Sunday, October 28, 2012

Amazon Categories: How Best to Use Them

My earlier article, Amazon Categories, Keywords and Tags aimed at a generic definition of these tools. Now let us focus in on Amazon Categories and the common mistakes I see in their usage, particularly by Indie authors and small publishers who are either unfamiliar with the pitfalls, or try to use the system in--let's say--'interesting' ways, which does not serve them.

When you upload your book into KDP, you may choose up to two categories. You can also update your categories by going to your Bookshelf, clicking your book title, then Add Categories in a section called Target Your Book to Customers. When 
you do this, you are in fact choosing a browsing path for readers, which consists of a hierarchy of sub-categories. Thus, your book is available for readers to discover under each of the parts of that hierarchy. So by carefully choosing your category, and then refining the selection by use of sub-categories, you make it much more likely that a reader will find your book, since the pool of books is smaller with each step down the path.

For example, in the case of my most recent book, Home, here are the browsing-paths I chose:
The first two (which start with 'Books') come from the paperback publishing, the last two (which start with 'Kindle Store') come from the Kindle publishing.

You should choose a browsing path that ends up with a small number of books at the end of the path. Why? Because then, your book will compete for attention with a smaller pool of books. For example, suppose I would choose a more generic path, such as Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction. Then, the book would compete with nearly 560,000 books. By being specific, it competes with 34,000 books in Poetry, or with 12,000 in the category of Poetry > Anthologies.

Some Indie authors take this strategy to a ridiculously narrow level. They figure that they can find a category that has a small pool of books and list it as their books category--even if the book does not really belong there!  

I have seen fiction books listed in Health, Fitness and Dieting, in Advice & How-to, in Drama, in Travel.... Even if the pool of books in one of these subcategory is small, it does not serve your book any purpose to be mis-categorized. Your fiction may well be 'dramatic'--but that does not make it 'Drama'. The plot may take place in Rome or Paris, but that does not make it a travel book. One drawback to listing your book in the wrong subcategory is that you risk getting low scores on customer reviews, because a reader expecting 'drama' (as in Shakespeare or Arthur Miller) may not be forgiving when she gets a book that is clearly not drama. Therefore, I advise you to click the subcategory and view the books listed at the top of this list. Then judge for yourself if your book truly belongs there. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Flowchart for Putting the Pedal to the Metal

A while ago I posted A Flow Chart for Surviving the Breakfast Blues; this time it is a flowchart for putting the pedal to the metal. 

I was inspired by observing the manner in which my loved one negotiates the traffic on the road as he drives:

  1. Start
  2. Car in front? If Yes, Pass it. Then go back to step 2.
  3. If No, drive as fast as humanly possible.
  4. Reached your destination? If Yes, Stop.
  5. If No, ask yourself, Need directions?
  6. Regardless of the answer--Yes or No--charge ahead saying, Directions? What Directions? And go to step 2.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Home Is Where the Heart Is, Maybe

I am thrilled that my new book, Home, has just received a five-star review from top Amazon reviewer and author Sheila Deeth. She has just released her novel, Divide by ZeroWith a Masters in mathematics from Cambridge University, England, she is a reviewer for Amazon, Goodreads, Gather and other reading sites. This is what she says:

4.0 out of 5 stars A powerful collection that inspires, entices and delightsOctober 22, 2012
This review is from: Home (Paperback)
Home is where the heart is, maybe, or where it longs to return, or where dreams remain and self is "now a guest" where once that same self "built a nest." Home lies vacant when loved ones leave. An empty chair enfolds its memory, flickering on the edge of perception. And in Uvi Poznasnky's collection of her own and her father's writing, home is a goal, an anchor, and a deepening relationship that whispers through the words.

Uvi Poznansky writes of other people rather than herself, disguising home at the start of this collection in art and poetry and short stories. Meanwhile her father, before he died, wrote from personal experience and longing.

"[P]erhaps happiness / Will again emerge from out of reach / Infinity, shine upon me... I beseech." There's a lovely rhythm and haunting half-hidden rhyme to Uvi Poznansky's translation of her father's poetry, a love and loyalty that breathes through the shapes of the words. Her father knew he was dying and images of autumn hold haunting thoughts of death and separation. "It's fall: all flawed," but home hides those flaws, love in the turn of a page.

