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Topics - Redgum

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Writers' Cafe / Amazon Reviews - the Vanishers and the Appearers
« on: July 19, 2017, 04:24:52 pm »
A question in two parts for more experienced Amazon sellers concerning my own novels and those of an author I follow closely.

Q1. I have noticed that from time to time reviews on my novels disappear - just mysteriously vanish. I have never solicited fake reviews once in any format, so who is removing these honest reviews and why?

Q2. An author I follow accrues around 50 reviews in the first two months after publication, mostly 5 star. This is her core readership. Her latest novel managed to accrue over 100 in the same time period without any advertising that I can see, and not one of them declares their copy was an ARC, as they usually do. Furthermore, around 50 of these reviews were unverified purchases, all 5 stars and came in a week-long block nearly two months after publication so they're not her core readership. Where do all these unverified reviews magically appear from all at once - honest or voodoo?

My thanks,

R :)

Writers' Cafe / US & UK Amazon categories
« on: June 22, 2017, 05:44:11 pm »
Could anyone here explain how the Amazon categories work? When I upload a novel I have to choose a category, and then these are pretty much what I am listed under when the book is published. But I just found a crime writer who is listed as: Mystery, Conspiracy, Mystery & Suspense in the UK but the same novel is listed under British Contemporary, Detective, Serial Killers in the US.

How is it possible to get your book listed in 6 separate and completely different categories when you are given only two choices to select when you upload your book?  I understand that you can put special keywords into your description to get listed in various categories, but even if this author used "serial killers" "detective" "conspiracy" in these keywords how did they get separated into two different results for UK and US when there is only one generic upload page?


R :)

Writers' Cafe / Quick Question about Fonts & Amazon Kindle
« on: June 01, 2017, 06:49:10 pm »
I see that when I upload a novel from Word into Amazon, the end result on the Kindle is a different font. It looks like Georgia to me and this is the same for all the other Kindles I have downloaded to read - except for one. There is one author whose font in the Kindle remains as Times New Roman, and I was wondering how this happens.

Any ideas gratefully received!

R :)

Writers' Cafe / Audible Audiobooks Advice
« on: May 16, 2017, 03:36:48 pm »
Hi All

I want to create an audiobook of my first novel and I was wondering if anyone here has any tips or hints about doing this - creating it via Audible (or whoever) plus any marketing tips, pricing guidance, (do I have to pay to create it? Do I get paid a % of the sales etc?) I know nothing about it at all so forgive me if these are stupid questions/concerns.

With thanks,

R :)

Writers' Cafe / Tax questions for Australian writers
« on: May 07, 2017, 03:08:47 pm »
Hi All

A quick question here - I want to set up a business for my writing income. In the UK I presume this would be a straight-froward Limited Company (Ltd) but I've heard Australia is different. Anyone have any experience of this?

Thanks in advance as ever R :)

Writers' Cafe / Question for Australian Writers
« on: May 04, 2017, 03:38:12 pm »
Hi All

Does Amazon now pay EFT/WIRE into Australian bank accounts, or is it still by cheque/check like it used to be?



Writers' Cafe / Unverified Reviews
« on: May 03, 2017, 04:28:31 am »
Quick question here about unverified reviews. I know nothing about this and don't even know exactly what they are. I presume they're reviews left by someone who has not bought the product on Amazon. I ask because I just got a nice 1 star review on my novel, unverified purchase, and the novel is not available anywhere else, and does not exist as a pirated copy. I also do not sell enough copies in the US for anyone to seriously advance the argument someone found a copy of my novel in a bus station. Seems unlikely to me that this person has even read the novel, to be honest. If they'd bought it their purchase would be verified, no?

So my question is, how is this a smart way to treat potential readers looking for reliable reviews? I'll add that I have a lot of novels generally with 4 - 4.5 aggregate reviews. I also want to add I don't whine about 1 star reviews - I've had plenty - my concern here is that this person hasn't even read it.

Writers' Cafe / Quick question about PRIME
« on: April 24, 2017, 12:42:35 am »
I've been invited to submit one of my novels to Amazon Prime, but I'm unsure about what happens to it after that because I've read conflicting information. If I submit my book to the program and they accept it, does the novel lose its place in the ranks? I have a good rank position, top 10 in genre, and I'm reading that Prime doesn't always benefit authors that much.

So - will I lose my rank while the novel is on Prime, and is it worth it?

PS I've read other threads on this and cannot find what I need about the rank question so I'm creating this new thread.

Thank R:)

Writers' Cafe / Prime Reading
« on: April 19, 2017, 03:02:32 pm »
Hi All

Amazon contacted me to invite me to submit one of my novels to Prime Reading. If they accept the submission it looks really great - to those who have had novels on this - were there any disadvantages?

Kind regards, as ever

R :)

Writers' Cafe / Amazon Tax Question
« on: March 28, 2017, 08:10:13 pm »
Hi All

I started another thread on this but I wanted to make this question wider than that. I received an email a week or so ago from someone claiming to be from Amazon requesting that I fill out a form to reduce the tax I pay on sales in Singapore via Amazon India. The email included a downloadable tax questionnaire and requested that I complete it and mail a hard copy to an address in India. Needless to say I believed it was a scam and ignored it.

