This month Amazon announced a change to the Kindle Unlimited payout system. Effective from July 1st, authors will be paid based on pages read. At present, authors are paid per book, where a reader has read at least 10% of the book. This change is going to have a significant impact on the incomes of authors, with some seeing an increase and others seeing a decrease, but it was also change the kind of content readers see included in the Kindle Unlimited scheme.
Continuing my Magical Creatures for Magical Worlds series is my latest article, the Hydra. Pop over and check it out.
This was quite a fun article to write because the research mostly involved reading the Labours of Heracles, and quite frankly, Heracles doesn’t come across as the smartest man in the room – especially in how he deals with the Hydra. Though I would say his intellect has certainly been inherited by his nephew, who joins him on this particular Labour.
Dylan Saccoccio isn’t happy about a 1 star review he received for his book The Boy and the Peddler of Death (Tales of Onara book 1) on Goodreads. He is offended that someone could be immoral as to leave a 1 star review, which is clearly an attempt to ruin his dreams and hurt him financially.
That’s the archived page behind that link there. Mr Saccoccio has deleted his comments in response to the offending review, having eventually come to his senses and realised what a mistake he’s made.
“Do not engage.” This advice is given to authors who receive bad reviews. When an author ignores this advice, the results show why it is given. Whether that advice should be considered gospel or not is another matter (I see no problem in thanking a reviewer and politely asking for more detail on why they disliked a book). It is advice Mr Saccoccio should have followed. But, since he didn’t, he has provided both entertainment for us and a cautionary tale.
I’ve been registered on Elance a couple of weeks now, and something has become very clear. I have not submitted a single proposal for a writing gig, even though I am perfectly capable of doing these jobs. The reason is that the companies listing the writing jobs are paying peanuts.
There are two payrates I’ve seen a few times now. One is $1 per 100 words. The other is even worse – starting at $1.50 for 500 words and going up to $5 for 500 words if the writer is producing over 10,000 words per day, putting this upper rate on a par with the $1 per 100 words.
That’s a cent a word.
The second part of week 3‘s lessons involved writing a short piece, the start of a story, and posting it for review, then reviewing other writers’ work. The piece we wrote was meant to be new, but I ended up restarting a short story I’ve been working on for a few days but wasn’t happy with.
Week 3 of the Start Writing Fiction course looks at editing work we’ve written, reviewing others’ work, and getting reviews for our work. It began with an exercise in which we were given a paragraph of text and instructed to edit it down to two lines. Here’s the paragraph:
The heavy black and blue winter sky groaned awfully with rain clouds that at any moment were really about to fall crashing heavily down upon the street where, because it was rush hour, so many people, wearing all manner of different clothes, hats, shoes, boots, some of them carrying bags, suitcases, briefcases, scampered and strolled about the place as though oblivious to what was just about to happen over their very heads. One of these people was called Hilary and concealed inside her voluminous coat she carried the loaded, snub-nosed gun, and she also seemed to be the only one looking upwards into the tempestuous thundery heavens.
And this is what I edited it down to:
The bruised winter sky groaned heavy with clouds waiting to burst open upon the streets. Amongst the rush-hour bustle, Hilary held her coat tight over the loaded gun, and looked up.
Some weeks ago I expressed difficulty at completing the final task set as part of Week 2 of the Start Writing Fiction course on FutureLearn. It’s taken this long to get back to it but I have finally completed the difficult task and I am ready to move on to week 3, which I aim to work on tomorrow evening. It is now week 6 so I have some catching up to do (and that’s not even taking into account the three new courses that started this week, one last week and one the week before that I’ve barely looked at).
Towards the end of last week I was working on an article for my Magical Creatures for Magical Worlds series for Mythic Scribes. Spoilers, it’s the Hydra. Defeating it was one of the tasks of Heracles (I focused on Greece at university, I refuse to use the Romanised version of his name; it even pained me to use it in the title of this blog post, and that’s not even his name, it’s a phrase based on his name). This inspired me to read a bit more about Heracles, and led me to consider the possibility of rewriting his Labours as an exercise.