How Kindle Unlimited is killing off authors — and what you can do to protect yourself

Last summer it became public knowledge that scammers were earning big money gaming Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited. The scam arose out of Amazon’s decision to pay Kindle Unlimited publishers by the page instead of by the download: the more “pages” of an ebook the consumer reads, the more the publisher gets paid. Scammers began uploading fake books with a “click here for something awesome” link at the front that linked to an ad or some other such nonsense at the back of the book; the consumer quickly realized the book was Read More …

Amazon close Write On. Will they go after Wattpad?

  Amazon announced today that, effective 22 March 2017, their online writing community website, Write On by Kindle, will cease operations. Authors are advised to download their work(s), and a warning has been posted on the site’s landing page. Write On was Amazon’s late-to-the-party entry into the online writing community. Earlier, and more successful communities include Scribd, which morphed into a paid subscription service, and Wattpad, with its 45,000,000+ global membership, and which funds itself through advertising (with nothing paid to authors, but that’s another story). The demise of Write On reminds Read More …

How to make NetGalley work for you

For those unfamiliar with NetGalley, it’s the well-established site where authors can upload their books for review by any of the site’s 300,000+ members. Publishers upload their titles, interested members request them, then the publisher has the option to accept all requests or pick and choose from among them. Member profiles may include such information as occupation, company, blog/review website addresses, and on which, if any, retail sites the member regularly posts reviews. ePub and PDF files are accepted; ePubs are converted to mobi if the user chooses to send Read More …

CIP, LCCN, PCN, PCIP – what are they and does the indie author really need them? (Part IV)

There is a great deal of misinformation and misunderstanding about what Cataloging in Publication (CIP) entails, what is or is not conferred by a Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN), the nature of the Library of Congress’s Preassigned Control Number Program (PCN), and the for-profit Publisher Cataloging in Publication (PCIP) services offered by freelance cataloguers. Worse still is the myth that the author whose book does not contain CIP data or a coveted LCCN cannot sell their books to libraries. This is simply untrue: all that a CIP data block Read More …

CIP, LCCN, PCN, PCIP – what are they and does the indie author really need them? (Part III)

There is a great deal of misinformation and misunderstanding about what Cataloging in Publication (CIP) entails, what is or is not conferred by a Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN), the nature of the Library of Congress’s Preassigned Control Number Program (PCN), and the for-profit Publisher Cataloging in Publication (PCIP) services offered by freelance cataloguers. Worse still is the myth that the author whose book does not contain CIP data or a coveted LCCN cannot sell their books to libraries. This is simply untrue: all that a CIP data block Read More …

CIP, LCCN, PCN, PCIP – what are they and does the indie author really need them? (Part II)

There is a great deal of misinformation and misunderstanding about what Cataloging in Publication (CIP) entails, what is or is not conferred by a Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN), the nature of the Library of Congress’s Preassigned Control Number Program (PCN), and the for-profit Publisher Cataloging in Publication (PCIP) services offered by freelance cataloguers. Worse still is the myth that the author whose book does not contain CIP data or a coveted LCCN cannot sell their books to libraries. This is simply untrue: all that a CIP data block Read More …

CIP, LCCN, PCN, PCIP – what are they and does the indie author really need them? (Part I)

There is a great deal of misinformation and misunderstanding about what Cataloguing in Publication (CIP) entails, what is or is not conferred by a Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN), the nature of the Library of Congress’s Preassigned Control Number Program (PCN), and the for-profit Publisher Cataloguing in Publication (PCIP) services offered by freelance cataloguers. Worse still is the myth that the author whose book does not contain CIP data or a coveted LCCN cannot sell their books to libraries. This is simply untrue: all that a CIP data block Read More …

Five steps to reduce your editing costs

As an indie writer, chances are you’re on a tight budget, and editing can be a major expense, in some cases the biggest expense you will incur as a self-publisher. Luckily, there are ways for you to lower that bill without compromising on quality. Editors charge either by the word or the hour, but either way the more work they have to do, the more you pay. I charge by the word, but I will adjust my fee based on a sample edit of your manuscript; the worse shape it Read More …

How to avoid embarrassing errors in your manuscript

As both a writer and an editor, I often find manuscript errors created by inconsistency in mechanical conventions. A few typical examples are: Chapter headings that use numbers (Chapter 1) at the start of a manuscript but then are inexplicably spelled out later on (Chapter Ten). All caps are used to illustrate a raised voice (“GET OUT!” she screamed.) in parts of the manuscript, but italics (“Get out!” she screamed.) are used elsewhere for the same effect. The author uses an en dash surrounded by spaces (“I wish you wouldn’t” Read More …

Styles are the foundation of best book practices

Most authors who use a word processor do not use custom styles; instead, authors are in the habit of using the default Normal style and using the tab key and the formatting toolbar to customize headings and paragraphs. Unfortunately, this is a bad habit that will come to bite you later if you want to turn your manuscript into a print or ebook. It is much better practice to control the formatting of your manuscript through styles. Styles are the foundation of best book practices, in particular ebooks: when your Read More …