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 …

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 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 …

Interview on Vancouver Co-op Radio

I was interviewed yesterday on Writing Life, on Vancouver’s Co-op Radio, 100.5 FM. We covered some of the basics of self-publishing, as well as marketing and international publishing. You can listen here or download here.  

Why Italy is charging higher VAT on ebooks without an ISBN

In their most recent email reminder regarding changes in VAT in the EU, Amazon added a footnote regarding Italy: that also of January 1st, Italy has implemented new legislation that charges a higher rate of VAT on ebooks that do not have an ISBN. eBooks that do not contain an ISBN are charged 22% VAT, while ebooks with an ISBN are charged a rate of only 4%. Before the indie forums light up with declarations that this is a war on ebooks and/or Amazon or Kobo (where ebooks can be Read More …

Understanding KDP’s new VAT-inclusive pricing, and how to work it to your advantage

Much confusion has reigned over Kindle Direct Publishing’s new VAT-inclusive pricing. Part of the problem lies with Amazon who, in an attempt to explain what an author’s pre-VAT royalty would look like, published a list of the new pricing bands with and without VAT. What this did was create worry that if a consumer from another EU country with a higher ebook VAT bought one’s ebook off, for example, the Amazon.fr site, and the price without VAT fell outside the minimum price to receive the 70% royalty, then the author Read More …

Using charm pricing to increase your book sales

Many self-published authors, focused as they are on the U.S. market, tend to take the lazy road and simply input a USD price and allow the likes of CreateSpace, Amazon, and Kobo to auto-convert to other currencies. The problem with this approach is that, between currency fluctuations and differences in sales tax in various countries, one’s book price can be all over the map. More importantly, however, by taking this approach you are likely cheating yourself out of a potentially lucrative sales strategy: charm pricing. Charm pricing, also known by Read More …

Changes to EU VAT affect all sellers, not just Amazon

In my previous post on the January 2105 changes to the VAT system in the EU, the focus is on Amazon since the VAT changes mean a change to Kindle Direct Publishing’s pricing system and royalty structure. However, authors need to be aware that these changes do not affect only Amazon, they affect all ebook sellers across the EU. Kobo’s system is currently VAT-inclusive for the EU, so authors will not see a change to Kobo’s system; however, authors will see a change to their royalty payments since VAT is Read More …