Amazon wade back into serialized content with Kindle Vella

A new addition to Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, Vella is an online writing platform where readers can purchase tokens to read serialized content. Initially Vella will be offered only on the Kindle iOS app and Amazon.com, not on Kindle devices or the Kindle Android, Mac, or PC apps, suggesting this may be aimed at stealing some iPhone users away from Apple Books, or may be a means of beating Apple to the punch. Serialization of paid digital content first became popular in Asia (particularly China, Korea, and Japan), and initially Read More …

The comma and the compound sentence

Webster’s Dictionary defines a compound sentence as “a sentence consisting of two or more independent, coordinate clauses (Ex.: She drinks coffee, but he prefers tea.)” A clause is a group of words that contain, at minimum, a subject and a verb: He eats. We play. The dog sleeps. The standard grammatical rule is that compound sentences should be separated by a semicolon or by the combination of a comma and a conjunction (e.g., and, but, or). However, The Chicago Manual of Style allows writers to omit the comma if no Read More …

The case of the misplaced modifier

In my work as an editor, a common error I see is the misplaced modifier. As its name suggests, the modifier is placed incorrectly in the sentence, often creating ambiguity. (The irony is that the term misplaced modifier is itself ambiguous, as misplaced can mean either “incorrectly placed” or “lost.” But I digress.) And this error, as the above image illustrates, is not just common with new writers, but also among those who get paid not to embarrass their clients. A misplaced modifier can be a word or a phrase. Read More …

READ THIS before shipping books to Canadians!

The recent upset over changes to Australia’s rules on GST applied to low-value goods has for some of my clients once again raised the spectre of similar issues selling and shipping to consumers in Canada. Those using Fulfilled by Amazon or Amazon Advantage have had to open an account with Amazon Canada and ship product to their fulfillment warehouses there or use a Canadian broker. All of which is expensive. You can, as many do, simply elect to use a different method of selling to Canadians, such as through eBay Read More …

READ THIS before selling books to Australians!

Last July, Australia changed its sales tax law to level the playing field between international sellers and domestic ones. Previously, Australia’s sales tax, the GST (Goods and Services Tax), was not collected on physical items purchased outside Australia for less than AUS $1000 (“low-value goods”) and imported by the consumer. This allowed Australians to save money by buying off international websites, especially ones that provided free shipping or a price low enough to offset the shipping costs. But it also hurt those Australian businesses that do have to charge sales Read More …

It’s the end of the world – for writers

So, a new publication called Aftermath is having a short story (1500–5000 words) contest. The winner will receive $1000 USD. Sounds good, right? Well, it’s garbage, actually. Because while the top three share in the $1400 prize money, the rest may still be considered for publication for the – wait for it – “usual fee” of $25. Yes, you read that right. Basically, the contest is a way to find enough stories to get the magazine off the ground and going for a while, and at a rate of $0.0166 Read More …

Did Amazon ban an erotic ebook over nude drawings?

Late last November, a client of mine received a shocking email from Amazon: they were removing one of her erotic novels from Kindle Direct Publishing over violations of their content standards (such as they are), along with a threat that, should she violate these standards again, she would be permanently banned from KDP. Problem was, Amazon failed to specify the violating content. What made it even more of a mystery was that the ebook had already been on sale for over a year without complaint, the paperback version is still Read More …

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 to make NetGalley work for you

For those unfamiliar with NetGalley, it’s the well-established site where authors can upload their books for review by any of the site’s 300,000+ members. Publishers upload their titles, interested members request them, then the publisher has the option to accept all requests or pick and choose from among them. Member profiles may include such information as occupation, company, blog/review website addresses, and on which, if any, retail sites the member regularly posts reviews. ePub and PDF files are accepted; ePubs are converted to mobi if the user chooses to send Read More …