Monthly Archives: April 2012

Grouchy-Grumpy Man’s Pet Peeves

I hope I don’t lose any readers when they find out how uptight and anal I really am.

Actually, I personally think I’m a laid-back sort of guy, very accepting of others—a kind of do-your-own-thing-as-long-as-it-doesn’t-hurt-anybody-else kind of person. Still, I find myself cringing throughout my day from obvious, rampant rudeness. Typically, it’s me wishing people were more thoughtful and considerate of others when I see something happen that goes against what I feel is proper.

So, here’s my basic list of Pet Peeves. Do you have some you’d like to add, or would you like to comment on mine? Please do.

Language and Rudeness:

1. People who substitute “No problem” for “You’re welcome,” “My pleasure. Please come again” or “Anytime. Let me know if I can do anything else.”

If you’re going out of your way to help someone, sure, saying “no problem” is courteously telling someone that it was not a problem—no trouble at all—to lend a hand.

Now, if you’re a fast food engineer with a paper hat and name badge that has a happy face on it, it’s your job to serve the public—of course it’s no problem…that’s what you’re getting paid for (if you’ve read Knight’s Ransom, you understand exactly how I feel)!

2. The use of the extra word why when saying “the reason why I…” instead of “the reason I…”

3. People who don’t answer when you say “Hello”—and don’t make eye contact

4. People who interrupt, especially in the middle of your answer to their question

5. Negative people with nothing positive ever to say

6. Bosses and other people who are liars and/or without integrity

7. Men who cuss publicly, in crowds and around women and children

8. People who feel that cigarette butts are so small that it’s not really like littering when you leave them on the sidewalk or along a walkway

TV, Movies & Video Games:

9. TV shows with explicit language and content that are obviously not for children, but purposely have elements that attract children to watch

10. Video games for children that contain sexual or very violent content and excessive depictions of sex, horrific injuries, deaths, severed body parts and blood

Driving & Cars:

11. Drivers who don’t use their turn signals to turn or change lanes (usually due to not having a free hand because of the cell phone to their ear)

12. Drivers who carry their little doggies on their laps while they drive

13. Drivers who text while they drive, especially in heavy traffic and when first in line at stop lights

14. Drivers who eat and drive with their knees

15. Drivers who block a second stall when parking

16. Drivers who stop at a four-way before you and then insist that you go first (especially when they’re on the right side)

Pet Owners:

17. Dog owners that let their dogs beat up on less aggressive ones, using the excuse “they’re just being dogs”

18. Dog owners that do not clean up after their dogs in public places, especially sidewalks and bike trails

19. Dog owners that don’t restrain their animals

20. Dog owners that put their animals in situations where the dog barks all day (especially apartments or back yards)

Rudeness & Put-downs:

21. Women and men who live in glass houses and tease others who have big noses, ears, are balding, overweight, flat chested, short or in some way less than perfect, and in ways that are beyond their control

Phones & Usage:

22. People who text in the theater during movies, especially when they’re seated toward the front of the theater

23. Long phone menus when all you want is to speak with someone or leave a message

24. Loud background music while on hold

25. Phone menus that list nothing that applies to your needs

26. Phone menus that take you in circles

27. People who answer their phones during a meeting and just sit there and talk while the meeting continues

Writers:

28. Elitist writers who think they are “authentic,” “literary,” more “real” or someway above others—especially those who poopoo “commercial,” or “popular (pulp)” fiction

29. New writers who have just learned a standard writing convention and who make it their crusade to ensure every writer, experienced and novice alike, strictly abide by this rule as if it is to never be questioned

31. Writers who think they’re experts at their craft after only three or four years of writing

My Pet Peeves about Readers?

I have no pet peeves concerning readers. They’re all absolutely perfect—the reason I write!

32. Oops, there is one: Readers who read the last page before the rest of the book, and readers who don’t read the prologues or the epilogues of books that have them. Okay, sorry–that was two.

All right, now that I’ve told you of all these little annoyances I find in my life, I need to ask, “If I know I’m a hypocrite, does that make me not one?”

Come on! Get mad! Tell me some of your pet peeves!

