Quick Link: Fringe Highlight: Should Indie Authors Go KDP Exclusive or Go Wide?

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For all you indie authors out there or even traditional authors who are curious, The Self-Publishing Advice Center has a great article/podcast on what you should think about when you decide to go KDP exclusive with Amazon or Go Wide.

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Fringe Highlight: Should Indie Authors Go KDP Exclusive or Go Wide?

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As part of our new #AskALLi weekly podcast we’re releasing popular Indie Author Fringe speaker session highlights as podcasts. This means you can catch up on sessions you may have missed, and listen to them on-the-go or in your car. We are also publishing transcripts for those who prefer to read rather than listen.

This week, we’re showcasing the session between Pippa DaCosta and Susan Kaye Quinn. If you’re wondering about the pros and cons of being exclusive with KDP or going wide with as many retailers as possible, our show hosts will explain which model works best in different book distribution scenarios.

Susan is exclusively KDP, and Pippa makes her books available in as many outlets as possible and they deliver insights and experience from both ends of the spectrum.

Pippa DaCosta @pippadacosta is a hybrid author. Before securing a traditional publisher, she published the Veil Series (a x5 book urban fantasy series) independently in 2014. She has also published two science fiction books, with more planned for 2016. Pippa is traditionally published with Bloomsbury and Random House Germany. Her work has been featured in the Galaxy Chronicles anthology, part of the Future Chronicles series. Pippa continues to independently and traditionally publish her work.

Susan Kaye Quinn @susankayequinn is a rocket scientist turned speculative fiction author. She writes young adult science fiction, with side trips into adult future-noir and sweet royal romance. Her bestselling novels and short stories have been optioned for Virtual Reality, translated into German, and featured in several anthologies.

Read the full post on The Self-Publishing Advice Center

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Quick Link: The Only Rule Amazon Truly Cares About

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Oh-oh. Watch out Kindle Select authors, Let’s Get Digital‘s David Gaughran has a horror story to tell about a promotion gone sour and what he is doing to deal with it. Could this happen to you?

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The Only Rule Amazon Truly Cares About

by David Gaugharan

On Monday, I found out that some bug hit a German e-book site causing the reactivation of long-dead listings, including one of mine, putting myself and some other authors in breach of KDP Select’s exclusivity rule.

Amazon pounced into action and cancelled my Countdown deal which was scheduled for this week, screwing up a carefully planned promotion. And despite pledging to resolve the matter and restore the promo, Amazon has not done so.

I’m going to go through what happened in detail so you can be sure that I acted correctly at all points – because there is a lot of shadiness going on at the moment – but feel free to skim some of the details if you wish.

Read the full post on Let’s Get Digital

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Quick Link: Storyboarding with Scrivener (or, A Love Affair with Virtual Index Cards)

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

Do you use Scrivener? I have it and I use it sporadically but sporadic is my middle name. It is a great tool for organizing but it can be a bit overwhelming.  from Writers UnBoxed has some great tips with lots of pictures on how to use the index card feature of Scrivener better.

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Storyboarding with Scrivener (or, A Love Affair with Virtual Index Cards)

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Whether you’re a plotter or a pantser—or neither—at some point in your writing process, you can probably benefit from a visual overview of your story. Scrivener’s Corkboard feature is here to help.

Pack up your paper index cards and colored sticky notes, and let’s go virtual.

Understanding Index Cards in Scrivener

Every file in Scrivener has an associated index card. That index card shows up in the Synopsis section of the Inspector (visible in all but the Snapshots and Comments panes), and on the Corkboard. You can use the index card to make note of anything you want—for example, the timeline, setting, characters—but for storyboarding purposes, it makes sense to include a brief synopsis of the scene.

Read the full post on Writers UnBoxed

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Quick Link: How To Get Book Reviews As An Unknown Author

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The hardest thing is for a new author to get recognized. There are so many titles out there and other authors trying to get recognized as as well.  With a limited number of resources, how do you get started in gathering publicity and reviews? At The Creative Penn, Joanna Penn helps you out with steps you can take.

