Books read in 2017

9.  Some Danger Involved, Will Thomas
8.  Thud!, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
7.  White Tiger, Kylie Chan
6.  The Hanging Tree, Ben Aaronovitch
5.  Trading in Danger, Elizabeth Moon (e)
4.  The Wolf in the Attic, Paul Kearney (e)
3.  The Cat Who Saw Red, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
2.  Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch: The Definitive Account of the Best Little Whorehouse, Jayme Lynn Blaschke (e)
1. Sand of Bone, Blair MacGregor (e)

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Writing from the month of the Staggering Behemoths

My thanks to everyone who put eyes on the Amazon situation.  Many noted that the links to Steve’s author page are missing/broken/go somewhere else — that will be my next Amazon-related project, whereupon I will once again ask for your assistance.  Thank you so very much being here, and being willing and able to assist us as we navigate the Silly Waters of Freelance.

This morning, lest I forget, there was a reprint contract in the mail.  Totally unexpected, but of course Delightful To Behold.

I am in the meantime, making a story from an outtake from Neogenesis.  The title is “Street Cred,” and it is destined for a new eChapbook, which I hope to have on-sale before we leave for MarsCon.  This morning, it weighs in at about 7,500 words, out of what I estimate to be about 10,000 words, finished.  With luck I can finish the draft this evening.

Today, Steve is wanted at the dentist, and I’ll do some errands in town while that work is being done.  Sunday is forecast to be sunny and warm; our goal at This Point in Time is to take a nice long drive on Sunday, partly in order to assuage cabin fever, and partly to see if I can do a nice long drive all in one go, in prep for driving to Albany, and getting on a train for Minneapolis.

Let’s see, what else?  Oh, our mailbox here at the house fell victim to Winter, the first time in many winters, so All Mail must presently be picked up at the post office in Waterville.  Today, I expect to pick up a sweatshirt, and a DVD, along with the usual handful of bills and sales flyers.  I’ve really been looking forward to the sweatshirt, and honestly didn’t expect the DVD to make it to us so quickly, which just goes to show that when you order something called “Arrival,” it’ll try to live up to its name.

. . .and I think that’s all I’ve got.

Everybody stay safe, and warm.

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In Which the Author Needs Eyes On, Please

For those who have been following the Case of the Disappearing Books, it seems that, what with One Thing and That Other One Over There, books — even books which are properly our books — have been re-accounted to my Amazon bibliography.

And it is now that I would ask those who have a few minutes to help me out.

It would be a Very Good Thing Indeed to have as many eyes as possible scrutinizing the catalog pages for our various titles to (1) be sure that the link to the Sharon Lee Author Page is, in fact, on that page, (2) that the link actually goes to the proper Sharon Lee Author Page, and! (3) that the Author Page displays Proper Lee-and-Miller, and Lee, titles.

If you find a catalog page that does not have the Author Page link, would you leave a link to that page in comments, please.

Thank you very much for all you do.

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Amazon Sharon Lee Author Page Error Take Three

Hello Sharon,

Thanks for contacting Author Central.

I've reviewed your request and I can now confirm that the customer reviews are showing up in your Author Central account.

I've made some changes as well internally because as you stated they were German books under your account, those books are removed and they will not be added again.

Regarding the books with Steve Miller, I apologize to see that they are not showing up on your account, I would recommend you to add them once again or you can provide us with the ISBN or ASIN number of those books and we will add them for you.

I hope this helps! We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Best regards,
Sofia H.
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On-going saga Amazon Author Page Error

In my inbox this morning from Amazon was this:

Hello Sharon,

I'm sorry to hear that Sales data, your books and customer reviews are missing.

I checked and I see that the below listed books are appearing on your Author Page.

Carousel Tides (Carousel Tides Series Book 1)
Carousel Sun (Carousel Tides Series Book 2)
Carousel Seas (Carousel Tides Series Book 3)
BIZARR (German Edition)
Fleisch Und Blut (German Edition)
DRANGSALIERT (German Edition)

If you find any book which is missing from your Author Page or if a wrong book is appearing on your Author Page, please let us know so that we can take appropriate action.

