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Topics - Alex Anders

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Writers' Cafe / Where to find Virtual Assistants
« on: July 07, 2020, 09:56:02 pm »
I think it's time for me to start working with a virtual assistant. Does anyone know of anyone looking to add on another author client? Or, where to find someone?

Writers' Cafe / Smashwords is 403 Forbidden
« on: May 20, 2020, 07:48:36 pm »
It's never a good sign when a book distributor is suddenly appearing as 403 Forbidden. I wonder what's going on at Smashwords.

Writers' Cafe / KDP now has a grammar checker (for German)
« on: May 18, 2020, 10:17:13 am »
KDP just added a very helpful feature. They just added a Grammarly-styled grammar checker where they will make suggestions on what they think you should have said. It's apparently a part of their quality control process.

They may have had this for a while in English, but I've never seen it. What I'm sure is new is that they now have it for German books. This is amazingly helpful if you do translations.

Writers' Cafe / Best Price for Books in India
« on: April 29, 2020, 11:29:41 am »
Have you been having success with a particular price point for you books in India?

Recently I learned that there are more ebook readers in India than the US. I also learned that Indian readers are the third largest consumer of my free ebooks on Google. That led me to wonder why I have only sold 2 books in India this year.

After doing some research I found an article that said that in 2017, the average cost of a 300 page fiction ebook in India was 120 Rupees. I had let everywhere auto-convert my prices based on my US prices. So, all of my Indian ebooks are at least double 120 rupees.

Before I change all of my prices, I wanted to know what others are pricing their books at.

Has anyone been having success in India? What genre are you writing and what price are you selling your books at?

Writers' Cafe / Nook Sales Reporting
« on: April 26, 2020, 10:49:05 am »
Have you been getting book sales on Nook since Friday? I released a new book and have been running 3 times as much advertising and I haven't gotten a single sale. I know that I have readers on my mailing list who always get my latest book for the Nook when I announce it. So, it's odd that I haven't gotten a single sale.

Is it just me?

Writers' Cafe / Audiobook Length Sweetspot
« on: April 07, 2020, 10:17:40 am »
I've been listening to podcasts with successful audiobook authors and a few of them have mentioned that length is very important for success on ACX. I have been very unhappy with the sales of my recent 4 audiobooks and now I'm starting to think it's because they're too short. They are romances that are between 3 and 7 hours long. I'm now considering combining them to make them a better deal.

Could you please share the length and genres of your audiobooks and what length you have seen the most success at? It might be helpful to everyone to get a sense of what works.

Last month:
- my bestselling romance purchased with Audible credit was 6 hr and sold 12 units (9 with credits).
- my bestselling romance purchased by non members was 3 hr and sold 14 units (5 were ALC).

Writers' Cafe / Facebook acct disabled multiple times
« on: March 31, 2020, 10:12:55 pm »
I keep trying to run facebook ads and my acct keeps getting disabled for it. 4 times it has been disabled for the same book and each time, I request a review, and humans re-enable it and apologize for the inconvenience. But now on the 5th time, it's not gotten to the point where as soon as I create an ad and hit publish, my account is disabled.

Has this happened to anyone else? Does Facebook not like shorteners or something? I keep replying to the email they send me requesting help with this continuous problem or at least advice, but no one is replying.

Writers' Cafe / Did Amazon Remove 'Also Boughts' Section?
« on: January 18, 2020, 09:48:04 am »
I've been running ads internationally recently and today I noticed something. I checked about 10 books on and none of them had an 'Also Bought' section. There were only sponsored books. still has the section.

Has anyone else noticed this? Is this new? Do you think that this is a sign of what might happen in other markets? Because I'm pretty sure that Germany is Amazon's 2nd largest market.

From a business perspective, this would make sense. Why give away advertisement space when authors are willing to pay for it? The relevant titles will still win out so the customer won't be affected. Yet Amazon takes in a ton more money because on top of the revenue from the sale, they have ad revenue.


Writers' Cafe / Apple Audiobook Promos - Findaway Voices
« on: January 15, 2020, 10:40:48 pm »
Does anyone have an info on the Apple Book Promos on Findaway Voices? I think I understand how the Chirp Promo works. I think it's a Boobbub Feature Deal for audiobooks. But how does anyone know what happens when you do a similar promo with Apple Books? Does Apple promote it somewhere? Do they send out a newsletter or something?

Writers' Cafe / Audiobook Release Timing
« on: January 09, 2020, 01:30:32 am »
Does anyone have experience releasing their audiobooks timed with their ebooks, and releasing audiobooks six months or a year after the release of their ebook? I'm trying to determine how much of a sales bump audiobooks get when they are released at the same time as the e-books to determine whether I should make a strong effort to align them.

