Ken La Salle, does he ever sleep?

Well my friend Ken has done it again. I think he has a genie in a bottle. Congratulations on another release!

FTGO cookies cover preview

Fun To Grow On books (a new series of children’s books for adults) presentsCookies: Sluts of the Snack World. Available for the Kindle for just $2.50! (Coming soon in audio and paperback!)

 

http://www.amazon.com/Cookies-Sluts-Snack-World-Grow-ebook/dp/B00KYAZIH6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1402635046&sr=1-1

 

Sueing Amazon

I am posting an article that I read on the news this morning that I find intriguing. As an author I am my brand, therefore I can be merchandised just like electronics or any other retail product. Since I have my books on Amazon this definitely caught my interest. I think in time some author along the way will find the right lawyer and all hell will  break loose even though a previous author wasn’t successful in a suit against a reviewer.

I’d love to hear your opinions on this article and do you think this will start a new trend?

The next time you write an online review, be careful. You might get sued.

That’s what could happen to a Florida man who left a negative review about an Internet router he purchased. According to his Tuesday post on Reddit, where he’s asking for legal advice, he received a letter from a law firm in Philadelphia threatening to sue him for an “illegal campaign to damage, discredit, defame, and libel” the company that makes the router.

“Your statements are false, defamatory, libelous, and slanderous, constitute trade libel and place Mediabridge and its products in a false light,” the verbose letter from the law firm reads in part.

In his review, which has since been edited, the man made several allegations, including that many of the positive reviews about the product on Amazon might be fake and that the router itself was “identical” to a router from a different company.

If the man doesn’t take down his review within three days, cease all Internet conversation about the product, and agrees to never buy the company’s products again, the law firm will sue him, according to the letter. But by going to Reddit and not keeping quiet, the man might have already sealed his fate.

Companies, it turns out, have every right to sue people who write reviews on websites that they may feel are libelous or defamatory.

While there is a level of legal protection that third-party websites (in this case, Amazon) have from being sued, which come from Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act—the same section that protects websites that show revenge porn—the authors of those reviews are not protected.

Neither the letter nor the user can be confirmed. Still, this isn’t the first time that someone has taken legal heat for online reviews.

In 2012, a Virginia court sided with a contractor who received a negative review from a woman on Yelp, claiming defamation. The woman who wrote the review said the service was poor and accused the contractor of stealing her jewelry. She was sued for $750,000.

In 2011, a book author sued a man, though unsuccessfully, who wrote negative reviews about his book on Amazon. And in 2006, a woman in Florida won $11.3 million in a lawsuit resulting from defamatory remarks on an Internet message board.

So while Amazon states in its terms of use that sellers “may not ask buyers to remove negative reviews,” these companies do have legal protections to go after comments they may deem libelous.

While the Internet allows users a certain amount of anonymity behind reviews on Amazon or Yelp—where a negative or positive review can determine a company’s success—there is still a danger that companies will take legal action against these reviews. For this Florida man, his gripes with this company will only grow.

WiDo Publishing signs Ken La Salle (Article Reprint)

WiDo Publishing™ Finds Magic with Hybrid Author Ken LaSalle

SALT LAKE CITY, UT March 5, 2014

Ken La Salle (d)Good relationships take a certain kind of magic to succeed. Even if it’s just a metaphor, sometimes you need magic. But what if all you’ve got is the wrong magic? Alex and Stephanie split up after years without magic and, when Alex finds a box of stories Stephanie never finished, he decides to finish them for her to try and win her back. Suddenly, the stories begin to come true in the worst possible ways. Mind-numbing fogs roll in, killer forests appear, everything begins to fall apart! When the wrong magic is all you’ve got, can it be enough?

When WiDo submissions editor, Allie Maldonado, read Ken LaSalle’s ”The Wrong Magic” she knew she had found the right kind of magic. She loved the idea, the writing style, and the marketing potential of such a book.

“It’s got romance, humor, sweetness and a touch of fantasy and whimsy. I thoroughly enjoyed Ken’s manuscript and didn’t stop reading until I finished. We are so glad he chose to sign with us,” Maldonado says.

Ken LaSalle is a prolific writer of many genres,  an author and playwright whose play After You Fall  recently had a staged reading at Wild Rumpus Productions in NY and is scheduled for another with Stripped Scripts in Santa Barbara. He writes prodigiously, with work out in ebook format, paperback, and audiobook, including narrating and producing his own audiobooks.

