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Messages - KelliWolfe

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon product page ebook page count glitch
« on: October 17, 2020, 11:57:16 am »
Whenever I publish a paperback linked to my ebook, I always write to KDP support with the folowing:

"Could you please be so kind as to update the following Kindle book page count to reflect its print page count? The print page count is XXX pages.

Kindle edition: ASIN, title
Print edition: ASIN, title"

It works every time. If later the ebook page count changes for some reason, I write to them again with the same letter. Admittedly, a couple of times I received identical weird replies saying that in order to do that, I had to reformat my ebook to make the ebook page count match the paperback (WTH???). In which case, I simply resubmitted my request and it went through without a problem the second time. But if you don't write to them, they'll never update the page count.
I did that for a solid month without getting it changed. I also uploaded new EPUBs and it didn't change. I finally created a completely new DOCX file and reformatted from scratch and that fixed it. Their estimator is choking on some kind of formatting that gets into the EPUBs, but there's no telling what. I offered to send them both versions to test with but haven't heard back.

Writers' Cafe / Amazon product page ebook page count glitch
« on: October 16, 2020, 08:22:40 am »
Exactly what the thread title says. The updated estimator that they use for the page count on the ebook product page is apparently very buggy. I published an 80,000 word novel mid-September and the estimator listed it as 234 pages. Linking the paperback, which is 340+ pages, didn't fix it and KDP support has been giving me the usual runaround of pretending not to understand the problem. Oddly enough the KENPC count was reasonably close.

If you've published recently or uploaded a revised book file you might want to double check your page counts to make sure that they're in the ballpark of where they're supposed to be.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Freebies -- Can you give away too many?
« on: May 07, 2020, 12:12:06 pm »
There is also a *lot* more competition because books never go out of publication now. You've got to fight against a bajillion books already published along with the thousands of new releases every month. Readers are getting a lot more finicky, even in niche genres. There are enough books out there now that they can poke around until they find exactly the ones that give them their fix rather than having to settle for whatever is "close enough".

Writers' Cafe / Re: How is smashwords for selling ebooks?
« on: May 07, 2020, 12:00:16 pm »
I've used Smashwords since 2011. I only sell direct there and no longer use them as a distributor.

Their user interface looks like it belongs in a Geocities site from 1992, but it works. They pay monthly and I make about enough for a tank of gas most months. Other people do a lot better. It seems to be largely genre-dependent.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Best Ebook Creation Software for PC?
« on: May 02, 2020, 04:57:25 pm »
I really like Jutoh. Since I switched to it a few years back it has made my life much easier.

Writers' Cafe / Re: anyone here not spend money on ads?
« on: April 30, 2020, 08:49:31 am »
Enroll books in KU and use your free days. Since the costs of AMS got so ridiculous that is working better for me than anything else. If you have a series, make the first book permafree. And make sure that your covers and blurbs are spot on with your audience because otherwise it won't matter what you do.

Writers' Cafe / Re: How many social media sites do you use?
« on: April 29, 2020, 02:32:43 pm »
I have a blog for each of my pen names, but they're only used to post when I have new releases and such. Other than that I don't bother with social media. I don't enjoy it, so for me it's nothing but a time sink better spent doing other things.

I haven't ever published directly to Apple so I'm not sure on that one. Based on what I see in the iBooks app on my phone it looks like the categories work correctly. I think iBooks just has a much more limited set of categories available, like Kobo. But B&N actually did a massive expansion of their categories when they "upgraded" to B&N Press from their older system a couple of years ago, so I'd say it's worth the extra effort there.

Cloudstrife, you would be ahead to go direct with B&N. Using the aggregators your books will not go into the proper B&N subcategories but instead get shoved into the higher level categories where visibility is much more difficult. I saw a big difference when I went direct and was able to target my books more narrowly.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Erotica Advertising/Marketing Help Needed Please!
« on: March 31, 2020, 01:11:12 pm »
Bknights. Excite Spice. Shameless Book Deals. Hot Stuff Romance. The Naughty List.

