4.10.19 Work on Science Fiction Films of The 20th Century: 1955 - 1959 is in progress and I anticipate publishing it by Friday of next week if not sooner.
I should explain about the ebooks from these titles. It appears that the major booksellers are rejecting ebooks which contain "public domain" material which are "freely available" on the internet. As a matter of fact, I only use that material as a skeleton to help me write the essays. I often have to edit the notes to make them updated or grammatically correct, so it is mostly original material going into the books. Since these booksellers reject them automatically, the ebooks are still available from me, and I consider it their loss. If you prefer some other format than what are presented for sale, contact me and I will do my best to accommodate you. Please note that you cannot import .mobi formatted ebooks into your Kindle devices. It's not my choice, it is Amazon's. But I can set up .rtf or other formats.
I am considering taking the series of fiction novels about alien vampires and setting them up in a series though I don't really want to. I would prefer that readers choose among them individually without any obligation to purchase more. I am also considering spitting up more of the longer novels into shorter lengths. Comments on this are welcome. ♦
4.05.19 Science Fiction Films of The 20th Century: 1950 - 1954 is published! After coming halfway through the 1950s, the book stood at 300 pages, so I split it. The last half of the decade will be published soon. ♦
4.02.19 Upon further examination of the complaints against Amazon which were not resolved to customers' satisfaction, I have concluded that Amazon is not the best site to sell books from, nor indeed any other product. I read many complaints about their customer service, which is shockingly poor to nonexistent, their draconian decisions about customer accounts, and their seeming inability to provide evidence for their decisions. Their contract is a nightmare to deal with. They claim the exclusive right to follow through on their decisions without recourse for the customer. They reserve the right to deny any person or company the "privilege" (yes, that's what they say) to open an account or maintain it. They have closed accounts altogether without explanation as to why. They responded to customer complaints with these statements and deemed the matters closed without even waiting for the customer to respond. They have eliminated both email and phone support in order to force customers to contact them through their site or an app. Once the forms are filled out and sent, the staff then sit on the matters for weeks to months.
For me, I am glad I got out when I did. I have managed to avoid the chaos of dealing with Amazon further, and I have never bought anything from Amazon. If I need something I go straight to the source, like they do, and often find the item for a far lower price and better shipping, which is fast and error free. If I have a complaint against the vendor I can contact them by email or phone, which is much better than Amazon's program of leaving customers in the dark.
I am not calling for a boycott of Amazon because quite frankly they are not worth the effort. If you don't want to shop with them, don't. It's as simple as that. ♦
4.01.19 Imagine my shock when I found out that several romance writers are up in arms against Amazon, claiming that plagiarists have invaded their space and flooded the romance genre with books which copy their words almost word for word; and use Amazon's KDP Unlimited program to gain read money, often overtaking the legitimate authors' read money. Since I have never enrolled my books in this program, and since I never earned any money in royalties from Amazon since December of 2018, I pulled my ebooks from KDP altogether just last month.
This development is a sign of Amazon's failure to understand the problem. Since Amazon started selling books it hummed along thinking that it is the largest bookseller on the planet, little realizing that along with presenting books for sale it must monitor the plagiarism going on in all categories. That the romance writers are taking action against the plagiarists shows that Amazon has not taken any part in regulating the programs it hosts.
One a couple of occasions I myself have encountered messages from Amazon about violating copyrights of others, who made false claims. All of my work is by myself. I never copied entire passages from other books in order to create books of my own. Besides, my stories are unique and different, written in my voice and idiom. I think only one has a romantic premise.
If you will go back in time for a few moments, Amazon has not performed terribly well as a marketplace since day one. It has ever been their aim to make money from the sale of whatever commodity they choose to host on their website, for a lower price than other sites; so low that many sellers have dropped out rather than continue to sell on the giant. Amazon's overbloated carcass of a catalog is choked with items which they sell themselves, competing against the very merchants which keep it alive. It seems to me that Amazon needs to be broken up into parts which focus on the type of commodity rather than group them all together into a lump of chaos. My two cents, for what it's worth. ♦
3.27.19 Being a long time Star Trek fan, I checked up on a video development I found a couple of years ago. It has since been finished and is up on several sites. The video is now titled Prelude To Axanar, which is a presentation of the UFP Library in association with Memory Alpha. It is an amazing short discussion of the battle of Axanar told by several veterans of the conflict, portrayed by several actors who played characters in the Star Trek franchise when it was owned by Paramount. It is lush with imagery and narrative, and has won several different awards for excellence. I invite you to view this video, then look at the project which is next on their roster: Axanar itself. The producers are looking for donations to help fulfill their project since they cannot present their work for sale anywhere, thanks to CBS. While this is a fan project it has all the quality and production values of a professional work. They are setting up a payment method now, but it has not been completed yet. To find out more about Axanar, visit their website. ♦
3.26.19 This day marks the addition of a new blog to the site. I saw that most of my commentary would be necessary to inform customers about new developments, and also to assure them that we're not going anywhere. Today also marks our 12th anniversary of online presence since our establishment in 2007.
Today I finally unpublished my ebooks on KDP (Amazon) and said goodbye to Amazon for sales. As it was, I could not pubish my nonfiction ebooks on KDP in the first place, seeing as they had a poor view of nonfiction in general. Apparently information in the books which were deemed to be in "public domain" led the admins to block their posting to Amazon. As a result, I unpublished all the nonfiction books, including those that got through, as soon as they notified me of the first blockage. Now I have removed the fiction books as well, after waiting 2 months for some sign of sales. I suspect that KDP found a way to block them even if they each had a page on the overbloated site. In any case, my ebooks are available from most of the other major ebooksellers but Amazon. It's not my fault, it is Amazon's. I recommend that you look for good reading here, since the giant seller has already cheated the public in many ways.
Meanwhile, work on Science Fiction Films of The 20th Century: The 1950s proceeds apace and I hope to have it published by the 31st if not sooner. ♦
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