Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

Similar Items with Better Ratings

Sunday, April 13th, 2014

Amazon is debuting a feature where when you look at a book, up at the top they show you books they feel are similar and that have better ratings.

Much I as I think Amazon is usually pretty smart about things, I’m not so sure about this one. I think it’s an attempt at curation — As in, “are you sure you want to buy a book with a 3-star rating when there are similar ones with 4.5 stars?” I guess we’ll see.

In the meantime, I thought I’d give everyone some advance help with my book My Darkest Passion. A paranormal romance of mine. It has 24 reviews with an average 4-star rating.

What Similar Items with Better Ratings might there be?

One Hundred Statements about The Darkest Passion that Almost Killed my Hamster

Sadly, one of my top candidates is not available: I mean, who wouldn’t want to read about that? (search term: “My Darkest Passion”)

Moleskin Passion’s Coffee Journal

No ratings at all, so even though that sounds totally awesome, that won’t qualify. My Darkest Passion is better than a moleskin. Please debate this in the comments. (search term: “Coffee Passion”)

Raw Chocolate powder

I am totally outranked by this. 355 reviews and 4.5 stars. I just bought this product so I guess this “Similar products” thing works! Note: My Darkest Passion in Kindle books is considerably less expensive. (search term: “Darkest Chocolate”)

How Pyschic Are you?

The characters in my book have psychic powers so if you’d rather have the power than read about others with such powers this may be the book for you. 4 star rating, but 34 reviews. (search term: “How to Be a Pyschic”)

Dark Souls Prepare to Die Edition

4 star rating but 637 reviews. Note: Also considerably more expensive than the Kindle version of my book, but not too much more expensive than the print version. (search term: “How to deal with demons”)

I hope this is of some assistance. Other ideas? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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Annoying Things – A Poll

Saturday, April 5th, 2014

Here is a list of annoying things.  I’ve put together a poll. Let me know if this happens at YOUR house.

 

Has this Happened to You?

View Results

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Comments temporarily closed for this post.

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Even a highwayman ….

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

Even a highwayman, in the way of trade, may blow out your brains, but if he uses foul language at the same time, I should say he was no gentleman.
William Hazlitt, “The Fight”, New Monthly Magazine, February 1822

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Carolyn’s Naughty Quiz Post (Maybe NSFW)

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Let me know how you did, and if you’re naughty, then I’ll send you a card. You have to email me your mailing address if you want a card. I won’t add you to any list. I’ll just mail you a card. Open until, uh, Dec 15, 2013.

email me your address through my website or carolyn AT carolynjewel DOT com

Take the quiz.

Your Score:  

Your Ranking:  

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Authors and Book Reviewers: Together we CAN do it!

Friday, October 19th, 2012

It’s a known fact that when book reviewers start blackmailing you for swag, you are a made author. MADE. Effing made in the goddamned shade. It means the USA Today and the NYT lists are just around the corner. Once that happens, triple digit reviews on Amazon are about to explode on your books like a nest of vipers on a bully who just stepped in it. Over at B&N, the Warrior Cats will stop talking about Glitter Cat and Moonkitty and they will buy your book.

I have never been blackmailed for swag. Not one single book reviewer has ever said Carolyn, we would be SO excited to review your book. SO EXCITED! Please send it immediately, but first, we need to have some swag from you. Without that, I’m afraid we’ll accidentally post-date our review to 1977.

No one has ever said, psst. hey you, author nobody ever heard of! Give us a job at your company and we’ll review your book!

God, it’s just SO UNFAIR.  No book reviewer will blackmail me.

In order to get around this, I am prepared to to offer you book reviewers swag you can’t get anywhere else. The images are extra-large so you can really take a look.

A 4 star review will get you anything you want from my junk drawer. You’ll notice it is chock full of swag. The gift card has $3.49 cents left on it. For that much money you could get a $3.00 coffee and leave a .49 cent tip. You could buy three .99 cent eBooks and have money left over! That’s my son’s report card over there in the upper left. He got an A+ in Honors Physics. A little white-out and your kid is in the college of his or her choice.  Got a pet? Check out the pet brush! The nail clippers are fully functional. Need a pen? You’re covered. Possibly not for long, but hey.

