Tag Archives: Amazon

Episode #84: What’s Going On at Goodreads?

We are horrendously late getting this episode out (but don’t sweat it as we’re going to be recording another one next week!) but let’s call it like it is: November was a cray-cray month! After a wild ride between the end of October and the beginning of November, The Shared Desk is reflecting on their week of solid creativity, and also share their thoughts about a creative Kiwi and his recent motion picture that you may have heard of.

So, yeah, it took us a few weeks to getting around to posting this episode. We blame jetlag, the holidays, and smoking meats…

00:00 —  Introduction

08:05 —  Episode #84: What’s Going On at Goodreads?

  • A development over at the social network for authors and readers worldwide: Goodreads
  • Tee thinks this Goodreads situation is actually a good thing, making authors stop and look at the value of a “giveaway” be it on Good Reads or book blogs.
  • What is the real R.O.I. on working with book bloggers and blog tours?
  • So now, what are independent publishers expected to do?
  • Publishers, from our own experience, do not throw money at authors and rarely throw money into promotion.
  • With the free giveaway gone, why stick around with Goodreads?
  • Disagree with us? Then sound off…
    • …on the voicemail at 703-791-1701
    • tee (at) teemorris (dot) com
    • pip (at) pjballantine (dot) com
  • What are the options remaining for authors?
    • Your email list is your email list. Always.
    • Social media platforms like Goodreads, Facebook, and the like? No, they are not there for you.
    • A content creator’s relationship with Facebook
    • Instagram and advertising — nice idea, but…
    • Speaking of Instagram, here’s the new schtick…
  • Tee has been returning to Twitter, thanks to Twitch.
  • Cover Reveals: Pro’s and Con’s
  • The great debate on writers blogging
  • Pip and Tee start planning for 2018…

29:08 — The Loot Crate Lookie-Loo

  • Pip is cutting the show short in order to get to this month’s Loot Crate!
  • Neither Tee nor Pip can remember this month’s theme. Tee guesses…and gets it wrong.
  • November’s Loot Crate: UNIFY
    • From Funko Pop, a Loot Crate exclusive of Overwatch’s Widowmaker
    • The mini Q-Fig celebrates the Power Rangers. (And if you blink, you might miss a Red Ranger sighting in Stranger Things 2)
    • The Tee-Shirt: Voltron…in elegant 8-bit renderings! (Maybe Serena could wear it as a nightshirt.)
    • Wait a minute, Loot Crate, you think your cat is looking rough-and-tumble in the Punisher hat? Hold on…from 2016, thank you……
    • Pin: Superheroes assembled!
    • Comic Book Reprint: Justice League of America (their first appearance), presented by Brave and the Bold
  • Divvying up the Loot
  • Pip sometimes misses those details that matter.
  • Tee is counting down to December’s Loot Crate: EXPLORE.
    • Star Wars
    • Destiny 2
    • Guardians of the Galaxy
    • ….and a mystery franchise.
  • Since we mentioned Guardians of the Galaxy, how about DAT TRAILER!

    • Total nerdgasm at the Morris household!
    • Mantis: “Hey, Hemsworth!”

36:25 — The Wrap-Up

  • A few thoughts on Star Wars Day in Woodbridge, VA. You might want to not compare the U.S. Boy Scouts with…
  • Quick shout-out to TD-0013, the only Imperial Stormtrooper I love!
  • December 16, 10a – 7p — Jirani’s Christmas Con in Manassas, VA
  • Sadly, no MAGFest this year, but…
  • Happy Hour from the Tower is heading to GuardianCon 2018 in July!!!
  • Other events confirmed for 2018:
    • RavenCon (April)
    • Steampunk Symposium (April)
    • Steampunk World’s Fair (May)
  • Eyeing up Balticon for 2018.
  • Two weeks of Shared Desk, I know, right?
  • When did Old town Manassas get cool?
  • Pip’s Patreon will feature the first episode of her ALL-NEW PODCAST!
  • If you have an event and want The Shared Desk to appear there, or if you just want to share an opinion about the show, here’s where to find us…
    • 703.791.1701
    • pip@pjballantine.com
    • tee@teemorris.com
    • …and social media, of course.
  • See you in two weeks!

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or questions for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
We’ll talk about it!
And remember, you can find the show on iTunes or Stitcher!
Subscribe, listen, and review.

Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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Episode #37: Kindle Unlimited — Whether You Like It or Not

 

TSD-crackup

Amazon, man. Amazon.

After a month of writing, blogging, event planning, and deering-do, Tee and Pip return to the mics (finally!) for a brand new Shared Desk…but wait, didn’t we talk about Amazon last time? Well, yeah, we did, and once again we return to the latest “sweet deal” for you. It’s a look at Kindle Unlimited, and a look back to Tee’s Past all caught on video in this latest podcast.

