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Messages - C.F.

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1
Yes, this definitely sounds like a good idea for the next update to these reports. Would you want just another dropdown at the top to pick between print and ebook?

That sounds good. I'd like to be able to set it to where the default is to only see ebooks since I can't see ever wanting the data for paperbacks.

2
I really love the new update! I have only one request: can you give us an option to block out the paperback versions of our books or it least identify them in some way? It's really cluttering the rank and there's no way to tell when selecting books to compare if you're selecting the ebook or print version.

3
Historical fiction readers also read alternative history, but you want to make sure they KNOW what they are reading when they buy the book. I always like to use food in examples. I love lasagna. I also love salmon. But if I order salmon and they give me lasagna, I am going to complain REGARDLESS of how good the lasagna might be because that is not what I ordered or what I wanted.

Totally agree.

Also, it's not alternative history simply because you have one made-up sibling. Alternative history tends to pose a question like, "What if Queen Elizabeth had a child?" or "What if the Romanovs weren't executed?" It doesn't sound from the description like the book has a "What if Tsar Nicholas had a third sister who didn't approve of the monarchy?" premise.

Whether you're writing historical fiction or alternative history, embrace it and run with it. If it's alternative history because you wanted to write inaccurate historical fiction or it's historical fiction because you wanted inaccuracies without embracing an actual alternate history, then you're not going to please anyone.

If it's a throwaway character (and it sounds like she is based on the description, but I could be wrong) I would do away with her or make her into someone else to avoid the headache. It doesn't sound like you're writing an alternate history and it would require quite a bit of work to make her existence plausible which may be too much for such a minor character. If she's a major character in the book, then the effort may be worth it.

4
It would bother me as a reader. The only completely made up characters I like in historical fiction are the main character and people who would realistically not be in the historical record.

To make a third sister for Tsar Nicholas II work for me, I'd want there to be a plausible explanation. She couldn't be a full sister (unless you came up with a really great reason why we don't know about her). She'd have to be a half sister that was hidden from history. It makes it harder since this is relatively recent history in the grand scheme of things.

Also, if your book deals with Tsar Nicholas a lot, it's going to attract readers interested in him. He's a popular historical figure for people to study, so if they pick up your book because of their interest in the Romanovs, they're going to be disappointed if such liberties are taken.

Personally, I'd either come up with a really great back story for her and why no one knows about her, or I'd change the character to be someone else. Just having a random made-up sibling for a well-known historical figure isn't going to fly with a lot of historical fiction readers, imo.

5
I've really enjoyed getting your updates :). It's nice to hear about the progress you're making, even when it includes setbacks.

6
Keep in mind I am not an accountant,

but...

based on my understanding (and forgive me if I'm repeating what someone else has already said):

all sales through Amazon - regardless of which Amazon store (UK, Canada, Australia, etc) you've garnered sales from -

all Amazon sales are considered U.S. income because Amazon is a U.S. company -

therefore you report ALL Amazon income as foreign income...

even if hypothetically all of your Amazon sales came from the Amazon.ca store it's still foreign income for you as a Canadian author because Amazon.ca is just an offshoot of the U.S.-based Amazon mother ship.

Please, anyone who knows better, correct me if I'm wrong...I'm only providing my non-accountant, non-tax-professional perspective on this.  :)

The OP is having an issue with GST, goods and services tax (kind of like sales tax). It has nothing to do with income or income tax.

7
I did the free trial of ReaderLinks because the idea of the redirected links through my own site intrigued me. I currently manage redirects through my site but the ReaderLinks solution seemed easier to manage and has geo redirecting. When I went to setup my links, though, there was no mention of how to do it through my domain. Instead it created links on the ReaderLinks domain, which is not something I'm interested in. I figured I misunderstood what the site did, and my free trial expired.

I went back to the site the other day and realized that it is possible, but you have to dig around to find the functionality. Why isn't this posted clearly on the page that you create links on? Why not a "Want to use your own domain? Click here" button? My biggest issue with ReaderLinks was that the UI was not intuitive or visually appealing. Now that I know that I can do links through my own domain, I'm interested in giving it another try, but it shouldn't be so difficult to figure out how to use the feature, especially the main feature that started ReaderLinks.

