Archives for posts with tag: State of the Biz

In October, 2013 I started a series of conversations with my acquaintance, the author Elle Emerson. I don’t have the link handy, but if you scroll back on WordPress to October 19, 2013, you’ll find our first conversation, which I entitled “Tales of Woe.”

Twenty years ago, Ms. Emerson began publishing stories in professional magazines and then books with two of the Big Five Publishers. She got good reviews, award nominations, and even a New York Times Notable Book designation.

But she didn’t get enough of a readership in a short enough timeframe and the Big Publishers crushed her career.

She knows a lot and has experienced a lot and I wanted to interview her and set out our conversations here.

I’ve been after her for months to tell me more. I regret to tell you she just called me and has declined to proceed further.

When I asked her why, she said, “Plenty of authors are writing about the problems with traditional publishing. The New York Times recently ran an article by a successful author who explained why she’s self-publishing her new book. Another author has written extensively in her blog about her problems. I don’t want to go there. However legitimate, these types of confessions sound like complaining. And I don’t see how it does anyone any good. If you’re traditionally published, you already know the score. If you’re not, you’ll probably never have to deal with it.” She laughed. “You’ll have to deal with self-publishing.”

Well, okay. Could she summarize her experiences?

“Sure,” she said. “Arrogant, careless, incompetent, lazy, disloyal literary agents.” [Note: Ms. Emerson has hired and fired five big agents.] “And arrogant, careless, incompetent, lazy, disloyal book editors.”

Could she give me some examples?

“Okay,” she said. “An editor who is no longer in publishing at all went off on his vacation to Italy after neglecting to include my Author’s Bio in the first edition of what was my biggest book. The book had to launch without it. This same editor withheld the payment of an advance after I had turned in my book. The editor had approved the book and was required under contract to pay me. But he stalled anyway as sort of a passive=aggressive power move even though my husband had just had surgery and we really needed the money. I had to get down on my hands and knees and beg for money I was legally and promptly owed.”

Wow. I was starting to get the picture. I should add, Ms. Emerson is an attractive, positive, cooperative, brilliant, business-savvy woman, as well as being talented and dedicated.

I was intrigued by her last words in our October interview. She had said: “I’ve been abused for years by the publishing business. The publishing business is just like a toxic parent.” What did she mean by that?

“If you’re a child with a toxic parent, you are totally dominated by that parent,” she said. “The parent controls your time, your activities, and your means of support. S/he demands that you meet every requirement the parent sets out, demands you abide by the parent’s rules, demands your loyalty and your love. In return, the parent doesn’t have to do anything. The parent can be cruel, withholding, manipulative, and careless, and you the child can’t do anything about it.”

“So traditional publishing is like that?” I said. I must tell you, she was making me nervous.

“You got it,” she said.

“What about independent publishing?” I wanted her opinion on this.

“It’s a time-consuming and expensive hobby that may or may not enable you to make a tiny living,” she said with a laugh. “I think there’s a lot of luck involved along with the hard work.”

So there you have it, my friends. “I have to get on with my life,” Ms. Emerson told me and ended the call. So do we all. I thanked her and said goodbye.

Previous Blogs in this Series:

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 1: Introduction https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/03/18/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-1-introduction-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond Part 2: Who’s Reading? https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/04/07/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-2-whos-reading-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond Part 3: The Shady Case of Fifty Shades https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/04/17/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-3-the-shady-case-of-fifty-shades-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond Part 4: The Comet and the Long Tail Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-4-the-comet-and-the-long-tail-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 5: Authors’ Market Share Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/07/02/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-5-authors-market-share-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 6: Ebooks Versus Print Books Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/07/18/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-6-ebooks-versus-print-books-lisa-mason-sfwapro

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 7: Unlimited or Not Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/08/08/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-7-unlimited-or-not-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 8: Print Books in 2013 Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/08/13/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-8-print-books-in-2013-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 9: Amazon Vs Hatchett Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/08/16/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-9-amazon-vs-hatchett-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony. Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords. The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, “Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy,” on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords. The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony; Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories, five-star rated, “A fantastic collection,” on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony. Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story on Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo; My Charlotte: Patty’s Story is also on Amazon.com worldwide in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, at Sony, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters. Thank you for your readership!

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No comment.

