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Bone Walker, Faerie Blood

Bone Walker giveaway goodness!

Now that I’ve got my mitts on the first full print run for Bone Walker, in addition to all the copies I’m sending out to my patient Kickstarter backers, I can ALSO do giveaways!

So I’ve set one up on Goodreads for two copies, which will be running through to the end of March. This is open to any Goodreads users in the US and Canada–sorry, overseas folks, postage for sending individual copies of books is just too steep for me to send freebies out to people who weren’t Kickstarter backers! If you’re a US or Canadian Goodreads user, though, here’s the giveaway widget! Clickie!

ETA: putting this behind a fold because the Javascript breaks on Livejournal. If you’re reading this on LJ or Dreamwidth, the direct link for the giveaway is here!

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Bone Walker

Today’s Bone Walker report!

Bone Walker’s official page has now been updated with all of its Amazon links, both US and International. It’s pre-orderable everywhere Amazon has it posted. So if you’re a Kindle user, you can have at it! Pre-orders would be very helpful as they’ll count towards my February sales and help bump up the book’s early Amazon ranking. There are four pre-orders already, which is awesome!

Also, if you’re someone who’s read one of the pre-release versions of the book and you are so inclined, please consider rating or reviewing it. That’ll help too!

And! Bone Walker now also has an official Goodreads link, so if you’re on Goodreads you can add it to your shelves right over here. Same commentary re: early reviews and ratings applies here, too.

I’ve gotten in some good commentary from proofreaders (thank you, Talya, Jennifer, Maria-Katriina, and Anne!), and I have Emma looking at the test MOBI for any formatting problems. I do still need volunteers to check my test EPUB as well.

Carina Press has given me final text for the official copyright notices at the front of the book, for use of my Carina books’ covers and blurb copy in the back. I still do not have an official cover or copy for Victory of the Hawk there, so Victory may or may not get an ad into the print edition. It will hopefully have one in the ebook at least!

(Also, Carina’s editorial staff sent around a helpful mail to all the Carina authors after working with me on this, with a how-to for how to use allowed Carina material for promoting our titles with them in our self-pubbed works. Which is pretty awesome. Kudos to Carina’s team for that. ^_^ )

Last but not least, I’ve started whipping up a few tweets to fling around Twitter to encourage people to go preorder the book. If you’re on Twitter and feel like signalboosting me, here, have some example tweets you can use! Or feel free to make up one and use the link!

All that keeps a dark spirit from destroying Seattle is a half-Seelie mage! Bone Walker by @annathepiper, out 2/3!

Kendis Thompson thinks she’s mastered her magic. A dark spirit and a dragon prove her wrong. Bone Walker out 2/3!

The Unseelie Court wants Kendis Thompson–and they’re willing to destroy Seattle to get her. Bone Walker out 2/3!

Still to come:

  • Dara beginning work on the print edition and the PDF
  • I need to file official copyright for the book
  • I need to launch an ad for it on Goodreads
  • Proofreading changes will get rolled into the master file

Getting close to this being a real live book. SO EXCITING!

ONE LAST THING: Dara has a question for folks pertaining to CD Baby’s release of the soundtrack! She wants to know whether you think CD Baby’s automatic appending of “(Original Soundtrack)” to the title is a good thing or a bad thing. If you have thoughts on the matter, tell her over here!

The Internet

Open letter to Goodreads

Dear Goodreads staff,

As many people who read me on this blog and on my social networks know, I’ve been a Goodreads user for many years. I’ve got a whole lot of reviews of other people’s books that I’ve posted there. Now that I’m a Carina author I’ve backed off a bunch on posting full reviews–I tend to be leery of publicly reviewing other people’s work, just because I know that that way lies drama. But I’ve been rating books still. And I’ve always found Goodreads an excellent way to keep track of the massive number of books I want to read, in general.

I’ve also had Librarian status on the site, which I asked for shortly after creating my account, because it didn’t take me long at all to rack up the requisite 50 books on my shelves. Since then, I’ve used this power mostly to do things like add covers to books that were missing them, fix typos in stuff when I saw them, and such. I also employed that power to make new records in the database when I deployed the second edition of Faerie Blood, and to add notes to the prior edition that that version was now no longer available.

