Posts in category Ponderings

Some losses hurt more than others

A man who brought so much laughter into the world is gone.  I think the world just became a little bit darker when the news went out last night about Robin Williams.

It’s a miserable sort of week… I have to bury a friend tomorrow and now, looking at all the articles about Robin Williams, it makes me that much sadder.

RW 2014

The movie Patch Adams is probably my favorite RW movie, because it’s got such a true message to it, and the man behind the story, the real Patch Adams seems like an amazing man, who has viewed medicine differently from the beginning. If we could get the rest of the world to see through his eyes, maybe we could change how often people are lost to suicide.

This is from an old CNN interview, but the real Patch was asked about what he thought of Robin Williams portraying him in the movie and Dr. Adams replied:

 “I think Robin himself is compassion, generosity and funny…”

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That’s a pretty powerful mark to leave on the world, and a beautiful gift he gave while he was here.  That he offered so much joy while there was that much pain inside him is heartbreaking.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Depression is an ugly, vicious bitch and it lies.  You’re not alone. There are people who love you and people who care.  Reach out when you need it.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255

Later today, we have a visitation for the friend I lost a few days, an old man who had the kindest, purest, gentlest heart of anybody I’ve ever known.

It’s going to be a rough for days, especially for me and my husband. Later this week, I think we’ll watch Mrs. Doubtfire with the kids. Laughter is good for the soul.

Treasure the people you have you in your life. Never take any of them for granted.

 

Quote via Chasing the Frog & Dr. Patch Adams | Image Patch Adams movie © Universal
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Thank you

memorial-daygreater love

For those who’ve served…thank you.

For those who are still serving, thank you. If you’re a family member, thank you. And for those who have lost a loved one…may you have peace.

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Happy Fourth

Have a safe and happy fourth.

Fourth of July

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Job opening

m4s0n501

Spam me, and I reserve the right to mock you.

Which I’ll do.  I got this in my email…seriously.  I added my thoughts in bold.

- Requires five years customer service experience or two years general office experience …well.  I do work in my office.  Sometimes in my jammies.  Or yoga pants.  Does that count?
– A strong work ethic and positive attitude … a positive attitude?  Clearly you don’t know who you’re talking to.
– Wide Inter-personal skills, organization skills, strong analytical ability … um… or gan izah shun…you got me.  I’ve no idea what this word means.  Let me go google–ack!  MY EYES… MY EYES!
– Must have experience, confidence, and ability to conduct security briefings and interviews when required … can I record these briefings and post them to youtube?
– Must have experience executing vendor contracts and price negotiation skills … so check. The vendors get the highest costs they want.  They got families. Right?
– Knowledge of word processing, database, and spreadsheet software … well.  I can help you with the word processing thing, but to the rest, you’re on your own.
– No drug misdemeanors within the past 5 years and ability to pass a drug screen … but if I’ve got a drunk driving record or broke into the bank across the way, that’s all good, right?

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For those who’ve served

memorialday

 

May you all have a safe and happy Memorial Day.  For those who’ve served, thank you.

For those who’ve lost one in service to our country, may you find peace today.

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Why Amazon & BN reviews matter

I had a reader ask me why the Amazon & BN reviews matter… 

dreamstime free

I’ve noticed you’ve been pushing for more reviews…the book club thing and periodic requests for reviews, etc on twitter, FB.  I don’t ever pay attention to them.  I ask friends or go to blogs.  Store reviews just don’t matter to me.  What’s the big deal?

Well, bottom line… they are a very big deal.

I can’t claim a lot of hard knowledge on this but these are some of the things I’ve discovered with selfpublishing.  The number of reviews I received on Blade Song helped get me some of the ‘promo’ deals, like the daily deals, which actually benefits readers, too.

But again, this is just stuff that’s either been my experience or things I’ve learned in workshops, etc.  None of this has come straight from the horse’s (Amazon/BN’s) mouth.

Reviews at Amazon and BN add up to two key things:

  • ‘discoverability’
  • ‘promo’ offerings from online retailers offer (sales, etc)

 

So what’s with the ‘promo’ thing and what does that matter?

The promo thing translates to sales…and who doesn’t like sales, right?

X number of reviews can lead to things like

  • ‘daily deals’
  • ‘gold box’
  • other stuff


 Reviews alone aren’t going to get the daily deals, gold box deals, etc.  The majority of the reviews need to be positive.  Your pub has to push for the deal, there’s wrangling and hassling, etc.  I didn’t do any of it to get the daily deal… Inscribe did it all for.

But it’s not just the promo thing.  Increased reviews leads to increased discoverability.  You show up in search results more…people who looked at this also looked at…etc, I think.

If people aren’t seeing your book, they can’t buy your book.

Once you hit X amount of reviews on Amazon (and I think BN), you move into a different ‘algorithm’ which means your books show up more on book searches.  When your books pop up, more people see them.  If your books aren’t popping up a lot, then people can’t see them to buy them.  Decreased book sales will eventually lead to your publisher deciding not to renew your contracts…and that leads to canceled series.  Which has happened to me twice.

Yes, the readers looking for you will find you, but the casual buyer?  Not so much.  The browsing days in a bookstore are fading so the discoverability factor for online shoppers is becoming crucial.

The market is getting tough and yes, reviews are important, more now than ever.  You don’t have to be a professional reviewer… just say…hey, I liked this book and here is why.  Or even…this book didn’t appeal as much…and this is why.  I don’t want to be that author who is constantly begging for reviews, but if you enjoy a book of mine, if you feel inclined to leave a review, posting it to Amazon or BN is a huge help and I very much appreciate it.  :)

 

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