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How To Get Book Reviews As An Unknown Author

A few months ago, I started a new pen-name and have kept it secret in order to avoid ‘pollution’ of the also-boughts. But it has been SO hard because I have basically started from scratch – with no email list, no street team, no reviews, no platform, no social media. 

The pen-name is slowly gathering steam, but it reminds me how hard it is starting out and getting those first reviews can be one of the hardest things. 

In today’s article, Jason B. Ladd, author of Book Review Banzai gives some tips on getting reviews as an unknown author. 

As an unknown author, getting Amazon reviews for your book is crucial to unlocking its full potential. But it’s not as easy as it sounds.

False Assumptions

You might think that downloads lead to Amazon reviews.

They don’t.

You might not know if Amazon has restrictions on reviews.

They do.

You might think reviews will eventually start rolling in with enough time and word of mouth.

They won’t.

It’s easy to get discouraged. You might think it’s impossible for an unknown author publishing their first book to get any traction with Amazon reviews.

It isn’t.

 

Read the full post on The Creative Penn

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Quick Link: KINDLE SCOUT –STEP INSIDE FOR A TOUR

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Have you tried using Kindle Scout for one of your titles? What did you think? I love it as a reader. (Because we all know I haven’t finished anything yet.) If you haven’t heard of Kindle Scout, or you wanted to learn more Debbie Burke from Kill Zone has an excellent article on the process. Check it out!

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KINDLE SCOUT –STEP INSIDE FOR A TOUR

By Debbie Burke

Kindle Scout is Amazon’s innovative program where readers “scout” for new books and vote for ones they believe should be published. Back in April, I covered the basics of Scout for TKZ. Since then, I submitted my thriller Instrument of the Devil and went through my own 30-day campaign. Today, let’s open the Scout door and take a tour inside.

SUBMISSION PROCESS:
To submit to Scout, Amazon requires a cover (at author’s expense), a complete, never-before-published, edited manuscript of 50+K words, a 45-character one-liner (logline), a 500-character book description, author bio, and a thank-you note to readers who nominated the book (more on this later).

After Scout accepts the submission, they select the dates for the 30-day campaign, and provide a link that shows the preview exactly as it will appear on the Scout site. The first 25 or so pages of the book are excerpted as a sample for readers to vote on.

Read the full post on Kill Zone

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Quick Link: Publishing Industry Cults, Weaponized Amazon Reviews, and Organized Cyberbullying

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

has a great post on the darker side of writing. It is worth checking out.

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Publishing Industry Cults, Weaponized Amazon Reviews, and Organized Cyberbullying

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Over the years I’ve written  quite a bit about the dangers of author-on-author cyberbullying.

A few years ago, a group I called  “Mean Girls-meets-Lord of the Flies” terrorized authors on Goodreads and Amazon. A lot of us left Goodreads and never went back.

The ringleaders were mostly unsuccessfully self-published authors who harassed established stars as well as newbie writers. They criticized successful authors for their “greed” in charging money for their work and gamed Goodreads for free hard-copy books, which they’d give bogus one-star “reviews,” then sell unread on ebay.

Newbie authors who didn’t know the group’s unwritten “rules” were punished with sadistic glee.

They attacked victims with swarms of one-star “reviews” on Goodreads and Amazon that contained character assassination lies, personal attacks, rape threats, and even death threats — what I call “weaponized” reviews.

Read the full post on

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Quick Link: How to Set Up an eBook Ad with Amazon Marketing Services

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

Did you know you can set up ads for your ebook with Amazon Marketing Services? I didn’t. But at Indies Unlimited,

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How to Set Up an eBook Ad with Amazon Marketing Services

Amazon Marketing Services Logo 2017by

A few months ago, KDP opened up Amazon Marketing Services to all eBooks, not just the ones in Kindle Unlimited. Setting up an ad is a relatively simple process, although it can look intimidating in the beginning.

Today, I’m going to walk you through how to set up both types of advertising.

First, go to your Reports page in KDP and click on Ad Campaigns (red arrow below).

Amazon KDP Reports-dashboard
Click to enlarge

You’ll be taken to a screen that gives you the option of creating a new campaign (red arrow below).

