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Messages - Bob Stewart

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Going Wide - Direct or with an Aggregator?
« on: Yesterday at 05:19:07 AM »
Thank you Allyson & Pauline. I just sent my request...

Writers' Cafe / Re: Going Wide - Direct or with an Aggregator?
« on: March 15, 2018, 12:18:29 PM »
I think it's best to go direct. With Kobo and (sometimes) Apple, you can do promotions. My in-house Kobo promos do very well.


How do you do a promo on Kobo? I've just uploaded several books there and don't see anything mentioning promos.


Someone monitoring new free books must have added it to a promo.

What kind of download numbers are you seeing, 1k?

Great start to a perma-free run!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Craft Thread
« on: March 10, 2018, 01:49:22 PM »
Looks like you stumped our panel of experts with that one... Could you give us something easier to fight over?   ???

Writers' Cafe / Re: Any way to link Omnibus to series?
« on: March 09, 2018, 02:18:48 PM »
In a nutshell, no.

You can give the omnibus the same series name and the number "0". It won't show up on the series page, but if someone searches for the series they'll find it. Not really much help.

I'm thinking of creating a separate series for omnibuses.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Bookbub free vs. 0.99
« on: March 07, 2018, 03:30:38 PM »
For mine, I got just over 97K free downloads...

Damn, is that a record? Very impressive, Catherine! Mine are like 30-35k.

How did it distribute among retailers?

Writers' Cafe / Re: Bookbub free vs. 0.99
« on: March 07, 2018, 02:24:59 PM »
My books that had a free BB while in KU had nice tails when they reverted to paid because all the KU borrows during the 5-day promo were spiking the paid sales rank.

I would still go with a paid listing first, but BB has never given me one.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Categories
« on: March 07, 2018, 09:14:25 AM »
Thanks, Deb! I hadn't found that...

Writers' Cafe / Re: A theory for why the Zon is killing CreateSpace
« on: March 01, 2018, 01:46:58 PM »
....As for why, it’s simply a way to streamline their operations.

My guess it's to put the machines in Amazon's fulfillment centers.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Another trademark question
« on: February 24, 2018, 03:28:21 PM »
All of that said, the context could be construed as trademark tarnishment even if the product or service is spoken of in glowing terms. For example, if you have a mass murderer really love a particular kind of breakfast cereal, the company that makes it might well construe that as negative. Sex scenes are tricky. It depends a bit on the morality of the trade mark owner and on the owner's perception of his or her target audience. It could be construed as offensive, so it's probably better avoided.

Can you actually cite case law supporting that? Because I think you're way off the mark.

This is what I found after a quick search:
"Tarnishment is a flavor of dilution. A trademark is tarnished when an infringing mark portrays the infringed mark in a negative light- usually in the context of sex, drugs, crime, etc. "

It's almost impossible to imagine a scenario where an author could infringe on someone's trademark in a book of fiction. I'm not really sure I understand why this topic keeps coming up.

Trademark law is to protect a company from competitors trying to gain market share by infringing on the company's trademark. It doesn't give someone the ownership of a word, or prevent some non-competitor from expressing any sort of negative opinion about it. You can make fun of any product you want.

In fact, if the sex scene is a really gripping one, maybe you could even get Nutella to pay for product placement. There should be a joke in the word "placement" but I can't quite get to it...

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon X-Ray Questions
« on: February 22, 2018, 10:26:59 AM »
I hadn't noticed this had been opened for us, last I checked into it it sounded like it was just Wikipedia pages.

If you input character info for one book in a series, is there a way to make use of that when setting it up for other  books? Or do you really need to re-enter everything again?

Writers' Cafe / Re: CS vs. Kindle Print
« on: February 20, 2018, 10:05:18 AM »
I'm still curious about why KDP Print is promoting  (as an option) draining one's CS account and transferring everything over to KDP. Isn't that kind of sort of cannibalism? I asked this but KDP Support gave me the roundabout.

My guess is they are shifting the production to Amazon distribution centers, to decrease the number of shipments.

Has anyone noticed differences in the books?

I think it might be that you just need to to hit "save and continue"  (or something like that) while viewing the digital proof. This is even before they've reviewed it.

I don't remember this being the case before, but it was true for the one I did last week.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Can anyone explain NetGalley to me?
« on: February 14, 2018, 03:42:33 PM »
I haven't tried it yet, but I did come across this author's well-documented experience:

Writers' Cafe / Re: Novel tactic to get "verified" reviews on Amazon
« on: February 07, 2018, 09:23:36 AM »
The only way this would work is if they people perpetrating the fraud had this couple's password and was logging in as them. (How else could it be a verified purchase?)

I bet all they'd need to do, is change the password.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Using IngramSpark and CreateSpace both
« on: February 06, 2018, 02:18:37 PM »
But can you earn more through CreateSpace Expanded Distribution? Even if you don't think it's going to help you get into stores, it's worth looking at IngramSpark from a royalty standpoint. For example, a 6 x 9, 300 page book (black and white interior) that's sold for $13.99 through CreateSpace Expanded Distribution will earn me $1.14 in royalties. That same book will earn me $1.49 through Ingram, even with a 55% discount. This is because as the middleman, CreateSpace takes a 60% "sales channel percentage" from the list price when a book sells through Expanded Distribution (I've heard 20% is passed on to the store, but I haven't been able to find that information directly from CreateSpace). If you don't plan on giving a 55% discount, or any discount at all, your royalties will obviously be even higher. 


