Tag: amazon

The blog post I didn’t want to write . . .


Hi guys,

So. This is a blog post that no author ever wants to have to write, but unfortunately, sometimes things happen in our author world that is beyond our control. And this just happens to be one of those times. And more often than not, it involves the hand that feeds most of us . . . Amazon.

The upshot is this – the pre-order for Sultry & Sinful will release tomorrow and everyone who has ordered it to date from Amazon will get the WRONG file. Yep, you heard that right. You may be asking, “Well, how does this happen?” and I’m going to tell you how:

When a box set or an anthology is set up up, often the person who is running the set will put a placeholder file in place on Amazon. The reason why this is done is that we can’t make a pre-order live without a file and traditionally pre-orders are available three (3) months prior to a book being released. 

This is standard practice for lots of box sets and multi-author books. I know it may seem weird to the outside world, but there’s lots of reasons why the final file isn’t ready until closer to release date. Authors are still trying to get their stories edited and formatted. Sometimes authors have to drop out last minute. Having a final file ready to go three months out is rare. There are so many things that can change before release date.

But again, uploading a placeholder file is common practice.

The thing is this. Lately, Amazon has been questioning box set owners (and individual authors as well) about their validity to publish a book especially if it includes the work of someone else. And when that happens, the box set owner is left scrambling trying to email Amazon all the contracts, emails, correspondence, etc. to show that they do indeed have the right to publish what they say they are going to publish. The problem is that Amazon has been waiting until the last minute to do this. This is problematic due to Amazon’s own rules about pre-orders, which is that the final file must be in place and locked down three (3) days prior to the book’s release date.

In our case, the final file was uploaded a week prior to release date and Amazon didn’t question the box set owner until four (4) days prior to our release date (which is tomorrow). By the time our box set owner got all the documents together, she got locked out of the release window and the file couldn’t be updated.

We are not the first group to have this happen to us. And we won’t be the last either. And it sucks, believe me. Every author in Sultry & Sinful has already lined up their fans, promos, parties, etc. hinging on this file.

And now we’re likely to get slammed with bad reviews because the file they are going to get at midnight tonight is not what they paid for. And there isn’t a thing us authors can do about it.

If you’re one of my fans reading this then I would like to say I’m sorry. Amazon will fix the problem, you WILL get the right file, but it might take twenty-four (24) hours or more for the right one to appear. It’s not fair and I completely understand the frustration. Right now, you have nine (9) authors who are desperately trying not to freak out. By the way, it’s not working – we’re all freaking out.

This is my personal appeal for you to have patience. We are doing everything in our power to get the problem rectified. If you have personally pre-ordered the book and are disappointed, email me shawnee@shawneesmall.com or PM me on Facebook and I will personally send you a free gift in the way of apology.

Again, I’m sorry that this has happened and I would move mountains to get this sorted before it gets to you, but my hands are tied right now.

If you did pre-order Sultry & Sinful, thank you for supporting us and for standing behind indie authors. I know it’s not a lot, but we really do appreciate everything you do for us. Sometimes bad things happen. We will get through it.



Watcher #1 on Amazon

It finally happened. Unbelievable. Holy wow, Batman.

Watcher is #1 in Urban Fantasy, #1 in Paranormal Suspense, #36 in Kindle books


Aaaand it’s charting across the categories:

  • Mystery, Thriller, & Suspense #6
  • Suspense #2
  • Paranormal Suspense #1
  • Science Fiction & Fantasy #10
  • Fantasy #5
  • Metaphysical & Visionary Fantasy #2
  • New Adult & College Fantasy #2

Bad Reviews


I recently made the comment to another author that “Goodreads is a nest of biting vipers“.

I kinda meant it. Sorry, not sorry.

See, here’s the thing. As an author, you have a moral responsibility not to be a public asshole. Let’s face it, you are a writing professional, you are meant to be taking the higher ground. We’ve all seen the author who disregards this adage and ends up as the internet poster child for public shaming. Oh yes. It’s not a pretty sight, and it never ends well. EVER. Because let’s face it, you will never win, you’ll say a bunch of shit that you will utterly regret, and even your mother will be tsk tsking you. If you don’t believe me, I have two books you should read So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed and Social Media is Bullshit. Great books. Spot on. Also very scary.

Because here’s the thing us authors don’t realize when we sign up for this gig

If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all

That, that right there, that utter morality bullshit doesn’t exist on the internet. All bets are off when you put your work on display. If you are a sensitive petal then being an author may not be the best career for you, and I say that as a sensitive petal myself.

Having said that, there are some rules that I live by that help keep me from slitting my wrists:

  1. Don’t EVER read your Goodreads reviews, ratings, reactions, etc. It’s fine to have an account, I’d even actively encourage you to set one up as an author because a lot of businesses and blogs require you to have one and it’s another outlet for readers to find you.
  2. Do not stalk the reviewer who shat all over your book and whatever you do, don’t send one  single  word  to  them. It’s not worth it, and they will gather all their p(r)etty friends, too, and make your life a living hell. You will be the unreasonable, egotistical maniac who needs to be put down. Not them and definitely not their review.
  3. Buy a bottle of wine and gather your pretty friends and have a whinge fest. You’re allowed.
  4. Focus on the important thing, like your positive Amazon reviews because Amazon is da king. Goodreads is the ugly stepchild to Daddy Warbucks, and if the haters wanna hate, that’s probably where they’re going to be – not Amazon. Amazon takes its reviews very seriously and if there are issues where you have a bonafide grievance, you’re probably more likely to get a result. Amazon knows that reviews sell things. Selling things is Amazon’s business.
  5. Before you quote me with Amazon customer support, let me state this disclaimer: If you have a ton of bad reviews, it’s time to do some introspective house cleaning so to speak – one bad review could be an asshat, many, many bad reviews probably means they have a valid point. Be opened minded to the criticism and be ready to fix the problem.
  6. People are people, and everyone has a bad day. It’s unfair that you got the brunt of it, but sometimes we end up being the punching bag for whatever freudian-bad-day-from-hell someone is having. Again not fair, but chock it up to the experience gods and move on.
  7. When in doubt, your books and even your fans will have your back. You actually wrote a book. Hell, maybe you’ve written a dozen books. Congratulations! You’ve accomplished more than that person who keeps saying “I’ve always wanted to write a book”, but never has. So try not to be hard on yourself. Be proud of your work and your fans. It’s more than many can claim.

I might actually get shafted over this post, but life isn’t without risks, and if I get one author who actually has a good laugh rather than a cry over their next bad review then it will have been worth it.




Hurrah. Amazon makes good.


So just a quick update…

Amazon.com has finally made the brand-new revised version of Watcher (kindle version) available for previous customers. You’re going to want to read this version as the ending has changed. Trust me.

Everything is go, go, go in Watcherland today. More announcements to follow.