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Wish Granted! Tips, Tools, and Templates to Write a Winning Grant
by Holly Rustick

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INCLUDES BONUS FREE E-DOWNLOADS: TEMPLATES FOR GRANT WRITING!

Grant writing shouldn’t feel like a trip to the dentist. Take the pain out of the process with this innovative and fun, yes fun, guide. Learn all the inside tips and tools of the grant-writing trade in this easy-to-read and upbeat book.
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Author Topic: UPDATE: 15 Ways To Improve KDP - Progress Report  (Read 14432 times)  

Offline dgaughran

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UPDATE: 15 Ways To Improve KDP - Progress Report
« on: April 12, 2013, 01:20:01 AM »
UPDATE, APRIL 2014

I've just updated the thread with a progress report on the crowdsourced list of KDP suggestions that you guys and my blog readers helped put together for the London Book Fair last year. You can read that here: http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,148355.msg2581888.html#msg2581888

ORIGINAL POST, APRIL 2013:

Hi all,

I'm going to the London Book Fair next week, and already have some time planned to talk with the good people at Kobo. I should get the chance to do the same with KDP, Createspace, and maybe the Nook guys. I'm not sure what to do with the Sony guys. Check their pulse?

Anyway, I'm putting together list of issues to bring up with each. For example, top of my list with the KDP guys is sorting out the Category system, and giving us a way to either change prices without republishing the book, or scheduling a limited time price drop.

I'm going to be pressing the Nook guys about opening up to international self-publishers, hounding Createspace for an electronic payment option, and needling the Kobo guys about their crappy search engine (and suggesting that the route to fixing it might lie in allowing us keywords in KWL).

But that's just the tip of the iceberg. What are your issues? I can't promise I'll raise everything, but... shoot!

(Don't forget to note who the issue is for i.e. KDP/Createspace/Nook/Kobo)
« Last Edit: April 09, 2014, 06:31:14 AM by dgaughran »

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Offline Patty Jansen

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Re: Talking with KDP& Kobo at London Book Fair. Your issues needed
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2013, 01:24:42 AM »
KDP: abolish cheques for international authors.
Also, tell them that I object to the constant splitting off of new stores (for which we have to meet another bloody minimum level of sales). They're not a bank. Yeah, I know I periodically get very angry about this.

Kobo: I love them. Tell them that. They are awesome. They pay into my bank account and take my local tax ID.


Offline dgaughran

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Re: Talking with KDP& Kobo at London Book Fair. Your issues needed
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2013, 01:36:11 AM »
KDP: abolish cheques for international authors.
Also, tell them that I object to the constant splitting off of new stores (for which we have to meet another bloody minimum level of sales). They're not a bank. Yeah, I know I periodically get very angry about this.

I guess one would solve the other, right? If Oz/NZ etc. peeps could get an electronic payment, they would only need to make a $10 minimum (or equivalent) in each country before payment.


Kobo: I love them. Tell them that. They are awesome. They pay into my bank account and take my local tax ID.

LOL. Ok.

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Offline Karin Cox

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Re: Talking with KDP& Kobo at London Book Fair. Your issues needed
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2013, 01:53:08 AM »
I have to agree with Patty. Waiting 60 days to be paid via cheques that sometimes take another 25 days to clear and cost $50 to process just isn't good enough. They need to sort out EFT for international authors ASAP. Also, customer service. What IS with customer service. They seem to want to treat authors like idiots and link to information already available on the site instead of actually answering questions, and sometimes you get three different answers to the same question, or no answer at all, just the standard "thank you, we need more time to figure out this issue" which then fades into nothingness.

The BISAC vs category issues are problematic, but more than that is the inability to choose more than two categories and the inconsistencies and issues with having KDP staff add categories (or refuse to add categories) for you.

I can't say with Nook because I haven't used them, and I'm not sure whether I'll ever bother with B&N, which may well go broke before they allow international authors to participate.

The other thing I would like from KDP is more transparency when it comes to things like returns. I want to know why my books were returned, and how many people downloaded the sample and didn't buy. All of those stats can help me as an author.
Karin is the author of more than 30 titles of fiction and non-fiction and is also the founder of www.indiereviewtracker.com
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Offline Patty Jansen

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Re: Talking with KDP& Kobo at London Book Fair. Your issues needed
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2013, 02:37:59 AM »
Yes. Returns annoy need looking into.

All ebook retailers have a return policy, and I agree with that, but why are returns on Amazon so damn high? I've sold almost 800 books on Kobo, for 1 single return. On Amazon? I sell much less there than on Kobo, but there are returns most months. Either they should implement a "Are you sure you want to buy this?" button for accidental buys, or crack down harder on serial returners. Both, probably.