Recently, a couple of my fellow authors in NIWA asked me if I’d update the covers for their books for them, because they were changing the cover art and they wanted to have the books’ data on Goodreads be up to date with the new covers. I was happy to do this.

Two nights ago, however, I got mail from a Goodreads Librarian mod informing me that my Librarian access had been revoked. I was told that I had been “working at cross-purposes”, “creating work for others”, and that being a Librarian was a “privilege”, which, if used “inappropriately”, would be revoked. I was further informed that Goodreads policy was to create an alternate cover edition for a book changing covers, rather than updating the cover for existing records, and that all Goodreads Librarians were expected to know and abide by this policy.

And to put it bluntly, Goodreads staff, I was infuriated by this mail. Not because I was told I’d done something wrong, per se–because I will grant that yes, the mod was correct in telling me that I should have remembered that policy. I’d abided by it when creating the new data for Faerie Blood, even. Updating the covers for the two books by my fellow NIWA authors and NOT creating alternate cover versions instead, like I’d done with Faerie Blood, was a simple, honest mistake on my part.

I received no warning about this. No notice to the effect of “hey, we saw that you did this thing, Goodreads policy is actually that you should have done this other thing, and we need you to fix it.” Had I received such a notice, I would happily have done the work to fix what I’d done, with an appropriate “oh gods, I’m sorry, I’ll fix that right now, my mistake”, and then nobody would have had to do the work for me. Because that’s what grownups do–own up to their mistakes and fix them.

Let me repeat that and bold it for emphasis–I’m publicly acknowledging here that I made an error.

But I was given no opportunity to acknowledge that and to take necessary steps to fix it, and to therefore learn from the experience, and continue to therefore be enthusiastic in spending some of my time to help Goodreads continue to be a useful site for all.

Instead, I was summarily dismissed from Librarian status, in a tone that made it sound as if as if I were an errant teenager who’d snuck out in her parents’ car for a joyride and smashed it up–or as if I’d been deliberately vandalizing the site, rather than just trying to help out a couple of fellow authors by getting their data up to date for them.

And frankly, Goodreads staff, this dims my enthusiasm considerably for continued use of your site. I’ve put a lot of my time into it. I’ve put a lot of my money into it. I’ve given Goodreads several hundred dollars this year, running ads to promote Faerie Blood, Valor of the Healer, and Vengeance of the Hunter.

You’re apparently quite happy to take my money. But you’re not happy to take my help unless I never make mistakes in giving it–and that’s impossible. We all make mistakes. All of us.

I’m hearing now that the two books I changed covers on are apparently not the only ones that had changes reverted, and that hundreds of authors are now showing up on the Librarian group asking what happened to their covers. I’ve heard from at least one other fellow former Librarian that she, too, was booted for doing nothing more than changing her own cover.

I submit for consideration that if other Librarians have been booted off of Librarian status the same way I have, with the same sorts of dismissively toned emails, that you, too, are making a mistake.

Those of us who’ve asked for the status are volunteering our time and our enthusiasm, because we love books. Yes, we need to be aware of how Goodreads prefers to enter data on books, I freely and completely acknowledge that. But to give volunteers helping update your site no room whatsoever to account for simple human error is, in my respectful opinion, unnecessarily harsh.

I don’t actually want Librarian status back. And I’m still considering, in all honesty, whether I even wish to continue using your site as a reader and as an author. But I do ask that you think twice about how you treat your remaining Librarians–and to please remember that all of us at our computer keyboards are, in the end, fallible people. But the majority of us are also reasonable people, and a simple “hey, we need you to fix this please” will go a long, long way in accomplishing your policies on how to handle your data and your site.

Thank you.

Angela Korra’ti


Useful tool for fellow authors: self-serve ads on Goodreads

Last month I decided to try Goodreads’ self-serve advertising system, and set up test ads for both Faerie Blood and Valor of the Healer. The ad wizard they set up is pretty simple–as long as you have a book in Goodreads’ database, you can build an ad around that and deploy it to be viewed by whatever set of users you’d like. You throw it whatever amount of money you want to spend, and every time your ad gets clicked on, the cost of that is deducted from your budget.

