Wednesday, 15 January 2014

In Support of Self Published Authors/ Indie Authors

I sometimes wonder why some people are obsessed with self-published authors, this strange preoccupation leads them to take a pop at s/p authors (sometimes known as indie authors) at every opportunity that they can. This stems from the fact that they may have been unlucky in the past to pick up and read (on Kindle or another reading device) a badly formatted or unedited book. As much as I feel sorry for them having this unpleasant experience, it is easy enough to read an introduction to the book online, and also to read ten per-cent of it, before buying. You can quickly tell whether the book is to your taste. In my opinion, they have only themselves to blame.
Personally, I find some of the remarks offensive. Barbed comments, such as self-published authors only write rubbish, dribble, and have no idea how to spell. And a few unrepeatable things On and on they go. What amuses me more than anything is that their English is far from perfect, and they have trouble stringing a simple sentence together. It is a example of the old saying, 'the pot calling the kettle black.' I do wish they would get over themselves and get a life. Even a few self-published authors join in the mud-slinging. It is not nice to read and at times I am afraid it is taramount to bullying.
These people are entitled to their opinion, as we all are. I just wonder why they repeatedly post the same old boring remarks. I stopped visiting these forums because of this. Should I return after a break of a few weeks or sometimes months they are still banging the drum, same old, same old. It is tiresome. I will not be visiting them again. 
I think it is disturbing to see the self-published authors being nasty, and at times downright offensive about their fellow authors. What happened to loyalty? Surely, it is up to the readers to make their own choice, or instead of going on-line and being rude why not leave a review? This is the correct place to leave an opinion. Not on an open forum. They also have the option of returning the book and Amazon do ask why you have returned the book. I honestly think they enjoy being nasty. Some people just do.
I have known readers track down authors, and mention they have found an error or two in the book. This is a far better approach than being vindictive in an open discussion. Although it is a great pity that they have to do this.
There again the fiction forum on Amazon is not a busy place anymore, this is where the abusive posts are made. Readers rarely visit it. Perhaps like me they are tired of reading the same old thing week in and week out. I should imagine the damage these people cause to readers who read their posts is quite limited. 
One poster who dislikes self-published books, wrote that she has seen book shelves in the shops -I'm talking about the UK here- that are labelled Self Published Authors. Really? I never have. I should imagine that she means local authors. If she does, then I feel that she is confused, because many local authors are published with traditional publishers. Book shops will identify a shelf, ‘local authors’, readers know then that they can probably find well researched books or booklets (booklets are usually printed by the local printing shop) about the town's local history. Novels by self-published authors are shelved with all the other novels in the bookstore.
I know many self-published authors who have their books in bookshops around the country. Waterstones in particular supports indie authors, and will hold book-signings in their stores. Libraries support local self-published authors and will stock their books, only, of course if they find they are of a high enough standard.
Should you buy a book and dislike it you have the opportunity to return it within seven days. What more can a reader ask? I know many authors believe this is excessive time allowance. I think it is the law. A few authors have mentioned online that they have seen readers bragging that they have returned books when they have read them, and had a refund. This is unfair. I think Amazon will eventually catch up with these readers if they do it too often, but it is unfair on authors and publishers alike.
Personally, I feel that there are more well written self-published book in the marketplace than ever before. Self-published authors have become more aware that they need to present a good product before it will sell and be left decent reviews. Of course, they will still receive a few poor reviews, this always happens. Reviews are subjective, and no two readers will agree 100% on what they like or dislike about a particular book.
A few authors are now earning a decent salary by writing mini romance books –sometimes they write series –apparently these sell very well. These authors have found their niche in the market place. Others are also doing very well indeed. You do not have to be at the top or even in the Kindle 100 to earn high royalties.  The more books that you have for sale the more you are going to sell.
The authors who are earning a living from self-publishing have published anything from twenty to a hundred books, not all in the same genre. They are now benefiting from their hard work.
Which proves the point that self-published books are well worthy of a read, and are beginning to make an impression in the world of publishing.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Spirit Guides - Do you Believe?

