The charitable way to create a bestseller

Recently, as part of my endeavour to read all the unread books on my shelf, I tackled the soporific Three Cups of Tea (2006, paperback 2007) by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. While leaving my review on Goodreads I stumbled across the scandal that plagued the book and its authors in 2011, complete with a 60 Minutes investigation that triggered another investigation by Montana’s Attorney General. That investigation would ultimately see Mortenson ordered to pay restitution to the charity he founded, the Central Asia Institute (CAI). Despite not having Read More …

Recovering U.S. tax withheld at source

As a follow up to my previous post on the KDP/CreateSpace tax interview, I will now answer a question that often arises regarding one’s options for recovering U.S. tax withheld: Can I get any of it back, and if so, how? If you are a non-U.S. author who had tax withheld prior to sorting out your U.S. tax ID, you can apply to the IRS for recovery within three years of the date the tax return was originally due for the tax paid, plus any extensions you may be entitled 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 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 …

Amazon Plead for Your Support in Hachette Dispute and Why You Shouldn’t Give It

A few days ago I unpacked a piece of Amazon propaganda that was posted on the Kindle forum. Well, Amazon have upped their game: in a lengthy letter sent to Kindle authors today (and posted on a new site Amazon set up specifically for this purpose, www.readersunited.com), Amazon have asked indie authors to join Amazon in their fight with Hachette: we are asked to send opposition emails to Hachette CEO, Michael Pietsch (Amazon even published his email, which is really bad manners) and to copy our emails to readers-united@amazon.com. We Read More …

Unpacking Amazon’s propaganda

As the dispute between Amazon and Hachette ramped up earlier this year, Amazon tried to exercise some leverage by delaying the sale of Hachette titles as well as increasing print book prices and changing Amazon’s algorithms to Hachette’s disadvantage. Hachette authors took to social media, and Amazon customers, accustomed to finding what they want at prices they like, were similarly annoyed. In an attempt to counter the barrage of bad publicity, on 29 July Amazon posted their version of events on the Kindle Forum. The delivery of the message on Read More …

Amazon are bullying traditional publishers — why you should be worried

The BBC has reported on the latest round of negotiations between Amazon and UK publishers as Amazon attempt to secure ever more favourable terms for themselves. Many of you will already be familiar with the Amazon versus Hachette dispute, whereby Amazon are trying to bully large publishers into lowering ebook prices. In the UK, Amazon have further upped the ante by demanding that publishers hand over their print files and give Amazon the right to print any books where the publisher has failed to provide Amazon with adequate stock. But Read More …

The offensive against the offensive: self-published erotica comes under fire

Amazon have removed from their catalogue several self-published ebooks that depict violent acts of rape and incest, and today Kobo Writing Life authors will have received an email from KWL director Mark Lefebvre indicating that Kobo are following suit. The current offensive is the result of an article on the British technology website The Kernel that found for sale on Amazon pornographic titles such as Naughty Daughter Abducted And Pounded By Daddy’s Cock: Anal Sex And BDSM With My Step Father (taboo daddy daughter erotica) by Shannon Leigh. It cited Read More …

Will there be professional writers in future?

In a recent Globe and Mail article, British writer Ewan Morrison makes the bold proclamation that “There will be no more professional writers in the future.” Putting aside the hyperbole of that statement, or what defines “professional,” article writer John Barber does make a few salient points about the trajectory we writers have been on for some time now: From the heights of the literary pantheon to the lowest trenches of hackery, where contributors to digital “content farms” are paid as little as 10 cents for every 1,000 times readers Read More …