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Messages - thevoiceofone

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Writers' Cafe / Amazon Keyword Search Numbers?
« on: March 22, 2018, 09:59:16 AM »
Curious to know if a tool exists that lets me find out how many people in a given month have searched on a keyword term?

I know you can do this with Google but Amazon is a different beast. I can't imagine Amazon would give up those figures to a 3rd party service or piece of software.

Let me know, if you know.


Writers' Cafe / Re: My experience with KDP paperback publishing
« on: March 19, 2018, 07:04:26 AM »
I asked Amazon recently and they said they're looking into adding Canada. The more they hear from people, the faster that will happen, I suspect. Email and tell them you want your books available on the .ca and .au sites.

Seems odd that Createspace ( who is a parent of Amazon) can handle Canada and Australia but KDP who is Amazon can't?

That right there is the reason i don't publish paperbacks through KDP. I want to have my paperbacks in Canada and Australia.

So odd they wouldn't have this in place when trying to get authors to use them.

Writers' Cafe / ARC review question (Paperback or kindle)?
« on: March 18, 2018, 12:50:39 PM »
If your ARC team got your book from you for free.

1. Do you think it's best to have them leave a review under the paperback version or the kindle version on Amazon?

2. And if they leave it under the paperback does the review synch up immediately and show in the kindle area as well?


Writers' Cafe / Re: Do Shorter Audio Books Sell?
« on: March 13, 2018, 06:03:38 AM »
Been flirting with the idea of going Audible for a while. In my case I'd be narrating myself, since I've been told I'm good at it. So no profit sharing, except with Amazon.

But I wonder if shorter books get ignored by potential readers. Audio versions are obviously more expensive than their eBook counterparts. My first Big John Irons book is only 40,000 words. The second one is shaping up to be longer, but still, are people more likely to go for the one and two hundred thousand word books to get their money's worth? Interested in opinions.

Yes they do sell. Don't listen to the naysayers.

Writers' Cafe / Re: A Createspace question
« on: March 13, 2018, 06:00:52 AM »
I've not had this happen but yeah some folks have. You just reply saying "hey idiots, it's mine." and that seems to suffice.

Writers' Cafe / Re: My experience with KDP paperback publishing
« on: March 13, 2018, 05:59:36 AM »
Does anyone know if paperbacks through KDP still aren't available in Canada or Australia?

I don't use it. I use createspace but a friend of mine recently used kdp paperback and said that the book didn't show up in Canada.

Would be interested to know what the latest is on this

Hey e'rebody,

I'm really psyched about my new cover for Book 3 of my series.. I just wanted to share it here.

I'm almost done with the draft, then I have to go to down editing and have my peeps check it out... God I just want to get it out there already I'm so damn excited about it.

It was done by Jeff Brown, for those who are curious.
Let me know what you think!


Oooh that is nice Evan. Great job.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Bookbub free vs. 0.99
« on: March 08, 2018, 05:34:02 PM »
I see that some authors run free promos through bookbub and some run their books for 0.99.

For those of you who have done so what do you consider the main advantages to either strategy?

Does a big free run on a book that is regular 2.99 or 3.99 provide a lot of benefits with the tail? Any personal stories of how it's helped are encouraged!

For those of you who have had success (of failure) at 0.99 what do you attribute it to?

And does bookbub accept you more often for free over 0.99?

I've only ever landed a book FREE deal twice.

It's always been good and worth it. But you must have books on your backend to make it worth while. Ideally you want the first FREE, then have about 5 or more books for people to buy after that.

Yeah it's dead but my bank account isn't ROFL

Next topic.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Stephen King's "On Writing"
« on: March 05, 2018, 12:04:47 PM »

I'm not sure some people here quite grasp the idea of letting a manuscript rest - it's not supposed to help you catch typos or missing words or excess adverbs at all. As King states in the same book, you're expected to write your first draft with closed doors, then any further ones with open doors.