My first novel published in 2012 tanked hard. So did the sequel. They'll never make back what I spent on covers and editing. But I worked hard and learned from my mistakes and four years ago I was able to quit my job in IT to write full-time and support a family of four doing it. It isn't easy and some days it makes you want to repeatedly smack your head into a wall, but it sure beats working a day job.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Noobs, stop seeing Amazon as your enemy.
« on: April 18, 2019, 12:23:17 pm »
Well, leaving out the black letter fraud Amazon engaged in with KU (paying by page read when they had no actual mechanism in place to actually, you know, read pages), knowingly allowing scamming to run rampant in KU until it started getting media attention, manipulating the top lists, taking away god only knows how many page reads from innocent authors because "bots" and then suspending their accounts, wrecking launches by suppressing borrows/sales because "bots" or "suspicious activity," using their insider access to our sales information to set up competing imprints in the most popular genres, banning entire subgenres (like gay romance), stealing page reads with page flip, etc., etc., etc., what's not to love about Amazon?

If I had to put up with all of this nonsense on Google Play and iTunes as well I'd have gotten out of this business years ago. I just hold my nose and deal with Amazon because they're the 800 pound gorilla in the room and it isn't financially feasible to ignore them. But that doesn't mean that they don't *deserve* criticism for their behavior and business practices.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Bolos are Here
« on: March 08, 2019, 11:45:43 am »
Disappointing. Not even up to Ogre Mk. I specs.  *sigh*

One other thing to keep in mind is that KDP Print apparently doesn't do wide distribution with all of the book sizes CS did, either, but only with a handful of the most common sizes.

Warning, and also I screwed up and feel like a big idiot so please don't tell me how I'm a big idiot:

I don't know if anyone's mentioned this issue, but my spouse and I had our paperbacks on one CS account. I emailed CS a while back to ask if this was kosher, and I explained that we had two separate KDP accounts. They said no problem; it doesn't work the same way as KDP etc, and that it was fine for us both to be on one account.

Smash cut to tonight: I started going through the changeover. I confirmed one email address, then realized that they'd shifted ALL our books over to my spouse's account. Including mine. Which exist in ebook format on MY KDP account, and now in paperback in the other account.

I've contacted both CS and KDP about this. I'm a little stressed, as I have nightmares about KDP seeing that my books are in two separate accounts and giving me a hard time about it (to say the least). The process was simple, yes, but I foolishly assumed that I would have the option to put the right books into the right accounts. I was wrong.

There was no warning from CS that this would be an issue. No "are you quite sure you want all your books going to ONE account?" prompt. If there had been, I never would have done it.

Just be warned, in case this is an issue for you.
Same issue, made worse by the fact that my spouse and I are now divorced and I *really* don't want those books in my KDP account. CS support basically said, "Sorry, you're going to get them anyway when the Great Automated Migration happens."

Writers' Cafe / Re: The Current (Temporary) Self-Publishing Zeitgeist
« on: September 03, 2018, 01:38:21 pm »

I didn't confuse them.
1. Amazon didn't make $25 billion last year. That was in one quarter.
2. According to their 10-Q for the last quarter which ended in June, their TOTAL advertising and related services netted a little over $2 billion, of which AMS is only a  part.
3. The article itself admits that even if advertising doubled in 2018 it wouldn't hit $10 billion. And it hasn't.

That article was wild speculation by ONE analyst who was pulling numbers straight out of his a**. Is it really that hard to look at the 10-Q and see what is actually going on rather than using sources like this that are nothing but pure hype? I just hope to god nobody is using that site as any kind of investment guide.

Writers' Cafe / Re: The Current (Temporary) Self-Publishing Zeitgeist
« on: September 03, 2018, 01:13:47 pm »
It took Amazon 11 years to get to $2.5 billion in annual revenue selling e-books, which works out to about 10% of their gross. It took them six years to get to $10 billion with AMS, which is closer to half their gross. (Source: Motley Fool) What's Amazon's priority?  One dollar or four?
When you confuse AWS with AMS, you've lost the argument.

