Publishing Is Rotten To The Core Bewares Publishing

There is something seriously askew with the supposed values of the publishing business. The most egregious behavior continually gets overlooked, ignored, and swept under the carpet, in favor of pursuing pet targets. As always, I’m conscious of whose agenda this serves and why writers allow themselves to be used as pawns in this game. Exhibit A: Harlequin Amazon is regularly slated for the way it manages its tax affairs. I have written extensively about this before, but, in short, Amazon is using extremely common methods for minimizing its tax bills that are used by every major tech company (and many other multinational corporations too). You can argue these loopholes should be closed (and I would agree), but these actions are Read More…

Let’s Get Digital 2 Problems Fixed, New Kindles Launched & More Publishing Resources

I’ve info below on six new Kindle devices which launched today below, but first some welcome news: Amazon seems to have fixed things at its end. Those who purchased the old version of Let’s Get Digital should be able to now download the new version with a few clicks via Manage My Content & Devices (formerly Manage My Kindle) in their Amazon account. Note: none of these problems affected new purchasers. More detailed instructions below, but for those who don’t know what I’m talking about, I decided to upload the new expanded and updated second edition of Let’s Get Digital directly over the old version. I explain the reasoning here, but the general idea was to thank the readers who supported me over the last three years Read More…

Let's Get Digital 2 Problems Fixed, New Kindles Launched & More Publishing Resources

I’ve info below on six new Kindle devices which launched today below, but first some welcome news: Amazon seems to have fixed things at its end. Those who purchased the old version of Let’s Get Digital should be able to now download the new version with a few clicks via Manage My Content & Devices (formerly Manage My Kindle) in their Amazon account. Note: none of these problems affected new purchasers. More detailed instructions below, but for those who don’t know what I’m talking about, I decided to upload the new expanded and updated second edition of Let’s Get Digital directly over the old version. I explain the reasoning here, but the general idea was to thank the readers who supported me over the last three years Read More…

Let’s Get Digital 2 Is Out! Publishing

I’m very excited to announce the release of the new updated and expanded 2nd edition of Let’s Get Digital: How To Self-Publish, And Why You Should. If you purchased the old 1st edition of Digital, you can grab the 2nd edition for free (instructions below). You won’t actually be able to purchase the new edition from Amazon if you bought the old one, so please follow those instructions to get your free copy. For everyone else, you can check it out at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Smashwords (and all the other Amazons too). I’ve news below on a sale I’m running on the companion book Let’s Get Visible, and explain below how this launch Read More…

This Might Be A Terrible Idea Publishing Resources

I’m launching the 2nd edition of Let’s Get Digital next week and today I’m going to try and answer all your questions. Most have surrounded something I’ve hinted at over the last few months. I’m doing something pretty cool and different with this launch. Or maybe crazy is a better word. In short: I’m giving it away free to all purchasers of the old edition. More on that below… When is the 2nd edition out? It’s officially launching next Wednesday, September 17, and I’ll be posting again then. As always, subscribers to my New Release Mailing List will get an exclusive for a day or two before that, so if you are desperately impatient to get your mitts on Digital Read More…

Self-Publishers Aren’t Killing The Industry, They’re Saving It Publishing

In light of current events, I thought it would be good to re-run Ed Robertson’s excellent guest post from November 2012 where he highlighted interesting parallels between historical paperback pricing (pre-industry consolidation) and self-published e-books. It’s unlikely I’ll have time this weekend to respond to emails, or tweets, or jump in the comments, as I’ll be busy editing, but this should give you something to chew on. I’m sending the 2nd edition of Let’s Get Digital to the editor tomorrow, and I’ll be blogging about that Monday or Tuesday. Oh, and the Spanish translation of Digital has just been released. You can grab it for free today only. More at the bottom of Ed’s post: Self-Publishers Aren’t Killing The Industry, They’re Read More…

Self-Publishers Aren't Killing The Industry, They're Saving It Publishing

In light of current events, I thought it would be good to re-run Ed Robertson’s excellent guest post from November 2012 where he highlighted interesting parallels between historical paperback pricing (pre-industry consolidation) and self-published e-books. It’s unlikely I’ll have time this weekend to respond to emails, or tweets, or jump in the comments, as I’ll be busy editing, but this should give you something to chew on. I’m sending the 2nd edition of Let’s Get Digital to the editor tomorrow, and I’ll be blogging about that Monday or Tuesday. Oh, and the Spanish translation of Digital has just been released. You can grab it for free today only. More at the bottom of Ed’s post: Self-Publishers Aren’t Killing The Industry, They’re Read More…

