The last days of autumn arrived. Leaves were losing their green colour, turning various shades of brown, red and gold. The clouds above the valley took on a gunmetal appearance as ice crystals formed deep inside them. Soon the first snow of winter would cover the land. Akhen and the rescue team spent days preparing for the arduous overland journey that lay before them, north to the frozen tundra. Taking the Bentu up there was ruled out for two reasons. The first was the danger involved in flying over the mountains with winter almost here. Misakk stated the obvious, “Just fly above the clouds. A simple hop would cut weeks of the trip.” However, the second reason put paid to that idea. The tundra, despite being permafrost, was also marshy, which meant there was no safe landing place for anything as heavy as the…
September 14th: back to school. So close! Too close! Yet, we don’t have a clue about how the new school year will start. Of course, I understand that everything depends on the trend of data and I don’t want to preach about what ought to be done, because I really don’t know and I respect whoever holds such an office as Minister of Education these days, this said, I think it is worth telling what has happened in these two past months, just to get the picture to what degree of confusion and dismay we’ll tackle our going back to work. It may sounds like a comedy but it is more like a tragedy and one act is yet to be written, the most important one.
The Minister of Education and her advisers have summoned 20 teachers, each as representative of one Italian region, to inform them of…
Book reviews are important for one reason only; to give potential readers information about any book you care to name. But when it comes to Amazon, if the book is written by an Indie author like yours truly, Amazon consider any review posted by another as a peer review, which it is. In their eyes because it wasn’t posted by someone other than a writer, it is illegal. They insist that because writers know each other, we are not allowed to review each other’s books! How ridiculous is that? Of course we know each other for god’s sake!
Compared to any other group of individuals with a common purpose, we are a small community who back each other up. We often talk to one another. We offer and receive sound advice. With the exception of Amazon, the publishing world accepts peer reviews as being totally necessary to help sell a book to the reading public!!!
The notion of banning peer reviews in support of our fellow writers is totally nonsensical.
Would they dream of banning reviews written by university academics for works by those self-same academics, merely because they know, and occasionally work together? The answer is – more than likely, given the mentality of Amazon’s inhouse imbeciles; were the books ever offered for sale on Amazon!
A couple of years back two writers were struck from Amazon’s author list for writing glowing reviews of their own works. Ever since then the clueless morons have been on the warpath. Take the most recent review of my novella The Magisters Book One https://havewehadhelp.wordpress.com/2020/08/27/another-review-for-magisters/ by my fellow author Bob Van Laerhoven in Belgium. They have blocked any attempt by him to add any more reviews on Amazon’s book section. And so I posted it here on my blog as well as Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook. Thereby hangs a tale. When I commented that it was a peer review, FaceBook did their damndest to remove it. Why? Because Amazon has an interest in FB. And yet it was able to be posted on Goodreads (an Amazon company). Go figure!
Any publisher worth their salt knows that peer reviews are absolutely necessary as part of the advertising package of any book published by them. But not Amazon. When it comes to books written by Indies, they’d far rather allow one, two, or three star reviews from ordinary people who’ve never written a book in their lives. Preferably the kind that love to pour scorn.
While I think of it, check the email lists of books on offer by amazon. I defy anyone to find a book written by an Indie among them! When it comes to selling books, Amazon falls over itself to promote books published by the big five publishing houses. Meantime Indie authors can go to hell…
Melbourne has been in Stage 4 lockdown for a few weeks now. Exercise once a day for a maximum of an hour; shopping for essentials once a day and only one person; only within a 5 km radius. And a curfew from 8:00 at night to 5:00 in the morning. Businesses have been severely curtailed, with only essential work to be carried out and workers needing a permit to show they are essential.
Mask-wearing has been mandatory for about a month, and most people are complying.
Our borders with NSW and South Australia are closed.
Fortunately these very strict measures seem to be bringing the numbers down, although our elderly in residential care have had a very tragic time. You might like to read my last post about our Elders.