Writers' Cafe / Re: The Current (Temporary) Self-Publishing Zeitgeist
« on: September 03, 2018, 09:41:22 am »
Does Amazon care if they have 100 six-figure authors more than they care about  1,000 five-figure authors? I don't think so. They're not invested in individual authors. They care about the whole pie, not one slice.
I think that they do care, because the six-figure authors draw in readers. This is especially important for KU, where Zon has exclusivity on those books. It's excellent leverage to get new readers to sign up for the program. Why else would they bother with All Stars bonuses? It's a way to keep the high earners in the program so their books keep attracting more readers.

Writers' Cafe / Re: The Current (Temporary) Self-Publishing Zeitgeist
« on: September 03, 2018, 09:24:11 am »
Maybe people have assigned a different meaning to the word trend than it actually carries, but Billionaire books became a trend after 50 Shades by the definition of the word. Something being a trend doesn't mean nobody ever wrote it before or nobody bought and read it before. How many Billionaire _____ books hit the charts before 50 Shades compared to after? Rich guy heroes are evergreen, certainly but Billionaire This and That and Babies and Everything became the latest hot trend everybody wanted to jump on. I'm baffled that this raises even the slightest disagreement.
Ever heard of Pretty Woman? There was a huge millionaire/billionaire trend in the 80s. I've got about a hundred of those books on my Kindle by writers like Miranda Lee and Barbara McMahon who wrote them by the dozens because the demand was so high. The boss/baby thing was right there along with it, too. So were babysitters and nannies, etc. Harlequin had special lines devoted to them because they were so popular. All of these things tend to run in cycles, growing and fading in popularity as reader tastes change. But the power imbalance trope has always been a staple of romance, going back to ancient stories like Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast. The different sub-tropes involving it just become more/less popular depending on the times.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Is going direct vs using D2D likely to boost my sales?
« on: September 03, 2018, 08:34:01 am »
I would advise going direct with the Big Five - Amazon, B&N, Google Play, iTunes, Kobo - whenever possible. When you go with a distributor you are stuck using "least common denominator" metadata. Take B&N, for instance. If you go direct, you can put your book into up to five highly-targeted categories and subcategories. If you go in through a distributor, your book will get shoved into one high level category like general romance where you have zero visibility. Some distributors are missing valuable metadata fields like subtitles and author bios. And yes, it can make a huge difference in sales. When I moved my romances direct on B&N I ended up making more in the first week than in the prior six months simply due to the extra visibility of being in all of those other categories. The individual retailers also tend to give you the ability to run promotions or sales that are not available through a distributor.

Another advantage is that you can use store-specific links to your other books in your back matter. This can make a significant difference in follow-on sales. I see a 20-25% increase in sales doing this as opposed to using landing pages.

Kindly note, all the titles irrespective of their status will be moved to KDP. However, the status of the retired titles will show as "Unpublished" on your KDP account. Meaning, they won't be available for purchase on Amazon.
According to CS support, they are moving everything over, regardless of status.

I also keep getting error messages saying that the ISBN in the manuscript doesn't match the one issued for the book, despite it being correct in the book preview. It's taken me over two full days to get two paperbacks live.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon gives itself purchased reviews. What the?
« on: August 29, 2018, 05:12:42 am »
And this comes as a remote surprise to anyone because?

I just received verification from CS that if you have titles you do not want automatically migrated that retiring the book is not sufficient. It has to be deleted from your member dashboard. That applies both to the current migration and the automated one that will occur in a few weeks.

this one worries me. I have a deactivated book because of a new publisher. But, I haven't gotten the email yet, so maybe someone can test this before I get there.
When I started to bring mine across and it added up the titles, it included retired books AND books I had already migrated individually over the last two months. I only have a dozen active titles left on CS, and it was going to bring over 34 titles. That would have been double-plus ungood. I stopped the process there and sent an email to CS support, but no doubt they're completely swamped today.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Createspace/KDP consolidation announcement
« on: August 28, 2018, 08:07:04 am »
Does this mean we can delete our paperbacks totally so they don't show up on Amazon?  We can't do it with CS.
The book detail pages never go away for print books, even if they are no longer available. Amazon does this to provide for sales of used copies.

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