Nadia Lee | NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author of Contemporary Romance » Public Service Announcement

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PSA: Credit Card Phishing / Fake eBook Seller

There is a site called epubpdfbook dot com. It’s a pirate site that is pretending to be a retailer. It claims to sell everything for $1.99 or so. But once you enter your credit card info, it won’t allow you to download anything. You have to wait for somebody on their side to email you the book.

That’s a huge red flag. Any legit e-commerce site should have it set up so that order fulfillment is automatic. There are many economical service providers that do the credit card processing and digital order fulfillment.

My guess? This site is basically a credit card phishing site. So please beware of this. And if there’s a site that has deals too good to be true, check to make sure it’s legit first. There are so many scammers and hackers that try to steal data.


Where Can I Buy a Copy of a Nadia Lee Book?

I generally do an Ask Nadia session on Wednesdays, but I decided to talk about something else, which several people have asked me about.

Where can I buy a copy of a Nadia Lee book?

If you’re buying a print copy, any store is fine. And just for the record, I don’t mind if you buy new or used when it comes to print copies. Amazon, B&N and other bookstores should carry them or be able to order them for you if they’re not in stock.

For ebooks, I currently distribute to the following stores only:

  • Apple iBooks — All 51 international stores
  • Amazon — All territories
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Kobo
  • Google Play
  • All Romance eBooks

Several people have asked me about my distribution plans at Smashwords. I think this is because I used to distribute my books via Smashwords, and I currently have one book available on Smashwords (Vengeful in Love).

I plan to pull that book down from Smashwords soon and close my account with them. I basically used Smashwords to distribute Vengeful in Love to Barnes & Noble, because Barnes & Noble does not accept books that are free. So I had no choice but to use Smashwords.

But recently, the negatives are considerably outweighing the positives.

Pro(s)

  • You can make your book free on Barnes & Noble.

Con(s)

  • Reporting is extremely slow. Oftentimes I have to wait for weeks for updates.
  • And the reports are confusing. I have a degree in finance and minored in economics and took more accounting courses than I should have in college. I still get a headache when I look at their reports.
  • Their payments are slow.
  • Their ebook file vetting system is inconsistent and slow. (I’m not complaining about having to create a consistent and/or proper epub file. I’ve been doing that for years now, and Apple, which is one of the pickiest vendors out there, has no problem with my files. What I object to is random errors that don’t make any sense.)
  • Their support is slow (if you get a response at all).
  • I’ve received my tax forms late a few times, and they were often the wrong forms.
  • The biggest problem: Smashwords opts me in for new vendors without my consent or notifying me first. There are certain vendors I do not want to do business with. I understand Smashwords wants to grow its business, but it should respect my wishes as well and not send my books to places without my explicit permission.

I know many overseas readers buy from Smashwords because it’s easy and convenient. But I can no longer distribute my books to a place that routinely disregards my wishes (in addition to all the other issues). I try to accommodate overseas readers by making my books available on all 51 Apple iBooks Store, localized Amazon stores and putting them on All Romance eBooks and Google Play.

Thanks for your understanding!


Wanna Hang Out with Me?

Since Facebook is making it harder and harder for me to reach people who “like” my page, I’ve created a group for any readers who want to hang out with me and other like-minded readers and talk about my books (or any other fun stuff we want to talk about).

Of course for those of you who prefer to stick to the page, that’s fine too. I’ll post teaser excerpts and share my blog posts, etc. here too. The choice is totally yours.

If you’re interested, you can access the group here.


Why Simon & Schuster’s Archway Publishing Is Bad for Authors

Simon & SchusterI had to comment on the deal that Simon & Schuster Archway Publishing is offering to authors. No matter how S&S tries its best to package it as “self-publishing” it is a vanity publishing venture, designed specifically to make profit by taking money from authors, not selling books to readers.

I’ve created a handy cheat sheet / chart below for you. You can see that S&S’s Archway Publishing offers the worst of the both traditional publishing and self-publishing: You’ll pay for everything; you’ll have no control over anything; and you’ll have to split your profit with the publisher.

Do not sign up for it. There’s no reason to pay someone $2,000-$25,000 to format and upload your book on Kindle. (Since S&S plans to outsource everything for Archway Publishing, you won’t get the kind of editing and cover art that S&S’s traditional publishing program offers.)

Furthermore, you do not need to use service providers like S&S’s Archway publishing to get noticed by a traditional publisher if that is one of your goals. They are already watching Amazon’s Top 100 list. The self-published novelists who got snapped up by traditional publishers did not use vanity publishers.

Trad Pub Vanity Pub Self-Pub
Who pays for editing, cover, formatting, layout and all the other costs related to publication? Publisher You You
Who selects the team/people for editing, cover, formatting, layout and all the other activities related to publication? Publisher Publisher You
Who controls editing, cover, formatting, layout and all the other activities related to publication? Publisher Publisher You
Who controls your book’s price? Publisher Publisher You
Who gets paid by the retailers? Publisher Publisher You
Is the money from retailers split between the publisher and author? Yes Yes No

PSA: What You Must Do When You Hire a Web Designer

You must must must must must get all html, css & graphic files, etc. from your designer even if s/he uploads them to a server for you. This is especially important if you haven’t bought your own hosting service and therefore don’t have ftp access information, etc.

If you don’t do this AND your designer disappears on you and/or you don’t want to use her to make every little change (or god forbid, your designer is an a-hole who’s decided to hijack your site and hold it for ransom), you are totally screwed unless you’re tech savvy. 99.9% of people are probably doomed to go through the horrible time-consuming exercise of getting all their files back by using the “view source code” command on their browser. And they better hope that their designer didn’t code in PHP because PHP sourcecode is hidden if you access the file via a browser.

Remember: html, css, graphics files (jpg, gif, etc.) should be a part of the deliverables. You paid for them, so you’re entitled to them. Specify this clearly when you hire someone.

BTW — the list of designers I can now recommend has dwindled even more. In case you’re wondering, I wholly recommend Frauke from CrocoDesigns and Tara O’Shea from Fringe Element. I’ve worked with them both, and they’re excellent professionals. (Disclaimer: I’m not affiliated with them in any way.)


Public Service Announcement — How Not to Promote: Spam Disguised as “Newsletters”

I think newsletters are fantastic. I’ve started one myself, and I’m still giving away A Happily Ever After of Her Own, a paranormal romance novella, to anyone who subscribes to it.

But I’ve been getting some that are more like spam than true newsletters. Here’s how they manage to irritate me, and I don’t suppose I’m alone in being annoyed:

  1. I’ve never given explicit permission to be added to the list. Getting my email address from somewhere is not permission for you to spam me. Yes. SPAM. The word may sound harsh, but if you send unsolicited promotional email, it’s spam. (And no, somebody sending you a private email once or twice does not constitute permission.)
  2. I get a weekly email full of “buy this” or “buy that” that does not offer any value. Once a month is okay…maybe. Every week? No.
  3. I cannot unsubscribe. I know some who mass email using the BCC field — even, God forbid, the CC field. Do not do this. Buy a newsletter service or install a script on your server that manages mass mailing lists. If I haven’t given you explicit permission to add me to your list and if you send me email that I cannot unsubscribe from easily, I will report you to your ISP for abuse.

I know it’s tempting to get your name out there, but really, a little common sense and courtesy will go a long way. You really don’t want people associating your name with spam.