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Topics - CloudStrife

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Writers' Cafe / Best platforms to sell in India
« on: June 19, 2020, 08:17:50 pm »
What are the bestselling platforms to sell in India?

I'm not even talking foreign languages necessarily. Many Indians do read in English. Any opinions on what the most popular platforms are? Is number 1, or not really?

Writers' Cafe / How many reviews from one reviewer are safe?
« on: June 06, 2020, 03:10:28 pm »
I'm wondering how many reviews a reviewer can give for one author, before Amazon feels that this is not legitimate and removes it?

Have you noticed a certain point where Amazon will remove the reviews?

Writers' Cafe / Resending automated campaigns with the email list
« on: May 30, 2020, 04:12:35 am »
So, is it supposed to be easy to re-send automated campaigns with your email list?

I emailed Mailchimp and it seemed like a whole process to do.... I want something easy.

I like to resend normal campaigns, and that is just the click of a button. So I'm surprised there isn't just a click of a button solution for automated campaigns.

Is it just Mailchimp that makes this into a whole process, or do all newsletter services do it?

Writers' Cafe / AMS ads for some Spanish books
« on: May 29, 2020, 05:32:08 pm »
I just set up some AMS ads for my Spanish books, and the ads claim I'm selling well and making profit. I was glad to see it.

Then I went to my Amazon dashboard, and it doesn't look like these books are selling at all. I've heard of some discrepancies in sales, but what could explain this?

It is a pattern I have seen on several books, where the AMS Ad system says I made multiple sales, then I don't see anything demonstrating this on my KDP dashboard.

Since these are Spanish books, is it likely some of these sales are expanded distribution print sales, and therefore not registering yet? Is it possible that there is a delay and AMS is somehow faster than the KDP dashboard? Could the AMS reporting be completely wrong, and I'm actually just bleeding out money here for no reason?

Writers' Cafe / Taking advantage of a free book
« on: May 16, 2020, 09:37:50 am »
Any ideas on how to make better use of a free book?

I seem to have lucked into having a perma-free book that is ranking very well. The English version is ranking in the top 1,000 free books on The Portuguese version is in the top 40 books on I will publish the Spanish edition soon, but I have high hopes for it.

At the end of this free book, I highly recommend one of my other books that is on a related theme.

I am in the nonfiction / self-development area.

I'm just curious if anyone has further strategies to make better use of a free book. I feel that for the level of success my free book is having, I'm not gaining much from it. However, I publish WIDE and it's difficult to promote myself well, so I think the free book helps a bit to get my name out there.

In my position, what would you do to help sell more books, if anything? Would you consider making the free book PAID? The average review is 4.3 for this book, and it has over 100 reviews.

The main way this has paid off is that I do have a paperback edition of the book, which sells better than most of my other paperbacks. Although, this helps, the sales are  tiny compared to the free downloads.

I tend to take an abundance of caution when something is working well. So if a book is selling well I usually avoid updating / changing anything (other than maybe slight price adjustments, depending on the case).

Lately I've been experimenting with "optimizing" my keywords and description headings (not the full description, just the headings). I've chosen books that sell modestly, such as 1-2 copies a day. The experiment has been very short so far, but I haven't noticed any change in sales.

I'm considering trying this out on a book or books I have that are selling better (around 5 or more sales per day). I'm just curious if anyone has had a bad experience with changing meta-data, then changing it back later only to be unable to regain the same level of sales they originally had.

Writers' Cafe / The #1 Contributor to your sales is....
« on: May 13, 2020, 04:11:27 pm »
What is the top reason for the bulk of your sales? I'm hoping for something we can use to benefit our businesses, not just "Amazon algorithms," but feel free to answer however you wish.  Perhaps it's someone who keeps you motivated. Perhaps a once in a lifetime speaking gig you landed, or it could be that you pop out a book a month....

For me, as far as I can tell, and as much as I try to resist it, it seems to be Amazon ads. Rather than invest more time into Amazon ads, I continuously look for ways to spend as little time as possible on it, to try to drive sales from other outlets.

Writers' Cafe / How to start a blog?
« on: May 09, 2020, 06:25:30 pm »
I feel like it's time for me to start a blog....

Any tips on a good platform to use that would allow me to start for free, then to pay more if I wanted more advanced features later?

Or is it best to just pay up front to get something of good quality?

Also, I have a following in different languages. Anyone know if the site will have auto-translate features without me needing to do anything? Or is there something additional I could put in to make the auto-translation happen?

Writers' Cafe / What is selling better now?
« on: April 24, 2020, 07:33:38 am »
It would be interesting to see if some sales are going up, even if others may be going down, during these coronavirus times.