Someone mentioned spirit guides yesterday on a Facebook thread. As I am interested in anything to do with the Supernatural I decided to join in..  A poster Chris Butler, remarked, that as far as he and others are concerned spirit are simply thought, and can project an image of a previous existence appearance. The guide then tends to choose an image which their medium is comfortable with? I thought really, spirit are thought, whose thoughts? In that case our own probably, the mind does play tricks on you. He went on to say. Our family and people we loved are projected by thought in the same way. In spirit, they do not have a physical form but appear as a memory link He also intimated that they are pure beings who do not have human failings; such as sarcasm, emotions etc.
The original poster David Shaw, another respected medium and hypnotherapist said a similar thing. That despite what we may have read elsewhere spirit has no physical characteristics or physical mass whatsoever; and the higher that they travel away from the physical state they leave their emotions behind. Sorry, I do not believe that. I did point out that I had seen copies of pictures that someone had sketched of his spirit guide. I have also seen paintings and art work of spirit guides that have been done by respected psychic artists. All accepted by the person they were presented to.
Although, I do respect the mediums own views on spirit guides, I strongly disagree with much of what they have written.
I have visited many mediums over the years, and not one of them has mentioned the above. Of course, the mediums will say they have developed their spiritual side far more than we have. I would disagree with that, as well. We are all the same in my view (David has written a brilliant book, An Average Joe’s search for the meaning of life). We are all just average people who work for our living and who also try to help our fellow human beings in any way that we can. I do not believe that we travel to higher planes, there is no point. Should there be a world of spirit then you are needed to help out the world that you left behind. No point in travelling further away and leaving all you thought and feeling behind. It doesn't make sense to me. My mind likes everything cut and clear. I need to 'see' and understand things. I cannot accept statements like that.
 I occasionally believe that some people have the ability to communicate with loved ones who have died. But logically I know that it is simply not possible. On the other hand, I have experienced many unusual psychic disturbances myself. So you see I am as ever torn been belief and disbelief.
I call a psychic disturbance a happening that I cannot prove to be anything other than psychic. I feel that when we lose someone that we have loved almost more than life itself, then it is only natural that our longing to see them is so immense that we actually can still hear and see that person or beloved pet still from time to time We are more likely to see them if they have lived within our four walls. Death is so final, it is almost impossible to accept that we will never see, hear, or be able to hold them in our arms again. Never be able to pick up the telephone and talk to them, all communication lost forever. This is a shocking thing to happen, but we all know it will happen to us one day.
This is the time many people turn to the spiritual path, they visit mediums and clairvoyants in the hope of a direct contact. I know I've done it myself. The majority of the mediums I saw tried to convince me that I had people with me. I was never given any definite proof. One medium was totally honest and told me that she could not give me a link. I stayed with her for my readings until she retired. I had and still have a great respect for her. It hit me one day that I should not be rushing around trying to find out if there was anyone from the spirit world with me. The truth is that our loved ones never leave us, in life they are always a part of us, so why would death separate us. Love transcends time and space.
After the death of a loved one, life's journey can seem long and impossibly hard. Many people feel like committing suicide, many do. Not only the elderly, people of all ages find bereavement immensely difficult to accept. If by visiting a medium helps and encourages people, and gives them hope, then it can only be good. By seeming to make contact (perhaps they do, I don't know, I’m not there) with a loved one can leave the bereaved person feeling more settled and happy with their lives. At times like this people grasp at straws. For myself, until someone can give me full details of the person they say is with me (and not one medium ever has)I remain a little sceptical. I do not deny that there are some highly skilled, kind, and helpful people out there. They are all ordinary people who have the gift of communication and feel the need to share it with others.
I've written a few times of the things that have happened to make me more aware that there is unquestionably something out there that we do not fully understand.

I feel strongly at times that my best friend who passed away a couple of years ago is with me. She brings me messages, some of them I dislike, this is where my disagreement with a few of the mediums on Facebook come into play. Why would our friends or relatives, who are our spirit guides, lose their emotions when they die, and not be able to bring news of any description to us? It's sound common sense to me that they are the same people who helped us when they were alive; they helped and guided us along a sometimes rocky path. Why would their whole personalities change, and why would lose the very characteristics that drew us together in life? If they tell us something unpleasant, so be it. It's for our own good. They would have said while they were alive so why not now?

Friday, 3 January 2014

No 3 Best seller in Amazon Supernatural category

I received a wonderful review for The Other Place today. Here's the link