Saturday, June 30, 2012

5 Star Review on Waiting For You

Of course I'm more than pleased.  I'm thrilled when someone reads this book and gets it.
It's not a romance novel, it's a love story and somehow that confuses readers.  I don't know what category that makes it.  When you get out of genre literature, some people feel they're in dangerous, uncharted territory instead of feeling like they're on an exciting new adventure.

An exquisitely told story June 29, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Waiting For You is an exquisitely told story. The cast of characters are so believable they leap off the page, and the love scenes are tender and evocative. Your only regret will be that it isn't you in the arms of the hero...he's that yummy. This is the best love story I've read since...forever.


I guess I'd be silly not to provide a link Waiting For You

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Waiting Through a Summer Morning

Nikon D7k with 40 mm micro

I thought Kobo was supposed to be open by now.
That's a random thought of the day.
Sony finally removed Summer Horse from their site so I asked Kindle support if now I might please raise the price.  They don't get the nuance of anything.  Still miles better than BN.

Two years is a long time in a human life, it's not long in the history of the planet.  So should these companies be better organized by now or should we cut them slack when they can't understand email, respond to email or ever finish the tasks they were researching?  Should they have tech support for indie publishers or should they just throw people to a forum where you can as easily hear that the Mayan Calendar says we have 6 months left, that Kennedy was killed by the Vatican or that it doesn't matter what font you use as actual valid information?  What exactly are their job specs?


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Barnes & Noble and TOC

I wrote to pubit support and apparently they didn't understand the issue.  They preferred to blame it on my denseness rather some difficulty with their system.  I felt very much as if self-publishers are working on their own at BN.

And I also got a little canned lecture on reviews, as if I'm somehow wrong for objecting to a person writing a multiple part short story about cats in the review section of Dream Horse.

So here's my advice.  Until Barnes & Noble starts asking for a Table of Contents, don't bother.
There is something about the code in Word their system can't handle.  If it works with Scrivener or something else, and you don't experience any issues--great.  For the rest of us--ungreat.

Amazon has suggested it's wise to include a TOC so all your documents headed for Kindle should include a TOC from now on.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Nothing Serious Sent To Montlake

I finally got all the information required and sent the file this morning.  My suspicion is that the answer will be no.
Probably because I'm conditioned to getting rejected from publishers by now!  The book is shorter than what they're asking for elsewhere.  OTOH they just got 3000 books essentially that length so it's impossible to know if they feel there's a difference between Avalon writers and people off the street.

I happened to catch a Little House On The Prairie that was on this morning.  I don't know how old Laura was in this but she looked like about 12.  Almanzo Wilder was running the feed store and he was kind to her but thought of her as a child.  She had already fallen in love with him.

Excuse me, what?  I read these books multiple times.  I don't remember anything like that.  I don't remember Laura ever mentioning Almanzo before The Long Winter.  (Not Farm Boy, that's an anomaly, it's not in her timeline.)  When did Laura meet Almanzo?  I remember when she first became a teacher and lived with those horrible people where she cooked potatoes and Manzo would take the cutter out to collect her for the weekends,
I didn't get the feeling she thought he was doing anything more than a favor for Pa.

Here's also what I've come to believe.  As adorable as Laura Ingalls Wilder is, and how precious, and how really interesting her life was as a portrayal of pioneering life, I think they were essentially written by her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane.  Rose was a journalist and a writer.  Laura wasn't, not particularly, although she did articles for the local paper on farm life.  I think Laura told Rose what happened and Rose ghostwrote it, with input and oversight, of course. This doesn't take away anything from the books.

What takes away from the story is the stupidity and political correctness of Hollywood forcing feminism into a story when it was probably 30 years before it was on anyone's radar, if not nearly an entire century.  It demeans the real people to have a child fighting in the mud over a man.  No, I didn't like that at all, and it's no wonder I didn't watch that dumb show.

