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Topics - ADDavies

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Writers' Cafe / HELP! Amazon questioning my copyright.
« on: April 14, 2018, 01:58:50 PM »
I've been rewriting the back matter in all my books this week, republishing them. All have gone through fine, except one. They sent me this note demanding I prove copyright.

Thank you for publishing with Amazon. Copyright is important to us – we want to make sure that no author or other copyright holder has his or her books sold by anyone else. To publish your book, please respond with documentation confirming your publishing rights within four days:

Three Years Dead by A. D. Davies (AUTHOR) (ID: PRI-JV3AJHH6R5X)

Acceptable documentation can include:

- If you are the author and you are republishing your book after your publication rights have been reverted to you, a signed reversion letter from your former publisher
- If you are the author and you are publishing under a pseudonym, a copyright registration using the pseudonym
- If you are not the author, a signed contract between you and the author granting you the rights to publish the book in the territories, languages and formats you have selected
- If you are not the author, an e-mail from the address listed on the author’s (or their agent’s) official website confirming that you have the rights to publish their book in the territories, languages and formats you have selected
- If you are a literary agent, a signed contract between you and the author or an email from the address listed on the author’s official website granting you the right to act on the author’s behalf with respect to the book

Documentation we cannot accept includes:

- A statement by you that you have the publishing rights without verification by the author/copyright holder
- A copyright application for which registration has not been confirmed

If you publish books for which you do not hold the publishing rights, your account may be terminated.

Best regards,

Amazon KDP


- If you are the author and you are republishing your book after your publication rights have been reverted to you, a signed reversion letter from your former publisher

I'm the sole publisher. No one else has EVER owned the rights. I published it in 2015 on Amazon KDP, so I have no reversion letter.

- If you are the author and you are publishing under a pseudonym, a copyright registration using the pseudonym

Nope, not a pseudonym either. Just my initials. Didn't know pen names required a registration for the works.

- If you are not the author, a signed contract between you and the author granting you the rights to publish the book in the territories, languages and formats you have selected
As covered, I am the author.

- If you are not the author, an e-mail from the address listed on the author’s (or their agent’s) official website confirming that you have the rights to publish their book in the territories, languages and formats you have selected

Ditto, I am the author. No agents involved.

- If you are a literary agent, a signed contract between you and the author or an email from the address listed on the author’s official website granting you the right to act on the author’s behalf with respect to the book
See where I'm going?

They sent that through this morning, and I replied nicely asking for more information, why they suspected a violation, and politely explained all the above. This evening, they just sent the exact same note through, a duplicate asking for the same information.

Am I screwed here? Any advice?

Writers' Cafe / Book2Pod - your book as a podcast
« on: February 15, 2018, 03:01:43 PM »
I searched and there doesn't seem to be a thread.

This week's Sell More Books Show podcast introduced Books2Pod, and automated audio production of text to speech to allow you to make your book (or part of your book) into a podcast using software and no human voices.

Mostly, I think it sounds okay, but obviously hasn't caught up with human voices yet. For me, although I really like Bryan and Jim, the price is on the eye watering side, but I'd be interested to hear if anyone is taking the plunge on this. I'm on the fence, to be honest. I WANT it to work, and be great, and for people to be successful, but it's a little steep for experimenting when I'm not 100% myself.

(Yes, I'm a coward hoping to ride the coattails of indies braver (and richer) than me, not explore this new shiny thing myself - I make no bones about that.)

So - anyone doing it? Anyone care to share? Opinions?

Writers' Cafe / Freebie Bookbub - to Box Set or Not
« on: December 19, 2017, 12:36:44 PM »
So I have a Bookbub for my first free in a series.

There are 3 books currently, including the freebie.

#4 will be on pre-order in time for the BB.

Normal prices, all $3.99.

Should I do a bundle and advertise that in my description, and bank on people picking that up? I plan on pricing it at, say, $5.99 (saving ~$2) for all three first books? Or would I be better doing it at $4.99 to save ~$3 but take a hit on the royalty.

