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Topics - Redgum

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Writers' Cafe / How to report publishers abusing category system
« on: October 23, 2020, 04:58:06 pm »
Hey All

Finally snapped with stables abusing the category system but cannot find a way to report it. They upload fiction into totally irrelevant non-fiction categories to get a higher ranking and often a #1 which they then plaster all over their sales spiel. It also has the incredibly annoying effect of stopping writers in those categories from getting their proper rank and often costs them their genuine #1 position. The latest is a stable who shall remain anonymous uploading crime fiction into non-fiction adult education, non-fiction animal care and non-fiction music. These charts are full of genuine books on these subjects (textbooks etc) pushed down the ranks by this pathetic and dishonest little scam. It also stops customers being able to find the books they are looking for. It is also highly deceitful and misleading as it implies to potential readers the #1 was earned in a crime category when it was achieved simply by putting it into a low-selling non-fiction category such as goldfish tank care or how to clean out your budgie cage. This is unacceptable practice.

How can this be reported, or do Amazon just not give a damn about writers and readers?

Writers' Cafe / How to get your choice of font into Kindle viewer
« on: September 23, 2020, 12:32:39 am »
I usually just use a basic font, but one of my series uses an art deco font for chapter numbers. However, when I saw a copy on the Kindle viewer it had been returned to whatever basic font they use. Thing is, I'm currently reading a Kindle novel which clearly has special fonts as chapter headers - so what am I doing wrong?

Many thanks to all :)

Writers' Cafe / Amazon Customer Reviews and Ratings - difference?
« on: September 18, 2020, 08:26:16 pm »
I have one review on my new release this week (denoted by an actual star rating), but when I scroll down to read it, it is not there, nor is it on any other Amazon territory page. I notice that down where the review should be, it says "There are 0 customer reviews and 1 customer rating"

Not noticed this before - what is a rating if it is not a review, and why can't I see this rating? Is it a new way to allow reviewers to hit and run?

Writers' Cafe / How to get quality ad image on Bookbub
« on: September 15, 2020, 03:12:15 pm »
I'm trying to run an Bookbub Ad but I have run into a problem. They ask for an image size of 300 x 250 pixels, which is ridiculously tiny. All of my ad work is massively larger than this and reducing even a simple book cover for the ad destroy the quality completely. I can't create entirely new covers for an ad, so what is the solution? Am I missing something here? That's possible, I'm not tech at all.

Thank you. :) :)

Writers' Cafe / CreateSpace to KDP paperback transition question
« on: September 15, 2020, 02:39:21 pm »
Hey All

I'm trying to convert a number of paperbacks originally published with CreateSpace. I thought this would be a simple case of hitting the "Link existing titles" but this does not work, presumably because I published them with CS originally. Do I have to basically create a new paperback all over again with KDP? If so, what happens to the old CS copy on my homepage and the old ISBN number?


Writers' Cafe / I'm not sure I understand Bookbub
« on: September 14, 2020, 11:16:23 pm »
I'd like to make one of my novels free for a few days (due to KU) and advertise that fact on Bookbub, but I'm not sure how to coordinate it. I can select to make the book free for a few days whenever I want on KU, but do I have to wait while Bookbub "choose" my Ad? Is it dependent on winning a slot or something? Anyone with any experience of this?

Thanks to all!  ;)

Writers' Cafe / Is Amazon removing subtitles on books?
« on: September 10, 2020, 06:07:10 pm »
Hey all

Today I noticed a series I am following (one book only at this time) no longer has "Book 1" after it, just the title. I presumed the author had decided to abandon the series, which is not uncommon today given how hard it is to launch series on Amazon these days. But, then I checked one of my own titles which I published over 2 years ago and subtitled "Book 1", and I am working on Book 2 right now. However, the "Book 1" subtitle has magically disappeared and it now looks like a standalone.

Is this a thing?  :)

Hey All

Cruising around the online books stores today and found Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Ebook on Kindle Unlimited on Amazon but also for sale as an ebook on Kobo. I thought signing your book up to Kindle Unlimited meant ebook rights was exclusive to Amazon?

Writers' Cafe / Screen Reader Supported Kindles
« on: September 05, 2020, 03:48:47 am »
I see many kindle novels on Amazon are "screen reader supported" but others are not. How do you make sure your Kindle ebook is "screen reader supported"?