New advertising campaignClick “New campaign,” and you’ll be taken to a screen to choose whether to do a Sponsored Products ad, or a Product Display ad (see red arrow below).

Read the full post on Indies Unlimited

Quick Link: Oops. That Book Review’s Not Verified

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There have been a lot of changes with Amazon’s reviews lately. I understand the need to give readers better and more trustworthy reviews but it also needs to be balanced against how difficult it is to get reviews by writers.  at Indies Unlimited has the scoop on the latest changes.

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Oops. That Book Review’s Not Verified

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Way, way back in September of 2013 I wrote an article about verified reviews. In the world of Indie publishing, especially where anything directly related to Amazon is concerned, three-and-a-half years is a lifetime. Much of what I wrote then is either no longer true or suspect. In this article, I’m going to talk about some of the changes and why you, I, or a random reader might care. (Or maybe not.)

At the time I suggested that the only reason someone might care about whether a review was verified was if they thought the review seemed questionable. Then the “verified” flag would indicate the reviewer had actually bought the book or other item from Amazon. For someone looking at reviews and trying to decide on a purchase, the verified flag might still not be that useful. I suspect some people who are more attuned to happenings regarding Amazon might be concerned about fake or paid reviews, and pay a little more attention. But if they’re aware of these issues, they’re probably aware that reviewers who were willing to write a glowing review for a price have options to make sure those reviews showed as verified purchase reviews anyway.

However, authors who are trying to get selected to run promotions using Bookbub and other hard-to-get-selected advertising options want not just good reviews, but they’d prefer a lot of them with that verified flag.

Quick Link: “Going Wide” – Gaining Traction on non-Amazon Vendors Part 1: The Upload Process

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

eBook authors usually have a choice to be proprietary with Amazon, or go “wide” and try and get their books out to a bunch of different places. That is not as easy as it sounds but at Fiction University, Angela Quarles has some tips to make the choice to go wide a little easier.

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“Going Wide” – Gaining Traction on non-Amazon Vendors Part 1: The Upload Process

 By Angela Quarles, @AngelaQuarles

Part of the Indie Author Series

I see a lot of indies frustrated when they try to “go wide” by distributing to non-Amazon vendors, but then panic when they don’t see immediate results and pull their books back to being exclusive on Amazon. I wanted to tackle this topic because there are ways to get traction at these other vendors, but it does take time. But first, a primer on how to set up at the various vendors, because each can be confusing, and some extremely difficult (I’m looking at you Google).

Barnes and Noble

Like Amazon, B&N has its own name for the dashboard for uploading and managing your titles–NookPress. NookPress is relatively easy. On the first page there, you’ll want to click “Learn More” under the eBook Publishing graphic and then “Start Your Book” on the next page. Next it will ask you to sign in or create a new account. Once you’re inside and all set up, you’ll click “Create New Project.” It walks you through guided steps for setting up your project, as they call it. First, you give it a name, then you upload your manuscript (I upload an ePub), and then through pretty much the same questions as KDP. The only differences are:

Author Tools: How to Change the Price of Your Kindle Book in KDP

Author Tools – things to help you get your writing done

Want to change your price in KDP but struggling? Shelley Hitz has a video to show you how, along with a step by step process.

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How to Change the Price of Your Kindle Book in KDP

kdp-selectAre you having difficulty changing the price of your Kindle book on Amazon?

This tutorial will walk you through the simple and easy steps on how to change the price of your kindle book in KDP.

The Step-by-Step Process

Today, I want to share with you how to change the price of your kindle book in KDP.

Here are the easy and simple steps on how to do it.

Step 1: Log in to your Amazon author account.

You can click on this link and you will be directed to sign in on your account: https://kdp.amazon.com/.

Step 2: Choose the book that you want to lower the price of.

So you simply have to scroll down the page and click on the title of that book that you want to change the price of.

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If you liked this article, please share. If you have suggestions for further articles, articles you would like to submit, or just general comments, please contact me at paula@publetariat.com or leave a message below.

Quick Links: How to Create a Link on Amazon for Book Reviewers

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

Who doesn’t want more reviews! The awesome Shelly Hitz has a great way to add a direct link to the Amazon review section of your book, making it oh so easy for readers to review your title.