In terms of genres, what is doing better?

In terms of sales channels, what is doing better?

In terms of format (eBook / paper / audio), what is doing better?

Writers' Cafe / How to go Wide with Paperbacks?
« on: April 23, 2020, 06:14:12 pm »
I have been publishing my paperbacks just on Amazon for many years. I have one paperback book that sells especially well, and I'm wondering if it's worth it to publish it wider? But I've heard that I should have the same ISBN for the Amazon and Ingram books or it causes problems, and I never bought my own ISBN. One of my books ranks very well and has hundreds of reviews, and I don't want to cause any problems. Is there a safe way to go WIDE with this book? Is it not really worth it?

How has your experience been publishing on Ingram?

This particular book is in Spanish, in case it matters.

Writers' Cafe / Publishing direct to Apple easier now?
« on: October 22, 2019, 01:38:56 am »

The specific part of interest, if you don't want the full link:

Here's what you need
 For Pages on your Apple device, here’s what you need:

A Mac with macOS High Sierra and Pages 7.3 or later
An iPhone or iPad with iOS 11 or later, or an iPad with iPadOS and Pages 4.3 or later
An iTunes Connect account for Apple Books
For Pages online at, here's what you need:

Safari 9 or later, or Google Chrome 50 or later for your Mac
Internet Explorer 11 or later, or Google Chrome 50 or later for your Windows PC
An iTunes Connect account for Apple Books

Checking the site above, it seems like there are ways to publish to Apple without needing to have a mac?

Can anyone confirm if they have been publishing to Apple direct without a mac, and if this has been easy / smooth?

Writers' Cafe / For wide authors, second thinking aggregators?
« on: October 21, 2019, 06:45:07 am »
Anyone having second thoughts about having gone with aggregators?

I've received good service from all the ones I've used, so nothing against them personally.

But when you have a book that does really well, the aggregator will always take their cut.

In the beginning going with aggregators was an obvious choice to me, because I feared getting overwhelmed and I just wanted to jump in at the time, but now with the passage of time, I feel that for the biggest sites, it may have been worth going direct to increase my chances of selling. I'm not sure how much of an edge going direct gives, but I think we are in a business where any edge at all is probably worth pursuing.

When I think super long term - decades ahead, I plan to have some big hits, even if they are 10% or less of my publications, and I suspect I will regret having gone through an aggregator at that point (for those big sites).

For anyone who publishes weekly, monthly, or even every few months, or who needs to make frequent updates to their books, I suspect aggregators make a lot of sense  still, I just question it for myself.

Something simple I didn't even consider in the beginning is that if I ever want to promote my books, I am always promoting to make an aggregator money too, not just myself. Obviously this is the case with the major sites too (Amazon, Google Play, Kobo, etc.), but in the latter case, there is no escaping that reality.


Writers' Cafe / Hard cover edition?
« on: October 17, 2019, 08:15:17 am »
When, if ever, is it worth it to make a hard cover?

Also, is this the last thing to consider, after eBook / paperback / audiobook?

Writers' Cafe / How do you set audiobook prices?
« on: October 11, 2019, 12:10:47 am »
I notice most audiobooks are priced quite high. Does this work in the indie world, or is it much more accepted for an indie to charge very low to get noticed?

Writers' Cafe / Business cards
« on: September 25, 2019, 05:06:03 am »
I attended a random event for alumni from my university yesterday and a couple people handed out business cards. I think it was more just as a social gesture for me to remember their name and look them up on social media if I felt like it or possibly emailing them later to hang out. I am not a useful professional contact for them.

Anyway, it made me curious about revisiting the idea of having business cards just on the chance that on some random meeting, it would be easier just to give the card.

Is there much use in having a business card for a writer? I'm starting to think that this might be one of those weird things like old records that start to go out of style and almost go the way of the dinosaur, and  then start to make a big comeback as some of the younger kids will start to think it's cool to be trendy and different and have a business card. Of course, some of the old folks will still see the value for a while, perhaps.

I'm considering doing it as an experiment, whenever I get a bit of extra time to figure it out. I'm guessing in reality, I may hand out cards to just a few people per year - so it's not exactly something I'm basing my whole business strategy around.

Writers' Cafe / Amazon Royalty Estimator
« on: September 22, 2019, 01:57:11 pm »
How accurate is it? Do you pay attention to it?

Writers' Cafe / What do you do that no one else is doing?
« on: September 17, 2019, 01:11:57 am »
In your writing business, what do you do that no one else is doing, or if you prefer, what do you think that no one else is thinking. Please feel free to elaborate. I always like hearing about new or different approaches that are not common or well known.