Offline Lizbooks

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Re: Talking with KDP& Kobo at London Book Fair. Your issues needed
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2013, 02:43:49 AM »
My issue with Kobo is that they won't allow you to receive payments through an online-only bank. I tried to link my Ally checking account but was told my bank has to have a physical branch location to qualify.

Offline dgaughran

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Re: Talking with KDP& Kobo at London Book Fair. Your issues needed
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2013, 02:44:49 AM »
Okay, so far for KDP we got:

1. The Category Mess
2. Payments (more EFT for more international peeps)
3. Customer service fail (I might word that a little more diplomatically)

I'm not sure about the returns issue, to be honest. If there was a major problem with people abusing the system - and I'm not convinced there is - I'm sure Amazon would have (a) noticed and (b) done something about it. After all, they can famously tell who has read what and how quickly etc.

I can't see them ever putting in a "Are you sure you want to buy this?" page as the One-Click purchasing is a *huge* deal for Amazon, and a major factor in their success. I'm also skeptical that they would share return reasons with us.

On the other hand, I would LOVE to know how many people visited my page and sampled, how many sampled and didn't buy etc., but I severely doubt they would ever share that information. It would give large publishers etc. a huge market advantage (if they used that data smartly).

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Offline Karin Cox

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Re: Talking with KDP& Kobo at London Book Fair. Your issues needed
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2013, 02:55:38 AM »
I am probably dreaming, but I would certainly want to know if returns were due to read errors on specific devices or something. The other things are being able to schedule in sales or temporary price reductions like we can schedule in freebies in Select, and, as you say Dave, being able to price change without having to republish.
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Re: Talking with KDP& Kobo at London Book Fair. Your issues needed
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2013, 04:01:08 AM »
All good points, David. Getting Kobo to do something about searches and discoverability would be top of my list. I mean, why create KWL and appeal to self-publishers if they're not going to do anything with it?

Thanks for taking the initiative on this, David. I can't think of a better person to pry answers out of those publishers/retailers. Look forward to your report and lots of goofy snapshots on the convention floor.

Cheers

Tim McGregor

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Re: Talking with KDP& Kobo at London Book Fair. Your issues needed
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2013, 04:15:53 AM »
I have an issue with Kobo categories as well as KDP.  They seem to be fantastic for some genres but, unless I'm missing something, all women's fiction gets lumped under "Romance".  I write chick lit which is not romance and erotica which is not romance so am kinda stuck.  Like Tim said below, the searches are really bad too.  It's the main thing that puts me off buying there because I can only browse by category or do a search on title, not description.

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Re: Talking with KDP& Kobo at London Book Fair. Your issues needed
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2013, 04:22:04 AM »
For KDP I would like to know why ratings no longer show up on alsobots.  Is that a glitch or a change?  And I'd like them back if it's a change.  And I second wanting to be able to change prices without republishing.
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Offline Caddy

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Re: Talking with KDP& Kobo at London Book Fair. Your issues needed
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2013, 05:07:35 AM »
I would appreciate it kobo got their act together and actually had their search find all books in a series.  So far for me, the only ones that come up with the word "Gastien" are those with the word in the title, but there are a couple that are in the series, that I have listed when submitting the books as part of "The Gastien Series" that don't show up.


Amazon: better ability to categorize books, more than 2 categories, see how many viewed book sample, more key words.
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Offline Courtney Milan

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Re: Talking with KDP& Kobo at London Book Fair. Your issues needed
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2013, 05:44:33 AM »
For KDP: I really, really want the ability to have preorders. I'm willing to upload a ready file and have it sit there for a few weeks to collect preorders.

For Kobo: I really, really want to be able to upload a new file without losing all my sales history.

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Re: Talking with KDP& Kobo at London Book Fair. Your issues needed
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2013, 05:50:18 AM »
I second all of the suggestions here, especially Courtney's regarding preorders. I'm happy to upload a ready file -- and would love to be able to do preorders at Amazon, Nook, Kobo (can already do it on iTunes).
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Offline benji smith

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Re: Talking with KDP& Kobo at London Book Fair. Your issues needed
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2013, 05:55:47 AM »
For KDP, I'd like more detailed reporting. We already have month-by-month and week-by-week reporting, but it'd be really helpful to have day-by-day reporting for tracking the efficacy of certain promotions. As it stands, if I want day-by-day reporting, I have to log into KDP at the same time every morning and write down the current total. It's error-prone and very annoying.

