Why Is The Media Ignoring Author Exploitation By Publishers?

VERY IMPORTANT for potential or actual #self-pub #authors. READ! SHARE!

David Gaughran

prhasiThe Amazon-Hachette dispute has caught the media’s attention. But what about the story the media refuses to cover?

The media is more concerned with one-sided accounts of Amazon’s perceived actions – when no one really knows the exact nature of the dispute.

The media is more concerned with what Amazon might do in the future, than actual author exploitation by the world’s largest trade publisher: Penguin Random House.

Penguin Random House owns the world’s largest vanity press – Author Solutions – which is currently subject to a class action for deceptive business practices, breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and violation of business statutes in California, New York, and Colorado.

The court papers cover the same ground that I’ve been blogging about for the last three years, that Writer Beware has spent even longer documenting, and others like Emily Suess and Mick Rooney have covered in extensive detail.


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16 Ways I Use #Goodreads

I’m wondering how you, as a reader, use Goodreads? What about if you are an author: do you visit often and use it? How do you use #Goodreads?

Goodreads logo

At first, I just visited, as a #reader. I noticed what books are being featured or recommended (paid ads or in groups’ discussions), what types of groups there are, what groups are active, and what lists exist on Listopia. I marked books I had read and ranked a few, but didn’t write any reviews or read any.

As a reader, I now have: 905 ratings | 102 reviews | avg rating:4.10

When I began to come closer to launching my first book as an #author, I re-established myself on Goodreads with an author page. I added the nonfiction book I had co-authored many years ago, then I added my first science-fiction/romance ebook to my page.


As a reader/author, my use of Goodreads changed a lot after that. I began not only to list books I had already read, but I started to use Goodreads as a kind of readers’ journal, and I:

1) put books on my “want to read” shelf. This means Goodreads posts and could email me (but I shut that down) “Recommendations” based on what I read and ranked highly.



2) put books on my “currently reading” shelf and kept up the status of where I was in reading each one (I usually read several books simultaneously, one or two nonfiction, one or two fiction.


3) began to acquire friends/fans and to respond to “friends” requests moer promptly.

I now have 1005 “Friends” and dozens of “followers”: I have 83 “fans”; follow almost 288 GR members (mostly authors or reviewers) myself



(GR has an algorithm, like Facebook, that limits how many new “friends” a person can add per day, so sometimes I added an author or reviewer as a “fan” or “follower” instead. It seems arbitrary and silly, to me, but that is the deal. This policy means I seem to have 295 “favorite authors,” but that just means I had to become a “fan” rather than a friend, so this list includes authors I support but haven’t read anything from, yet.)

4) joined several groups as a reader, several more as an author, and started one of my own, as an author.


5) made an effort to keep up with “notifications” from these groups, responding when I felt inspired, commenting or asking questions occasionally. I also get some notification sent directly to my email, but I don’t read them in both places.

6) posted about my own ebook(s), including their launches, pre-orders, sales, becoming permafree, reviews (needing and getting). I also posted each of the related videos (author readings, Q & A, Book trailers) on my Author’s Page and my own Videos page. I also created and will create launch “events” on GR for each ebook’s sales launch date. If I had print books, I would/could do “giveaways,” but GR doesn’t provide avenues for ebooks giveaways (yet).



7) linked my Goodreads page to my blog so that the feed appears on it and put a Goodreads widget on my blog that shows what I’m reading.


8) linked my Goodreads reviews to my blog and Facebook pages so that my reviews and activities appear on those.

9) voted on and added my ebooks to lists and voted on others’ books on Listopia; also became more aware of and using Shelves more and putting books I’m reading/want to read on Shelves.


This Changes Everything cover


final cover - digital and web

I have also listed my Series as a Series on GR, which means it can appear on those pages/groups that seeks series books.

Scroll all the way down on any book’s page to see its first lists and then click on “more” to see pages and pages of lists my ebooks are on. VOTE on them, please!