Seriously, if you have the time and inclination to follow this latest crisis in publishing, you only need to Google the title above to find ten thousand opinions and renditions of it.

One of the most absurd developments is multi-billion-dollar corporations soliciting the support of the people typically lowest and most powerless on their totem power—the Authors.

“What?” you say. “Aren’t writers the source of the content for both these corporations? Without authors, would they have any business to run?”

That’s right. But unless you as an author become like Stephenie Meyer or Suzanne Collins, you are one of thousands to a traditional publisher. Meaning, as I’ve detailed in this Blog Series and in the Crunching the Numbers Blog Series, They Don’t Care.

And Amazon? Amazon—and Smashwords, less so Barnes and Noble—has always been pro-author, especially independent authors. I, among many, am grateful for the opportunity to revitalize my backlist, find new readers, and even develop new projects without the interference of literary agents and editors.

One positive development in the dispute? Sensitive to the charge that Amazon offers “pre-orders” to traditional publishers but not to independent publishers, Amazon has just this week introduced a “pre-order” functionality for independent publishers and authors. (That’s another topic. Smashwords offers pre-orders, too.  I haven’t had a new title since the strategy became available, so I don’t have experience with it yet. When I do, I’ll let you know how it works and whether it works.)

If Amazon engages in business practices that Hatchett and its authors disapprove of, we can all come to our judgment about that. I personally have no business with Hatchett at the moment.

One issue that Amazon has pursued in the litigation is that Hatchett charges too much for its e-books. Amazon has sounded a call for lower ebook prices from traditional publishers.

I strenuously object. That independent publishers and authors can offer ebooks at prices much lower than traditional publishers is our one main competitive advantage. I can offer you a quality acclaimed work like Summer of Love for $ 7.99 instead of $ 14.99. I applaud Hatchett charging $ 14.99 and up for its ebooks. Go for it.

I’ve been personally solicited to sign petitions by both corporations and have declined to participate in either.

So there you have it, my friends. What authors have to say will mostly likely amount to little, if nothing. Stay informed, but don’t lose any sleep over this dispute.

Previous Blogs in this Series:

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 1: Introduction https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/03/18/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-1-introduction-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond Part 2: Who’s Reading? https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/04/07/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-2-whos-reading-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond Part 3: The Shady Case of Fifty Shades https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/04/17/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-3-the-shady-case-of-fifty-shades-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond Part 4: The Comet and the Long Tail Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-4-the-comet-and-the-long-tail-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 5: Authors’ Market Share Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/07/02/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-5-authors-market-share-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 6: Ebooks Versus Print Books Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/07/18/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-6-ebooks-versus-print-books-lisa-mason-sfwapro

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 7: Unlimited or Not Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/08/08/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-7-unlimited-or-not-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 8: Print Books in 2013 Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/08/13/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-8-print-books-in-2013-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony. Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords. The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, “Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy,” on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords. The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony; Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories, five-star rated, “A fantastic collection,” on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony. Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story on Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo; My Charlotte: Patty’s Story is also on Amazon.com worldwide in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, at Sony, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters. Thank you for your readership!

I received this blog from Smashwords today, detailing developments in the lawsuit between Amazon.com and the Hachette Book Group. The references to “I” below are to the blog’s author, Mark Coker, the founder of Smashwords. The links are his, as well.

The news is pertinent to my State of the Biz Series and of such importance, I’m reproducing it here:

“Amazon and Hachette Book Group are locked in an epic battle over the future of ebook publishing. The outcome of this dispute will have permanent ramifications for publishers and indie authors alike.

On one side you have Hachette, the fourth largest trade book publisher. Hachette earns over 1/3 of its US sales from ebooks. Hachette wants agency terms for its books. Hachette wants to control the list price of its books and earn 70% list from each sale. Smashwords announced agency terms with our retail partners in 2010.

On the other side is Amazon, a fierce opponent to agency pricing. Amazon wants the ability to discount books, and to enable greater discounting Amazon wants a larger percentage of the publisher’s pie. A story out Friday by Jeffrey Trachtenburg of the Wall Street Journal confirms Amazon is seeking to reduce the percentage paid to publishers. Amazon is seeking to weaken or abolish the agency model.

This is also the view of Andrew Albanese of Publishers Weekly, who in his March 16 story, Will the Agency Model Survive? speculated that the future of agency hangs in the balance. As Albanese writes in his piece, the timing of the Amazon/Hachette dispute is not coincidental.