LaSalle has this to say about his work: “I tend to self-publish a lot because of the freedom it affords. The downside to self-publishing, however, is that it limits the audience you can reach as a writer. So, I was looking for a small publisher with a wide reach. After looking at some of the books released by WiDo, such asDrinking from a Bitter Cup, I was pleased to see the size of an audience The Wrong Magic might enjoy. Then, too, WiDo Publishing made an effort to work with me, which really counts for something in my book.”

“Our contracts are fairly standard but we will always try to work with a writer if we can,” Maldonado states. “Ken and I are both happy with the results, and we at WiDo ™are excited to get his new book ready to go and on bookstore shelves hopefully by the end of the year.”

Author and playwright, Ken La Salle’s passion is intense humor, meaningful drama, and finding answers to the questions that define our lives. Ken La Salle grew up in Santa Ana, California and has remained in the surrounding area his entire life. He was raised with strong, blue collar roots, which have given him a progressive and environmentalist view. As a result, you’ll find many of his stories touching those areas both geographically and philosophically. His plays have been seen in theaters across the country and you can find a growing number of books available online. Find out more about Ken on his website at www.kenlasalle.com.

http://widopublishing.com/wido-publishing-finds-magic-with-hybrid-author-ken-lasalle/

James Patterson-Walking the Walk

James Patterson is a hero to the literary cause. I’m sure by now you have heard of Mr. Patterson’s generous gift of $1,000,000 to Indie bookstores. He is being called “Daddy Warbucks”, and I think it is appropriate, don’t you? A million dollars of Patterson’s own money will help expand literacy outreach programs, and be distributed to 50 bookstores. This gift will allow something close to my heart, the continuation of these businesses. I, for one, would be lost without the feel of paper in hand.

I can only hope that other successful authors will follow in Patterson’s footsteps. In a changing world, it is up to all of us to keep literacy alive. I wonder who will be next to contribute coffers to keep the dream alive?

Guest Author Dick Waters

Today I’d like to welcome Dick Waters, an author, and a man I admire. There is sage advice to be found in this post.

Thanks Aron for the opportunity to introduce myself to your followers.

DickMy name is Rich Waters, but I self-publish under the name Dick Waters. Self publishing is a chapter I will share later. I think you should know a little about me before I talk about my writing.

I was born many years ago in Boston. Fortunately my parents moved from the city to Wilmington, which is a small town about twenty miles north. It was a great town to grow up in and I still remain connected to many friends there and to my high school graduating class. I even dedicated one of my novels to Mr. Kelley who was a great teacher and had an even greater set of values. Looking back at those years I was shy and just an average student. English was not a subject I was fond of. I can still remember the teacher asking ‘what was Shakespeare saying in this segment?’ I often wondered why he made it so hard to interpret his words.

Maybe some of that is why I developed into an analyst. I made a living by looking at how the companies I worked for did their business processes. For some strange reason I was blessed with a way to come up with recommended improvements. This capability led to application and system design. In essence, I was considered creative. In the process my only writing involved specifications for system design and application procedures. After forty years working for other companies I started my own. However, after a costly business venture I decided to go back to work basically to secure health insurance.

A year into working for a major health industry they learned about my system background and wanted me to help with a system conversion. That was a very successful implementation, but it was followed by my having two cancers and surgery. During my recovery time I did a considerable amount of reading. I never liked to come home and crack a book as I did so much reading at work. There were three authors I migrated to – James Patterson’s Alex Cross mysteries, Robert B. Parker’s New England stories and Stuart Wood’s suspense novels.

After going back to work I realized the stress might be too much and my dad was suffering alone with Alzheimer’s disease. I decided to retire. My wife and I soon bought a house that needed considerable work and remodeling. When those projects were winding down my wife asked me to either find a job or do something to give her back her space. Well to tell the truth I didn’t want to go back to the stress connected with working and didn’t really know what to do.

After considerable thought I knew I needed to do something that utilized my former creativity. I thought about doing some ventures, but realized there was too much risk involved. Surprisingly, I thought about writing. Ten years earlier my wife and I drafted a novel, which we couldn’t get an agent to represent. That draft sat on the shelf gathering dust. I went through the rejection letters and one caught my interest. She said the novel we wrote wasn’t in the style of a mystery. Does a mystery have a style?

