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Topics - TwistedTales

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Writers' Cafe / "How we measure page reads" KDP notice
« on: Yesterday at 02:59:24 AM »
From the KDP board. They are getting chatty lately...

https://www.kdpcommunity.com/s/article/How-we-measure-pages-read?language=en

"Hello,

In response to concerns weíve heard from authors, we wanted to take a moment to clarify in more detail how we measure pages read to calculate the monthly allocation of the KDP Select Global Fund.
 
We have worked steadily over time to improve the fidelity of the KENPC system that measures the number of pages read. For the vast majority of cases, KENPC v3.0 records actual pages read with a high degree of precision. For the few remaining cases, such as very old devices, we employ several processes and technologies (both manual and automated) to accurately measure pages read. In addition, we regularly audit the pages read of top titles.
 
Our commitment to the fair allocation of the KDP Select Global Fund remains a top priority. That includes addressing attempts to manipulate our services. If you have direct evidence of these types of activities, we will review every single example provided to us at content-review@amazon.com.

Best Regards,
The Kindle Direct Publishing Team"

2
Email from Streetlib. I'm not interested in ever giving Amazon control over my pricing no matter how they try to take it. If this ever becomes mandatory then I will delist all my books from Amazon.

***

"We wanted to let you know about a new Amazon revenue share model that weíve been invited to join. If you are not selling your books on Amazon through StreetLib, please ignore this email! Otherwise you can take advantage of this opportunity to join an exclusive program that we believe could improve your publishing revenues.

Basically, Amazon's new ďDynamic Price Model" defines the best price on any given day for every title in a catalog. It lowers the price of books that are selling few to zero copies thanks to unsustainably high prices, and also raises the price of books that could be priced higher (without losing sales as a result).

How does it work?

You, the publisher, set a price for your ebook. Same as always.
Based on that price, Amazon creates an ďOptimal PriceĒ that will shift from time to time.
When your ebook is sold, you will receive 60% of the Optimal Price, (mostly) regardless of where the book buyer is located.
In India, Australia, and The Netherlands, the standard reseller terms (40% over list price) will be applied until further notice because of how the Kindle Store currently works in those countries. In countries with fixed-price laws (such as Germany), publisherís prices will stay as they are, according to the laws there.

These changes will go into effect on July 1 -- and will have zero effect on the approximately 80-85% of books that are already priced well.

So what does this mean for you? You should see an overall revenue increase. We ask that as we learn more about how well this program works for us all, that you please be proactive, esp. in the next few months:

-- Keep a sharp eye on sales numbers.
-- Please write us if you notice something strange, so that we can investigate and involve Amazon in the solution.

Of course everybody here wants to increase book sales and revenue! So if you find this program is not working as it's intended for you, again, please, please let us know.

But overall we think itís good news and we're excited about its potential! Thereís also a possible side benefit: Leveraging the optimized prices to experiment with different pricing on the rest of your stores."


3
Just saw this on KDP forum. See below for content.

https://www.kdpcommunity.com/s/article/Removal-of-Illegitimate-Reading-from-the-KDP-Select-Fund?language=en

"Removal of Illegitimate Reading from the KDP Select Fund

Hello,

We have recently heard concerns from authors about our on-going efforts to detect and remove illegitimate reading from the KDP Select Fund. In order to fairly distribute the KDP Select fund to all authors, we remove fraudulent activity, notify authors, and only pay royalties associated with legitimate reading activities. We greatly appreciate the questions and feedback we have received and are re-auditing our processes based on these concerns.
 
If you ever have specific questions about your account, or feel like your account status was inappropriately affected, please contact us at content-review@amazon.com and we will take a look.

Best Regards,
The Kindle Direct Publishing Team"

4
Writers' Cafe / Only 4 also boughts showing - hopefully was a glitch
« on: March 16, 2018, 05:46:00 AM »
Itís probably in beta right now so only some of us have this, but instead of the usual strip of up to 20 pages of also boughts, we now have up to four books showing.

The also boughts were one of the few remaining ways our books could be found without having to pay Amazon, so this is just another way to force us to use AMS, or at least try to.

We get it, Amazon, and believe me many of us are working hard to promote the other platforms over yours. AMS is too expensive for what it returns. The right thing to do is make the tool more effective, not to keep cornering and bullying suppliers. Those of us who are wide will continue to heavily promote the other platforms because itís cheaper than using AMS. Iím getting 40 - 50% of my sales from the other platforms now.

5
Writers' Cafe / U.K. sponsored ads in test & super sized sponsored
« on: October 21, 2017, 01:23:48 AM »
Iíve noticed a sponsored ad carousel in the U.K. showing up. So far, only one author is advertizing, but I guess itís in beta. That might be worth trying when it goes public.

Also, on my iPad at least, the sponsored ads are now the same size as the also bought books. Thatís actually kinda annoying.

6
Writers' Cafe / New spam click bait
« on: October 11, 2017, 12:32:58 PM »
Just in case anyone else gets this and is confused.

Iím not an Amazon Associate and never have been. It was also sent to an email address that has never been used for anything to do with Amazon, so no one in Amazon would ever send anything to it.

Nice click bait spam...Iíve deleted the extension on the link because I see no reason to advertise their spammy link.

***

Good afternoon,

In this letter, Amazon Associates Network employees notify you of the need to visit the partner interface due to suspicious activity and possible fraudulent transactions conducted with your account.