One likely reason (for the current timing of the dispute) is that when the publishers’ 2012 consent decrees in the e-book price-fixing case begin to expire this fall, so too will Amazon’s ability to discount e-books. The parties don’t comment on specific negotiations (and neither Hachette or Amazon will comment directly on the current dispute or ongoing talks). But it is fair to say that Amazon officials likely see the current negotiations as their best chance to push for the end of agency pricing for e-books, and are apparently prepared to bring to bear all the pressure they can on publishers—whether on the Kindle side, or print. The question is, will the major publishers stick together to keep agency pricing for e-books?

The dispute is generating some spectacular fireworks. It’s also confirming the suspicions of Amazon’s worst critics. In an attempt to force Hachette to capitulate, Amazon is employing a shock and awe campaign of scorched earth retribution against Hachette. According to multiple press reports, Amazon has increased Hachette’s book prices to its customers then turned its automated merchandising algorithms into attack dogs that encourage customers to consider “similar items at a lower price“; Amazon is telling customers Hachette print books are out of stock; and is denying Hachette the ability to list preorders. For a company that prides itself in customer service, these are all customer-unfriendly moves. These actions also punish Hachette authors, who through no fault of their own will suffer reduced sales at Amazon.

For the last four years, indie ebook authors have endured similar iron-fisted policy enforcement and lost earnings with Amazon’s KDP price-matching, even when Amazon knew the out-of-sync ebook prices were not the author’s intention or fault. Amazon plays business like war. Overwhelming force pushes weak hands to surrender and comply.

In a letter written to Amazon by the Association of Author’s Representatives (AAR), a trade group representing literary agents, AAR likened Amazon’s tactics to hostage-taking and extortion.

Amazon defenders (and critics too) and will say business is business, and if you want to play in the Amazon sandbox – the world’s largest ebook store – you have to play by their rules. The Amazon defenders are correct. Amazon is under no obligation to carry Hachette’s books under the terms Hachette wants. Amazon is under no obligation to play nice.

The industry can cry until it’s blue in the face about how Amazon is ruthless and heavy-handed, and how other retailers are kinder and gentler. The truth of the argument doesn’t change the reality. Amazon does what it does because it can, because authors and publishers let them do it, and because it’s in Amazon’s nature to act this way. Lions eat wildebeest.

For its part, Hachette is sending letters to agents and authors asking for their patience and support. In their May 23 letter, Hachette wrote:

Please know that we are doing everything in our power to find a solution to this difficult situation, one that best serves our authors and their work, and that preserves our ability to survive and thrive as a strong and author-centric publishing company.

Amazon is playing a game of divide and conquer. Amazon knows if they weaken or cancel their agency agreement with Hachette that the other publishers will have less leverage to hold the line on agency. And whatever concessions Amazon gets, other retailers will want the same, further undermining the ability of publishers to control their prices or maintain their profits.

Amazon’s tactics hit Hachette in two places where it hurts:

  1. Author confidence – The dispute will undermine literary agent and author confidence that Hachette can deliver books to Amazon. This will cause some agents and authors to think twice before selling upcoming projects to Hachette.
  2. Profitability – Amazon knows that if they if they can make Hachette the first domino to fall in their anti-agency crusade, it’s more likely to force other publishers to abandon it as well. Once agency is eliminated, ebooks will become less profitable to publishers, which then marginalizes publishers by weakening their strategic power in the marketplace. With lower margins, publishers will have less flexibility to increase ebook royalty rates to authors at a time when their authors are clamoring for higher royalties. This would thereby compel more authors to self-publish directly with Amazon, which benefits Amazon.

Publishers deserve much of the blame for making their ebook margins such an appetizing target for Amazon. Amazon’s assault on their margins should come as no surprise. In 2012, Adam Lashinsky of Fortune Magazine wrote that a favorite Jeff Bezos aphorism is “Your margin is my opportunity.” Publishers have been complaining about Amazon for years yet still supplied them the books that created Amazon.

Publishers have been reporting healthy earnings in recent months, driven in large part by high-margin ebook sales. Publishers pay authors only 25% of net ebook proceeds, whereas indie authors earn 85-100% of net proceeds. In other words, publishers made themselves a target for a company whose very DNA is programmed to strip suppliers (publishers) of their margin.

