Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

RWA – Wednesday Update

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

I’m in Atlanta for the RWA National conference. Today is sort of a pre-conference day with not much going on until the Literacy signing tonight. If you’re in the Atlanta area, please stop by! 5:30pm to 7:30pm. I’m signing Not Proper Enough but I have a few copies of My Darkest Passion.

More tomorrow as the conference gets underway.

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Over There

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Over at the Risky Regencies, I’m giving away 3 copies of My Dangerous Pleasure at The Risky Regencies.

You should go there. Check it out.

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Success and the Busy Life

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

The other day someone I know was talking about this great idea he was prototyping– very slowly because he does not have much time. It actually is an awesome idea. He mentioned he wanted to make some money from this. He has a young child and another on the way so time is at a premium for him. He wants to be with his kids. Of course! But a few minutes later, he went to lunch with co-workers. I did not. On my lunch hour, I wrote 500 words on the novel in progress.

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Poll: Because, that’s Why.

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

You walk into your kitchen one day and it is sparkling clean. This means:

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Legacy vs Reality

Monday, May 28th, 2012

I’m a bit puzzled by some of the rhetoric I hear coming out of the publishing business these days

As most of you probably know, the US Department of Justice has filed a suit against several NY publishers for anti-trust violations. The essential allegation is that these publishers colluded with each other and Apple to artificially increase the price of eBooks.

The response from NY has been more or less some flavor of “Amazon is Evil!” so it’s OK!!!!

Except it’s not OK. Under US law a business cannot call up its competitors and mutually agree that everyone will charge the same, higher, price for their products. It doesn’t matter if Amazon is Satan himself. Period.

Mike Shatzkin blogged this:

Indeed, only by eliminating price as a basis of competition can we ultimately have balanced competition in the real world of publishing as digital change has remade it.

As a consumer, I can only say,  are you fecking kidding me?

I more or less commented to that effect on his post. His reply:

Carolyn, have you bought a Macintosh computer at a discount lately?

You should take your indignation at people using their Intellectual Property protection to raise prices on consumers to the pharmaceutical industry. It would do society a lot more good.

1. I think it’s fair for consumers to be indignant when businesses conspire to charge higher prices than the free market would bear.

2. What the hell does a Mac computer have to do with books and colluding over price setting? It’s Apple’s decision not to license its OS. Apple owns the OSX operating system and they have made a business decision not to do OEM.  Apple hasn’t called up Microsoft or Ubuntu or what have you and asked them to all charge $XXX for all the OS’s. And guess what:

 

Apple MacBook Pro – Core i7 2.2 GHz – 4 GB Ram

$1,339 online, $1,799 nearby

Lookie there. a $400 price difference for the SAME apple product.

2. As a former employee of a bio-tech company, I think I have a pretty good handle on the pharmaceutical industry. Here’s a few facts for you. Pharma gets a PATENT on their drugs and patents are NOT the same thing as copyright. The laws are different. Patent law grants a limited monopoly for that patented drug in order to encourage the R&D. And then the patent expires and generics come into the market.

3. There is no evidence whatever that Pharma companies have colluded with their competitors to keep prices artificially high. Because they have a patent that grants them a monopoly in a given drug and they get to charge as much as they want for the life of the patent. Because there is no competition for that drug.

There may indeed be issues with Big Pharma, but that has ZERO relevance here.

As an author and a reader I stand by my belief that “Legacy” publishers are not doing ANY of the things that would allow them to compete effectively.

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Cooking with Carolyn – Devonshire Cream

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

Again by Twitter request:

Devonshire Cream is not readily available in the US, though you can certainly buy it. This yummy spread is especially good on freshly baked scones. It’s supposed to be easy to make so I went in search of recipes. My first attempt was an utter failure. All subsequent attempts have been a resounding success.