CreateSpace has detailed day-by-day reporting. Why not KDP?
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Re: Talking with KDP& Kobo at London Book Fair. Your issues needed
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2013, 06:01:37 AM »
For all retailers, how about a couponing/discount system similar to that of Smashwords?

Scheduling promotional offer start/stop times would be nice, too.

As for reporting on KDP, a view showing sales across all countries would be better than having to click that dropdown for each country. KDP in general needs to up their UI game. They're behind Kobo and now Nook Press, IMO.

Another for KDP: Faster update times of price, product description, etc. I changed the price on one of my titles recently and it took 48 hours to see the price change on the site. B&N and Kobo take maybe an hour.

Thanks for carrying the torch!
« Last Edit: April 12, 2013, 06:20:38 AM by scottmarlowe »

Offline Jonathan C. Gillespie

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Re: Talking with KDP& Kobo at London Book Fair. Your issues needed
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2013, 06:05:41 AM »
Thanks for doing this.

KDP: Coupon Codes. Smashwords does it. Give us the ability, or at least a quota we can use every month.

Kobo: Allow tracking of free books. Come up with some sort of review aggregator, too, so I don't have to go to every book's product page to gauge the pulse.


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Re: Talking with KDP& Kobo at London Book Fair. Your issues needed
« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2013, 06:19:53 AM »

KDP: Coupon Codes.

^This, this, this.

Also, a cleanup of the "Prior Six Weeks' Royalties" report on the KDP site would be a bonus. It seems (to me) unnecessarily aggregated sales data that does nothing but confuse.

Last: could we get Book Description, et. al., out of Author Central and onto the KDP dashboard? Or at least single sign-on, site merge, something?

Thanks, DG! You're my hero.

p.s. Sorry -- Obviously, all these for Amazon/KDP. I've given up on the other sales channels until I'm famous enough to matter to them or external forces make the necessary changes.

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Re: Talking with KDP& Kobo at London Book Fair. Your issues needed
« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2013, 06:26:17 AM »
KDP & Nook: Pre-Orders!

Why should only the larger publishers be able to set up pre-ordering?

Kobo already offers this. Amazon & B&N should get with the program.  8)

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Re: Talking with KDP& Kobo at London Book Fair. Your issues needed
« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2013, 06:30:15 AM »
KDP: Why should I stay in Select?  The perks are no longer much of an incentive. Is something new planned for that?
If they want exclusivity there's got to be something more than borrows and freebies that can't be widely promoted any longer because of their affiliate policies.

Also: I want my author name to appear again in the also-boughts, along with my stars.
(Maybe we could threaten to hold our breath until we turn blue?)

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Offline MH Sargent

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Re: Talking with KDP& Kobo at London Book Fair. Your issues needed
« Reply #20 on: April 12, 2013, 06:33:34 AM »

Kobo: Allow tracking of free books.

^^^This.
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Re: Talking with KDP& Kobo at London Book Fair. Your issues needed
« Reply #21 on: April 12, 2013, 06:51:55 AM »
KDP & Nook: Pre-Orders!

Why should only the larger publishers be able to set up pre-ordering?

Kobo already offers this. Amazon & B&N should get with the program.  8)

I had no idea Kobo allowed preorders! Good to know. I love how Kobo has total ebooks sold right up there on the dashboard. It would really make it easier if KDP and B&N put that somewhere to help with tracking overall sales. I also agree with others that coupon codes would be fantastic. Thanks, David!

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Re: Talking with KDP& Kobo at London Book Fair. Your issues needed
« Reply #22 on: April 12, 2013, 06:55:54 AM »
I had no idea Kobo allowed preorders! Good to know.

I just recently found out myself. If you enter a pub date in the future, it will ask if you want to allow pre-orders.

Very cool.  ;D

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Re: Talking with KDP& Kobo at London Book Fair. Your issues needed
« Reply #23 on: April 12, 2013, 07:16:41 AM »
KDP - when they discount a book, the original price is marked out, but still there. If I discount a book, the original price disappears, so readers don't know its been discounted. I would like a way to specify a temporary price reduction/sale price.

Kobo - I too love this site and agree my books don't show up in the search as well as I would like. The number of books shown is too limited.

Nook - I like the new improvements, although I have not yet tried to use their publishing system for a new book. However, I would like to be able to see the books I have there now in a word.doc instead of epub.

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Re: Talking with KDP& Kobo at London Book Fair. Your issues needed
« Reply #24 on: April 12, 2013, 07:19:01 AM »
KDP - when they discount a book, the original price is marked out, but still there. If I discount a book, the original price disappears, so readers don't know its been discounted. I would like a way to specify a temporary price reduction/sale price.

+1  ;D