Amazon’s Q4: An E-Commerce Enabler Rather Than A Retailer

3 February 2016

From Seeking Alpha:

  • Amazon’s promising business model is based on being an e-commerce enabler rather than a retailer.
  • Amazon’s real value is embodied in its unique experience, knowledge, systems and credibility gained in e-commerce which will be monetized by rendering service like FBA and AWS.
  • Amazon’s own retail activities may even become irrelevant as a direct earnings contributor as profit margins on AWS and FBA will dwarf those ever achievable in retail sector.

Amazon published a remarkable set of excellent results in Q4 and the whole of 2015. They demonstrate that enabling others to conduct their e-commerce results in much higher profit margins than when Amazon would only strive for growing is own online retail business.

Compare Amazon to the guys that sold tools and victuals to the fortune seekers going to Klondike during the gold rush. These were the firms that made the real money. This concept of what is the essence of Amazon is still little recognized. I may be wrong – nothing is certain in the field of investing. New ideas develop from unintended results. But I do believe that when Jeff Bezos started his venture in 1994, his mission was to be a new, revolutionary factor in bringing goods to consumers via the internet.

Sometime in the execution phase of this idea, the insight must have gradually taken shape that more had to be gained by making others retail (or “dig for gold”) and that Amazon would be better off to sell to these guys all the unique tools and things Bezos had acquired and learned in the pioneering years. This initially vague notion has gradually become ever more clear with each step set on the road to serve other retailers. It turned into the crystal clear vision to see these other retailers not as competitors but as customers.

The amazing set of quarterly earnings figures that Amazon released on January 28 seemed to confirm this thesis. Services grew three times (47%) as fast in Q4 2015 than the sale of goods from Amazon’s own stock (15%) resulting in a 22% overall growth in revenue of $36.7 billion. Operating earnings were up 87% to $ 1.1 billion, taking the operating margin to 3.1%. A memorable fact as it was the first time for the operating margin to exceed again the 3% level since Q1 2011.

. . . .

I suspect that sales of goods that move over Amazon’s own ledger, contributed hardly, if at all, to the encouraging earnings obtained in 2015. There is much in Amazon’s financial reporting that can and must be improved but as least we know the level of profitability realized last year on the AWS’ cloud computing services: 28.6% for the final quarter and 23.7% for the whole of the year.

But AWS accounted with a turnover of $ 7.9 billion for just 28% of Amazon’s net service revenues which totaled $ 27.7 billion. The largest part of it stems from annual payments for Prime subscriptions and payments for a range of fulfillment services. From the current state of Amazon’s reporting it can only be guessed how much the operational margin on these activities must have been, but I think there is all the reason to expect that the margin is high, and much higher than most investors probably assume so far.

Link to the rest at Seeking Alpha

PG says the thesis of this article neatly applies to indie authors. Other than with Amazon Publishing and Kindle Scout, Amazon doesn’t buy indie books, then resell them. Instead, for the large majority of indie books sold, Amazon provides indie authors the tools to sell their own books.

Click to Tweet/Email/Share This Post

Self-publish or find a publisher? The region’s authors have their say

3 February 2016

From the Wolverhampton Express and Star:

[C]all us biased, but we believe that some of the best storytellers are right here on our doorstep.

Fortunately for us bookworms, it’s easier than ever for the teachers, parents, bloke down the pub and shopkeeper with a tale to tell to share their works.

Getting a book published is no longer just a case of sending a manuscript to a publisher and waiting by the phone for a life-changing call. In days gone by, only a few writers’ works made it into book shops and libraries.

But with the eBook market growing, getting published is now a case of taking matters into your own hands and making your voice heard. We catch up with some of the best authors from our region to find out whether self-publishing is the way to go. This time next year, we could be the next J.K. Rowling!

Last month, crime writer Angela Marson celebrated the sale of her one millionth novel. She released three books in her crime series last year, topping Amazon charts around the world.

Her debut, Silent Scream, has sold hundreds of thousands of copies and was the Amazon bestseller in the UK for more than a month.

It also reached the top five in America, and has secured rights deals in nearly a dozen other countries.

Quite the achievement for a shopping centre security guard from Brierley Hill.

Her road to literary success wasn’t an easy one, so we had to ask what she felt about self-publishing. Is it worth our readers, for example, trying their hand at it if they want to share their stories?

She tells us: “Personally I feel it is a good thing. I have been trying to share my work for more than 25 years and only wanted an opportunity. Over the years it has become harder to reach publishers as very few now accept unsolicited manuscripts and will only consider work submitted by an agent.

