Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Topics - X. Aratare

Pages: [1]
Writers' Cafe / As if Amazon doesn't have anything better to do ...
« on: October 03, 2017, 08:36:17 pm »
Rant ...

Got a Content Validation Request from Createspace for the third book in a series I'm running. This is for the paperback. All other paperbacks are through Createspace on the series under the same publisher name, author name, etc.  But they thought there was something different about the publisher name (there isn't, I called Createspace and they checked and its the same as all the other books in the series) but they pulled from sale the paperback of Book 3 until they have a chance to review my single line response to them which is that I am the author, writing under the penname X. Aratare. 

After receiving this notice about ten minutes ago, I immediately responded to the email and called Createspace. Lovely woman there was like: yeah, this doesn't make sense after I explained to her the situation (I would be the dumbest criminal possible to steal a BOOK 3 PAPERBACK on a series) and after she looked at the submission. But, of course, the department that made this decision (although the email was just sent) isn't available until 9 am CST tomorrow.  So, ironically, the promo I have going regarding the PAPERBACK being available is screwed because they literally took the paperback down.  She, of course, can do nothing but send another email on my behalf explaining that she sees nothing suspicious.

So we have A Boy and his Donkey nonsense books climbing the charts for weeks, sucking out KU cash, cluttering up the bestseller lists botters, stuffers, mis-categorizers, but BOOK 3 PAPERBACKS are what they address!   

I just can't even ... *headdesk*

Writers' Cafe / Audio Out At Same Time As Ebook
« on: September 30, 2017, 02:06:52 pm »
Hope you guys can help me!

I am planning a five-book series for next year.  I already have a narrator lined up and want to get the ebooks and the audio books out at the same time. Now I've done audio, and I've always had to claim my ebook on Amazon then submit the files then ... wait.

Can you submit files on a pre-order so that the audio is reviewed early?

Can you submit files on simply a paperback so that the audio is reviewed early?

Basically, I want to have the ebook and audio out there at the same time.

Thanks so much for the help!

Writers' Cafe / Preorders - Where Can You Have Them?
« on: May 16, 2016, 05:38:58 pm »
So I'm (relatively) knowledgeable about Amazon preorders and have set one up for my book Cursed.  While trying to get people excited about it on FB, a reader was like: why isn't it on Barnes & Noble?  I thought that there is no way to set up a preorder on Nook Press.  Am I wrong about this? 

Also, I don't see a way through D2D to set up a preorder on Apple either.  Am I right or wrong here?

Eventually, the book will be wide.

The title sort of says it all!  I am looking for 2 to 3 covers that would go in a series for a m/m modern re-telling of Beauty & the Beast with the beast being a Siberian tiger shifter!  ARTISTS ARE WELCOME TO SHILL THEIR WORK. Seriously, if you have either premades or custom cover ideas for this series I want you to proudly scream it to the sky (and to me here).  I'm not looking for cheap. I'm looking for a designer who KNOWS what sells in the m/m shifter area.  The only thing I would ask is that you don't just link to your portfolio, but say instead: look at X and if you want to post it in this thread all the better!

Here's the terrible blurb for it so far:

A m/m modern re-telling of Beauty & the Beast ...

Nick Fairfax is the youngest son of a wealthy family, but he has never shared his father and older brothersí love of money.  While his two brothers are eager to join their father in the family business of brutal corporate raiding, Nickís heart pulls him in a different direction.

His passion for nature and ruin photography and ruins has long been a source of tension with his father.  Now that his junior year of college has just ended, Nick expects his father to demand that he abandon his art major and go into the family business of corporate raiding.

But all is not as he expected.  He enters his fatherís upscale city office to find his fatherÖ and a strange hooded man with an unsettling aura of power.  Nick is drawn to the man at first, until he discovers that this shadowy figure has just ruined the family business.  The money, his fatherís precious life blood, has run dry, and the family is left impoverished.

But there is one chance to save his father and brothersÖ if he agrees to become the hooded manís personal assistant.  Nick holds no illusions about the demeaning and tedious work in store for him.  Will his desire to save his family be enough to sustain him through this nightmare?  And why does his mysterious boss never show his face?

So there it is!  If you have an artist you think would be perfect or, again, you are an artist who would be perfect, please let me know! Don't be shy!  Thanks!

Writers' Cafe / KENCP - Amazon's Latest Response
« on: August 20, 2015, 02:13:39 pm »
As some of you know, like many others I've been contacting Amazon regarding the changing KENCP of my book.  Just to give you an idea, my book is approximately 48k words. When I first put it in KU, I only got a KENCP of 170 pages.  Taking some of the formatting advice here, my formatter got it up to 205 pages then taking some more advice we got it to 263 KENCP. I want to stress that I did NOT add any words or pictures or change ANYTHING but the formatting.  So nearly a change of 100 KENCP merely for new formatting and I still think this KENCP is low.  So I addressed this with Amazon approximately 4 times. I finally got the following:

My name is Mark V. I'm a Customer Service Supervisor with Kindle Direct Publishing. I hope this email finds you well.

When checking on recent feedback comments, I've found your about the way in which the KENPC is calculated and the differences on the KENPC between different books with similar word count. I wanted to take the time to email you about this topic.

We count all pages read by individual Kindle Unlimited (KU) and Kindle Ownersí Lending Library (KOLL) customers from the Start Reading Location (SRL) to the end of your book, including images, tables, appendices and other end matter. This means that not only word count will be taken into account to calculate the KENPC for each book and may cause variations from title to title. All those settings will definitely make some difference on the size calculation.

SRL is the page Kindle devices go to when readers open your book for the first time. Amazon typically sets SRL at chapter 1 so readers can start reading the core content of your book as soon as they open it. While we canít share the specific Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count (KENPC) settings, we calculate KENPC based on standard settings (such as also font, font size, margins, and line spacing) to identify your book's page count in a way that works across genres and devices.

I hope this helps clarify the situation. Thanks for your time!

Now this is the CLOSEST to a real response I've seen on this issue, though its still a NON-RESPONSE.  What I am hoping people will get out of this post is that:

(1) We should compare KENCP and word count so we know what the POTENTIAL KENCP range is and if our books fall within it;

(2) Advocate that since Amazon is ridiculous in its determination not to simply use WORD COUNT for fiction work (not manga or any other picture books, etc.) to encourage people to make sure that they are maximizing their KENCP with property formatting. Quite frankly, no one should be paid less for the same amount of words when KU is based upon page count to pay people.


(3) Hoping that Amazon, who seems to read threads here, recognizes how bogus KENCP is and refines it by WORD COUNT for fiction and finds FAIR and appropriate ways to compensate non-fiction and illustrated works.

I'm not a formatter so I can't tell you exactly how my formatter upped the page count, but he can post here if he wants!  Please let other people who experimented with this post, too. 

Anyways, that's my piece.  Hope this helps.

Another KU2 question ...

Based on the KENCP that I saw in earlier threads for books similar to my size bringing in about 600 pages, what do I do when mine is only showing 171?  I mean the page count even on the product page is more than that ...

I've sent an email to KDP, saying, Hey!  This is way low!  Is there anything else to do?

Writers' Cafe / KU2 Question - 500 Pages Read At A Time Issue
« on: August 03, 2015, 03:13:09 pm »

Sorry, I know that this was addressed SOMEWHERE in the KU2 megathreads, but I cannot find it. I put two books into KU and I'm getting that handy 500 pages at a time read thing. 

Will Amazon adjust that to "real" pages at some point?

Should I be worried or just go with it?

Thanks for answering what's probably been asked like a billion times ...

Writers' Cafe / Any Way To Track A Book's Previous Rank on Amazon?
« on: June 16, 2015, 10:37:06 am »
I'm trying to determine the rank of a book that is no longer published on Amazon. Is that possible? Do you know of a way to do it?

Writers' Cafe / Amazon Bundling Series and Discounting it!
« on: June 04, 2015, 12:37:56 pm »
I just saw when I searched for my name Aratare (as I do on Amazon to check everything's there, any new reviews, etc.) that now 4 of the Merman books in my 5-book Merman series are shown as bundled together for a lower price basically, if you want all 4 books you pay X.  This isn't a scam artist. I appears Amazon is doing this itself. However, the link's not working.  So it appears this might be something Amazon is beta testing.  I'd like them to put all 5 books into the bundle ...

I'm sure under the TOS it allows them to do this. I'm curious if they'll pay me 70% of the discounted price or 70% of what the actual prices are.

Anyone else seeing this?

Writers' Cafe / Seeking a Formatter for Ebook and Print
« on: May 05, 2015, 07:35:03 am »
As the title suggests, I'm seeking an ebook formatter!  So if you are one, please flog your wares or PM me if you're shy or if you've used one you love also please list them.  I'm not looking for the cheapest, but am happy to pay for good, detailed work.

I need someone very skilled who can do pretty interior work in epub, mobi, PDF and formatting for createspace.  See here for an example of what I've had done and would like similar work to:

I also need someone who is able to do this for manga, who is familiar with the size requirements for all retailers, etc. but who can still create great looking ebooks. See the manga in my signature.

This would obviously not be a one off gig. I want to hire someone I can always turn to.  I want someone who when I need to update backmatter will do this (I would pay extra).

So I am hopeful that Kboards will be able to help me find this person.  Thanks in advance!

Writers' Cafe / Potential TV/Movie Option - Do I need a film agent?
« on: June 15, 2014, 11:36:39 am »
Been approached by a legit tv/movie producer who looks to be interested in an option on one of my books.  But for those of you who are familiar with this process, do I need to get an agent (I don't need the work shopped around as they have called me)?  Can I just stick with an entertainment attorney?  Any advice would be welcomed.

I uploaded a new file on Amazon for one of the newest books due to what looks like an error some people are getting when downloading it. Got the Amazon email that it was live on the site with the changes, checked the look inside: nope, old book, downloaded it: nope, old book.  I emailed KDP about it, but I know this issue has come up with other people. Is it just a question of it taking longer to update across Amazon?  Or is this an issue I will have to hammer through with Support (and have their useless form emails for the first couple of exchanges)?


I'm livid right now so please bear with me as I try to be concise and helpful and not scream until I'm red in the face.

As you all might remember, one of my comic books was tossed into the adult dungeon (its the one with the young man in brown in my signature line - The Dark Earth: Dark Prince Vol. 2).  Now mind you that the book has probably 100 pages of manga (comics) and then a short story.  Neither the story nor the comic images contain any adult content.  NONE.  I need to stress that over and over again, because it isn't a case where its erotica and I'm trying to make it follow Amazon's vague (and ridiculous) TOS.  There are NO ADULT IMAGES, NO KISSING, NO SEX, NO NUDITY EVEN.  The ONLY thing that it is GAY. That's right. It rears its ugly head again.  (BTW - it is listed on erotica best sellers b/c yaoi is always thought to contain sex, but I didn't classify it under that and regardless, it doesn't contain that content)

So I got it out of the adult dungeon before because as I pointed out to the reviewers: there is no adult content in the book, at all.  Now it was adult dungeoned again and here was the first response:


Thank you for your recent email regarding the following book:

Hidden Past Vol. 2 (Yaoi Manga) (ASIN: B00AGLOFJU)

During our review, we found that the interior images of your book contain mature content, and it therefore wonít surface in our general product search.

You can modify your book to remove the mature content and resubmit it for publication. If you choose to remove the mature content, please reply back to this email once you have submitted your book and we will review your new submission.

We appreciate your understanding.

Best Regards,

Anna K.

Now first they are looking at interior images, not cover, not blurb, etc.  INTERIOR IMAGES.  Of the over 100 interior images, they won't tell me which one or ones supposedly violate the TOS. Take a peek at the Look Inside, do you see any adult images?  That's pretty much how the whole volume goes ...

So they would have me figure out what FULLY CLOTHED AND TOTALLY NON-SEXUAL IMAGES are offending someone in their reviewing department out of the 100 pages, which is an IMPOSSIBLE and ridiculous task.

Now Amazon has always been stricter with images rather than text, but this is a warning for everyone that they could now claim that SOMETHING inside your book is objectionable, not the cover, not the blurb, not anything like that, but the interior. 

I have responded, asking to escalate to the supervisor and I really will go to the Jeff Bezos email as I believe this is absurd.  We keep our explicit books OFF Amazon so we don't run afoul of their TOS, but evidently it doesn't matter to some of the reviewers as if its GAY THEN ITS PORN and it should be in the adult dungeon.

As you know, I run a website where we run into this prejudice from advertising on down. Its the steady drip, drip, drip, drip every day in and out of prejudice that eats away at me.  It's exhausting and disheartening.  Having to do this dance with Amazon once more is like a cherry on top of a crap sundae today.

Headdesk and goes to get a drink.