Yes, I do see the advantage to using IS for places outside of Amazon for the author/publisher. You will earn more when a book sells at B&, etc. But the question was in regards to brick & mortar stores. So in your case, the question is, could you really expect to finance a marketing campaign to get in these stores with $1.49 in royalties?

I've been looking at this a lot lately, and one thing I've come to appreciate is just how much marketing even smaller publishers do. They also have recognizable names, and track records, and reps periodically visiting the stores and pushing their titles. I just don't think it's feasible to think you can compete with that using POD and your own imprint.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Using IngramSpark and CreateSpace both
« on: February 06, 2018, 12:20:04 PM »
Which is why, if you don't have a solid marketing plan aimed at brick and mortar, and believe you have a very good chance of getting in there, there's absolutely no reason to set the wholesale discount at IngramSpark any higher than the minimum of 30% or 35% (depending on the market). To do so is just leaving money on the table (and increasing the list price you have to set). If you use the minimum discount, you'll earn more than through CS. A 5.25 X 8" B&W 324-page paperback with a list price of $11.49 and a wholesale discount of 30% will earn you $2.93 through IngramSpark.

Yes, but that's the conundrum. Now you have a little  more money to work with, but the retailer will now only get a 15-20% discount because Ingram takes the cost of distribution (ca 15%) from your discount. So even if you make yourself known through an extraordinary marketing effort, they won't stock you because of the paltry discount.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Can you do a preorder with KDP's new print option?
« on: February 06, 2018, 12:09:30 PM »
I was searching for an answer to this question and this is the only post I could find.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Using IngramSpark and CreateSpace both
« on: February 06, 2018, 11:54:28 AM »
I've been looking into this myself recently. Theoretically, by using Ingram you're more appealing to bookstores. But even if you set the discount to 55%, they usually see a 40% discount because Ingram takes a distribution cut out of that 55%.

For the book I'm working on, (324 pp pbk) I would need to set the price at $15.99 to earn just a $2 royalty. But you've now priced your book at the high end. And to have any chance of getting into bookstores, you would need to do one hell of a lot of marketing. Which would be hard to pay for out of that $2.

By comparison, I could put the book in CS at $11.49 and earn more than $2 at Amazon.

What also surprised me is how much more arcane their software is compared to CreateSpace. In setting up a book and ordering a proof, I was told to input an email address if I wanted a verification. Of course, they have my email address. And you can do a pre-order, but their own FAQs aren't sure how to do it.

They're also slower. Two days to approve the files, five days to print the book, etc. And author copies are a little more expensive and so is shipping.

I wanted to give the wider distribution a real try, but I'm having second thoughts.

Being all-in Amazon has a lot of negatives, but logistically, it's an order of magnitude easier than being wide.

Writers' Cafe / NetGalley & Amazon reviews
« on: February 02, 2018, 07:54:38 AM »
Is it safe to assume most indies using NetGalley wait until the book is on-sale, so reviewers willing to post to Amazon can do so without having to keep track of a book until release date?


Writers' Cafe / Re: A meaningless question?
« on: February 02, 2018, 05:32:15 AM »
It's an annoying conceit of Amazon's to pretend that they have no control over the $/per-page-read and it's all a big surprise. This way they can shift the cost of scammers from themselves (the only ones who can do anything about the problem) to the legitimate authors.

They need to pick a figure and stick with it for at least several months at a time. Yes, they would have some risk, but businesses have lots of risks. The way to minimize that risk is find more efficient ways of dealing with the scammers.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Advertising for perma free
« on: January 29, 2018, 04:12:26 PM »
I'm ran an ENT promo which was disappointing, only about a thousand downloads on Amazon and 50 on Kobo. A couple of dozen each on B&N and iBooks. It could have been worse but I really expected better than that from ENT.

Wow. It's been a while since I was wide with a permafree. But I don't ever remember a promo coming out that lopsided. That's like 40:1, Amazon:B&N (or Apple.)

Competition for Amazon could only be good. But as long as they cling to arcane nonsense like requiring a Mac-only interface to upload titles, I'd say they have a very long way to go.

Apple makes money selling things behind their proprietary moat; Amazon makes money by being the destination people choose to go to.

Just out of curiosity, if the OP's cover was a potential problem, how does someone get by with this:



2. Unless you pay the premium amount of 299 i believe it is, your book will not end up in the USUAL giveaway place. STANDARD ( $59) only gets your book to show up in your goodreads friends feed. Which means you aren't going to get the exposure like you did before, especially if you have only 200 friends. Oh and goodreads limits the number of friends you can add.

Can you post a link verifying this?

On their Faq it only says the the $299 option includes "Premium placement on Goodreads’ Giveaways page with tens of millions of visitors each month, giving your giveaway significantly more visibility and entrants."

I took that to mean that they'll be listed before other listings.

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