Kindle Unlimited: The Key Questions Amazon Marketing Publishing

Amazon launched Kindle Unlimited on Friday, giving self-publishers a big decision to make. The long-rumored subscription service will allow users to download unlimited books for $9.99 a month, and reader reaction has been, from what I can see, overwhelmingly positive – especially because they will be able to test the service with a month’s free trial. Writers have been a little more cautious, for all sorts of reasons I’ll try and tease out below. The main stumbling block for self-publishers is that participation in Kindle Unlimited is restricted to titles enrolled in KDP Select – Amazon’s program which offers various additional marketing tools in exchange for exclusivity. Author compensation will be similar to borrows under the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library – Read More…

Fake Bestsellers, Concern Trolls and Hidden Agendas Bewares Publishing

Last Friday we were treated to a story from the Op-Ed pages of the New York Times, where Tony Horwitz claimed “I Was A Digital Bestseller” then complained about how little money this made him, and how he would now stick with traditional, print publishers as a result. Then this Op-Ed was held up – in outlets like Gawker – as another example of how writers have it so tough in this scary new digital world which is going to lead us all into penury. Just like the story I wrote in January – Fake Controversy Alert: Hitler’s Mein Kampf Was Not A Digital Bestseller – the key “fact” in Horwitz’s tale of woe doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. Can Read More…

Who’s Afraid of Very Cheap Books? Publishing

A common meme in publishing is that cheap books are destroying the world or literature, and that low prices are undermining the viability of publishing or writers’ ability to make a living. I’ve long thought this position is nonsense – a narrative which plays on misplaced fears of change and a confusion of price and value, which is also based on flawed assumptions and analog, zero-sum thinking. And, if anything, the opposite is true. Why So Cheap? Self-publishers are fond of 99c pricing for a number of reasons. It’s the lowest price you can set at Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo without making your book free, and it has an obvious impulse buy appeal to readers. This price point is particularly popular Read More…

Who's Afraid of Very Cheap Books? Publishing

A common meme in publishing is that cheap books are destroying the world or literature, and that low prices are undermining the viability of publishing or writers’ ability to make a living. I’ve long thought this position is nonsense – a narrative which plays on misplaced fears of change and a confusion of price and value, which is also based on flawed assumptions and analog, zero-sum thinking. And, if anything, the opposite is true. Why So Cheap? Self-publishers are fond of 99c pricing for a number of reasons. It’s the lowest price you can set at Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo without making your book free, and it has an obvious impulse buy appeal to readers. This price point is particularly popular Read More…

This Is The Kind Of Competition Publishers Want Publishing

Since the huge shift to online purchasing and e-books, a common meme is that there is some kind of “discoverability” problem in publishing. The funny thing is readers don’t seem to have any problem finding books they love. Any readers I talk to have a time problem – reading lists a mile long and never enough hours in the day to read all the great books they are discovering. The real discoverability problem in publishing is that readers are discovering (and enjoying) books that don’t come from the large publishers. What these publishers have is a competition problem not a discoverability problem. Amazon regularly gets slated for purported anti-competitive actions, but it has done more to create the digital marketplace Read More…

How To Increase Piracy Publishing

I’m working on the 2nd edition of Let’s Get Digital this month and I thought it might be fun to share some of the ideas I’m sketching out. The following excerpt is part of the chapter on piracy (about a third of it, if you’re counting). There’s more details on Digital 2 (and other releases) at the end of this post, but let me open with a disclaimer: authors are entitled to take whatever approach they like to piracy. It’s their stuff. That said, I’d like to see if I can convince some of you to approach the issue a little differently, because I think taking a hard-line approach can be counter-productive. How To Increase Piracy A common misconception in Read More…

15 Ways To Improve KDP – Progress Report Publishing

The London Book Fair is underway again which makes it a perfect time to review the list of suggestions I presented to KDP last year. As regular readers will know, I crowd-sourced a list of feature requests, bug fixes, and common problems via my blog and the most popular self-publisher hangout, Kboards. The KDP reps at the Fair spent a great deal of time going through your list of suggestions. They asked for clarification at various points and I was able to follow up with them by email afterwards. At the same time, a parallel effort led by Marie Force, Laura Florand, and Diana Peterfreund presented a similar list of suggestions at NINC in October last year. There were probably Read More…

The Great E-book Pricing Question Marketing Publishing

There’s more guff written about pricing than almost anything else, resulting in an extremely confusing situation for new self-publishers. I often see them pricing too low or too high, and the decision is rarely made the right way, i.e. ascertaining their goals and pricing accordingly. Price/value confusion Before we get to the nuts-and-bolts, it’s time to slay a zombie meme. Much of the noise on this issue springs from conflating two concepts, namely price and value. Authors often say something like, “My book is worth more than a coffee.” Or publishers might say, “A movie costs $10 and provides two hours of entertainment. Novels provide several times that and should cost more than $9.99.” Price and value are two different things. Read More…