Signing in St. Louis tomorrow! Also, a PSA … on being an idiot.


I’m signing in St. Louis tomorrow…

April 6

12:00pm CDT
Rose’s Bookhouse
8935 Veterans Memorial Parkway


If you live in or around the area, I’d love to meet you. I’ll be signing WRECKED and other stuff. I’ll have a few of the Kit books, so you can get one of those, but I mean a very, very few. 🙂

Just a reminder… if you’d like to get a signed book from me, you’ve got a chance. You can pre-order it from Turn the Page.  I’ll be signing there in two weeks and they’ll take your orders and I’ll sign them once I’m there.  WRECKED and THE REUNITED will be the books they have on stock, as well as a few others, but if you want one of my backlist/older titles, contact them ASAP and they might be able to get it in, but please do not wait too long.  They also ship internationally!!  Order your signed books here.

The Bookpushers were with me with me when I had the idea for WRECKED.  They blogged their thoughts on the book.  They liked it.  🙂


And now… a PSA.

Apparently there’s a big petition on returning books to Amazon.  Some authors don’t like it. Some authors don’t like that you can leave negative reviews and some don’t like the fact that the earth is round and that the moon is not made of green cheese, either.

Yes, some people will abuse that system.  This is the fact of life when you’re doing business with the public.

The bottom line is sometimes you buy a book twice.

Sometimes you buy a book and you go to read and the formatting sucks…I handled the formatting on the first 2-3 selfpubbed books and while it’s pretty decent for a newbie, it’s not as good as my later stuff, which I finally paid somebody to do.

Some people buy a book thinking it’s a romance and it turns out it has terrible awful stuff like rape fantasy (yes, I’ve got one of those and I’ve had a few people unhappy because that sexy romance wasn’t sexy, it was filled with lurid stuff where the woman fantasized about being forced). That wasn’t their cuppa and they didn’t like it, which is totally okay, and they returned it.

And then there’s really weird thing where sometimes you buy one book and you get…oh, say…the file of another!  No.  That can’t happen, right?  Um, guess what? It’s happened to me…twiceAnd it wasn’t a formatting issue on my part-it was something publishers or distributors did.  The customer’s best course of action at the time was to return and repurchase.

Sometimes, as much as it pains me to point it out, you just buy a book where the writer either didn’t care about quality, or doesn’t know what quality is.  Where they do crap like:

hey look over their, there go to the market over they’re.


hey!  what DO YOU MEAN i USE CAPS all WRONG!!!!!




She was a pre-madonna

FYI… that was really fricking used in a book. Not prima donna.  But pre-madonna.

other crap like:

sh eopened the door and sawhim standing there.  Sohot. Sosexy. And hers.  Hewasall hers. And just hers  Sh3 just wanted him. Nthing but him. Teh neeed insde her was going t kill her

And it’s pretty damn obvious the book didn’t even get a read through or a basic grammar/spell check on Word, much less finding an editor who’d read it through.

The above stuff does happen.  There’s plenty of that stuff on Amazon.  I see in excerpts, in samples that I download, etc.  It’s why I’ll only read a self-pubbed work if it’s by authors I know or somebody who comes very very highly recommended and then I’ll take it with about five grains of salt. (I’m also saying this with a grain of salt because I’m aware I miss things in my self pubbed works and I’m constantly trying to think of ways to improve.)

Some people can overlook and that is fine. Others don’t want to.  It interferes with the reading experience and if they are spending their hard-earned money, they are entitled to spend on something they will enjoy.

So, authors?  It’s in your best interest to make sure it’s in the best possible shape for the reader.  Get the book formatted.  Hire editors.  Self-published works are not as likely to get the treatment that New York works get-those books get read through multiple times by multiple people, editors, multiple line editors, etc and the cost of that is astronomical.   But you can definitely find a content editor and a line editor.  You can use spell and grammar check.  SmartEdit will cut back on the repetitive words.  You can do plenty of things to shape your work up.

