Bobbi Ann Johnson Holmes

An Update to today’s update…

This morning I received the following email:

Dear Bobbi Holmes,
Your NOOK Press account has been reactivated. Over the next 24 to 72 hours your NOOK Books will be back on sale in the NOOK Bookstore.

Please email us using this form with any questions you may have.
Sincerely,
The NOOK Press Team

While I am pleased they reactivated the account, I would have appreciated an explanation as to WHY it was terminated in the first place. I have sent them another email, asking that question. I will be curious to see if they respond.

Interestingly, this morning one of my readers left this comment on my blog:

Bobbi I just texted Barnes and noble and they told me they are still selling your books and have no knowledge of a termination of your books then sent me a link to show them. I’m not sure what’s going on but they apologized for any inconvenience. I told them they were going to lose a lot of customers. Penny

My thanks to Penny, and to all my readers who contacted Barnes & Noble. I do find it odd they claimed not to have knowledge of any termination—the email Nook Press Team sent me this morning tells another story. Plus, over at my account, while it was no longer on hold, all of my titles were in unpublished status. I went through and republished when possible, and hopefully they will be live by tomorrow.

Once again, thanks to all my readers for your support and for contacting Barnes & Noble. You are the best.

Now I have a book to write…

 

Update on NookPress Termination

As of this morning, all of my books have been removed from Barnes & Noble. I am still waiting for an explanation as to why.

I have only received two emails from Barnes & Noble’s Nook Press regarding this matter.

The first email arrived on Monday, telling me my account was on hold. It instructed me to contact them “for information on why your account has been placed on hold and to discuss any necessary next steps to reactivate your account.”

I was clearly led to believe I simply needed to take some steps in order to reactivate the account. But what steps?

After I contact them, I received an email the following day—yesterday. It did not include any steps to rectify any problem—instead, it informed me my account had been terminated. According to this second email, “We have determined that many of your titles available for sale are in violation of our Content Policy.”

At the time all this was happening, I was hearing from other authors who claimed their NookPress accounts were also being closed, and it is all about an erotica purge. They explained, even if a publisher no longer had erotica published, accounts were being closed.

But perhaps it was all a coincidence—for me and them.

I never meant to suggest Nook Press considered Haunting Danielle erotica—yet I did believe the termination had something to do with past erotica content by the publisher, as the other authors claimed.

So, if not erotica, what else is in their updated Content Policy? I took a closer look and discovered it is a violation for the author to include any hyperlinks or contact information in the eBooks. It has always been standard practice to include a link to an author’s newsletter—and even the standard eBook creation software inserts a hyperlink to the publisher’s website.

In the past, it has always been understood to never include links to competitive stores, but the others links were typically accepted. Was it about hyperlinks or past erotica?

Unfortunately, NookPress never gave me those steps they said they would be sending—the steps to put the account in compliance. Instead, they simply terminated. So, I don’t really know if it was about hyperlinks or past erotica.

Either way, I am moving on. I have a new book to write and another to get off to my editor. You can still find my books at Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords and iTunes.

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NookPress closing author accounts?

This morning I received the following email from Barnes & Noble’s NookPress:

Dear Publisher,
We have determined that many of your titles available for sale are in violation of our Content Policy. Accordingly, the offending titles have been removed from sale and your account is being terminated. We will pay out any and all outstanding royalties during the next payment period. If you attempt to publish similar content under a different account, we will terminate that account as well and withhold royalties from those sales.
The NOOK Press Team

Umm…okay…please explain which of my titles currently for sale are in violation of their content policy. I would love for them to answer that question for me. Unfortunately, NookPress doesn’t have a contact phone number, and they keep sending me form letters in response to my email inquiries.

While I have published erotica in the past, I unpublished my erotica TWO YEARS ago. And even if it was still for sale at Barnes & Noble (which it isn’t) I don’t see how they would have violated any of the terms at the time. After all, they did allow erotica back then, and I tend to play by the rules. (I am a bit of a compulsive rule follower.)

The majority of my books on sale at Barnes & Noble are books in the Haunting Danielle series—a very G-rated paranormal cozy mystery series. I have four very light romances under my Anna J. McIntyre pen name, and several nonfiction. Nothing smutty in the bunch, and all with registered Copyrights—so no violations there.

I know it isn’t a phishing email, because when I log into my NookPress account, it has a notice that the account is on hold. It is always possible this is some kind of a glitch. A few months back they sent me an email claiming there was a new payment pending—one they didn’t owe me. A few days later I received an email claiming the payment message had been sent in error. However, I am hearing from other authors that Barnes and Noble has been sending similar emails to erotica authors.

