Category Archives: publishing

Ebook Publishing Horror: Downward Trend In Amazon KDP Select

Ebook Publishing Horror: Downward Trend In Amazon KDP Select

Once upon a time, ebook publishing on Amazon KDP Select was pretty much a goldmine for competent authors. Over the past year, the easy option is no longer so easy.

I talked about the tyranny of “free”, and suggested that you:

enroll your first book in Select, making it free on Kindle Unlimited, but offer your other titles widely. Once your other titles are selling, you can remove your first book from Select, because you’re gaining visibility, and readers.

KDP Select has this benefit for authors: you can go days without a sale, yet see your income rise, because people are reading your books.

Ebook publishing: the scammers, and Kindle Unlimited (KU) Pages Read

The challenge for many authors is that in real terms, over the past couple of years, KU authors (enrollment in Select means that your books are free to read for KU subscribers) are making 30 per cent less.

The Select “pot” — the money Amazon puts in to pay KDP Select authors — has been dropping. For June 2017, Amazon offers a KENPC of 0.0042229.

Many authors attribute the declining KENPC to scammers. I talked about scammers in this article on writing romance. That may be part of the problem, but the greater issue is the huge amount of content pouring onto the Kindle Store every month.

As I write this, over the past 30 days, 117,569 ebooks have been published to the Kindle Store. By the time you read this, it will be upwards of 120,000 ebooks.

How many of those ebooks landed in KU? I just checked.

Here you go: 58,242 ebooks are Kindle Unlimited Eligible, meaning that they’re enrolled in Select — that’s around half of the ebooks published within the past 30 days.

More ebooks are sharing Amazon’s pot, so it’s inevitable that authors’ earnings will go down.

Over the past few years, I’ve taken my ebooks (and my clients’ ebooks) into and out of KDP Select. Currently, I’m out, except for first books in series.

Adjust your self-publishing plans for success

I’ve no plans to go all-in with KDP Select for the foreseeable future. With so many new ebooks enrolling into the program each and every month unless Amazon increases the pot substantially, it doesn’t make sense.

Your self-publishing plans may be completely different. KDP Select still works for many authors; they’re making money.

What holds authors back from publishing widely is that when you publish elsewhere, as well as on Amazon, chances are good that your income will go down. It’s normal for authors to take an income hit for three to six months.

This a real challenge for authors who depend on the money, and I feel the pain of authors who are tied to KDP Select. Authors’ groups are filled with threads about the drop in KENPC, and whether KENPC will drop even lower.

No one knows.

Here’s what I suggest — look at your options. I gave you some ideas in the article on the tyranny of “free”, check them out.

Heart To Heart: Romance Writing For Beginners

Heart To Heart: Romance Writing For Beginners

eBook: $5.99
Author:
Series: Romance Writing, Book 1
Genre: Writing
Tag: writing fiction
Love makes the world go round, and of all the genres in fiction, romance, with its many sub-genres, is the most popular. More info →
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Secrets Of Bestselling Fiction (New Program)

Secrets Of Bestselling Fiction (New Program)

You’re an author of fiction; new or aspiring. One of your biggest challenges is keeping your readers entertained. Does your reader read your entire novel? If he doesn’t, your payments for Pages Read in Kindle Unlimited will suffer — as will any chance you have of that reader buying your next novel.

Let’s look at how you win fans: readers who eagerly read every word of your novels, and just as eagerly wait for your next novel. I’ll auto-buy anything new from John Sandford, John Grisham, and Nora Roberts. Someone once said that if you have 100 true fans, you have a business.

Readers become fans because they know that their favorite authors entertain them. It’s a huge relief to be able to buy a novel and be sure that you’re buying several hours of great entertainment. So, how do you write books which entertain?

To write a bestseller, you must entertain

Today, bestselling fiction is written in scenes. In the Victorian era, authors could get away with writing meandering 800-page narratives because few books were published. That said, classic novelists, who are read as eagerly today as they were 200 years ago, like Jane Austen, write in scenes.

When coaching my students, I’ve found that the easiest way to ensure than an author writes entertaining novels and short stories is to encourage him to write in scenes.

So, what’s a scene?

From Fiction: How To Write In Scenes:

What’s a scene? Become a scene expert

You may have heard someone say that your fiction is all telling, rather than showing. Scenes are “showing”. (Narrative is “telling”, and we’ll get to that in a moment.)

I’m fond of saying that a scene is “a unit of action.” Yes, I know… that’s probably as clear as mud. 🙂

A scene happens in real time. The reader inhabits your Point of View (POV) character; the reader is seeing what the POV character sees, touching what he touches, and feeling what he feels.

Writing in scenes makes writing your fiction easier

Writing a novel? Write 40 to 60 scenes, and you’re done. Knowing how many scenes you’ll write, makes outlining (if you’re an author who outlines) much easier. On the other hand, if you’d rather eat worms than outline, writing in scenes ensures that you know which “BIG” scenes you need to write — and that may well be all you need to know.

