Last Day Naked Alliances 99 cents #RRBC and Plight of Getting Reviews Seen

Trouble With Reviews

I was checking on the possibility of any new reviews on Naked Alliances today and was quite surprised at what I found. Maybe you all have spoken about this before and I just missed it. All 19 of my reviews are there, but when you first arrive at the page, you can only see the 13 “Verified Purchase” reviews. At first, I thought Amazon had removed some of my reviews. Ionia Froment, a TOP 1000 Amazon reviewer, had reviewed my first book, as well as this one, and I suspected Amazon struck her review.

However, on further inspection, with TWO MORE (obscure) CLICKS, one to get to an all in order first to last page, that shows all 13 verified purchase reviews, and another (even more obscure) click to get to “See all 19 Reviews” that show the non-verified purchase reviews. WTF?

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Why is Amazon making it harder to see our reviews? Many people don’t know to continue clicking on to get the other reviews and many authors sell more books by hand from a box they carry in the trunk of their car from place to place than they do online. There is no way to prove they are purchases. One would think Amazon would want all reviews to show, especially from their own top reviewers.

Enough about that.

Last Day 99 Cent Sale:

I’m letting you know that today is the last day of the Naked Alliances 99 cents sale, so if you’d like a copy and haven’t grabbed one yet, now is the time to do it. And by all means, be sure to write a “Verified Purchase” review if you do, and help us get the word out.

Promo Update and a Couple of Quick Stories About What I Do For Fun and the Nights I Almost Got Arrested

Quick update on the ENT promo: 120 eBooks sold, 4 paperbacks, and 10 audiobooks.

During peak of promo, we actually got Naked Alliances down below #3000 Kindle books sold in store at about #25-#30 for three categories.

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If you don’t have a copy yet, and would like one, you can find it here: Naked Alliances. I highly recommend the audiobook if you like to hear a good storyteller. The eBook is still 99 cents until Sunday.

Not as good as ENT promos once were, before FB changed the algorithm, but not a bad shot at it either.

I was a little concerned when I saw the “Customers who Bought this also Bought”…only because so many also bought cozy mysteries. I can’t count the number of times I have made a point of letting people know that Naked Alliances is NOT a cozy mystery. It clearly sates on the cover and book description that it includes nudity, sex, lies…and murder. The story is about murder and sex-trafficking.

Then, the RS reminded me of the many books he’s purchased and didn’t like…not to further disappoint me, but to say, “Hey, just because they bought those cozy mysteries doesn’t mean they liked them.”

Maybe they are looking for something new. I had not thought about it like that.

Leave it to the RS to point me in the direction of the positives. That’s why he’s my better half.

On to other things:

Pokemon Go:

I have stories to tell you about a Pokemon Go adventure or two.

As I’ve shared, Pokemon Go gets me out of the house and into city parks. I enjoy the sunshine and the people I find out and about. Sometimes, I just have to escape these four walls, get out from in front of the computer, stop the words in my head, and focus on something totally unrelated. The game helps me do that. For a while, when I was building up my pokedex, I would spend from 2 pm to 2 am at a special park in Kissimmee that is a magical place for finding rare pokemon.

A little after 2 am I came to the intersection of Hwy. 192 (the road in Kissimmee that runs by Disney’s front gate) and Main Street. I was stopped at a traffic light and the road was empty in all directions, until a car pulled alongside me.

It was occupied by a white guy (the driver) with long, dark dreadlocks and a black guy in a red, yellow and green crocheted hat and wearing a bright green floral shirt (the passenger). I was vaping with my window down.

Picture this.

Picture this.

“Hey, mon, Vape Life!” the passenger yelled at me holding up his personal vaporizer.

I nodded in his direction and gave a little salute with my own PV, and smiled.

He was, it seemed, a bit drunk, and hopped out of the car. The driver called to him to get back in the car and stop acting the fool, but the guy approached my window chattering on about the good life in paradise and tossed a bag of reefer in my car window. “Go home, relax, and burn one on me,” he said.

I immediately looked around for the cops, wondering if I was being set-up.

He hopped back into his car, the light changed and they sped away west down 192. I proceeded up Main St. to OBT, then right onto Osceola, and left onto Orange Ave. heading for Orlando.

Instantly, I found myself paranoid. I know people are pretty open down here with this stuff, but I haven’t smoked it but three times since 1983. Once with my oldest son at a Pink Floyd concert (hey, it was necessary to get Comfortably Numb), once with my daughter at the Salvador Dali Museum (think about it), and again with my youngest son on the back porch of my lake house on Toho, (just because he was jealous).

