Blog Archives

The Resurgence of Sock Puppetry and How History Repeats itself.

I honestly didn’t realize how long I’d been in the world of self-publishing until recently. I hadn’t realized exactly how much craziness I’ve witnessed, or what I thought I’d missed during my absence the last few years. But, here we are again. The fight against sock puppets, book stuffing, and scams has come flooding back. It’s the same old game, just with better graphics.

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When I first joined the community towards the end of 2012, all of this craziness seemed so new and intense. I worked with authors and bloggers, and posted about everything from piracy, to bullying, and everything else that felt so immediate at the time.

In February of 2013, I have my first exposure to an author that took bad reviews as bullying and I blogged about it here. That author went on to create 2 sock puppet accounts using the exact same email username just on different platforms (Gmail and Yahoo) and proceeded to accuse me of making fun of the author in question. You can read the whole thing in the comments section of that post. Long story short, she ended up emailing me on my personal, private email rather than my author email and it was a whole thing.

At the end of March of that same year, I talked about people signing up to beta read an author’s book, only to come back to the author and tell them that the book was unreadable. However, if the author was willing to pay the beta reader to edit the book, the beta reader would leave a 5 star review on Amazon. That post is here. Because I spoke out, the beta reader in question (who read my book but hadn’t yet propositioned me) gave me a 1 star review and the author friend that was approached a 3 star review, but the text of said review made no sense. I can show you those reviews if you ask, but it’s 5 year old news at this point. Of course, I did make a follow up post in 2014 about how to handle scammers in those situation.

I’ve seen authors get upset about the success of people like J.K. Rowlingauthors stalking actual bully reviewers, authors telling readers the “correct” way to review books (and the backlash that typically ensues in that situation), the book stuffing scam that caused the KU changes that are the center of the current problem, and the list goes on and on.

The reason I’m posting my “credits” is because the sad fact of the matter is that I’ve seen it all. People get riled up over a situation only to let it die away when it’s no longer interesting, or progressing. Accusations of sock puppetry fly around (and I’m not innocent from pointing at people that are very obviously operating those accounts), but ultimately they die.

dsppntmnt

Enter into the ring Suzan Tisdale. She is the self-publishing author who writes Scottish historical romance novels, along with a pen name that publishes romance novels of the more erotic variety. Through her charismatic coverage of #cockygate, Suzan has garnered a following of fellow authors and readers who are tired of the system gaming, review scamming, and reader trickery. And just like in many situations before, because Suzan has garnered such an audience, there are people that are trying to “prove” that she is scamming, herself.

nw

(insert sarcastic tone)

While I don’t necessarily agree with absolutely everything Suzan says, and I think that there are some times that she doesn’t gather all of the information she needs before she makes a post or does a live video, she has a charm that continues to bring focus to the problems that we as self-published authors face and will readily correct herself if she does share information that isn’t correct in the moment. I think one thing that we haven’t had before in these situations is someone like Suzan that can hold an audience’s attention, approach things from a stern yet understanding place, and knows how to capitalize on her platform.

Suzan first gained attention due to her coverage of #cockygate. Her audience appreciated the even handed way she spoke directly to Faleena. Of course, Faleena spiraled, #cockygate blew up, but Suzan has not stopped leading the charge against the wrongs that have plagued the self-publishing community.

Because there are people standing up for what’s right, the people that are being called out decided to strike back. Since the theme of this post is history repeating itself, wouldn’t you know that Suzan and other authors standing up for these scammers are being “called out” as it were. Twitter sock accounts are springing up all over the place, attempting to call these authors “scammers” themselves, and accusing them of starting witch hunts.

Can I just point out that I absolutely despise use of the phrase “witch hunt” in situations like this. It’s not a witch hunt. No one is going to die. The people getting called out for scamming are losing their scam accounts. As far as I’m aware there has been no doxing of anyone’s information, no one has been crushed to death, hung, drowned, burned or any other form of torture that the victims of the actual witch hunts had to go through.

Anyway, I do hope that there is change for the better, and history does not repeat itself. I hope that we see the changes that are so desperately needed in the self-publishing world, and I hope that we continue to see the voices of those people fighting for us getting louder.

Keep on fighting!

 

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Getting back on the horse

Hi guys! It’s been a while.

2017 was a year of creative garbage. I didn’t reach any of the goals I set out for myself. I didn’t finish any book that I actually wanted. I feel like a failure as an author. I feel like I’ve failed my series, my characters, and above all else, I feel like I’ve failed you, my readers.

All in all I had a fantastic 2017, but my creativity and motivation were non-existent. Because of that, I intend on making 2018 a better year. I don’t have any resolutions this year. I’m not planning on posting any goals or anything like that. I just intend on working.

I’ll be getting back to filming for Youtube, working on this blog, and writing. Change is going to be slow, and I might not get everything done that I was hoping for, but I’m going to try.

I hope that you have an amazing year! If you have anything you’d like to see from me, or this blog, please let me know.

)0( Maegan

Why I am Currently More Concerned with Writing

Self-publishing 101 is an intense push on the importance of marketing yourself and social media. I have a Youtube, this blog, my website, a Facebook Page, AND a Twitter. This time last year I was more concerned about how important growing my platforms was and growing my book sales than actually writing. I, like every other author on the planet (whether they admit it or not), want to be noticed. I want my books to be successful and I want everyone to read everything I’ve written. That was all fine and dandy until the progress on completing my second book ground to a screeching halt. It took me almost two years to complete Jeremy and I learned a lot about myself and my writing process during that time. I wanted to share with you a bit more insight into my hiatuses, my social presence, and why I’ve changed my point of view.