10) added more books to my ‘want to read” lists to support other authors, especially those who became my friends/fans.

11) noticed what books others in my groups, friends/fans communities had read/were reading and put some of those on my “want to read” lists.

12) began to write an ongoing status/review and final review of every book I was reading, which then posted on my blog and on Facebook. These comments and activity appear on my author’s page as recent “updates.”

13) recently began pasting those reviews from Goodreads onto Amazon for those books, with the rating and slight editing (when necessary). I have a way to go to “catch up,” but it’s a good way to remember what I’ve read these last 12 months or so.

14) developed a new interest in and respect for book reviewers, prolific authors, new authors, and readers who populate Goodreads, reading more of the posts to groups and noticing their authors’ pages and blogs. I

15) followed a few of the blogs I saw excerpted on Goodreads due to what I read on these authors’ pages.

16. added “metadata” to my books and plan to add more. This is a tricky maneuver I needed help from a GR “Librarian” to accomplish and don’t know much about accessing on my own, but apparently this data helps my ebooks appear in more searches.

Please comment on how YOU use Goodreads and what you think of its usefulness to the readers/authors communities! Thanks.

Happy reading, reviewing, writing, commenting, ranking, voting, and shelving!

Making Connections

Great for #writers, #authors, #speakers! Thanks, Jamie and Nicholas!

Nicholas C. Rossis

I happened across this brilliant map by Jamie Clark, and I had to share! It shows the different words one can use to make connections, whether to compare, contrast, emphasise etc.

Enjoy, and don’t forget to visit his blog for more awesome stuff!

Making Connections, map by Jamie Lee Clark Making Connections, map by Jamie Lee Clark

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Social Media and Readers’ Advisory: Tumblr

I’m one of those bloggers who resides on #Wordpress and just re-posts to #Tumblr: I now know I’ve been missing out. Plan to do more right on it next month! Thanks for the suggestions and info!

wrapped up in books

Today I’m in Kansas City at a MALA workshop talking about my favorite things: cats, books, libraries, and tumblr. You can find the slides and additional information from the half day workshop at Kaite Stover’s wiki, but here’s the outline and lots of links to accompany my talk. You can also view my slides in googledocs (the gifs animated there, but don’t in slideshare or a downloaded powerpoint).

What’s tumblr?

The boring answer: a microblogging platform and social media site that supports multimedia content that:

  • Allows you to share text, video, images
  • Blends traditional blog with twitter and a plus a little instagram thrown in

But what is tumblr *really?*

Tumblr is…

cat gifs


books, reading, and libraries

your favorite authors and publishers

your community


and yes, you have to be careful to avoid NSFW content.

Tumblr is…

184 million blogs!

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#AUTHORS: #Plot Spice, or the 5 Worst Places to Wake Up Unexpectedly

#AUTHORS: In case your plots need some spice, just thought I’d remind you of the 5 Worst Places to Wake Up Unexpectedly. I put them in reverse order, according to my preferences, with One being the worst-case scenario.

If you disagree about my rankings or have your own to add, please put them in the comments at http://www.sallyember.com/blog

  • 5. Wearing your clothes but no shoes, restrained, on a cushioned table, several thousand light-years away from Earth, surrounded by aliens.

    alien abduction
    image from http://www.educatinghumanity.com

  • 4. Without your outerwear, stiff, cold, without ID, keys, money or facts, in the middle of a place you don’t recognize.

    lost woman
    image from http://www.alternet.org

  • 3. Wearing a johnnie, intubated, foggy, in pain, at least one limb in traction, in the ICU.

    ICU man
    image from helifreak.com

  • 2. Naked, hung-over, ashamed and chagrined, having had regrettable sex with someone inappropriate several hours ago.

    morning after drunk
    image from thealcoholenthusiast.com

  • 1. Dressed in your best clothes, surrounded by satin, in a closed coffin.

2011, COFFIN
image from http://www.dailymail.co.uk