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Messages - TheWriterFormerly

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1
Writers' Cafe / Re: Has any one noticed the terms of service for KB lately?
« on: September 19, 2018, 09:37:23 pm »
Based on this thread, it seems the fight is not going to end any time soon. My purge has begun in earnest and I reitterate my refusal to accept all claims foisted on users by this new TOS. See you all in the void.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Has any one noticed the terms of service for KB lately?
« on: September 16, 2018, 04:12:49 pm »
TBF I'll say that the ads for Ukrainian women bother me more than those TOS.

The thought that lurkers (and people doing Google searches)  can find my name in connection with this stuff doesn't please me. Of course, a solution is to change the username.
When I started out, my first baby author website was on a free russian host (if you referred one new site a month, all was peachy.) It was great. The server was never down, the website ran fast and all was grand in the ToS. The best hosting experience I have had, with one exception. After about eighteen months, they decided free wasn't going to cut it anymore, and plopped a massive 500 pixel high banner add under my web site header, featuring not just an add, but actual hard core pornography GIF of some poor woman being rather violently defiled in a way that does not produce babies. Fortunately I had a small family forum attached which I kept open on my PC, and saw it pretty quick (well, to be honest, my sister saw it first.) An hour later, I had deleted my website entirely and opened a new paid account with a US based host, my domain redirected...

My point is, until you are paying for a service, as soon as advertising enters into things this reputation smasher is a risk. When attached to your actual author name, advertising must be avoided, so we have to pay for our hosting and related services as well as take care where else we put our names. Even if you write erotica, there are things out there you don't want to be attached to.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Has any one noticed the terms of service for KB lately?
« on: September 14, 2018, 08:33:09 pm »
I often come to the boards to brainstorm blurbs, elevator pitches, and even difficult story text.

When I sign a publishing contract with Del Rey or another large publishing house, one of the things that I stipulate in the contract is that no other entity can claim rights to my work, and with the new kBoards TOS written the way it is, I cannot stipulate this.

As it stands, the new kBoards TOS could cost me a five-figure contract. I can’t risk that. A large publisher has the literary equivalent of a title company, and they will most definitely come across the TOS, and the dubious rights assignment. I cannot have my intellectual property be “unclean” just as real estate title has to be clean for a valid sale.

Now, Phillip, I believe that you are genuine when you say that VS is not interested in our rights, but there are too many variables, and as a famous judge routinely says, the contract is what’s enforceable, and any other promises and guarantees are meaningless.

Julie has so helpfully indicated the problematic paragraphs, and suggested remedies to the language. They are easily implemented, and it would defuse this situation, and demonstrate that VS wants the community to thrive and continue.

Phillip, ignoring this concern, or being flippant regarding the desired remedy will only alienate the community you just acquired. Please implement Julie’s suggestions. I and other hybrid authors will have no choice but to abandon kBoards to protect our rights, future rights and livelihoods.

This is it. But there are two key words that really make it bad - irrevocable and perpetual.

And on top of that, whatever VS says and does is irrelevant when the murdoch empire or some other bigger fish swallows them whole and loves the idea of all those lovely rights they've now acquired. And verbal or posted assurances from VS go out the window, and any of us who have gone on to publish something with snippets on here gets sued* by the swallowing behemoth and have little recourse because they have the money and we don't. Now, keep in mind that we already are seeing a situation where KBoards changed owners and the TOS subsequently changed underneath us, and you can see why we as producers of content would be nervous of this possibility.

*OK, so you wouldn't get sued, it's a non-exclusive licence. But you couldn't sue, and neither could your publisher who doesn't want their product in any form showing up and them not selling it.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Has any one noticed the terms of service for KB lately?
« on: September 13, 2018, 07:23:13 pm »
If that's true, this is something which has been changed from earlier versions of the software.


On the older versions of phpBB I've used in the past, as owner, there was zero access to PM's within the forum.


Presumably writing a custom data miner to trawl the database itself is possible though.

I feel it would be possible to trawl the database and read whatever records are there. The PMs are stored somewhere in that forum database. SO if you have access to the database directly, which an owner should because you might need such to fix a broken something or other one day, then yes, they can with some effort read anything in it. Mods would never have such access though.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Has any one noticed the terms of service for KB lately?
« on: September 13, 2018, 02:53:01 am »
Not just that, but two critical words in that are "irrevocable," and "perpetual," meaning those rights being claimed can never be rolled back under these terms.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Has any one noticed the terms of service for KB lately?
« on: September 12, 2018, 11:19:36 pm »
I once ran a large and popular forum, and when it closed, the thing that was lost was not simply the forum, it was the community - comprised of tens of thousands of people who read the forum and many of those who posted to it. We are the valuable part of kboards. So if we move, we move on mass, and the community - that is us - lives on somewhere else. It is not expensive to run a simple forum, where you are not providing masses of downloads or other bandwidth intensive things. My old gaming forum had dozens of gigabytes of user created download files, and still did not break the bank. But it broke the clock. This is one thing that kills new forums - the creators time is always limited, and keeping it lively enough to reach critical mass and float above the dross of the Internet takes that most critical resource. So you need a great team, and that is what I guess they thought they were selling kboards to.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Has any one noticed the terms of service for KB lately?
« on: September 12, 2018, 10:41:24 pm »
The announcement can be found here: https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,265925.0.html

