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Cathy"Dark Writer" M.

2 Level 2 Contributor
  • 8 Reviews
  • 23 Helpful Votes
  • 0 Thank Yous

Experience: Computers & Technology, Art & Design, Shopping

Member since September 2018

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About Me

I'm an indie author with seven books published, among them The Blood Line series. I'm also a wife, mother, and grandmother. My website is https://www.cathypacematthews.com

How I Can Help

I was fortunate in having a mentor to help me through a lot of the pitfalls of being a indie author. Instead of turning to groups find an experienced writer to help you through the maze that writing can often trap you in.


Outside of my wonderful family, old Greyhound buses and that's a long story.

8 Reviews by Cathy

As most of us know facebook has an Algorithm that dictates how many people, and it isn't a lot, and who sees your post. I'm always getting these post pop up on my page
that says hold your finger down on this and yada, yada, yada. It doesn't work, at least not for me. What it boils down to is facebook trying to entice you to buy into their ad campaigns, so they can make money off you. Yes, they all do it, YouTube, Twitter, etc.
and I must admit I've bought into a few. I've stopped. Here's the reason why.

Yes, I know that you have to spend money to make money, but I don't have to be stupid either. You post, and you post, and you post until sometimes you might make your friends nuts. If you're selling a product or in my case trying to get people interested in my books, I've set up not only book pages but character pages. You spread the word anyway you can. Use tags, use URL's when you have them, don't have a website, set one up. I don't know how I can have so many people visiting my website and me not selling more books. I figured part of it out. Same thing. Use those URL's, tag lines, and
post regularly. Don't be afraid to repost something you have in the past. Not a lot of people saw it the first time around unless you're someone like Steven King or James Patterson. Keep reposting. It doesn't matter if it's a blog, vlog, a short story, a video, or just something you feel you must share with the world, just keep reposting.

I will give you some advice I've given to other writers. Stay away from certain subjects, top of the list politics. Also, religion. Unless you're a politician or a minister of some type or a religious writer targeting certain groups, all you're going to do is alienate a lot of people who might otherwise buy your product be it a book or anything else.

The one thing it is going to take from you is dedication to what you're doing and the belief in what your promoting. Another words, it going to take some hard work on your part. You can try to buy that from others but unless you have an unlimited supply of money that's not going to get you far.

So, you want to beat the algorithms then You are going to have to hit those buttons on your keyboard. I just got my laptop replaced for Christmas because I had worn the keys
down to nubs. That was because I do write a lot and not because I was spending the time doing the other things I needed to be doing.

