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Topics - shimmering

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Writers' Cafe / Createspace sales channels
« on: December 13, 2017, 01:22:48 AM »
If I am interpreting it right, Createspace sales made on Amazon (.com) and Amazon Canada show up together on all the reports on Createspace. Is there any way to distinguish these and say how many sales were made in each of these two stores?

I think the same thing is true about the European stores (excluding UK). So I can't see whether a sale was made in say Germany or Italy.

Or is there a way?

Writers' Cafe / Reporting Fake Books
« on: November 21, 2017, 09:59:20 AM »
How? and is there any point?

Writers' Cafe / Ingramspark, Nielsen, British Library
« on: September 28, 2017, 01:56:14 AM »
I am doing things for my latest paperback a little differently from how I dealt with my first three, so I find myself with a newbie question ...

The paperback is live on Createspace, and is seen on all Amazon channels. I don't have expanded distribution enabled. I think that's all fine.

It's also "live" on Ingramspark, but as far as I can see, it has not made it out of their system yet into the wider world. This seems to be taking a while (ca 10 days so far). But maybe that's normal.

But what I am really wondering about is the formalities of registering the ISBN with Nielsen (and sending the copies off for legal deposit). Both of the above use the same ISBN, one of my own from Nielsen. With my first three books, I printed boxfuls and acted as distributor myself, so of course I had to input all the book data into Nielsen's pubweb / bookdata system and register those ISBNs as that information was not going to come from anywhere else. But now I am worrying that if I try to input that data for the new book into Nielsen bookdata it will somehow clash with the slow-moving data that I expect to be coming out of Ingramspark. Plus I wouldn't even know how to fill in the Nielsen bookdata form when it asks about distributor and availability for this book.

What to do? Do you guys (UK) use Nielsen bookdata at all? And also at what point should the first copy be sent off to the British Library? I would send it now, but with the ISBN not showing up in most databases, I just think they'd be like what on earth is this book ? ... ? Thanks.

The Book Bazaar / The Saga of Didrik of Bern .... new Reviews on Amazon
« on: September 13, 2017, 08:46:56 AM »

The Saga of Didrik of Bern ... a new translation of the Scandinavian saga from the Old Swedish, now published

Writers' Cafe / UK authors, createspace proofs / author copies
« on: August 25, 2017, 05:32:09 AM »
It's been a while since I did this, things may have changed ...

Am I right in thinking that the quickest (reasonably priced) way of getting proof copies from Createspace to the UK is to put the book live at the minimum allowed price, order a copy, and then immediately make it unavailable for sale again?

Writers' Cafe / Cover ....
« on: August 16, 2017, 04:08:57 AM »
I'm getting things ready to publish my latest book ... here's the cover. I think it looks OK, but I've been messing about with the lettering for a while. What do you think?



Writers' Cafe / Ingram Spark setup ...
« on: July 26, 2017, 02:20:43 PM »
For my next book I am thinking about using Ingram Spark, at least for a year, in addition to Createspace (which I am familiar with). So I have a couple of questions as I have not used Ingram Spark before.

1) I guess people know that occasionally there is a code sent out that allows you to bypass the setup fee for a new title. My question is: do the final files for interior and cover have to be finished and uploaded at the time when this code is applied?

2) I gather there is an annual fee for using their service. So if I want to cancel after a year, how easy is it to do that?

Many thanks!

Writers' Cafe / Is this countdown deal working?
« on: July 15, 2017, 12:53:53 AM »
I think this should be on a countdown deal (since yesterday): but when I look at the page, I only see the normal price. Perhaps this is because I am in the UK so the US store is not my default. I don't know. Could someone in America please check and see whether you see a countdown deal here? Many thanks.

Writers' Cafe / How exciting!
« on: January 01, 2017, 08:52:55 AM »
So I published some fiction under a pen name and put it in Select ...

And now that blue graph has leapt into action. What a surprise. I've never seen it do anything before. How exciting!

Writers' Cafe / New Romance and Mystery/Thriller sites from Book Barbarian
« on: November 25, 2016, 04:23:20 PM »
Just got this email from the Barbarian announcing two new advertising sites: and

Outside my genre, so I'm not going to be trying, but hope this could be useful info. Book Barbarian certainly is useful! Special introductory rates as well.

Writers' Cafe / More on paperback resellers ...
« on: September 19, 2016, 02:45:48 PM »
Having followed the thread about paperback resellers, I thought maybe I should ask here about one thing I have noticed in this area that strikes me as a bit odd:

Resellers have apparently created new entries on Amazon for my paperbacks --- they are listing with new ASIN numbers. When doing this that have changed what appears in the book's title field to include the title plus my name plus a date.

This has happened on both the UK and com sites. I haven't done anything about it, but I can imagine it might be confusing for customers.