I proceed up Orange Ave, going the proper speed limit, looking over my shoulder, scared to death that some cop was going to pull me over any minute. Just as I crossed the railroad tracks on the edge of Orlando, not one, not two, not three, but nine police cars came screaming by with their lights on heading for somewhere in a hurry. I nearly shit myself.

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By the time I got home I was shaking all over, but slowly, I began to feel like I was in the clear. If you’re wondering what happened to the greenish-gold bud that was in the bag, I’ll tell ya. I kept it and put it in a special place. I started to flush it, but then thought, “Why not just hold onto it….you never know when you might need it and you have no earthly idea where to find it.” So, I locked it away someplace special.

Then my birthday came around. We didn’t have any sort of celebration planned and I was sitting on the lanai thinking I should do something different for my birthday. Why not get stoned? I mean, I’m retired, it’s not like I have to pass a piss test.

I went to the local head shop and bought a small pipe figuring I could burn a few bowls. I didn’t buy rolling papers, because I was sure I’d forgotten how to roll a joint.

I came home and sat on the lanai with my bowl and fired it up. After about four or five tokes I was completely self-aware and self-conscious. No way could I relax. My hair didn’t seem right, it was too short, my skin wasn’t clear enough, my clothes were frumpy, and I needed both a manicure and a pedicure.

It was a horribly negative experience, so I flushed the rest. It made me feel really old and I feel that way already…no need to have something on the menu that reminds me.

On to Pokemon story number 2:

One thing Pokemon Go players do is catch pokemon. The other thing we do is take our games to pokemon gyms where our pokemon battle other pokemon. You have to get into your car, walk, or skate to the gyms. The gyms are frequently located at churches, dining establishments, places where there are murals or sculptures, parks, city monuments, and the like, but you can drive within playing range of most of them…not having to get out of your vehicle. You see the gyms on your phone screen and touch the screen to enter the gym with your pokemon. You line up your six pokemon to battle with and once the battle starts, you tap the screen to move your pokemon and strike the opponent’s pokemon. There doesn’t have to be another player around. They’ve left their pokemon inside the gym for you to come along and battle. If you win, they get their pokemon back and you gain points toward your team winning that gym, or take an opponent’s gym back for your team and leave your pokemon there.

So, it’s 3 am and I’m out battling gyms alone. Sometimes we go as a group to stack gyms. I like to go when there is little traffic on the road, and not a lot of competition. I also like to take a bunch of gyms in the middle of the night and cash out (if you have ten gyms you get max coins and stardust for playing the game with).

I’m parked in a big parking lot next door to a bank at a sculpture. Suddenly two cars pull into the lot at angles on either side of my car to block my passage forward. I’m frightened because sometimes players take the game too seriously and have been known to assault people taking down their gyms, so I back up quickly, and spin the van around.

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In seconds there are four people with guns in my face, and I’m holding out my phone saying, “Pokemon, I’m just playing Pokemon.” The cops relaxed and lowered their weapons. (They never turned on their blue lights, so how was I supposed to know they were cops?) They thought I was trying to flee when I backed up. Just as they lowered their weapons one of the cop cars rolled into the wall at the bank because she hadn’t put the damn thing in park when she jumped out of it. I tried really hard not to laugh.

I thanked the officers for keeping me safe and asked if I was free to go. The lady cop uttered expletives as she ran for her car and the other three cops just laughed and said, “Sure, be careful out here.”

What do you do for fun?

Have you ever played pokemon?

When was the last time you got stoned?

99 Cent Sale–Naked Alliances by S.K. Nicholls #RRBC

This sale was supposed to start yesterday, but there was a snafu with pricing that’s been resolved.

The eBook is 99 cents. Paperback and Audible are also available. 

Use your holiday to take a Florida vacation, unravel a murder mystery and help bring down a crime boss. What could be more fun than sipping margaritas with a couple of sexy nudists while your at it?

Sunny and clear skies here at 77 degrees…allow us to warm you up!

It’s Monday and you have the day off. Turn on my favorite musical artist, Jimmy Buffett, pour yourself a tall one, grab a good book, and join the fruitcakes.

Audiobook—Naked Alliances is Live! #RRBC

I’m pleased to inform you that the audiobook for Naked Alliances is live at Amazon!

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I don’t set the price for the audiobook, but it’s $17.46 if you have an audible account. That’s not a bad price. The paperback is $14.50 and the digital book goes on sale tomorrow for 99 cents.

If you’ve never listened to an audiobook, I encourage you to give them a try. Here’s the sweet part:

Free with Audible trial

$0.00

Try Audible Free

  • Includes two free audiobooks
  • Choose from 180,000+ titles
  • After 30 days, Audible is $14.95/mo.
  • Cancel anytime

Plus, if someone signs onto Audible as a new member and buys their third book, I get a fifty dollar bonus. You can buy me dinner! Sweet!

