Wattpad: New opportunity or new time sink?

UPDATED November 27, 2014 With all the hype around Wattpad with its 35 million users worldwide, it seems time to get on board. I had previously ignored the site, largely because it is built on the all-too-tedious model of authors providing free content while the site owners make a fortune off advertising revenue. (Dear Wattpad: why can’t you share ad revenue like YouTube? An author with thousands, sometimes millions, of reads is making you a LOT of money — don’t you think it’s time you shared? But I digress.) For Read More …

Kindle Countdown – just another example of Amazon extortion?

Earlier this month Amazon announced Kindle Countdown for authors wishing to put their ebook(s) on sale. The service allows the author to set a specific time frame for an ebook to go on sale, and advertises the original price alongside the sale price. However, similar to Amazon’s free book promotion and their Kindle Owner Lending Library, the service is only available for titles enrolled in KDP Select. By way of reminder, KDP Select is only available to authors who agree to give Amazon exclusivity on a title; the exclusivity is Read More …

The Global Indie Author, 2nd Edition chosen for promotion at Self-Publishing Book Expo, NY

I am pleased to announce that the 2nd edition of The Global Indie Author, published this month, has been selected by Kobo for promotion at the Self-Publishing Book Expo in New York on October 27th. Visitors to the Kobo booth will receive a coupon for 50% off the book. If you’re going to the expo make sure you stop by the Kobo booth for this and other great deals! And with Baby Jane holding its own at #21 in its category on Kobo — in company with the likes of Ian Read More …

Baby Jane reaches #14 on Kobo

I was excited to learn yesterday that my novel, Baby Jane, has reached the #14 spot on Kobo in the category of Mystery & Suspense > Police Procedural. This puts the the novel in good company with authors such as Kathy Reichs (Bones: Buried Deep), Val McDermid (A Darker Domain, The Distant Echo), Micheal Connelly (Angel of Investigation, Suicide Run, The Drop), and James Patterson (Roses are Red). I couldn’t be more excited! Thank you to my readers who helped put me there!

Uploading your Kindle book cover separately is the better option

Update 4/26/12: in just the last 24 hours or so, Amazon has updated the KDP interface: adding the product image as your internal book cover is no longer an option, it is mandatory. KDP help pages have been changed to reflect this. A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post about Kindle’s new option to use your product/cover image as your interior book cover when you upload your book using the Kindle interface, as well as Amazon’s new guidelines for larger images, likely a response to the phenomenal screen Read More …

What has Kindle Done to Kindle Apps?

I noticed after updates to my Kindle for PC app (not the current 1.9.1 fiasco but much earlier) that the Go to Cover menu item was now greyed out when viewing my novel, Baby Jane, and several other books I purchased last year. Baby Jane was made by uploading an HTML file (created from MS Word); the appropriate “cover” bookmark is in the HTML and when I first published the book last March the Go to Cover menu option worked fine. I have also noticed that the Go to Beginning Read More …

Tips for writing an effective book description

A well-written book description (also called a synopsis) is an essential marketing tool for your novel. Its purpose is to lure the reader in with just enough of a teaser that they feel compelled to crack open the cover and start reading. An alluring synopsis is the gateway into your book, yet too many authors don’t give their synopsis the respect that it’s due, and as a result they let their novel — and themselves — down. A good fiction synopsis: always starts with attention-grabbing, descriptive words. Avoid beginning with Read More …

Print-on-demand’s dirty little secret

[UPDATE: While the following deals with the problems created by CreateSpace’s Expanded Distribution, CreateSpace itself has increasingly been using third-party printers to fulfill publisher orders. I have had numerous problems with my print orders, losing usually on average about 10% of my order to everything from crooked pages to machine roller smears. Further to CreateSpace, for their E.U. (and likely soon for their Canadian operations), it is not CreateSpace who are printing the books but Amazon themselves at their fulfillment warehouses. With so many potential printers of your product, the Read More …

System-wide mess-up at Amazon affecting Christmas shopping

In an unfortunate twist of fate for indie writers who sell globally (and for smaller, independent publishers), a system-wide error at Amazon is affecting the display of delivery dates for print-on-demand books. This appears only to be affecting titles sold on Amazon sites outside the U.S. This from my distributor Lightning Source/Ingram: “As Amazon prepares for the upcoming holiday season, they recently implemented a sudden system-wide change on all vendor products, including books. The result had an unintended impact on some POD book stated delivery times on the Amazon site.  Amazon Read More …