A few days later I received a follow-up email commenting on how they understood I was concerned about the first email, despite the fact I had not contacted Amazon on the subject or expressed any views on it. The only place I raised a concern was on KBoards, which makes me think this person is monitoring the boards, but they did not reply on the board. This simply increased my suspicion. Then, today, I received a call from the person named in the email on my cell phone, and the caller ID was registered as coming from Egypt.

Concerned again that this is a scam, I called Amazon and gave them the email address and phone number and they confirmed both were valid.

My question for the forum is - I'm presuming others here have had to fill out this questionnaire if they are selling books on Amazon India??? If so, did you mail hard copies of the questionnaire to India?

My view is that I still think this is some kind of scam and frankly if it's legitimate then Amazon need to reconsider how they handle stuff like this.

Thanks to all


Writers' Cafe / FinOpsTax Question
« on: March 25, 2017, 04:46:19 pm »
Hi All

I got an email this week from [email protected] which if I'm being honest almost looks like a scam to me. It informs me that I'm "planning on making my books available in India" and therefore I'm subject to 10% Singapore tax. It goes on to say if I am not located in Singapore (I am not) I *may* qualify for a reduced rate of Singapore tax. They want me to fill out questionnaires and post a hard copy of it to Singapore.

Anyone have any experience of this?


R :)

Writers' Cafe / Kindle Daily/Monthly Deal Question
« on: March 08, 2017, 03:18:27 pm »
Hi All

I have a novel priced at 1.49 GBP on the Amazon UK store and Amazon are considering running it on the above promotion. However, they say that the book must be priced at 1.99 GBP and no lower to be included, and that the price must remain the same (i.e. 1.99 GBP) for at least 30 days before the promotion, which is going to be April - June. So in other words, I have to put my price up to be considered for inclusion - has anyone any experience of having to raise their prices to be considered for promotion?

Thanks so much, as ever

R :)

Writers' Cafe / Possible fake reviews?
« on: February 01, 2017, 03:38:36 pm »

A quick question regarding Amazon reviews. I keep a close eye on my competitors, and recently I've noticed an interesting development with one of them concerning reviews. Usually this writer accumulates around 2 or 3 a month. There are 12 novels in the series with the first stretching back 2.5 years and the most recent 2 weeks ago. The first novel has around 70 reviews (70 reviews / 30 months = 2.3 per month) and the penultimate released in July last year has 24 reviews (24 reviews / 7 months = 3.4 per month). These reviews come in evenly (like mine) and not all at once. The last book was released two weeks ago and now has 35 reviews (35 reviews / 0.5 months = 70 per month). As far as I can tell the book is not being promoted anywhere else, and all 35 are 5 star reviews, which is also unusual as the books are popular but with a 4.5 agg.

Now call me cynical and suspicious, but I think someone who gets 2/3 reviews a month for nearly three years, and then suddenly gets the equivalent of 70 in a month for the latest in the series, might be indulging in some black magic.

I am here so you good people can strip me of my cynicism and persuade me that this is just good fortune, because this writer is a competitor and I like a clean fight!

Thanks as ever, R :)

Writers' Cafe / Sending free books in return for honest reviews
« on: January 04, 2017, 12:34:22 am »

I'm considering sending my first novel out to reviewers for free in return for honest reviews. I have hundreds of reviews of my books in the UK and am a bestseller there, and yet I have under 10 reviews in the US and sell practically nothing because my books are now so far down the ranks they are invisible. I thought targeting US reviewers of books similar to mine and requesting a review in return for a free copy might work. I had a quick look at bookrazor but they seemed to be wanting money to compile reviewers emails and then I still had to contact the reviewers and do it all myself.

Any experiences here? Any pitfalls I should be aware of?

Thanks you

R :)

Writers' Cafe / Translating Novels for Foreign Markets
« on: December 31, 2016, 04:43:37 pm »
Hi All

Jut wondering if anyone here has any experience of this. I know having a novel translated is a pricey business, but has it paid off for anyone? I ask becaise of non-English speaking Kindle markets to be found in placed like Brazil, Japan and India - all countries with vast populations with relatively low English-speaking communities. Is there a way to find out how big the Amazon/Kindle markets are in these places?


Writers' Cafe / KU lending figures counted as sales
« on: December 31, 2016, 02:09:36 pm »
Hi everyone

First, a Happy New Year to everyone on the forum. I have asked many questions here and the replies are nearly always helpful and polite, so my thanks to you for your assistance over the last few months and have a great 2017.  ;D

Second - I have raised this before, but I've had more thoughts on the subject. One of the authors I follow (like many) uses sales figures to advertise their books and I notice the sales figures they have taken several years to accumulate have nearly doubled in a week. I'm guessing they have started including KU borrows in the figures - but I can't work out a way to do this honestly.