"No longer will I carry you in my arms, little girl," her father writes. And she, the daughter carries his words, soothes them to the page, and holds them out, proud parent of the parent's love, for all of us to see. Chasing after the home of her father and memories, Uvi finds him chasing after her. I hope in this book they've found each other. Meanwhile, as I read, I'm glad to have found them both and a growing image of my own "home."

This review can be found here.  

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A New 5-Star Review Presents a Thin Line between Life and Fiction

I truly enjoyed reading the following review because it suggests a blending of the subjects found in my two recent books, Home and Apart From Love. While the two are distinctly different, there are naturally some themes that can be found in both of them. Apart From Love is a work of fiction. Lenny, the father in this novel does share one trait with my father: he is a writer. So I let him express a lot of my ideas about the process of writing, and the relationship between author and reader. Also, he uses an old typing machine; which my father used too. But this is where the similarity ends. The family structure here is different, and so are the conflicts between the characters. 

Still, it is rewarding to know that Marianne, the reviewer here, felt that the character came alive for her, and so she believes that Lenny was fleshed out of my real family life.

5.0 out of 5 stars
Apart From LoveSeptember 25, 2012
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is a moving, very sensitive story told by the author about her recollections about her father. It is so lovely, and told with very beautiful prose. Truly a loving portrait emerges of the author & her father.

This review can be found on the Amazon page of my book, here

Monday, October 15, 2012

Home's Nostalga

Dan Strawn took up creative writing after a long career in business and education. In addition to his longer works, his stories and essays have been published in a number of editions of Idaho Magazine and Trail Blazer Magazine. He is the author of Isaac's Gun, Body of Work, and Breakfast at Blair's, and his novel Lame Bird's Legacy will hit the market October 19thSo I am truly honored that he got my book Home, read it and posted this five star review:

5.0 out of 5 stars Home's nostalgaOctober 14, 2012

Neither wild ride through history nor romance that singes your finger tips when you turn each page; neither Bram-Stoker-style piece of horror, who-done-it mystery nor gossip-filled memoir, Home is a delicate, detailed expression of love between the author, Uvi Poznansky, and her poet father, Zeev Kachel.

In "Home", Poznansky has created a patchwork quilt made up of her proses and poetry along with vignettes of her father's verses. Her prose paint a broad picture of her father's life circumstance. Her poetry is carefully contrived to honor him by emulating his poetic style.

Like a skilled surgeon wielding a scalpel, Poznansky uses carefully contrived words to open her heart. In doing so she becomes Every Woman telling the world she is her father's daughter. In doing so, she crosses the gender gap and makes her readers, men and women, aware of the meaningful moments in their own pasts.

The tender feelings and raw life carried in the combination of Poznansky's writing and her father's poetry will leave you wandering around for days with bits of "Home," now--for you--nostalgic flotsam, floating in your mind.


This review can be found on the book's Amazon page, here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Let's Raise Our Glasses

Let's raise our glasses... To friendship, so true!
Feels like spring, even though it is fall 
Here we are, right at home. Good luck to you  
My heart overflows... Good luck to all!

★ Inspired by poetry? Treat yourself a gift ★


FREE Kindle  Nook  Apple  Kobo 

 Google Play  Smashwords

Audiobok US UK FR DE

Paperback  Hardcover  Barnes&Noble

In Full Blossom!

So we're having a launch party for Home! My honey cake, cookies, coffee... And flowers from friends and readers from around the world!

★ Inspired by poetry? Treat yourself a gift ★
FREE Kindle ★ Nook ★ Apple ★ Kobo 
AudibleUS ★ UK  FR  DE
Audiobook: Amazon US  Amazon UK
Paperback: Amazon  Barnes&Noble

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

So What's the Plan?

So, you ask, what is the plan for Home? Are we going to have a launch party On Oct. 10, or what? 

What a question! We are, and this is the way I see it: an intimate gathering. No need to bring anything; nothing but good wishes! But if you insist, think of bringing me something special, the way you would for your mom. Perhaps, a flower? I would love that! Post it on the event page (it could be a photo, a drawing, a scribble.) 

If you do, I will put your flower here, in this vase, which I have already painted in anticipation of your visit. I can already imagine a delicate fragrance wafting through the air... 

