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Second does of reality, and this one is even more painful. None of us has the connections to actually effect change. You need to be on a first name basis with senior executives. You need to know their kids' birthdays and they need to know your kids' favorite activities. A rep at KDP isn't a connection, it's a contact. And they just don't have the political power of good-will to be able to say, "Hey, this is the way we're going to do this from now on." It would be nice if we did, but this is going to be someone who has been part of the publishing industry for decades, and not as an author, but as an editor at the Big 5 who's transitioned to being an agent or has stepped into the indie sphere. They have the ability to make a few calls and get the ear of someone who will listen.

Considering the reps I've spoken to or met in person, this is 100% true. Many struggle to understand the issues at all and defer to others. You might have a faster response going through a rep than through the KDP dashboard contact page, but that's about it.

I like the idea of a payment cap better than a page cap. You can still write long but most people who do aren't pricing that much more. I'm happy to take the money, but I never understood paying authors more than what they would make based on how they priced their books.
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Writers' Cafe / Re: UK VAT Rules
« Last post by CatParker on Today at 09:47:18 AM »
This is great, Tim, thanks.

Your 'royalty' payment from amazon.com is VAT exempt because amazon.com is domiciled outside of the European Economic Area.

That is exactly what I was wondering about. I have had deals before where I licensed my IP to UK domiciled companies, and those companies still had to pay me VAT on top of my payments from them- so I'll have to get that checked properly, but hopefully the Luxembourg location will make the difference.

Thanks again x
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It's "fun" stuff as each state has their own nuances. Going through the legalese of a big sweepstakes is akin to looking at a game of hopscotch over a legal minefield.

You need to add wearing a blindfold.

I went into the rabbit hole and I have moments of panic, wondering if my "contest" for my newsletter, where anyone who fills out a survey gets their name put in a pot and can win a $5 gift card from their favorite retailer is against the law. I think I'm okay because the survey takes less than 5 minutes to complete and I am up front about how their information will be used, but I still panic when I see some state's rules.

And for the record, it doesn't matter where you live. If the entrant resides in Florida, you have to follow Florida rule. If the entrant resides in Utah, they can't win. Seriously. No sweepstakes in Utah. This is why the Void Where Prohibited is so important. There are 6 states (I think) that don't allow sweepstakes, no matter what.

I totally get the flop sweat of the legal department when the marketing department mentions the words contest or sweepstakes.
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Writers' Cafe / Re: Splitting A Long Book into Two Releases
« Last post by BrendanQuinn on Today at 09:44:10 AM »
Thanks guys, this is great feedback. Of course, I’ve still got some thinking to do on it. This novel was meant to be Book 1 in a trilogy (plus the prequel), and I’m almost done with the sequel beta draft. Of course, marketing is another potential ‘pro’ to splitting it up. There is a lot more you can do with three
Novels (part 1 & 2 plus thr prequel which I want finished at the same time as Book 1) than two.

But, like some of you have said, while the midpoint offers a natural intermission, so to speak, it’s not enough of an ending that I, for example, could feel comfortable giving them separate titles. It would still have to be “Book Name: Part 1” and “Book Name: Park 2”, which maybe is enough of a sign that I shouldnt do it.

I keep going back to Dan Simmons’ Hyperion Cantos, where book 1 won th  Hugo Award, yet it truly could never have stood alone without book 2. He wrote it such that Book 1 set up all the conflicts and clues, and book 3 resolved most of everything (while leaving enough threads for the two book sequel Endymion, which also could never have stood without book 2, ‘Rise of Endymion”.

Without going into the depths of my plot, the midpoint serves as a very improtant mentor interaction, plus final explanation for the power the protag has acquired. But, it also serves as the first step forward in a positive direction toward redemption in the protag’s internal plot. He finally sees how truly awful he’s been and admits this to himself. That path will lead to ultimate self-sacrifice, so the internal arc is still not complete but the protag does achieve some level of peace before the story picks up three months later.

I could surely add a brief scene from villain’s POV to show that the force of antagonism is still coming for him. Would that help?

I’m leaning toward not doing it, tbh...might end up more trouble than its worth. I may be better off being patient and saving $$, while putting creative energy toward the sequel and eventual third book.

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This is a problem in multiple other genres. Romance is definitely the hardest hit. It's hardly the only genre hit, though. Instituting one group of rules for one genre and ignoring the others makes no sense. These should be across-the-board rules. In truth, 750 KENPC is low for some fantasy. 1,000 KENPC is probably better. Then omnibuses, anthologies, boxed sets, etc. should be banned to cut down on abuse. A title can be in KU once. Period. Institute those two things and most of the scammers couldn't afford to stay.

And this is where you lose people. A 1,000 KEN PC comes out to about a 200,000 word count. None of my books would qualify. If I can't publish what I want, why would I support you? Your cap is about 560 pages in trade paperback. While that would be long in some genres my top 10 books all go above that mark.