Many thanks :D

Hi Guys

I'm in the process of organising a deal with a publisher who wants to buy the foreign rights to one of my series for a specific language territory. The series is in Kindle Unlimited, and therefore exclusive to Amazon. I know this means I can still allow this publisher to have the paperback rights, but can he sell my ebooks, on his local foreign language Amazon, under his publishing imprint, outside of KU, while the same ebook is in KU on and etc?

Thanks so much - I want to make sure I can negotiate properly with them  :o

Writers' Cafe / Setting Up a Second Amazon Page for Pseudonym Account
« on: June 27, 2020, 05:00:39 pm »
Hey all

I am trying to launch a new series in a different genre from my usual books and want a fresh start - FB, Twitter, website and Amazon page. Is it possible for me to run a different Amazon page/Author Central account from my original KDP dashboard or do I have to start all over again with a fresh Amazon account?

Thanks! :) :) :D

Writers' Cafe / Handling Foreign Rights for Paperback
« on: June 02, 2020, 11:01:40 pm »
Hey all

I have been approached by a publisher who wants to publish some of my novels as paperbacks. The only experience I have in this area is signing an audiobook contract with a different publisher which is not exactly the same thing. I do not have an agent but would like to go ahead with the deal. Any advice from anyone with experience would be gratefully received - pitfalls, things to look out for, etc.

As ever, thanks in advance


Writers' Cafe / Amazon Limited Time Deal v Countdown Deal
« on: April 08, 2020, 01:07:38 am »
I can set up countdown deals but I'm trying to get the Limited Time Deal where you get the little icon next to the book saying it's in a "Limited Time Deal" - anyone done this before?

Many thanks! :)

Writers' Cafe / Changing a book's title
« on: March 17, 2020, 06:03:33 pm »
If I wanted to change the title of a novel, am I able to do it without an ISBN change? Will I lose my Amazon reviews?

Thanks all, and stay safe!

Writers' Cafe / Kobo - Apple - Nook - worth it?
« on: November 13, 2019, 10:45:04 pm »
A quick question

I have published with Amazon for seven years, and have been exclusive with them across all my series for five. Over this time I have noticed they treat indies more and more shabbily. Recently, due to Amazon's increasingly contemptuous attitude to independent authors, I have started mulling the subject of going to these other formats. I understand the shift to subscription-based packages means the KU can be very lucrative, and that is my own experience too. Also, I have watched several authors try and move existing series across to these platforms and come crawling back with their tails between their legs.

I'm writing a brand new series and will be publishing it (at least 5 books) next year and for the first time I'm seriously considering moving them across regardless of impact on income stream because if we all did that Amazon wouldn't treat the smaller authors like a barrow of dung.

That's the love story. Does anyone have anything other than doom and gloom about going "wide"? Anyone.... is there anyone at all :'(

Writers' Cafe / An intriguing little mystery about Amazon ranks
« on: November 13, 2019, 02:08:01 pm »
I've noticed of late a few books that have the little orange bestseller tag on them, for example #1 in Romantic Thrillers at the top of the product page and when I click on the "in Romantic Thrillers" link at the top I am redirected to a bestseller rank "New Releases in Romantic Thrillers" and the books is right there at No #1 as advertised.

However, back on the product page, halfway down the page in the Product Details section, the same book is listed as #12 in Romantic Thrillers (Kindle Store) and when I click on that link I am redirected to a new rank, "Best Sellers in Romantic Thrillers", where the book is now #12.

So which is it? Is it the #1 in Romantic Thrillers, or is it #12 in Romantic Thrillers?  If the answer is "it's #1 in New Releases of Romantic Thrillers" then why is it only #12 in Romantic Thrillers, and what is the point in having a separate rank for new releases?

Writers' Cafe / Amazon Marketing - Useful or Not?
« on: August 20, 2019, 07:55:18 pm »
A quick question here about Amazon Marketing Services. I have used this in the past many time, but always found the results are not great, i.e., sales not noticeably higher than other novels not being promoted in this way. However, I have recently seen two or three debut titles from unknown writers go almost immediately into the Top 100 (UK Amazon). Online research brings nothing up for these titles (digital booksellers, Facebook, Twitter etc), and Top 100 means very hefty daily sales, perhaps in the hundreds, which isn't happening to unknown authors. This leads me to think that they are putting $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ into an AMS campaign, and I wondered - those who *have* had success with this, how much did it cost? What is the threshold where AMS really starts delivering results?