If the short cuts work for you great, but for me they don't. I will wear yet another keyboard down I'm sure. I just hope this one last a little longer than the last. Poor baby. It has taken a beating.
I received a Nikon D7500 for my birthday this past December. I've used it several times, yes there was a bit of a learning curve, but there were no mechanical problems that I noticed when I received it. Then I took it out this past Sunday, April 5, 2020, and there it was. When I tried to take a picture, I got a double click and up popped the Err.
After looking up everything I could on the internet regarding this and finding out that unless you've somehow managed to get oil and dirt inside the camera and or on the connecters of the lens then there is a problem with the camera. The only option is to return the camera for service.
Here's the thing, Nikon isn't taking in any of their products for repairs at this time. I get it. The whole virus thing is a serious concern but there are certain things that makes this argument self-serving to my way of thinking. The virus is supposed to be only active for three days on metal and plastic and on cardboard for one day. I'm also certain that there are ways, I know people who are using them, to keep things from coming into contact with employees for another three to four days once it arrives on site.
I know this sounds like it is only a matter of someone who wants their camera fixed as soon as possible, and yes, I admit that I do, but they have a lot of people not working at this time. This means that there are people that might be able to be working but Nikon is using the excuse, and yes, I use the word excuse, to keep from having to pay for their support personnel. Here's the thing, try to order a camera from them. They won't hesitate a moment to send you one regardless of what the person or persons who handles the shipment may or may not have.
What really made me mad was that when I went to looking this up, the err popping up, it's not uncommon on new cameras from Nikon. Actually, it is usually a result of something that happens during manufacturing. I wonder how much they charge for this problem if they do accept the return and that doesn't include the shipping and handling.
I have made a point of being extremely careful with this camera. Not only is it kept in the case it came with, but I also bought a backpack to keep my equipment in, including the camera in the other case.
Oh, if you do have a problem with your Nikon camera, good luck in getting in contact with anyone by any means. It took me an entire day to finally get in touch with someone and that was only because I went through a back door. The online chat is even a problem. Now you tell me, does this sound like they are concerned about their employees or are they using this as a way to avoid their responsibilities to the people who have purchased their products?
• Updated review
I'm seriously considering changing to another website, so anyone with a great review of one would be appreciated. Also don't want to get charged out of having a website.
They've Been Bought Out and Changed the Rules
• Previous review
Weebly, A Whole Lot of Crap
I've been on Weebly since October of 2014. Today I found out that all the return and unique visitors I've had to my website were pretty much all bots. Really?
I've been paying Weebly a nice little monthly fee for the past several years and now they are telling me that all the people who visited my site were bots. Funny, a lot of these bots came back to my facebook page and told me how much they like, loved, or hated what I wrote there but evidently, they have been lying to me.
So now I have an escaladed complaint that someone is supposed to get back to me on, but I'll believe that when I see it. Oh, the new numbers are coming from Google Analytics. They take a bunch of made up numbers and decide on how many people are actually looking at your site. Again, really?
One of the reasons why my numbers have dropped evidently is because unless someone goes searching for my website online then it is considered a bot. This means if I post the site somewhere else and someone goes to my sight from there then it is considered a bot. That's the way Anthony explained it to me. At least that is how I took it.
Right now, I'm running an experiment. I'm asking all my friends to click on something I posted a little earlier today and once they do, getting them to come back to where I posted it and hit like. I want to see what happens.
My fb page is public so if anyone wants to help this little experiment out please do. Thanks. Thank you.
• Updated review
After I wrote this review I got another message from Amazon. I had
order a tip that I liked and it came from one of the companies that
sells through Amazon. I was given an arrive date and then date came but
the top didn't. Ups handed off the package to USPS and the top never
made it to me. It got delivered to someone else and my money would be
refunded. Of course I got asked for a review on the product. You know
how did it fit, was I happy with it, things like that. I responded.
How the heck do I know any of the things you asked when the product
never made it me. It literally got lost in the mail. They didn't like
that comment and told me that it wouldn't be posted.
Buckle Up Boys And Girls Because This One Is A Good One
• Previous review
Let me start with just one word, Amazon. You got it. As a lot of you know Amazon/Kindle finally took over everything at Createspace and left a lot of us flapping in the wind. I spent about an hour and a half today trying to find how to get to where I could create an author's profile page and finally put in a request for them to call me. After taking almost an hour to call me back and then automatically putting on hold the minute I picked up and leaving me there got over thirty minutes I finally got a live body. In the meantime,
I managed to dig deep enough to find where you had to go to get to the spot where you could create the author's page and I no longer needed the young woman who answered the phone.
Yes, I was angry and yes, I had a few choice words, but they weren't directed at this super sweet and kind young woman. Believe me she was. She's been getting a lot of angry customers trying to figure stuff out on Amazon of late and she was totally understanding and compassionate. After I got off the phone with this young lady I received a request for feedback. They got it too. It went as follows:

Do you think you can make this a little more complicated? I think if you try even a little bit you can find a way. If you're going to be bad at something you should do your absolute worse to make it happen. You're getting there but you still need a little more practice and I think you'll have it down pat. Yes, I'm mad. Finding where to go to do an author's page was harder than searching for diamonds, yes I have done that, then you make the process as problematic as you possibly can. I honestly wish I could find something nice to say about anything you do but so far wait, yes, I can find something nice to say. I spoke to a young lady on the phone today from Amazon about the problems I was having and she was so very supper sweet and understanding. I hate I can't remember her name but whoever she is, right now she may be the only good thing going for you.
If you don't like what I have to say, then don't ask.

Can you guess what happened next? You got it, an email. Now that was a sight to see or in this case to read. If you have any doubt about how Amazon feels about you, I can assure you that what I'm about to add to this little rant will put any doubts totally out of your head. This was their response:

Thanks for letting us know what you think about Author Central! We're unable to reply directly to Feedback messages, although we do read all of them. If you have a question or concern, please write to us at https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/help/contact-us and choose any of the subjects other than Feedback.
We hope to see you again soon.