From a PR perspective, Amazon can cast their move as taking from the greedy publishers to provide customers lower prices. But in the end, they’re really taking from authors.

Hachette faces a dilemma. They face the lose/lose decision of either giving that margin to Amazon, or choosing to kiss its Amazon relationship goodbye. It would be painful for publishers to say goodbye to Amazon. Amazon controls approximately 1/3 of the overall trade book market in the US, and up to 50-60% of the ebook market.

In 2010, publishers presented Amazon with a unified front by simultaneously demanding agency pricing terms. This forced Amazon to capitulate and accept agency pricing. It was a different world back then. Amazon’s nascent Kindle ebook business needed the books of big publishers. The bitter aftertaste has never left Amazon’s mouth.

The publishers viewed agency as a better model.  The US DoJ viewed the united front as collusion.

In 2014, publishers are more disposable to Amazon than they once were, thanks in part to the rise of indie authorship, and thanks also to better business diversification. Amazon’s business is no longer as dependent upon books as it once was. They sell everything under the sun, from diapers to shoes to cloud services to groceries to media devices.

Books represent only one of hundreds of layers of icing on the cake of Amazon. Amazon can lose money on books while still operating a profitable business.

Pure-play book retailers – Kobo and Barnes & Noble for example, must earn money from book sales. Unlike Amazon, they don’t have the financial resources to sell books at a loss forever. Publishers must also earn money from book sales, otherwise they can’t keep the lights on.

If Amazon can abolish agency pricing it will have the power to put its largest pure-play book retailing competitors out of business.  This will make the publishers even more dependent upon Amazon, which further weakens their power.

How can Hachette get out of this mess? None of its options are good. Amazon holds the strongest hand in this high-stakes poker match.

The boldest option is for Hachette to play the nuclear card: they can withdraw all their books from Amazon.  Hachette could direct readers to more publisher-friendly platforms and stores. Hachette could also make a more concerted effort to develop new channels of distribution. Curiously, neither Hachette nor any other major NY publisher has ever attempted to sell their books in the Smashwords ebook store, despite the fact that Smashwords pays up to 80% list. Publisher insistence on DRM is one of several factors that has locked them into Amazon and locked them out of new outlets. Most of the publishers are also refusing to work with the new ebook subscription services, or have treated libraries as second-class citizens, even though these two channels provide yet another healthy counterbalance to a single retailer’s dominance.

It’s uncertain if Hachette or other publishers could survive if they abandon Amazon. Would authors and literary agents continue to support them if their books didn’t reach Amazon?

The window of opportunity for such a bold move is closing quickly. Within the next several years, ebooks as a percentage of the overall book market will increase as print declines. Within a few years, Amazon’s sales of indie-supplied ebooks will probably exceed sales of publisher-supplied books. This means the leverage publishers hold over Amazon will diminish each year.

The other alternative is for Hachette to capitulate to Amazon, which is akin to Hachette accepting a long term death sentence. Amazon views publishers as unnecessary intermediaries.  Amazon works to disintermediate the intermediaries so it can control the relationship with the creators (authors) and the customers.

The other Big 5 publishers might do well to play their nuclear cards before it’s too late.

If the big publishers capitulate and abandon agency, the other retailers, in order to remain competitive, will be forced to abandon their agency agreements with the publishers as well, otherwise Amazon would have the ability to underprice them. And then the pure-play book retailers would fall.

Are Indie Authors Next in the Crosshairs?

The dispute with Hachette foreshadows what comes next for indie ebook authors at Amazon who have grown comfortable to KDP’s 70% royalty rates.

Think about my divide and conquer reference above. Indies are already divided and conquered at Amazon, but most don’t realize this. These indies all have direct-upload relationships with Amazon. They don’t have the collective bargaining power of a large publisher to advocate on their behalf. As the unfolding events indicate, it’s questionable if even a large publisher has leverage over Amazon.

If Hachette doesn’t have the power to maintain 70% earnings, how will million-copy-selling New York Times bestselling indie authors have any power when Amazon decides to put the squeeze on them? And how about the rest of the indie community which has even less leverage over Amazon?