Check out our new program, “Fiction: How To Write In Scenes… The Magical Secret To Writing Well And Selling More”

Fiction: How To Write In Scenes
Fiction: How To Write In Scenes

Want to write wonderful stories readers love… fiction which SELLS? Our new program guides you in developing an amazing (and fun) fiction writing career: you’ll write better novels faster. You’ll also win fans who love your novels and are eager to buy them.

Read more

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Master Fiction Writing: Craft A Novel in 31 Days

Master Fiction Writing: Craft A Novel in 31 Days

$4.99
Author:
Series: Selling Writer Strategies, Book 4
Genre: Writing
Tag: writing fiction
You want to write a novel. Perhaps you can't get started. Or maybe you got started, and then you stopped.You need a plan, broken down into easy steps. This program began as a 30-day challenge which I organized for readers in 2010. Hundreds of writers joined the challenge and completed it. They wrote novels. More info →

3 Author Behaviors Which Will Kill Your Career

3 Author Behaviors Which Will Kill Your Career

Happy days, you’re an author. Whether traditionally published, or self-published, publishing a book is a wonderful achievement, so kudos to you. Chances are you’re on a high. Unfortunately, that high won’t last. After the happy glow wears off, it’s time to consider that you’re now a pro, and think about what that means.

Basically, it means that what you say and do matters to your career.

You’re a professional author — what you say and do matters to your career

You’ve published a book. Whether you sell ten copies or 100,000, be aware that people are watching:

  • Editors and agents will Google your name;
  • Your readers will form an opinion of who you are, and that will affect whether or not they buy your next book;
  • Other authors will form an opinion too.

Let’s look at some author behaviors which will damage your career, or kill it entirely.

1. Acting like Cinderella: waiting, and waiting some more

This is very common author behavior. Cinderellas wait for other people to do stuff, because they feel that this is their route to success. They wait for:

  • Their agent and/ or editor to get back to them;
  • Readers to provide reviews;
  • Advertising to boost them into bestseller-status…

I met a writer I hadn’t seen in two years. When last we spoke, she was sending query letters for her first novel out to literary agents. Since I hadn’t heard that her book was out — not surprising, because so many books are published — I asked her who her publisher was.

She told me that she didn’t have a publisher. She’d parted ways with Agent One, and was now with Agent 2.

There’s not much you can say to that, so I made commiserating noises and asked what she was working on.

“Oh, I’m not writing. I want to see how this book does.” I wished her well, even though I wanted to shake her.

If you’re waiting for something, stop waiting. Keep writing. My friend could have written three or four more books in the time she was obsessing about agents. Not only would her additional novels had made her a more appealing prospect to both agents and editors, but she could have sold at least one or two.

And of course, she could also have self-published her novels, without waiting for anyone.

Listen up. Writers write. Everything else is totally peripheral. Whatever you’re waiting for won’t change your basic reality: you write today, you’ll write tomorrow, and you’ll write the day after that. As for waiting for things to happen: your aim needs to be to do all you can to make them happen.

2. Being a big mouth: gossiping, and/ or sharing proprietary information

This behavior is unfortunately common among traditionally-published authors, but self-publishing authors are guilty of it too. Traditionally published authors gossip about their agent and editors, and their sales; self-published authors gossip about their designers, web developers, other writers, and their sales.

Shush! Stop it, please.

Please don’t gossip. Word gets around, and sooner or later people won’t return your calls. It should also go without saying that you never share any proprietary information given to you by your agent, editors, or anyone else with whom you’re working.

3. Being a depressing Eeyore: cheer up!

Eeyore is a pessimistic stuffed donkey in the Winnie the Pooh books:

He usually expects misfortune to happen to him, accepts it when it does and rarely even tries to prevent it. His catchphrases are “Thanks for noticin’ me” and “Ohhh-kayyy”.

Never complain in a public forum, and that includes on your blog, on Facebook, in groups… Several editors have told me that when they’re considering an author, they check his social media profiles carefully. Any hint that you’re high-maintenance and prone to complaining, and you can kiss a publishing contract bye-bye.

Everyone has challenges. You can be as weepy as you like in the comfort of your bedroom or home office, but aim to be cheerful in public. You don’t need to be a Pollyanna, but remember that you’re a professional author.

Anyone and everyone can and will Google your name. Even if you’re a member of a private mailing list, or private Facebook group, these groups are public spaces. Keep everything positive.

Your career as an author is up to you

Be professional, and kind. Your career is always what you make it. Enjoy it. 🙂

Resources to build your writing career

Get daily writing news and tips on the blog’s Facebook page.

Need help with your writing? Visit our online store, or check our our ebooks for writers.

Master Fiction Writing: Craft A Novel in 31 Days

Master Fiction Writing: Craft A Novel in 31 Days

$4.99
Author:
Series: Selling Writer Strategies, Book 4
Genre: Writing
Tag: writing fiction
You want to write a novel. Perhaps you can't get started. Or maybe you got started, and then you stopped.You need a plan, broken down into easy steps. This program began as a 30-day challenge which I organized for readers in 2010. Hundreds of writers joined the challenge and completed it. They wrote novels. More info →