If your return rate is that fricking high, it oughta tell you something-you need to improve your craft.  Most readers are looking for new authors to love…not books to return.  So be that author.

Also, it’s kinda silly for anybody to argue that you know within seven days if you’ll finish the book…oh, silly, silly rabbit.  This?


That’s the top half of one of my print bookshelves. The books are double-stacked.  There are books behind the books in front. On both shelves.  I don’t think I’ve read any of these yet. Except the SEP.

There are two more bookshelves just like it.  And that doesn’t even touch on the ebooks. Readers glom on books.  So you’re kinda lucky that they even cracked open that book to notice there was a problem within in seven days.

Amazon’s rules are set up so that as long as you return the book within a week, you can get a refund.  That’s set up to protect the customer.  Are there jerks who will abuse it?  Yes. Because people are people and some people are jerks.  Just like some authors are out there calling readers scammers and thieves… (FYI…that’s being a jerk.)  But the majority of readers do not set out to buy a book just to return it, rip you off.  Amazon can track that.  If excessive returns are made, their accounts do get flagged. Then those accounts can be shut down.

Dealing with returns is part of being a writer. Traditionally pubbed writers have to deal with it.  And so does this new ‘cutting edge’ part of publishing.  I know.  I do it all and I’ve dealt with it all.

You want to be a writer?  This is part of it.

Tomorrow?  Dealing with bad reviews.  (No.  Not really. I already blogged about that. It involves pink unicorns. Or maybe they were purple.)

ETA:  BTW, hopefully it won’t be an issue, but if you wonder onto my blog because if my PSA… please be civil.  Otherwise, the post won’t remain up for long.  I try to keep this a decent place for my readers and they won’t want to come back if it gets ugly.  If you want to be uncivil and such, you can do it on your own turf.  This is mine.  Disagree all you want…that’s fine.  But do it in without getting ugly.

4 Replies to “Signing in St. Louis tomorrow! Also, a PSA … on being an idiot.”

  1. Great post! I think it will be clear to determine abusers of the return policy. I didn’t even know it existed or I would have returned a couple of purchases. Unfortunately, I purchased several books recently (recommended by a friend!!) that had unbelievable editing lapses. Also, major plot issues/holes irritated me. I’m a huge fan of supporting new authors, BUT I expect quality (not perfection). I’m also not averse to paying the same fee for ebook as I would for hard copy. I just want good books! Writing is a business. It amazes me that people want to be successful but do no research on the business/industry ahead of time. :0(

  2. This! Thanks for a great post. I don’t know if they are still doing it, but in the past, Amazon locked down accounts that had an excessive number of ebook returns (it used to be 30 or so, but that may have changed), so they already have a way of dealing with this. As for myself, the only reason I’ve ever returned a book was due to accidently one-clicking, which is really easy to do, especially when your Kindle is brand new and you aren’t used to how easy it is to buy. (You learn very quickly to be careful with the one-click LOL).

    These authors don’t seem to understand that it’s because of Amazon’s great customer service and generous return policies (not just on books, but on everything), that people are willing to take a chance on an unknown product in the first place. There is a reason Amazon is killing the competition.

  3. I completely agree with you Shiloh! Sarah and Jen too. Many authors are ranting on this subject but your post puts it in perspective in an articulate, logical, surprisingly non-bias way since you’re a reader as well as a writer. As a ‘pleasure’ and ‘wanna be published someday’ writer in addition to a voracious reader the basic grammatical, spelling, and editing errors you listed can drive me CRAZY and cause me not to purchase anything from that writer again. Sometimes I wonder if they passed freshman high school English. I also wonder what software program they’re using to write with because I’m pretty sure ALL current versions of ANY type of word processing programs come with grammar check, spell check and multiple formatting types. Okay, climbing down off my soapbox now…

  4. Sometimes I get a bit tired of indie authors that think their books are special snowflakes, without any need of editing or proof reading. I guess there is a reason why I primarily buy books from authors that have previously been published by a publisher, either print or digital.

    ( And those examples… Even my first drafts are better than that, and then English is my second language.)

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