How long until Amazon puts on the squeeze?  The squeeze may already have started. In February, Amazon gutted the royalty rates they pay for audiobooks, as Laura Hazard Owen reported at GigaOm in her story, Amazon-owned Audible lowers royalty rates on self-published audiobooks. Previously, authors earned up to 90% list. Under the new terms, authors earn from 25% to 40% list. Amazon can do this because they dominate audiobooks.

At any time, Amazon could choose to eliminate the 70% royalty option at KDP. They could offer the same terms as their Audible division: 25% list if you’re non-exclusive, and 40% list if you’re exclusive.

If Amazon tightens the screws, indies will face the same painful decision Hachette now faces. Either swallow the bitter pill, or remove your books from Amazon.

Most indies would probably choose to accept lower royalties at Amazon under the logic that something is better than nothing. As individuals, indies have little leverage against Amazon.

Most vulnerable to any change in policy at Amazon are the indie authors who supply approximately 500,000 ebooks to Amazon’s KDP Select program.

Advice to Indie Authors: Four Steps to Improve your Independence

Is it really necessary that retailers and publishers should view one another as war-like adversaries, or as predator and prey? I don’t think so. At Smashwords, we serve our authors by serving our retailers. We help our retail partners efficiently receive, ingest and sell our authors’ books. By opening up new retail and library channels, we support our authors. We think our new channels help our retailers too, because each new channel we open is a reminder that exclusivity is bad for publishing. What leverage we do have we apply to negotiating fair and equitable agreements that are win/wins for our authors and retailers. We want our retail partners to profit from our books, because if they don’t profit it’s not a long-term sustainable relationship. We believe the 70/30 agency split provides retailers a fair profit. I’ve always believed that partnership and cooperation are preferable to war.

As an indie author, it’s important you understand that you’re the future of publishing. Your choices matter. Your decisions will shape not only your future but the future for all indies. Your decisions will shape how retailers treat you. Independence is earned – it’s not something you can take for granted. Here are four tips to preserve your independence:

  1. Choose your partners carefully. In the Indie Author Manifesto I wrote that indie authors should seek business relationships marked by partnership, fairness, equity and mutually aligned interests.
  2. Favor retail partners that support the agency model. Agency puts authors and publishers in control and frees retailers to compete against one another based on customer experience rather than cut-throat price wars. The agency model enables lower customer prices because more of the money goes to the author/publisher rather than the retailer.Indies have used agency to lower ebooks prices while publishers made the mistake of using agency to raise prices.Agency establishes a framework by which authors and retailers can work in partnership rather than as predator and prey.
  3. Avoid exclusivity. Exclusivity makes you dependent upon a single retailer. Work for independence, the opposite of dependence. Diversify your income stream by distributing everywhere. Every retailer reaches new readers you otherwise won’t reach. Each retailer, and each store they operate in each country, represents its own unique micro-market of readers. It can take years to develop readership, so maintain a strong and steady course of uninterrupted full distribution. This is similar advice I gave gave in 2011 when I cautioned authors to steer clear of Amazon’s KDP Select option.
  4. Support a vibrant ecosystem of multiple competing retailers. On your website and in your promotions, provide direct links to your books at each retail partner. Give your fans choice. Choice makes your books more accessible to readers.”

So there you have it from Smashwords, my friends. The four points above are good advice, which I follow. Note that this means you’ll have to have three different formats for each book—one for Amazon, one for Barnes and Noble, and one for Smashwords. I post my titles on Apple and Kobo via Smashwords, but if you have the technical expertise to post directly on Apple and Kobo (as yet, I don’t, so it’s easier and quicker for me to post on those sites via Smashwords), you’ll need special formats for each of those sites, too.

Bear in mind, too, that Smashwords has a vested interest in stirring up authors’ anxiety about Amazon—they are bitter rival competitors for the retailing of ebooks.

Like Big Media’s continued investment in Blockbusters (as a select few individuals define and choose such properties) to the neglect of everything else, Amazon’s strategy is horrible for authors. All authors.

Next:

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond Part 6: Market Share Lisa Mason #SFWApro

Previous Blogs in this Series:

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 1: Introduction https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/03/18/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-1-introduction-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond Part 2: Who’s Reading? https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/04/07/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-2-whos-reading-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond Part 3: The Shady Case of Fifty Shades https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/04/17/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-3-the-shady-case-of-fifty-shades-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond Part 4: The Comet and the Long Tail Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/05/27/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-4-the-comet-and-the-long-tail-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony. Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords. The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, “Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy,”on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords. The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony; Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories, five-star rated, “A fantastic collection,” on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony. Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story on Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo; My Charlotte: Patty’s Story is also on Amazon.com worldwide in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, at Sony, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.