8
Writers' Cafe / Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« on: January 09, 2018, 06:47:34 PM »
Oooh, I see it too! A mystery.

9
Writers' Cafe / Re: Tracking Book Sales: TrackerBox Mac Kickstarter is live
« on: November 10, 2017, 01:54:45 PM »
There aren't currently any plans. The data dump Book Report provides loses too much of the detail.

Thanks for the reply! I guess I'll just have to block off an afternoon to import everything when I get my copy of TrackerBox. Any idea when the beta will be available?

10
Writers' Cafe / Re: Tracking Book Sales: TrackerBox Mac Kickstarter is live
« on: November 10, 2017, 12:17:36 PM »
Are there any plans to support importing data from Book Report? I've been publishing since 2012 and rather than import every month's report, it would be nice to simply download all the data from Book Report and then import it into TrackerBox, if that's possible.

11
Writers' Cafe / Re: Blasty
« on: November 07, 2017, 06:11:53 PM »
When Google de-lists search results because of a DMCA complaint, they put a huge notice at the bottom of the page stating that some results are hidden and then link to the complaint that lists out all URLs that were removed from the results. It's basically a big notice letting people know which sites are actually infringing by having the content instead of just doing a bait and switch like many of the search results are. 


12
Let's Talk Kindle! / Re: Kindle Watch! -- New Oasis
« on: November 01, 2017, 12:22:13 PM »
Got mine! Thanks for the tip about changing the display size to get a percentage next to the battery. Mine came with a 60% charge. My last Kindle was a Paperwhite, and I'm loving the page-turn buttons! I also like the bigger display. I'm glad I don't have the first Oasis to compare to because I like little things, but I've been wanting a bigger Kindle display for a while. I don't know how comfortable it's going to be to hold long term, but I like that you can easily switch hands if one gets tired.

The sleeve I was planning to use is a tighter fit than I'd like, so I'm going to be shopping around for something else. I really hope more options pop up on Amazon soon.

13
Let's Talk Kindle! / Re: Kindle Watch! -- New Oasis
« on: October 31, 2017, 06:37:41 PM »
Just got the email that it's shipped! It's supposed to arrive tomorrow.

14
Let's Talk Kindle! / Re: Kindle Watch! -- New Oasis
« on: October 31, 2017, 02:00:09 PM »
Mine still says shipping today and arriving today even though I got an email that it's delayed. I'm a little concerned that it hasn't updated. I'm worried it might be stuck in some strange limbo. :(

15
Let's Talk Kindle! / Re: Kindle Watch! -- New Oasis
« on: October 31, 2017, 09:51:04 AM »
I ordered the day it was announced but then changed my mind--twice--about which configuration I wanted. I made my final order on the 21st and had an estimated delivery of Nov. 7th with free Prime shipping. I decided late Sunday night to change the shipping to 1-day since it was only $3.99 and experience shows that when I'm waiting impatiently for a package, my husband always wishes I had just spent the extra four bucks for faster shipping. Well, changing it to 1-day shipping gave me a delivery day of Oct. 31! Definitely worth the $3.99.

I just got an email saying they're encountering a delay with the shipping so they're going to refund me my shipping charge. So I figure I'm still going to get it way earlier than I planned and I'm not getting charged any extra, yay! I still wish I was getting it today, and on the orders page it still says it's preparing for shipment and arriving today, but I really can't complain. I guess I'll just have to entertain myself with unboxing videos! (Or I could finish writing the book that's due to the editor this week...)

16
Writers' Cafe / Re: First time for everything
« on: October 29, 2017, 07:53:09 PM »
Congrats!

17
Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« on: October 28, 2017, 07:05:06 PM »
They seriously don't want other people to pay to drive traffic to their site to buy purple dildos?

Monique, the Zon has asked me to tell you to stop referring people to their site to buy purple dildos. They would like to keep their stock of purple dildos a secret that only their existing purple dildo customer base knows about. They do not need or want any more purple dildo customers. Thank you for your understanding.