Notice the part about feedback? They asked me to send feedback but if I have any questions or concerns contact them just not about feedback. Seriously? Right now, I'm having a real hard time not telling them what they can do with themselves and the horse they rode in on. So, like I said if you hand even the slightest hope that Amazon gives one tiny, little, minute concern for you this should put that to rest for good.
What can we do about this? Unless we're brave enough to take a stand together, nothing. There's a new website called The Independent Author and it's hoping to help make our voices louder. Anyway, here is the link should you want to have a look. https://www.theindependentauthorsvoice.com
If enough of us stand together we might be able to change something, maybe not, but it's certainly won't happen if we do nothing.

If enough of us
stand together we might be able to change something, maybe not, but it's
certainly won't happen if we do nothing.

Yep I'm going after the big boy. My wonderful hubby bought me a super awesome
computer for Christmas. Saying he bought it really doesn't do justice to what he actually did. To make sure I got what I needed on my new laptop he had HP build it to my needs. This thing is wonderful. Well almost wonderful.
One of the things I do is make book trailers and videos. Well Microsoft discontinued the video maker I used and then turned around and limited the fonts for paint. You would be surprised at what I can do on paint. Now I can get more for free but it's pretty much more of the same. There's a couple of them you can buy but I'm having issues with that. I don't have to ask why they did it, it was for the money, but the mercenary bull crap of this action blows my mind.
Yes, I got one of those feedback notices and yes, I gave them an earful. They haven't bothered to even respond with an email on that one. I figure they may be looking for an attorney to sue me, no I really didn't say anything I don't think that gives them cause to come after me because I saw no need. I did tell them they sucked. I also dared them to show my feedback to Bill Gates.
Here's the thing. They have taken away pretty much any of the really great script fonts and what they have left is mostly crap. I have other image apps but there was something about paint I loved. Simple to use, true not very advanced but paired with some of the other apps I use I could make a pretty good image or poster. There's one I'm going to share with you when I post this.
Windows Ten is a disappointment to say the lease but I can learn to work around it but when you take the little things away and then offer a few of them back for a few dollars, and I'm talking very damn few where the fonts are concerned, just so you can make another couple of bucks off the people who have to use you because Microsoft is pretty much the only thing offered on computers now. That's so wrong in so many way but I won't get into that because then you are getting off into legal issues.
What is the point of having this magnificent laptop if a lot of the things I had on my old one I can no longer get on the new one? Oh, I'll figure it out, I just have to be careful to make sure I don't get something I don't want on my laptop and I'm not talking some app.
Thanks Microsoft for putting me in this situation. I'll get what I need but if I can't figure
out where to find it, I've got a husband who can and will. So, will I recommend the Microsoft store to others? Not on your life. Stay away from it as much as you can and try to find other places to get what you need. Talk to people, get recommendations, do your research, whatever it takes to get what you need but try to stay away from the Microsoft store.
If someone doesn't like something now some people turn it into a political thing, but I don't think this has anything to do with left-wing or right-wing. This is more like a bunch of tenth graders deciding who is worthy of their little clicks. When I started spreading out on the social media sites one of them was Reddit. I'm a writer and I'm going to use every media site I can to promote my work.
What I found was this point system and them telling me to 'do this' but when you do, they come back with 'you're doing too much of this.' Do what? I stopped using them. That was two years ago. Recently, very recently, I decided to give it another try. Yes, I forgot why I stopped messing with them. One attempted post and I remembered why I stopped wasting my time with Reddit. Now they have brought bit coin into the whole thing. That alone is enough reason for me to back away but this, you can't post something without gaining points, come on.
Anyway, I was going to play by the rules and go through the feed and see if anything struck me. Actually a few things did. They weren't small things either. They were stories about one thing or the other and I wanted to comment on them. The first one they put on hold and the second one I got the you're doing this too often' message and it told me to wait a minute. Finally it let me post the comment, the story I had read was good and I wanted to express that, and with the point I earned I wrote one of my own. Yes, it went against the rules of the group I posted it to but what the hell.
Once again I've backed away from Reddit and let's hope that I never, ever forget again why I did. Just in case you might be interested in the little story I posted I'm including it. Not because I'm trying to gain readers here but because it expresses the way they made me feel.