Wheel Of Time
Game of Thrones
The Last Four Harry Potter Books
Black Jewels Trilogy

I went to Amazon and went to Fantasy. Not the top 100 but just Fantasy and almost every book was over the cap. My search was only mine. But I recognized Brandon Sanderson, and a few titles I'd been looking at. While the Top 100 are owned by the under 500 page count. Only 6 were boxed sets... Out of a 100. All of them are series I've seen people talk about and all of them have reviews. If this is an issue in the genre, I'm not seeing it.

This is nuanced. But creating a cap that would make it hard for my favorite books to be published can't be good and won't make for a better system. Are you willing to tell authors they can't write the stories they want? Because you think they are too big? So that you can fix a problem they don't see in their genre? You will be gutting some genre's, I know because I read them. Authors will simply not write in them and those authors that suffer through it will turn their back on this discussion and you.

You can't ask for help while saying you don't care. Either its a partnership with respect where we face the world together or its every writer for themselves.
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Not Quite Kindle / Re: KBoards Chat - POLL ADDED, Please participate, thanks
« Last post by chc on Today at 09:38:09 AM »
I am a reader who joined very recently and still looking around. I can do without chat but why am I asked to verify I am a person, author of some old creation, month after Feb and all that for every post. Does it stop after certain number of posts or there forever? Not pleasant.

I'm not sure I understand what you're describing...  Can you clarify?
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So, I just want to say that there's a huge part of me jumping for joy because the discussion has turned away from "You're either with us or against us" and is back to the valid points that not only should be discussed, but have a relatively decent chance of helping things.

However, this doesn't include behavior and acts happening off of a retailer's site. Bad acts should be called out regardless of who is doing the bad act. It's really not an us or them issue. It's a sustainability issue. And every time someone behaves unprofessionally, it makes it that much more difficult for those behaving professionally to be taken seriously.

I'm going to deliver a dose of realism and it's going to be painful. Correlation is not Causation. Chance probably wasn't removed from the Amazon storefront because of stuffing or compilations or crappy formatting. He was likely removed because he involved Amazon in what amounted to an illegal lottery. That it happened the same time as the 10% bonus rule is correlation, not causation. Do not think of his removal as a "win" because I am fairly certain, in that I would wager my entire back catalog and future catalog on the belief that Amazon didn't remove him for any of the reasons people would like to believe they did. And I get why they want to believe that. It's validation, but it's validation based on a false premise.

Second does of reality, and this one is even more painful. None of us has the connections to actually effect change. You need to be on a first name basis with senior executives. You need to know their kids' birthdays and they need to know your kids' favorite activities. A rep at KDP isn't a connection, it's a contact. And they just don't have the political power of good-will to be able to say, "Hey, this is the way we're going to do this from now on." It would be nice if we did, but this is going to be someone who has been part of the publishing industry for decades, and not as an author, but as an editor at the Big 5 who's transitioned to being an agent or has stepped into the indie sphere. They have the ability to make a few calls and get the ear of someone who will listen.

Third painful reminder of reality, Amazon isn't against compilations, bonus content, or box sets. They just want it advertised as what it is and they won't count those books towards an all-star bonus. You are never going to get them removed from the store, because Amazon doesn't mind them. What they mind is readers not getting what they expect. If they expect a book full of 15 different novels, fine. If they expect a single novel, they shouldn't get 14 more novels. Truth in advertising. Don't do a bait & switch and Amazon is happy.

And finally, the fourth dose of reality. Let's say that there's a page cap for Romance. In theory it's nice. In practice not some much. Women's fiction will get hit with all the romances and miscatting will be a huge problem. If there's a punishment for being in romance (the page cap), but none elsewhere, then people are going to go where there isn't a punishment.

In the interest of not just pointing out the problems or issues, but offering suggestions...

You don't need to install a page cap. You need to install a max payout. Have it cap out at 3.49. Regardless of how many pages, the most an author can get paid is 3.49. This is what a book at 4.99 would earn. There is absolutely no incentive to add extra pages for the extra payout and while authors writing longer books might feel a bit of a pinch, 4.99 seems to be the highest price point with a larger number of authors. Yes, people price at 5.99 and higher, but not as much.

The carrot of making out KENPC is gone.

This doesn't solve the actions outside of retailers, but this would at least remove some of the reason for pumping a single book full of additional content.

I'd also like to see borrows count for less in the ranking or even better, create a separate ranking for bought and borrowed (and if a book is in KU it could be in both). But that's pretty much a pipe dream and Select author would lose their collective poop. :)
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Maybe in part because knowing the main characters have some degree of plot armor doesn't always work too well with horror ?

G.R.R. Martin became a household name and reviled by some for killing off characters left and right, but in some forms of horror or the darker sub-genres of other genres it's business as usual.
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I never figured out how to compete in KU, so my KU was never alive in the first place, but I applaud all of you that have figured it out.
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Folks,

I've split the streaming conversation here into its own thread, sorry for any confusion.

Betsy
KB Mod
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