Lots of news this week!
280-character limit on Twitter
Twitter has historically allowed just 140 characters per tweet. A few weeks back, they announced they were trialing 280-character Tweets with a select group of users. The trial must have gone well, because almost everyone can now Tweet 280 characters (the exceptions are users tweeting in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, because the nature of these languages means they don’t come close to the 140-character limit).
But just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
People are on Twitter for links and pithy comments, not essays … although I’m sure the longer Tweet length will come in useful in Twitter Chats such as @ BadRedHeadMedia’s Thursday #BookMarketingChat.
MacMillan has announced they will closing Pronoun, their ebook distributor, in January 2018. Pronoun has experienced problems over its’ short lifespan, with complaints of lagging dashboards and slow responses to questions. But it attracted attention because of the benefits it offered, including full 70% royalty on Kindle books priced below $2.99 (Amazon only pays 70% royalty on books priced between $2.99 and $9.99).
I guess this answers my big question about Pronoun: how were they making money if they were offering higher royalties than Amazon? The answer: maybe they weren’t.
In better news, Draft2Digital now distributes to Amazon. However, they still don’t distribute to Google Play (which many authors saw as the major reason to use Pronoun).
I have heard some indie authors are using StreetLib to distribute to Google Play—they even have a one-click “import from Pronoun” option. Have you used StreetLib? What was your experience?
Dismemberment aka Floating Body Parts
Cait Reynolds visits Kristen Lamb’s blog to share about Dismemberment: Taking Characters Apart in all the Wrong Ways. This is perhaps better known as floating body parts, but dismemberment is more attention grabbing.
I once read a sci-fi novel where the alien species could take their heads off and throw them around the room. They could even swap heads (although that was frowned upon by the more conservative among them).
Result: every time I see dismemberment like “she threw her head” in a novel, I’m taken out of that novel and taken straight back to 1992, when I read the novel where Mr and Mrs Basketball-Head are stressing because their daughter wants to play Swap-Heads with some hot alien she’s just met.
Editor-me tells this little story every time I see dismemberment in a novel (although I call it “floating body parts”, which is much less fun).
I just wish I could remember the name of the novel.
The winners of the 2017 Christy Awards were announced on 8 November. While I haven’t read all the finalists, there were two surprises for me:
- Joint winners for Historical Romance: I haven’t seen this before. I’ve seen four finalists because of a tie, but not two winners.
- The brilliant Long Way Gone by Charles Martin was the Book of the Year, but didn’t win the category. Again, in previous years, the Book of the Year has been one of the category winners.
This might be just me, but has Amazon removed the ability to vote reviews as “unhelpful”? I’m only seeing a thumbs-up button. We know Amazon is forever changing things, and we also know sometimes these changes are tests run for a select group of users (such as Twitter’s initial tests of the 280-character limit). I also know many people (especially authors) have been asking for Amazon to remove the “downvote” button for half of forever—their wish may just have been granted.
Can you see the downvote button on Amazon? Or do you just get the thumbs-up I see?