While I know BB freebies work best as a funnel to the series, and this first novel has a really decent read-through rate, I'm wondering if the additional info in the description will work against it or maybe tempt a few initial sales.

Writers' Cafe / Scrivener 3?
« on: December 04, 2017, 01:55:40 AM »
I got a note from my Scrivener this morning saying a new version is available on MacOS - $25 for existing customers, so not an update but a whole new program to replace the old.

Anyone tried it yet?

I'm delaying until the Windows version is out of beta because I work across both Mac and Windows machines and need them to be compatible. Looking at the FAQs that isn't the case yet.

It looks nice. If I wasn't dual-OS I'd be happy to pay that. Hoping it's a permanent price for current customers.

Writers' Cafe / Bookbub - do I NEED to promo-stack?
« on: November 28, 2017, 09:18:28 AM »
So there I was, rejected every month this year for my free first in series for my 5-book (to date) series.  >:(

For some one-off promos I go and make my first in a different series free, this series being only three books. I apply, and guess what? The three-book series gets accepted for a full Bookbub on Dec 28th  ;D

I'm going to get cracking on #4 so I will at least have something on pre-order for people to sink their $$ into and maybe extend that tail somewhat.

BUT - question: do I really have to promo stack? Does it extend the life of the tail on a free book all that much? I know Amazon doesn't reward huge intermittent spikes, but wasn't sure if that worked with BB.

My only other BB was a 0.99 which I built up for five days prior, then the BB ad, then nothing for two days, then added a couple of the more effective promos as the BB spike waned. Should I do the same again? Or is it wasting money?

Writers' Cafe / Non-Fiction Authors Category Help - Writing
« on: October 09, 2017, 03:23:06 AM »
I'm releasing a short book on productivity soon and hoping to get into categories like these:

Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Reference > Writing, Research & Publishing Guides
Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Reference > Writing, Research & Publishing Guides > editing
Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Reference > Writing, Research & Publishing Guides > fiction
Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Reference > Writing, Research & Publishing Guides > Genre Fiction
Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Reference > Writing, Research & Publishing Guides > nonfiction
Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Reference > Writing, Research & Publishing Guides > Play & Scriptwriting
Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Reference > Writing, Research & Publishing Guides > Publishing & Books
Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Reference > Writing, Research & Publishing Guides > Publishing & Books > Authorship
Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Reference > Writing, Research & Publishing Guides > Writing Skills

In my KDP dashboard, the nearest I have found to any of this is:

Education & Reference > Reference > Writing Skills

Am I looking in the wrong place, or can I only get into the top categories via my keywords? IE, if I list the book in the Education & Reference > Reference > Writing Skills section, then use Publishing & Books as a key word, that should get me into Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Reference > Writing, Research & Publishing Guides > Publishing & Books if I sell enough?

I'm familiar with doing this for fiction, but this is my first foray into the non-fiction world. Any advice welcomed.

Writers' Cafe / BuzzBUB - set it and forget it?
« on: August 30, 2017, 04:18:32 AM »
I must have signed up for a newsletter a while ago. Received a note today to say they're accepting books for social media marketing.

The Highlights:

why choose us:

✓ Set and forget, low cost book promotion.
✓ Targeted Book promotion to reach niche audience.
✓ Continual book promotion for only $ 7.99 (USD) per month.
✓ Your Book promotion starts within 24 hrs.
✓ Quality service and 24/7/365 dedicated support.

How it works:

its Simple, you submit your book details in the form below and we will start promoting your book on twitter by repeatedly tweeting it Daily to our followers from one of our niche based twitter accounts


Is this too new to have any feedback on the boards? They have testimonials on the site of course.

I'm always dubious about promotions that are largely Twitter based as I've not found one yet that's particularly effective. But $7.99 for a month of Tweets might be worth a punt.

Writers' Cafe / Early Bird Books
« on: August 05, 2017, 05:42:11 AM »

I found this through a newsletter promoting a partnership with Nook. I contacted them and they've invited me to place an ad, but I haven't seen them discussed in the Writer's Cafe.