A quick question - does anyone here have any experience of using NetGalley or BookFunnel to upload their book and get it out to readers for Goodreads reviews before publishing it on Amazon? I see this has worked well for some authors, enabling them to gather dozens of reviews on Goodreads before uploading to Amazon, and just wondered if you have any experience of this, how it works and what NetGalley is like to work with in this regard? I have used BookFunnel and think they're pretty good, but is there a function on NetGalley where you can distribute your book to people on that site who are not your personal subscribers but just people browsing around NetGalley looking for books? BookFunnel seems to be restricted to you uploading a personal mailing list.

The idea is to get a novel out to as many people as possible, and get them sharing it on Goodreads before the official Amazon release date, for the purposes of increasing the number of reviews going down in the early days of release.

Many thanks in advance, as ever  :)

Writers' Cafe / Amazon Review Anomalies
« on: May 30, 2019, 06:39:00 pm »
A quick question for anyone who might know - I was perusing Lee Child's books on Amazon UK and I noticed something odd - Reacher 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12, 15, and 17 all have precisely 11,772 reviews each.  My question is, What the hell?

Writers' Cafe / Facebook Ads - success with them?
« on: May 08, 2019, 12:28:13 am »
I have a FB page as many authors and I've had mostly bad results from ads. What are your experiences with them, and do you prefer to boost posts or promote posts or use the Ads Manager? One useful tool now on FB is the Info and Ads section which allows you to see if a company, or in this case author, is running any ads, and I've been surprised by the number of ads some authors have.

In one case I counted 35 in the drop down menu - 35 different images and yet every one linked to the same novel. What would be the point of running 35 different ads at the same time and in the same territory all directing to the same book? I'm asking because I need some help with FB advertisement.

Thanks :)

Writers' Cafe / Question about KU borrows for Fantasy genre
« on: May 02, 2019, 07:01:01 pm »
In my genre (thrillers/crime) I haven noticed an upward trend of borrows to sales. Now it's 2/3 borrows to 1/3 sales in US and 50/50 in UK and I expect it go continue to more borrows. I was wondering what sort of ratio of borrows to sales you have in the fantasy genre, as I have written some fantasy in the past and I'm considering blowing the dust off them and getting them out there. I'm interested to know what I might expect in terms of sale/borrow ratios.

Hope you can help and all the best, R

Writers' Cafe / Cannot Promote FB page - author in Australia
« on: April 26, 2019, 08:46:07 pm »
Sorted problem - please remove thread Mods! Thank you! :)

Recently I saw books from a reasonably selling series priced $2.85 and $2.90 USD. My understanding is that as these are under $2.99 they're going to get 30% royalties. My question is why would anyone price their novel *just* under the 70% royalty threshold like this? I can understand if you go well under - this attracts more sales and perhaps makes up for the lower royalty, but what's the deal with going just under like this? It's not going to make any difference to a reader if a novel is $2.85 or $2.99, so I can't see it triggering more sales, and all you've done is reduce your royalty from 70% ($2.09) to 30% (89c).

Am I missing something here?

Hey All

I have seen this category several times, and yet cannot find it in the drop-down menu on the KDP category list. I have also used it in the keywords section in various combinations as we ll as in full and yet it still does not appear as a category on any of my books. If anyone has used this category I would be grateful to find out how you found your way there.

Thanks & All the best :)

Writers' Cafe / Amazon Imprints - Thomas & Mercer etc
« on: April 08, 2019, 02:51:52 pm »
Hey All

I have two questions about independent novels that get scooped up by Amazon imprints like Thomas & Mercer, etc. Firstly, I was wondering if anyone here knows how they choose these books? I ask because while "the ones that sell the most" seems to be a simple answer, I carefully watch the market in my genre (and others) and I have seen one or two getting picked up that really were not selling well, or getting very many reviews while others that do *incredibly* well are apparently untouched. Of course we cannot know if these authors have been approached and declined, but still I wonder how the spinning wheel of Amazon fortune lands on the authors that it does? Also, what sort of royalties do authors get from these deals? Are they worth it?

Thanks to all

R :)

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