Thanks for that. I feel that these changes betray the legacy of Harvey and his family, and break the spirit of the sale of kboards. This is not on, not acceptable, and to be forgivable requires serious backpedalling and change of attitude within the mindset of the new owners. I am greatly saddened, as this feels like a loss of home and a shattering of bonds. I miss Harvey like we all do - he an his family built this wonderful place, and sold it in good faith when it was the right time for them to do so. the actions of the new owners have been seemless so far, but then we find out this has been slipped past us in the background, and it feels like a total betrayal. I will miss kboards, and if this change is not reversed, I will have to find a new home.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Has any one noticed the terms of service for KB lately?
« on: September 12, 2018, 08:39:37 pm »
I always, as a matter of course, read all terms when signing up to any apps, websites, or other services. This is not a simple boilerplate. It resembles an odious paragraph which appears in several less reputable services. It is a section which always sends me away from whoever is using it. Yes, there are paragraphs similar to this in almost every forum's terms of service, however the wording is different in critical ways which alter the meaning to be much less odious and purely about what they require to legally display what you post within the scope of the website. This one is about ownership, as well as further exploitation of material, and has no end of licence or whatever to allow a writer to cancel the relationship.

I do not grant the consent this change demands. I will never grant the ownership this change demands.

I was not notified of the change, and it was certainly a change. If this was in the terms when I first signed up, I would have cancelled my membership on the spot.

Also, can somebody point me to the information about this "new owner" thing? It's the first I have heard of it.

As a result I have changed my display name, deleted my signature, and the posts being too many to go through and delete, I have scanned through and taken out any images or blurbs or valuable content regarding my works. I will consider deleting everything based on the response from the site.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Mandatory Deposit of your book or face fine ...
« on: September 01, 2018, 06:18:41 pm »
I've had letters from the NLA demanding a copy. They haven't noticed my recent releases, which may be because I published exclusively through Createspace instead of LSI, and only put the US market on my Bowker page. Or it might be because I didn't apply for a CIP entry for those books.

Just as well, given I can't get physical copies from Amazon any more.




The aussie equivalent accepts ebooks, but they have to be non drm and a bunch of other "I don't trust these government types for digital security" type shizbutte.

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Mine are the same price on BD and on .com.au, no difference last time I checked. Book Depository free postage is made up in the price of the books.

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Okay, thanks for that. I do sell through extended distro now and then, and Book Depository is the cheapest place for aussies to buy my book ... assuming they don't get embroiled in this GST nonsense too.

The book depository sells via the amazon au site, which does not have to charge the gst, so will still be able to sell books here, though they DO charge DOUBLE the RRP on my titles, which is utterly disgraceful. This entire GST thing has to be reversed, because it has effectively shut down a hell of a lot more local creative and entrepreneurial activity than just writers. It is a disgusting money grab backed by the greed of Mr Harvey and his palls in the LNP. NO international company should be made to act as deputies for the ATO - they should do their own damned dirty work.

12
It gets better. They emailed me back and said 'yes, but don't forget you get royalties when you buy your own books' ...

Sure, ignoring the fact I get a couple of bucks and the retailer selling them to me at full price makes $8.



Only $8? The known aussie chain stores were charging $75 a copy for my $20rrp titles a while ago via ED. I was getting $2 a sale. We know where the rest was going...

13

Subject: How do I order Author copies?

I've now moved from Createspace to KDP.

On your site it says "Australian users can place orders from Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk"

When I try to order copies, it says you can't ship to Australia and I should order from amazon.com.au

Can you tell me how to do this? I've been ordering from Createspace for years, and this is a real issue for me.

Cheers
Simon




Hello Simon,

I am sorry for the inconvenience you experienced.

Please be aware, to remain compliant with changes to the GST law in Australia, from July 1, 2018, we've changed the way KDP authors in Australia access their books on Amazon. Authors can purchase retail copies of their paperbacks through a Global Store option on Amazon.com.au. However, proof and author copies will no longer be able to be shipped to Australian addresses. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Please note that these changes do not affect the ability to continue to list your books on our international sites or have them shipped to eligible non-Australian addresses.

However, I will take this as a feedback and pass on this information to our business team for our future improvements.

Thanks for using Amazon KDP.





I supply a local bookstore with copies of my novels. Somehow, buying copies at full price from the UK, then selling them at 40% off the cover price, doesn't seem to make sound business sense.

I'm going to have to look at Ingram, because this change makes it impossible for me. I'm really happy with the quality of the books you print, and the service, and I'm very disappointed I can't order them any more.

I've started to let people know, because this is going to make it hard for my fans to get signed copies.