Thank you for your readership!

In 2013, the highest earning entertainer, who also is an author, was E. L. James, who earned according to Publisher’s Weekly and other sources, $100 million dollars in worldwide royalties from the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. Those books were published by Random House as ebooks and trade paperbacks, not even hardcovers, and earned Random House so much money, the publisher gave $ 5,000 Christmas bonuses to every employee, including the mailroom staff.

E. L. James was an unknown amateur writer and, by every account I’ve read, her writing is at best pedestrian and at worst dreadful. Full disclosure: I haven’t read the trilogy but I did check out the first 50 pages of the first book on Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature. Stephen King decried Fifty Shades as porn, and, as you probably know, those books are about the BDSM relationship between a naïve, awkward, unpretty college girl and a devastatingly handsome, cold and calculating twenty-seven-year-old billionaire who seems to have a lot of spare time on his hands.

The “relationship” is set up by a legal contract. I’ve seen articles over the years about pre-nuptial agreements between women of lesser wealth and the billionaires they marry. Such contracts usually stipulate what is required in intimate relations, as well as what happens financially when the “relationship” ends. I even read an article about a well-known billionaire who, in between marriages, had one-year contracts with his girlfriends.

So this type of thing isn’t exactly news, but may have been shocking to those who don’t follow the Media as closely as I do.

It turns out Fifty Shades isn’t even all that racy as porn, according to many reviews.

I, and many other feminists including the mega-bestselling Janet Evanovich, voiced our concerns that such a theme set back women’s empowerment by fifty years. I mean, men go to prison for torturing women. Full disclosure: I personally don’t find BDSM or controlling men attractive at all. But other erotica authors rushed forward to defend the theme, if not the books. Ardent fans variously declared in reader comments that “it’s so bad, but it’s so addictive” or “how far will Ana let Christian go for love?”

Are there really seventy million readers out there who find the fantasy of being a submissive to a sadist enticing? Or who really are submissives? Or who are sadists trying to pick up a few pointers?

What zeitgeist did James tap into? If it’s true the “average reader” reads only one book a year, was that book Fifty Shades? And what does that say about our society?

Fifty Shades spawned a rash of BDSM books, most of which tanked except for Sylvia Day’s Crossfire Trilogy. Day, I should note, is a talented, professional writer of science fiction and fantasy going way back. Her writing is far superior to James’, but she hasn’t sold any seventy million books. After a good run with the Big Five Publisher of Crossfire, she’s continued her brand of porn through Harlequin, a genre publisher.

How does an unknown author with a mediocre style and a questionable theme earn a hundred million dollars inside of a year or two? How did Fifty Shades happen?

The Spin was this: James wrote fan fiction under a kooky pseudonym in the Twilight universe, imagining BDSM sex between Bella and Edward.

Twilight is another trilogy Stephen King has decried as “teen porn,” and has stated outright that “Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a damn.”

I’m not sure from the Spin if James hosted her own fan fiction site or if she participated on someone else’s site. Whatever the case, how did James dream up such a crazy idea from a YA book?

As a professional author who makes it her business to follow what’s selling, I’ve read Twilight (but not the rest of the series). I find Meyer’s prose not as dreadful as a lot of people think. While I don’t understand another unknown author selling seventy million books inside of four or five years, I get that Meyer tapped into teen angst and the thrills and chills of a first obsessive teen love. But BDSM?

Well, Edward is cold—he’s dead, he’s a vampire. He’s gorgeously handsome, while Bella is plain. But he chooses her.

You would think Stephenie Meyer, a Mormon wife and mom of three who doesn’t drink or smoke, a fan of Jane Austen no less, would have written a nice morality tale about two Mormon teens who fall in love and have to wait until they are of the age of marry to do more than kiss.

But she didn’t. And here, at page 302 of the trade paperback, “His long hands formed manacles around my wrists.” And at 305, “I tried to pull back, but his hand locked my wrists in an unbreakable hold.” And at 345, when Bella tells Edward he’s not such a scary monster, he unexpectedly seizes her and leaps across the room. “He curled me into a ball against his chest, holding me more securely than iron chains.”

