Random Friday


In the previous post I told why I prefer Smashwords as a writer. Now I’m going to put my reader’s hat on! 🙂

The writer hates she can’t download her own books from Amazon: my books on my Kindle are all Smashwords files. I have no idea what the customer gets except for the preview before I upload them. So 30+ title on my Kindle are my books (which doesn’t mean I’ve read them all, not even with the text-to-speech function, LOL!).

When my Kindle breaks (hopefully never, but electronic stuff quickly becomes obsolete – I’m not going to change my Kindle Keyboard for any fancy color update anytime soon, but you never know), I’ll have to put my Kindle-only books through Calibre. On Smashwords I only have to go back to the book page and download another format.

AND if the author publishes a revised version of any of the books I’ve bought, I can have it for free on Smashwords. (So, the few who bought B.G.Hope’s short stories for 99cents, can now download the double shorts and have the second story really for free. All new customers get the two stories for the new price).

And on Amazon anyone can leave reviews, which leaves room for troll reviews. On Barnes&Nobles you can even leave anonymous reviews! 😦 Now, apparently Google has found a way to detect and remove fake spammy reviews, but still… On Smashwords and DriveThru you need to buy the book to leave a review – which I find wonderful (in spite of the annoying Smashword reminder, LOL).

And of course both allow you to either create coupons for reviewers or send free review copies – something that Amazon itself doesn’t allow, if a reviewer wants a mobi file, I need to create it (for DriveThru I’m still working on the mobi and e-pub versions, it still has only PDFs. More formats will come, promised!) – or send the reviewer to Smashwords! 😀

Now, I’ve read a paperback book – because Penguin India didn’t provide the e-book format -, remember them? 😉 It’s The Boyfriend by R.Raj Rao (link to… where I bought it!) – yeah, I still love Amazon, but not to buy e-books! 😉

Here’s my review copy-pasted from Goodreads/Amazon:

I’m only halfway through it and I’m loving it! Also because I’m a Bollywood geek, so even if the book is set in the 1990s, there’s still mention of rising star Shah Rukh Khan and his movie Baazigar (which is the remake of A Kiss Before Dying with Matt Dillon, BTW) and other people I’ve actually heard about, LOL!
Also, this is pure gay fiction, not m/m romance written by women for women, so it’s very refreshing. And very interesting discovering the gay life of Bombay/Mumbai – something you don’t really expect exists.
And I love the mix of British English and Hindi! And the omniscient narrator, a.k.a. head-hopping so many editors and writing guru rant against! 🙂
Now I’m finished: I loved the dry humor of this story and the mix of English and Hindi – I don’t care if some words make no sense to me, they make a sense of where the characters are!
One last note: If you hate spoilers, DO NOT read the back cover of the paperback. I’ve never seen the complete plot revealed on the cover (not that it’s a mystery or a thriller, but still…). One star to the editor of Penguin India who wrote that without a “spoiler alert”!

So, there you have it! For an India/gay culture buff like me, it was really funny and a great read. Again, I was appalled at the back cover giving away the whole plot, but I don’t really care for spoilers – that’s what I actually look for in movies or books descriptions, LOL! Well, I look for that little hint of a scene or something of the story that grabs me – in this case the title and knowing it dealt with homosexuality in Bombay/Mumbai was enough, but otherwise I need a little something to make me want to buy.

Like Michelle, I don’t care if somebody tells me the end. As a reader, I don’t read the sample – not even with paper books. I go for cover, back cover and it’s in my basket or back on the shelves. OK, while I’m talking as a reader, I’ll say that I do have ONE sample on my Kindle: Rob Lowe’s book. But it’s a traditionally published book, with traditionally published e-book pricing, so I’m not going to download it all. If I must pay that price to read it, I’ll wait until I go to London or the US and buy the paperback. Heck, the paperback might even have pictures inside like Shahrukh Khan’s bio! (Maybe it doesn’t I’m just assuming! ;-)). So I’ll stick to that sample and the Vanity Fair excerpt that came out last year until either traditional publishers lower their e-book prices or I buy the paperback.

