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 digital printers are misleading indie authors

Print on demand (“POD”) is the buzzword of the day, and many commercial printers are losing a chunk of their business to print on demand manufacturers such as CreateSpace and Ingram Spark (Lightning Source International). The result is a plethora of short-run digital printers doing their best to masquerade as true POD printers. A short-run digital printer will often advertise themselves as print on demand, claiming that their system is such because they can print one book or a thousand “on demand,” that is, without having to set up the Read More …

The Point Between available for pre-order and preview

eBook available for pre-order on Amazon and Kobo. NetGalley members can review it by clicking here. Print book available November 1st. Goodreads giveaway also starts November 1st. Bestselling mystery novelist Lily Harrington has been found hanging in her home in the tiny, oddball haven of Point Roberts, Washington, and all signs point to suicide. Worried the truth will be buried with her, Lily teams up with Marcus Mantova, the sexy detective of her novels, to influence the investigation and catch her killer. Yet no sooner has Lily come to terms Read More …

CreateSpace expand distribution to Canada – but there’s a catch (naturally)

On this blog in September 2013 I predicted that Amazon’s CreateSpace were positioning themselves to supply the Canadian market directly. Two days ago, in an email to clients, CreateSpace made it official. Unless the CreateSpace publisher specifically opts out, the following will now apply: Starting October 8, we began making CreateSpace titles enrolled in the Amazon.com sales channel available directly to readers in Canada on Amazon.ca. Your title may already be offered on Amazon.ca through Expanded Distribution or other channels, but now you can earn the same royalty on Amazon.ca Read More …

Changes to Japan tax on Kindle Direct Publishing

In The Global Indie Author I warn authors to pay attention to changes to sales tax in Japan due to 2014 legislation that requires all companies to charge and collect sales tax when selling to Japanese residents. Companies were given time to comply, and as of October 15 time is up. Amazon have thus announced to their Kindle Direct Publishing authors that list prices for Japan will now include 8% consumption tax. Amazon are following the same plan as they did with the new VAT laws that were executed in Read More …

Amazon’s new Giveaway – how does it compare to Goodreads?

Amazon announced their new Giveaway program today that allows authors to run contests for free print books or other items sold by Amazon. The program is based on the giveaway concept first offered by Goodreads, which is now also owned by Amazon. So which program is better for the indie author? Some comparison points: The Goodreads giveaway: may be started before your book is published, allowing you to generate a bit of pre-release interest. is open worldwide, allowing you to target readers in any country you believe you have a Read More …

Amazon to pay authors only by the page

Amazon officially announced yesterday that as of 1 July 2015 the Kindle Select Fund will only pay out based on the number of pages in your ebook the consumer reads. Amazon refer to their standard page as the Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count (KENPC) based “on standard settings (e.g. font, line height, line spacing, etc.).” The rationale behind the change was that Select was weighted too heavily in favour of short works: Kindle Owners’ Lending Library paid authors by the download regardless of the length of the book, while Kindle Read More …

Kindle Scout’s potential landmines

LAST UPDATED 9 September 2015 Back in October 2104, when Kindle Scout was first launched, I wrote a blog post of my opinion on the program. I also directed readers to Writer Beware’s post evaluating the program’s contract. Recently, I was approached by a journalist for my current opinion on the program, and the request made me take a look at the contract myself, a contract that was updated just recently, on 3 March 2015. In it I found two items in particular that raised a red flag for me, Read More …

Kindle Unlimited expands again but royalties contract

On February 12th, Amazon announced the expansion of Kindle Unlimited to Canada and Mexico. Four days later, Amazon announced that the KDP Select Fund, which pays out for the Kindle Owners Lending Library (KOLL) and Kindle Unlimited (KU), had been bumped up to $8.5 million for January. That the announcements were made four days apart was no accident, since Amazon would prefer that authors not make the link between the expansion of the fund and the need for it to accommodate the expansion of the program to another two countries. Read More …