I wasn’t sure if writing was something I could do, but remembered the stories of the authors I liked. The one common denominator was that they all wrote short chapters and pulled at my analysis background to solve the mysteries. I read some books that addressed novel writing and in particular writing ‘Mystery’ novels. I was surprised to learn that there was indeed a cadence to a mystery novel, or the ‘style’ referred to by that agent.

Things happened fast in 2010 a year after retirement. I set out to write a new novel in the correct style. I finished the manuscript after a few revisions and an on-line search led me to an agent looking for new writers. I replied and soon sent my manuscript in reply to their interest. They said they had a publisher partner who was indeed interested in publishing it.

Hallelujah, forward progress was made. Not so fast! As we go through life we learn many things, some things are positive and some are learned the hard way by making mistakes. I learned the hard way on this one. If someone who looks like a publisher asks for money in return for services…RUN! This was a ‘Vanity Press.’ I was so new to the world of publishing that I didn’t know what to be watchful of. This one mistake cost thousands.

It took me over a year to get that first book published and finally put a halt to their more requested expenses. To end the chapter on that book – I finally retrieved my rights and self-published on Amazon. But wait…this is not the end of that horror story. Because the novel was still ‘available’ in the distribution channels, I couldn’t make it available on the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) channel. After many requests to make it available it was finally clear of all the other channels and made available.

Serial Separation is available on Amazon KDP and is the second novel in the Scott Tucker series. Remember the earlier novel I tried to get an agent to represent? Well, I rewrote that Branded for Murder novel, which is really the first in the series. I did get something beneficial from the vanity press scenario. Kurt Bret has done four of my five novel covers, and does have a talent to capture my ideas in a design and is fortunately less expensive than I would have expected.

Cover design is now my only expense. I publish my novels first on Amazon KDP and then in print format using Amazon’s CreateSpace. In fact, the last two versions of my ‘2013 Flash Fiction Anthology’ I used Amazon’s tools to create my own covers. In hind sight I should have published in print format first and then eBook as I could not use the cover created in the eBook for the print version.

I hope some of the above is a help to other authors. So, what do I have for novels?

Branded for Murder involves Scott Tucker, who is a Harvard student, and needs to join a recently formed task force as the New England Strangler’s latest victim was his cousin.

Serial Separation sets Scott to joining another task force as the recently dismembered bodies washed up on the shores of New England were hockey players he played hockey with.

Scent of Gardenia pulls Scott into an investigation as to what is happening to rich-young men going missing on the island of Bermuda. When no ransom demands are being requested, authorities believe the men are being kept for sexual purposes.

Fragrance of Revenge once again gets Scott into an investigation where he doesn’t belong. He hasn’t learned to stay away from investigations and this one will become more than an investigation as he will become the target.

Foreplay for Murder is the same story line as Fragrance of Revenge, but is a hotter version for the adult reader.

2013 Flash Fiction Anthology is a collection of forty-one of my stories and those of Aron Joice and Brian Beam. This book reached #6 on Amazon’s Best Sellers Free list in the Short Story category.

So what can I say about the novel series? In early January I made four of the novels available for free for a four-day period and three of them made it into the top twelve on Amazon’s Best Sellers Free list in the Mystery Romance category. Branded for Murder peaked at #4 and even beat out James Patterson’s free novel. Not bad company to be in, and since I styled my novels after his Alex Cross mysteries consisting of short chapters, I guess it was a successful direction and promotion.

Following that promotional period actual sales were higher than any prior period. New, or recent authors, spend considerable time, and sometimes money, to have their product discovered by readers. I want to thank Aron for allowing me to include her short stories and samples of her novels in my anthology, and for this post.

Readers like you have a wide-choice of who you will read next. I thank those who read my novels and provide some feedback. Reviews help other readers make an informed purchasing decision. I also thank readers for any review and try to acknowledge all of them and realize I am not a great writer, but hope I tell a good story and can improve my writing skills. I enjoy writing good stories and I hope it shows.

Learn more about Dick Waters at  Amazon

My Fellow Author’s Promo page

 

Your Favorite Summer Read

WANTED

Summer is fleeting, and I know we  have all read something this summer that became a new favorite. I’d like you to share your favorite summer read with me and my readers.

 Email me at aron@aronjoice.com  In the subject line put Summer Read and either the name of the book or a link. If you’d like to add a comment about the book please do so and I’ll add it.

Thanks for sharing!!