Book Review: American Siren by Stephen Perkins


  • Paperback: 409 pages
  • Publisher: Independently published (November 16, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 151903007X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1519030078

My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

Continue reading “Book Review: American Siren by Stephen Perkins”

Indie vs. Big Six: The war rages on! Guest Post by Steven Perkins

Indie vs. Big Six: The war rages on!

The following may seem controversial.

And yet, evidence looms the ‘big six’ traditional publishers may be covertly manipulating or stifling indie book sales!

The sort of tactics about to be revealed will no doubt seem underhanded, even morally repugnant. Though dubious, these may not be considered unlawful or unfair in the normal scheme of legitimate corporate business practices. Both online retailers and major publishers are in the business of selling books to make a profit. From the perspective of maintaining a profitable business model, online retailers are more likely to feature products that are perceived to have better long-term sales potential, than upstart products perceived to have little or no overall market impact. But, like any new movement, whether political or literary, there will always be resistance. It seems there is no exception when it comes to ongoing efforts on the part of the ‘big six’ to hamper the market growth of indie authors and publishers. It could very well, most indie authors are not even aware of the weapons used against them. Ultimately, it can be difficult to police tactics one may not be fully aware. After all, one cannot effectively fight an enemy that refuses to reveal itself on the battlefield.

Not too long ago, encountering a harrowing story involving an aggrieved independent ‘romance’ author, one decided to curiously investigate. What one at first found, seemed incredulous. However, under greater scrutiny, the story of this anonymous author gained credence. The indie author in question claimed to have made a shocking discovery. She found her digital sales may have been capped via what can only be described as covert skullduggery.

Though appearing to sell briskly, her book was inexplicably halted at a certain rank in the best-selling category list, while similar books affiliated with big six publishers, not selling as comparatively well over the same sales period, continued to rise. Of course, this unfairly limited her book’s visibility, which meant not only was her title capped at a certain rank, it began to plummet shortly thereafter. After employing some investigation of her own, she discovered that sales algorithms were being manipulated in favor of titles published by the big six, perceived by the online retailers to be bigger sellers over the long haul. While the author appeared to possess no ability to pursue legal recourse, this underhanded scenario may not be an isolated case. Consulting various online indie author blogs, similar experiences appeared to have been luridly detailed.

What does this ultimately mean?




It may imply unscrupulous, but apparently not unlawful collusion, between big six publishers and major online book retailers. Obviously, such continued covert practices leave indie authors out in the cold, suffering from limited visibility and loss of increased sales growth. The real story in all of this speaks to a more cogent, but less obvious analysis. While big six publishers may collude with online retailers to better position their digital titles over those of indie authors, they are also able to continually exert greater influence and control over print copy distribution and pricing.

Let’s face it, despite growing popularity for digital books, sales of print copies, in the way of paperbacks and hard covers, is still where the real revenue is generated.

Considering this aspect of the publishing business, the big six still hold a commanding advantage over their indie counterparts. Recently, an example of this reared its ugly head in an ongoing dispute between Amazon and a major publisher over print copy price fixing. Naturally, the major publisher claimed Amazon’s pricing policies per their print titles worked against their best long-term business interests. The essence of the dispute involved Amazon’s repeated efforts to discount all print titles. Seeking greater control, the big publisher invoked what is termed the ‘agency model’, meaning while Amazon’s list price was significantly lower than the publisher’s suggested price, the latter was still able to collect royalties at a higher price point, while still able to move the same number of units corresponding to the discounted rate.

One can only imagine Amazon’s jocular reaction if indie authors bravely endeavored in attempting to negotiate for themselves such a lucrative arrangement. These sorts of scenarios demonstrate the disadvantages indie authors face in open market competition against a foe possessing both superior financial and negotiating resources.

Is there no recourse for indie authors in gaining for themselves similar market leverage?

The irony in this; in obtaining favor from online retailers for ultimate control over print distribution and pricing, the big six are continually at a disadvantage when it comes to digital publications. If indie authors continue to consistently publish digital works consisting of high quality content coupled with comparatively lower pricing, ultimate victory in the long term over the big six, seems not only realistic but perhaps, inevitable!