An example (illustration purposes ... not sure I have explained this clearly):
The "real" paperback page, linked to the ebook page as usual:
A reseller's paperback page, also linked to the ebook page but not to the "real" page:

Is this common? Does it need dealing with somehow?

Writers' Cafe / a September promo thread ... it's on now
« on: September 11, 2016, 06:59:45 AM »
I have a promo lined up for Warrior Lore. A couple of things changed since last time I ran ... new cover installed, and new related book published (The Faraway North), so I am hoping these things will have a beneficial effect on sales & follow-through sales.

I've structured the promo to include two sites that have performed best for me in the past (Book Barbarian and Many Books), interspersed with several cost-free sites, some of which have given me good results before.

I'm running at 0.99 and am wide. I've already fixed the Amazon and Nook prices manually. The Apple and Kobo prices are programmed to change automatically.

I'll post back with the results. Here's the lineup:

13th Sept
Many Books (USD 25)
Read Freely
Book Pebble
Book Hippo
Book Raid

14th Sept
Pretty Hot
Discount Book Man
Armadillo Ebooks
Ebook Lister
Book Lovers Heaven
My Book Place
Ebooks Habit
Ebook Mountain
Book Preview Club
Reading Deals
Bookworm World
Book Bongo

15th Sept
Book Barbarian (USD 20)

Ready ...

Writers' Cafe / Word Clouds
« on: June 28, 2016, 08:05:08 AM »
The other month in my twitter feed I spotted that someone had made a wordcloud for their book. Well I thought, that seems like it could be a roundabout but pretty way to give a quick impression of the book's innards .... So I have just made one with the text of my new book, and I actually think it gives a half-decent impression of what might be in the book. Here you can see:

This is the tool I used: but google says other wordclouding tools are available ...

Has anyone tried using wordclouds like this in marketing? I wonder what such wordclouds would look like for ordinary fiction books (mine are not that, and the wordcloud I originally saw was for an academic book --- I can imagine they might be better geared towards highlighting concepts in non-fiction, but who knows).

Well it solved the what on earth should I tweet today problem for me for one day at least.

Writers' Cafe / What's going on?
« on: June 15, 2016, 02:40:04 AM »
So I just saw movement on my GREEN graph. This never happens. I am not in select. My books are not permafree, or free anywhere as far as I know.

I can't explain this ... what's going on?

The Book Bazaar / The Faraway North
« on: June 09, 2016, 07:06:32 AM »
Dear all, I am please to announce that my new book, The Faraway North, a collection of new English translations of medieval Scandinavian folk ballads, is now available for preorder (at a special preorder price ...), with delivery on 23rd June.

These ballads convey a fantastic vision of the world as it was imagined in medieval Scandinavia, with monsters and magic intermingled with very human concerns of heroism, tragedy, love, and revenge.

Heroes from different parts of the Northern lands do battle with trolls. The great hero Sigurd is joined in this collection by fighters including Holger Dane, Orm the Strong, and others. There are dramatic scenes of love, betrayal, and loss. The Norwegian patron saint Olaf goes head to head with Harald Hardrada in a sailing race. And more ...

Writers' Cafe / createspace "bulk" buy
« on: May 23, 2016, 01:02:00 AM »
Hi all, could someone please remind me of the best way to get hold of a boxful of books from createspace for reselling:

I think if I order proof copies they will come with "proof" printed on them, which I don't want. Is this right?

So is the best/cheapest way to temporarily lower the price to minimum level and then place an order through the createspace storefront (for maximum "royalty")?


(I am wanting to compare the price of doing it this way with getting the books printed at a different printing company as I have done in the past.)

Writers' Cafe / Goodreads Giveaways for ebooks
« on: May 09, 2016, 12:07:19 PM »
Have you seen the latest news from Goodreads:

Could be interesting ...

Sorry if this was posted earlier. The blog post is dated last week, but they just emailed me to let me know (thanks), and I must have missed any discussion on here if there was any.

Writers' Cafe / New covers ... what do you think?
« on: April 19, 2016, 10:32:48 AM »
I've been thinking of redoing my covers for a year or so now, but with a new book imminent, I thought perhaps it was time to do something about it. I am thinking something like this for the three books:

They're designed a lot more with ebook / thumbnail view in mind than my current covers, which were modifications of the (original) paperback covers. So ... what do you think? All right?

Writers' Cafe / Amazon seller account fees
« on: December 18, 2015, 09:09:19 AM »
Hi all, I am not sure how many (any??) others operate an Amazon seller account here ... but I will ask just in case.

So I sell my paperbacks in the UK (or rather on Amazon UK) with an Amazon seller account, and Amazon take a fee of about 3.30 per sale. It's been the same amount for ages (more than a year anyway). But I have noticed on the seller central dashboard that the "estimated fee" is rather less than that, about 2.60. Do any of you Amazon sellers have any idea why that might be? Is this normal?