About the Sales data and Customer Reviews:

I was able to see the Sales data in your Author Central account and Customer Reviews on your books.

If you still not able to see the Sales data and customer reviews of your books, please write to us with the Title of the book and screenshot of the page so that we can assist you.

You can upload the screenshot image at (http://prntscr.com/) and write back to us with the page URL.

Please write to us by visiting the following Contact us link:

https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/help/contact-us

We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Best regards,
Swapna K.
........................................................................................................................

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To which my reply is:

Dear Swapna K.

I’m afraid this is all a little more difficult than either of us would like it to be.

First of all, I have no idea what kind of screen shot you want me to send you.

As to what we have before us now:

Last night, after throwing things at the wall for quite some time, I went back into my Amazon Author Central Account and added in three titles:  Carousel Tides, Carousel Sun, Carousel Seas, just to see if I could, basically.  I’m very pleased that they are now listed in my account, and that the link to my author page now appears on the catalog page for those three titles.

I can see the sales data for those three legitimate titles, I still cannot see the customer reviews.  Carousel Tides has 56 reviews, dating back to November 2010.  Carousel Sun has 49 reviews, starting in February 2014; Carousel Seas has 49 reviews, starting in February 2015.

Furthermore.

I am the author, with Steve Miller, of twenty-seven additional titles, going back decades, which have all been wiped out of my Author Central Account — I see no reviews and no sales data for ANY of those titles — and none of the catalog pages for those titles are linked to my Amazon Sharon Lee Page.

In addition to that — the three German books that haunt my published book page do not belong to me, I don’t know why they’re there, and I would very much like them to be gone. Forever, if at all possible.

This is not the first time this has happened to my Author Central Account, and to the best of my knowledge, it is not because I Did Something.

Please fix this problem

Thank you.

Sharon Lee

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Sharon Lee Amazon Author Page Error

Eventually, I think, this will show up on my vastly changed and wholly false Amazon Author Page, and is the best way I can think of to inform people who may actually depend upon that page for information.

Sometime in the last few days, Amazon appears to have deleted the Sharon Lee Amazon Author Page.  The link to that page which used to be appear at the bottom of the catalog pages for all of our books has vanished.  The author page itself now only shows three titles — none of them written by me and/or Steve and I, all of them in German.

Also, in what appears to be a continuation of the same problem, the information that should be available to me as an author on Amazon’s Author Central — such as sales figures, reviews, rankings, titles of books — have also vanished.

I do not know what happened, and I don’t expect it to be fixed, really, but at least now the three people beside myself who might care about this know what happened, if not why.

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Talking about the Black Dog

Today, I’m going to be talking about depression. Which counts as fair warning: Those who have no interest in this topic may wish to move on, now.

Long-time readers of this blog will recall that I do indeed “have” depression.  I also “have” hypothyroidism, another chronic illness.  I’m lucky in that these are the sum of my health afflictions, given All, and in balance neither really gives me. . .much problem.

Except, yanno, when they do.

The most recent depressive incident. . .which started to cloud in sometime, oh, around mid-2015. . . It wasn’t too bad at first — this is a chronic illness, which I’ve had for my entire life.  After you’ve lived with something for upwards of half-a-century, you develop coping strategies and rating systems, among other tools for getting through the day.

Anyway, the clouds started forming in mid-2015.  I did those things I knew to do — made sure I was getting enough (but not too much) sleep, and exercise, and interacting with people in Real Life, persisting at doing things that would normally give me pleasure. . .and, as sometimes happens, nothing much worked.  The clouds got blacker, and thicker.  I got duller, and forgetful, and even more inarticulate than usual.

Everything hurt, by which I mean it hurt to think, it hurt to have to cope with anything; personal interactions felt like a series of paper cuts — not stab wounds, because frankly I couldn’t work up enough energy to feel stabbed.  Life was a burden, and thinking was exhausting.

I drew hard on the cats, but even such cats as ours can only do so much, and belatedly I realized that white-knuckles, and waiting it out wasn’t getting me anything but duller, darker, and more exhausted.  My writing was suffering, and everything else, too.  So, I went to the doctor, reviewed the situation, and received a prescription for antidepressants.