Thanks for your help.

Writers' Cafe / Amazon Associates for Audiobooks
« on: December 13, 2019, 02:37:33 pm »
I have sold a healthy amount of audiobooks over the past two years and I have an amazon associates link on my website and other places. ACX says that the majority of my purchases came from people who aren't Audible members. Yet, Amazon Associates indicates that I've only gotten 3 audiobook sales using my links over the past 2 years.

Can anyone confirm that Amazon Associates is properly credit us with the sales of audiobooks? We get a flat $0.50 per audiobook purchase through Amazon Associates.

Writers' Cafe / Amazon Not Paying Certain Territories
« on: August 22, 2019, 06:29:17 pm »
For the last few months, I've been having an issue where Amazon isn't sending payment for certain territories, .com, .ca, and .br.

They said that they attempted to send the payment to my bank and those territories failed. While .fr, .de, .it, and .uk all went through. Has anyone else experienced this? I've checked with my bank and they said that Amazon never made the attempt. This is the 2nd month in a row that this is occurring.

Writers' Cafe / Dating Question
« on: August 19, 2019, 01:33:03 pm »
As a romance author, I have a question.

If you date men, how would you feel if, before your first date, the guy asked you if you were were a "Safeword girl" or a "Consent Girl"? Asking for a protagonist.  :D

Writers' Cafe / 3 Emails Will Get Your KDP Acct Closed
« on: June 10, 2019, 11:46:18 am »
I thought I would share this here because it is very important for authors to know. 8 months ago I got my KDP account closed. I genuinely couldn't understand why. And I was just talking to a KDP senior-senior support person, and they just confirmed the reason for me. Here is the short explanation of what happened.

I got an email from the content review team saying that there was bonus content in the book. I looked at the book and was sure that there wasn't because there definitely wasn't. I emailed the content review team asking if the email was sent to me by mistake. They sent back the exact email they sent me the first time.

I then called KDP support and asked them what was going on. They said they didn't know and told me to email the content review team again about it. I did and, of course, the content review team sent me back the exact email they had the first 2 times.

I then called KDP support and asked to speak to a manager. I said to the manager that I wanted the two of us to look at the book together, along with the email I was sent, so that we could figure out what was wrong with the book, so that I could apply it to my other 300 books which happened to stretch across 5 languages. But after she looked at the book, she decided that she didn't know what was wrong with the book either.

The manager then suggested that I email the content review team again. I told her I was hesitant to do it. She said that I should email them letting them know that she told me to email them. I did that, and I got an email back saying that my account was now permanently closed.

This morning I was talking to KDP senior-senior support because I need them to release my ISBNs. However, the only way they could do that is for me to turn off extended distribution on them... which I can't do because I can't access my account. And, during this conversation, I told her what happened to me to get me into that situation. And, she said, yeah, the content review team has a 3 email policy. If you email them three times about the same issue, they will close your account.

She added that the content review team is currently going through big changes, but that is the policy for now... no matter if it was author support who told you to email them or not.


Writers' Cafe / I wrote a webseries for Lifetime and it's featured on Cosmo
« on: February 11, 2016, 02:48:33 pm »
Last summer I mentioned that I was writing a web series for Lifetime networks. I thought that I would share that it just went live. It's being featured on Cosmo's homepage as an exclusive premiere. I'm very excited! Check it out!  ::)

Writers' Cafe / Let's talk about the Fifty Shades of Grey Movie!
« on: February 14, 2015, 11:18:40 am »
Has anyone seen the FSOG movie? Any thoughts? Being an erotica author and a guy who needs this to do well so that I can get financing to turn one of my books into a webseries, I saw it on Thursday, the day it came out.

I also reviewed it for this week's video if you want to know my thoughts. And just so you know, the Hulk's views on the movie are my own.  ;D

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Writers' Cafe / My Morning Routine on Writing Days (Video)
« on: January 25, 2015, 01:58:37 pm »
I thought that you all might be able to appreciate this. I have a YouTube channel about being an author and the video I posted today is on my morning routine on writing days. I'm hoping that someone here might be to relate. Considering my genre of choice, this might not be safe for every work environment. But someone, please tell me that you can relate.

hi, I've removed the embedded video, but the link should work if you go to YouTube --Betsy

Writers' Cafe / Using a YouTube Channel for promotion
« on: January 11, 2015, 06:13:38 pm »
I just launched a YouTube channel. And although I didn't launch it specifically to promote myself or my books, I realize that there will be some sort of effect on my sales. My concern is that it will have a negative effect because I write adult romance and the channel is having fun with the idea of romance instead of taking the topic seriously.

