In today’s Journal
* A Look at Inara
* Of Interest
Welcome to Lisa B and any other new subscribers we’ve picked up recently. I hope you find some helpful things in the Journal.
A Look at Inara
On yesterday’s post, Journal reader Lakshmi commented “I’d love to hear your take on https://inara.world/.”
Okay, first and foremost, don’t depend on me. Always read the privacy notice and any terms and conditions before directly engaging with any new online endeavor. And don’t judge them based on what you think they must mean by the words they put on the page. Go specifically by the words on the page. Those are what will matter if you end up in court.
Anyway, Lakshmi’s comment was the first time I’d heard of Inara, which bills itself as “The first pay-per-page eBook platform.” I’ll leave it to others to determine whether it’s actually “the first” (um, Amazon). Maybe they mean they’re the first to offer texts ONLY on a per-page basis.
After a quick look, I suspect they’re probably legitimate, though frankly their requirements for content are considerably tight and, to me, off-putting. More on that later.
0. Don’t bother trying to read their “Privacy Notice.” It provides several definitions, then says they collect data that users send them (duh). Below that is a table of contents that, no matter where you click, leads back to “What information do we collect?” The tech guy has some work to do. This is less than professionaly, but it didn’t put me off the site completely.
1. According to their Author FAQs, to the question, “Does Inara require exclusivity?” their response is, “No, Inara wants every author to have the fullest experience possible with Inara to engage readers and earn revenue and for readers to discover the books they want to read.”
So in answer to the question about exclusivity, their initial response is “No.” The way the rest of the response is worded leaves me wondering though.
If any of you choose to list your work with Inara, I suggest first you ask them specifically whether you may list your work with Amazon, Apple, Draft2Digital, etc. simultaneously when you list it with Inara. If their answer is not a resounding Yes, I wouldn’t do business with them.
For this next part, visit https://inara.world/terms-and-policy/ (last updated January 26, 2022), then click the Terms and Conditions tab and scroll down.
2. I’m a little bothered by the requirements listed in section “9. User Generated Contributions.” I’ll let you read those in full for yourself For some reason they don’t allow me to copy/paste anything from that page.
The problem is, I write fiction that features strong male and female characters in often tense situations in SF, western, action-adventure, thriller, and mystery genre. Anything I might choose to upload to Inara would undoubtedly fall into one or more of their banned categories.
For example, there’s a very good chance, especially in today’s hyper-sensitive, appearances-are-everything America, that my characters will say or do something that’s “inaccurate,” and they will do so specifically to “mislead” other characters or even (gasp!) the reader.
There’s also a very good chance that some of my characters might sometimes engage in “obscene, … violent, harassing, … or otherwise objectionable” behavior and/or utterances “as determined by” the good folks who run Inara. (Maybe the list of problem areas would be shorter if they told us what they DO allow.)
Furthermore, given the nature of my fiction, the characters and situations in anything I could upload to Inara might well “ridicule, mock, disparage, intimidate, or abuse” other characters and maybe even the readers. Who knows?
3. All of the above said, according to the third paragraph under “10. Contribution License,” at least Inara claims no ownership to contributors’ work. So that’s some good news.
4. For anyone who’s wondering, according to “18. Governing Law,” Inara apparently is physically located in Arizona.
5. I was more than a little bothered that I was not able to highlight, copy and paste any part of their Terms and Conditions into this post. Still, everything’s there to be read and understood, and if one ever had to go to court against them I suppose one could capture a screenshot.
Given Inara’s apparent misgivings about fiction, I personally will hold off submitting or contributing anything to them for now. If any of you learn anymore about them—facts only please, not your opinions of what you think they probably mean—please either email me or leave a comment and I’ll pass it along to everyone else.
Likewise, if any of you already have dealings with them, please pass that along too.
UPDATE: Upon returning to Inara to look it over more closely, on the Getting Started: Authors page, I found this: “Note: you will need a smartphone to set up your Dropp account and Digital Wallet.” So I more than likely won’t be using Inara personally.
I realize I’m a dinosaur, but if I can’t access my Drop account and Digital Wallet through my PC, I’m just not interested.
Talk with you again soon.
See “Creative Spaces” at https://killzoneblog.com/2022/09/creative-spaces.html.
The Journal…………………………………… 780 words
Writing of The Jury (novel, tentative title)
Day 1…… 2488 words. Total words to date…… 2488
Day 2…… 0789 words. Total words to date…… 3277
Total fiction words for September……… 3277
Total fiction words for the year………… 69708
Total nonfiction words for September… 5430
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 133660
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 203368
Calendar Year 2022 Novels to Date…………………… 1
Calendar Year 2021 Novellas to Date……………… 0
Calendar Year 2021 Short Stories to Date… 0
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 67
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 217
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31
Disclaimer: Along with discussing various aspects of the writing craft, I advocate a technique called Writing Into the Dark. WITD is “the only way” to write, but it is by far the easiest, most liberating, and most fun.