On Friday, a book jumped to the #1 spot on Amazon, out of nowhere; it quickly became obvious that the author had used a clickfarm to gatecrash the charts.
The Kindle Store is officially broken.
This is not the first time this has happened and Amazon’s continued inaction is increasingly baffling. Last Sunday, a clickfarmed title also hit #1 in the Kindle Store. And Amazon took no action.
Over the last six weeks, one particularly brazen author has put four separate titles in the Top 10, and Amazon did nothing whatsoever. There are many such examples.
I wrote at the start of June about how scammers were taking over Amazon’s free charts. That post led to a phone conversation with KDP’s Executive Customer Relations.
Repeated assurances were given that the entire leadership team at Amazon was taking the scammer problem very seriously indeed. But it was also stressed that the problem wasn’t quite as bad as I was making out, and that this stuff never hits the charts and remains largely invisible to customers.
found that when writing a novel, it helps if I plan what I’m going to focus on
the following day. It might be to work on a particular scene or chapter.
Alternatively, it could be a piece of troubling dialogue or adding a red
herring or twist to the story. Whatever I choose I know that when I sit down at
my keyboard the next morning, I have a specific purpose in mind.
happens if I don’t do this? I find my mind is bombarded by choice and I start
to procrastinate. This leads to avoiding the issue and finding other things to occupy
myself such as sending an email, spending time on social media, going for a
walk etc., and before I know where I am, the day is over. So, plan ahead and
shove procrastination out the door!
I recently acquired Scrivener which is a word processing and content
management tool developed especially for writers. And given it does so
much to help a writer, it is complex to use. I admit, I struggled and
put it in the too hard basket until I came across Karen Prince's book,
Scrivener Essentials. All I can say is it's great and has given me new
hope that I'll eventually be able to use the program. If you are at your
wit's end, you might like to try it.
There are two versions. One for Windows users and one for Mac users.
The first is a book by Hallie Ephron called Writing and Selling your
Mystery Novel. Don't let the mystery part of the title put you off
either because I'm sure that whatever genre you're writing, you'll find this
particular book helpful.
Well worth reading for the aspiring as well as the seasoned writer who has become blocked.
My second recommendation is Mid-Novel Writing Prompts and as far as books on prompts go, I must say, this is the best I've come across.
If you've run out of inspiration (as we all do at times) you may just find these prompts help stimulate your imagination and set you going again.
100 prompts each with ideas on how to use them, what-if scenarios, and suggestions for how you might interpret the topic.
If you live
outside the U.S., are a writer and have sold books in the U.S. during the
2016-17 financial year, you will no doubt have received a Form 1042-S 2016 (Foreign
Person’s U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding) from Amazon or whomever you
sell your books through.
If so, you will need to complete Form
1040NR (U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return), attach Form 1042-S, and lodge it with the Internal
Instructions for filling out this form can
be downloaded at:-