There are two methods, the oven method and the frying-pan method. The oven method is probably the least work, but technology may conspire against your success. Basically, what you do is heat the whipping cream in a covered oven-proof bowl at a very very low temperature for a long time. For the oven, you need 180 F, and some ovens, it seems, turn off after several hours of being on. You’re supposed to leave the oven on for 8-12 hours and then come along and scrape all the delicious Devonshire cream from the top.

In my case, I didn’t get the opportunity to find out if our oven would shut off because someone came along, ignored my note to leave the oven alone, and turned it off. Damn. But my whipped cream in that attempt was also only 18% fat. Total fail.

The frying pan method takes more attention, but it is less vulnerable to someone turning off the oven because the frying pan method looks like something is going on. Which it is. If you’re home for several hours anyway, this method works great.

Ingredients

  • The very highest fat whipping cream you can find. Shoot for the high 20’s. Anything less will disappoint. Not the ultra-pasturized kind either. To find out the total fat content, check the nutrition label for fat contact percentage, saturated and unsaturated. Add them together and make sure you get a number in the high 20’s. The higher the better.

Hardware

  • Big frying pan
  • Heat diffuser (this thing you stuck UNDER the frying pan so it’s not sitting directly over the fire.)
  • Slotted spoon
  • Container for the cream you scrape off

Pour 1-2 pints of whipping cream in the frying pan. Put it on low over heat diffuser. Cover. Every hour or so scrape off the top layer with slotted spoon. The recipe I looked at said not to use a slotted spoon but that was a frustrating failure. Slotted spoon. Put the stuff into a container. Repeat until the cream is gone or you’re tired of it. Cover the stuff in the container and let rest in the fridge.

You’re done.

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Rant Alert – The Problem with Security Questions

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

You are Warned

Mel the Rooster is Mean.

Websites have this ridiculous idea that making you provide answers to “security questions” actually provides security. Well, guess what? It doesn’t. Studies have amply demonstrated that most security question answers can be quickly guessed or found via information readily available via Google.

There’s another problem with them. Most of them are insanely stupid, vague or incapable of actually being answered in a way I’ll remember.

I have run across security “answers’ that are case sensitive and character sensitive.

Potato chips
Potato Chips
potato chips
potato chips.

Are all different answers. How the hell am I suppose to remember if I put in punctuation? Or where I might have used upper and lower case? It’s not a password where I get why I’m expected to remember upper and lower case as well as special characters.

And those family-related questions?

I don’t know where my parents met. My mother refuses to talk about much of her past. My father almost never does. Plus, they disagree on a LOT of their past history. I’ve also heard conflicting information about birth cities. I DON’T FUCKING KNOW!!!

Here’s some more questions:
Who was my favorite teacher? Well, actually, I can think of several. A year later, when someone insists on me answering that question, will I remember which favorite teacher I picked? No. I guarantee, out of the sea of security questions I’ve been forced to answer, I won’t remember what I told corporation X.

Who was my least favorite teacher? OH MY GOD. I have stricken them from my memory. Besides, least favorite teacher when? In elementary school? High School? College? Graduate School? Least favorite in what context? What if I answer that question and then later I remember a teacher I hated more? Fast forward one year. My brain is full of information that I use in my daily living. I have a vague recollection of being forced to provide such an answer but I remember even more the teacher I hated more. Which one did I say? Do I even remember the name of the second least favorite teacher? Plus, now the right answer is a LIE.

Then there’s this multi-answer scenario. I am not making this up.
1. What was your first car?

OK. I can answer that.

2. Of all the cars you have owned, which was your least favorite?

My least favorite was my first car. It was a piece of junk.

Your answers cannot be the same.

Great. So do I make up an answer? And if I do, how do I remember my made-up answer?

Then there’s questions like these:

What was your favorite job?