Holy Shades of Grey.

At some point James’ fan fiction got noticed by readers of the site. She changed the characters’ names (note that Meyer’s husband’s name is Christian, though she calls him by a nickname) and got picked up by a very small independent Australian publisher, The Writer’s Coffee Shop, which published the books in print as well as ebook format. The Writer’s Coffee Shop really is a very small publisher currently carrying three authors, all of whose books are BDSM and none of whom are much higher than a million-six in Amazon ranking.

No deep pockets there. But they (or someone) did a masterful job of crafting brand-name-looking covers for Fifty Shades. No faces. No half-naked bodies. Just the fetishes—tie, mask, handcuffs—against a gray background. Romance authors, take note.

The Spin then says Fifty Shades got noticed by a site for new mothers called “diva moms.” I remember that, at the beginning of 2013, a feature story about “the new mommy porn” flashed at the top of my AOL Home page. A lot of excitement generated around this hot new book from an unknown fan fiction writer. Suddenly, puff pieces about the book—decrying the writing, drawing analogies to BDSM erotica of yore, especially The Story of O—popped up in all kinds of mainstream media. And suddenly, hundreds of thousands of ebooks sold. A publishing deal was struck with Random House, a five-million-dollar movie deal with Universal Pictures, and voila, seventy million books (print and ebooks, I assume) sold worldwide.

I remember thinking—at some point, Big Money stepped in. You don’t just go from mediocre fan fiction writing on an obscure website, no matter how big the source material, to megamillions. But at what point?

About two or three weeks ago, I received a notice on my Newsfeed on LinkedIn. Here’s the link:

http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Jane-unfortunately-money-talks-In-65681.S.5839718902900207620?view=&item=5839718902900207620&type=member&gid=65681&trk=eml-b2_anet_digest-null-5-null&fromEmail=fromEmail&ut=0jYFovonz1oSc1

The post claims that E. L. James invested $100,000 of her own money into promoting 50 Shades of Grey. At some point.

This is unsubstantiated rumor. The woman who posted this item doesn’t cite a source. Of course, the Spin says E. L. James and her husband are television executives in Britain. Or that E. L. James is a middle-aged, stay-at-home mom trying to revitalize her marriage. Or that E. L. James was a new mom spinning fantasies off her favorite book to please herself. Or…..I don’t think we’ll ever know the truth about Fifty Shades.

And neither do the Big Publishers.

So there you have it, my friends. The Shady Case of Fifty Shades. What does this portend for other authors, traditional, hybrid, or independent?

To me, traditional publishing is starting to look a lot like the “indie” movie business. Once upon a time, the Sundance Film Festival featured indies—movies made on a shoestring by talented amateurs hoping to break into the Hollywood Machine. By “shoestring,” I mean maybe ten or twenty thousand dollars raised from credit cards or sympathetic family members (and even that is a lot of money for most people to squander on something that ninety-nine point nine times out of a hundred will never see a return of investment, let alone make money). Now “indie” movies at Sundance cost five million and up to make, feature actors like Nicole Kidman, and vie for distribution from the studios. Does that sound like an “indie” to you?

I don’t think so.

Next: State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond Part 4: The Comet and the Long Tail Lisa Mason #SFWApro

Previous Blogs in this Series:

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 1: Introduction Lisa Mason #SFWApro

https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/03/18/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-1-introduction-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond Part 2: Who’s Reading? Lisa Mason #SFWApro

https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/04/07/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-2-whos-reading-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony. Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords. The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords. The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony; Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony. Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story on Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo; My Charlotte: Patty’s Story is also on Amazon.com worldwide in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, at Sony, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters. Thank you for your readership!

Hello, hello, is anyone out there reading? Reading fiction for pleasure?

One of my longtime fans, an avid reader, told me neither of his kids read for pleasure. “They’re nineties kids,” he said. Meaning they watch the boob tube, play video games, cruise the Internet, listen to music. Their cultural pleasure is defined by their senses, by their eyes and ears. Not their minds.

I could summon no rebuttal or plea, and I was troubled. People who don’t read, who don’t use their minds, who don’t think and analyze—which is what reading, including fiction reading, encourages—can be so easily manipulated by the sensations of Big Media.

