On Amazon Kindle Unlimited, and a Question of Backup

In today’s Journal

* Bestselling Authors Opine on Amazon Kindle Unlimited
* Speaking of Vin Zandri and Productivity
* A Question of Backup
* Of Interest
* The Numbers

Bestselling Authors Opine on Amazon Kindle Unlimited

Bestselling Thriller Author Vincent Zandri

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author and indie publisher Vin Zandri left this comment on the Substack version of yesterday’s post on Kindle Unlimited:

“I’ve been doing the pub first in KU for three months just to get on the hot new release and bestseller lists and to take advantage of the free days and the KU Deals.

“On occasion I’ll run the book for 6 months before going wide. I don’t bother with submitting to whatever paying mags are left since it takes too much time and effort, and in most cases I make more in KU than what a paying Mag will offer.

“Dean has a very good ‘in’ with several Mag editors so it’s a little easier on his end, God bless him. But if you haven’t been submitting to the magazine circuit for years it’s not easy breaking in. But not impossible. Personally I believe you’re better off in KU for three months and then running promos.”

Thanks, Vin. I was hoping you would comment.

Bestselling Romance Author Diane Darcy

On the website version of the same post, USA Today bestselling romance author Diane Darcy also wrote in support of Kindle Unlimited:

“Just an FYI, Amazon is really good about releasing you from the three month period whenever you want. You just have to email or call them and ask.”

And she added a note in support of using ChatGPT to revise blurbs:

“Also, ChatGPT is awesome for running your finished blurbs through. I’ve been really happy with the results. I also know a lot of authors who have taken their entire catalogs and run their blurbs back through ChatGPT. It just really seems to shine at rewriting blurbs.”

My response to Diane: “As for blurbs (sales copy) I’ll stick with my old standby, Dean’s book. I’d rather do it myself than allow any machine input beyond a contextual spell check. But then, I’m roughly 140 years old.”

So more power to those who want to include AI in their authorship or marketing.

Please take a moment to visit Vin’s and Diane’s websites at the links (their names) above.

Speaking of Vin Zandri and Productivity

Most of you know from January 1 to July 31 of 2021 (so two years ago) I was on a roll. I wrote 14 novels during that time, so a novel every 14 days.

Then I stopped smoking cigars, screwed up my neural pathways, and I’m still trying to claw my way back to productivity.

My friend Vin Zandri posted this yesterday: “15 Books in 2023 Thus Far.” You can read the intro and watch the video at https://www.youtube[dot]com/live/K1WIj0r_pYE. And you should, really.

I’m sure Vin would be the first to agree that if he can do it and if I can do it, so can you. You just have to trust yourself, put your butt in the chair and your fingers on the keyboard, and write. Quality? Oh, yes. And if you trust yourself, the quality will be there. It’s a zen thing.

A Question of Backup

Writer Gary V asks, “If you’re writing along merrily and there’s a power failure or surge or, God forbid, your computer throws ace-deuce, what do you have for backup? Thumb drive? Carbonite? Cloud? Word’s Auto-save?”

I write with Microsoft Word 365. (I’m currently also testing the free version of WPS Office, including WPS word. I check it every couple of years.) So yes, I definitely use Word’s auto-save feature and it’s saved me more than once. I have mine set to save every five minutes.

Those few times when I choose to go back and change something I’ve written, I also rename the file by clicking Save As and adding a numeral to the end of the file name. That way I still have both the original and the changed file. Fortunately that doesn’t happen very often, but critical mind still sneaks in at times. That too has saved me several times.

Dropbox is my go-to. I have the Internet on my writing computer specifically so I can have Dropbox on it. I have Dropbox on all my computers, and all of my files are saved in my Dropbox folder.

On my writing ‘puter, I see only the files I need for that computer. The others are available at Dropbox.com. The files I see locally on my business computer are different than those I see on my writing ‘puter.

All of that said, Dropbox costs a hefty annual fee. I’m going to investigate OneDrive, the cloud storage feature that comes free with any Microsoft account. (I’ll also be looking to see whether a similar feature comes with WPS Office).

If it is large enough to hold all my files—and if it gives me the convenience of a per-computer local file system—I might save myself some money and switch to it.

A thumb drive (or flash drive) is always a good alternative for a backup if you can get in the habit of saving your work to it at the end of every day, you don’t lose it, etc. Well, and if you aren’t too lazy to go through the mechanics of keeping track of it, inserting and saving to it, etc. every day. Which I am.

Talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

See “11 Years Plus” at https://deanwesleysmith.com/11-years-plus/.

See “What Are Plot Devices? (Why You Should Be Cautious)” at https://www.thepassivevoice.com/what-are-plot-devices-why-you-should-be-cautious/. Onemore thing we who WITD do not have to worry about.

The Numbers

The Journal……………………………… 940

Writing of Blackwell Ops 9: Cameron Stance (novel)
Brought forward………………………… 4087

Day 1…… 1595 words. To date…… 5682
Day 2…… 2101 words. To date…… 7783
Day 3…… 2573 words. To date…… 10356
Day 4…… 1588 words. To date…… 11944

Writing of Rose Padilla (WCG10SF5)

Day 1…… 4283 words. To date…… 4283
Day 2…… 3963 words. To date…… 8246
Day 3…… 1463 words. To date…… 9709
Day 4…… 2445 words. To date……12154

Fiction for August……………………… 18460
Fiction for 2023………………………… 133007
Fiction since August 1………………… 18460
Nonfiction for August…………………… 12570
Nonfiction for the year……………… 162470
Annual consumable words………… 295477

2023 Novels to Date……………………… 2
2023 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
2023 Short Stories to Date……………… 4
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………… 73
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)…………… 9
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)… 221
Short story collections…………………… 31

Disclaimer: I am a prolific professional fiction writer. On this blog I teach Writing Into the Dark and adherence to Heinlein’s Rules. Following the myths of writing will slow your progress as a writer or stop you cold. I will never teach the myths on this blog.

6 thoughts on “On Amazon Kindle Unlimited, and a Question of Backup”

  1. To save myself the hassle of keeping up with/plugging in/unplugging a thumbdrive/flashdrive to back up my critical files, I use a 1 TB, 1000 MB/s external SSD that I keep more-or-less permanently connected to a USB port on the back of my computer. I paid $120 for it on Amazon a couple of years ago, but since then the price has dropped to only $70. https://www.amazon.com/ADATA-SE800-IP68-Rugged-ASE800-1TU32G2-CBK/dp/B07V1H939C/ref=sr_1_3?crid=3DHQF8CA5E7C&keywords=adata%2Bse800&qid=1692110316&sprefix=ADATA%2B%2Caps%2C123&sr=8-3&th=1

    • Excellent point, Russ, and an excellent alternative. We also have a portable external SSD. My wife uses it more than I do.

  2. I just write in Google Docs. So they backup by itself. The only stuff it needs you to go online for sync.
    Also there’re some alternative services like Zoho Docs or Yandex Docs.

    • Yes, but unless I’m missing something, all of that is online (in the cloud), and if the “cloud” goes down and you don’t have your writing backed up anywhere else (thumb drive, your local computer, etc.) you will lose everything.

      • “Cloud” is just a multiple data stores with backups on them. If a node goes down, cloud just uses the next one. So “cloud” is safer then a hard drive.
        Google Docs uses Google Drive as storage, that is just another Dropbox but from Google. So it’s possible to have local directory synchronised with cloud server.

        • Yes, I know. I can’t agree that cloud storage is “safer than a hard drive” though. Or more secure either. But as I keep saying, to each his or her own.

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