The idea here is allowing you to see the other, much more damaging flaws in your writing - ie, a saggy middle or a mary-sue of a protagonist or a horribly offensive scene you somehow thought was really funny when you first wrote it or perhaps a really unfulfilling ending. It's about noticing bigger issues, not about distance somehow making you better at spotting missing verbs in a sentence. And when you walk away from your work for a month or two or three, trust me, when you come back to read it you'll have quite an opinion on it. I've done it with both my novels, and in both cases I've ended up fully rewriting because after a while issues with the story become much more obvious. Now, I'm a bit of a beginner and I expect the whole "full rewrite" thing will happen less and less as I advance, exchanged for minor rewrites instead, but in my experience (and that of my editor,) letting a manuscript rest does wonders not so much for the writing itself, but for the quality of what's being written.

So I stand by King's advice on that: Let it rest. In fact, a red flag for me is knowing a book went basically straight from first draft to publication - it's the kind of thing that can make me decide not to buy something because it makes me seriously doubt the quality of what's being offered. Makes me think it's a churned-out book.

Just because Stephen King said it, it doesn't mean it's written in stone.

For some they finish it, then the next day they read it, then send to editor.

How long you let it rest has NOTHING to do with quality.

Quality is in the eye of the beholder.

Ive read books that have sat for a year that were utter horse manure.

I've read books that sat for a day and are amazing.

It's not how long it sat there, it's whether or not the story was good and they had good editors and proof readers.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Stephen King's "On Writing"
« on: March 05, 2018, 09:05:56 AM »
A lot of writers know about the "King's" advice to let a first draft rest for a minimum of 6 weeks.

How long do you guys usually let a first draft rest? I know it shouldn't be a hard and fast rule and that everyone's different, but on average, I mean.

Reason I ask is 'cause I just did a first draft on a prequel novella, which, being shorter than a full length, may need a shorter rest. I will play it by ear, obviously. I think most of us intuitively "know" when to start on draft No. 2, but still, I'm curious to see the consensus on this.


I don't. There's no time for that crap. I have bills to pay. He could let it sit as he only needed to put out 1 book a year. Let's put this in perspective here.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Does Anyone Else Commission Covers First?
« on: March 05, 2018, 09:04:58 AM »
On Friday, I commissioned the cover for book 6 in my pulp adventure series. Saturday night I finished book 5, and today I started writing book 6. I've done some notes and ideas, but no actual text before today.

Does anyone else do things this way or am I backwards?

I always do it this way. I get the cover LONG before the book is completed. It gives me motivation to finish it.


I've read people complaining about KU as it's not that effective as it used to be, but I haven't personally looked into it.

Depends if they are writing books people want.

Whether you go wide or stay in KU, if you're books, covers or blurbs suck, it won't matter.

KU has treated me very well for many years. KU makes up at least 50% of income.

Hello everyone,

I'm new to the world of self-publishing and in need of your advice, the more established and experienced fellow authors. My question is the following: What is the best way to market the first book in my first ever series, provided I've already completed all of the three novels in the series? I guess my focus should be on discoverability, first of all. And, in this regard, I thought of:

A. putting all of my three books, one by one, into KDP Select every 30 days, thus getting them exposed for 90 days in total.
B. marketing the 1st novel in the series through the usual channels (a couple dozen outlets for indie authors, e.g., ENT, BookSends, BargainBooks, Booksy, etc), plus Wattpad and Tumbler, and then putting them into KDP Select a month later?

I'd really appreciate your feedback and other suggestions. Many thanks in advance.

Stick it in KU. Do not go wide. You will only be disappointed.

Release at 99 cents the first book. Did not release at $3.99 because you have not built an audience to warrant that.

You must gain trust even if you take a loss initially.

Write book 2 and 3 within 30 days of each other. Write in a series.

Do not go wide.

Remain in KU as that's where the money is my friend until you have made a name for yourself then if you want to test wide, sure but even top names in this industry have gone back in to KU because wide sucked.

So why did go with Podium for so long?

7 years is the standard contract.

Makes me laugh how people make out working with ACX to be hard.

its fast, simple and you can find lots of decent narrators even on royalty splits.

Companies like podium and tantor will tell you that its hard and that they can do a better job at marketing but that is just hot air.

As soon as my 7 years are up with Podium, I'm pulling my book out and having it redone through ACX.

