Friday, 17 August 2012

LendInk: When Authors Go To War

Anyone who has read Cormac McCarthy's stunning novel 'The Road' can surely be left in no doubt of the horror and futility of the ultimate conflict in which human beings can engage. The poignant relationship between a dying father and his post-apocalyptic-born son is deeply moving and disturbing on many levels.

While 'The Road' depicts the consequences of man's final folly in graphic detail it also offers hope that the human spirit can overcome even the most grievous self-inflicted wounds.

Throughout the ages man has engaged in warfare against his fellow man. Some of history's most bloody conflicts have inspired works of literary genius. Homer's Illiad, Shakespeare's Richard III, Tolystoy's War And Peace and Margaret Mitchell's Gone With The Wind are shining examples of how great writers have found inspiration in this most primal human behaviour. War is a genre in its own right and tragically contemporary authors are spoilt for choice when considering a conflict upon which to shape their story.

Last week I unleashed the first stage of Genre Wars which pitted Vampires against Zombies. It is of course a phony war. The idea behind Genre Wars is to arouse interest in the work of indie-authors within specific genres. It is obviously a marketing exercise designed to create an interest and buzz using the new social media network Google+. I really love the way Google+ allows you to organise and promote Events like Genre Wars. At the risk of becoming a bore, any writers worse fear, I would urge you to get involved in Google+ sooner rather than later. Create Google+ Pages and build a presence and a platform. You will be rewarded in the not too distant future as Google+ is steadily building a user base to rival the mighty Facebook.

Genre Wars has been created to promote the website I am currently building. I see it as a natural extension of this blog's primary purpose to support and promote Indie-Authors like myself. Ironically as I was in the process of launching Genre Wars a real war was breaking out among authors. The focus appeared to be the destruction of a site called LendInk. I must confess to having no prior knowledge of LendInk and was unaware that a war was raging around its existence. It was a Twitter post that alerted me to the conflict. You can read the post at Indie Authors. The post was entitled "Congratulations: You Killed LendInk And Denied Your Fellow Authors Their Lend Royalties." I think that should leave you in no doubt as to which side of this particular war the author of the post stood.

It appears the argument rages around whether LendInks' lending of books was done with or without the permission of the author concerned as per Amazon's KDP Select program. One side apparently believes, "Yay, us!! We beat the evil ebook pirates!!" while the author of the blog is firmly of the conviction that what they really did was, "Yay, us!! We killed a small business that was making readers happy and making authors money!! And we did it without any actual evidence of wrongdoing, just hearsay and angry threats!! This is a victory for those who wish to cut off noses to spite faces everywhere!!" Opinions are obviously divided and heated and it would appear a battle may have been lost but the war continues.

Like most writers I prefer to write about conflict from a safe distance encompassing Time and Space, preferably both, not become embroiled in one. Cowardly but at least I'm honest! Contributing factors to many wars usually include misunderstanding or misinterpretation of the other sides position. This appears to be the case in the unfortunate LendInk controversy. As I set about establishing I want to make my position clear from the outset and not at some point in the future find myself expending precious energy defending my position against enraged authors. So, here is my statement of intent.

Currently I only feature mutual Twitter Followers on my blog.
Authors happy to be featured will also be listed on
If they are Kindle authors their books will be featured using the Product Link in my Amazon Associates Affiliate Program.
That is the only monetary compensation I will receive for establishing, maintaining and updating
Hopefully the authors I feature will link to my books on their blogs etc if they fall within their genre, but this is NOT a prerequisite for inclusion.
I have also set up a network of Google+ pages to create interest and help drive targeted traffic to
The idea behind is to bring authors within one genre together to create a buzz and attract targeted readers.

Having dipped my toes in numerous author-related groups and forums I discovered cynical and territorial creatures often lurk within their murky depths. Anyone offering to support others for no apparent financial reward can be regarded with suspicion that may manifest itself in unpleasant verbal assaults. The Welsh valley communities from which I hail have a history of deprivation and struggle. Such circumstances tend to knit people together. The open door signified an attitude to ones neighbour that was inclusive, welcoming and supportive. It is that principle that motivates my support for independent authors.

I'll get down of my soap box now because. . .

But first Vampires v Zombies the latest score:
Vampires 9 Zombies 3

A warm welcome to Mark Bouton.

Mark is one of those people who make you think, "What have I been doing with my life?"

Mark Bouton earned degrees in sociology and law, then entered the FBI as an agent. He investigated both terrorism and criminal cases, and he arrested kidnappers, killers, bank robbers, con men, and embezzlers. He worked many high profile cases in Alabama, New York, Chicago, Puerto Rico, Texas, and Kansas, including playing a key role in identifying the Oklahoma City bombers. He writes novels, with his fifth one, an FBI thriller titled The Sacrifice, just published by Oak Tree Press. He also wrote a non-fiction book entitled How to Spot Lies Like the FBI. He belongs to several writers' groups, and he gives talks and presentations on writing and how to spot lies. He's married, with four sons, and he enjoys reading, writing, exercising, and playing electric guitar. He lives on a small horse ranch in Kansas.

Here are Mark's books:
 Review of The Sacrifice

Mark Bouton delivers with "The Sacrifice". Strong characterizations, solid plotline, and a couple of very deft twists and turns along the way. The process of the investigation reads exactly as one would expect from a 30-year veteran of the FBI. Great detail, solid presentation. This author knows his business. And,his protagonist, Jack Ransom became real to me as I read this excellent novel. Good job, Mark. Keep 'em coming!
Given Mark's background his books reflect a gritty reality as well as being cracking reads.
Every success for the future Mark.

Every now and again I come across a web site that stops me dead in my tracks.
Welcome Maria Hammarblad.

A screen shot would not do it justice. Go visit it HERE
Maria certainly cannot be criticized for not promoting her books.
Maria's blog can be found HERE 

KIDNAPPED: It's a late winter night when Patricia Risden heads home in her car, on a road she's driven many times before. She doesn't have a care in the world, that is, until a man appears from nowhere, right in front of her.

The next thing she knows is being a prisoner of the unscrupulous Alliance Commander Travis 152; an intimidating man who demands information and complete cooperation. Travis soon realizes his mistake; Tricia doesn't know anything, and she is incapable of even getting a glass of water from the ship's computer.

Infamous for being a ruthless executioner, conditioned since childhood to feel nothing besides fear and pain, he still deems her harmless, and finds enough pity for the lost young woman to let her out of the cell; a decision that will change both their lives forever.

More books by Maria.

Here is Maria's video trailer for Kidnapped:

NEXT WEEK: A New Chapter In GENRE WARS Is About To Begin

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