You can download Rose Wilder Lane's book Discovery of Freedom: A Man's Struggle Against Authority at
Discovery of Freedom

From Wikipedia

A staunch opponent of communism after experiencing it first hand in the Soviet Union during her Red Cross travels, Lane wrote the seminal The Discovery of Freedom (1943), and tirelessly promoted and wrote about individual freedom, and its impact on humanity. The same year also saw the publication of Paterson's The God of the Machine and Ayn Rand's novel The Fountainhead, and the three women have been referred to as the founding mothers of the American libertarian movement with the publication of these works.[6]
Writer Albert Jay Nock wrote that Lane's and Paterson's nonfiction works were "the only intelligible books on the philosophy of individualism that have been written in America this century." The two women had "shown the male world of this period how to think fundamentally ... They don't fumble and fiddle around--every shot goes straight to the centre." Journalist John Chamberlain credits Rand, Paterson and Lane with his final "conversion" from socialism to what he called "an older American philosophy" of libertarian and conservative ideas.[7]


Monday, June 25, 2012

Recalibrated My 85 mm lens

I don't use it very often anymore since the 40 is just so wonderful but I noticed things weren't as sharp as they should be so I did a little tweak.  I don't think that existed with film.  I sure never did with my Nikon F.  Sometimes I think about going back to film but then I realize how much I'd give up.  Photoshop.  Control.  Design.  I have no idea where a photo processing place is around here.

The BN/TOC issue.  I don't like to have mysteries unsolved.  So I decided to strip all the formatting and start over.
When I opened the RTF file in Word Pad there were literally, I'm not exaggerating, about 50 pages of like ASCII, random letters, symbols, numbers.  There was no hope for this document to open correctly.

What I don't understand is why the same file is fine in mobi format.

I'll let you know after I completely reformat the thing and upload it again to BN.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Summer Morning

Really early.


Here's some actual writing advice for a change.  Also good life advice.  Be observant.  See what you're seeing and then try to understand it.

Update:  There's some confusion about this image.  It's not Photoshopped with a special technique.  That's go out with the camera at 6 am and take a photo through the mist with the sunrise.  Sort of like what Kip did with Titania Guilford in Flash.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dorothy Parker

I guess you can not like her but a girl like I has always revered her.
So for my first real guest post at Passive Voice I found an interview with Dorothy.  Then I found a portrait and cleaned it up so it's as bright and sharp and timeless as she is.

Barnes & Noble

Well.  It seems like they're having issues with uploading--at least with me.  And there's no one in the help department.  Ari and the Doctor with a TOC is corrupted, at least the downloaded epub they generate and I view on my Nook is quite far from correct.  It's perfect with the Kindle.

So today instead of continuing to bang my head against the wall with that book, I put a TOC in The Missed Wish and uploaded it.  Yes.  It's also corrupted.

I guess the game plan is to continue to put a TOC in everything because that's what Kindle wants and we'll see what Kobo wants and BN can stay as it is until they work out how to run an indie publishing system.

I like the readers at BN, probably because they like me.  But I don't like this laissez-faire attitude from the company.  If you write to KDP support within about 24 you have some help.  If you write to BN, chances are you will never hear from anyone.

I've been thinking about the really tempting Nikon D600.  Apparently it's my camera, the D7000, but with the full size sensor.  Okay.  Then there's the D800 which is supposed to be great great great and luckily out of stock so since the D600 hasn't been released yet (fall sometime) and the 800 is unavailable, I don't have to make up my mind for months.  I don't know why I'm even thinking about it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Kindle Formatting Guide

Since I've spent the last two days trying to get the formatting right for epub, I guess this comes at the right time?  It's free and short and you probably know it all already.  Since there's a section devoted to the table of contents, it seems like they really want them from now on.

Building Your Book for Kindle

William Powell

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Tale of Two Portraits

I see an old photo now and I'm compelled to go fix it.  So as one of the guest bloggers at Passive Voice, I took that opportunity to fix the portrait of James Joyce from a couple weeks back.

Original


Tweaked


Not one of my favorite writers but (MaMaLuJo right back atcha, guy) everyone deserves their best face forward.  Or most everyone.

The thing with really decrepit old photos is there is a tipping point where more becomes a lot less.  I would like this to be lighter.  Unfortunately lightening shows more deterioration.  Ditto for taking it to B&W.  Just doesn't serve you well.  Other photo restoring wizards probably know what to do but in a 15 min. fix, that's what I can do.

I hope Amazon is willing to discuss the cover art for Love In The Air with me.  Not that I much care at this point as long as they don't use the current cover, but I want to know about their process and see if there's anything I can learn from it for us.

The image you use on the cover should have something to do with the book.  I bought an indie book from someone I admire.  The image used was one Createspace provides.  I can't figure out how it applies to the story.  There must be some kind of relationship.  That's why you don't see me using flowers.  They'd be great.  And if I ever write about a horticulturist, there I go.  Otherwise, it won't work.

