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 …

Using SmartURL to maximize book sales

I recently came across a VERY handy website for indie writers: SmartURL. Based in Boston, SmartURL allows users to redirect traffic from a single URL to multiple URLs based on parameters you set, such as the country of the user or the device they use. For indie authors, the problem we have in our email marketing messages, Facebook posts, and website links is that we want to target a worldwide audience yet not have a plethora of unsightly links to all the retail sites that carry our books, and many 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 …

Coming Soon! The Point Between

COMING NOVEMBER 2015 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 with the existence of Marcus, the womanizing egomaniac she had thought a product of her imagination, than dead Whatcom County detective Penelope Winters also Read More …

Changes to EU VAT lead to changes in Kindle contract

ATTENTION KDP authors: As was discussed in the third edition of The Global Indie Author, and in my recent public lectures, on January 1st the whole of the EU changes from a seller-based system to a consumer-based system with regards to VAT on ebooks, with what is known as the destination principle. The destination principle is intended to close the loophole whereby companies such as Amazon, Apple, Google, et cetera registered themselves in the EU in Luxembourg where VAT on ebooks is the lowest in the EU, at 3%. This Read More …

Amazon and Hachette settle their dispute – now what?

It was announced earlier this month that Hachette and Amazon have reached an agreement. The deal allows Hachette to set ebook prices, which means the deal is an agency deal. In the latest edition of The Global Indie Author, I speculated that Hachette and others would likely return to the distributor discount model. This deal proves me wrong. But what is interesting about the deal is that it hints at an outcome I didn’t see coming: Amazon accepting a lower commission. What came out in the United States vs Apple Read More …

Third edition of The Global Indie Author now available in Canada

Well, after much trial and tribulation, the third edition of The Global Indie Author is out now in Canada. Readers can find it on Chapters/Indigo and Amazon.ca. By the way, that “Usually delivers in 3-5 weeks” declaration on the Amazon.ca website is nonsense; the book delivers in less than a week. The extended delivery time is just part of Amazon/CreateSpace’s strategy against competitor Lightning Source, which, incidentally, is covered in detail in the book. If you want to avoid supporting Amazon, buy from the Chapters/Indigo website, where the book is Read More …

Third Edition of The Global Indie Author is now available in U.S. and Europe

The third edition of The Global Indie Author is out now in print on Amazon U.S., UK, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy. All other territories coming soon! eBooks are also on the way. As mentioned in my previous post, the third edition features a new cover, new subtitle — to reflect the truly global phenomenon that self-publishing has become — and a great deal of new content (over 80 pages). The technical chapters have been completely overhauled to deal with the complexities of image handling, the increasing frustrations of font Read More …

New bugs in Kindle for PC app

Amazon recently updated the Kindle for PC app and alas two bugs have appeared. The first is that the app no longer defaults to justifying body text as it did before, regardless of how you code your book. Previously, if one left the text-align value out of the relevant CSS or if you coded in “text-align:justify;” the app would justify the text; now everything displays aligned left and you get the jagged right margin. I have informed Amazon of the bug, and they have responded that the technicians are now Read More …

Kindle bug breaks NCX TOC

[UPDATE: January 2016: Amazon now allow for publishers to embed their book covers inside the file before upload to KDP; if you are using a jpeg title page, I would advise that you embed your cover. This way Amazon’s system will not mistake your title page for the cover. Note also that embedding your cover requires specific code. See the KDP guide for more information.] A client recently uploaded to Kindle Direct Publishing a new book that I designed for him that had a jpeg image for its title page—a Read More …