It’s pretty slick, I gotta say. And now people are seeing the ads for both books and I’m starting to see people add both of the books to their shelves on the Goodreads site. What’s even cooler is that I can use both of these campaigns when I’m ready to deploy ads for Vengeance of the Hunter and Bone Walker, too, and they’ll use the same pools of credit.

So I’d recommend checking the ad wizard out if you have an author account on Goodreads. You can use it for your self-pubbed work, and non-self-pubbed work too–hence, me setting one up for Valor. Pretty easy way to do some promo on a site whose entire point is to talk about books. Thus, one of the few ways I’m absolutely comfortable with advertising.

Advertising! Enjoy some now!


Amazon buys Goodreads, forms GIGANTOBABY

Yeah. If you pay any attention at all to news in the publishing realm, and if you’re on the social networks, you’ve probably already heard about Amazon buying Goodreads. If you haven’t heard yet, here are some pertinent links:

Goodreads’ CEO’s announcement

Publisher’s Weekly article interviews Goodreads GEO

Article on

Smart Bitches Trashy Books’s pithy commentary

And as I pretty much just commented over on SBTB, man, I have concerns about this big time.

Like a lot of voracious readers, I’ve valued the general caliber of reviews on Goodreads way more than I have the ones on Amazon, even if the Amazon ones get more visibility. I’ve preferred the Goodreads reviews because they’ve historically been less prone to manipulation (not entirely immune, but at least somewhat less, anyway). Goodreads doesn’t have people dropping one star on something just because they don’t like the price it’s selling for on the Kindle, or because the release date isn’t what they want, or for any host of other biased reasons. Because of this, I pay way, way more attention to reviews on Goodreads when it comes to deciding whether or not I’m going to buy a book.

But just as important as the caliber of reviews is that up till now, Goodreads has been neutral. They’ve not been tied to any specific book vendor or any specific device. This has meant that as a site, they’re naturally more focused on the community of readers.

I’m a Goodreads librarian, and I’ve gotten the email that they’ve sent around to all the librarians that pretty much says what the press releases are saying—i.e., that they intend to keep all the ratings and reviews intact, that they will continue to link off to other retailers, that they will continue to maintain general neutrality. I’m hoping that’s true. But I’m also remembering that this isn’t the first time Amazon’s bought a previously independent property that’s since fallen by the wayside.

Goodreads is saying they’re going to grow the company, but I can’t help but think that shiny new employees they’re bringing in are going to be way more invested in developing shiny new features to integrate with the Kindle. And I have a real hard time buying that Amazon’s going to put up with them making it easy for Goodreads users to go off and buy books anywhere else but on Amazon.

And let’s not even get into how this influx of user data is marketing gold. God-DAMN, Amazon, didn’t you people have enough marketing data on me already? Did you really need my massive Goodreads account library, too?

That property being Stanza. Y’all remember Stanza, yes? Independent reading app? I’m just sayin’, I haven’t seen ANY development on that thing in ages, either on the mobile app OR on the ancient desktop edition thereof.

Now, I’m not going to go deleting my Goodreads account. As a newbie author just starting out building her audience, the site’s still too valuable a tool for me to disregard just because I’m cranky at the people who manage it. But as a reader, and specifically as a reader who does her electronic reading on things that aren’t Kindles

Yeah. I have concerns.

Other People's Books

Heads up to all authors with Kindle Editions and to Goodreads users

I started spotting notices on various editions of books on Goodreads last night talking about how as of January 30th, they’re going to stop using book data from Amazon. Affected book editions are showing notices at the top of their pages that look like this:

Goodreads Data Alert

Goodreads Data Alert

If you click on the Learn More button a new page pops up talking about Goodread’s reasons for doing this, and displaying a form where you can fill in data from other sources to make sure that the book doesn’t vanish out of their database.

AUTHORS: Go check your books on Goodreads and make sure you’re not about to lose your only entry in their database. ESPECIALLY if your only listed edition is a Kindle Edition.

GOODREADS USERS: Check your bookshelves and see if you’re about to lose any Kindle Editions out of your various shelves. You do NOT need librarian access to rescue a book–anybody can fill in the form, apparently. But you should rescue any obvious Kindle Editions in your lists. All you need is a legitimate source of data about the book, from somewhere other than Amazon.