  Steven Perkins has written two engaging books that have been well received and rewarded with excellent reviews on Amazon. This guest post allows Steven to speak to an issue that has not been addressed openly but needs to be.  I offered my blog as a way for Steven to pass along his insights as well as bring his work to light. As one of over 200 respected MTW authors, I am glad to give him this opportunity. You can find Steven Perkins books, Raging Falcon and American Siren, on Amazon both in paperback and Kindle Unlimited.

During MysteryThrillerWeek you can learn more about Steven and his two books when he hosts an hour on Facebook February 12th, 10:00 PM EST.

By signing up as a Mystery Thriller Week fan on the website, you will have full access to all event such as this one.


Book Review: Millie Hardiman and the Red Parrot Fever, by Eddie Owens


  • Print Length: 131 pages
  • Publisher: EDDIE OWENS (July 24, 2016)
  • Publication Date: July 24, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01J1VO6KS
  • My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

    My Review:

    This was the story of Millie and wow what a funny witty child she is. She is thirteen but she has the creativity of a seasoned writer. I enjoyed her relationships with Chunk, her mother, and Father. Even when she called her father by his first name. A little odd, but it suited her personality. I laughed at her humor and I cringed when she made others uncomfortable with her shenanigans. She takes a more active role in her father’s work and that is brilliant. Millie telling tales, writing for a tv show, then stepping out on her own to write yet another show, is an excellent read. It might have been written for YA and teens, but it had this adult laughing in spite of herself.

    My Recommendation:

    I would recommend this to any young person that enjoys a good laugh and any adult that wants to live vicariously through a young girl that got away with much more than she should have.

    Where to Find, Millie Hardiman and the Red Parrot Fever :

    This book is available on Kindle and free with KindleUnlimited. Link provided below.

    View all my reviews

    New Release: Book Review: If I Wake, by Nikki Moyes

    If I WakeIf I Wake by Nikki Moyes

    • Print Length: 276 pages
    • Publisher: Inspiring Publisher (September 21, 2016)
    • Publication Date: September 21, 2016
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B01LZ87NNQ



    My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

    Continue reading “New Release: Book Review: If I Wake, by Nikki Moyes”

    Four Reviews for The Path of the Child!

    Checking on my book tonight I found there were four reviews that I had not mentioned before.  I appreciate these reviews so much. I get discouraged like everyone else, then I see a review on a book that was written with so much love and it lifts me through the ceiling. While I am floating I decided to thank them in public through the blog post.  Thank you all for reading and reviewing The Path of the Child.

    Continue reading “Four Reviews for The Path of the Child!”

    New Review on Goodreads for The Path of the Child.

    Thank you for this review! 
    The Path of the Child by Sojourner McConnell

    Rate this book

    Continue reading “New Review on Goodreads for The Path of the Child.”

    New Amazon Review: For The Path of the Child

    By aarem
    This review is from: The Path of the Child (Paperback)
    Young Melanie Easton got no love from her mother who is fighting her own demons. But Melanie’s life changes dramatically when her classmate Rob gets her a job at a pizza place where he is employed part-time. Melanie had been so lonely that she finds her workplace home. The author is a skillful writer who takes us effortlessly through the many turns and twists in Melanie’s life. What happens to her friendship with the ever-helpful Rob? Well, this is the question that made me finish the book in two days, my other engagements notwithstanding. From the depiction of lifelike characters, one would suspect an autobiographical element in the theme. Five stars as this is the first book by the author.

    I am so thankful for this unknown person’s review. I am not sure who aarem is but thank you from the bottom of my heart. It is reviews like this that keeps me writing the sequel to The Path of the Child. I am telling what happened to Melanie and Robert and their amazing friendship​. I look forward to announcing that the book is ready for publication in January.

    Thank you again, aarem. You have made my day!