AND, you can CANCEL any time, so you’re not stuck in some year–long contract.

I also woke up to a very nice review that I would like to share with you from Top 1000 Reviewer, Ionia Froment:

There are 19 Five-Star reviews now. I’m thrilled!

Thank you all for your support.

Update on Naked Alliances by S.K. Nicholls

Rant: Don’t expect me to follow you back if you don’t have a “Follow me by Email” option on your blog. I read my email several times a day. I never go into my Reader. I love engaging with my audience. Make it easy for me. Rant Over. (Notice the new message in the side bar.)

Okay, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way…I have news:

Naked Alliances is going on sale for $0.99 on January 15th. This is coinciding with an ENT promo which will start the same day.

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I’ve never promoted a book in this genre. The historic fiction did well with ENT. I understand that FaceBook, where ENT gets most of its traffic from, has a high population of females 35-55 years of age. I’m curious to see how Naked Alliances does there.

Don’t despair if you miss that sale. I tried to get the Fussy Librarian to run their promo at the same time to no avail. The dates were already taken. So there will be another sale February 12th.

I’ve never run two promos so close together, and yet so far apart. Good to see ROI this way, I suppose. Though many people subscribe to both, I may be able to reach a broader audience in this way.

However, if you want a real treat and have the money to buy the audiobook, I implore you to get your copy of that when it goes on sale this week. I won’t be able to set or alter the price of the audiobook for promos. That’s set by the retailers, but it will be available on Amazon, iTunes and Audible.

If you really want to support an author…go out there online and purchase your copy at the whopping price of $2.99 for the digital copy or $14.50 for the paperback.

As his pulse-quickening quest for answers leads from the dark corners of Orlando’s Little Saigon to the sunny exposure of the Leisure Lagoon, Richard Noggin, P.I. will be put to the test. Just how much will this Naked Eye have to bear…or bare?

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That will also improve our rankings so the people coming along for the sales will see what a great seller it is and perhaps be influenced to buy.

Stay warm. Peace.

The Lady Chablis – Another Celebratory Casualty of 2016

Today I learned that Chablis passed away on September, 8, 2016. She was a mere fifty-nine years of age. It was such sad news for me. Chablis, a transgendered character from John Berendt’s novel, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and who played herself in Clint Eastwood’s 1997 film adaption by the same name. She was such an inspiration for me in developing the character Brandi in Naked Alliances. I loved that book, and the movie. It’s one of my all-time favorites.

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Buy Here

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil has won many awards: Pulitzer Prize Nominee for General Nonfiction (1995), Exclusive Books Boeke Prize (1995), Ferro-Grumley Award for Gay Fiction (Non-Fiction) (1994), Lambda Literary Award for Gay Men’s Mystery (1995)

I had planned to send her a copy of Naked Alliances. I thought she might find it amusing and enjoyable and appreciate knowing that she inspired others. She was such a character, in both real life, and on stage. I had the pleasure of seeing her perform at one of her annual birthday shows at her favorite nightclub, Club One, in Savannah, GA about fifteen years ago.

John Berendt was one of the first self-published authors of a best-selling book, in 1994, which made it to the movies. His book was picked up by Vintage Publishing House.

I admire both John Berendt and Chablis for the way they managed to tell their story. Chablis, who told Entertainment Tonight in 1996 that she changed her legal name to reflect her long-time stage name (including the “The”), was a drag star who also lived publicly as a woman. Her unforgettable turn in the 1997 movie, which marked the first time that a mainstream American film featured a transgender actor portraying a transgender woman (and did so without pathologizing her or making her a subject of ridicule), led to both ups and downs. This was all before the word “transgendered” took hold.

Chablis, who in the movie is portrayed receiving hormone shots, called her 1996 autobiography Hiding My Candy in reference to the fact that she had not had sexual reassignment surgery, and often joked about her status in her act. But when she came to prominence in the 90s, before terms like transgender had come to the fore and the spectrum of transitions was less widely understood or accepted, she was alternately referred to, even by friends like the author Berendt, as a “a full-time transvestite” or “a preoperative transsexual”, and her fame left her less able to “pass” and more subject to harassment.

I don’t know how she died, but she donated most of her money from the sales of her best-selling book and her shows to diabetes and LGBT organizations.

Berendt, too, issued a statement at the time of her death in which he said that Chablis was the character about whom he was most often still asked. “Chablis could be playful and ironic, but she had a tough inner core,” he wrote. “‘Don’t be fooled by this dress I’m wearing,’ she’d say with a hint of danger in her voice.”