Regards
Simon



surely they realise Aussies are going to abandon them with no chance of forgiveness in droves?

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I know the last line is soft soap, but maybe when enough aussies complain the message will get through.

Please be aware, to remain compliant with changes to the GST law in Australia, from July 1, 2018, we've changed the way KDP authors in Australia access their books on Amazon. Authors can purchase retail copies of their paperbacks through a Global Store option on Amazon.com.au. However, proof and author copies will no longer be able to be shipped to Australian addresses. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Please note that these changes do not affect the ability to continue to list your books on our international sites or have them shipped to eligible non-Australian addresses.

However, I will take this as a feedback and pass on this information to our business team for our future improvements.



Buy through a global store option at full price? Heh.


Yeah, that's a crock. Maybe we will have to set our RRP really low, buy a copy, then set it higher again LOL.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: The AUSTRALIAN writer's support thread
« on: August 30, 2018, 05:27:01 pm »
I am awaiting a local "fullfillment center" for KDP POD. Amazon have one for general crap nobody buys already, if they put a printery in there, our problems would be solved. The only draw back being our local laws demand they pay a minimum wage, and the local awards would make a minimum wage noncompetitive for getting people to staff it, so they would likely jack up the cost anyway. That would make their aussie printing noncompetitive against a couple of other local printing POD companies we already know about who absorb the difference and charge the same regardless of where in the world you are... Of course, if their other locations had fair wages paid to staff, that would be great, once the consumers cottoned on to the fact that they were paying more so people could actually eat and buy things. At this point, Aussies who buy books from third party sellers like Book Depository are slugged that much and more with none of the benefit to the actual workers or the authors themselves, which sucks the donkey.

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See, add to that the fact ammy won't sell to Australia at all, so we are relying on rip off third parties, and those figures become pointless. Ingram in Australia are damnably impossible with their insistence on you having business tax stuff like an ABN and the like, which is absolutely pointless when you sell maybe five copies a year... As well as way more additional work with the quarterly reporting we have to do for tax in that case than is acceptable if you aren't actually running a full time business. Of course that is hollow comfort. I mean, suddenly Aussie writers are second class citizens in the indie publishing world because of our government being dicks and picking fights with amazon lol. Perhaps buying print copies for author cost and becoming an amazon affiliate seller will be an option? Alternatively, win powerball so I can start a local POD service...

NOTE my goal is not necessarily leaving amazon/CS etc, it is getting books to aussie readers for an acceptable price.

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I've never figures out how to delete a title. I can in KDP, but can't figure out how in CS.

I tried to once. Couldn't do it. So I contacted them. They said you can't do it, and it was not going to be made an option, please just set to unpublished. Since the official line was it can't be done, I have remained of the belief that it was not possible.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Drivethrufiction.com for POD
« on: August 28, 2018, 07:57:47 pm »
Interesting stuff! Thanks for sharing. Hard cover POD pricing is quite competitive. Things to think about...

19
I see a lot of talk about jumping ship to Ingram, but none about jumping to Lulu. Is there something I am missing? For Australians, Lulu seems a good choice since they print in Melbourne and don't have the setup costs or the stupid IS requirement to get an ABN.

I was already considering them because of the whole GST debacle with Amazon refusing to sell physical items to us from outside the .au store. Since the letter somebody posted here mentioned the au store as a sales channel from KDP print, has anybody had their KDP books show up there other than at a stupidly inflated price from Book Depository?

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Writers' Cafe / Re: The AUSTRALIAN writer's support thread
« on: August 28, 2018, 03:36:09 am »
I have found their hardcovers to be top notch, although, a little bleed through on cream paper and you can only seem to get the white paper with case-wrap hardcovers. Delivery times are adequate and prices are as I imagined for hard covers.
When you say budget quality for paperbacks, the quality is equivalent to CS?

I have  no idea. I haven't found anybody yet to answer that and it will be a while before I can try it out. Only answer I have is from an author who used them a few years ago and said they were comparable to CS but did not remember if it was budget or premium they used.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: The AUSTRALIAN writer's support thread
« on: August 27, 2018, 07:56:39 pm »
They have budget and premium paperbacks, the budget are apparently similar cost to CS, but since they print them in melbourne, I can only assume delivery to Australia will be reasonable. How have you found their hardcovers?

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Writers' Cafe / Re: The AUSTRALIAN writer's support thread
« on: August 27, 2018, 06:57:52 pm »
Yep, it's disgusting the situation the GST debacle has put us in. I put the blame squarely on the government, since Amazon made no secret of their intentions. I am considering a change to Lulu since they print in Melbourne and are a butt load easier to deal with than Ingram Spark.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Paperback sales... Nothing to sneeze at.
« on: August 17, 2018, 03:54:43 am »
.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Would you bother with this format?
« on: February 04, 2018, 01:37:32 am »
.

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Writers' Cafe / Would you bother with this format?
« on: February 04, 2018, 01:21:29 am »
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