Jeff Bezos

Michigan GOP Gay Rights; Jeff Bezos Buys Washington Post; YA Books for Grown Ups

Michigan GOP Gay Rights

In a turn of events that doesn’t surprise me all that much, it’s being reported that Michigan’s Republican leadership is hinting at supporting LGBT equal rights. More than half of Michigan residents support LGBT equal rights according to a recent poll. There are many gay Republicans living in Michigan who want equal rights, as well as Republicans who have gay friends and family members. In other words, the world is round; fire is hot.

“This is an opportunity for the Governor to lead a bipartisan effort addressing a growing threat to our economy and families by amending Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include equal protections for LGBT workers and families,” said Emily Dievendorf, managing director of LBGT advocacy group Equality Michigan.

In spite of how much I hate the fact that same sex marriage is still not legal in Pennsylvania, and I’m not legally allowed to marry my partner of twenty years in the state where I reside (and please don’t tell me I can marry in another state and still receive the same equality: NOT), I do think that President Obama was correct in supporting same sex marriage and LGBT equal rights without actually demanding it from the people. This is something that is still going to take time, from state to state. But I don’t think it’s going to take as long as we thought. And I think what’s going to bring this on is the way people react in polls like the one they did in Michigan. As I said, there are a lot of gay Republicans and Republicans with gay family members out there we don’t hear from often.

You can read more here.

Jeff Bezos Buys Washington Post

I hate to find this so amusing, but I can’t help it, especially when I think about how many people were stunned to actually discover the Washington Post was for sale. Forget about the fact that Jeff Bezos is the one who purchased it. In the same respect, I can only imagine the thrill that must have been going up Bezos’ leg all through that deal.

I can only imagine what’s going on at the water cooler at the WP this week.

At $250 million for a paper that is in its 7th straight year of declining revenues, the Post doesn’t come cheap, but Bezos has more than enough money to not only cover the cost of the purchase, but also any losses that might come in a difficult news environment. FORBES estimates Bezos’ net worth at $28 billion, up $3 billion since March and $5 billion since the 2012 FORBES 400.

It should be interesting to see what Bezos does with this purchase. And even more interesting to see what he buys next. I’m betting on something TV or film oriented…something in Hollywood. Or maybe even the failing CNN network. But you never know with Bezos. I wish he’d buy Russia and put an end to all the LGBT discrimination. I doubt that will happen.

You can read more here.

Young Adult Books for Grown Ups

I’ve posted reviews here for YA books I’ve read and loved, specifically for author Michael Northrope’s YA books. But this article in HarperCollins to which I’m linking gets into all this with more involved examples.

A lot of YA is reading candy. It’s short, sweet, and entertaining. But just like any other genre (that’s right…YA is a genre), there are works that move you and change how you look at life and the people around you (I’m looking at you The Fault in Our Stars and Tiger Lily).

I never did bother with Harry Potter, but that’s because HP fell into a sub-genre I wouldn’t normally read in adult books. I’ve never been big on the fantasy genres. However, I find myself getting more involved in YA and New Adult books these days for pure simple reading pleasure. And I find the authors who write in these genres highly professional from a pure writing POV. They seem to know what they are doing and they aren’t winging it or pretending to be writers without having a clue…”she fingered her pearls.”  

You can read more here.

Kindle Direct Publishing Newsletter…

Since I’ve been getting the Kindle Direct Publishing Newsletter I’ve been sharing a few interesting things from it here on the blog. Now that I have two titles out with KDP, I’m interested in learning more in all regards. From what I hear, so are a lot of other authors.

I’m sure this letter from Jeff Bezos will hit home for many aspiring writers. As a sidenote, I didn’t read the book that is discussed below and I’m not endorsing it or promoting it. I’m just passing on facts from the newsletter itself.

In case you didn’t see the letter from Jeff Bezos we featured on the homepage this week, it was dedicated to KDP and highlighted a great blog post from KDP author Jessica Park (Flat-Out Love). Below is the text version. Enjoy!

Dear Customers,

“Did I cry over some of these rejections? Absolutely. Did I feel inadequate, untalented, hurt? Yes. Did I doubt my ability to craft a story that readers could fall in love with? You bet.”

That’s Jessica Park, who hit road block after road block trying to get her book Flat-Out Love in front of readers. You can read her incredible blog post on IndieReader (also picked up by HuffPost) detailing her perseverance and how she finally succeeded by doing it herself with Kindle Direct Publishing. It’s heartwarming and tells a powerful story about what KDP makes possible.

Kindle Direct Publishing empowers serious authors to reach readers, build a following, make a living, and to do it on their own terms. Readers get lower prices, authors get higher royalties, and we all get a more diverse book culture (no expert gatekeepers saying “sorry but that will never work”). KDP is already meaningful–22 of our top 100 best-selling Kindle books so far this year are KDP books–and more great stories are being published every day. You can find Flat-Out Love here. Thanks for being a customer.

Jeff Bezos
Founder & CEO

News from BEA about KDP:

We had a jam-packed week of events at Book Expo America (BEA). This year’s attendance allowed us to connect with current KDP authors and many authors who were considering using KDP to publish their books.

Our presence began with a booth at the uPublishuU event on June 5th, prior to the start of the main show, which included a session featuring KDP authors and Amazon Author & Publisher Relations Director, Jon Fine. During BEA, which ran from June 5th – June 8th, we had the opportunity to meet and answer the questions of many authors and publishers. Additionally we hosted several sessions at our booth focusing on KDP and Amazon’s other independent publishing entities: CreateSpace for print and ACX for audiobooks. The sessions drew large crowds of interested people who were able to ask us questions and engage in Q&A with KDP authors Barbara Freethy, Theresa Ragan, and Tina Folsom. Barbara, Theresa, and Tina shared their stories of why they decided to publish independently through KDP and what success they’ve experienced since. In addition, two of our authors, James Altucher (I Was Blind But Now I See) and Theresa Ragan (Abducted and Return of the Rose) signed copies of their CreateSpace books for their fans and visitors. We heartily enjoyed meeting all the wonderful KDP authors who were in attendance at BEA and look forward to sharing more of your stories with our author community

We’ll be attending more events in the U.S. and around the world, so stay tuned for more announcements. If you’d rather connect with us in Europe, keep in mind that we will also be attending the Frankfurt Book Fair in October.