Wondering about things, Kindle Book Deals

Well, let’s start with the Kindle Book Deals (do check out all the free books in the previous post) -

  1. A King of Infinite Space by Tyler Dilts is rated 4 stars on 34 reviews, it’s $7.99, and it’s racing up the charts. It’s an Amazon Exclusive and sounds very good -

    Awake in the darkness, long after midnight, Long Beach Homicide Detective Danny Beckett is trying to keep his past at bay.

    Haunted by all the things he’s lost–his wife, his family, his hope–he begins to investigate the brutal murder of Elizabeth Williams, a popular High School English teacher. Soon Danny begins to understand that apprehending the murderer is not just a case to solved, but an act of personal redemption.

  2. Isaac Asimov’s Foundation is going up the charts. Rated 4.5 stars on 379 reviews and at $6.39.

    Foundation marks the first of a series of tales set so far in the future that Earth is all but forgotten by humans who live throughout the galaxy.

    Yet all is not well with the Galactic Empire. Its vast size is crippling to it. In particular, the administrative planet, honeycombed and tunneled with offices and staff, is vulnerable to attack or breakdown.

    The only person willing to confront this imminent catastrophe is Hari Seldon, a psychohistorian and mathematician. Seldon can scientifically predict the future, and it doesn’t look pretty: a new Dark Age is scheduled to send humanity into barbarism in 500 years. He concocts a scheme to save the knowledge of the race in an Encyclopedia Galactica. But this project will take generations to complete, and who will take up the torch after him?

  3. Evermore: The Immortals by Alyson Noel is just $2.99 and the first book in a series.

    This opening book in a new series, The Immortals, will thrill many teen fantasy-suspense readers, especially fans of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series.

    Seventeen-year-old Ever survived the car crash that killed her parents, younger sister, and their dog. Now she lives with an aunt in Southern California, plagued not only by survivor guilt but also by a new ability to hear the thoughts of all around her.

    She tries to tune out all these distractions by keeping her hoodie up and her iPod cranked loud, until Damen, the cute new boy at school, convinces her to come out of her shell. Damen, however, is frighteningly clever—and has the strange ability to produce tulips from nowhere and disappear himself at critical moments.

  4. Bonds of Justice by Nalini Singh is $5.49 and rated 4.5 stars on 10 reviews. It seems they couldn’t find a body builder for the cover so went with the ‘man pensively looking into the distance and wondering when this photo-shoot will end so he can go home and finish Metamorphoses’ look instead.

    Max Shannon is a good cop, one of the best in New York Enforcement. Born with a natural shield that protects him against Psy mental invasions, he knows he has little chance of advancement within the Psy-dominated power structure.

    The last case he expects to be assigned to is that of a murderer targeting a Psy Councilor’s closest advisors. And the last woman he expects to compel him in the most sensual of ways is a Psy on the verge of catastrophic mental fracture.

  5. Plantation by Dorothea Frank is rated 4.5 stars on 84 reviews and is at $6.99. Not really much of a deal though the reviews are very strong.

    … this colorful contemporary romance effortlessly evokes the lush beauty of the South Carolina Lowcountry while exploring the complexities of family relationships.

    When Caroline Wimbley Levine learns that her mother, Miss Lavinia, has supposedly gone mad, she leaves the big city bustle of Manhattan and returns to Tall Pines Plantation.

    Caroline originally left Tall Pines to escape her feisty, eccentric mother and her drunken brother, Trip, but when Miss Lavinia dies, Caroline is forced to come to terms with her family’s troubled history as well her failing relationship with her husband.

  6. Howling Dead by M. H. Bonham sounds pretty good and it’s just $2.39. For some reason book covers with people wearing creepy contact lenses always get me to click on the cover.

    Which earrings look best with fur?

    Kira Walker is a geek and UNIX systems administrator who has a bad hair day at least once a month. But when a wolf attacks Kira and her BFF in downtown Denver around the full moon, she’s devastated.

    Can she solve the riddle of the Enchanted Forest before the rogue werewolves kill again?
    Fashion-challenged Kira will learn that werewolves have a strong bite.

Amazon needs to have at least one set day for free kindle book releases (they can still keep doing their random slot machine releases at other times during the week). The slot machine style of having unexpected free book offers of unknown duration is rather taxing.

Authors’ Self-Promotion is getting out of hand

There’s a lot worth considering when it comes to the challenges indie authors face and the problems they cause for readers -

  1. There’s a post at the official Kindle Forum asking authors to stop spamming the forum with posts about their books. It matches my feelings. It’s spam as far as most readers are concerned.
  2. It’s interesting to wonder about things from the other side – You don’t have a Publisher, the competition is brutal, you don’t have a marketing budget, people are breaking rules and getting ahead. It’s basically a system where decency is punished more often than not.
  3. Authors are coming up with smarter and smarter ways to spam without seeming to do so – Using humor, pleading, indirect threads to try to get their book noticed.
  4. People on the Internet always find a reason to argue. People ask authors to stop spamming and someone claims it actually helps them. It almost seems as if either the human brain or the Internet has been designed to cause people to compulsively argue and try to prove others wrong.
  5. There are people who’ve created threads asking authors to write about their books. However, a lot of authors seem to avoid those. It’s petty (Freudian Slip) strange thinking – No, let’s not write on the thread asking for indie authors. Let’s instead write in a completely new thread where we’ll be considered spammers.

How long is it before someone thinks up a ‘boycott and give 1 stars’ policy for indie authors who are spammers?

That would seriously kill spam threads because an indie author with a bunch of 1 star reviews is sunk. He (for some reason it’s usually the men being spammy) might find his book sunk before it’s even started. Do that for the next 10 indie authors who spam and indie authors will get the message soon enough.

Things about the Forum that don’t make sense

Well, let’s see – Topics fall off the first page in 20-30 minutes when it’s busy, the search is really awkward, there isn’t really any moderation, there’s no way to kick out spammers, people don’t get banned even after doing ridiculously anti-forum things.

It would help if there were sub-forums. If some users were given moderator powers – lots of people would be more than happy to help create a great forum. Perhaps a way to automatically route all posts with a link to a self-published title (self-published by the poster) to a separate forum called ‘Self-Promotion Links’. Perhaps a troll filter where anyone just venting would get a temporary ban and if she/he wasn’t polite in future a permanent ban.

Also, the limit on 1,023 discussions is arcane. It’s great that Amazon have an official Kindle forum and it does some things well. With just a little effort they could make it really, really good. The moderation by users and having Karma points wouldn’t take much effort. It’s a self-regulating system.

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