Let's keep this broad - it could involve your writing process if you prefer, although I was thinking more about the business side.

It's all explained in the poll.

Writers' Cafe / Does Google discount UK prices?
« on: September 11, 2019, 04:44:25 am »
I think Amazon UK is discount price matching from somewhere, and I don't know from where, but I always suspect Google first.

I checked my Google price settings, and I have them set exactly to the prices I desire. The only thing I'm unsure of, is I noticed that I have "tax included" checked.

Can anyone advise on if the problem is likely to be the "tax included"? Or does Google regularly discount prices set for the UK?

Writers' Cafe / Expanded distribution sales
« on: September 09, 2019, 11:52:07 pm »
Sorry to bother for something that is probably obvious.

I don't know where to look, on Amazon, to see how many expanded distribution sales my book has, for each country. It would also help to learn the breakdown of profits for expanded sales versus normal sales.

Writers' Cafe / What is working for you on AMS ads these days?
« on: September 08, 2019, 09:15:27 am »
Any particular strategies that are paying off?

Writers' Cafe / What are some good ways to promote books WIDE?
« on: September 05, 2019, 12:29:43 am »
I am curious to check out Facebook ads, and I'm already aware of the power of Bookbub. Any other tips?

After being wide for a year and a half, my sales are pitiful (very, very few sales) in all venues except Google Play. On Google Play sales are small, but they seem to very gradually be building up.

I have about 36 books published - 12 originals in English, translated into Spanish and Portuguese, yet I'm still not gaining traction wide. The only promotion I've had is the occasional Bookbub, which just resulted in surges of sales and then gradually going back to almost zero.

Something else I am trying is putting one book perma-free - I've done this in English and the Spanish / Portuguese translations are still in process. I don't have my books in a specific series, although all my books are interrelated, and I highly recommend reading one book after finishing the free one. So far, I don't think the strategy is giving me any monetary gains in English, or perhaps very little. But I am curious to see if this has greater effects in Spanish / Portuguese. A big benefit is that this free book has had far more downloads than I would have expected, ranking extremely well. The down side is I'm not sure I'm actually seeing much benefit from that.

Luckily I earn enough from Amazon to sustain a living, but I think it's time that I get serious into having an actual strategy for wide....

Also, my genre is nonfiction, self-development for anyone who has input on that specifically.

Of course, if you earn more profits at a site than you do on Amazon, vote for that. In general I was just assuming most people made more profits on Amazon. I am purposely not including Amazon in this survey - as I am curious where people are selling more, not including Amazon.

If you don't have a clear winner, use this as a guideline: Go with whichever one has earned the most dollars in the past 365 days. If you aren't sure and don't want to examine all your sales charts, I'm okay with you taking a guess. I was assuming most people would have a fairly clear cut decision, but I can understand that this may not always be the case.

Writers' Cafe / Google Play pricing
« on: August 30, 2019, 08:08:00 am »
Does anyone know if Google Play increases prices for international currencies? The international currencies I'm interested in are: GBP, INR, MXN, EUR, BRL, CAD, AUD. These are of primary interest, but I'm also interested in other Latin American currencies too.

Please be aware that Google has made some recent changes - and I'm unsure if any of those changes apply to foreign currencies.

I'm unsure if I should be setting the exact prices I want Google to show customers for these currencies, or if I should be inflating them and expecting Google to discount my set prices.

Also, does anyone know what Amazon does if I make a mistake and some of these sites reduce the prices, then Amazon price matches to a lower price than I set on Amazon? Is this breaching the TOS gods or is it not such a big deal?

For me, I think the percent is unbelievably low - at 0.6% - and this is including multiple messages that I send to them about a new release.

If you are wondering, I make the assumption that all sales are coming from the mailing list, because I am not doing any other kind of promotion. And even if a couple extra sales are organic, I'm sure the burst of sales from the mailing list sales influenced those extra sales anyway.

Also, I have about 5,000 subscribers on the list I am discussing, so that works out to about 30 actual sales of a new release.

And as another note, I used to require people to subscribe to receive their free gift. For the past year or so I have allowed them to receive their free gift either way, and then they can subscribe if they would like. I get less subscribers but I feel that they should generally be higher quality subscribers.... in theory....

This also may be important - all my subscribers were organic signups - I did not give random free gifts or do newsletter swaps - the free gift I am discussing is just a PDF report that is directly related to my whole business and books.

Is this typical or are my results as bad as they seem?

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