What's depressing about looking through the photos at the stock photos sites is that they're so unremittingly commercial.  Isn't there a site where a photographer is selling shots for ebook covers?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Welcome to Montlake

Amazon sent the Avalon writers the packet late Friday.  However, they do have staff monitoring the special Avalon only email to reply to any questions.  Urgent--like how do we fill out the paperwork.
Any other questions are the normal 2-3 days turnaround.  Of course you'd be thrilled with 2-3 days in tradpub.  You'd be lucky if it was 2-3 months.  I wish Amazon all the luck in the world with this but they don't need luck because they're doing it the old-fashioned way with hard work.  It makes all the whining and projection by tradpub all the more pathetic.

Recovery for tradpub is possible but since they are still in denial--like Greece--and don't want to make the painful changes necessary, like a plane in a wing stall too close to the ground, they will crash.  Some will walk away, damaged but able to continue.  The companies who are not that close to the ground, could save themselves if they took action now.  I don't see that they will as they chase after 50 Shades haircuts.

If that isn't symbolic of tradpub now, I don't know what is.  It could have been that famous vampire series that started as ebooks then went to paper and isn't quite as hot as it was.  If that had worked, they'd be Vampire Chasers.  Instead of developing something that will be hot, tradpub simply follows the trends.  Now it's easy to see the trends because you look at the Amazon bestseller list.  Doesn't that tell us something, too?  They hate Amazon and get all their business clues from Amazon.

I'm probably spending most of this month reviewing everything.  The excuse is Kobo but it needs to be done.
At some point Table Of Contents will be required not a suggestion.  So as I go through each book I'm adding that.

Here's how you clean the whole TOC thing up.  When you create it, instead of putting it up front, put it in the back, after The End.  When you're done, click on Bookmark at the top of the TOC page.  Go back to the beginning and make a new page after the title page.  Click on (this is only for Word) create Hyperlink.  It will ask you what you want to call it.  Contents is good, if you think your readers will understand that means the table of contents.  Less blue mess is better, right?  There will be a choice to the left that says Place In Document.  Choose that.  You will see in the list underneath Bookmarks.  Click on that.  If you named this page TOC or Contents or whatever, click on that.  Word will link the two pages.  You're done.

Update:  There seems to be some confusion about this.  You have a link to the Table of Contents right after the title page.  All the reader needs to do is touch it.  They will be brought to to the TOC. They don't know where it is, they don't need to know.  I'm sorry.  I don't know how to explain it better than this.  It's there.  But you don't have to see it on your way to the text and some people object to all that front matter.  The fact is, 2 pages of links at the front of the book decreases the sample text a reader can download.  Would you prefer the reader get frontmatter or would you prefer the reader get your first chapter?

This


Or this


Which looks better to you?

Up the date:  I hear tell Smashwords doesn't like the ToC in the back.  I know it was pointed out to me there with my last book there that my formatting was all "wonky".   Apparently their meatgrinder expects a certain formatting and I was doing it wrong.  So I said a couple words I won't repeat here and unpublished everything.  Do what pleases you.  This was just an alternative.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Amazon Publishing

It appears that they are jumping in with all feet not just 2.  They acquired 3000 books from Avalon and are open to submissions, even unagented.  The dynamism and energy is remarkable.

OTOH you have tradpub desperately looking for a 50 Shades knock-offs.  No, as stupid as this sounds, it's true.  Why stupid?  Because they say they find unique and creative talents.  Running around trying to jump on the fanfic erotica gravy train demonstrates just how creatively bereft they are.  Maybe it's good for business.  Maybe there will be a whole "new" category.  For a while.

Some years ago my agent was contacted by an editor at NAL and they wanted me to write a knock-off of the then current bestseller.  I don't do that stuff so didn't even try.  The flavor of the month type book.  Can they really get out something they find before the market is totally saturated by what's already there?

If I could only write like that.  But, oh well, I can't.

I did get a lovely review on Nothing Serious.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Anything Goes



This is one of my favorite songs and Cole Porter was one of the greats.  I love hearing him singing his own song.
80 years on you're wondering who Ned McClain and Anna Sten were.  If this song could be more than 180 degrees in opposition to rap, it would be.