I don’t like to take antidepressants, personally, so the ‘script was low-dose, just enough to take the edge of the pain, and make it possible to write, and more or less get through the day.

Things were still dreadful, naturally — the Black Dog had not left the room, he was just curled up on the rug, watching. Everything was still too hard, there was no joy, no humor, every one of my accomplishments was a failure in my mind.

And, all that changed, about a month ago.

No, it wasn’t the drugs; the drugs were only to help me continue coping.  And it wasn’t an Awesome Change in my General Situation.  Mark this, now, because it is key — nothing had changed.

Except that the Black Dog had left the building, and I was no longer depressed.

My accomplishments were once again victories; the fact that I’m old is a victory, because I really never expected to make it out of my thirties; I’m married to my best friend; I have energy; my vocabulary has leveled up; I can say what I mean to say — and I want to say it.

Like flipping on a light — trite, but true.

Since the last dark episode was so very long, I’m hoping to be Black Dog-free for quite some time.  I do so much enjoy being able to think clearly, and not have to fight for every concept — I can’t even tell you.  I enjoy being able to have ideas for stories*.  I enjoy — well.  Everything.

So, that’s all; no life-changing insights here.  Except that it always does amaze me — the change from dark to light, when it happens.  And the worst thing that depression does, among a dark legion of bad things — is withhold the hope of light.

________
*The moment I knew I had to do something other than Just Wait It Out was the moment when Steve and I were, supposedly, brainstorming a story, and I looked at him, said, “I don’t know, and I don’t care!” — and burst into tears.

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Saturday morning book talk

ONE

For those who missed the earlier announcement:  The eArc of The Gathering Edge, the twentieth novel set in the Liaden Universe® created by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, is now available from Baen.

EArcs are only available from Baen; they are a specialty item that arose from the Baen Barfly community many years ago. EArcs contain errors in sentence structure, spelling, grammar. However, in our case at least, The Story is the exact same story that will be finally published in hardcover and in ebook.  EArcs cost more than the regular ebook edition because you are getting The Story approximately three months’ ahead of final publication.

Belle and Sprite have entered the Betting Pool again for this release.  Details of the wager are included in this blog post.

TWO

For those who have downloaded the eArc of The Gathering Edge, read it, and now want to Talk About It, there is a spoiler discussion here.

THREE

Yes, the Uncle, aka Mr. Blyly at Uncle Hugo’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Bookstore, will once again be offering signed and/or personalized copies of the new hardcover.  We’ll let you know when the pre-order page for The Gathering Edge goes live.  In the meantime, there are still some signed copies of previously-published Lee and Miller titles here.

FOUR

Neogenesis, formerly Fourth of Five, has been turned in to Baen. Yes, Theo does make an appearance in this book.  It is not, however, a “Theo book.”  Neogenesis is currently scheduled for hardcover/ebook publication in January 2018.

FIVE

Fifth of Five, which doesn’t yet have a Public Title, is due at Baen on January 15, 2018.

SIX

We have five books scheduled for delivery after Fifth, so we continue to run the Red Queen’s Race here at the Cat Farm and Confusion Factory.  This is, as you know, All Your Fault — yes, you over there, it’s your fault, too!  — and we thank you very much for your continued support.

The books come in two contractual packages, to wit: the Masks (2 books); and the Triple Threat (3 books).  They will be set in the Liaden Universe®; beyond that — no, we don’t know, and it’s no sense asking.  It really doesn’t do much good to  talk about deadline dates this far out, but we’re looking at having work into the next decade.

SEVEN

Here, have a picture of Belle on my printer:

 

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Books read in 2017

8.  Thud!, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
7.  White Tiger, Kylie Chan
6.  The Hanging Tree, Ben Aaronovitch
5.  Trading in Danger, Elizabeth Moon (e)
4.  The Wolf in the Attic, Paul Kearney (e)
3.  The Cat Who Saw Red, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
2.  Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch: The Definitive Account of the Best Little Whorehouse, Jayme Lynn Blaschke (e)
1. Sand of Bone, Blair MacGregor (e)

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