    Want to read more, The Path of the Child is on Amazon

    Book Review: Lucky B*stard, by Christian Cianci

    LUCKY B*STARDLUCKY B*STARD by Christian Cianci

  • Print Length: 237 pages
  • Publication Date: February 1, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01BD2O87Y
  • My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

    My Review:

    This book carried us through Lucas’ growing drug enjoyment, perhaps even an addiction, his reckless behavior, and his really bad choices, all with the intent and purpose of being popular, liked, respected, and admired. There were so many chances for Lucas Mancini to get the help he needed, but being a lucky b*stard, he always skimmed by without getting caught. Until he did. That was when he had to learn to face life in a restricted area with no one trustworthy to lean on. The tales this guy told, while brazen and over the top, were believable to those that wanted to believe him.

    There were tender moments when he realized he had caused his parents to be disappointed. When he felt that, he reminded me of the disappointment in my own parent’s faces as a teen, and the disappointment I felt as a parent. It was a moment​ in the book where I could​ totally connect with Lucas.

    It is in many ways a gritty story that should put the fear of reprisal for the readers of a certain age. It had a familiar ring to it from stories shared in my younger days. Bad choices seem to be made when you are seventeen, some worse than others. Lucas made some seriously bad choices. Thankfully we aren’t all as lucky as Lucas.

    Worth reading! Good plot and characters.

    Where to Find Lucky B*stard:

    This young adult, coming of age, book is available on Amazon as a paperback and in Kindle format, by clicking the links below.

    Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J. K. Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne

    Harry Potter and the Cursed ChildHarry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling

    • Print Length: 320 pages
    • Publisher: Pottermore from J.K. Rowling; Special Rehearsal ed. edition (July 31, 2016)
    • Publication Date: July 31, 2016
    • Sold by: Pottermore
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B01BMJWU4Q



    My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥


    I read the play Harry Potter and the cursed child and I was immediately thrown back into the good old days at Hogwarts. Even as Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy have now become men and quite comfortable as friends. It is fun when you see the children heading off to school, being sorted and making friends. Continue reading “Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J. K. Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne”

    Book Blurb for Revised Edition of The Path of the Child by Sojourner McConnell

    Seventeen-year-old Melanie Easton lives in a loveless home with her negligent, self-absorbed, and potentially dangerous mother. Consequently, she knows loneliness. Living in self-imposed anonymity, Melanie struggles to survive without becoming bitter and hate filled. Unexpectedly offered a ride with a classmate, Robert Reynolds, Melanie finds there is more to people than she ever imagined.

    After being befriended by Robert Reynolds, windows of opportunity open for Melanie. Accordingly, the road to discovery divulges there may be reasons for her strange home life. The reasons she never imagined until she begins unraveling the documents hidden away.

    Out of the discovery of the secrets, lies, and deceptions, come the possibility for exciting changes. Perhaps along with the answers, comes the opportunity for genuine happiness.

    A suspenseful story that will engage your heart and mind with hopefulness and admiration for Melanie’s courage and willingness for self-discovery and personal growth.

    Refrain from getting so excited by this new blurb that you attempt to run out and purchase the book today. There is almost a week before the reissue occurs.  If you purchase the book today, unfortunately, it will contain those annoying errors that I have been working diligently  to correct. In addition, the revised book accommodated my rewriting tendency. Consequentially, the new version has almost seven thousand new words spaced out over four new chapters. Nonetheless, I swear it was harder writing a blurb that  didn’t curl my lip, than writing the first chapter of the book.

    That being said, I would love your input on this blurb. Did the blurb attract your attention? Did it provoke interest in the topic?  Did the blurb provide encouragement to  purchase and read the book?   Does it turn you off the book?

    Resist buying today, however, don’t resist or hesitate  to comment. We all have opinions, I actually embrace hearing yours.  Please let me know what you think.

    Coming up with a book blurb that works is more difficult than it appears. This is the official blurb as of today.  Thinking about today reminds me of what Scarlett O’Hara is known to say:

     “After all, tomorrow is another day!”  Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind.

    As I complete the final details, I wanted to share the (hopefully improved) book blurb. I decided to show it today providing  time to  receive feedback.

    Humble request:

    As always, please be honest and forthcoming. A candid and honest opinion would be so appreciated.

    On a side note:

    If you are interested in providing a review for the reprint, it would thrill me to provide a copy in exchange for that honest review on Amazon, Goodreads, especially on your own blog.

    Obviously, I am going with subtlety at this point.


     Comment below:

    Thank you in advance!