Status of WIP: Whipped!

It’s true. I’ve finished making my last pass through The Lesson Plan and have sent it off to my editor. I’m beyond thrilled. There’s just nothing like that feeling of completion when you close the manuscript for the last time and send it off to the editor. (I think it might even be better than orgasm, but don’t tell anyone I said that. It’s not very romantic or very erotic, either, lol.)

So, will it be out by December 25 as I’ve said? Well, I have every reason to believe that I will have made all the final edits/tweaks, done all the formatting, and gotten it uploaded to all the sites through which I distribute by then. Whether it will be available for purchase at all of them on Christmas Day remains to be seen. I’ll certainly keep you posted.

In the meantime, if you are interested in an advance copy for review, please use the contact me link to send me your email address and let me know which format you prefer (epub, mobi/Kindle, or pdf) and I will gladly send you a complementary copy as soon as I have the edits in. All I ask in return is that you review it somewhere,1 whether on a review blog, a retail outlet like Amazon et al., or Goodreads.
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1Please don’t be afraid to give an honest review. I’m not one of those authors who gets pouty and aggressive if someone doesn’t like her book.

Music Monday: What I Got by Sublime

What I Got
by Sublime, copyright 1996

Early in the morning, risin’ to the street
Light me up that cigarette and I strap shoes on my feet
Got to find a reason, a reason things went wrong
Got to find a reason why my money’s all gone
I got a dalmation, and I can still get high
I can play the guitar like a mother fucking riot

Well, life is (too short), so love the one you got
‘Cause you might get run over or you might get shot
Never start no static, I just get it off my chest
Never had to battle with no bulletproof vest
Take a small example, take a tip from me
Take all of your money, give it all to charity
Love is what I got
It’s within my reach
And the Sublime style’s still straight from Long Beach
It all comes back to you, you’ll finally get what you deserve
Try and test that you’re bound to get served
Love’s what I got
Don’t start a riot
You’ll feel it when the dance gets hot

Lovin’, is what I got, I said remember that
Lovin’, is what I got, I said remember that
Lovin’, is what I got, I said remember that
Lovin’, is what I got

(That’s) why I don’t cry when my dog runs away
I don’t get angry at the bills I have to pay
I don’t get angry when my Mom smokes pot
Hits the bottle and goes right to the rock
Fuckin’ and fightin’, it’s all the same
Livin’ with Louie dog’s the only way to stay sane
Let the lovin’, let the lovin’ come back to me

Lovin’, is what I got, I said remember that
Lovin’, is what I got, I said remember that
Lovin’, is what I got, I said remember that
Lovin’, is what I got, I got I got I got

Sadly, Bradley Nowell, Sublime’s singer and guitarist, died of a heroin overdose before this song was released. It was the band’s biggest hit.

How Amazon’s Foreign Expansion Hurts Self-Published Authors

If you are a US resident and aren’t a self-publishing author, you probably haven’t noticed Amazon’s recent expansion of to include separate domains not only for the UK and Germany (amazon.de), but also for France (.fr) and today, Italy (.it) and Spain (.es).

Now, I’m all for making digital books more readily available to people in foreign countries, and I’m thrilled for readers in these countries because the availability of these new domains probably means Amazon will no longer charge them the additional $2.00 download fee they tack onto purchases made on the Amazon US site by people who don’t reside in one of the countries with its own domain site. (That is a tacky business practice, IMO. Pun intended.)

But the availability of these new domains is a bit of a conundrum for a self-publishing author because, the way Amazon calculates and pays revenues is per domain. In other words, sales are tracked separate for the US, UK, Germany, France, and now Italy and Spain. And Amazon doesn’t actually issue a payment to the author/publisher until the combined revenue for that domain reaches a minimum of $10. And once that $10 is paid out, you have to collect up an additional $10 through that domain before you’ll get paid again.

Additionally, if you want to have an author page for each of the domains, you have to build it separately with a separate Author Central account. Amazon doesn’t just copy your author page from the US site to the other domains. You have to build each one manually. (This hits ALL authors, not just self-publishing authors, but of course, many traditionally published authors don’t have any books that are being sold in these countries.)

In the six months since Amazon.de (Germany) came online, two copies of my self-published books have sold there. That’s awesome in that I’m thrilled that German readers have access to my books. The problem is, at that rate, I won’t actually get paid for those books or any others I sell until about 2050! I’ve sold none yet at Amazon.fr and since Spain and Italy just came online today, it’s unlikely I’ve sold any there, either. But I’m less troubled by selling NO copies on those domains than I am by selling a few dozen copies over the course of years and letting Amazon keep 100% of the revenue. Multiplied over time and many authors/publishers, this is a RACKET for Amazon. It’s a way for them to hang on to potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenues that it never has to pay out.

There’s a simple way to overcome this problem, of course. Amazon could choose to tally up all the revenues from each domain’s sales into one lump sum and pay for all sales on ANY Amazon domain. But they don’t do that and I don’t see any evidence that they’re planning to change their ways. And why would they? It’s likely to be a windfall for them, putting a little extra capital in their pockets to make up for the loss of those $2 download charges.

Now, as an author, I don’t want to and won’t limit my books’ listings to just the countries where I think I’ll sell enough copies to earn $10 in a reasonable period of time. That seems unfair to readers in those countries, who probably CAN’T buy my books from any other domains once a domain for their country is in place. But at the same time, it really KILLS me to know that these are sales for which I am very likely never to be paid. And that makes me feel less than enthusiastic about Amazon’s foreign expansion.

I guess in the scheme of things, I’d rather authors got hurt than readers. But that doesn’t mean I’m not getting hurt.

Yay, It’s Release Day!

Taking Liberties hit the shelves this morning at fine ebook retailers everywhere. I couldn’t possibly give a comprehensive list of links, but here are the ones I was able to find last night before I crashed:

For a chance to win a free copy, hop over to The Season Blog and leave a comment.

Also, in case you haven’t heard, my short story, The Reiver is free almost everywhere now, including Amazon, which picked up the free pricing late Tuesday night. (If you get it from Barnes and Noble, be careful to select the free version, not the 99-cent one. One of the vagaries of distributing through PubIt is that if you take down the PubIt version of a book, the free version that came over from Smashwords is also removed.)