Amazon Marketing Services for KDP Select Titles

Amazon Marketing Services LogoAmazon rolled out a new advertising option in the last few days and, as with all things Amazon related, it set the author blogosphere abuzz. If you have published books through Amazon’s KDP Select program, when you go to your KDP bookshelf, you should see a link that says “Promote and Advertise.”

Amazon advertising IU1

If you are interested in giving this new option a whirl, click that button and you will be taken to a page that looks like this: Continue reading “Amazon Marketing Services for KDP Select Titles”

Is Kindle Unlimited Gutting Author Earnings?

KDP Select logoThe indie-author intarwebz have been buzzing this week with the news that Joe Konrath is pulling all of his books out of KDP Select. Konrath mentioned it almost offhandedly in a comment on his own blog post fisking an open letter from MacMillan CEO John Sargent.

I won’t quote Konrath here, because Amazon has so many programs that it’s easy to mix up the acronyms, and I think Konrath himself was writing quickly and not being as careful as he could have been. The gist of it, though, is that Konrath’s titles will all be out of Select when their current enrollment period ends next month. This comes in the wake of complaints by author H.M. Ward and others that Kindle Unlimited borrows are gutting their sales, to the point where it’s affecting their livelihood. Continue reading “Is Kindle Unlimited Gutting Author Earnings?”

Choices for Publishing: eBooks, Part 2

publish buttonLast week, we talked about publishing your ebook by uploading your file to a distributor such as Smashwords or Draft 2 Digital. There are valid arguments for letting a distributor do the job for you. For one thing, you only have to upload to one place (well, two places – more on that in a sec), which means that you only have to prep one electronic version of your book. And when you need to correct the inevitable typos, you only have to upload the corrected file to one place.

But there are disadvantages, too. For example, a distributor won’t pay you for your sales until the merchant has paid them, and merchants don’t update the distributor in real time. For another, you are going to get a smaller royalty if you use a distributor, because the distributor is going to take their cut before they pay you. Let’s use Barnes & Noble as an example. If you upload your book directly to Nook Press, B&N will pay you 65 percent of your list price (assuming your list price is between $2.99 and $9.99). If you put Smashwords in the middle, B&N will pay Smashwords 65 percent of your list price; Smashwords will pay you 60 percent of list, and keep the other 5 percent for its trouble. And while Smashwords pays quarterly – and must wait for B&N to report sales to them first – Nook Press pays 60 days after you’ve made a sale (although, like Smashwords, you must accumulate $10 in sales before they’ll pay you anything).

You should also keep in mind that you’re going to have to prepare a separate file for Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) anyway, because KDP doesn’t play nice with any distributors. So you may decide that it’s worth the hassle to cut out the middleman and prepare separate files for each retailer. Your call.

Let’s run down the Big Five: Continue reading “Choices for Publishing: eBooks, Part 2”

Kindle Unlimited

KindleUnlimitedYou’d have to have been living under a rock for the past week (or on vacation somewhere where there’s no internet) to have missed Amazon’s big news about its newest feature, Kindle Unlimited.

For the low, low price of $9.99 a month, will let readers download an unlimited number of ebooks and audiobooks from its special Kindle Unlimited store. (Those of you who are forced, by geographical happenstance, into shopping from Amazon’s other storefronts are out of luck. Sorry about that.) And this month, Amazon’s making the service free, so everyone can try it out.

This would seem to be a boon for the voracious reader. One trad-pubbed novel can set you back $9.99 or more, and a single audiobook costs easily twice that. The drawback for readers, though, is that Big 5 books are severely under-represented in the KU store. So people who pick books based on the bestseller lists are going to be disappointed. There are other factors limiting reader interest in KU, but I’d rather talk today about what this means for indie authors. Continue reading “Kindle Unlimited”