Have a listen, comment on the blog, and feel free to reach out to us at 703.791.1701 to share your thoughts with us!

 

00:00 — Introduction & Catching Up

  • Waxing nostalgic over Eva Marie Saint and Cary Grant
  • July got by us. Let’s just say that.
  • Pip’s feeling the sting of hard-core audio editing.
  • Pip’s been spending a lot of time in Deadly Hollywood.
  • If anyone has zero room to talk about our edits as being “light tweaks”…
  • Tee and Pip are waiting to hear from ACX and Writers’ Digest…on separate subject matters.
  • We may not be at San Diego ComicCon, but our work is.
  • One degree closer to Del Toro!
  • Got to love that agent-of-awesome, Laurie McLean, and the way she’s working our works-in-progress…
  • Darkwater is going through the pitching phase again.
  • Tee’s still working on Wolf in the Fold.
  • Publication date for The Diamond Conspiracy: End of March 2015.
  • Sometimes Pip will let Tee in on what ideas she’s hatching…

AmazonHold

9:04 — Kindle Unlimited…and Bad Timing on Amazon’s Part

  • We’re not turning our Shared Desk into the “What the Hell is Amazon up to this show?” show…
  • Kindle Unlimited
    • Spotify for Books. (Don’t you call that a library?)
    • Another great idea for Amazon…until the details come to light.
    • How “deep” does this pool reach?
    • There’s a deal for Kindle Unlimited for the Big Six, for indie authors, and for indie authors of a certain caliber.
    • Hugh Howey got this “special” deal.
    • And we turned to Joe Konrath for an opinion….
  • Just so you know, it’s not just us who are stopping to wonder…
  • The feudal system of authors on Amazon
  • How Amazon surprised — or strong-armed — indie authors into this program…
  • It’s a great idea with terrible timing.
  • We’re trying this, but only with a couple of our titles.
  • Three months of exclusivity? In book terms, that’s an eternity.
  • Seriously, Jeff Bezos — between that letter to Hachette authors and now this little stunt, are you not thinking about how this looks?
  • And Tee, once again, turns to Joe for comment on this matter of KU.
  • If you think the comparison to Spotify is good, it’s not.
  • Pushback from Episode #36 
  • Kindle Unlimited is a nice idea, but we want to try it on our terms.
  • When it comes to Amazon and their services, know the terms.
  • Exclusivity is never a good thing!

25:27 — “Writers Off the Clock”

  • In this household, we support a swash and a buckle…
  • It was The Musketeers that motivated Tee to go through stacks and stacks AND STACKS of videotapes.
  • What have we discovered in this deep dive into Tee’s Past?
    • Tee in his long-haired-hippie days.
    • Tee taps!
    • Tee on stage with ComedySportz, JMU, and Vpstart Crow
  • My plan: Go through VHS footage, and then edit it all down to one “master” performance.
  • Still searching for an edited rehearsal and footage of The Three Musketeers, on stage with Vpstart Crow.
  • Why go through and edit all this? New ideas for #ThrowbackThursday.
  • Signing with Swords — coming soon!
  • Other great gems discovered…
    • Some footage of me and my father, spinning tunes for WXJM
    • Glyn JonesRed in the Morning, premiering at JMU
  • Tee discovers in this stumble down Memory Lane an interview in 1986…and I had the worst acne on my chin…

35:41 — The Wrap-Up

  • Tee puts up a case for hanging on to some of these VHS tapes.
  • The Curse of the Blair Witch Project…a better production than The Blair Witch Project.
  • Besides digitizing video, we are…
    • Having a sale on One-Stop Writer Shop. Check it out!
    • September 13 — S4, coming soon!
    • September 26-28 — Steampunk Unlimited in Strasburg, PA
    • October (possibly November) — a special event at Huzzah Hobbies in Ashburn, VA
    • October 25 — HallowRead (alongside Kate Smith and PJ Schnyder) in Ellicot City, MD
  • Tales from the Archives — yeah, we fell off the rails…but we’re getting back on track.
  • Anxiously waiting for word from The Parsec Awards
  • …and ACX on the audio edition of Ministry Protocol.
  • Onward, to the future…

Related Links

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.

Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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The Shared Desk — Episode #15: The Listener Appreciation Show (Volume 2)

Call in with your questions and comments!

WOW! We collected enough comments, questions, and overall opinions from you, the listeners, to make this show our second Listener Appreciation Show! We got some questions on Kindle, Scrivener, and Book Reviews, but we also got questions on topics we have never tackled before on mic.

