My Unusual Goal – Kumquats

I have a desire for something a bit unusual. I want to grow kumquats.

KumquatWhat exactly are kumquats, you ask? They’re a small citrus fruit native to Asia, and they’re quite different from other citrus fruits. You can eat them whole. You don’t peel them at all. The peel is sweet, while the inside is sour. It tastes pretty good.

But I want to grow them. They’re able to grow in colder climates, but they can only tolerate down to -10 degrees Celsius. That means I couldn’t grow them outside in Canada. I’d have to grow them inside. But that’s okay, I’ve attempted growing oranges when I was a kid. I didn’t get any fruit, but the tree lived. I’m curious to see if I can get any fruit. If so, we can eat them.

Do you have any unusual goals? Let me know in the comments.

Changes Coming to Amazon’s Kindle

Publishing to Amazon’s Kindle has been easy for anyone to do, and has flooded the market with self-published eBooks. They range from professionally well-done to amateurishly horrible. Amazon wants to solve the problem of substandard eBooks.

eNovel Authors at Work posted a great article about the changes and what they mean to the average indie author. To get yourself familiar with what’s happening, I suggest you read it. It may make life easier for you.

The changes come into effect in February and will affect indie authors, small publishers, online publishers, and boutique publishers. This does not affect traditional publishers who concentrate on print books. When there are errors in the book, such as spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes, formatting issues, and just plain poor quality, the book will be flagged and taken offline. The author is then notified and asked to fix the problems before it can be published again. Even one complaint by a reader can result in a book being pulled. Thankfully, fixing the issues is easy, especially if it’s just a spelling or grammar mistake. In fact, Amazon will tell you exactly where the errors are. Sometimes, they’ll be foreign words. Fair enough, those don’t need to be changed. Before publishing, you can even use Kindle’s online proofer to find the mistakes. If there are no problems, publish away!

My worries are probably minor, but what if a book is constantly being tagged as poor quality because of technobabble, magic words, or unique names that the author has made up? I’d hope that wouldn’t be an issue.

On the positive side, this will force authors to make sure their books are good quality. It may discourage the lazy or unmotivated authors from publishing substandard books. They may try anyway, and get frustrated. I could see the number of books published this year decreasing because they’re prevented from publishing their error-riddled novels.

As always, I’m a wait and see kind of person. I’m interesting in seeing how this goes. What do you think? Do you agree with the new rules? Or do you have any worries? Let me know in the comments.