Funny thing, my titles are still live at Barnes & Noble, at least they were a few minutes ago—telling me none of them were the offending ones. (So what exactly have they removed?) While my books are still there, according to the email, my account is about to be terminated.

Ironically, many of my fellow authors have tried talking me into putting my Haunting Danielle books on Amazon Select. To do so means I have to first un-publish from all non-Amazon sites. I have been reluctant to do this—in spite of the extra money the authors claim I can make—because many of my Haunting Danielle fans like to buy their books at Barnes & Noble, and I don’t feel right about making them exclusive to Amazon, in detriment to my fans.

However, even if I wanted to put them on Select right now I can’t. Why? Because NookPress has my account on hold, and I can’t make any changes—not even to un-publish. So, on one side they claim I can no longer sell my books on their site—and on the flip side, they continue to sell my books, not giving me a way to remove them, therefore making them ineligible for Amazon Select.

Annoying….

 

 

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What we fail to see.

The high school I attended was all white—except for one of my girlfriends and her two siblings. Their father was white; and their mother was Nicaraguan. That was about all the color in the school, except for the one black student who showed up for one day. He didn’t return the next day.

My memory was that everyone was very nice to him and welcoming. I just always assumed he looked around at the sea of white faces and thought, hell no, I’m out of here.

Unfortunately, back then I had a tendency to view the world through rose colored glasses and often missed the ugliness staring me in the face. Until I hit my fifties, I tended to give people the benefit of the doubt. Today, I am more of a cynic.

I hope my fellow classmates back then were nice to that African American student. But, I’m no longer sure. I have no idea what some of the other students may have said to him. After all, it was decades after graduation that I learned how one of my friends had been cruelly harassed by the male classmates for the size of her large breasts, and how another friend had been physically abused by her boyfriend—both popular students in the school. I had no idea, but other kids knew. Heck, when one of my close friends married young, I was probably the only person in the school who never considered for a moment she might be pregnant. She was.

Growing up in Covina, California, I attended what was essentially an all-white elementary school. There were one or two Hispanics and Asians, but no black students the years I attended there. My first encounter with a black person was a student teacher I had in the fourth grade. I adored that teacher, yet now, looking back, I have to wonder what type of reception he had from the all-white school. This was in the mid-60s. I would love to sit down with him and find out what it was like for him back then.

My next encounter with a person of color was a few years later, when my parents were off on a snow skiing trip, and my grandmother was staying with us. My grandmother’s first husband (my mother’s father) had passed away when Mom was a little girl. Years later, Grandma married my Grandpa Pete, a dear man, who was a wonderful grandfather to me.

While Grandma was staying with us, Grandpa Pete’s grandson came to visit, bringing his army buddy with him. The two came to our house to have dinner and to visit with Grandma. I remember Grandpa’s grandson and the friend were very nice, and we enjoyed the visit. Did I mention the friend was black?

It wasn’t until I was much older that I learned my grandma’s sister had had an absolute fit over the fact Grandpa’s grandson had had the audacity to bring a black man into my parent’s home. My parents weren’t upset over the visit, and the story told in following years centered on my great-aunt’s foolishness and bigotry.

It wasn’t until we moved to Havasu did I have any real exposure to minorities. Before going to that all white school I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I attended the last half of my eight grade, and freshman year, in racially diverse schools.

I only recall witnessing one racially motivated conflict. I was riding home on the bus (it was a considerable drive from Parker, Arizona to Parker Dam, California) when a white girl—who was dating a black student—was being verbally harassed by several white girls on the bus. I remember saying something to the boy I was dating, about how I felt bad I hadn’t spoken up, and that I needed to, if it happened again. He told me to keep my mouth shut, that those girls would kick my ass.

My next encounter with bigotry came at that all-white high school. I can still remember; I was in biology class, when one of my classmates, a boy who was a year or two younger than me, declared his hatred of black people.

He had always seemed like such a nice guy; I found that expression of hate out of place. I asked him why he hated blacks. He didn’t really have a reason, he just did. I then told him I was part black; did he hate me too?

I had lied, but I have very dark brown eyes. I used those eyes to convince him, after he initially laughed off my claim.

“Why do you think I have such black eyes?” I asked him in seriousness.

He looked at me strangely, and then said he was sad, but he couldn’t be my friend anymore. He told me he wished I had never told him. Just like that, in an instant, he disliked me for no reason aside from the fact he believed I had a person of color in my family tree. And he was serious. Oh, he didn’t start yelling obscenities at me, or threaten to burn a cross on my lawn—of course no one had lawns in Havasu—but he was instantly cool toward me.

When he found out I had been pulling his leg, his demeanor once again changed, and he figured we could be friends again. Needless to say, I never looked at him the same way. While he was a classmate, I never again considered him a friend.