“In addition to my published books I have two books self-published through the Amazon KDP Program which have now reached a wider audience. I also know of authors who have secured traditional publishing deals after their efforts with self-publishing.”

. . . .

“Traditional publishers don’t always get it right,” she tells us. “My first book Silent Scream was represented by an agent initially and was rejected by them all. It has gone on to sell almost 800,000 copies and is being translated in 13 countries.

“This isn’t a brag,” she assures us, “just a demonstration that they don’t always know what the readers want.”

Link to the rest at the Wolverhampton Express and Star

The State of the Industry

2 February 2016

From Hugh Howey:

Over the last ten to fifteen years, the publishing industry has undergone a massive shift from print to digital and from the east coast to the west coast. Understanding this shift is critical for anyone working in the field or who wishes to. Taking stock can be difficult. All manner of publishing has been greatly disrupted, but it’s often hard to see because what has changed is what’s now missing from our lives. And these missing things have not disappeared all at once. Rather, it’s been a gradual vanishing.

Your glovebox is no longer crowded with maps. The lowest bookshelf in the living room no longer sags under a full set of encyclopedia. There is no phone book in the top kitchen drawer. Manuals no longer come with every device. How-to books have gone away. Cookbooks as well. Driveways are no longer dotted with newspapers. And the daily commute sees far more people staring at screens rather than anything printed on paper.

There are exceptions in every household, of course. But for most consumers, the GPS-enabled smartphone has obviated the need for maps. Wikipedia and Google replaced the encyclopedia. We connect via social media, not phonebooks. Manuals are now online PDFs. The newspaper is our Facebook and Twitter feeds. To learn how to do practically anything, we turn to YouTube. Recipes are searched for online. And well over half of fiction reading has gone digital.

Publishing is all of these things. Publishing was even the little booklets that lined our CD and DVD cases, which have largely gone away. We don’t think of all of these printed artifacts as publishing, but they were. They not only required printing, they required copywriters, editors, and layout designers. Those who used to do these jobs now work in digital spaces. And this has been the great shift in publishing, from physical to digital. And the center of publishing — New York and the east coast — is now the west coast. The Big 5 of publishing is now better thought of as: Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Twitter.

. . . .

Digital is easier to spread, which increases information equality. It’s also better for the environment, not just in paper consumption but in the polluting delivery costs. Ideas are easier to generate, which has increased the diversity of voices. News has become crowdsourced, which reduces the corrupting power of those who formerly had monopoly control of information. With a camera and a broadcast booth in every pocket, the fears of Big Brother have turned into the mediating effect of billions of Little Brothers. We report on abuses of power, taking to Twitterverse to pressure corporations, and sharing videos to police the police. And we are far more accurate and informative taken as a whole than we are on relying on lone experts.

It’s difficult to find anything to complain about with this transition, unless you are a middleman who no longer provides a service commensurable with your cost.

. . . .

Let’s start with a list of those who are being disintermediated in the modern publishing landscape: Major book publishers, their historic retail partners, their former marketing muscle, the printers, and previously bestselling authors. We should feel empathy with those who are disrupted, as pivoting can be painful. But when the overall benefit to the general public is weighed, we understand that these disruptions are to be applauded. Again, we’re talking about greater access to information, a wider variety of voices, a boon to the environment, and a more equitable share of profits to creatives. This doesn’t make the pain of the formerly entrenched any less, but it should prevent us from making policy and purchasing decisions based on their appeals.

. . . .

In 2015, the only thing that saved print from serious decline was the adult coloring book fad. That craft books are counted alongside novels is revealing, both for the widget and profit-minded nature of the legacy publishing industry, and also the greater concern for sales over the culture of actual reading. 2016 will need another 50 SHADES OF GREY or coloring book phenomenon to stem the bleeding. This is a precarious situation in which publishers find themselves, especially with fewer medium sized presses to acquire. It would surprise me to see all of the Big 5 publishers standing two years from now. It would not surprise me to see a Big 3 five years hence.

. . . .

