When #Cockygate And #Tiffanygate Collide Amazon Bewares

#Cockygate has been rolling for a month now and is quite multifaceted — touching on some pretty existential issues for writers, and indeed all creatives. This post from lawyer Marc Whipple tracks the beginning, in case you have been in a coma for the last month. The story also broke out into the mainstream briefly where it was covered by Vox and The Guardian, among others.

More recent developments are as follows. Multiple authors made creative stands against Faleena Hopkins’ extremely questionable trademark and even more dubious attempted enforcement of same, in the form of various Cocky-themed books and parodies. Hopkins responded with a video — which she since took down, presumably in case it destroyed her acting career — as well as a series of equally ill-advised posts.

Hopkins then filed suit against three parties: Kevin Kneupper, the author/lawyer who is formally challenging her trademark; Tara Crescent, an author who had published books with Cocky in the title previously; and Jennifer Watson, a publicist for an anthology raising funds to cover legal expenses of authors affected by all this. Read More…

The Only Rule Amazon Truly Cares About Bewares

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 More…

Popularity, Visibility & KDP Select Marketing

For most writers, anonymity is the biggest hurdle they face. The open nature of digital distribution can be a double-edged sword; there are 1.1 million titles in the Kindle Store after all. While the virtual shelves are endless, and while readers have demonstrated an increased appetite for reading (and hoarding) once they switch to e-books, the spotlight is limited. There can only ever be 100 books in the Top 100. The major sites (like Ereader News Today or Pixel of Ink) will only feature a limited amount of books per day. There is only one Kindle Daily Deal. Visibility is a continual challenge, and, when we look at that problem a little closer, it’s not radically different to the challenges Read More…

Popularity, Visibility & KDP Select Marketing

For most writers, anonymity is the biggest hurdle they face. The open nature of digital distribution can be a double-edged sword; there are 1.1 million titles in the Kindle Store after all. While the virtual shelves are endless, and while readers have demonstrated an increased appetite for reading (and hoarding) once they switch to e-books, the spotlight is limited. There can only ever be 100 books in the Top 100. The major sites (like Ereader News Today or Pixel of Ink) will only feature a limited amount of books per day. There is only one Kindle Daily Deal. Visibility is a continual challenge, and, when we look at that problem a little closer, it’s not radically different to the challenges Read More…

A New Strategy for a New Year – Guest Post by Sarah Woodbury

To enroll or not to enroll, that is the question on a lot of writers’ minds. I have had several posts on KDP Select, because it’s a complex issue, without one “right” answer that will fit all self-publishers. If you are just catching up, I came out against the program before Christmas, but featured two authors recently that are doing well out of it: Marilyn Peake and Patrice Fitzgerald. To wrap up this mini-series, I have a guest post from bestselling author Sarah Woodbury, who hasn’t enrolled in KDP Select. Instead she’s exploiting the increased opportunities on other retailers. Here’s Sarah: *** When Amazon first announced its KDP Select program, my heart sank. I knew that going exclusively with Amazon would Read More…

The Joys of KDP Select: Patrice Fitzgerald’s Story

Last week, I had a guest post from Marilyn Peake, who explained how KDP Select is helping her achieve new levels of success after ten years in publishing. I wanted to have a couple of opposing voices here to balance out my opposition to the program because (a) my antipathy towards KDP Select is based – at least partly – on the exclusivity requirement, which matters less to other writers, and (b) I could be wrong anyway. Today, I have a guest post from Patrice Fitzgerald who has used KDP Select to hugely increase her sales – at prices far higher than the average self-publisher too. Here’s Patrice:

The Joys of KDP Select: Patrice Fitzgerald's Story

Last week, I had a guest post from Marilyn Peake, who explained how KDP Select is helping her achieve new levels of success after ten years in publishing. I wanted to have a couple of opposing voices here to balance out my opposition to the program because (a) my antipathy towards KDP Select is based – at least partly – on the exclusivity requirement, which matters less to other writers, and (b) I could be wrong anyway. Today, I have a guest post from Patrice Fitzgerald who has used KDP Select to hugely increase her sales – at prices far higher than the average self-publisher too. Here’s Patrice: