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Messages - AuthorX

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1
I'm not so sure separate LLCs are against TOS.  They're separate entities and have their own banking and tax info.  If it's against TOS, that would mean people who work for publishers can't self-publish on their own on the side.  Or if it's going by IP address, that would mean a husband and wife can't have their own accounts.

It's been confirmed by KDP that a separate account under an LLC is not allowed.

You can be a trad publisher, and on the side still have your own KDP account. You personally controlling two accounts is what is not allowed, no matter what names the accounts are under.


2
Writers' Cafe / Re: ACX audio guy wants 50% upfront and 50 when done?
« on: August 18, 2019, 11:13:30 am »
I had an ACX narrator offer to do a royalty share, if I would provide some payment up front.

I said, "I'm sorry, I can't accept your terms...that's not the way ACX works.  Thanks for your interest."

There is actually an option on ACX to do royalty share with a PFH payment on top of that. Some of the most in demand narrators will only do royalty share with an additional payment on top.

3
Writers' Cafe / Re: ACX audio guy wants 50% upfront and 50 when done?
« on: August 18, 2019, 11:11:51 am »
I would walk away. I've worked with numerous narrators and never experienced this weirdness.

4
Yes, some authors are able to make a living via Kindle Unlimited, but generally it's not because of KU. It's because their books are good.

There are just as many who don't utilize KU who don't make a living. So I think the question isn't quite what you meant to ask.

If you are asking... "Do authors get paid fairly for reads of their book from KU?" In that case, it's subjective. They make less than half a cent for each page you read. That's usually less than what you would make if you just sold your book. But no one is forcing authors to sign up to Kindle Unlimited either. The whole idea of the program is to offer your books at a discount to get more exposure.

So yeah.. it's fair.

5
So many bestsellers are written in 1st person perspective. Seems unproductive to me to rewrite simply to change from 1st to 3rd... but hey... your story. Perhaps there's something about your story that doesn't make it work in 1st person.

6
Writers' Cafe / Re: Anyone else missing parts of June payments?
« on: July 09, 2019, 09:08:24 am »
I got a very friendly and fast reply back from KDP saying that they are aware of the issue with some publisherd getting payments from certain countries slow this payment period. They asked me to wait around another week for the payment to show up in my account.

7
Writers' Cafe / Re: Anyone else missing parts of June payments?
« on: July 08, 2019, 07:02:52 am »
No European payments received here either. I held out a while before finally emailing them today.

Out of curiosity, could it actually be related to our bank? Perhaps we could all find we are using a common bank? I use JPM Chase. Anyone else using the same bank or are you all using different ones? Seems weird that only some of us are having this issue.

8
Writers' Cafe / Re: Danielle Steel on writing 22 hours per day
« on: May 12, 2019, 07:19:08 am »
LMAO.

20-22 hours per day is laughable. First, the human body could not survive on only 2 hours of sleep per day for too long. She would be dead or at least in a severely deteriorated health/mental state.. And that's not accounting for eating, showering, getting dressed, etc. so we'd have to assume that she's sleeping even less than that.

Maybe she's done it a handful of times, but even then I doubt she was writing the entire 20-22 hours she was I office.

I don't see why she felt it necessary to make such an impossible claim. She's already successful, and 179 books over 50 books isn't a feat that would require a death sentence. It's only 3-4 books per year, which is impressive to do over one's lifetime, but could be accomplished with a simple 8 hour 9-5 if someone was disciplined to work the entire time.

Perhaps there was some miscommunication and she's only claiming to work 22 hour days sometimes, but I couldn't be bothered to read the rest of it, because of the obvious fib in the beginning.

9
I quit my regular job a little more than a month after publishing my first book. Been a full-time author ever since.

I think my experience is an exception rather than the norm though.

10
Are you releasing more books? Because your sales trend looks exactly like what Iíd expect unless there are more releases happening. Unfortunately, AMS only props books  up successfully for so long before they start losing traction. I canít say for sure, but I kind of doubtful itís related to the Advantage program.

11
Writers' Cafe / Re: facebook ads targeting specific authors
« on: April 05, 2019, 01:36:15 pm »
I generally am only able to target the most popular, well-known authors that are on their pregenerated list. I can't target 99% of specific author pages.

12
Writers' Cafe / Re: IngramSpark or KDP Print?
« on: March 31, 2019, 11:13:49 am »
You can't change the ISBN on a published book. You'd have to remove the existing edition from distribution ("unpublish" it through your KDP Bookshelf) and then publish a new edition (new project in your Bookshelf) with the new ISBN that you own. As long as you don't enable Expanded Distribution through KDP, you can use that ISBN for the same edition through IS as well.

If you place the book with your own ISBN at IS and leave the KDP free ISBN edition live, you'll end up with two sales pages on Amazon because the sales pages are based on ISBNs. Better to unpublish the old one and publish with the ISBN you own through both printers so you have a single active Amazon sales page. The prior edition's page will remain on Amazon, but it will not be available to purchase new copies.

So basically, once a book is published with an Amazon ISBN, you're pretty much locked there unless you're willing to lose all of your reviews? That's a bit of a bummer.

13
Writers' Cafe / Re: IngramSpark or KDP Print?
« on: March 27, 2019, 07:04:54 am »
I've not used IngramSpark before? If you're already got a paperback on KDP (not expanded distribution) with an Amazon ISBN, is it possible to still use IngramSpark for expanded distribution? I imagine I'll have to buy an ISBN... Can the ISBN be changed on KDP to match?

Anyone had a similar situation before?

14
Writers' Cafe / Re: cost of writing
« on: March 27, 2019, 07:00:18 am »
Are you trying to tally up costs for a theoretical homeless person or alien from another planet who has absolutely no resources and no family? In all likelihood, all of us already have a computer and an internet connection. Why would you factor that as a cost? Also, you don't need MS Word. You can just as well use Google Docs for free. There's plenty of free photo editing software too. And, if you're paying for book covers, why would you need Photoshop anyway?

Literally, if you have a computer and an internet connection already, the startup costs for writing a book are $0.

When I first started writing, I self-edited my books and made my own book covers. So I imagine that actual investment was probably about $5 per book prior to launch. Formatting your book yourself if something you can learn to do with 30 minutes of free tutorials, so unless you're lazy, there is no reason to pay for that either. I know it's a little harder to launch a cold book these days, but I also spent no money on advertising when I first started out and didn't begin advertising 'til my books were churning out a decent profit. And website? Email marketing? I didn't start worrying about that 'til I was already a full-time author, and I'd argue that that still isn't 100% required at launch. Never paid for Bookfunnel, KDP Rocket, KDP Spy or any other unnecessary software either.

FB Ads and Bookbub ads are simple as heck. Unless you are a slow learner, you don't need to take courses on how to do them. They might help someone who has never seen or written a FB ad in their life, but certainly not required.


Basically, costs aren't nearly as bad as you might think. And I'm not sure why marketing would be tedious either? I spend 5-10 minutes per week managing my FB and AMS ads.

I put a lot more money into my book now, but throwing lots of money at your first books isn't necessary.

15
People are hitting the gym on Thursday so they can go party on Friday night. Reads start picking up on Saturday as people are stuck in bed nursing their hangover.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: IP for sale / full-length thriller. $10,000
« on: March 22, 2019, 04:43:48 am »
That's silly. Sure, an experienced publisher could make tens of thousands pretty easily. But we didn't start here. I know I built my business over years and many hundreds of thousands of dollars of ads. Yes, I expect my series novels to make six figures of revenue in their first year now, but I was overjoyed to make a few thousand dollars on my first few books.

Lots of people don't want to deal with publishing. Or they need cash now and they don't want to take the risk or wait the 60-90 days for Amazon to pay them. Or they don't have the funds to self-publish right.

And, let's be real, since when is quality the biggest factor in how much money a book makes? It needs a certain baseline quality, yeah, but after that, the success rides on the packaging and marketing.


I think there is merit in your argument, but I tend to disagree. I still believe that the quality of the book is the single biggest factor in success over the long term.

There is the "brute force" method of writing fast and consistently, gathering a ton of arc reviewers, and spending hundreds of thousands in ads on your book. That can work a lot of the time.

I did that before on older pen names. It worked for me. It worked pretty well actually.

But then I changed gears with a new pen and made far more money on books that I spent three times as long writing, and spent less time and money marketing. Now, I make deep in six figure territory and don't have an arc team. I only release 2-3 books per year, and I spend less than $30,000 in marketing per year.

I'm not saying that everyone should follow the same strategy or everyone will have the same outlier experience, but I know that I could start a new pen name tomorrow, write a book, and launch it to make at least $10,000 in 3-4 months, in just about any popular genre. I'd be disappointed if I couldn't make $10,000 on a thriller, given it's one of the most popular genres. I'd expect I'd need about $1,000 in ad spend to get there. In fact, I might think it's a bit of a flop if I only made $10,000.

Part of that confidence comes from experience, I guess. When I was using the "brute force" method, my writing wasn't as good. I thought it was great at the time, but looking back, I was churning stuff out way too fast and making cookie cutter books that sizzled out without spending a lot of money on them. Also, experience has given me a good idea of what makes a good cover, etc.

So to some degree, there are a lot of other factors that determines a book success. But those things can quickly be learned. A cover can always be changed, marketing can be learned/changed, and it only takes a few minutes of marketing management per week once you have an ad going. But the book quality will always be the same. If you release one book that blows people away, they will buy your next book whether you market it or not.


I totally understand if someone has an average book and wants to sell it for a few thousands bucks, since they aren't confident that they can make that same amount back quickly. An experienced marketing will probably do better with it. But I can't believe that someone would sell a gem of a book, simply because they don't want to get a cover made and don't want to spend a few minutes to make an ad. I mean... It probably took months to write the thing, so abandoning profits because you don't want to spend a couple hours extra on it seems weird to me. And if a book is priced at $10,000 I would expect much better than average... a book that someone could build a substantial amount of income from and expect even more income from with subsequent books. So it's just odd that someone would sell it, but in all likelihood it's just an average book that's overpriced.

17
Writers' Cafe / Re: IP for sale / full-length thriller. $10,000
« on: March 21, 2019, 02:29:10 pm »
I would pay 10k if both the story and writing was great. Like very high-level work. I have never seen a ghostwriter who was worth more than 3-4 cents per word max though.

I wouldnít  write a 100k book for $10k though, because itís way too easy to make many multiples of that on a well-written book. Which begs the question... Why not just publish it yourself? If itís good, youíll have earned 10k on it very quickly and get additional royalties for life.

18
Writers' Cafe / Re: Fan mail from inmates in prison
« on: March 21, 2019, 04:21:25 am »
Thanks. I think you guys have convinced me to go ahead and let the inmates contact me... The more I think about it, people who already email me could possible be future inmates or may even be past inmates, so no reason for me to ignore a fan (hopefully a fan). Also seems like a good opportunity to gain fans for life, since they don't have many opportunities to communicate with people on the outside.

19
Writers' Cafe / Fan mail from inmates in prison
« on: March 20, 2019, 10:16:14 am »
As my books have gotten more popular, reading and responding to mail has become pretty much a daily task.

I've even started to get occasional emails from correctional facilities asking me if I'd like to accept email from XYZ with the person's name, etc. The first time I got one, I just kind of ignored it, thinking it was a one-off exception and I probably wouldn't see something like that again, but I've gotten a few more of these emails from inmates requesting to contact me.

I'm pretty sure my books have just made it into prisons somewhere, and people want to write fan letters, so it's probably harmless. But another part of me is a little paranoid about someone in prison emailing me. Maybe I fear that they would start stalking me or come after me after they are out of jail? Gosh, that sounds so silly, and if I were in their situation, I would hate to be judged like that. I don't want to make assumptions.

My question is... Has anyone else gotten email from prisoners or from prisons asking if you want to allow inmates to contact you? Have you engaged with people have read your books from prison, and if so, how did it go?


20
Writers' Cafe / Re: KDP account terminated, cannot publish anymore?
« on: March 19, 2019, 10:21:17 am »
You are correct. Once your account is banned, you cannot republish the same books through a distributor. This same issue occured to another author who tried to publish through D2D and even through another personís publisher account. Their books were eventually taken down and royalties withheld.

You can still publish to Amazon through D2D or Ingram, but you will get taken down if you publish the same books that were in a terminated account. Or at least that has been the case in the past.

21
Writers' Cafe / Re: KDP account terminated
« on: March 15, 2019, 01:19:10 pm »
$3,000 or $11,000 is small change compared to what a lot of us make, so you can rest assured Amazon didn't flag you or close your account simply because you made too much money. They do, however, take a closer look at accounts that have spikes in traffic or sales to evaluate if you're playing by the rules.

I have some good news and bad news. First with the bad.

Unless you're Martha Stewart or a renown chef, it's kind of unlikely that you're going to reach a five-figure income on cookbooks in a short amount of times based on your own recipes. With "scale" as you mentioned, I suppose it is possible, but do you really have that many original recipes under your belt or did you publish cookbooks with recipes taken from the web or other sources? If you've simply gathered recipes from various sources and plopped them in a book with a fancy cover, then that is against Amazon's terms and conditions. I could be wrong, and you're actually a cook who is slaving away in the kitchen creating original recipes from scratch, taking original photos of the food you've created, and then plopping it into a book. If so, then hats off to you... That's a lot of work. But based on the scale you're talking about, I highly doubt that's possible.