In a matter of two months i have seen tremendous sales through ACX.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Thousand Words a Day Club 2018
« on: March 02, 2018, 11:06:35 AM »
5000 today. Had to work on taxes so that takes up my morning. Urgh!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Advance Read ARC Reviews
« on: March 02, 2018, 09:42:09 AM »
If this is a new enterprise. I'll check back in six months to a year when i see how many people you have onboard and what kind of experience authors have had.

Writers' Cafe / Re: A theory for why the Zon is killing CreateSpace
« on: March 01, 2018, 03:17:22 PM »
No, CreateSpace is definitely going. Itís not a question of if but when. The reps even say so. I donít think a changeover will be that difficult at all. Most people will barely notice. As for why, itís simply a way to streamline their operations.

I guess the question is, how will we do it? Will it require us unpublishing all our createspace books and waiting until they disappear from amazon before we setup them up again in KDP?

I went back through my invoices for my ebook purchases for the past year. Some invoices have the GST and some don't. And I can't figure out what distinguishes them - what triggers the tax/notax.

Any book in kindle unlimited doesn't show up as having been charged  GST/HST. I'm guessing that's because they charge it at the membership level but the book above was an ebook not in kindle unlimited and that showed GST/HST.

Have you or anyone you know signed or considered an offer with Tantor Media? I've been offered a small, quite small, advance for exclusive audio rights for seven years and 10 to 20% of profits. Seven years seems like a long time and 10 to 20% kind of piddling. Do they promote authors well? I've researched the company but am confused about their markets. Any info greatly appreciated!

Just because they are the largest it doesn't mean they can work wonders.

I've heard some people have seen few sales with them through to folks who have done well with them.

If i was you i would go through ACX and just have a narrator do it if you don't have cash. At least that way you will end up with 20% instead of some smaller amount. And you can then track things better that way. They only report quartlery i believe.

I went with podium and it was a crap experience.

I've turned down tantor about 4 times. Didn't like their pitch.

But do what you think is best.

Writers' Cafe / Re: KDP author copies is now a thing.
« on: March 01, 2018, 12:57:32 PM »
Just saw something about this on facebook. You can now order author copies of your KDP print book. So they're starting to catch up a little to CS. Nice.

can you use a different shipping address to get it to your customer like you can in CS? And what's the price difference vs retail? I usually pay around $4 per paperback via createspace

A purchased ebook on ( it was not in kindle unlimited )

They charged GST/HST

Here's the screenshot

So that answers that.

I can also confirm from having looked at a paperback purchase around Christmas they charged tax on top. (It's seen after you pay which is what may lead people to believe they aren't collecting when they are).

I guess the only question is then why they don't show under marketplace (in KDP pricing) the second price with the words "Without GST" like they do with other countries?

Either way this proves they are charging GST/HST on digital ebooks. "Thanks to poster "Iamawriter" above for pointing that out. I don't know why we didn't think of doing that sooner."

There is a recurring dispute between Amazon and CRA as to whether they need to remit GST/PST/HST on ebooks. If you look at an e-book on .ca, for example, you will see that it does not have GST broken out as part of the price. Amazon is not currently collecting GST on kindle, even though it is contractually and legally their obligation.

Well according to Amazon support team they are collecting GST and remitting on digital books sold through or they are not educating their support team on what they are doing because the email that my author friend sent specifically referenced DIGITAL books ( not print ) and asked about GST. So yes, i agree it is contractually and legally their obligation.

An Amazon support rep replied to my friend to say they were collecting and then went on to give a detailed explanation as to why Amazon isn't showing the GST as they should. ( According to them they calculate it based on the suggested price you give them before calculating royalty).

The way Amazon really should be doing it is listing a book online at $2.99 and adding 5% on top and showing the customer that. (so the customer can see).

What is strange is that under PRICING in KDP, there is a section beside the price referred to as WITHOUT GST (click marketplace) to see all stores and examples. If you go look at this you will notice that every store is showing beside the price either the words WITHOUT VAT or WITHOUT GST (for australia and india) The only countries where pricing doesn't have WITHOUT VAT or GST beside it is, and

However based on my purchase of an eBook on they charged me tax on top of my price (it's seen after purchase not before), and the same applies for paperbacks.

I plan on having my author friend contact them again and find out why that is, and why their email says they are collecting when in KDP under "pricing" (marketplaces) it's not showing the price set as having been affected by any tax.

