Marion on January 12th, 2015

This week on Downton Abbey (in America, where we have it several months late) the Crowley’s get a radio and the world doesn’t end. Read my entire recap up at Happy Nice Time People where we provide for all your television recapping needs.

Marion on January 12th, 2015

One of my Goodreads friends recently asked if he could find my works on Amazon’s recently launched Kindle Unlimited scheme. Here is what I told him:

My books aren’t enrolled in Kindle Select and won’t be. Authors who participate are mostly losing money compared to before. Authors who aren’t in it are also seeing sales drop. Everyone is losing money but Amazon. There are now 700,000 books on Kindle Unlimited. That may sound like a lot, but unless you only read indies, most books you want to read are not there. Traditional publishers can put books into Kindle Unlimited and still sell those  books in other venues like Nook Books and Kobo. However, indies have to also be enrolled in Kindle Select to be on Kindle Unlimited, which means they have to sell those ebooks exclusively on Kindle, and many authors (and readers) feel that that lack of competition is not a good thing.

Here’s are some more  reasons why Kindle Unlimited is bad for authors: Readers can use Kindle Select as a private (but expensive) library. They can borrow your book, but if they don’t bother to actually read it, you get NOTHING. If they do read more than 10%, you get something, but it’s far less than if they bought it. It’s a flat fee — not sure how it works, but what you want to charge or the length of the book has nothing to do with it. I’d still have the same issue of making mine stand out and get noticed, but then even if someone noticed it, I wouldn’t get paid much. The ranking on Amazon, which is important because a higher ranking means Amazon shows your books to more people won’t be spike from a borrow the same as it will from a sale. It’s not like I’m making much now, but I would  make less using Select. That’s the experience of authors so far. It only makes sense if you are using it for the first in a series — the kind you could write quickly, or for some short stories or something. Because most  books in Kindle Unlimited ARE indies, it further keeps my books in the “indie jail” where mainstream readers won’t even see them.

Here’s why it’s a bad deal for readers: (1) You could buy all the works I have on Kindle for THE SAME MONEY as enrolling for one month on Kindle Unlimited, and they’d be yours forever. Most indie books are very inexpensive even now, and there are plenty of ways to save more money on books, such as:  (2) You can decide to buy a Kindle book after you read a sample, so you could save money just by downloading and reading the samples before you buy. (3) If you buy a book — even an ebook, it is yours theoretically forever. If you use Unlimited you can only borrow a limited number of books to read at a time. They aren’t on your cloud, and if don’t get to them and want more, you have to return the unused ones. You also lose them if you quit the program, so if you haven’t gotten to them after one month, you’re still paying a kind of “storage fee” for them the next month. (4) Most traditionally published new books are NOT available on Kindle Unlimited, and not all indie books are, so the “select” part of Indie Select is not great. (5) Here are even more better ways of getting books cheap and/or for free: (a) Read more indie books! They are mostly priced between 99 cents and $4.99! (b) Many indie authors will give away their books in exchange for honest reviews,so you can write and ask (c) Become a reviewer for NetGalley. If you review books regularly on Goodreads, they will consider you a “professional” and even offer you new traditionally published books. (d) Public libraries exist for trad published books and have a wider selection than Kindle Unlimited — including ebooks — although there might be wait times. (e) If you read paper as well as digitally, Amazon has many used books for only the postage costs,  and if you are lucky enough to live near a used book store, you’ll find tons of bargains there. (f) A lot of ebooks — including both indies and traditionally published ones have limited time sales for really low prices and even ebook giveaways. You can subscribe FREE to services like BookBub that email you alerting you to sales or services like E-Reader IQ that will track the prices of books you want to read!

So unless you exclusively read indie ebooks (including really short ones and ones that nobody has “discovered” yet)  and ebooks by trad publishers that are no longer selling that well, and unless you read more than $9.99 (US price) worth of these types of book per month, and can’t think of or don’t want to bother with other ways to get them that would be less costly than paying full price, I don’t think this is a bargain.

(Don’t agree? Got something to add? Comments are always welcome. Also while you are here, why not click on one of the books above in “my picks”? Or better yet, go here and check out my new novel, and its glowing reviews. Feel free to link the sh*t out of this post!)