Anything goes.  I don't think that's such a good idea, though.  I guess that's what my new book is about.  Do we say that anymore?  I don't think so; you just talk about plot.  When I was in daytime the big requirement for writing was to keep everything on a boil all the time.  While that's very appealing for some, it's still not necessary for all readers all the time.  Some prefer reflection.

I happened to read two genre novels this month that seemed like they would be similar but couldn't be more different.  At the heart.  I had to put a lot of thought into it why they were so dissimilar.  I still can't distill it into one easy sentence.  If I had to say something, the difference would be the choices one writer made and the other one either did not make or was not capable of making.   It's an issue of where your mind goes.  If your mind doesn't go there, it doesn't go there.  You write what your mind/brain gives you.  Why am I bringing the brain into it?  Because I'm not sure how connections are made, what switches are flipping in an organic sense.  What your life experiences are give you one thing but what your brain chemistry and mechanical processes are gives you something else.

And if you're looking for advice on how to promote yourself on Facebook, that isn't helpful at all, is it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Jam Yesterday and Jam Tomorrow

But no welcome to the Amazon Family packet today.

I made someone laugh, so that's great.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Rain and Highway Robbery


Why, it's highway robbery!  Amazon charges to deliver ebooks.  I didn't know that.  Now that I know that I'm surprised people care.  Yes it's money, but you're at Amazon.  If you weren't at Amazon, where would you be?  The other places.  Those places who are not driving the revolution.  Just write more books or something.  Smile, be happy you aren't with a traditional publisher.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Ari and the Doctor

What?  Another book?  No, another facelift--this time for Sweeps.  I will keep making changes until people discover how cute this book is.


For the time being, this book will only be available at BN.  If you need a mobi file, contact me and I'll be glad to send one to you.  Actually that holds true for anyone who'd like a free epub copy as well.

A Thought and an Image


Redemption lies in the story we tell with words. Reorganizing noise into meaning, redefining what is real, and living a life accordingly.—Rebbe Schneerson


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Amazon Buys Avalon

This came as a complete surprise to me and I suppose everyone.  Amazon isn't very leaky.  We know there's a new Nikon on the horizon but not much gets out of Amazon until there's a press release.

So why did Amazon buy Avalon?  I'm trying to figure this out.  This is a first, isn't it?  So they got 3000 books in the deal.  Wow.  Logistically, that's a lot of books to digitize considering that I can't think of one of the Big Six who is bothering to digitize their backlist.  I have no idea when Avalon began asking for digital copies of the manuscript but mine was in Word so that was late 2009.  That will make the process easier but still someone has to input these files.  We won't even talk about all the writers who would like to make changes, that includes me.



Avalon had strict guidelines.  I had a really cute scene where the guy is cooling off in a pond and the girl comes upon him and says "Weren't you clever to bring a bathing suit with you" and he says "I didn't".  That had to be cut as being too risque.  Mock on elitists as to how squeaky clean the Avalon books are but some people want that.  Apparently Amazon believes there's a strong market for it.

Avalon books were never sold in stores, they only went to libraries and in the past few years libraries were ceasing to buy the entire season's worth as they were released, so that had to put a huge dent in the business.  It will be very instructive to see how Amazon goes about marketing these books, how they reach the audience who wants a sweet and softer view of life. 

Supposedly Avalon writers are receiving a welcome package from Amazon/Montlake tomorrow so I'll know more then.  I hope.

I am beyond thrilled to have a book published by Montlake, if you were wondering, at all.  I don't care about the contract.  I don't care if they hold to the 25% ebook royality under the Avalon contract, or bump up to 70% .  I would give them Love In The Air because the visibility that will give me can only help my other books.

Now if they would consider taking Nothing Serious which I pulled from Avalon so I could self-publish it on Amazon, I would be a very happy girl.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Bad Apple 1 New Cover




Why do I keep putting my gun on the cover of this book?  Because someone who is selling books almost as fast as Joe Konrath said it was a good idea. 

I don't know how seriously you should take advice.  Does the person who's giving you advice understand the book, the characters, the story?  Do the suggestions accurately reflect something critical about the book?

I hate giving people advice because there's a 50-50 chance they'll just get mad at you anyway.