The newsletter itself appears to have the seal of approval in the Book Corner

$180 for the newsletter alone
$225 for the n/l plus social media (unspecified)
$315 for above plus an online piece with SEO

Looks professional enough, just a little expensive. I'm tempted by the newsletter though.

Writers' Cafe / Kindle Scout as a Series Launch
« on: July 10, 2017, 06:59:53 AM »
If this needs to go in the Kindle Scout megathread, apologies, I'll shift over there, but I thought it was specific enough to warrant a separate thread.,213112.19375.html is now 776 pages long and I think specifics may get lost in there. Seems to be more about the campaigns and campaigning.

So that's my question: has Kindle Scout been a successful launch for anyone writing in a series? As in, do you get good read-through rates to subsequent novels NOT published through KS?

From what I've read, KS don't automatically take the sequels so people end up self-publishing them.

I'm planning a series of action-adventure novels without cliffhangers, just recurring characters and the occasional running subplot. In my arrogance I'm assuming KS will jump at the chance of publishing the first one, and I have several planned. Is it worth my writing the first 3-4 before submitting book 1? It's what I'll be doing if I publish it myself anyway.

If accepted, I wanted to go with the KS book 1, followed quickly by book 2, like straight after the first Amazon promo, then another every 90 days.

Good plan? Bad plan?

Writers' Cafe / - anyone using free mailing list?
« on: March 21, 2017, 04:51:22 AM »

As my list grows I'm starting to worry about Mailchimp's huge pricing increases. I'm not close to the REALLY big charges, but I'm about to tip from the $10 per month to $15, and it's been very fast since utilizing Instafreebie. In the next year, I hope to keep on climbing (building an engaged, spending-money mailing list is my big focus this year) so I'd obviously like to spend as little as possible. is free and obviously quite basic, but is it good enough for a large list? looks cheap enough (around half Mailchimp's)

Any tips on using these? Other suggestions?

Much appreciated.

Writers' Cafe / How soon can you discount a KU book?
« on: March 15, 2017, 01:32:47 PM »
I'm working out a strategy for a new series launch and I can't find this info. How soon after launching a book in KU can I discount it to 0.99? Is there a way of hitting it early?

Okay. there's this:

Here are some other parameters for scheduling Kindle Countdown Deals:

• Your book has been enrolled in KDP Select for at least 30 days
• The digital list price for your book cannot change for 30 days before or 14 days after your Kindle Countdown Deal runs
• The minimum discount for your book is $1.00 USD on (£1.00 on

If I cold publish at $4.99 on the 1st June, I can't set the discount to hit on the 3rd. But I'm thinking if I do a silent pre-order for 30 days and soft launch at $4.99, will I be able to discount it pretty much immediately?

Writers' Cafe / List Builder Sites
« on: February 03, 2017, 05:09:18 AM »
Hi everyone,

I've been browsing here and found a lot of good cross-promotion mailing list builder events but I'm wondering about paid options. How good are they, and what is their effectiveness in terms of sales going forward?

I found Karma Reads at $37 per month and Author Platform Rocket at $97 per month (both can be cancelled at any time), which appear to advertise on your behalf.

I have also looked at the Genre Crave's "Spotlight" ($225 one-off fee for est. 1000-2000 subscribers, but of course can't be guaranteed) although this is a giveaway, and while I'm still not convinced about mass giveaways (engagement and purchases can't be massive) this appears to be targeting a specific audience.

I also see a lot of love for Instafreebie, but from everything I've seen so far, that appears to require another platform to push people there and - sometimes - Instafreebie people share your giveaway/signup.

Any thoughts appreciated.

Writers' Cafe / KND - Author Central Follower Boost
« on: December 29, 2016, 12:48:44 AM »
Is there anyone with experience out there for Kindle Nation Daily's Author Central page followers boost? Not the official name. Officially it's the "Daily Amazon Giveaway Sweepstakes" in which they fund a giveaway but require the entrant to follow your Amazon page. $79.99 for (on avg) 5,000 followers.

Personally I've always been reluctant to pay money to enter these, as I just can't see how engaged readers are going to be when you are offering a free sweepstake. Sure, they'll theoretically be fans of your genre - if the promo people do their job correctly.