First come first serve.

 

Picture of Carolyn's Junk Drawer

Pick the Swag of Your Choice

 

But here’s something BETTER. For a 5-star review I will let you in on this deal:

screenshot of spam email

Exciting Opportunity!

Mr. Andrew Liu from Hong Kong is loaded and I am the only person who can help him! This is totally going to work. Wire me $100,000 US and I will contact Mr. Liu on your behalf and send you half the money, less a convenience fee.

Authors and Book Reviewers. Together, we can do it!

Reserve your swag now! Leave a comment.

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Carolyn Explains Politics Using Zombies and Bunnies

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Suzy Jones, Politician:  Today, in this great country of ours, we face a crisis. The world will be destroyed if we don’t act. The Zombie Apocalypse is coming. We cannot let those shambling, groaning, mindless creatures gnaw on our bunnies. Pets and small children should be in the basement. The streets are not safe.

Policy Wonk A (PWA):

Suzy Jones hates Bunnies! Tells families: “Bunnies should be locked in the basement.”

 

PWA’s claims rated “Pants On Fire times 10.”

PWA replies: Ferd Smith stands for protecting our beloved bunnies from Zombies. Suzy Jones wants bunnies to die in the basement.

Top Google results for “Is the Zombie Apocalypse coming?”

  • Best Zombie fighting weapons (sponsored link)
  • Top 10 ways to Zombie-proof your basement.
  • Securing a room in a dwelling without a basement
  • Hot Zombie babes
  • How to protect your bunny from Zombies

Ferd Smith, Politician: Zombies are attacking bunnies in greater numbers everyday. We need to arm the citizenry with anti-Zombie ammunition right now. Give everyone anti-Zombie guns! I guarantee you the streets are safe for bunnies.

Policy Wonk B (PWB):

Ferd Smith says bunnies can walk the streets!

 

Policy Wonk B Video Clip Rated “Pants On Fire Times a Billion!”

PWB replies: Ferd Smith says our bunnies are not in danger. Suzy Jones believes in protecting sweet, innocent, fluffy bunnies.

Top Google Search for “How to find your missing pet”

  • Zombie-Repellant, 10 Gal. (sponsored link)
  • Top 2 ways to Zombie-proof your basement NOW!
  • Securing a room in a dwelling without a basement
  • XXX Zombie action XXX
  • Obedience school for bunnies

Two Weeks Later:

The pundits have been eaten by Zombies. Jones and Smith accidentally run into each other outside the Senate. After a brief scuffle they talk and realize they actually have the same goal. They fight Zombies together and save the world for our bunnies.

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Handy Review Responses for Authors Looking to Behave Badly

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

I believe in paying it forward and helping my fellow authors in anyway I can. Lately, there have been a spate of Author DefendersTM weighing in on bad reviews. Some of them have been brilliantly effective, generating loads of ill-will among readers and all those lookie-loos who refuse to buy your book so you can hit #1 on that certain list. But some of those defenses just aren’t up to par, I’m afraid. Not to mention there are authors without husbands or significant others to help with that all important Author Defense WorkTM.

Well, Carolyn to the Rescue! Herewith are some canned Author DefenseTM review responses for you to copy and paste into any comment stream. All you need to do is customize for your specific situation. I ask nothing in return, but if you felt moved to leave me a 5 star review for any of my books along the lines of “My GOD THIS IS BRILLIANT” I wouldn’t complain.

So, suppose you were to get a review like the one below:

A composite review

Wow. I can’t believe I paid for this book. Nothing about the story or the characters worked for me. The hero cursed way too much. There was too much sex! (See page 275! Utter filth.) The hero was mean. Why didn’t he help the heroine? The heroine, by the way, was a complete doormat who didn’t kick a single ass. I prefer books with kick-ass heroines. The formatting was terrible and so was the prose. I’m sorry I wasted hours of my life reading this. The history was all wrong. Everyone knows there were no buggy whips in 1805 and besides, who would use one of those in that way?

