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Just Another Manic Week

Friday, February 5, 2016
Just Another Manic Week, random musings, On My Kindle

It has been a crazy week for me: our internet went down over the weekend, Kyle is working third shift for the next couple of weeks, I am reading and writing like a madwoman while trying to adjust to a new schedule, I went to see my doctor who told me that my thyroid medication is being adjusted (again), and I have been getting quite a few emails from new authors who want me to review their books.

I would normally write about this sort of thing on my lifestyle blog; however, I shut down my lifestyle blog in order to focus on this one. I like to maintain a professional persona on this blog, but sometimes a person just needs to write.

Internet Outage

Kyle and I have been struggling with the intermittent internet outages for over a year now. One might argue that this is to be expected when the internet is paid for by the property manager; however, we pay around $50 more in rent each month than renters who have chosen similar properties that do not provide internet service. Just because internet is included in the rent does not mean that we are not paying for it.

Linksys, E2500, router, On My Kindle

The internet service provider recently upgraded the internet, so we bought what we thought was a quality Linksys router; I guess we were wrong. We have continued to have some problems, quite a few were caused by mistakes that the service person made; however, these were corrected and the ISP suggested that we needed to get a new router a few measly months after purchasing this "quality" Linksys router. Hopefully this resolves the internet router issue; if it does not, then the ISP will have some explaining to do. Only time will tell.

Schedule Change (Again!)

Last month, Kyle moved from first shift to second shift; a move that I am quite happy with as I am not a "crack of dawn" person. My most productive hours are between 1 p.m. to 8 p.m., so having Kyle come home from work during my hours of peak productivity was a bit difficult to deal with. 

I found out on Monday that Kyle was asked to temporarily move to third shift to take on a leadership/trainer role in an area of the production floor that is staffed by mostly new people. Since Kyle is wanting to move from the quality department to a leadership role in production, I am glad that he was given this opportunity. I am not so happy about him working from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m., but it is only temporary. I have been working diligently to keep the reviews coming while staying one or two reviews ahead of my normal posting times in case of unexpected interruptions, such as life.

Thyroid Appointment

Last week I had thyroid labs run and I had an appointment with the doctor to discuss the results. While my thyroid labs were within range, they are running a bit on the high side. My doctor and I are having a hard time keeping my thyroid hormones level, so she suggested that part of the issue might be the fact that I am taking the $4/month generic version of Synthroid and asked if I would be willing to try the name brand version.

Synthroid, thyroid, levothyroxine sodium, On My Kindle

Kyle jumped on this right away; despite the cost, around $36 for one month. I have had hypothyroidism since I was treated for hyperthyroidism caused by Graves' disease 10 years ago. I am a bit skeptical that switching back to Synthroid will work; however, I am tired of gaining weight for no particular reason and feeling lethargic all the time. I am really hoping that the Synthroid works.

Emails from New Authors

Since February has arrived, my email has been lit up by new authors who want me to review their books. This is a good thing and I really wish that I had time to fill their requests in a timely manner. However, some authors are quite insistent (read: "pushy, bordering on "bullying") that I review their books. These past few weeks have been rough on me; I have had to remind myself that these authors are very passionate about their work, they do not mean to be perceived as aggressive or annoying, and that I need to take a few deep breaths before responding to them.

Thoughts on a Book I Received

Books, Kindle, On My KindleSince several authors were kind enough to attach their books to the "insistent" emails, I decided to scan one of them that caught my eye quickly. It was a short and sweet book providing other indie authors with advice on how to find book reviewers. 

Most of the advice in the book was sound, but I found a couple of points that the author made troubling. 

For instance, the author advised others to not complete forms on reviewers' websites and to just email reviewers directly. In my opinion, this is not a good idea because the forms are there for a reason.

In my case, I use my Book Review Request form to:
  • Help keep track of incoming books 
  • Keep due dates straight
  • Gather website and social media information
  • Find out which sites authors need me to post reviews on
  • Learn a bit more about the book before I accept the request
Quite frankly, I would prefer to devote my time to reading books and writing reviews, rather than spending hours trying to hunt down this information for myself.

For new authors, using the form ensures that I receive the request. There have been several instances in which my Gmail account marked emails from new authors as "spam," or "promotional;" both of which get deleted after a brief glance. 

The second piece of advice that I did not agree with is offering the book for free on Amazon while recruiting reviewers so that their reviews will be "Verified Purchase" reviews. It seems like sound advice, but it may not be the best idea for an internet savvy generation who shop online and read reviews.

Let us examine the integrity of the "Verified Purchaser" program: Amazon has cracked down on fake reviewers who are paid to purchase the book and post 4- or 5-star review; however, they still exist. These "Verified Purchasers" submit inaccurate one- or two-line reviews, making it difficult to determine the credibility of the reviews.

Internet savvy readers, myself included, know this is happening and we expect credible reviews to tell us the reasoning behind the star rating; regardless of whether or not the person reviewing the book is a "Verified Purchaser."

It is an age-old problem of "quality versus quantity," and authors should consider whether their target market is making a decision based solely on star-ratings, or if they are making a decision based on star-ratings and reviews.

On My Kindle, logo,

P.S.

On an entirely different note, I created a new logo for On My Kindle, moved the social media icons to the top left of the header, and added a few more categories to the navbar. My intent was to create a dropdown menu, but I had to throw in the towel after spending a few hours trying to make it work.

Let me know what you think of the changes.

How was your week? Have you been reading, writing, or a combination of both? Hit me up in the comments or on social media.

 
Have a wonderful weekend!

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