And Pip gets not one but TWO drop-in’s of her own…

00:00 — Introduction

  • A quick shout out to Geek Radio Daily for their own touch on the show…
  • Even more of YOUR CALLS, YOUR EMAILS, YOUR SOCILA NETWORK COMMENTS! 
  • Yeah, Tee is showing the kind of love that only Soundboard can truly deliver.
  • …and the Shared Desk Voicemail Line for the next one — 703.791.1701

04:30 —  Your Voicemail and Email

  • Guy Barber from Cornwall, UK, sends us kudos for the audio version of HarperAudio’s Phoenix Rising and The Shared Desk, and puts in his vote for an audio version of Geist.
  • Ben from Florida asks close on the same question as emails from Valkyrie Page and Chris Forshner on how we collaborate and the creative process between the two of us.
    • Tee talks about Pip’s strengths and then discusses his own.
    • How other authors collaborate against what Pip and Tee do.
  • Melissa Hay surprises us with a call, and brings up the topic of book bloggers and how authors and publishers are keeping the peace, at least for now…
  • Terry Arman asks us what we thought of the promo he cut for us…but has us at a loss.
  • Nobilis Reed wants to know how we collaborate using Scrivener.
  • P.C. Haring Calls “Shenanigans!” on our Scrivener…and we call him to the mat with some help from Phil Rossi!
  • David from the Scrivener Crew writes us a killer “thank you” note.
  • Our Anonymous NYT Bestseller gives inside dirt on Amazon and their own titles…
    • Pip finds herself derailed by her bumper and a lack of breakfast.
    • Is there anyone “big enough” to stand toe-to-toe with Amazon? Well, yes
    • More discussion about Amazon, and a shameless plug for The Janus Affair
  • Rick Asplund calls in to give us BVL (big Viking love) from Chicago.
  • Dan Dan the Artman drops a voicemail that calls forth the humbled (and slightly vaklempt) Crazy Uncle Charlie.
  • Michael Spence mainlines The Shared Desk and gives his own opinions on shared universes.
  • Tony Mast takes Tee to task for releasing Aladdin and His Wonderfully Infernal Device for the Kindle exclusively.
  • Gail Carrigerwants to know what the “Shared Desk” really looks like……so here it is:

  • And from the Great White North comes Steve Saylor, asking of working with video to promote your writing.

1:03:03 — The Wrap-Up

  • The Second Listener Appreciation Show is DONE, and now we need your comments for Show #20!
  • Hunger may be pushing Pip closer to PIP RAGE!!! 
  • Where to leave your comments for us…
  • April 10 — Volume 2 of Tales from the Archives goes live!
  • Tee’s cheat-sheet is swiped from him…but he nails the Creative Commons exit.
Some Related Links
Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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The Shared Desk — Episode #013: Amazon, Authors, and Armageddon…at a Discount!

No Crazy Uncle Charlie.

No Writers Off the Clock.

No drop-ins.

Authors at the mercy of Amazon

This is a raw and candid conversation with our agent, Laurie McLean, on Amazon and their February power plays against the Big Six publishers. How will these shenanigans affect authors, and what can we do to avoid becoming cannon fodder in the war between Amazon and New York’s Six Sisters?

00:00 — Introduction

  • Pulling a McGyver in order to bring our agent, Laurie McLean, on this episode
  • Diving right into the madness…

01:03 — Amazon, Authors, and Armageddon…at a Discount!

  • WTF AMAZON?!?!
  • What happened last week
  • Why is Amazon doing this?
  • What happens when a book seller gets too big to control, even by the publishing powers-that-be
  • A history (in brief) of Amazon.com and the pro’s and con’s of their success from selling books to turning eBooks and digital publishing into a viable market
  • Tee steps back to his independent publishing past, sharing memories of Dragon Moon Press and her struggles with Amazon.
  • MacMillan and Amazon square off in a pricing war — the beginning of Amazon’s pushback against New York.
  • Another glimpse of Amazon’s Dark Side: The “App Testers”
  • Reviewing the numbers on Amazon sales compared to other eBook venues
  • Can the NYT Bestseller title still matter in a world of digital authors dominating Amazon’s charts?
  • What matters more to an author — a full-time career in writing or the “New York Times Bestseller” title?
  • Completely Off-Topic…. ARCHER FARMS ROCKS!!!
  • Laurie speculates on when the honeymoon with Amazon ends…
  • What can the Big Six or other booksellers do against Amazon?
    • Amazon answers the challenge of brick-and-mortar stores…by opening their own?
    • Authors are finding themselves in a war between Amazon and New York.
  • Authors need to understand the business just as much as the art of their craft.
  • Could Amazon be the next Apple Store success? Or could they be the next Gateway?
  • Where can Amazon open their brick-and-mortar stores? (Where is your closest Borders?)
  • Challenges to Amazon’s brick-and-mortar stores
    • Will it be books…or books and other stuff
    • Customer service in real time
  • Pip draws a parallel between authors and Les Miserables…and Tee reminds Pip that things didn’t end well for the folks at the barricade…
  • The fate of authors in this future with Amazon
  • The dangers of putting all your eggs in one basket
  • Diversification: What authors (and agents) need to do

53:09 — The Wrap-Up

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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