You Have To Wait

I looked at the words flashing before my eyes unable to believe what I was reading. I have to wait? Wait for what. I made a comment was all. What am I waiting on?
I decided to take a different route and post something and once finished I was surprised to see that I was only allowed to click the draft button. The post button was unresponsive. Now it says I must wait for a notification. Seriously? Wait for a notification? For a post?
What the crap am I waiting for?
Then I saw it. Oh my stars, surely not. I watched as the hand holding a pistol with a very long barrel pushed its way out of my computer screen. I never even had time to scream. The loud ear-splitting bang was the last thing I heard. Obviously, I didn't have to wait for that.

What I think this boils down to is someone has found a way to turn this site into something that almost has a mafia feel to it and that's scary. I made the mistake of clicking a little button that said give the contributor points. When it popped up asking for my bank info I was shocked as Hell. Sorry but there was no other way to put that. I strongly suggest that you be very careful on that site and read everything you can, including whatever they have on their site, before you get too involved with Reddit. Not much scares me but this site does.
This one is not going to be real easy to write. Back in September of 2015 I published my book Blood Lines Family Ties. Early in 2017 I took a short excerpt from that book and turned it into a video to promote my book. Soon three separate companies
claimed that I had infringed on their copyrights. I went through the You Tube procedures that took months to resolve but ultimately I won.
Now here it is over a year and a half later and yet again another company has laid claim to my intellectual property on the same video. In each case I was declared the wrong doer against these large companies and big money accounts.
When you do decide to dispute the other party's claims You Tube does everything possible to discourage you from taking any action including very thinly veiled threats such as having your video removed or even you channel blocked. That didn't stop me however. I ploughed ahead taking my chances with the process. Intimately I won out against the first three. I have to say that You Tube did notify me of those three but on this last one, no. I found out when I went three levels in to edit a couple of videos and that's when I found this one. It stated that the owner of the copyright was OK with me using their work but I wasn't allowed to make any money off it however they could and would. Yes I disputed this one as well with the usual discouragement.
The video is now listed as being disputed but this is what it has posted by it, "Your copyright dispute is currently being reviewed by the copyright owner. You'll receive a response within 30 days from when you filed the dispute." Just for the record I am the
copyright owner. It's been proven three times by You Tube themselves. Yet here we are again.

For me the real kicker isn't just that I'm being called a liar and a thief, and that is what it is, they show me my work that is in question but I never get to see the other parties work.
Well this time I'm not playing by their rules. First I have a lot of people on several sites
passing the word and of course I did another video. This was a really good one. If I can I will post it for you to check it out and please if you do don't forget to like and leave a comment.
We should have the right to see the other party's material when ours comes into question and not made to feel like we'll be punished if we stand up for ourselves. You want Google aka You Tube to take you just as serious as they do the large accounts the you had better be willing to stand together to make your point. We've all fought most of our battles against large companies alone so maybe now it's time for the independents to stand up together and have one another's back if we want to be taken seriously. We may have only a few dollars to our names but standing together those few dollars can make an awful big wave. No I'm not asking for funds just making a point.
I have now fired off an email to 60 Minutes and I suggest anyone who is having issues with You Tube do the same. Together we have a voice but separately we are mute.
Here is the link to the video.


Below is the image of my book.
If you're having problems with CreateSpace please take it to the BBB. I did. It was amazing how quickly they responded to my complaint once the BBB notified them. I've also presented CS with a bill for the issue they dropped on me. When I first started with CS in late 2014 they were great. They had been bought by Amazon at that point but that company had pretty much left CS alone. Evidently that is no longer the case. Like a lot of you I also have been told that people have bought my books but I certainly haven't seen the revenue from them.
I was surprised to see that CS has an A+ review with the BBB. You can change that. If you want to know more about the issue I had with them please go to my website, cathypacematthews.com
My review. They have no respect for the independent author.
They only got the one star because I had to because yes it does get worse.

Cathy Has Earned 23 Votes

Cathy M.'s review of Weebly earned 2 Very Helpful votes

Cathy M.'s review of YouTube earned a Very Helpful vote

Cathy M.'s review of CreateSpace earned 5 Very Helpful votes

Cathy M.'s review of Amazon earned 3 Very Helpful votes

Cathy M.'s review of Reddit earned a Funny vote

Cathy M.'s review of Reddit earned 5 Very Helpful votes

Cathy M.'s review of Facebook earned 2 Very Helpful votes

Cathy M.'s review of Microsoft earned 2 Very Helpful votes

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