But the good news is, yes, plenty of people are reading. Children became acclimated to reading fiction for pleasure by the phenomenal success of the Harry Potter books. Young adults have learned to read for pleasure from Twilight and other YA books and, whatever you think of the quality of those books, if they encourage people to read, they’ve done a good thing.

We’re talking a multi-billion-dollar business. The fact that the Big Five Publishers continue to maintain posh editorial offices in fancy Manhattan skyscrapers (been there, seen them) is proof that the getting is still good.

For the Big Five Publishers. And for some authors.

Here’s what Publishers Weekly had to say about last year:

A Strong Finish for Trade, Even with eBook Decline, As Every Other Major Publishing Segment Rises In 2013

Trade publishing finished 2013 with two strong months of sales, according to the publishers who report to the AAP, closing the gap to put full-year trade sales a little shy of the big 2012 results. Measured sales from the approximately 1,200 reporting publishers were $6.441 billion for 2013, down by $74 million (or 1 percent) from 2012 — which was a banner year, thanks to the Hunger Games and Fifty Shades trilogies. (By comparison, total AAP trade sales in 2011 were $6.082 billion, when Borders went bankrupt and liquidated.)

November sales of $651 million were up strongly, by $62 million (or 10.5 percent) compared to a year ago, with December sales of $530 million up 2 percent (or $12 million) over 2012. Adult sales showed the largest gains in November, while children’s and YA sales led the December increase.

The other headline for 2013 is that overall trade ebook sales declined — slightly — for the first time since the AAP has tracked such sales. Total publisher ebook sales for 2013 were $1.471 billion, down by $15 million, from 2012. All of the decline and then some came from children’s and YA ebooks, since the late-in-the-year rise of Veronica Roth’s Divergent books was not big enough to overcome the falloff from the success of Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games in 2012. Children’s ebooks comprised $170.5 million in 2013, compared to $232.5 million in 2012. Adult ebooks rose modestly, at $1.301 billion up 4 percent (or $48 million) from 2012.

What do you notice about this news?

Billions of dollars and brand-name successes you can count on the fingers of one hand. (I’ll get to the ebooks issue a little later.)

Brand-name fiction successes that literally drive the profits up or down of massive multinational corporations. The rest of those profits flow from business books, technical books, religious books, diet books, self-help books, some celebrity books. Those books don’t interest me and I’m not qualified to comment on them.

That said, what is a brand-name fiction success? Where does it come from? How does an author make this happen?

I’ll analyze the first of the two trilogies Publishers Weekly mentioned.

Suzanne Collins wrote some baby TV scripts for Nickolodeon and some baby books. She was well connected to East Coast Big Media. By her own account, she watched a Japanese TV show very similar to what she produced in The Hunger Games. She has an interesting background as the daughter of a high-ranking military officer in the U.S. Army. Scholastic, the publisher of Harry Potter in the U.S., picked up her book, got a great Stephen King blurb for the cover, and published 500,000 books. I’m not sure if that was the first print run, but that’s what got printed before THG hit gigantically big, thanks to a relentless publicity campaign on Amazon and elsewhere.

I’ve reviewed The Hunger Games on Goodreads, I thought it was a mediocre, weird science fiction book, kind of rambling and obsessed with food and clothes, and not at all the “non-stop speed rap” Stephen King claimed it was.

But The Hunger Games hit with the young adult audience, for reasons no one completely understands, and equally mediocre and nonsensical movies have been made, and Suzanne Collins has earned $50 million dollars. Since then, Collins has written a small children’s book about war that pretty much sank like a stone.

So that’s a conventional Traditional Publishing Phenom: a project that went through all the right channels and emerged—to everyone’s surprise—into a blockbuster.

But what about Fifty Shades of Grey? This trilogy has been such a puzzling Phenom, I’m not sure anyone understands it at all.

So there you have it, my friends. Traditional publishing has never been easy and looks to be getting worse than ever. What about all the other books? What about all the other authors?

What about your book? What about you, as an author? If you’re serious about writing fiction, is there any hope?

Yes, there is. But that hope comes with a lot of caveats.

Next: The Fifty Shades of Grey Phenom.

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony. Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords. The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords. The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony; Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony. Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story on Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo; My Charlotte: Patty’s Story is also on Amazon.com worldwide in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, at Sony, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters. Thank you for your readership!