Anyone throw any light on what some of these authors are doing to portray KU borrow figures as sales figures, with some degree of honesty and accuracy?

Thank you


Writers' Cafe / AMS Sponsored Product Keywords
« on: December 30, 2016, 06:57:55 pm »
I took the advice of some members here and restarted my AMS Sponsored Product Ad, switching from automatic to manual keyword targeting, and it turned out to be very good advice, so my sincere thanks to those who replied to me for that.

I'm tweaking it now - and I see that Amazon suggest adding similar authors as keywords - has anyone tried this? Also - has anyone tried using authors' series titles or main characters, or is this not allowed? An example would be "Ian Fleming" and then "James Bond" "From Russia With Love" etc. Can you use terms like that?
Thank you

Writers' Cafe / Amazon Author Homepage question
« on: December 30, 2016, 01:47:43 pm »
Hi All

I clicked on an Author's link today and was expecting to be taken to their regular Amazon Author homepage with their icon/photo top left, but instead was directed to a page displaying their series in chronological order with large numerals in front of each title going down the page. The URL of this page starts and then a series of numbers.  This author has several series but this page specifically lists just one of them and I like it - let me add this page is offering the series as one product, so I'm guessing this is something I have to set up as a combined purchase on KDP?

Anyone know how I find this page for my own books, or do I have to set something up?

Thanks as ever


Writers' Cafe / Question about AMS strategy
« on: December 29, 2016, 12:10:26 pm »
I've decided to run an experimental AMS Ad to see if it's worth the money. I chose a sponsored product and "automatic targeting", but I noticed there were some basic variables -

1. Sponsored Product with either automatic targeting or manual keywords
2. Product Display

I also see another option called Headline Search Ad which I was not offered - I think this is because my budget was under $100.

So my questions are -

1. Which of the above have you in your experience found produces more clicks/results?
2. Has anyone found the bigger budget Headline Ad worth doing?

Thank you so much for you time, and wishing you a great new year!

R :)

Writers' Cafe / Bookbub
« on: December 16, 2016, 08:21:33 pm »
Fast question about Bookbub -

I would be interested to hear the experiences of anyone who has used this site. I'm strongly considering using it but it's $$$ and I would like to know if anyone here has benefited from it.

Many thanks

R :)

Writers' Cafe / Free Amazon Promo Question
« on: December 16, 2016, 07:34:21 pm »
Hi All

I want to run a free promo on Amazon and the novel in question is enrolled in KDP so it's ready to go. The question I have is can I make the novel free on while keeping it at its regular price on the other Amazons like (Britain) and .fr (France) etc, or is a free promo free right across Amazon worldwide?

Many thanks

R :)

Writers' Cafe / Question about CreateSpace publication dates
« on: December 05, 2016, 01:25:15 pm »
Hi All

The author of a series that I'm reading brought a new Kindle novel out a few days ago on Dec 1, which I bought. This novel was on pre-order from Nov 25 by the way. When I looked at the paperback, which I was considering buying, I noticed that the date next to it was one week earlier on Nov 18. The novel definitely wasn't on Amazon in any format until the pre-order date of Nov 25, so I'm wondering how the paperback has a publication date of one week earlier on Nov 18.

I'm asking because like most here I publish my own novels and I want to learn how everything works.

Many thanks and kind regards,

R :)

Writers' Cafe / Kindle Unlimited Pricing Question
« on: November 25, 2016, 11:32:27 am »
Hi Everyone

I thought you were only able to reduce a novel to $0.00 if it was in KU. Is this right? I also thought you were not allowed to sell your books on other online platforms like Kobo, etc., if they are in KU. I ask this because I've found a writer who is doing both these things and it's got me confused - have I got the rules wrong?

Thank you.

R :)

Writers' Cafe / The Facebook Like Mystery
« on: November 18, 2016, 03:32:46 am »
A quick question about FB Likes for all authors out there who have a Facebook Page.

I follow a writer who has been publishing and on FB for about 1 year. In that time she had accumulated 65 Likes. These came at around 1 per week or so. However, in the last 24 hours these have risen to 120 Likes. The author hasn't raised her profile as far as I can see, there are no new books, no tweets or FB posts to attract new Likes.

Is it likely that an author who gets 1 Like per week for a year suddenly gets over 50 in a day for no reason? I think these are fake and bought from somewhere so please someone cure my skepticism!

R :)

Writers' Cafe / KDP and UK VAT Question
« on: October 04, 2016, 02:56:07 pm »
Hello All

When you sell a novel in the UK the government creams off 20% before anything else happens, then you and Amazon get your percentage cuts after that, but I was wondering how this works with novels in the KDP program. Your novel doesn't actually "sell" at any point it is simply borrowed by a subscriber and then you are paid by pages read. Are novels in the UK that are in the KDP program subject to a 20% subtraction before the 0.005... per page figure is applied? I would like some clarification on how this works from those with experience, and as always, my thanks in advance for your time.

R :)

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