Amazon, are you INSANE?!

This morning I’m in the middle of the chaos involved when coordinating multiple closings, packing my house contents, and multiple urgent communications from realtors, contractors, and people vital to my survival over the next weeks. “Plink!” My phone signals something highly urgent needs my attention  I climb down off the ladder, stow my tools, and trudge wearily across the room to see who needs me so urgently.

My Kindle App is screaming for my attention! I look at the screen. What?! Double take, head shake, peer more closely. Yes, there is an URGENT banner alert from my Kindle app. “Your books miss you! Jump back into your book or find a new one.”

<Insert a stream of colorful, verbose, and multi-lingual ex-military officer fluency level profanity here>

Now I deliberately switch off all alerts except severe weather, mandatory law enforcement, and texts from people I REALLY need to talk to urgently. But Amazon didn’t give me a choice. It snuck one in and gave it the same level of urgency as the heat advisory from my local weather service. Really? I mean REALLY???!!

I’m an author. Books are my life. But there is not a book on the face of this planet, including mine, that require a bulletin alert on my iPhone. Let me repeat that, as Amazon seems to have lost touch with reality in their haste to worship the almighty algorithm. THERE IS NOT A BOOK IN EXISTENCE THAT REQUIRES AN ALERT ON MY PHONE!

Yes, I went to the settings and promptly turned off all notifications from Kindle. That’s not the point. I want a choice up front before an app screams for my attention. I limit those “Plink!” sounds for a reason. Thanks to iBooks, Kobo, and multiple ebook options from the libraries I belong to, I have options. Right now, my option is found under Settings on my phone and I’m heading back up that ladder to get on with my day. But Amazon just reminded me of the importance of competition. And choice.

Own & Control Your Data – A Lesson In Fickle Social Media Platforms

This morning I woke to find myself locked out of my Facebook account. As I scan in various forms of ID to try to prove to the monolith that I’m truly me, I’m thanking the malicious spammer for providing the impetus I needed to go ahead and take this site live.

It may not be pretty. I might not have all the pages populated or the pretty pictures that I planned. But I own the domain. I control the information. And I’ll be spending my time, effort and money here. Where I decide what gets seen, boosted or accessed.

I can only imagine the havoc this might have had if the timing were different. If I were in the midst of a publicity campaign for my upcoming books.

Thanks to some malicious excuse for a human, I learned a valuable lesson. My posts will originate from this site. My publicity will originate from this site. And my buy links, when the books go live, will be on this site. I am never again leaving myself or my career at the mercy of a corporate monolith where anyone can knock my business offline at the press of a key.

My abject apologies to the authors whose campaigns I was boosting, the loops I’ve suddenly dropped from in mid conversation, and the people suddenly having to link via our professional organizations, email, and other means. It’s an inconvenience, I know. All because some malicious excuse for a human being decided to get their anonymous jollies at my expense. Lesson learned.