

They’re from Belize and to say they have a large family is an understatement. Every party needs a translator and a recipe card for the table. The music is hot, the laughing is loud and the dancing is, well, a competition by ten o’clock. And yes the men wear those heeled shoes, I lovingly refer to as skuttlebucks.

Therefore, if you’ve read any of my stories, this is one of the driving forces behind family being the center of their lives.

So today, I say enjoy those in your world, even when they arrived by someone else’s invitation. The impact they leave can last a lifetime.

Sincerely, Cora Blu

Don’t let life get in the way of a good story.

No matter your job you have to come up with a balance or you’ll go insane. Not just the high powered business man or female neurosurgeon cutting her way through the boy’s club. Everyone from your waitress to your favorite actor on TV has to find a balance between life and their job, even if the job do is something they enjoy. A job is a task we all must undertake if we are to eat, clothe and house ourselves. Sure some of us can get away with being exceedingly adorable, but even that wears off it time.

I read an article lately about the disease of being too busy… actually I skimmed it because who has the time to actually read an article longer than 500 words. In the past I’ve read from NYT best sellers that they had to forego family vacations and dinners for almost a decade in order to become NYT best sellers. They praised their family for being so understanding and giving them the needed to time to achieve their dream. My thought is once you’ve achieved it how can you turn down the momentum and would you even know who your family was when you emerged from your writing cave?

Sacrifices are necessary. We’ve all had to make them. Even though I thought I was around for my son and husband for about three years I was a shell wandering around the house that grunted and did laundry. We all hope to win the lottery one day and take time to relax, but for me it would just be the ability to write during traditional working hours.

I’ve tried to keep life at bay while I write a great story, but that can only happen if you have no life to go back to. Until my son leaves for college, my husband just leaves and my friends quit trying to take me out I guess life will get in the way. If that means I need extension or I sleep through a movie I’m supposed to be watching while snuggled with my husband so be it. The story will be there and it will be great, not just good. Because I’ll have life experiences to add and isn’t that why we read in the first place? To discover a life different from our own.

Perserverence – Under the meaning should be an authors photo.

There are few professions where someone can get continually kicked in the teeth and keep returning to the abuse. I have friends and associates that do just that simply because they love what they do. Writer, authors, so many people with creative abilities, who submit their work to publishers, magazines, blogs, galleries only to have their intellectual and creative property judged and sometimes found less than stellar by another party is painful. I am talking knife to the heart with a twist kind of hurt. Yet we continue on. Write another story, paint a beautiful picture, take a photograph and try again. And again…and again.

Still we persevere.  As with all workers, we take our lumps and press on. Why? because we do not allow failure to stop us. That and we absolutely love what we do. And that in itself says a lot. :)

Happy Tuesday my friends

Dark is the new light

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Lately I’ve noticed a plethora of not only scary, but odd movies and books, whether on TV or popping up on my ereader. The subject matter appears to pick up where older movies and books would end just as things became ugly.

Things that bother the mind.

courtesy of photorack.net

courtesy of photorack.net

Recently I had the experience of visiting an old fear. Out shopping with my daughter, after she’d exhausted my patience, I said, “I knew I should have left you in the onion field when we found you years ago.”

A voice from behind me replied, “I have the gypsies on speed dial and the carnival folks can be here in ten.”

As a child, to hear about being given to the gypsies or carnival people was my kryptonite, so I was leery of turning around to see this person’s face. (Fortunately, it was another mother feeling my pain.)

It was surreal to hear someone mentioning the gypsies taking my child the way my mother would tell me years ago in the grocery store.

Now, go back to the new shows and books and you’ll find all of your childhood oddities making it onto the screen and on paper.

Horror Stories, Z Nation, Gotham, Haven, Defiance…everything dark has become popular. Yet, what impressed me was the writing. It accepts other cultures more so than mainstream writing.

Interracial relationships are common on many of these shows and no one blinks an eye. Perhaps that’s the intrigue of the odd and scary. There’s someone for everyone.

There are many interracial and multicultural authors with wonderful odd stories to tell that will blow your mind. A few that I have indulged in are on this site. Read what you like then spread the word. If helps.

Have a great day, Cora Blu

The November Rush

I have yet to write a NaNo book. Have I written a book in a month? Yes. Have I set daily goals to complete something? Yes. But NaNo, nope haven’t taken the plunge… although I’m kind of doing it this year. Unofficially. Book three of The Frozen is due to my publisher on December 1st. The NaNo rules do not allow for edits. Its a time for authors to purge everything onto the page and deal with the pesky edits later. I’m pretty sure my publisher would frown if I didn’t at least spell check, let alone edit before submitting my final manuscript.

And then there’s my December release and it’s final edits. The Politician’s Heart, book three of The Growing Strong Series, will release from Secret Cravings Publishing in December. Again the nasty four letter word not to be uttered in November EDIT. What can I say I’m hitting the book three trifecta right now. Frozen book three, Growing Strong book three and my editor promised me he’d have book three of the Chrysalis series to me by the end of the month. Three times the books set in three different worlds all running around my head.

Do I wish I was doing NaNo right now? Yes, strangely. Although I like hitting daily goals it’s not for that reason. See I have a four part contemporary series that needs to be started as well a paranormal series with no set end to the number of books bumping heads with the three books I’m trying to get through this month.

Here’s the problem, I’m a panser, I don’t figure out my writing schedule for the year. I let my characters talk to me and try to write the loudest one first. Only now I’ve got deadlines and I’m signing deals for series, not just individual books I have completed. I’m a new writer, with new goals and one of them is to get through the first part of next year. This year has been a major transition in my writing career. I’ve learned to self publish and be a hybrid. I’ve attended conferences and met amazing writers and readers. And I’m stepping into worlds I’d abandoned when I set down my camera years ago… I’m just glad I held on to my lighting and backdrops.

For all the NaNo writers out there I’ll join you one year I promise, but take solace in the knowledge that like you I’m writing a novel in month, editing a novel this month and bracing for a new year and new horizons.

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