And me? Thank you for asking! I feel that I have been doing this for ever, and indeed it has…
This is the latest review for The Magisters Book One From Bob Van Laerhoven in Belgium. As you’ll see he thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks Bob. 😉
Jack Eason has the knack to put the reader right from the beginning in the center of his story. In “The Magisters” he does it with great verve: as a reader, you accept easily that the character James, a seventy-year-old loner, suddenly awakes, not in dreary England, but in a protective sphere in Triq Hagar Qim, an ancient monument on the Island of Malta, where he meets the hooded figure Kabir, a Magister. Astonished, he notices that he has become young again and receives an intense re-education to himself become a Magister. That is the start of a whirling adventure, told with so much aplomb and bravado that you are completely hooked. Each Magister has a unique talent. James discovers that he can rejuvenate old monuments to their former glory. Soon, the whole world is in turmoil when, anywhere on the planet, old structures are transforming in what they were before their decay. That’s the beginning of a fantastic adventure, swarmed with a host of characters you’ll love to love. Jack Eason is a Magister in telling stories.
I have relied for some years now on two companies, Oxbow Books and Postscript Books (psbooks on the internet), for much of my research material. Both publish a wide range of books that have been discarded by publishers. Rather than see them shredded, publishers sell them ridiculously cheaply to a number of companies and they pass on the reduced price to their customers.
For me it gives me an opportunity to purchase a number of academic books that I could not possibly afford usually. And it is cheaper to buy them than to travel all the way up to London to read them in the British Library.
Usually I will only buy academic titles, but every so often a title grabs my interest – and THE GREAT SWINDLE did.
Pierre Lemaitre has created a wonderful story here. It is not as…
When it comes to that book we as writers have spent many months working on, sooner or later we are all presented with the same conundrum. Will it sell, bearing in mind that this business is extremely fickle?
Daily I see countless writers both new and old, endlessly talking/blogging about spending not only a considerable amount of time and effort, but also their hard earned money, on a book they wrote some time back that simply isn’t selling, in the vain hope that what they’re doing will increase it’s chances in today’s saturated market. In short we’re talking about idiots!
I’ve said it before and I’ll keep on saying it until the day I die. If your book doesn’t work, no amount of spending money on changing its cover or having it properly edited, together with purchasing a number of copies of the…
If anyone who reads this is not happy with the new Block Editor, if you don’t want to use it, wish it had never happened, and quite literally hate the thing, then please reblog this post, share it constantly on social media, and let’s see if we can get WordPress to take notice of us.
Dear WordPress, you have started to force the Block Editor on your blogging community. You must have your reasons for this, and I supect they are commerical ones. After all, you have to make a profit, and you continue to provide a basic blogging platform free of charge to the majority of your bloggers.
You will also be aware that a significant percentage of your loyal bloggers absolutelyHATEthis new Block Editor. It is not intuitive, and we can see no good reason for it having to be forced on us.
The way my latest WIP is heading, When its published, it wouldn’t surprised me in the least if an irate reader takes out a contract to have me silenced/rubbed out. Among the many inhuman traits some are guilty of, people smuggling, corruption in politics and the condoning of paedophelia in the church are just three subjects I’ve used in the story so far. In short – in mine and most writer’s books, when it comes to fiction there is no subject that may not be used.
If the chapter I’m currently engaged in doesn’t ruffle feathers with the religious among you, I will have failed. If this book doesn’t shake the average reader out of their complacency about certain of their fellow human beings, then I’ve failed. I’ve never used what’s going on in the world except to alude to certain subjects in the past. Not this time…
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss
“Reading one book is like eating one potato chip.” – Diane Duane
“Reading brings us unknown friends.” – Honoré de Balzac
While still in Montolieu and having toured the Conservatory of Book Arts & Crafts, we were in serious need of refreshments and then there are books to be discovered. We were in luck as just across from the museum was a charming tea shop/bookstore. On this particular day, the books were to wait as we indulged in the tea and delicious cakes. The cakes to choose from on that day were chocolate or chestnut. The small tea cakes had been baked in a rose shaped mold, were moist and delicious. While I am a chocoholic, I choose the chestnut one and…