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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Amazon is to launch a New Platform for authors.

I came across this in Digital Reader. I'm not sure if I will try this route but I will watch it with interest given that traditional publishers forgot that their customer wasn't the bookseller but the reader. Their source of income wasn't provided by themselves but by the author they represent.


Amazon to Launch New Crowd Source Platform, Now Recruiting KDP Authors

8579276979_e78536971b_b[1]Here’s a new publishing program from Amazon which is so new that it doesn’t yet have a launch day, URL, or even a name.
Late last week Amazon started sending out emails to KDP authors, informing them of a new program which Amazon plans to launch soon. According to the email, which was forwarded to me by author Angela Kulig and by Amazon’s pr dept, when the new program launches authors will be welcomed to submit their unpublished book to what I would describe as a crowd sourcing program. 
Details are still scarce, but the email did say that it will work like this:
  1. Authors will be asked to submit their complete, never-before-published book and cover.
  2. After a few days, we will post the first pages of each book on a new website for readers to preview and nominate their favorites.
  3. Books with the most nominations will be reviewed by our team for potential publication.
I’ve confirmed the new program with Amazon pr spokesperson Susan Stockman, who told me that this program will be neither KDP nor Amazon Publishing, but something new. Unfortunately the program is so new that she was unable to provide much additional information.
Edit: If you would like to sign up to be notified when this program launches, Amazon has started a mailing list.
She was, however, able to confirm the contract terms mentioned in the email. Note what it says about the print and digital rights:
  • Guaranteed advance & competitive royalties: You will receive a guaranteed $1,500 advance and 50% royalties on net eBook revenue.
  • Focused formats: We acquire worldwide publication rights for eBook and audio formats in all languages. You retain all other rights, including print.
  • 5-year renewable terms, $5,000 in royalties: If your book doesn’t earn $5,000 in royalties during your initial 5-year contract term, and any 5-year renewal term after that, you can choose to stop publishing with us.
  • Easy reversions: After two years, your rights in any format or language that remains unpublished, or all rights for any book that earns less than $500 in total royalties in the preceding 12-month period, can be reverted upon request – no questions asked.
  • Early downloads & reviews: One week prior to release date, everyone who nominated your book will receive a free, early copy to help build momentum and customer reviews.
  • Featured Amazon marketing: Your book will be enrolled into the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, Kindle Unlimited as well as be eligible for targeted email campaigns and promotions.
Amazon isn’t the first publisher to try crowd-sourcing (in fact, a couple have launched similar programs in the past couple years) but if and when this program launches they will certainly be the most visible.
What do you think of the program?
I’ll confess; as a non-author I am reserving my opinion in order to let the experts way in.
For example, glancing through the KDP discussion forum where I first found this story, I can see that a couple authors have already expressed interest in this program:
Most of us, however, are not selling as well as we would like. For example, in a good month I may move fifty books, more during promotions. My titles have good editorial and customer reviews (and NOT by friends and relatives, either), and I’d like to think they are worth reading. I know one can’t put much stock in opinions of people one knows, but when people I haven’t seen in years have gotten in touch to tell me how much they enjoyed one of the books, I have to think that means something. All of that said, the books haven’t exactly caught fire. I could just be deceiving myself, but I’ve always felt being able to market to just the right audience could cause them to catch fire. For me, this kind of offer sounds tempting because of Amazon’s ability to market effectively on their own site. Anyway, the relative ease with which the rights revert to me if I don’t get the results I expect would reduce any risk involved.
I’d be all over it with a stand-alone just to generate more name exposure, which could lead to sales of my other books.
What do you think?

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Win some lose some but which way is best? Kindle Unlimited??

Here's another article I had to share. Each author needs to decide which way is best for them. To join KU or not to join. It's never easy. Because we don't have a time machine. There will be some losers and some winners. What we do know from amazon statistics is that romance, erotica and thrillers are the best sellers. Then it makes sense that these writers, if they jump the right way (not sure which way that is) will be winners as the readers who buy the most books buy within these genres.

"To all my fellow writers and self-publishers out there…

Some of you may be aware that Amazon launched its “All you can read for one low monthly fee” program in July of this year (2014). Essentially, you can now download and read as many ebooks as you like from Amazon’s Kindle platform for only $9.99 a month.

While this is great for readers, many Kindle-based authors were on the fence about this new program. After all, for those of us who rely on sales of our books to do pesky things like pay the rent, what would a program like this do to our bottom line?

Well, after about a month and a half of KU (that’s shorthand for Kindle Unlimited, to those of you not hip to my jive), I can certainly see some patterns emerging when it comes to my own work. But before I get into this any further, here are the basics of the KU program:
Only books enrolled in the KDP Select program are offered to KU users. All books outside of KDP Select must still be purchased, even if you subscribe to KU.
Authors get paid from the Kindle Online Lending Library (KOLL) fund. Essentially, all books downloaded by KU customers are treated like “rentals.”
Authors only get paid from KU downloads if the end user reads 10% of the book. (Apparently, Kindle has a way of tracking this.)

Since its inception, many authors have noticed there has been a definite change in their KDP stats. Personally, I’ve noticed sales have gone down slightly, while rentals have gone WAY up. Like, way, WAY up. As in, I barely got any rentals before KU, and ever since KU launched, I’m getting a butt-ton (it’s a word) of rentals on a daily basis.

So here are my recommendations for taking advantage of Kindle Unlimited, from what I know so far…
Use extended enrollment in KDP Select/Kindle Unlimited for all Erotica, Romance, Mystery/Thriller, Short Stories, & Children’s Books.
Keep books short – 10-20 pages (or roughly 4k-8k words).
Break books up into serialized content if they are in KU-heavy niches.
Use KDP Select/Kindle Unlimited for book series, but consider keeping one-offs or stand-alone novels outside of the Select program if you are in KU friendly genres.
Use KDP Select/Kindle Unlimited for the first book in a series, with the rest of the series outside the Select program and sold around $2.99-$4.99, using $0.99 sales to entice readers to buy. "

To read more:

New developments in the world of publishing - the "bookeen"


I just came across this on The Guardian blog and had to share:

The big short – why Amazon's Kindle Singles are the future

All hail the 'bookeen', a new format that's perfect for short stories, novellas and essays
Stephen King
Stephen King holds aloft a special pink Kindle given to him by Amazon's CEO, Jeff Bezos. Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty Images
New formats in literature are rare, and disruptive. They usually accompany a change in technology. Amazon was the first big player to realise that digitisation would allow for a new literary format. In January 2011, it quietly launched a substore on its US website to sell something it called a Kindle Single: Compelling Ideas Expressed At Their Natural Length, as a press release headline blandly put it.
"Typically between 5,000 and 30,000 words, Kindle Singles are editorially curated and showcase writing from both new and established voices – from bestselling novelists and journalists to previously unpublished writers."
To read more: 

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

A plagiarist - nightmare - don't let it be you

I read a disturbing article by John Doppler. We writers must be extra careful sending copies of our manuscript out for reviews to people we only know via an internet name. Convicted plagiarist Tiffanie Ruston not only stole Rachel Ann Nunes' christian story, she inserted sex scenes and promoted it as her own work. Then she used sock puppets to leave one star reviews for Rachel. To read more, click on the link below:

This person is a plagiarist. Tiffanie Rushton, a Utah schoolteacher.