Controlling this message (or attempting to) has been another outlet made irrelevant by the west coast shift. Newspapers used to matter for book sales. Bestseller lists were checked weekly, as were the arts sections and the special Sunday book review inserts. No longer. Now, the only bestseller lists that move titles are the online sales lists, primarily Amazon’s. I saw this clearly as a bookseller. Even the front page of the New York Times Book Review couldn’t budge sales. But a mention on a late night LA talkshow, or a Tweet from a celebrity, or a recommendation from Zuckerberg, would shoot a title straight to the top. And nothing is more powerful than one of Amazon’s daily promotions. The marketing muscle, the inside access, the exclusive reviews, the feeling of mattering in this grand cultural tradition — all of this has been taken away from legacy reporters. And keep in mind that these same reporters were often aspiring novelists and non-fiction authors. They have done a miserable job of covering the disruption to publishers, because they are too emotionally invested to cover these trends like they cover the rise and disruptive forces of Uber, Lyft, AirBnB, Google, Facebook, et al.

The authors who benefitted most from the censuring of ideas have also been hurt. When 99.99% of books were not allowed to come to market, and the diversity of voices was culled to obviate risk to publishers, these .01%ers made hay. Mostly white males, there are many of them complaining today because their power, prestige, and incomes have all declined. The new power authors are predominately female, and to cope with the reality of this transition, the media and legacy authors have had to resort to lumping them into a single genre (erotica) in order to stigmatize them. Despite the fact that these authors write romance, thrillers, science fiction, literary fiction, non-fiction and other genres.

. . . .

Lately, these authors have had to team up with their advocacy groups in a PR battle against digital and self publishing. Writing letters to the DOJ, the argument here is that free speech was better served when only .01% of authors could publish their works. The share of income earned by these authors has plummeted, replaced with income heading to self-published authors. Last year, Amazon paid out over $140,000,000 to authors in its Kindle Unlimited program. That doesn’t count the dollars paid for book sales. This would be like publishers announcing a 7-figure advance every two and a half days for an entire year. The overall expenditure by consumers has only gone up a little, while the payout to independent authors has soared. That money came from somewhere. Those authors being hurt are now railing against a system that, once again, is good for consumers, for diversity, for the environment, and for creatives.

Link to the rest at Hugh Howey and thanks to Karen and others for the tip.

Meredith Wild, a Self-Publisher Making an Imprint

31 January 2016

From The New York Times:

One chilly morning this month, Meredith Wild, the best-selling romance novelist, was sitting in her library in Destin, Fla., wrapped in a loose black sweater in front of a crackling fire. Most mornings, Ms. Wild writes her novels in this spot after her children leave for school, but that day she had other business to attend to. She had a call with a reality TV production company that is developing a show about her, and later, a conference call with a team at Waterhouse Press, the small imprint that is publishing her new novel in June.

Ms. Wild has an unusual amount of sway for an author, owing to her high-profile position at Waterhouse: She founded the company. After sales of her self-published erotic novels took off on Amazon and other sites, Ms. Wild created the press partly as a way to get print versions into bookstore chains and big-box stores.

“I wanted something that sounded like it was a real imprint, because nobody takes you seriously as an independent author,” she said. “I felt I was being discriminated against as an indie.”

. . . .

Her marketing abilities proved so effective — she sold 1.4 million print and digital copies — that she decided to expand her business by taking on other authors, in essence becoming a publisher herself.

Last year, Ms. Wild began quietly acquiring works by other self-published romance writers, including Helen Hardt and Audrey Carlan, and publishing their books under her Waterhouse imprint. The press will release at least nine novels this year, including two in Ms. Wild’s current series. She’s become a kind of value investor in erotic prose, pinpointing undervalued writers and backing their brands.

“We’re hoping to discover the next big person and replicate some of the success we had building the visibility of my books,” Ms. Wild said. “We’re interested in taking these diamond-in-the-rough type people and building their brands.”

. . . .

 Ms. Wild’s path from becoming a self-publishing star to operating her own small imprint is the latest sign that independent authors are catching up to publishers in the sophistication of their marketing and the scope of their ambitions. Self-published authors can negotiate foreign-rights deals and produce audiobooks. A handful of the most successful independent writers sell print copies of their books in physical retail stores like Barnes & Noble, Walmart and Target, giving them access to a market that traditional publishers have long dominated.

. . . .

For decades, the literary world dismissed self-published authors as amateurs and hacks who lacked the talent to land a book deal. But that attitude gradually began to change with the rise of e-books and the arrival of Kindle from Amazon, which gave authors direct access to millions of readers. Over the last five years, close to 40 independent authors have sold more than a million copies of their e-books on Amazon, the company said.

Publishers and literary agents who once overlooked self-published authors began courting them with staggering book advances.

. . . .

After Ms. Wild’s self-published “Hacker” series took off in 2014, she was bombarded with offers from publishers, agents and film producers. She was earning so much by then that she told her agent she would entertain only eight-figure offers. She eventually settled for a bit less, agreeing to a $6.25 million advance from Forever, a Grand Central Publishing imprint, for five books.

