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 …

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 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 (PCN) Program, 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 …

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 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 (PCN) Program, 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 …

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 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 (PCN) Program, 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 …

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 (PCN) Program, 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 …

The Perils of Using Song Lyrics in Your Book (and how to do so anyway)

Many indie authors ask me if they can use song lyrics in their books, and if doing so constitutes fair use or if permission is required. The short answer is this: yes, you can use lyrics, doing so might or might not fall under fair use, but in the end that is irrelevant because copyright of most lyrics is aggressively defended by powerful licensing agencies who can make your life miserable if you fail to pay for permission. So forget fair use: you can’t afford it. Permission to use song Read More …

What is the copyright date of my book?

One of the most common questions I am asked by new authors is this: What date do I put on my book’s copyright page? For many authors this is confusing because they may have started the book in 2014, finished it in 2015, and intend to self-publish it in 2016. So what year do you put on the copyright page? The answer is 2016. To understand why that is, it is necessary to explain the difference between a work or title and a book. The term title or work refers to the content created 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 …

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 …