But I'm wondering what effect others have had with using YouTube for promotion. Or if anyone knows of anyone who vlogs on YouTube as promotion.

Here's mine. Clearly the videos will be related to my genre but I'm focused on broad appeal.

Writers' Cafe / Is this Author Website the Best in the World?
« on: August 25, 2014, 12:11:29 pm »
I know that everyone thinks that their baby is the cuties. But I'm going say that, although my website isn't the slickest or coolest, it really is the best author website in the world. And I'm going to back that up with facts.

Here it is:

I have literally been working on my website since mid December and I have spent thousands and thousands on it. And you may look at it and say "what could you have possibly spent that much money on?" Well, I'm glad you asked.

From a fan's perspective:
- This website breaks my books down into categories and genres making it easier to navigate. It always posts my most recent releases at the top of the page and each category and language has its own Latest Release list.
- Each book has vendor links to everywhere that book is sold
- You can preview each book with the preview button.
- You can sample every audiobook with the audio sample button.

And the result is that, so far, my new visitors spend an average of over 3 minutes on the site. That's double what they used to. And on top of that, my page per visit stat is up by over 50% and my bounce rate is down by 35%.

Those are all great numbers, but that doesn't even come close to explaining why I think my website is the best in the world. Here's comes the great stuff.

From an author's perspective:
My website is a Wordpress theme that works with the My Publishing Assistant plugin. My Publishing Assistant is a Wordpress plugin that I developed that formats books into epub, mobi, pdf, html & doc. Adding this website theme to My Publishing Assistant means that this website is updated every time I format a new book. Everything is done automatically, yet everything can be controlled.

- On the Wordpress dashboard I have access to the themes setup page where I can change any of the website's settings.

Here I can upload vendor button images that will only appear if I have actually entered each book's vendor link. And since I keep those up to date anyway for the back catalog section of my ebooks, my website links are always up to date. And if I ever wanted to put a book in Amazon Select for 3 months, I could use the interface below and uncheck everything except Amazon. And when my Select promotion is over, I check the other boxes and the links are back.

- I can also upload preview button images and choose how much of my books I will allow for preview.

- I can choose how many books I want to appear in my Latest Releases section.

- I can write separate Special Offers for each language and category.

- I can even add google analytics code to my theme.

- And when all of that is done, I can change the order in which the books appear on my website or even remove it from sight using check boxes.

- There was no detail that I didn't attend to with this theme. I even added an interface that allows you to add links to great reviews or articles that a blogger might have written about your book.

My goal with this theme was to reinvent the author website. And if this isn't the smartest, most intuitive, user-friendly author website in the world, then please show me what is. Because when added to My Publishing Assistant, there is no comparison to anything that currently exists.

And that is my case for why my author website is the best in the world.  :D

Writers' Cafe / Television Agents
« on: July 31, 2014, 10:17:12 am »
I know this is a long shot, but does anyone know of any TV agents who are open to authors?

Writers' Cafe / Suggestion on where to get a New Publishing Assistant
« on: July 17, 2014, 03:22:50 pm »
After a year and a half, my part time publishing assistant is accepting a full time job. Now I need to replace her and I'm wondering if any of you have suggestions. I know the obvious places, but I'm wondering if anyone has a suggestion as to where I can find a person who I can trust with access to my publishing accounts.

Last Wednesday I did a talk at Google in Venice, California, on how to become a successful digital author. I thought I'd post it in case anyone is still trying to figure stuff out. I hope you find it helpful.  :)

I just saw that both Scribd and Oyster has been updated on Smashwords. How many have you sold? I've sold 4 on each.

Writers' Cafe / Anyone use Google Plus?
« on: April 20, 2014, 03:26:37 pm »
I don't really use Google plus, but yesterday I visited my Google plus page. I discovered that I had 7 followers and 25,000 views. I still don't understand how I've gotten 25,000 views with only 6 posts and 7 followers. Someone else who barely uses G+ told me that they just discovered that had over a million views. It surprised them as well because they never use the thing.

Does anyone know how the viewership on Google Plus works? Has anyone tracked links they've posted on a Google Plus page?

Writers' Cafe / How to find translators
« on: April 04, 2014, 04:09:24 pm »
2 days ago I gave a talk at the Google Complex in Venice, California on the topic of Outsourcing . In it I talked about how I outsource my translators, where I find translators and what it's like working with them. I also talked about why I created my My Publishing Assistant book formatting software.

Here's a link to the video if you're interested:

Here's the video: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>

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