Still it has nothing to do with us as we are not the POS. Amazon is. And Amazin is not a payment processor like paypal. They are actually operating a business like iTunes and that's why they collect tax from customers. (We are not invoicing, they are not our customers, we are not selling to them directly, we have entered a license agreement with Amazon for them to distribute as and how they please. According to their terms of service we are making income from profit sharing (royalty) and ownership is on them to collect any tax and remit it.)

KDP TERMS AND SERVICES: 5.3.4 Customer Prices. To the extent not prohibited by applicable laws, we have sole and complete discretion to set the retail customer price at which your Digital Books are sold through the Program. We are solely responsible for processing payments, payment collection, requests for refunds and related customer service, and will have sole ownership and control of all data obtained from customers and prospective customers in connection with the Program.

5.4.1 Royalties. If you are not in breach of your obligations under this Agreement, for each Digital Book sold to a customer through the Program, the Amazon party that made the sale (or whose affiliate made the sale) will pay you the applicable Royalty set forth in the Pricing Page, net of refunds, bad debt, and any VAT, sales or other taxes charged to a customer or applied with respect to sales to a customer.

5.4.8 Taxes. The Amazon parties (or their affiliates) are responsible for collecting and remitting any and all taxes imposed on their respective sales of Digital Books to customers.

The question is why are they saying via email they are collecting GST on digital but then nothing under pricing in KDP is indicating that.

So having said that, I agree with Glynn on the one point that if the tax man comes after you for money unless you have deep pockets or a good lawyer you might find it easier to just pay them what they are asking.

I was discussing this with another Canadian author and they shot off an email to Amazon to ask them directly if they were collecting GST/PST on digital ebooks and how were they doing it.

That author shot me the email response from Amazon. I won't paste it here but I will paraphrase it.

They said yes they were responsible for collecting the GST/HST imposed on the sale of KDP books and submitting that to the Canada Revenue Agency on our behalf. They said that they don't deduct the GST from our royalties, they only collect it from the customer. The way it works according to them is that KDP calculates what the GST would be based on that list price and deducts the GST from the list price BEFORE they calculate royalties on the books sold to anyone in canada. They said that this was the same method they used to calculate royalties on all amazon sales where taxes like GST had to be collected from customers. They said that this collection of tax has no impact on the royalty we get from a book because they calculate our royalties based on the tax-exclusive price that is provided.

So essentially they are saying that if you type in $2.99 ( amazon figures out how much GST needs to be paid to the CRA, that gets removed from whatever they take for themselves and then they tell you what your royalty is ) So if our royalty is $2.04 on $2.99. That royalty amount is after they have taken their cut and the GST.

My author friend asked if they could provide their GST number. They basically said that because they are collecting the GST from the customers and submitting it to CRA on behalf of the authors they aren't able to provide the GST number.

I still think they should provide Canadian authors with some kind of PDF that details how much GST they paid the CRA ( Like iTUNES) as that way authors like Nancy who started this thread can provide that to the tax man if they get hassled. And it would clear it up.


1. You are not involved in the POS with any of Amazon customers.
2. Amazon customers are not yours.
3. You do not issue invoices because of point #1 and #2 ( Unless you are selling direct from your website, then you must charge accordingly ).
4. You are in an agreement that has given the rights and license to Amazon to distribute and do whatever they like with your books in return they pay a royalty IF they make a sale. Essentially you are not a bookseller, you are a content licenser who licenses content. You don' t have sales you have royalties from this agreement.
5. According to an Amazon rep, Amazon calculates GST on "Suggested" list prices, and this is done BEFORE they determine your royalty. They charge customers in canada the list price and in that price, collect the GST and remit it to the CRA on behalf of authors. ( They currently do not provide you with any form that shows how much they paid so there is no way of knowing if that's correct but that shouldn't be a concern because of point #1).
6. You pay income tax on those royalties.

Disclaimer: The entire thread should not be taken as serious advice, it is just what we have been able to determine from Amazon's website, CRA website and an exchange with Amazon support team. Be sure to consult with a CPA accountant and abide by all CRA rules.

Be prepared to pay the CRA whatever they ask if you can't back it up with paperwork, lawyers or a good accountant.

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