What?? Number one, I haven’t yet had my favorite job. I have had jobs that paid the bills and that I didn’t hate. But for each and every job, I always wanted to be doing something else, like being at home living off my lottery winnings. Plus, there’s no job that I loved everything about.  I’ve had jobs where I loved my co-workers but hated the work. Or hated my boss. Or jobs where I liked doing X and despised Y. I can’t answer a question like that, and if I just get frustrated and pick one, it won’t be a “true” answer and two years later I won’t remember what I put.

I have literally been on the phone with people being asked security answers I gave 5 years ago and I have NO idea what answer I gave. I cannot remember the PRECISE phrase, or whether I used my mother’s middle name or just her middle initial or none at all.

Security questions are stupid and they don’t even work.

Thank you for allowing me to get that off my chest. I feel better now.

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Kindle Exclusivity and a Poll

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

As some of you may know, in order to have some actual experience with the Kindle Select (KDP Select) program I enrolled Free Fall, the My Immortals novella, in the program. I blogged about that decision here.

The KDP Select program means a book must be exclusive to Kindle for 90 days. It cannot be for sale anywhere else, including your own website.

Amazon Prime members can read your book for free. Authors in the Select program are reimbursed for borrows through a pool of money Amazon divides among authors. Books enrolled in the program can be scheduled for a total of 5 days during which the book is free. All well and good for the author. Most authors make most of their money via Amazon so the income lost because of the exclusive period is, from what I hear, often not a huge amount. There are reports of authors doing very well with the program.

But is it good for readers?

As mentioned, I enrolled Free Fall in KDP Select. I sent out a newsletter today (Saturday April 7) announcing that Free Fall was available. But I also asked subscribers for their opinion on the exclusivity. I heard from several people right away.

Not surprisingly, they were Nook owners and they were disappointed that they would have to wait for Free Fall. I also heard from two people who were hoping for a print version. I have that in process now and hope to have a Create Space POD version available pretty soon.

My Thoughts

As a writer, I want my book to get to ALL my readers. 90 days limited to one platform seems … anti-momentum and anti any reader w/o a Kindle or Kindle App.
I know B&N has made 30 day exclusive arrangements with some authors, but those are not promotions average authors can get into. Regardless, 30 days doesn’t seem so bad. 90 days does. That’s a long time to ask a reader to wait when that reader knows the book is actually available… just not to them….

I don’t know if the KDP program will make up for the money I lose by not having the book on sale elsewhere. I won’t have complete data until the 90 days is up. But this sort of thing is why you do tests. So you can get a handle on the actual effects.

I think it’s not enough to look at sales data. What other effects might there be?

Two Polls

Put on your Reader hat!

If you read eBooks, what device(s) do you use?

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As a READER what do you think of the KDP Select program?

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Winners of the Free eBooks of Not Wicked Enough

Friday, February 17th, 2012

Thank you to everyone who entered! Woot!

Here’s the 20 winners.

If you don’t already have an eamil from me, please email me at carolyn AT carolynjewel DOT com with the following information

1. Your preferred vendor
2. The email address you use at that vendor so I can gift you a copy.

EXAMPLE: if you have a Kindle, email me saying you have a Kindle and your email address is [whatever email address you use that will let me gift to book to you]

Pamela @SpazP
Kim
Jami Gold
willaful
Na
Sue CCCP
Melissa
Sharla Long
Alycia
georgia lampel
Timothea
Thalia
Paula
Mary D
Lynn
Amanda
Beebs
librarypat
Jane
ClaudiaGC

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Interesting Fact About Not Wicked Enough

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Unless someone tells me it’s safe, I don’t read reviews of my current releases. It does no good to my writer’s psyche.

I have heard (without reading any reviews or comments to same) however, that some people are disappointed that Not Wicked Enough is not an angsty book like the previous two.

Well, in a way, me, too, though I’m pretty pleased with NWE. Angst is my natural style, I think. But if I had not proposed going with a “lighter” historical than Scandal and Indiscreet, I would not have had a contract to write any more historicals. That’s just a fact that is directly tied to sales.

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