Ursula Le Guin is Clueless

I couldn’t tell you anything about Ursula Le Guin. I can’t tell you how many books she’s published. I can’t tell you which genres she writes in. I can’t even tell you the name of just one of her books. But I at least know her name. Much the same as I know the names of other prominent authors who I’ve never read. But it is quite obvious that she’s clueless about the state of publishing. How did I come to this conclusion? Well, by reading an article she wrote. I’d encourage you to take a few minutes to read the full article here.

Over the course of the last year or so, many authors (prominent and not) have come out against Amazon. They’ve come up with reason upon reason for their ultimate decision. But the interesting thing about all of their gripes is that they never actually have anything to do with Amazon. They should be aiming their words at New York publishing. But you can’t do that when they’re giving you six-, seven-, or even eight-figure checks. The issue with prominent authors coming out against Amazon is that they have a very real stake in maintaining the status quo. It’s easy to toss around finely written statements that likely lead many to believe that their words must be true, but they’re not.

Now Ursula Le Guin has added her name to the list of authors who have spoken out against Amazon with no basis for their arguments. Amazon has done a lot for and to the publishing industry, but almost none of it is bad.

Now go read the article and tell me what you think of her words.

And don’t you think Ursula Le Guin should go ahead and remove her books from the site if she’s so against them? Oh wait, she probably has no control over that because her PUBLISHER does.

On this day in 2014 I published What Writers Should NOT Post on Their Blogs.


Amazon Publishing set to Expand in 2016

Remember when Amazon first launched its publishing business and it was touted as a terrible move by industry analysts because of how difficult it would be to get retailers to sell the books? Well I’m imagining everyone at Amazon laughing right about now.

As you know, the books Amazon publishes are sold on Amazon and basically nowhere else. You can’t walk into your neighborhood Barnes and Noble store and find them. You typically can’t walk into your favorite indie bookstore and find them. Why? Because they refuse to carry Amazon titles. Which comes as no surprise to anyone. But that hasn’t stopped the company from making its mark on the publishing industry in just a few short years. This year Amazon Publishing will release 1,200 new titles. Next year that number will climb to 2,000. And I imagine it won’t stop there. 2,000 books is a small drop in the publishing bucket, but I bet many within the industry fully expected Amazon’s leap into publishing to fail, for whatever reason. It hasn’t. And is likely here to stay a little while.

Have you read a book released by one of Amazon’s many publishing imprints? You may not even know it.

On this day in 2014 I published And the Edgar Award Goes to….


Officially Entered into the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest

Photo Credit: goodereader.com

I knew quite some time ago that I wanted to enter my book, Divided Within, into the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. As I’ve stated in at least one previous post, this is easily the most lucrative writing contest there is. And a great opportunity for new writers. Most of the other major writing contests strictly prohibit previously self published books, but this one has no such limitation. Now, a little about the contest.

The Contest

The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award is a free to enter annual writing contest that allows for unpublished and self published entries. Entries must fall within one of the five genre categories which are: General Fiction, Mystery/ Thriller, Science Fiction/ Fantasy/ Horror, Romance, and Young Adult. Entries must also fall within the word count limits of 50,000-125,000. And the contest is judged from now until the winners are announced in July. The contest is limited to 10,000 entries, which no other contest would even come close to reaching. For instance, I’ve been told by an author who won the Best Private Eye Novel competition that is sponsored by Minotaur Books and Private Eye Writers of America several years ago that in a recent contest there were only a couple hundred entries. And this contest regularly goes years without awarding a winner.


In anticipation of submitting my entry I read my book all the way through for a fourth time. I had many things I went back in and corrected. There were no major rewrites or chapters eliminated but there were plenty of individual words changed or taken out, and some small details altered as a result of what I’ve been told by some of my readers. With that being said, I don’t think I’m actually going to beat out 9,999 other writers to win the top prize, or even to be crowned the winner of my category. I’ve said over and over how much I love my book and the characters I created, but 9,999 other writers is a lot. I’d be happy making it to the second round of judging, in which the excerpts of 2,000 entries will be evaluated. Then it’s down to 500. Then it’s down to just 25. Then it’s down to the top five, who will all receive a publishing contract with Amazon Publishing, one of which will be awarded the $50,000 grand prize.

In about two weeks the top 400 from each category will be announced.

If you’d like to wish me luck, then feel free. If not, that’s okay too.