So does the gun have anything to do with the book?  Yes, there are guns in the book.  Yes, there's violence.  There's also music, kindness, generosity and affection.  Do I need a bouquet or blood?  Is the title wrong?  It was originally called Sweet Cider.  I don't know that something so soft and nebulous works when customers are speed scrolling through the list at Amazon.  It's a good title because there is more sweet to life than Joe and the murder.  It's contrapuntal to the violence but in a realm of 50 Shades of Abuse and Vampire Love, who's got time to think about the shifting of light and dark contained in a YA?  Just take out that sawed off shotgun and have at it.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

June To Do's

You have no idea how upset I am about the San Francisco earthquake!

Photo taken by camera in a balloon after earthquake

Yes it happened 106 years ago, but it didn't catch my attention until just now.  So I think this is a good time to wring my hands.  And then I will work up to the whole Titanic thing.

This is the only way I can explain the recent deluge of articles complaining about tradpub and its dear little bookshops dying.  Again, this is a process they created, it's been happening for years and now they notice? 

So June.  What to do, what to do?   I went back to a YA I started before Unheard and I don't think I can finish it by the end of the month but July.  What's it about?  Me writing something not commercial.  And frack you if you have a problem with it.  No, that's a joke.  It's about fracking, sort of.  Fracking is shorthand for drilling for natural gas--hydraulic fracturing of shale.

I briefly entertained the notion of doing a nonfiction piece about fracking, shale and the impact on the communities where drilling is done.  I thought this would be an ideal Amazon Single but then decided I just don't meet the resume requirements for Amazon  Singles to take me seriously.  I think they want real journalists (laughable concept IMHO).  Of course I could always publish it as a short nonfiction piece on my own.  But I'm busy and if it's a toss up between writing something that probably won't sell as nonfiction and writing something I want to write as fiction, then I choose the novel.

Kobo.  I'd like to spend some time looking at each of my older books to make sure they're formatted perfectly and I didn't miss anything from 18 months ago.  Now is the time to refresh any covers that might need a little facelift.  Sweeps should be brought into line with Waiting For You.  Maybe that will be my first project.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Abuse Is A Boomerang

The Bad Apple series is based on a true incident from my life--An acquaintance was bludgeoned to death with a baseball bat.  Not quite the way stories play out on television, we learned there was a backstory of abuse that took place 25 years earlier.  I thought about this murder for years then finally wanted to write about it and found a way.  There are repercussions to abuse.

Today I commented about a snippy blogpost some agent made and it probably seemed over-the-top.  Maybe it was.  But the bottom line for agents and editors publishers is that they've been abusing writers for decades.  It will come back and bite you in one way or another.  Whether it's me telling the truth about their bad behavior, or it's just hundreds of people quitting tradpub for indie to the extent that their industry is endangered.  You can't abuse people without repercussions.

There's something in the human spirit that can't be broken and that will fight back.  Maybe it's in an appropriate way, maybe it's an inappropriate way like when Joe killed Jack.

Now you have agents and publishers and even some writers like Scott Turow and Richard Russo bemoaning the state of affairs with indie publishing.  In a classic demonstration of projection, they're blaming writers and Amazon but this is a situation they created.  There has been an abuse of power for years.  People will react to being mistreated.  As Neal said about Joe, he was "like a demonic boomerang" and so is the abuse heaped upon writers for years.  It will come back, it must.  It's the law of retribution--hok ha-gemul in Hebrew.

Digital is a blessing.

Kobo Strategy

We only have a thin indication of what Kobo offers to indies but one benefit is being able to make a book free with no strings attached.

Wait!  You said free was useless!  I did say that and good on you for reading this blog so closely.  I do think at Amazon that free has become useless.  I have no idea if the same holds true for Kobo with its completely different audience, epub format and being based in Canada.

So this morning I see no reason to not do what I want and that's to make the photo essays and some of the cookbooks free permanently at Kobo which is impossible at Amazon.  I'm not sure I won't make them exclusive to Kobo and see how that works.

What does Kobo mean??

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Kobo Writing Life

I received notification this morning that Kobo will open to self-publishers at the end of the month and it sounds like they took a long hard look at Amazon and BN and fixed some of the things we don't like about either of them.  Kobo books will be available in the catalogs of 170 countries--I'm not quite sure what that means but how many countries are Nooks available in?  At all.

The question I have is that Kobo doesn't require an ISBN but suggests having one to extend your reach.  Are they going to provide them or do we have to get them elsewhere aka big hassle.