Also, since you said you created a "publishing business" and wanted to scale, but never actually said that you wanted to "write more books", there can be the presumption that you hired writers to write the content for you. Unless you've hired a team of Michelin chefs with original recipes, then the same possibility as mentioned above opens up ten fold. A lot of self-publishers hire writers who have no experience or knowledge about what they're writing about, and simply "research" and rewrite information they find online or in other books. If even one writer you've hired has copied information from another source, then your account will be closed based on plagiarism. And since you've hired someone, you won't even know it's happened until you get hit.


So the most likely theory, based on the fact that you're selling cookbooks and scaling so fast, is that somewhere along the line the recipes have been sourced from elsewhere or plagiarized in some way. Even if 9 out of 10 of your books are original and one books slips by with plagiarism in it, then that's grounds for your account to be terminated.

Lots of non-fiction publishers in Amazon are getting away with plagiarism and hiring writers to rewrite content they find on the web and republish it as books, so you could argue that you are doing what many others are doing, but Amazon closes accounts for that every day. Generally, they go after the publishers who are most obvious first, and it would be super suspicious if someone is pumping out cookbooks, has a spike in sales, as it begs the question of how this person has so many original recipes.

But if we assume all your content is original, Amazon will also shut down accounts if they think your traffic is fishy, if your book has too many links pointing to outside sources. If you've incentivized someone to review or buy your book or hired people to leave reviews for your books, that's also grounds for termination. Selling cookbooks is tough market without glowing reviews, so there's that too. There are a many ways to get your account terminated.


The good news is that if all the recipes are your own, you're certain that nothing was plagiarized, your traffic is legit, and all your reviews are organic, then you may get your account back. From what I've read, Amazon is kind of slow to responding to these things, so it might take a while. But they generally do get back to you with some sort of response.

More bad news is that legal action probably won't get you anywhere. Now might be a good time to re-read the entire KDP and Amazon TOS, and you will see that the contract that you signed up for limits your legal option. Amazon, basically can terminate you for whatever reason whenever they want to. I would only persue that if you absolutely are unable to get an answer from them and you're 100% certain that you haven't done anything that violates the TOS.


Anyway, good luck, and I hope it works out for you.

22
Writers' Cafe / Tell me about yourself?/Your Background? Messages
« on: March 14, 2019, 02:35:20 am »
Over the last year, every month or so, I've been getting messages on my social media from random people asking "Can you tell me about yourself?" and/or "Can you tell me about your background?"


At first I thought it was interesting and I just wrote a few sentences about myself, but by the 3rd message, I got suspicious. I mean... I wrote a little bit about myself in some of my books already and I have a short bio on Amazon. But then... maybe they are listening to my audiobooks or something? What more did they want to know?


But now I've gotten similar messages from people at least a dozen times asking about my background or to tell them about myself. They don't ask anything specific, and when I ask them if they want to know anything specific, most of them don't reply.



Am I the only one getting these messages? I can't figure out what or why people want to know about me, and I'm a little paranoid that it's some sort of data fishing, even though the people sending these messages look like normal people on their profiles.

23
Writers' Cafe / ACX Jan Payment?
« on: March 01, 2019, 02:09:01 pm »
Anyone else missing theirs?

24
Quote
My astonishment is based on the combination of the fact that both books are not only unusually good, but have very interesting covers and alluring blurbs



Every author who writes a book thinks their book is unusually good, and they write what they thing is an alluring blurb and tack on what they think is an interesting cover.

The moral: What you think is good, might not actually be good to buyers. What you think is interesting and alluring might not be interesting to buyers.

If I look back to my first few books, they were lackluster, the covers were stupid, and the blurbs weren't as great as they could be. Buy OH BOY, did I think they were great when I first released them. Fortunately, I did get sales on those books, but it did take a few more tries before I was able to hone in what the market thought was good, what the market thought was alluring, and what the marketing thought was interesting.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: How Many Errors Are Too Many
« on: January 19, 2019, 10:07:34 am »
I think a typo per chapter is acceptable. Anything else is distracting.


There are other errors that are easily overlooked... missing commas, paragraph usage etc.... They don't really detract as much from the story and usually won't result in bad reviews if the story is good.

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