Writers' Cafe / How Often Does ACX Update Sales?
« on: November 22, 2013, 12:45:08 pm »
For those of you wonderful people who also sell audiobooks, how often does ACX refresh its sales data (can you tell I'm constantly checking)?  It says that I have X sales as of 11/19/13 and (because I'm a sales junkie) I want to know when I should actually check (rather than refreshing every five seconds like a fool expecting a treat).

Thank you!

From the article:

Amazon sent out an unusual press release this morning. "Independent Bookstores Can Now Sell Kindles and Earn 10% From Future Kindle Books Sold," says the release. The headline pretty much tells the story. Amazon is telling bookstores that they can now sell the Kindle in their stores. When a customer who buys the Kindle in the store buys a book on the Kindle, the store gets 10 percent of the sale for two years after the Kindle is sold. Since the average Kindle book is $12-$15, the bookstore will get a little over $1 per book sold on the Kindle.

What I found amusing comes later in the article was the idea that somehow people would have NO IDEA ABOUT KINDLES unless and until Independent bookstores started selling them, because, you know, the way to hold back this Amazon assault is for bookstores to pretend the internet does not exist ...

To me this deal sounds like  a way for indie bookstores to acknowledge reality (people like and are buying ebooks) while making money on that trend and to serve their customers better by offering what they want. 

Writers' Cafe / Another Plagarized Book?
« on: September 24, 2013, 09:26:00 pm »
Another book that is allegedly plagarized a Twilight Fanfiction.  For the Summer by Shey Stahl is supposedly a rip off of the Twilight fanfiction called Dusty. 

H/T Passive Guy:


There's some discussion about a Turnitin feature on Amazon again.  I don't know if that would help this.  What do you guys think?

Writers' Cafe / The Danger of the Word "Gay"
« on: September 20, 2013, 03:01:53 pm »
To all those who write m/m (yaoi) fiction or those who support it, my publishing company had a bit of an eyeopener recently.  We decided to gauge some interest for my latest gay supernatural detective story by taking out a few ads on Google's adwords.  The first ad described it as a gay supernatural detective story.  It was denied, because it was not family friendly.  The second ad, the ONLY difference, was that we took out the word "gay".  NOTHING ELSE CHANGED.  Google approved that ad.   

We wrote a long blogpost about it, laying out all the evidence, and our feelings on it.  If you'd like to check it out, it's here:

If you'd like to comment/share/etc. that would be awesome.  This kind of behavior by the largest search engine company is not okay.  It's not even potentially okay.

Writers' Cafe / Matchbook - Not Started Yet
« on: September 10, 2013, 11:06:39 am »
I signed up one of my books for Kindlematch Matchbook, but when I look at the product page there's nothing to indicate that this is an option for purchasers.  Do they only get the notice they can (in my case) get the e-version for free if they buy the print?  Or has Kindlematch Matchbook not yet been rolled out on the site?

Probably being blind here, but I really can't figure this out.

Writers' Cafe / Kobo - Books Not Showing Up? Re-Upload Content
« on: September 03, 2013, 10:19:22 am »
I noticed that mid-way through the month of August, my sales STOPPED on Kobo.  But we all know this can happen without there being anything wrong.  But then I decided to do a search for my books on Kobo after reading other people having issues.  Well, even though I put in the EXACT title of my books, they weren't showing up.  The "Sorry, this content cannot be found" error message came up.  I sent off an inquiry to Kobo:

To Whom It May Concern,
When I put in the exact title of my books, they pop up in the search bar, but when they direct you to the page, it says:  Sorry! Your search for ""the dark earth: dream (extra volume)"" did not return any results.
This happens for all these books: The Dark Earth Ė Dream, Devil's Ridge Vol. 1 Part 1, Devil's Ridge Vol. 1 Part 2, Dark Prince Vol. 3,  Hidden Past Vol. 2
Author: X. Aratare
All for The Dark Earth manga series.  Please advise why the exact titles are not bringing up my books and worse why they are saying the books aren't on the store.  Iíve been selling consistently, but in the last few weeks have suddenly seen no sales and am thinking this might be the reason.  Thanks

Kobo's response after four days:

Thanks for getting in contact with us.
We are very sorry to hear that your books can't be found in our site.

Would you be able to re-upload the content files?
Please let us know once you have it done.

We will do further investigation from there.

