Progress update and Amazon activity

I've finally finished chapter 12. Wow what a long one! Lots of action to coordinate with 4 different locales, 10 different main characters, and lots of wild powers. No wonder it took me a month! I'm hoping the next 3 chapters go smoothly so I can meet my deadline of finishing by October. 

I'm considering a new genre calling Erotic Comedy. I've got a few story ideas set up and I'll bang out an outline for it soon. Yes, that phrase was intentional.

Amazon has finally cracked down on the page read scammers, with a bunch of lawsuits. It's being talked about on CNET here. But a few people are skeptical because it's Amazon and they tend to trample on authors a lot, especially in regards to removing fake reviews. 

Smashwords sent all its author an email about various important topics, one of which was the Erotica guidelines involving Taboo subjects. Going forward, they've got a good solution and I wouldn't feel bad publishing my bad stories through it. I know some places won't take it, but Smashwords is a big enough name that I don't have a concern about losing a market.

I'll have more to say on it when I bang the book out. Yes, that was intentional.

Their new custom national pricing guidelines are out as well, which means I will adjust my prices for some books, for humor purposes.

Industry changes

There's a lot of chatter these days in the publishing industry, and most of it is not good. I'll just give you the roundabout, as most of this stuff is 'inside baseball' to readers. But any writers/authors/publishers swinging by here might be curious.

1) There're a lot of problems with reviews these days. Amazon and even Smashwords have reported scams involving companies soliciting fake reviews for authors. If you the author get caught, I hear they'll drop your books. Smashwords authors have been getting promotion solicitations in their review sections. The NYT had to pull a book from its Bestsellers list because it was gamed by the publisher or other shady fellas. You can get the 411 here

Long story short, I think that quite a few "best sellers" may be anything but. Going forward, I can only really focus on how to improve my numbers and get as many superfans that I can.

2) Barnes & Noble has cut hardcore erotica from their collection, including necro stuff and pedo stuff. They're also cutting out hate speech and calls to real-life violence, essentially. I tend to skirt the line a bit on violence, so I must be careful going forward least my Darfur 3 Saga stories wind up on the cutting block. Does that mean self-censorship? Well, I wasn't planning on anything that they wouldn't want adult readers to read anyway, but these days, even a minor mistake can have harsh consequences. 

I feel like I'll be OK, but my plans for Cutthroat Rimworld Rape Pirates are off the table. 

3) Smashwords released a survey recently, talking about the top selling genres. Of course Romance is #1, but Fantasy is #3, Sci-fi #5, Horror #10 and  African American Fiction is at #13.out of #17. Comedy is #17, which is a shame. In Non-fiction, Travel books are #11 in sales, so if I write in that genre, I shouldn't expect a best-seller, unless I write the most kick-ass travelogue ever. 

The big sellers are also doing box-sets, so when I have 4 books in the Darfur 3 series ready to go, I'll make a box set. Gotta have a set to do a box set, after all. 

So Amazon thinks my book is a crime novel now?

I looked at my listing and saw that my book, as of 12/4/2016, is ranked #2039 in  Action & Adventure > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Crime

It's not a crime novel! The characters make a grand total of 1 arrests during their police action days. They execute 2 'criminals', burn a building down, steal an entire pharmacy and build a spider tank with stolen Air Force equipment! And their trainer is a wanted international felon. And they skate on a war crimes tribunal due to a technicality.

Never mind...maybe Amazon was right all along? Maybe I should repost this as a legal thriller?