You can download the interface developed for personal computers, which was chosen by you during registration, from the link:

https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/

Regards,
The Amazon Associates Team

--------------------

Please note that you must use this e-mail address to access your account in Associates Central or when contacting Associates Customer Service.

To manage your e-mail preferences, update your account settings.

Message Category: Amazon Associates Network Updates

(c) 2016 Amazon.com. All rights reserved. Amazon.com is a registered trademark of Amazon.com, Inc. Amazon.com, 410 Terry Avenue N., Seattle, WA 98109-5210, USA.

7
Writers' Cafe / Who are AllAuthor?
« on: June 22, 2017, 02:50:52 AM »
I received an email inviting me to submit the cover of my latest release to their cover competition. I doubt any of my covers would ever win an award, so I suspect this is a fishing approach to advertising their services.

I've taken a look at their website. I can't quite work out what they'll do for me, free or otherwise.

Does anyone know them and if they're worth bothering with?

8
Writers' Cafe / Recently changed your blurb? Check it again.
« on: April 22, 2017, 09:16:01 AM »
We updated several blurbs yesterday and had some issues with Author Central. Just checked the books and one of the blurbs has somehow managed to get the wrong one. It could be us because we were having problems, but might be worth checking if you've recently done an update.

9
Writers' Cafe / Email from Trident Media Group - UPDATE #2
« on: April 07, 2017, 08:32:51 PM »
Spoke to Mark Gottlieb. Check later in the thread for the summary. Overall, it was a good chat and he's very approachable and helpful. Upshot is the email is not spam or a "bot". There is someone behind it who is very happy to talk to you in a positive and constructive way.

***

Did some more research on this and it looks like a cold call of sorts. Based on the sales numbers they say they look for, we wouldn't pass the muster. So, I'll email back and say that. I'm not keen to waste their time or ours. Just because we hit a best seller list doesn't mean we are one.  :P

Thanks to everyone who offered advice and support. I appreciate your help.

***

I got an email from this group asking if I'm interested in having a literary agent.

Is it spam? It has a reply email address that looks legit.

Other than at a conceptual level, I don't even know what a literary agent does. I've never met one. I'm definitely not successful enough to need one. I was a little surprised the email opened by congratulating me on my continued success. I'm not successful. I do ok, but plenty of people do far better than I do. I have had a good year, hitting #12 in iBooks and Amazon plus #1 in the Amazon Canada store, but it was somewhat fleeting.

So, is this spam? And if so, what for?

Any advice would be appreciated.

10
Writers' Cafe / BookBub versus DIY BookBub
« on: February 22, 2017, 04:21:37 AM »
I'm documenting this simply because I happened to do both one month after the other. January was a DIY BookBub and February was an international only BookBub. It was an accident in that I never expected to get a BookBub.

January 2017 (DIY BookBub)
Scenario:
2 week promo run, 99c discount, new release, box set, SciFi, in KU

Marketing tactics:
- ENT, Booksends, BooksButterfly, Choosey, ebbookssoda, booksmachine
- FB, AMS click ads

Sales:
- 1,500 (plus approx 147,000 page reads)

Post sale price $3.99 then $5.99
- averaging 25 - 35 sales per day

February 2017 (international only BookBub)
Scenario:
2 week promo run, 99c discount, old release, box set, SciFi, not in KU

Marketing tactics:
- international only BookBub, ENT, Booksends, FKBT, readcheaply, ebookstage
- FB, AMS

Sales:
- 4,000 (plus approx 120,000 page reads before book no longer in KU)

Post sale price $5.99
- Averaging 25 - 35 sales a day

What does that mean?
- BookBub is very effective, even international only, but you can still get decent results without it providing the offer is good.
- February's sales numbers were improved thanks to a solid launch in January, so not all of those numbers can be attributed to BookBub.
- Sales in the UK were high in both months. We assume that was initially due to FB because AMS doesn't show in the UK.
- BookBub opened Canada and Australia for us while deepening our presence in the UK. FB didn't do much in Australia or Canada.
- As an added bonus, we also tested launches on iBooks and Google in February. iBooks represented about 25% and Google 5% of day one sales. After day one both dropped dramatically.
- iBooks is continuing to sell 10 - 15 day at full price, which is very nice.
- Google is having some zero days. With their endless price changing we may give up on them.
- Our ranks don't look like much because the sales are spread across four countries now.
- The rest of the catalogue is also selling more. We also had an increase in page reads from books no longer in KU.
- Just like ENT and Choosey, BookBub were a real pleasure to work with. Beyond being professional, they were also warm, supportive and helpful.

The upshot is if you can get a BookBub of any sort then take it, otherwise you can still launch and do well without one.

Another observation is iBooks did alright, but Google was a bust. Neither sustained their sale flight path. FB didn't reach deeply enough for them. I'll try fine tuning the FB criteria and targeting each platform separately.

I'd also add that with the iBooks sales alone we're earning as much wide based on 2016 numbers in KU. We're pulling around $40 - 60 a day, which is roughly equivalent to 8,000 - 12,000 pages a day. At its worst last year we went as low as 3,500 and at best 25,000 page reads a day. Overall, it's probably averaging to be about the same as we were earning from KU.

Going wide isn't just a question of selling the books but also the price you sell them for. At $5.99 it doesn't take us many sales to replace the earnings from KU.

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