And thank you for this opportunity to gratuitously use the phrase "purple dildo." :D (Substitute anything for "purple dildo" and this still sounds ridiculous, but not as fun.)

18
Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« on: October 25, 2017, 03:27:33 PM »
My books get picked up from time to time by random promo sites. I don't book them, and I only find out they've ran if I'm tagged of FB or twitter, or something. How are we supposed to control who downloads our books? That's not realistic. Anyone can find a book that's free/99c/doing well on the charts and pop it into their newsletter. Anyone can bot any book. How do we protect ourselves from something we cannot possibly control!?

^^^^Yep. Any time one of my books goes free, a lot of sites pick it up. Same with countdown deals.

Amazon wants to hold us accountable for things that we have zero control over all so they don't have to be bothered closing fraudulent accounts...

Or admit that they can't detect fraudulent accounts...

Or deal with the CS nightmare it will be when they start closing the accounts of legitimate customers. Much easier and better PR wise to screw over authors than customers.

19
Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« on: October 21, 2017, 03:11:50 PM »
Does anyone know if the authors are losing the royalties associated with the de-ranked books?

I don't know, but if Amazon really does know that fraudulent accounts were used to manipulate the rank of a book, then shouldn't they be able to just nullify those sales in the ranking and not pay out for those sales? That seems like the reasonable thing to do, but I don't think Amazon really does know. They just see something they can't explain and so they assume nefarious actions.

If Amazon genuinely detected fraudulent sales on one of my books, I'd be perfectly fine with them not counting those toward rank and not paying me for them. I think many authors feel the same way. I don't need or want ill-gotten gains. But Amazon obviously doesn't really detect fraudulent accounts, so such a solution wouldn't work. So instead, Amazon goes scorched earth.

20
I don't subscribe to KU, but I do subscribe to Netflix. To me, what I'm paying for is access to all those movies and tv shows. I'm not paying to watch the movies, I'm paying for the privilege of being able to watch them. Kind of like if I paid for a gym membership. I wouldn't consider the monthly charge to be divided over the amount of reps that I did, or the amount of machines that I used, it's to pay for the privilege of access to the facilities.

This is exactly how I think of it. When I recommend a movie or a show to a friend or they suggest one to me, we'll often say, "Oh, you can watch it for free on Netflix" or "It's free on Amazon Prime." I don't see KU as any different. I have never in my life heard someone say, "Check out this show. After you pay your subscription fee, you can watch it on Amazon Prime" or "Watch this movie. If you watch 10 movies this month it's only $1 on Netflix!"

21
I haven't taken the plunge into audiobooks yet. The lack of control over pricing has always bothered me. However, I wanted to chime in that as a customer, I almost always bought the audio for $1.99 if it was offered. It was a total impulse buy. I don't even really listen to audiobooks but I always figured it was worth two bucks to have the option. $7.49 completely takes away the impulse buyers like myself, especially when the vast majority of fiction books I buy are less than that. I don't know why they would make this change.

22
Writers' Cafe / Re: August KU Rate: $0.00419
« on: September 18, 2017, 08:31:46 PM »
I'm specifically talking about this topic Elizabeth. When I see the equivalent of "lol, go see a lawyer and you do it then ha ha ha!" it's not great.

She was advising you to consult a lawyer because what you're proposing is illegal. Multiple people have pointed that out. You seem unconvinced, so you need to speak to a lawyer about it. If you can find a lawyer who tells you it's not illegal, then hire them to help you organize it and cover yourself legally.

I copy and pasted the following that I posted in another thread where this came up:

It is absolutely illegal to group boycott. The law says so and the Supreme Court has ruled on it. The Supreme Court has said specifically that businesses cannot organize to boycott a retailer. If you'll read the Wikipedia entry on United States antitrust law, you'll see the example of Fashion Originators' Guild of America v. FTC (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fashion_Originators%27_Guild_of_America_v._FTC). The TL;DR version is that fashion designers got together and decided to boycott selling their clothes in stores that sell "pirated" designs (pirated is in quotes because clothes aren't protected by copyrights). The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the FTC because such an agreement restricts competition.