Forever has sold nearly 500,000 digital and print copies of the “Hacker” series — a healthy sum, but far less than the 1.4 million digital and print books Ms. Wild had sold on her own, without any of the editorial guidance, marketing muscle or sales and distribution channels of an established publisher.

Perhaps that’s why Ms. Wild opted not to sell the rights to her other books. Instead, she’s publishing her current series through her own imprint.

“I’m more comfortable being in control of my successes and failures,” she said. “It’s kind of hard to be on the sidelines.”

Editors and publishers are adjusting to a new power dynamic, one in which even multimillion-dollar advances aren’t enough to ensure an author’s loyalty.

“It’s a challenge, because a lot of the ones who are very successful at it are making a lot of money, which in all honesty can be hard to match with the traditional publishing royalty structure,” said Leah Hultenschmidt, the Forever editor who acquired the Hacker series from Ms. Wild.

Publishers fighting to recruit top-selling authors have other reasons to be alarmed by the growth of self-publishing. As independent authors grab a bigger slice of the e-book market, digital sales by traditional publishers fell by 11 percent in the first nine months of 2015, according to data gathered from more than 1,200 publishers by the Association of American Publishers.

Last year, a third of the 100 best-selling Kindle books were self-published titles on average each week, an Amazon representative said. Some analysts attribute the dip in publishers’ e-book revenue in part to the glut of cheap self-published books, which often sell for as little as $1.

Link to the rest at The New York Times

Self Publishing Notebook

31 January 2016

From Creative Loafing Tampa:

“Self Publishing.” Say it out loud. “Self Publishing.” How did you say it? Did it drip from your lips like other vile phrases? “German cockroach.” “Humidity.” “Donald Trump.” “Hemorrhoids.” Well, my fine readers and writers, those days are over. Let’s scrap the “self publishing” vanity press-laden moniker, hipster this thing up, and call it Indie Publishing like it’s something that happens in the desert every summer with Russell Brand in attendance. Why? Because Indie Publishing is cool. Like winning awards cool. Like Matt Damon in Andy Weir’s (indie published) The Martian cool. Like 50 Shades of – no I didn’t read it (self published), but E.L. James is rich from writing, and I’m guessing you’re not. Yet.

Gone are the days of writing a novel and spending five years honing your query letter-writing skills trying to find an agent or publisher. Thank god we don’t need to rely on some whiny English major with his own collection of rejected novels to decide if we’re worthy of a reader’s attention. In fact, publishing houses are in such bad shape they arelooking for indie writers who already have an audience — who already have some good work they can rely on. On average, Indie Publishers are writing more books and making more money than their traditionally published counterparts.

. . . .

How do I know? I’ve been writing something all my life, but really only writing (and finishing) novels for three to four years. I have an adventure thriller novel on Amazon called The Grandfather Clock (check it out, cheapskates, it’s 99 cents.) It came out in November 2014. A friend helped me with a promotional campaign and suddenly, my damned book was on the Kindle Best Sellers lists… before slipping back into total obscurity. In spite of spending a day in the top 20 next to The Great Gatsby, in no way was my book even a modest success. The most my earnings have bought me is beer and coffee — and an occasional egg sandwich. My wife frequently asks things like, “Why did we just get $17.31 cents from Amazon?” Remember dear, I wrote a book?

Link to the rest at Creative Loafing Tampa and thanks to Julia for the tip.


How to Improve Amazon

30 January 2016

From Chris McMullen:

I love Amazon. As a customer, as a reader, as an author.

Yet, I see ways that Amazon could be even better.

Although I use Amazon frequently as both a reader and author, most of this post is from the publishing perspective.

. . . .

 Does Amazon Care? 

Yes. I know this because I and other authors have made several suggestions in the past, and Amazon has already made significant improvements.

  • KDP authors now have access to pre-orders.
  • KDP reports have improved significantly.
  • For weeks toward the end of 2015, Amazon had a large banner advertisement on their homepage announcing Countdown Deals.
  • The Kindle Textbook Creator now supports hyperlinks.
  • KDP authors can now send emails through Amazon to their Amazon followers when they publish a new Kindle e-book.

I could go on. And on.

. . . .

Mediate Publishing Services (Cover Design, Editing, Formatting)

First of all, did you know that Amazon now offers services like painting your house, cleaning your home, mounting your television, mowing your lawn, fixing your computer, and much more? Amazon connects local top-rated professionals to customers in select cities. Customers pay Amazon, and Amazon offers a Happiness Guarantee.