Is there any point to acquiring followers this way? I certainly can't see much benefit in adding them to my newsletters (despite a lot of services offering tons of subscribers). And by "benefit" I mean "return on investment." Maybe I'm wrong. Please correct me if that's the case :-)

If you don't want to follow the link, here's the text:


Special Price: $79.99

Special Eligibility Requirements: Minimum 4.0 Star Rating on 10 or more reviews; minimum length 125 pages; eBook and cover must be appropriate for inclusion in emails; maximum eBook price $1.99.

Your book will be listed as sponsor of BookGorilla’s Amazon Giveaway sweepstakes for a single day, and as such will be featured in that day’s alert on BookGorilla, in a web and Facebook post on Kindle Nation Daily, and in that afternoon’s Kindle Nation Daily Digest email.

Equally important, we’ll require that sweepstakes participants click to “FOLLOW” your Amazon Author Central page as a requirement for entry. On average, that will add over 5,000 followers to your Amazon Author Central page the first time, with significant additions on subsequent sponsorships.

Total reach between alerts, web posts, and social media is over 200,000.

View a current sweepstakes post

Writers' Cafe / Sharing "Write to Market" Experience
« on: November 14, 2016, 05:47:47 AM »
Just wanted to give a contrary account of the many positive experiences of writing to market. When you've decided to do this, there are more things to consider than just income. This is my experience:

I recently decided I had a story idea in mind that was a little out of my usual crime genre and - coincidentally - would fit into a popular but underserved category. In addition to the basic plot, the format felt like more than one book would be natural rather than "padded out" to force the reader to buy the next one (a real pet peeve of mine). It's far enough away to necessitate a pen name yet not far enough for me to think I am just doing it solely for commercial reasons but, that said, I probably never would have written the books if it wasn't for reading about write-to-market theory.

However, even though it's a genre I like, a story that I developed organically, it's been a real slog. I'm in the final straight but it's not something I'll likely repeat. It really does feel like a day-job, writing something I just kind of like instead of something I'm passionate about. Also like a day job, I'm doing it purely because I want to make money, and because if I don't finish it, I've thrown away a lot of effort. I know that sounds like I contradict my opening, but I really did set out on this thinking I was writing it for the "right" reasons.

Other books have been tough to get through, but mainly because I want to do the best I can. In this case, I just want it finished and out there because I committed to it and spent money on it. I'll finish it by Christmas (edited and packaged), take a few weeks off, then return to stories that I tell because I WANT to tell them, not because they sound like I can make a good job of it. I started publishing independently because I love writing and wanted to earn a living doing what I love. When the love's gone, it's just another job.

Finally, I just want to say I haven't even launched book #1 yet so I can't say if it's been commercially successful or even if people like it. BUT - I'm doing it properly, treating it like a book I've written for pleasure, going through edits, second reads, proper cover design. Not because I'm enthusiastic but because I don't want to sell readers short. *I* might not have enjoyed writing it, but I do not want to send something out there that isn't the best it can be. Which is probably why it's been so hard.

Just to be clear I'm not saying this can't work. Maybe you already enjoy reading the subgenre you've found, or maybe you really do just want to make some cash. Either way, that's cool. But if you're like me, and only chose a career as an author because you love that creative process and would like to read the end product you produce, it might be worth thinking about before committing 3-4 months to it (I still have a day job so I can't do it in a month).

Anyway, just thought I'd put it out there as a warning to anyone unsure about this. Unless your sole goal is to make money, make sure the underserved genre you choose is something you are passionate about, or it might not be quite the experience you expect.

Writers' Cafe / Another Pre-Order Question
« on: October 01, 2016, 06:44:03 AM »
I'm pretty sure I'm right, but wanted to check here as it's not clear on Amazon. Or if it is, I haven't found the right passage.

I can bring a pre-order date forward without incurring a punitive suspension, right? I just can't put it back...

Writers' Cafe / Freebooksy Series Promos
« on: July 16, 2016, 11:00:13 AM »

Just wondering if anyone has tried the Freebooksy series promos? Did you notice any marked increase over say a regular freebooksy promoting only the first free book in a series?