I like to think that I am telling an interesting story about vampires. That I’m telling a different type of story about vampires. I mean, how many stories are out there from a vampire’s perspective of their situation? Turns out there are quite a few. I figured that the only way to boost the sales of my one  novel were to go social media crazy. I joined like-for-like groups and pages. I hosted an ungodly amount of freebie days. I promised that my second novel was on it’s way. Never mind that I was working a full time job and barely spending any time writing. If I just got people to notice me, I could build my audience and then work on my writing.

It turns out that people don’t want to start a series that only has one book out and then have to wait almost two years for the next one. All that time I spent perfecting and redesigning my website, all of the like-for-like, advertisements, and what not were not getting me any where. I mean, all of those like-for-like groups are authors liking other author’s pages. Other authors are concerned with getting their own books out there and typically don’t go out and buy every book the authors that they’ve liked have written. I thought that I just needed a schedule. If I built up my readership on my blog, and gave myself a schedule, then I could figure out a time to write and everything would be good. And there I was wrong again.

I know that I mentioned my move last year multiple times. There was a time there that I thought I would build my Youtube channel and get a viewership going and that was going to be the key to getting readers. I replicated my schedule to my Youtube and did most of my posts via video. I took the Youtube Partner Academy courses and bought a new camera. I really thought that that was going to be the key to my success.

Surprise! It didn’t happen.

I wondered and wondered what I was doing wrong. I was stressing myself about about building this blog and my channel. I finally realized that the one thing I wasn’t doing was writing. I wasn’t actually doing the thing that I wanted to be successful at. I was spending all of my time and energy on everything else that I seemed to be losing sight of my work. I felt like an idiot.

So I went on hiatus. I didn’t write here as much, my Facebook posts were limited without much information, my only Tweets pertained to things on television, I hardly vlogged at all, and I wrote. Mind you, writing short stories and a novel at the same time is not easy. It took me a long time to get to a point where I thought I would be comfortable doing it all again. Except when I went off of hiatus, things didn’t go according to plan. I still had work to do on the novel and responsibilities at home and at my full time job.

That’s when I made the decision to do away with the schedule. I still do participate with stuff on social media, and I clearly still blog, but I don’t stress myself out. Heck, I even organized a blog tour (and a second one is in the works). This time I am doing things on my own terms. Success is not measured in the number of Facebook followers you have, or the amount of people you can annoy with your over abundance of self-promotion. Success is being able to take your life and work into your own hands and creating something that you love. I wish I had learned this lesson earlier, I might have more books out.

I will say that your books are never going to sell if people don’t know that they exist, but I think that we should all spend more time on doing what we love. I have no idea how my books sales will look in the future. All I have is my characters and Microsoft Word… and I’m pretty happy.

A big announcement or two

On March 8th, 2013, I hit publish on The Night Touched Chronicles Book One: Celine. For those of you that have been a part of the Night Touched universe since the beginning, and for those of you that have just joined, you know that next weekend marks a big milestone for the series. We will be celebrating the two year anniversary of the release of Celine! I will be offering Celine and Jeremy free for Kindle for that entire weekend. Promotional artwork will be coming soon.

On that note, I have another big announcement. Texas (Book Three) is being put on hold for the time being. Don’t worry, I’m not abandoning the series or going on hiatus with my writing. I am actually planning on completely revamping (pardon the pun) Celine. Jeremy is in a league of his own, and Celine is just kind of the dorky big sister that doesn’t get a lot of attention. I want to change that. I won’t give anything away other than the base story will remain the same, but things will be changing. I want to have those changes made and released before I get back to work on Texas. Becoming Silas and Becoming Jeremy are still going to be out soon, but after their release, my work on Celine will commence.

I hope that you all grab your free copies next weekend, if you don’t have a copy already. Thank you so much to everyone that has supported the series since the beginning. Thank you to those of you that are just discovering my crazy little vampire world and find it interesting. I appreciate all of you so very much.

How to Create a Credible Villain in Fiction- Writing Tip Tuesday

http://www.wikihow.com/Create-a-Credible-Villain-in-Fiction

 

I always say that you know a good actor by how much they make you hate their character (when they’re playing a baddie) and I feel the same goes for books. If the author can make you truly hate the antagonist, then they’re a good writer. I don’t typically like sharing Wikihow pages for something like this, but it’s still pretty awesome

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/improve-your-writing-with-these-editing-tips.html

 

Everyone loves a good life hack, why not a good writing hack? These tips are pretty informative.

Editing Tips for Effective Writing

This page has information that everyone should know. My favorite tip is #1 under “Avoid Dumb Mistakes”

What am I doing with my life?

Well, a lot actually. I have had to take even more time off from Jeremy due to a lot of personal stuff. That seems to happen a lot, doesn’t it? I also applied for a part time job working for an apartment community that I hope I get. It won’t take time away from writing, but everything else in my life seems to. I know I make a bunch of excuses and whine about it, but I do appreciate those of you who are sticking with me. Vlog coming soon!

Girls Chase Boys by Ingrid Michaelson

This song is absolutely amazing! Actually helping me write, believe it or not.

Bangarang by Skrillex ft. Sirah

This is the song I’m listening to while writing my current chapter… What could be going on?!

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REDEFINE RADICAL: STYLE BY AMY

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The sometimes insightful, but many times inane observations of a self-proclaimed Sh*thead living on one side of the proverbial wormhole of existence.

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Cally Jackson Writes

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NO DROIDS WERE HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THIS BLOG....

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Official Website of Author Lisa V. Proulx

The Breezy Writer

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The way revenge is best served; the way a war was fought; the way a story should be told. ©

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MURDER...MAYHEM...MEDICINE

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Good poetry is like a dessert you just can't put down

Suddenly they all died. The end.

Write or write not - there is no aspiring.