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How to Create a Link on Amazon for Book Reviewers

abstract_110006583-1013int-011314intAll authors love to get new reviews on their books in Amazon, right? Reviews give more credibility and social proof to your book.

Therefore, in this post I decided to share with you how to create a direct link on Amazon for book reviewers to post their reviews.

How to Create the Link

Today I have a question from Paula Moldenhouer. She recently saw me share my Amazon presentation at a conference and loved the ninja tip I shared for creating a custom review link. However, she needed a little more help setting it up and so sent me this question through my “Ask Shelley” page.

“I love your idea of putting the link for reviewing your book in newsletters, blogs, etc., but as I’m on Amazon I’m not sure which link that is. I’m assuming you don’t want all the extra letters that would connect stuff to my account, but at the same time, when I take them away I only get a blurb of how to write a review, it doesn’t seem to be connected to my product.”

First of all, I would like to thank Paula for asking that question. I’m sure a lot of you will benefit from it.

So here is the step by step process of how you can create a link for your book reviewers.

Before we go any further, I would like to recommend that you optimize your book on Amazon for selling more books.

There are actually two ways that you can do it.

In the “Write a Customer Review” Block

The first technique is to go to your Amazon book page and click the “Write a Customer Review” block.

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If you liked this article, please share. If you have suggestions for further articles, articles you would like to submit, or just general comments, please contact me at paula@publetariat.com or leave a message below.

Quick Links: Turning Losing into Winning: The Kindle Scout Experience

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

Have you heard of Amazon’s Kindle Scout program? I love it! Authors submit their titles to the program in hopes of winning a publishing contract through Amazon. Users vote on the different titles and if a book that they nominated is selected, they get a free copy.

But even if you are not selected for a publishing contract, authors can still win. The people that voted for you are notified when the book goes on sale at Amazon. I have purchased titles this way because I didn’t want to miss out on the story.  at Indies Unlimited has all the details.

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Turning Losing into Winning: The Kindle Scout Experience

Posted on

kscoutWhen I finished my latest book, Finding Travis, a time travel story, I sent it out to beta readers and prepared to self-publish as I always do. But then a friend began broadcasting the news that she had entered her latest book in the Kindle Scout program and was looking for nominations. I remembered that another friend had entered his book in the program months ago, and had won the coveted publishing contract with Amazon. Because I really, really liked this new book of mine, and because I had built up quite a decent fan base, I decided to try Kindle Scout for myself.

The Kindle Scout campaign is a two-pronged deal. Amazon evaluates the book on its own merit, but they also look at the number of nominations a book receives from potential readers. Because Amazon doesn’t ever tell us how it writes its algorithms or how it decides what’s a winning book and what isn’t, it’s hard to know exactly how to go after the win. The only things that were in my control were (1) writing a good book; and (2) getting as many people as possible to nominate the book. So that’s what I did.

Some people might balk at the idea of nominating a book they haven’t read. I totally understand. However, Kindle Scout creates a landing page for each book and includes the cover, a short blurb, and the first chapter as a sample for voters to read. Readers can then decide for themselves if they feel the book is a winner, or they might simply go on the author’s past performance.

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If you liked this article, please share. If you have suggestions for further articles, articles you would like to submit, or just general comments, please contact me at paula@publetariat.com or leave a message below.

Quick Links: What is the Kindle “Delivery Cost” and How Does it Affect Me?

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

If you upload your eBook to Amazon you will be faced with a “delivery cost” which is based on the digital size of your manuscript. Thanks to  at Indies Unlimited for going into detail about this cost. Just so you know, there are ways to shrink the file size, so if you end up with a big enough delivery cost you might want to talk to someone about reducing the file size.

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What is the Kindle “Delivery Cost” and How Does it Affect Me?

Author RJ CraytonPosted on June 27, 2016

CostsFor those new to Kindle publishing, questions often arise about the Kindle delivery cost. Some people aren’t sure what it is, who it affects, and if there’s a way to make it go away. Today, I’m going to give a quick overview of the fee and what it means to authors.