The Kobo Team

Rant on: These books have been on Kobo for months.  Iíve sold hundreds of them.  I havenít TOUCHED them since I put them up, BUT SUDDENLY I have to re-upload them on the off chance that this is why they arenít showing up on the store?  They wonít even investigate this until I do this?  Uhm WHAT?

Basically, what they are telling me (if this isnít a ďmake sure your computer is plugged inĒ canned response) is that the reason my books cannot be found is that Kobo did something weeks ago that deleted them off the site since I have not touched them. 

Hereís one of the largest problems with actually following their advice: just uploaded a book on Friday and it is still NOT on the site. Itís still publishing.  I was just about to put a ticket in about THAT. 

Iím going to respond to this ticket and tell them Iím not uploading my books again, tell them that the current book hasnít uploaded anyways, and that they need to investigate NOW as I highly doubt Iím the only one and that if this is a site-wide problem it has to be addressed or, at least, an email sent out telling people to re-upload their books. 

So if you are having the same issues, you might want to contact Kobo, too.  Iíll update this when I get a response.

I need some help choosing categories for my new M/M (Gay) Supernatural/Paranormal Mystery Series called The Artifact - The Bodyguard (Book 1).  Here is the blurb:

Dane Gareis is a wealthy, reclusive young man with a traumatic past, but a spine of steel.  When his father, Julius Gareis, is killed in a mysterious plane crash, Dane carries on the family business and continues his  passion for the very antiquity that got his father murdered ó a golden sarcophagus belonging to an ancient cult known as the Ydrath.

Soon, the Ydrath threaten him as well, and Dane seeks to hire a bodyguard he can trust.  Someone who can protect him, and someone who will respect his boundaries.  While he gets the first two, the third requirement falls apart when he hires Sean Harding.

Sean Harding is an ex-detective with a sixth sense for danger. After his entire unit was murdered in a drug bust gone very wrong, he is a broken man who thinks only of revenge until he takes the job protecting the Gareis CEO.

Seanís attraction to the vulnerable Dane gives him new purpose, but his past is not escaped so easily, and his sixth sense tells him that there is more to the Ydrath than even Dane knows.

This is the first book in a supernatural/paranormal mysteries series.  A lot more to come!

Right now I've chosen Gay (there are no actual subsections here) and Paranormal Romance, but I'm not sure if those are the best (gay likely is so people know off the bat ...).  Also, what keywords do you think would be a good fit?  The book won't come out until July as it is in final edits now. 

Thanks a bunch!

Writers' Cafe / Question About Foreign Publishers & A Bit of a Rant
« on: April 12, 2013, 05:17:52 pm »
As a bit of background, I write books and also commission manga/graphic novels for some of them.  I pay the artists both by the page and then I split the royalties 50/50 after we pay our costs when we sell them individually.  I've had various publishers from Europe contact me to translate the manga and sell it in their countries.  Now what are they offering?  Well, most of them simply the cost of translation and then a "generous" royalty of something like 10% or somewhere around there.  Oh, and here's the "best" parts, there's no advance and some of them want to just offer e-versions. Put the manga up on their websites and sell it ...


So I've paid considerable amount to create the art, not to mention the branding and following, and they want to take 90% of the royalties for translating what probably would amount to 10 pages of text, if that.  I find this incredibly insulting, because obviously I KNOW what it costs to create quality work, I pay my artists as close to a living wage as I can, and we share royalties and the cost of translation of a manga is negligible in comparison yet they think that somehow I should be "honored" that they would approach me in this way?

Now fair enough, I haven't yet translated anything into another language and I have enough on my plate without doing that.  But I feel these offers are just so insulting.  But I don't have experience in this arena and maybe my feeling of affront is unjustified.

Those of you who have had foreign rights bought (or anyone who has an opinion) what do you think of this?  And what do you think is a "fair" offer?

Writers' Cafe / Kobo Writing Life - Price Glitch
« on: February 09, 2013, 02:05:52 pm »
I am trying to set up my ebook for publication on Kobo Writing Live and I am on the pricing page.  I try pricing my book at $5.95 USD, but the system keeps giving me the following nonsensical error:

Your eBook can be free, or priced between $0.99 and $100,000.

Since it IS priced between .99 and 100k, I am at a loss. This did not happen with the other books.  Has anyone else had this happen to them?  Any ideas?  I emailed Kobo, but I have no idea how long it will take them to respond.


Pages: [1]