And if that's not enough, here is the FTC page explaining how group boycotts (like getting authors together to boycott KU) are illegal: https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/competition-guidance/guide-antitrust-laws/dealings-competitors/group-boycotts.


There are already author organizations in place, they just don't collectively bargain or organize boycotts because they legally can't. When RWA made a post about Harlequin contracts (https://www.rwa.org/p/bl/et/blogaid=96), they specifically said, "I know that authors would like for RWA to tell them what to do, but unfortunately, we cannot. Beyond the fact that associations cannot engage in collective bargaining, contract terms have varied over the years, and some of the earlier contracts are likely more favorable, particularly with regard to reversion clauses." (Emphasis mine.) Courtney Milan is on the Board of Directors for RWA. She's an attorney and law professor and is incredibly active in the community. You should reach out to her and see what she says about organizing a mass KU withdrawal or trying to collectively bargain with Amazon.

Multiple people in this thread have encouraged you and others to join writer organizations. The only thing that has raised objection is the suggestion that a mass withdrawal from KU be organized. That objection is based on the illegality of the suggestion, not on the belief that it's impossible or doubt of the ability for a small group of dedicated individuals to affect change.

ETA: For those of us who do see serious problems with KU, the solution isn't to try to go down a path that is legally not open to us. If you want to see change, do exactly what you're doing here: share experiences, warn, raise red flags, keep the discussion going, add your voice so that authors trying to make this decision for themselves can do so with information you have and that you want them to keep in mind. I would also encourage you to join your genre specific organization and a group like Novelists, Inc. Voice your concerns there. Go to the NINC conference and speak directly with Amazon reps and with reps from the other retailers about how you can be successful wide. There's a lot you can do. There's just a few things that legally you can't, and it's a distraction to pursue those.

23
Writers' Cafe / Re: Uh isn't this against tos for Ku
« on: September 01, 2017, 03:54:27 PM »
Yeah, but let Penelope or Peter Prawn try it and the result might not be the same. We've seen time and again how different standards apply to those who bring in buckets of money and those who don't. I don't think I would risk it unless I were a member of the Buckets-of-Money Club, or unless the TOS specifically stated that doing so was acceptable.

FYI, authors have been doing this since the very beginning of Select. I have never heard of a single instance of Amazon having a problem with it. If someone buys a book on Amazon, they are free to convert it to any format they want. As Julie has explained, this author isn't distributing her book, she's converting it to epub for people who have purchased it and don't know how to convert it themselves.

24
Writers' Cafe / Re: 3D covers
« on: September 01, 2017, 03:09:39 PM »
The 2 tone cover was gone because I uploaded another image  to replace it so it wouldn't appear as though I was selling a public domain book from 1897.
KDP support still insists they do not support 3d covers.  If they're working there and don't know what the terms mean, I don't know how to illuminate the support staff.
The original cover has been uploaded again and is currently on the book's page.
Just one of the on-going mysteries of Amazon, I suppose.

They removed my 3d box set cover because they said the background had to be pure white even though that requirement is not listed anywhere. The background was pure white in some areas but then off white in others to make it appear more 3d and cast a shadow. It took several emails to get this answer, so that might be why they removed yours.

I don't understand how they can hold us to standards that aren't published anywhere yet seem to have such a problem with shutting down scammers. Priorities. Clearly 3d box set covers without pure white backgrounds are just wreaking havoc in the Amazon ecosystem. :/

25
Writers' Cafe / Re: Uh isn't this against tos for Ku
« on: September 01, 2017, 11:51:39 AM »
I don't think it is. They bought the book from Amazon. They can convert it to epub themselves if they want, but a lot of people don't know how to do it, so the author is basically doing it for them. I wouldn't do it just because I'm lazy and that seems like a customer service nightmare. I do provide instructions on how to convert the file to epub using Calibre if people ask about an epub version.

That's right. I advertise on my landing page that the books can be read on any device; just give them the link to the app.

But your books can't be read on any device. They can't be read on any e-reader other than a Kindle. The app is only for tablets, phones, and computers. Kobo has some really nice e-readers and the only way to read a Kindle book on it is to convert it (if it doesn't have DRM) to epub.

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