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Marion on January 5th, 2015

The Crowleys survived the Great War and the Spanish flu, but season five opens with a much bigger threat. This time, marrying a wealthy American half-Jewess or your poor relation cousin who is the actual heir won’t be enough to save Downton. It’s 1924, and omigod–THERE’S A LABOUR GOVERNMENT. The peasants are revolting! They are also leaving “service” for jobs that pay actual wages and have set hours. Lord Grantham is expecting a siege at any moment from people “devoted to the destruction of people like us and everything we stand for.”

To see the rest of this exciting, hysterical and hell yeah SNARKY recap of a show you probably saw months ago because of the intertubes please go over to Happy Nice People Time because they will give me money for writing and you won’t. Then come back here and look at more of my stuff, or better yet, just go here and buy this book which I wrote under a pen name because it’s SO GOOD I was embarrassed by my own unworthiness.)

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Marion on January 1st, 2015

Happy New Year.

In addition to bringing you essential information about topics like getting cheap seats at the Met Opera, and writing high quality television recaps over on Happy Nice Time People where I will be handling Downton Abbey beginning Sunday night (We yanks still haven’t seen season 5) and Better Call Saul come February, I also write the fiction.

Sometimes I even read the fiction aloud in front of people, like in this photo to your left taken at a real event in New York City!

I don’t usually come out and say “BUY MY BOOKS” because you wouldn’t listen anyway, but I am going to tell you about them now because I am desperate what the hell. You may have been coming here for years reading about my geriatric dog who had cushing’s disease, or some of my so-called “humor,” so I’m figuring you owe me would be really interested in my stuff which can generally be had in electronic form real cheap. (I can also be had in electronic form real cheap but that is another matter and you will need to email me for details.)

Here is a brief listing of the fiction o’ mine. You may be hung over and lazy today, so why don’t you go over to the Amazon and check out the reviews and upload the FREE samples:

Blood Diva –  This is the first time I have publicly come out on this blog as the author of this work. As many of you know, it feels better after you come out unless you live in one of the 29 states where you can be fired from your job for doing so. Blood Diva is a racy vampire novel for people who don’t necessarily like vampire novels. There is no “sparkling” here.  Opera lovers and classic cinema fans seem to like it as the protagonist is Marie Duplessis – the woman on whom Camille and La Traviata are based. There are cameos by Maria Callas and Louise Brooks. People who are NOT opera lovers love it too. Some people have compared it to Anne Rice and have called it a “game-changer.” The ebook is only $3.99 and the paperback is discounted on Amazon. You can read more about it and see some great offers on the book’s website.

Loisaida – Is a novel of gentrification and its discontents, set in Manhattan’s pre-gentrified East Village and inspired by true events, including the so-called “police riots” and a crime so ghastly it became the stuff of legend.  If you live in the East Village now and want to know what it was like then, this is the book for you. If you lived through New York City’s bad old days and still miss the edge, you’ll enjoy the read. The words “gritty” and “stunning” come up a lot in reviews. There is no way I can write about it without sounding insufferable, so maybe you should just read what other people had to say either on Amazon or here.

Schrodinger’s Telephone is a novella about grief and loss. Lizzie has the perfect life until one day she doesn’t. It’s nominally “speculative fiction” but mostly it’s a story you can read in one sitting on just about any electronic device, and it might make you cry. This is probably the least “controversial” of anything I’ve written. There’s no explicit sex or violence. Here is something someone said about it on Amazon:

“A beautifully-written novella, Ms Stein has captured the overwhelming loss of a loved one, along with the alternating feelings of despair, wistfulness, grief, faith, powerlessness, and hope of those left behind. The details, pacing, and construction are perfectly executed. A lovely, poignant story.”

The Death Trip is another quick read novella for those who hate to commit. It’s light reading about Big Pharma conspiracies and euthanasia. Paranoid? You’ll love it!

So, I know you got hit up a lot for charitable contributions over the last month, and I can’t offer you a tax deduction, but if you’ve ever been ENTERTAINED by any of my posts, please check out the fiction and if you don’t want to spend your hard earned monies, maybe you could tweet about one of these fine works or something. Much obliged.

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Carrie is carrying so much crap around with her, that she has to DRIVE from the DC-Metro area to Missouri! But she does finally get to smooch with Quinn and contemplate life outside the fast lane. And she doesn’t try to kill her baby. Read the entire reap over at Happy Nice Time People.

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