She was born Benjamin Edward Knox in Quincy, Fla., on March 11, 1957, and never finished high school. She took the name Chablis as a teenager. As she recalled in Mr. Berendt’s book, her mother, inspired by a wine bottle label, had intended the name for a younger sister but had had a miscarriage. Ms. Chablis immediately expressed interest in the name.

“I said, ‘Ooooo, Chablis. That’s nice. I like that name,’ ” she was quoted as saying in the book. “And Mama said, ‘Then take it, baby. Just call yourself Chablis from now on.’ So ever since then, I’ve been Chablis.” She had her name legally changed to The Lady Chablis.

Her most recent national media appearance was on an episode of the Real Housewives of Atlanta in 2013, when cast members went to Club One to catch her show and NeNe Leakes asked Chablis to teach cast member Mynique Smith to both read and throw shade.

Southern women are notorious for their uncanny ability to throw shade, or publicly criticize or express contempt for someone to their face without them even being aware it’s happening.

Thanks to the rise of drag culture within the mainstream, the notion of shade has become, for better or worse, prevalent within today’s vernacular. Not to be confused with the art of reading, it is best defined by Dorian Corey in Paris Is Burning. Shade is, according to Corey, not telling someone they’re ugly because “[they] know [they’re] ugly.” Often, shade is thrown with a subtle gesture or eye movement. Side-eye is the easiest to do, but hard to master. It’s about nuance. It’s about attitude. It’s about confidence. And once you recognize it, life is never the same. You become keen to shade, alert for its presence, and ready to throw some of your own.

She was one of a kind, and I can only hope that Brandi might do her justice. The Lady Chablis will be sorely missed.

RIP

Holiday AfterGlow

The Christmas tree is still up and the snow village is still out. LED icicles hang from the eaves of the house and multi-colored lights twinkle on the shrubbery. The red velvet cake is all gone and the many guests have left the spare bedrooms empty. The grandchildren are home with their parents enjoying their gifts and the house is quieter than it’s been in two weeks. A special sort of peace has descended upon us.

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The sound of the coffee brewing is comforting and I am feeling reflective over the previous year and contemplating my resolutions for the upcoming one.

  1. Write more guest posts.
  2. Write more blog posts.
  3. Write more interviews.
  4. Write more outlines.
  5. Write more novels.
  6. Write more.

It all boils down to writing more.

I’ve never been one able to discipline myself to meeting a daily word count. It feels forced, to me, when I try, and unnatural…but being about six months behind where I thought I would be at this point in the series, I may have to buckle down and set myself some small goals.

I spent a lot of time in the parks playing Pokemon this past summer and fall. The weather is gorgeous here this time of year, cool breezes blow on sunshiny days and the air is dryer. Florida is wonderful from November until about April.

My North American Pokedex has been filled three or four times over. I don’t need to collect anymore until the new Gen 2 Pokemon come out (we’re thinking February), and all I have to do with the game now is battle gyms to collect my coins and star dust every day. I’ve been holding ten gyms for two weeks, and that’s all they allow you to cash out on every day, so there’s not a lot for me to do there except keep up the status quo.

The game has really helped me toward getting out of the house and meeting new and interesting people. I’ve gotten to know many of the homeless folk who hang out in our city and county parks as well as many young and old residents of the area. I have a team FB page with 200+ members and they’ve become like extended family.

I’ve never done anything half way. My grandfather used to say, “Anything worth doing at all is worth doing well.” So I gave it 100%, but there was a cost. Playing the game as hard as I have ate into my reading and writing time and I need to pull back from it and refocus on my big goals.

The Naked Eye private investigator series is swirling around in my mind up through about book eight and there are outlines to get written. I have Book Two outlined and that outline is in the process of getting fleshed out. It’s been added to Scrivener, where I can keep things organized, and it’s time to move it along. I have fishbone outlines of the next three books completed.

I was sorely disappointed that Mystery Writers of America doesn’t allow self-published authors to sit on panels and doesn’t allow anyone but panelists to place their books for sale in the Murder on the Beach bookstore. I’m still attending SleuthFest this year, but I’m not joining MWA until they get with the times. They invited me to be a moderator for a panel. I’m still mulling that over.

The audio book of Naked Alliances is coming along grand. I’m so excited to be able to bring the book to my audience in this format. Steven Barnett is absolutely the most wonderful narrator ever there could be. His voice is engaging and he’s having a blast with his reading. We’ll be done with the book by the end of the year. I don’t know how long it takes ACX to get the book uploaded for sale on Amazon, but I’m expecting some time in January the audio book will be available.

I have my coffee now, my keyboard, and plenty of time in front of me…so, today will be my first day back at work. Peace. May your Christmas cleanup be easy. Blessings for the upcoming year. May all your resolutions hold fast and may all your goals be met.

Have a happy and prosperous New Year!