Tag Archives: Kindle

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.

99 Cent or Free eBooks? I Won’t

When someone goes to work, they expect to be paid a fair amount for their work. When an artist creates a work of art, they expect to be paid for the work they have done. So why would an author work for months on a book only to sell it for 99 cents or just give it away for free? I won’t do that.

Sure, I’ll do the occasional promotion where I’ll drop the price to 99 cents, but never free. I want to be paid for the work I did. I’ll never keep a book at 99 cents, either. That is unless it’s one of my first books in a series and I’m comfortable with reducing it to that price. But I can’t guarantee it.

So why won’t I do this? It turns out, from what I’ve heard, that offering free books may get more downloads, but they’re unlikely to be read much. When people buy books, they will read them. A freebie is just that. Something they’ll put on their Kindle and forget about it. Low priority.

With that said, I do download free books, but I want to give back to that author in the form of a review. If I really liked the book, I may buy a print copy. I like physical books, because I’m a bit of a collector.

So, permanently low price or free book? No. I want to be paid for my work. Low price promotional copies? Yes. It’ll boost my visibility and hopefully drive regular price sales. I will have to experiment, though.

How do you feel about free or 99 cent books? Let me know in the comments.

Kindle Unlimited Myths

With the negativity I’ve been hearing about Kindle Unlimited lately, here’s something more positive. It’s good to look at the actual numbers, isn’t it?

chrismcmullen

Kindle Myths

KINDLE UNLIMITED MYTHS

There are many myths about KDP Select floating around.

We now have several months of data, including data released directly from KDP.

In some cases, these facts debunk popular myths.

Let me begin by answering a question that may be on many authors’ minds, and then I’ll get to the myths vs. facts about Kindle Unlimited.

WHAT DID KINDLE UNLIMITED PAY IN DECEMBER, 2014?

Kindle Unlimited paid $1.43 per download read to 10% in December, 2014.

This brings me to the first myth.

MYTH #1: KINDLE UNLIMITED IS GOING DOWN EVERY MONTH

Actually, it’s gone up a little the past two months.

In October, 2014, it was $1.33. It climbed up to $1.39 in November, 2014, and again to $1.43 in December, 2014.

Despite the extra holiday traffic in December—especially, the after-Christmas traffic with people who received new Kindles—the Kindle Unlimited payments went up.

I think that’s…

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How Amanda Hocking sold 1.5 million on Amazon: I’m revealing the secret!

Well, this is actually very, very simple. Who knew it worked? This is a reblog, of course. I’m not revealing the secret, someone else is.

Leona's Blog of Shadows

You might have heard of Amanda Hocking, the indie superstar who sold 1.5 million on Amazon and got picked up by a big house and signed a movie deal for her Trylle Trilogy.

This is the exact quote from her explaining how her sales exploded after the book bloggers spread the word:

Then in June, something truly magical happened. I discovered book bloggers. I had no idea such people existed. They just read books and write about them. And I don’t mean “just.” These people take times out of their busy lives to talk about books and have contests and connect with followers and writers and other readers.

These guys are honestly my heroes. I’m a little in love with all of them.

I asked several if they would be interested in reviewing my books, and most of them said yes, even if they didn’t generally review self-published work.
Then…

View original post 552 more words

Kindle Unlimited a Bust?

It seems I’ve been hearing a lot of reports from authors on their blogs about how they’re now losing a lot of profits from their book sales on Kindle Unlimited.  Despite money being injected into the system by Amazon, the number of books keeps increasing and they get lost in the crowd.  New York Times has an article all about this.

So, is it worth going into Kindle Unlimited?  I had some hopes before that it could generate sales.  But if the amount of money being given to authors for borrows is getting smaller and smaller, there seems to be no benefit for them.  Now down to $1.39 from $1.80, it seems anyone selling a book worth more than $2 is now losing money.  Imagine those selling for $9.99!

