15 Ways Amazon Can Improve Kindle Direct Publishing Amazon Marketing Publishing

At the London Book Fair in April, I had the opportunity to meet representatives from Amazon and present a list of feature requests and complaints (from the comments of this post with an assist from KBoards). I spent quite a bit of time going through the list and felt that everything got a fair hearing. Amazon said that a lot of this stuff is in the pipeline in one form or another (although judgement will have to be reserved until we see how it’s implemented) and the rest of the issues and feature requests would be passed along to the relevant department. This isn’t the full list I presented, but it’s the issues I’d like to focus on today: 1. More Read More…

Self-Publishing Grabs Huge Market Share From Traditional Publishers Publishing

Barnes & Noble re-launched PubIt! this week as Nook Press, a largely superficial makeover which failed to address some fundamental problems, like restricting access to US self-publishers only, and introduced new howler: updating existing titles causes the loss of all ranking, reviews, and momentum. There were only two noteworthy things, to me, about this launch. First, the PubIt! brand had been closely associated with Barnes & Noble. This re-launch seems like an attempt to tie the Nook Press brand to their subsidiary Nook Media, probably in advance of a sale (Barnes & Noble already sold a stake to Microsoft, and a smaller slice to Pearson – Penguin’s parent company but maintain a controlling interest in Nook Media). This re-launch is full Read More…

Amazon & The Importance of Popularity

A few days ago, I tweeted a link to a survey which purported to show that self-publishers had captured 77% of the spots on the Kindle Top 200 Science Fiction Bestseller List. As it turns out, the list the survey was based on was not the Bestseller List, but the Popularity List (and I’ll get to the differences between the two below). After this discrepancy was pointed out, the author re-did the survey, based on the actual Bestseller List, and found somewhat similar results – if not quite as staggering. Namely, self-publishers had captured 66.1% of the Kindle Top 100 Science Fiction spots. There are all sorts of interesting nuggets in that post including the various prices books were selling Read More…

Amazon & The Importance of Popularity

A few days ago, I tweeted a link to a survey which purported to show that self-publishers had captured 77% of the spots on the Kindle Top 200 Science Fiction Bestseller List. As it turns out, the list the survey was based on was not the Bestseller List, but the Popularity List (and I’ll get to the differences between the two below). After this discrepancy was pointed out, the author re-did the survey, based on the actual Bestseller List, and found somewhat similar results – if not quite as staggering. Namely, self-publishers had captured 66.1% of the Kindle Top 100 Science Fiction spots. There are all sorts of interesting nuggets in that post including the various prices books were selling Read More…

How Much Do You Want To Get Paid Tomorrow?

Things had been going pretty smoothly for self-publishers. We were more or less done with the arguments about whether this was a viable path and whether you could attract an agent/publisher (if you wanted to) by self-publishing first. We had generally agreed that e-books were here to stay and that print books and bookstores (sadly) were on the way out. Then Amazon came along with a curveball, splitting the community: KDP Select. KDP Select is an opt-in program where self-publishers can be part of Amazon’s e-book lending library.  There has been a lot of discussion about KDP Select and the Lending Library – some hysterical, some measured – but I think it needs to be considered in the framework of Read More…

Bestselling Self-Published Novel Inexplicably Disappears From Amazon UK Causing Huge Lost Sales

A bestselling self-published novel – Sugar & Spice by writing duo Saffina Desforges – disappeared from Amazon UK 18 days ago, with no reason given to the authors. Repeated requests to KDP UK have failed to elicit an explanation, let alone a solution, costing the authors significant lost sales. But before I get to that, a lengthy – but necessary – disclaimer. When I praise Amazon, I get comments claiming that I’m some kind of acolyte, naively placing my trust in someone that will eventually crush me, without blinking, if they can make a dollar out of it. When I am critical of Amazon, I get accused of biting the hand that feeds, causing trouble for the sake of it, or of having Read More…

Making Money From Writing, Part 3: Sales Channels

For the last two days we looked at the various markets where you can sell your short stories and novels. Yesterday we covered the reasons why you should be cautious before you self-publish your work. Today we are going to look at the various sales channels where you can sell you self-published stories: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, Apple, Diesel, and Xinxii. You should be publishing on all of them. It requires very little work once you have done your formatting, and if you don’t you are cutting your sales for no good reason.