So what is my point in all this?

Just because you don’t see racism around you, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

Back to everyday life.

I always feel such profound sadness when my kids go home after a visit. It was a wonderful week. Our son-in-law was a real sport for coming, in spite of his broken foot. Havasu in August with a cast is no fun, but he toughed it out.

I enjoyed my pool time with the grandkids and our daughter Elizabeth, and telling Addison and Evan stories at night. They don’t want me to read to them—they want me to make up adventure stories where they are the main characters. It is a bit of a challenge to come up with new stories each night where mermaids, giants, and dragons are all included in each story.

I loved seeing how Addison and Evan bond with their GG —my mom, their great-grandma. They both adore her, and each morning they would race out of their room and ask me if they could go see her. They didn’t want to wake her up if she was still sleeping.

This was the first trip where the grandkids stayed in the house with us, while their mom and dad stayed alone in the cottage.

Elizabeth and Joe took off for Phoenix over the weekend, so they could go to a Cubs game. The grandkids stayed with us. Elizabeth and Joe don’t get much adult time away from the kids. Wish we could help them out more.

But now we all go back to our regular lives. For me, it is wrapping up a book and starting a new one. For our daughter it is the busy life as mother, wife and graphic artist. Her plate is especially full at the moment as Joe is hopping around on one leg.

They left early this morning. I’ve put away the blow up bed I bought for Evan, stored the toys back in the closet, and returned our home to one that is strikingly adult–the only toys in sight are dog toys.

But when I came out to the cottage a few minutes ago, I was greeted with something cheerful–something my grandkids left behind. The water picture paintings they made when their folks were off to the baseball game.

The paintings are hanging on the cottage refrigerator, just a few feet from my desk. I think I will leave them there.

Spending time with some real characters!

This week while The Ghost and the Bride is off with the beta readers, I will be spending time with two young people who inspired my character Evan MacDonald. Readers know young Evan as the police chief’s youngest son, who, like Danielle, can see ghosts.

The inspiration for that character came from my two grandchildren, Addison and Evan. I gave Evan MacDonald my grandson’s first name, and I made him the same age as my granddaughter.

The description of young Evan MacDonald was inspired by my grandson. Yet, I don’t think my Evan can see ghosts. Although…if you look at the photo (taken last year), maybe Evan has just stopped to chat up a spirit.

Even Sadie questions this review…

Every once in a while, a review left on one of my books catches my attention for its absurdity. The following review was left on one of the books from my Haunting Danielle series.

“I haven’t been able to finish this book yet as once again, someone is being blamed for murder. Same old same old…”

You might assume I find the review absurd because the Haunting Danielle series is in the cozy mystery genre. And in a cozy mystery, people generally get murdered—and people get blamed for murder. Therefore, slamming a cozy for having a murder, is a bit like slamming a cookbook for having recipes.

But that is not the reason—it was because, in this particular book, no one was murdered, therefore, no one was blamed for a murder.

Oops…did perhaps the reviewer review the wrong book?

Book Festivals & Book Signings

Unlike many of my author friends, I haven’t done many book signings. To be honest, I’ve never done an official book signing where a book store or similar venue hosts an event where I am the main attraction and people come specifically to see me and buy a book for me to sign—or in some cases, stick around while I read passages out of one of my books.

Book signings just don’t happen—someone needs to plan them. Typically, that someone is the author or someone working on the author’s behalf. When it comes to this type of promotion, I tend to be a little shy. I know I should do them, but I spend much of my time in front of a computer as opposed to putting myself out there with the public. As with many writers, I am a bit of an introvert.

However, a number of years ago I was asked to speak at the local museum regarding my family’s experience at Havasu Palms. That speaking engagement led to several more locally—with the hospital axillary, the genealogy society, and the Colonial Dames. While I wasn’t there to pitch my book and give out signatures, those speaking engagements were the catalysts for me writing Havasu Palms, A Hostile Takeover.

I have participated in several local shopping events—where I set up a table with my paper books and meet the public. However, none of those are primarily book events. The person set up in the table next to me might be selling oil paintings or homemade soap—or even real estate.

Living in Lake Havasu City, Arizona—a fairly isolated area—there aren’t many opportunities to participate in book festivals. Before the eBook revolution, I did participate in two local book fairs, which—if memory serves me—was hosted by our local writer’s group—or perhaps it was the community college?

Payson Arizona recently hosted a Book Festival, showcasing Arizona authors. I didn’t participate as an author, but I did go to show support to one of my author friends, Susan Haught. The above photograph shows Susan’s table at the festival. It was a nice event, and I enjoyed seeing the books from all the talented Arizona authors. Maybe next year.