The author’s dog responds

It’s obvious you didn’t read [Insert author's name] book or you’d know how nice she is. What are you? Some kind of cat lover? She is a wonderful person who always gives me treats and takes me outside to do my business. ::BALL!:: If you weren’t a pet hating sociopath you would know how wonderful ::TREAT!!!!!!:: pant pant pant please give me a treat. The heroine is not a doormat. But if you were, and I think you must be, I would do my business on you.

The author’s cat responds

Who are you? If you’re not going pet me, go away. Here is what I think of your review: :::Yawn::: Also ::GAK GAK GAK:: Here’s a hairball. It’s smarter than you are.

The author’s mother responds

My [daughter/son/transgender] is a polite young [woman/man/transgender], and [she/he] was always a special child and very polite and [beautiful/handsome], too. [She/he] has the nicest smile! [She/he] is polite now, too, and I just don’t understand how you could be so cruel as to make those remarks when [she/he] worked so hard at that writing. You should be nice to people. I am so sorry for your parents. They must be distraught.

The pond turtle responds

The sun is very warm here on this rock, which is smarter than you are.

You’re welcome! And please, if you have a good one, please leave your contribution in the comments!

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Three Easy Steps to A Super Great Title of Nobility for your Duke

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

Deciding on the title of nobility for the hero of the historical romance you’re writing is pretty important. To help you out, I’ve put together this super helpful name creation method guaranteed to result in a title of nobility that fits seamlessly into your story. With this method, readers will think you spent MONTHS coming up with that title.

Step One

Make one selection from each of these lists:

List #1

  • Raven
  • Castle
  • Hawk
  • Ash
  • Rhino
  • Lion
  • Wind

List #2

  • e
  • s
  • y
  • ing
  • l or li

List #3

  • ton
  • ham
  • wood
  • ford
  • don
  • sward (advanced users only!)

Step Two

Combine your three choices in order:

Raven s ford

Step Three

You might actually be done at this point, but to really make that name pop, have some fun with vowels: change a random vowel to Y and/or insert an extra e somewhere, or simply remove a vowel.

IMPORTANT: If you chose an animal name from the first list, don’t skip this step.

Ravynsford

Ashingwood

Rhynoldon

Hawkswarde

See how easy it is? Feel free to use this method for every story you write.

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A Funny Tax Story. No, Really!

Friday, May 4th, 2012

I’ve been trying to get all my ducks in a row so I can get payment from an Italian publisher. I had to fill out a form for the Italians and then fill out a form for the IRS so that the IRS can certify I am a resident of the US for the purposes of paying taxes. The form you fax to the IRS includes a statement under penalty of perjury, blah blah blah which I signed and faxed.

A century passes and I get a letter that says they didn’t get the statement under penalty of perjury. I thought about asking “WTF?” but decided it would be better to just type out the language from the form, sign it and resend it. Which I did.

Half a century passes…

Today I got two documents in the mail from the IRS. One was my certification that I am a US tax payer and the other was a letter informing me my additional documentation had not been received and if they didn’t get it pronto, they wouldn’t be able to provide my certification.

I’m glad they arrived on the same day.

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The Jewel Award of Excellence

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

Who wouldn’t want to win this coveted prize? Established in January 2012, this prize recognizes excellence according to me. Winners are chosen at my discretion. Bribes are welcomed and, well, the competition has been fierce! Winners receive accolades!

This year’s nominees so far:

  • Meljean Brook for excellence in satire (no Bribe necessary).
  • Dreaming In Books in the Young Person Most Likely to do Something Awesome (guaranteed winner based on his suggested bribes and general awesomeness)
  • Alex Smith, Quarterback for the SF 49ers, in the Person Most Entitled to Say FU to the Media Category
  • Arjun Rampal in the Smoking Hot category

Include your nominee and category in the comments. Feel free to mention the bribe you’re willing to offer me in order to have your nomination win.

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