Writers' Cafe / Promo with Book Barbarian
« on: November 04, 2015, 10:42:14 AM »
I have a promo on with Warrior Lore @ 0.99 this week.

Yesterday I was on with Book Barbarian ... well even though Amazon crashed shortly after the sales began to com in (and they stopped again as a result), it was a pretty good sales day.

Here are the results from yesterday:
Amazon 23 sales; Nook 1 sale; Apple + Kobo 0 each.

As a result, Warrior Lore hit #1 in three (!!!) categories (my cats are not big of course ...), and this morning was at #15600 overall. So I'm happy with that. I don't think I made my money back from the ad though (USD 15), so will have to hope for sell-thru of some kind.

I have a few more (cost-free) sites booked in for the rest of the week ... not desperately optimistic, but will report back if anything significant happens. Hope this gives some useful info.

Writers' Cafe / createspace full bleed
« on: April 27, 2015, 03:05:40 AM »
Inspired by Michael Blackbourn's post on here a couple of months ago (,208767.0.html), I went ahead with a full bleed illustrated book.

But argh. I have issues and I cannot get a sensible answer out of the createspace email reps. Can anyone offer guidance? I think I have done it right, but it is not working.

Most of the pages in my book are text only. Occasionally there is an image, covering a whole page, and that should extend all the way to the edge of the paper.

Createspace's guidelines say that bleed (0.125") must be added to three edges of the pages of the interior pdf. My printed page size (trim size) is A5. So I used images that were A5 + 0.125"(width), 0.25" (height). And for the text pages, I added 0.125" of white space around the three edges.

The problem is that when the digital proof comes up, this added bleed doesn't appear to have been trimmed off, but put inside the trim marks (which appear in the digital proof). This has the consequence that the overall text area has been shrunk. This is undesirable.

I cannot be certain, but in the digital proof the full page images do appear to have been trimmed to some extent, but not to anything close to the full 0.125".

Writers' Cafe / Read Cheaply
« on: April 13, 2015, 08:18:36 AM »
Looks like they completely redid their website, scrapped the social-media-endorsement-in-lieu model, and are going over to paid adverts. They're still free for the moment though.

Is this old news? I think it's a pretty recent change. Hope this helps....

Writers' Cafe / Kobo price scheduler
« on: January 19, 2015, 09:41:51 AM »
Using Kobo's price scheduling tool I have had a special price lined up beginning on the 20th.
Just got an email to say that they will be changing the price in 48h (which is in the evening of the 21st in my time zone).

Has anyone used this Kobo price changer? does it work? did you receive such an email? is the information in the email misleading or reliable?

Writers' Cafe / Uploading to Nook and Kobo
« on: August 15, 2014, 03:18:41 AM »
I think I have been spoilt uploading to Amazon and Smashwords. I have gone over to dealing direct with Kobo and Nook, but am having a bit of an issue with the upload and would appreciate any solutions anyone knows of to this. Oddly (?) it is the same thing with both Nook and Kobo, and the main issue is to do with the table of contents.

My file is an epub, html-built, hand-zipped, all included, validated, and offline-functional.

The individual chapters in the epub are included as individual xhtml files, one file per chapter.

The complication arises when the uploading software at these two houses appears not to pay attention to the TOC included in the epub, but want to create its own -- or at least to augment the one I supplied. And, that there are xhtml files that make up part of the book but that do not warrant their own TOC entry. These are things like: the front cover, the title page, the copyright page, the back matter. I don't believe these things need to be in the table of contents, I didn't include them in the TOC in the epub file, but the automated upload in both Nook and Kobo creates TOC entries for these. And given that they are included in the TOC with names that look like scraps of code or filenames, it looks a right mess.

Any suggested solutions appreciated.

Writers' Cafe / Changing from Smashwords to direct with Nook and Kobo
« on: July 18, 2014, 02:12:59 AM »
I have a book that is currently distributed to B+N by Smashwords, but I am wanting to change to selling direct on the Nook press. This wasn't an option in the UK when I published the book but it is now, so I am getting around to sorting it out.

Anyway, it's not entirely clear for me how this transition works. What I have done is to click the button to tell the Smashwords dashboard distribution panel to stop sending to B+N. And I have been waiting for the book to disappear from the B+N shop before attempting to upload my book there. Is that the right way? Well it seems to be taking a long time. (no action since 23rd june)

Also, someone has left a review for this book at the B+N online shop. Will that disappear if I do as I am planning or is there some way to save it?

Last thing: I also tried to do the same thing with Kobo. There the process appeared simpler to me as the book had not appeared in the Kobo shop even after six months or something like that on Smashwords, so I just uploaded the file to them straight away (after clicking the relevant do not distribute button on Smashwords) without having to wait for it to disappear from their shop. But again, nothing has happened (again since approx the same date 23rd june). Is it normal for Kobo to take that long to upload a book?


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