Et tu, Catfish? Writing with Integrity

catfish books are rampant on fish-216132_640Recently I’ve learned about a new (to me) term: catfishing. It means someone pretending to be what they are not. In terms of selling books on the Internet, this basically boils down to someone posing as an expert in a given field, then writing short, pithy eBooks using information easily and freely accessible on the Internet (think Wikipedia) and then passing it off as a definitive guide on Amazon.

The Washington Post recently ran a very thorough article on the phenomenon. The upshot is that (1) this is nothing new; there have always been people gaming every system ever devised and (2) most of these catfishers operate at least nominally within Amazon’s guidelines with the exception of paid reviews, the thing that Amazon is really cracking down on lately. Continue reading

Indie Reads – November 2015

Indies Unlimited does not review books, but we do have a couple of renowned reviewers on staff. We thought a great way to celebrate indie writing would be to ask those reviewers for their top indie picks of the month. Here are this month’s top picks from our experts:

pilgrim wheels by Neil HansonPilgrim Wheels by Neil Hanson

“As a reader, we can hitchhike with him and share in those insights without a single turn of the pedal.”

Read the rest of the review by BigAl.

Pilgrim Wheels is available through

Larry the Horrible Time TravelerLarry the Horrible Time Traveler by Andrew Coltirn

“…The plot moves fast, I had trouble putting the book down to sleep.”

Read the rest of the review by Sam Waite.

Larry the Horrible Time Traveler is available through

The Sun SingerThe Sun Singer by Malcolm R. Campbell

“All ages of readers who enjoy mystical adventures, alternate universes, or epic tales will love this story.”

Read the rest of the review by ?wazithinkin.

The Sun Singer is available through

Behind the Eight Ball by Craig Furchtenicht

” If you enjoy hard hitting, no nonsense crime, this would be right up your street.”

Read the rest of the review by Keith Nixon.

Behind the Eight Ball is available on

What Do Authors Want from a Review/Reviewer?

why do authors behave badlyI’ve had to ask myself a question recently:  why on earth do I bother reviewing books?  Actually, I know why I started to … it coincided with the purchase of my Kindle. I fancied an anthology of my opinions and what I thought of all the books I read on it because I thought the advent of digital books was quite a Big Thing. So, wait … let me rephrase that: the behaviour of authors has made me ask myself the question. Continue reading

Crime Scene Investigator & Author Offers Tips on Making Fictional Crimes Realistic

CSI for authors crime-scene-30112_640At the October meeting of the Maryland Writers Association (Howard County), John L. French, a crime scene supervisor for the Baltimore City Police Department, offered writers some tips on making their fictional crime investigations more realistic.

French explained that the phrase “crime scene investigation” coupled with what people see on the TV show of the same name has led a touch of confusion about what CSI do. In Baltimore City, as well as many other municipalities, the CSI staff aren’t police officers. They’re civilians who work for the police department. As such, they don’t interview witnesses, canvas the neighborhoods, or generally investigate the crime. Detectives and officers do that kind of work. While CSI folks are investigators of a sort, they are tasked with investigating only the scene and the clues it has to offer. Continue reading