There you have, then, this reader’s habits… they haven’t changed much in time, except from reading on different formats – from paper only to paper + PDF to paper + PDF + ebooks, but the way of chosing what to read is still the same… Now I’m back to finishing Mark Coker’s book (free download recommended to all indie writers!!) and deciding what to post on Sunday! More longer excerpts or another six sentence? You tell me! 🙂

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13 Comments

  1. authorheatherwood

     /  04/05/2012

    I’m loving Smashwords as well. I have a tablet and I love to have access to the multiple formats. I made my debut novel available on the site as well and it came in handy to download mobi, epub and pdf versions to send off to reviewers.

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    • I give them coupons for free downloads, otherwise they can’t leave reviews… And I want them to copy/paste their reviews on Smashwords/Amazon/Goodreads! 🙂 (even if some sometimes forget one site or two, LOL)

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  2. katyasozaeva

     /  06/05/2012

    I like Smashwords, too – the only problem is when I get a book from Smashwords and then the writer takes it back down! I can’t leave a review there, then. ON Amazon, you can only leave reviews if you have an account with them to buy books, so not just anyone can leave reviews there, which can be a pity, because I like to leave reviews as many places as possible, which is why, given the option, I’ll ask for a Smashwords coupon so that is one more place to leave that review. But (and this has only happened to me once), it can be a problem if, like I mentioned before, the author subsequently removes the books from Smashwords. In the one instance I’m talking about, I purchased the book from Smashwords for $2.99 but somehow lost the file. When I went back to get it again, the book wasn’t there… O.O I had to go and PAY FOR IT AGAIN off Amazon, which would have been remarkably annoying, but it turned out that when I noticed this, the author was having a free day on Amazon (whew). If more authors would use Smashwords – and LEAVE the books THERE – I would be very happy, as I really do prefer their way of doing business. MORE SMASHWORDS!!!

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    • this writer here will NEVER take her books off Smashwords to joind KDP Select! 😉 Either I’ll do KDP Select first with a title or I’m not going to bother taking my titles off Smashwords and its distribution channels (and I have them also on XinXii and DriveThru anyway).
      On Amazon you can leave reviews even of things you haven’t purchased if you have an account with them… so you can leave fake bad reviews of something you have never read! 😦
      BTW, did you copy/paste your review on Amazon? Last I checked it was only on Beloved Smaswhords and Goodreads… 😉

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      • katyasozaeva

         /  06/05/2012

        which review? I’ll be happy to do so, just remind me which one I need to do it for 🙂 I usually do that automatically, post on Amazon since that is such a huge marketplace… And yeah, I know it *can* be a problem, but I’d be quite ticked if I couldn’t post reviews on Amazon for products I have just ’cause I didn’t buy them there, you know?

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      • katyasozaeva

         /  06/05/2012

        If you mean for The Left-Handed warrior, it’s there, I just checked.

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      • Yikes, wordpress just submerged with notifications of your comments! I’ll have to turn that off because it sent them twice! :-O
        And yes, it’s there now, it wasn’t when I last checked a few days ago (but I forgot to tell you when I noticed, obviously you didn’t need the reminder!)…

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        • katyasozaeva

           /  06/05/2012

          Oh, reminders are always good if you don’t see a review up on Amazon, but I have no idea why you didn’t see it just a few days ago, since it put it up weeks ago! Sorry about the WordPress craziness!!

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      • OK, maybe I AM going blind, sigh…

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  3. katyasozaeva

     /  06/05/2012

    Hey, what happened to my long comment??? *sigh* Long story short: me prefer Smashwords, except me no like when author take book off Smashwords after me buy book there and lose file and need to re-buy from Amazon *ugh* More use Smashwords!!! 🙂

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    • You only needed approval from me – which means now that I moderated your first comments (maybe not the first but long time since your last), WordPress will let you through if you comment again! 🙂

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      • katyasozaeva

         /  06/05/2012

        Weird, usually get a message when that happens, and the 2nd comment went right up. anyway… 🙂

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      • Mysteries of WordPress… or whatever! 🙂

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