The Quilt Of Memories

Come up for a breath... Fight your way back, against the flow
of time
Is your hand too cold? Can it sense the warming, the glow
As you climb?
Reflections are trembling, rippling to the edge of the pond
Water lily
Stay here, just under this surface... You can see far beyond
In the dark, really.

(Inspired by the water lily in the quilt)

Thank you for sharing your memories--in photographs and art--describing your home. 
I have woven them together, into a quilt of memories, and presented at my launch party
In celebration of my new book, Home

Images contributed by 
Charudutta Aghor (interior designer, poet. Naqpur, India)
R. Russell Bittner (father first and foremost, poet. Brooklin NY)
Ia Uaro (author of Sydney's Song. Sydney, Australia)
Thomas Carty (Poet, Celtic fanatic. Tullamore, Ireland)
Ivy Ford DeShield (Contributing Editor @Recipes for Good Living Magazine. Washington)
Chris Lawrence (writer. West Kirby, UK)
Aimee Anderson (freelance writer. Boston, Massachusetts)
Tony Henninger (poet & writer. Midland, Texas)
Renee Pierce Williams (Author of Buck the Good Doog, Midland, Georgia)
Abdullah Jaan
Uvi Poznansky

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Back on the Show: Sports and Life, LA Talk Radio

After my first time on his radio show--in which we talked about my novel, Apart From Love--I wrote this for Cameron:

He brings athletes, belly dancers, performers each Friday
Right into your bedroom, for you to hear, honey! 
So when Cameron called me I knew, I just knew, right away 
That with him, I'll find myself in such great company!

He asked: if your novel would turn into a movie
Who'd play Ben--immature, insecure and naive?
Who'd play Anita--sexy, edgy, and groovy? 
What my answer was, you just wouldn't believe!

Let me introduce him to you: Cameron Datzker is a veteran of sports talk radio for over 20 years. His background starts back as a play by play announcer calling both college football, and minor league baseball and hockey. He has spent his broadcasting days as a host for various radio stations in both New York and Chicago and Oklahoma City. Cameron had the highest rated public access shows called, "it's a sports thing" which appeared on the Time Warner TV Network, this show featured various no name singers, dancers and performers as well as it featured belly dancers and  celebrities in the community. To listen to our first conversation, click here. 

Now, not being a belly dancer, I am very honored that Cameron asked me to come back on his show, Sports and Life on LA Talk Radio, this time to talk about my poetry book, Home. The show will air Friday night, Oct. 5, 2012, at 8:00pm Pacific Standard Time. 

To listen live, click here and choose Channel 1. 
The Live Call-In number: 1-323-203-0815. I would love to talk to you! 

Monday, October 1, 2012

At the core, what does home mean to you?

At the core, what does home mean to you? When you close your eyes, what image comes to mind? For me, the image that best captures the essence of this word was painted when I was ten years old. Outlined with simple pencil lines, brushed in a flat manner with Gouache paints, and perceived through a head-on perspective, this is a scene of the 'golden age' of my family: 

Here we are, my father, mother and I, dancing the Twist (or at least, learning to do so) in unison. In the left corner you can spot the radio (set on an end table); in the right corner is a hanging lamp, on the wall over our head is a framed landscape, under our feet is a beautiful persian rug, the pillows on the red sofa seem to dance as well, or at least they are balanced on a point...  And most importantly, all three of us are feeling the same beat. This, to me, is not just a picture of home; it is a picture of happiness. It is what was lost in later years, when my parents separated.

Later in his life, when left alone in this space, my father painted it and through the walls he connected it to the memory of his childhood home. You can see the same red sofa, the framed landscape, the Persian rug... But not a living soul. The place is empty, and he filled it but conjuring the image of his mother rocking the cradle.

Later still, when he passed away, this space transformed once again in my mind. The landscape faded away from its frame, and it is barely hanging, barely clinging to the wall. The designs on the Persian rug have faded out too. It has multiplied into layers of blank paper that are swaying under your feet. The lamp is not just hanging, it is swinging wildly, giving a rhythm to the gusts of wind that threaten to destroy this place. It has already kicked the end table (where the radio used to stand in the first image, and where later my father would put his pen and notebook) upside down.

Which brings me to this moment, where again--to fill the emptiness of this space I conjured up a spirit, a muse that with great pity takes the place, in its entirety, into her arms; embraces it, and mourns not only the passing of my father, but all the lives lived between these walls, and moved on and away.

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"Absolutely Stunning!"