Amazon bought Avalon so I think that's great.   Maybe Love In The Air will have a second chance because it sure didn't have a first chance to reach an audience with Avalon.

Anna Pavlova 1914

Monday, June 4, 2012

To Be Or Not To Be Predictable

As if you have a choice.

I worked with a man in television who wrote a novel and I sent him to my "prestigious" agent.  She loved the book and sent it everywhere.  It was off-genre.  It was sort of a mystery, it was sort of not.  So it was never published. Congratulations tradpub, because you couldn't pigeonhole something you dropped it.  Why speculate about the thousands of times that happened in the last 50 years.  We know it did and still does.  They're just not very clever about bringing out books that are different and difficult.

Every once in a while something gets through that is bright and creative and it becomes a success then it makes it look like tradpub is doing a great job finding that new talent they're always yammering about.

Now we're in the digital age.  In the same way...I'm trying to think of something that's not disgusting but I can't...people who are interested in something bizarre can find their group of like-minded individuals on the net when it was impossible before, so will readers who don't want to follow the beaten path find writers doing something else.

Be brave.  Experiment.  Give the audience the best work you can do.  They may not turn up like the millions are turning up for 50 Shades of Greysville, but you can create a community.

I can see an audience coalescing around my books.  Very few but they are excited.

It will happen.  Try to create a community.  Be loyal to them and they will be loyal to you.




PS.  And always choose Nikon ;-)  They make the best glass in the world.   (You think their business is cameras?  No, it's technical optical equipment.  Cameras are the other thing they do.)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

I Don't Have Any Advice

I thought you were coming for the photos by now anyway.
Here's my advice--write commercial stuff if you want to sell.
If you are compelled to write something important to you, you are a small audience.

Okay!

I went out before it started to rain and got a couple neat shots.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

New Tempting Nikon

Remember how I've been saying Nikon should just make a stripped down camera that takes super photos?  Enter the Nikon d600.  It's still a rumor but apparently a real thing and it's entry level full-frame professional camera likely to cost around $1500.  This is a great thing.  Except that I need new lenses.  I don't think I'd abandon the d7k which I really love, but I feel very tempted.



The apple blossom book is being downloaded at a pace that is apparently appropriate for such works.  I went to the page on my Nook and looked at the cover close up.  I couldn't believe how spectacular it looked.  The image was better than my monitor (and I like this monitor).

The drawback to using a reader to view an "art" photo is akin to viewing a movie MADE for the big screen on your television.  You're taking incredible technology and losing most of it as you diminish the size.  Yeah I know big screen televisions--it's not the same.   Still I was extremely impressed with the depth, almost 3-D like, of that apple blossom.

I saw Days of Heaven in the theater.  What a beautifully photographed film by Nestor Almendros and Haskell Wexler.  I can watch it on television and remember/realize how gorgeous the shot is where the train goes over the bridge, but it's so small and the light doesn't surround you.  Something--the visual drama--is lost.  Still great, still a work of genius.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Apple Blossoms Freebie Weekend

Yes, the floral Gimme Caps have arrived.  So if you're interested  here ya go.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00870CTWC    

I expect nothing else from this exercise other than people downloading the book and getting some enjoyment out of the photos.  That's a success for this.  I don't even imagine they'll say "What else has she done?  Not Low Maintenance, I want to read it!"

I think it would make a good gift item.  It's more than a greetings card and takes up less space.

The shock of shocks is that 3 people have actually purchased the buttercup book.  And I did google for a way to remove images from ebooks but apparently there is no easy way.  I would love it if people could extract the images and use them for desktops backgrounds or printable cards.

Since I like doing the photography, I expect I'll do a few more of these and skip the little cookbooks.  I removed the Sweets For Your Sweet from Amazon due to the experience there but it's still available at BN.   Who needs to open the door for so much controversy.  Not I.

I had the opportunity to talk to a kindle tech (not support, a real tech) about a week ago and asked specifically about this book.  It was published in TNR and a review savaged the book for having a font that was unreadable and changed size at will and other nasties.  The tech's bottom line--If you upload the doc in TNR, that's the end of your control.  What bad things happen after that "It looks like a typewriter font!" aren't about you.  So if someone complains, hold your ground.  Go to the mattresses on this issue.  You'll probably have to take it up a level from the normal support in Bangalore because they're just reading from a list of approved responses.  But you'll probably feel better for having defended yourself and your work.