150,000 books were published on Amazon in the last 30 days. That’s a rate of 1.8 million books per year. Very many of those books were self-published through KDP or CreateSpace.

Just imagine how many authors are interested in:

  • cover design
  • editing
  • formatting
  • translation
  • book promotion

And much more. We’re talking millions of dollars in author/publisher expenses.

Where do authors and publishers go for these services now? They go off Amazon.

One of Amazon’s big marketing rules is don’t drive traffic off Amazon hoping to drive it back onto Amazon later. Amazon wants to keep people on Amazon as much as possible. Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime keep customers at Amazon. Discussion forums keep readers and authors engaged on Amazon.

But many authors/publishers are leaving Amazon to find publishing services.

Authors can get limited services from CreateSpace, but it’s fairly expensive, it lacks interaction with the actual designer, and the file format of the result usually isn’t portable.

Amazon has a golden opportunity to implement something like the new Amazon Services, but for self-publishers, only it would be online and worldwide (not local, like painters and yard crews). Amazon would connect authors/publishers with cover designers, formatters, editors, translators, book promotion services, etc.

Link to the rest at Chris McMullen and thanks to Craig for the tip.

Here’s a link to Amazon Services if you haven’t seen it before.

Littlehampton mother and daughter both now published authors

28 January 2016

From the Littlehampton Gazette:

A mother and daughter from Littlehampton have become published authors within three months of each other.

Carol Thomas, a former teacher, had her book Crazy Over You published through Matador in October.

Then eight-year-old Madison, a pupil at Lyminster Primary School, was a winner in the new Write Across Sussex short story competition, run in partnership with Chichester-based independent authors group Chindi.

She met popular author Kate Mosse, who lives in Fishbourne, at the prize-giving ceremony in Woodies Wine Bar, Chichester, on Saturday.

Carol said: “Madison was initially nervous but loved meeting Kate Mosse and receiving her copy of the Chindi Write Across Sussex book, complete with her story in it. She even got to do her first book signing, as she signed a copy for Kate Mosse, along with the nine other prize winners.”

. . . .

“I am hugely proud of Madison for writing her story. She spent several hours working on it and even asked her big sister, Amelia, to help her with improving some word choices – though Madison insisted on keeping her favourite line ‘butts are for sitting on’ in the story.”

. . . .

“In 2012, I was taking a break from teaching. I dug out a notebook I felt had potential to be made into a story and decided it was time to give it a go. I made a start and just kept going until in 2014, I decided it was a story I was proud of and wanted to share.”

Link to the rest at the Littlehampton Gazette

Accountant by day, writer by night

28 January 2016

From the Worthington (Minnesota) Daily Globe:

Lisa Saner of rural Slayton has occasionally wondered what her life would have been like if she had pursued writing in college instead of working with numbers.

An accounting technician with the Murray County Highway Department, Saner once considered journalism, but quickly decided writing the truth was far less exciting than embellishing a tale through plot twists and character development.

“Real life is just too …. I get enough of that in a day. I want to make up things,” Saner said with a laugh.

On the heels of her third self-published book, Saner is now taking a break from her creative outlet, waiting for inspiration to strike. Her next project may be a continuation of the tale she’s weaved through her first three novels, “Mistress of Serenity,” “Masters of Destiny” and “Shadow of Deception” — or it may be something entirely different.

“I would love to just do something totally different, but I’m afraid some of my biggest fans (among them the ladies from church) would be disappointed,” Saner shared. “I like crime stories. I don’t know if I can write them, though.

. . . .

She first began writing when her kids were young, filling up notebooks with her fictitious story of rock superstar Brandon Vant, whose drug abuse and scandal sent his ambitious career spiraling to the bottom. After overcoming addiction, he became a successful record producer and multi-millionaire, but felt a nagging call to return to the stage. In his search for a new voice to add to his band, Brandon discovers Jesselynn Wyatt, the daughter of Wyoming ranchers who dreams of performing despite working in a 9-to-5 job as an adult. She participates in local theatre and fills in for nightclub musicians — far from fulfilling her dream of fame.

. . . .

“I would always have notebooks around and write and write,” said Saner, whose writing time in those early years was after her kids went to bed — typically from 8 o’clock at night to 2 o’clock in the morning.

“I can’t do that anymore,” she said with a laugh.

Her third book was written entirely on the computer, and the experience has her looking back to pen and paper for her next book.