What is the fee? It’s the amount of money Amazon charges you to deliver a book to customers. The amount is determined by the size of your book and is based on a dollar per megabyte rate. You can find the exact rates here. However, I’ll offer up the rates for the four largest English-speaking markets. The US, Australia, and Canada are $0.15/MB in their countries’ respective currency; and the UK is £0.10/MB.

Will the fee be expensive? That depends on the kind of book you’ve got. Most books that are primarily text will come in under a megabyte. However, once you start adding images to your books, you will really increase the file size and start incurring a large delivery fee. So, if you’re selling a photo book, a cookbook, a comic, a children’s picture book, or anything that’s image heavy, you could end up with a large delivery fee.

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If you liked this article, please share. If you have suggestions for further articles, articles you would like to submit, or just general comments, please contact me at paula@publetariat.com or leave a message below.

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Quick Link: Is KDP Select Right for You?

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One of the tougher decisions for authors is to sign up with Amazon exclusively, through KDP select,  and get higher rewards, or to go with a variety of vendors and get lesser monies from Amazon. Marcy Kennedy tries to help you decide what is best for you. Head on over to Fiction University to learn more. What have your experiences been?

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Is KDP Select Right for You?

kdp-selectThursday, June 23
By Marcy Kennedy, @MarcyKennedy

Part of the Indie Author Series

One of the choices we need to make when we publish our book is whether we’re going to distribute wide or go exclusive. Up until this point, I’ve always gone wide, but with a new series scheduled for release in November, the idea of going exclusive has been on my mind a lot lately.

Distributing wide means that we’ll offer our book for sale at all the major retailers—Amazon, Barnes & Noble, AppleiBooks, and Kobo at least.

Going exclusive, at this point, means we’re putting our ebook into Amazon’s KDP Select program. Amazon’s terms of service for the KDP Select program state that we can’t sell or give away the enrolled ebooks anywhere else. You agree to this exclusivity for 90 days at a time, and then you can either continue in the program for another 90 days or opt out. In exchange, they offer you some perks they don’t offer to books that aren’t enrolled.

Three important things we need to keep in mind are…

Don’t confuse this with simply publishing through Kindle Direct Publishing. They’re not the same thing. KDP Select is an option for authors who publish through Kindle Direct Publishing, but you can publish on the Kindle Direct Publishing portal without enrolling in KDP select. Enrollment isn’t automatic or mandatory.

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If you liked this article, please share. If you have suggestions for further articles, articles you would like to submit, or just general comments, please contact me at paula@publetariat.com or leave a message below.

In The News – Amazon Lowers the Boom on Discount eBook Sites

In The News – Articles Of Interest For Authors

In a disturbing bit of news, it seems that Amazon has shut down the accounts of a few eBook sites and individual authors without warning or explanation. Some speculate that is because those sites are in competition with the new Goodreads features, others that this was part of a crackdown on link mining. Nate Hoffelder at the Digital Reader tells us what he knows about the situation.

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Amazon Lowers the Boom on Discount eBook Sites

Here is a cute kitten to help you feel better.
Here is a cute kitten to help you feel better.

When Amazon-owned Goodreads launched its discount ebook service last month, I wondered whether Amazon would find reasons to prune back its competition.

The first to lose its affiliate status with Amazon was Fussy Librarian, which went under the axe the week before Goodreads announced. At the time it looked like that was an isolated incident, but now it has been followed by two more sites, Pixel of Ink and eReaderIQ.

Fussy Librarian continues to operate, but the fate of the other sites is less certain.

Pixel of Ink announced today that they have shut down. They didn’t give a specific reason, but did say that “due to changes in the eBook world and in our life, it is time for us to move on, and Pixel of Ink must now end”.

I’m still following up with PoI, so I can’t tell you the specific reason for its closure, but I do know that it wasn’t the only casualty. eReaderIQ has made a similar, albeit more detailed announcement today. They’ve posted a notice on their homepage to the effect that:

 

Read the full post on Digital Reader

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If you liked this article, please share. If you have suggestions for further articles, articles you would like to submit, or just general comments, please contact me at paula@publetariat.com or leave a message below.