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Kindle eBook Readers–New Data! How Do You Like Kindle Select?

I hope Kindle eBook customers enjoy Kindle Select as much as most Kindle Select authors do. I feel like it’s been a great boost for most of us who have dared go exclusive with their program.

As for myself, I’ve had a total of over 16,000 downloads of my books since January 4, 2012. Of those, a bit less than 10% were “paid,” the rest being “free” downloads. Although that ratio of free to paid seems a bit high, I feel that most of the folks who downloaded my books for free were looking specifically for free books and wouldn’t have been my readers, otherwise. Although free, with that many downloads, my titles became much more visible, which in turn helped get them more “paid” sales.

Don’t get me wrong, I like getting paid for my work, but I also like the idea of having my work out in front of so many readers, as well. If you figure that it takes the average reader twelve hours to read my average novel, and if all 16,000 books downloaded were actually read during that three-month period, on average, 75 people would be reading my books, 24 hours a day, every day.

When I think of this, in my mind I picture a large college classroom with 75 filled seats in which each person is reading one of my books on their Kindle. Then, at the 12-noon shift change, everyone gets up, finished with another one of my novels, and 75 new readers come in to begin reading. Okay, I’m a bit nuts. Still, just the thought of entertaining so many people for 12 hours is really neat!

Finally there is data available on the first three months of the Kindle Select program. On the link below you’ll find some of the numbers as well as endorsements from several authors. I believe this blog article I’ve linked to tries to be objective, but it’s hard to look that way when most everything you read is positive.

Readers and authors alike, check it out: http://www.publishyourownebooks.com/kdp-select-results-after-3-months/

Dead Reckoning eBook is only $2.99 for Kindle on Amazon.com!

dead reckoning Kindle ebook is only $2.99 on Amazon.com!

The Empire, er, uh–Big Publishing Strikes Back, or Apple Double Talk?

Round Two!

It seems a bit like double talk to me, but it sounds like Apple is taking the US DOJ to task, claiming they don’t have anything to do with the publisher industry’s eBook pricing.

However, Simon & Schuster, Hachette and News Corp’s HarperCollins agreed to settle citing that they didn’t want to be involved in a costly legal battle, but none are admitting to wrongdoing or collusion.

On the other hand, Apple, Macmillan, and Penguin Group have not only denied collusion and price-fixing but will likely fight the US DOJ charges.

More on this story is at: http://bit.ly/HHSamK

Google EBooks Store No More?

What had been hoped to be an excellent way for indie bookstores to compete with all the online eBook retailers, has folded.

Google books announced that they’re quiting their program directed toward helping the small brick and mortar bookstores to easily sell eBooks. This program was anticipated by many to be a much-needed shot in the arm for indie bookstores. With the Google Books’ eBook program, the mom and pop independents would have been able to supplement slumping paper book sales created by the consumers’ ever-increasing trend to purchase eBooks online and, in a small way, would have helped fill the large hole in their retail business caused by Internet sales.

I don’t know about you, but as an indie author, I won’t miss this program. Months ago, I tried to publish my books in eBook form with Google Books, and found their process so tedious and confusing that I gave up.

So how will this affect indie bookstores? How about indie authors?

Here’s an article that explains more:

http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-technology/google-to-nix-ebook-sales-via-independent-stores-20120406-1wg1r.html

Agency Model vs. Traditional Pricing: EBook Price-Fixers Fixin’ to Settle?

This just in: Apple and five major “price-fixing” publishing houses are fixin’ to settle with the US Justice Department after conspiring to control prices with their “agency model” vs. the standard and traditional way of retail pricing? Maybe. It looks like three of the big five publishers will.

What does this mean for the consumer–the eBook reading public? Maybe a check in the mail for all the over-priced eBooks they bought in the past, and much more reasonable pricing on big name, traditionally published authors’ eBooks in the future.

What does it mean to the “indie” authors who’ve found this time in publishing history to be a welcome boon to their publishing dreams? Perhaps stiffer competition with the brand name authors’ books? Maybe?

What do you think? Give us your dime’s worth–please comment!

But check out in this online Wall Street Journal article, first: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304444604577337573054615152.html