Many thanks.

Writers' Cafe / Since Bookbub's Price Increase . . .
« on: July 16, 2016, 08:13:12 AM »
. . . is anyone losing money on the 0.99 sales? And do Bookbub promos translate in some measure to books not in the promoted series?

On 0.99
I know I should still make money on the increase in 2nd and 3rd novels in the series, but I applied for a Thriller BB ($770) and they offered me a Crime feature instead ($1010), which looks like a much higher download rate. However, to make that fee back on a 0.99 book (not KU so it's 35%) I have to sell at least their average number of downloads.

If I'm a little short, as I said, I should make up that shortfall on the next in series (2nd book sales are fairly high already when I make the 1st in series sales), so I'm not that worried, but I would be interested in people's takes on this since the increase.

On Books in Other Series
Now, my feature is due August 11th, so as well as booking smaller promos in the buildup and wake, I'm aiming to have a third on pre-order by then (since I foolishly only have two books in that series) but also hoping for some sales on other series and stand-alones. Am I dreaming? Or do people see a latent spike in works other than subsequent novels in the advertised series? I have strong back matter in all of them. Most similar genres but some slightly different:

  • Promo'd book and sequel feature British cop/serial killer
  • Stand alone British cop trying to solve his own attempted murder while dealing with memory loss
  • 3-strong private detective novel series (first is perma-free)
  • 2 x standalone US-based cop novels
Plus one outside that genre, being a time travel action-adventure.

Any thoughts appreciated.

Writers' Cafe / Hard coding fonts in .mobi file?
« on: June 17, 2016, 07:50:02 AM »
Is it possible to hard code a font in a .mobi file? I'm thinking only for chapter headings - if I want an ornate heading rather than whatever default the reader has chosen?  I'm sure there will be a way if creating the file via CSS or HTML, but I'm not literate in those mystical languages. I did think of a small .png pic instead, but that makes chapter headings very difficult.

Writers' Cafe / Kobo Buy-one-Get-one-Half-Price
« on: May 31, 2016, 02:28:37 AM »
For those of you wide, I just wanted to say that I recently ran a Buy-one-Get-one-Half-Price promo with Kobo on my mystery/serial killer thriller His First His Second. If you have access to their promos, this was far more successful than any of the straight-up discounted promotions I did through them.

All it costs you is a slight drop in royalties in exchange for them pairing your book with others in the same genre.

Didn't do bookbub or even ENT scale business but then I'm only just building on the platform as I creep in with a few organic sales each week, up from essentially zero a couple of months ago.

Seems it's true that Kobo readers prefer full priced/bundled offers to 0.99, at least in this case.

As ever, I'd suggest first in a series if it isn't perma-free.

Writers' Cafe / Mystery Reddit Novel
« on: May 31, 2016, 02:22:13 AM »
Appearing in comments sections. Interesting way of drumming up publicity (one-upping Andy Weir?) for a launch later down the line, or a harmless comedian/troll-type?

Writers' Cafe / Strategy for dropping into KU
« on: March 27, 2016, 04:43:32 AM »
I was just having something of a think about summer. The received wisdom is that summer is a difficult time for indies during which to sell books, especially those of us still finding our way. With that in mind, and with very low sales even during "good" months, I wondered about a strategy to drop into KU, reserving the summer for WRITING ONLY.

#1 - go scorched earth and do it all at once.

#2 - go slowly. I have two series and three stand-alones. The two series are in their infancy, with only 2 books in each, so not really a "series" yet. They're not continuing stories, except for the characters' personal lives. So would it be wise, perhaps, to slot them into KU slowly. Move one book this week, then wait 2-3 weeks until I approach the end of the much-theorized "discoverability cliff" then take the next book in, then start on my series books (obviously BOTH books at once in each series, but not both series at once).

As I see it, cons for #1 include the books dropping off the discoverability cliff all at once, but pros mean if I do snag readers who like my writing they're likely to grab my next ones too, and keep pushing them up the charts.