I can see it being worth using in one case, and I will be giving it a try when I have my solar system short story series ready for publishing.  I’d be setting the price at $0.99 each, which means that I’d only get 35% royalties from Amazon (so about $0.35 each).  But with Kindle Unlimited, it would be approximately 4 times as much.  That’s a big difference!  And my series will be 9 books long, so for a regular customer, that would be $8.91 for the customer and $3.12 paid to me if a customer buys all books.  Through Kindle Unlimited, I’d get $12.51 at the current payment rate if they downloaded all 9 books.  Not bad at all!

Now, I won’t use this system for full-length novels.  It’s not worth it.  I want to sell them elsewhere, as well.  KU requires you to sell exclusively at Amazon.

What do you think about how Kindle Unlimited is going?  Any of you trying it?

Short Stories and Kindle Unlimited

I’m sure many of you have already heard about Kindle Unlimited.  For $9.99 a month, you can download an unlimited number of eBooks to your Kindle every month.  But what does this mean for indie authors?

Kindle Unlimited for Indie Authors

Well, it seems that there’s a pool, and self-published authors receive a share of that monthly pool, and from what I’ve read, it’s around $1 or $2 per book downloaded, as long as the reader read more than 10% of the book.  It is not based on the price of your book.  For authors of more expensive books, this would seem like a big disadvantage.  If your book is only 99 cents, then it may be advantageous to use this system.  However, if you want your book to be a part of Kindle Unlimited, it must be a part of KDP Select, which means you can only publish through Amazon.

I’ve read some accounts of how this is affecting sales rankings, since the number of titles on this new system are limited in number.  Titles that aren’t doing well normally may benefit from an increase in their ranking, which could encourage regular sales.  Titles that are already selling well would see an increase, too.  But we can’t be too optimistic yet.  It may also be bad for indie authors.  They may get paid less in the end.  We have to wait and see.

Now, imagine if you have a collection of short stories for sale.  It would be far more profitable in KU if you split them up and have them all available for downloading individually.  You’d get a better share of the money, and may make quite a bit more.  This could be good for short story authors.

So, this leads me to another thought.  I am thinking about some short stories I’d like to write.  I’d sell them for 99 cents each, and if I entered KDP Select for these titles, I may make significantly more income from them.  Correct me if I’m wrong, please.  I’ve read a lot of conflicting information about this, unfortunately.  There’s a lively discussion on Hugh Howey’s website here.

Short Stories

The short story idea I have is science fiction, and all about the solar system.  The stories take place on different worlds, and are both standalone and linked in some way.  Now, my thoughts have been about the kind of story they are.  One one hand, I could write them as serious hard sci-fi with quite a bit of suspense.  On the other hand, I could write them for young readers and make them more fun and educational.  I’m a strong proponent for science education for children, and I’d like them to find science interesting and fun.  This is one way to help kids find an interest in space and astronomy.

What do you think?  More adult stories or children’s stories?  Or maybe even both?  Leave me a comment, please.

How I choose what to read

I love going to bookstores and just browsing.  I usually look at the books I haven’t read, usually searching for the next book in a series I have or trying a new author in the same genre.  But what do I really want to read?

Up until recently, I’ve been buying books that are mainly fantasy or science fiction (or some classics).  I go to one of the big bookstores in Japan that sell foreign books, such as Kinokuniya in Shinjuku, Kumazawa (and formerly Yurindo) in Minato Mirai, and Maruzen in Marunouchi (Tokyo station area).  The newer Kinokuniya next to Takashimaya Times Square in Shinjuku is the best for fantasy and science fiction.  But these days, I don’t seem to buy books in bookstores.  I’d like to, but I’m trying to save money at the moment.

What I’ve been doing lately is looking for some promising looking eBooks that are offered for free on Amazon.  Since I’ve downloaded the Kindle app to my iPhone, I’ve been making my way through the books rather slowly.  But I’d like to support the independent authors by providing reviews, and I may find some unknown author who writes very well.

However, I do have a large number of unread books in my home, and I’ve found it difficult to decide which to read first.  So, if you’ve noticed before, I asked for advice using polls on this blog.  I may do it again in the future, but that remains to be seen.

Otherwise, I usually go with my gut feeling.  If there’s something that looks interesting to me, I’ll go for it.  I’m still waiting to read something truly bad.