“I think when I was on the computer all day (at work), I didn’t want to be on the computer at night — it felt too much like work,” she said. “I think writing by hand, I have more creativity.”

. . . .

“Some writers talk about going to sit in their favorite café and write and I can’t have noise around me,” she said. “You can’t just sit down and be instantly into it.

“I took a day off of work and (the urge to write was) not there, so I’m just going to clean the house,” she added with a laugh.

. . . .

Saner’s books are available at all libraries affiliated with the Plum Creek Library System, or may be purchased online through Her first book is available in ereader format, and all three can be purchased as paperbacks.

The author hosted successful book signings in Slayton when her first two books were published, and plans to have a book signing sometime this year with her third novel.

“I sign my name on my timecard every week and nobody gets excited about it,” she said with a laugh.

Link to the rest at the Worthington Daily Globe

10 Years in Publishing: 10 Lessons Learned

26 January 2016

From author Sara Rosett:

My first book came out in 2006. It’s amazing how much has changed since then—no digital versions and audiobooks were on CDs—but certain things remain constant like the advice to write a good book and then write the next one. I’m now a hybrid author with two self-published fiction series as well as my traditionally published series and have learned so much about the craft of writing itself as well as about publishing and readers. Here are my top ten lessons learned:

1. Beginning is always hard

I love the imagining, the plotting, and the planning, but then it comes time to put fingers to keyboard and I’m always right back were I started—the blank page. I’ve learned it’s best to just start. Get something down. As the Nike ad says, “Just do it.” I don’t have that same what if I can’t do it again? feeling that I had as I began my second novel, so it’s gotten better, but beginning is still scary.

. . . .

3. I can write faster

When I began publishing ten years ago, I wrote one book each year. The thought of writing more than one book seemed impossible. I couldn’t imagine writing even two books a year. Then ebooks came along and I heard about people writing several books each year and even a book a month. Crazy! But then I found out about the prolific writers’ habits and routines. They were usually extensive plotters and were fast drafting…well, that made a difference to my thought pattern. I was a plotter—not an excessively detailed plotter, but I worked from a plan—and if I was just getting my thoughts down and pressing on…then I might be able to do it, too. Mindset is everything. Once I decided it was possible for me to write more, my output increased. (The fact that I had readers waiting for the books helped, too!) From 2006 to 2011, I released one book a year. From 2012 to 2015, I released ten novels, one novella, and have two more novels in post-production.

4. “Shorter” books are okay.

This point is related to writing faster. When I began in traditional publishing, 75,000 was the minimum word count for my genre. It was important for the book spine to be wide enough on the shelf. With digital books, length matters less. Readers want a great story and—as long as the story is a good one and feels complete—readers don’t care if the story is 50,000 or 75,000. Agatha Christie thought 50,000 words was about the right length for a mystery. I have to say that the more I write, the more I agree with her. My self published books usually come in around 55,000 to 65,000 words and I haven’t had any complaints from readers.

Link to the rest at Sara Rosett

Here’s a link to Sara Rosett’s books. If you like an author’s post, you can show your appreciation by checking out their books.

What authors need to know about the new Kindle warning system

23 January 2016

From GoodEreader:

Amazon has announced that they will be publicly warning users if an e-book has spelling mistakes or formatting errors. This is meant to protect the average reader so they don’t make an impulse purchase and regret it. Thousands of authors are asking a ton of questions about this new warning system and today we will answer the most common issues.

One of the most common questions we have been fielding from authors  are those who have written fantasy or science-fiction e-books. Many of them have developed their own vocabulary or intentionally misspell words.  If this is applicable to your book, I recommend updating your title via Kindle Direct Publishing and implement a lexicon. This is a a page or two at the beginning of the novel that provides a rundown of the words and their meaning. This will insure the book is not reported for spelling mistakes and if they are, you have a point of reference to show the Amazon rep when they contact you.

. . . .

Beware Editing Services – Since we broke the story that Amazon is implementing the warning system, I have seen hundreds of editors try and get authors to pay them to fix up any spelling or grammar mistakes.  I think its important to insure that you find a good editor and not someone who is just hyping their services with a newly created website or via social media.

What’s the deal with this warning system anyways?  Amazon is simply making warnings public. In the past, it was always between a KDP representative and the author.  Some authors simply opted to ignore the warnings and nothing really happened to their title, unless it had gross formatting errors, in which case Amazon would remove it from the Kindle bookstore.

Link to the rest at GoodEreader

Next Page »