Cons for #2 is the inverse of #1's pro - if they like my work but don't want to buy it outright, they might forget about me  :-[ ... The big pro is the drip-drip-drip of having 2-3 months of my NAME having better discoverability so new writers can find me based on different searches and over different moments in time.

I'm edging toward #1 but would appreciate people's thoughts.

Big con for both is losing (the very few) readers who've bought books on other platforms, but if they complain I will just send them a free copy.

NB - background on my business side: I am in more of an iteration phase now, trying to get decent work out into the world rather than marketing, hence low sales (I get good organic reviews, mostly, albeit in small numbers). I figured with KU, maybe I can bring in some extra cash to put into the business when autumn arrives, eg, covers, editors, promos (I've made a total £67 on Kobo, a bit less on B&N, and a couple of thousand on Amazon without KU).

Between now and October I plan on upping both series to a minimum of 3 books each, although I would be aiming for a fourth in one of them too, making it three books written and edited, ready for release. I did 86,000 words during NaNoWriMO and 72,000 in JuNoWriMo last year, so I figure 80k every 6 weeks is doable, with 2 weeks of edits, making it a novel every 2 months (April to Sept is 6 months), although I know life will get in the way somehow. Even with the unknowable, two novels is not out of the question.

At that point, I would expect to go permafree once the fourth is out in each series, although Murphy's Law would indicate that, by September, something will have happened to make all this moot, such as Amazon changing another rule, or permafree no longer working like it once did.

Finally, on the tax side, it might make more sense in that I might actually OWE some money to Her Majesty's leg-breakers if I start KU in April.

Writers' Cafe / Q for those who don't like swearing in books
« on: March 24, 2016, 11:55:51 PM »
My current novels all feature swearing. One of them features a LOT. One features it very, very rarely (and only mild at that). I don't do it for shock value, or to annoy intentionally. I do it because that's how the characters talk in certain situations, and I felt it would be unrealistic to substitute or gloss over language like that.


I want to ask how "severe" language can get until it's not acceptable to call it "clean" or at least "suitable for teens".

I have a series planned to write over the next couple of years, which I want to say is YA-suitable, although it won't necessarily be aimed at that market exclusively (the MCs are 21 and 23 for story reasons).

Obviously the worst F and C swearing is excluded, but is the very occasional reference to one's posterior acceptable? You know ... a**? Or rather calling someone that word? Maybe the very rare cr*p?

Writers' Cafe / Give as a Gift?
« on: February 05, 2016, 04:02:39 AM »

If a potential reviewer requests the "give as a gift" option for an ebook, am I correct in thinking I pay full price for the book using my own Amazon account? Or is there a function I haven't uncovered yet?


Writers' Cafe / Finally getting around to getting reviews
« on: January 30, 2016, 03:55:47 AM »
The next month or so will see me setting aside a lot of time to query willing Amazon reviewers, bloggers, etc, offering free copies of my books to review. I'll write when I'm offline, but while my pre-order period ticks away, I think I need far more reviews.

I have a small fear, though, and wondered if anyone else was equally paranoid, or if I'm just being irrational.

The new world of Amazon crack-downs on fake reviews worries me. If a novel, over the course of a couple of months, receives fifty reviews, all saying "i received this free in exchange for an honest review" will that raise red flags with Amazon?

From what I understand they have been investigating repeat fake reviewers by posing as sellers, buying fake reviews, and watching the reviews appear on their site, which identifies those bad ones. With this in mind, i'm hoping they'll see the actual reviewers' records but has anyone had problems with this sort of thing?

Writers' Cafe / Author Business Cards
« on: January 26, 2016, 12:26:10 PM »
Doesn't anyone use them to take along to events, book fairs, that sort of thing?

I've read a few conflicting pointers, but most consensus suggests the obvious essentials like author name, webside, email address, but also extras like a little photo so the recipient is reminded of who they met, a mini tag line for my fiction (eg, "Romance that sizzles" "Dark thrillers with an edge"), not usually a phone number...

Would you mind sharing what's on yours? Past mistakes?

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