Saturday, March 19, 2016

Still Sick

But slooooowly improving. This bug comes with a side of fatigue. My kiddo and I are just pooped. I'm on week 4. She's wrapping up week 3.

The asthma finally stopped. There's still gunk in my lungs so I'm not doing any hardcore aerobic activity anytime soon. Me being me, I got some kind of stomach bug/food reaction/food poisoning that reinforced the Augmentin's (aka Poop Blaster 5000) impact on my gut so last week was not fun in any way.

I took the kiddo to the ped two weeks ago hoping for antibiotics. There was a moment where she stopped getting better and started getting worse. I heard one cough and I knew she had a secondary infection.

But the ped didn't see it.

So she festered another week missing even more school and then finally qualified for antibiotics (sorry science, I know you like your data, but a mom always knows). I had my stomach thing and couldn't even leave the house so the hubby had to pinch hit on our second trip to the ped. I texted him the whole litany of symptoms and signs for him to read off to the ped.

My poor kiddo has been really gunky and has really suffered with this bug. Explaining the concept of being sick but not sick enough for antibiotics even though we knew she needed them was challenging. She was annoyed and I can't say I blame her.

And then my hubby, not being health inclined in any way, didn't fill the antibiotic prescription. He just brought the kiddo home and thought he was good. I pulled my kiddo aside (under the belief that she'd be easier to teach than my hubby*) and explained when you're sick and a doc gives you antibiotics, you fill the prescription immediately and take the first dose ASAP.

So while I was trying not to puke my guts out, I had to manage the antibiotics and medical stuff for the kiddo, too.  Plus I had a ton of stuff going on at work that could not wait. At one point I was making business calls, but my stomach couldn't make it through. So I would hang up, go be sick and then call people back.

Yeah. Not fun.

As for work...I've discovered there are some massive structural problems in publishing and in my genre in particular. While my new release was flailing, the news broke that spammers are so pervasive on Amazon that they've been walking away with millions (PLURAL!) of dollars a month from the shared KU pot.

So it's like a restaurant that makes wait staff split tips (I hated working for those places when I was in college), but before the tips are split, someone steals 20% off the top. The spammers have been skimming off the top for months. (A ma zon did nothing. NOTHING.)

Now, I'm not in KU, but as these spammers are stealing money (by the millions!!!!)  they are also eating up oxygen when it comes to visibility and discoverability across the board. Believe it or not, spamming A ma zon's algo is really effective and profitable. Spammers can outpace organic book sales without much effort.

(I now belong to every spammer forum I could find in the hopes of finding ideas I can use to create legitimate business strategies. Or, if not, hell, maybe I'll write make spam too. Quite of few of these assholes were walking away with six figures a month.)

As if that wasn't author in my genre is becoming a breakout phenomenon. She's at Fifty Shades of Grey levels. But where FSOG was three books, this author has 33. All of which took up the top third of the top 100 list in every single genre related to mine...just in time for my new release. I can't rank if a brand that strong is taking over the top 100. If I can't rank, my visibility and discoveribility won't improve and the money just won't be there.

I can't grow. I won't reach new readers. I'm locked out and so is every other author in the genre.

I did some scary math. This author will be at 40+% of the top 100 this year. By next year she'll be at 50%, if she keeps up her release schedule.  I don't think publishing has ever seen something like this. Her back list is huge and her fans just go from book to book. I've never seen an author pull 33 books up into the top 100 with one new release.

Most authors don't even have that many books in their back list or they're like Nora Roberts...there's enough time between new releases that readers already have the older books so there's no meteoric rise of the back list.

She's making seven figures a month.

Which is great. Good for her! That's amazing!

But it's killing the other authors in her genre.

So I'm over here scratching my head and trying to figure out if I can survive. And if I can't, do I care enough about another genre to make a run for it? I'm not sure.

*I love my hubby. He is awesome at so many things, but he doesn't do health or medical anything. Oh the stories I could tell you, but I'm out of time.

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