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Parsing the Amazon Best-Seller Lists
May 22, 2015 | 10:25 am

amazon best seller listNow that my first book  is up at the Kindle store, I have been reading a ton about Amazon rankings, trying to tweak the category listing for my title to give it broader exposure. I knew the book was not going to be a best-seller. It is a niche category, and I knew that. But it was a book I wanted to read myself, so I figured it would be a good test project for me to learn the ins and outs of the Kindle process. The good news: I am beating out my chief competitor. Normally, I am all for...

Latest Author Earnings Report shows Big Five cutting their own, authors’ throats to get Amazon
May 7, 2015 | 12:25 pm

The May 2015 Author Earnings Report, Hugh Howey and team's "sixth quarterly look at Amazon’s ebook sales," has just hit the web, and I'm going to precis some of its most important conclusions, while recommending that any writer in particular digest the whole thing. And as in the past, this carries the caveat that it is a biased report from a crew with an agenda, and that there will be a grab-bag of by now customary criticisms of its methodology, conclusions, etc. All the same, it's an important milestone document, not least as it's the first Author Earnings Report to...

Why own media when you can rent the library?
April 30, 2015 | 2:51 pm

eatIs ownership of media passé? Over the last few years, I’ve noticed an interesting trend develop. It started with music, as “all-you-can-eat” services like Pandora and Spotify popped up to offer users a chance to listen to as much music as they wanted either free with advertising, or for a small monthly fee. Amazon, Google, and Apple soon followed suit. Then came video, as the holy trinity of Netflix, Hulu, and (again) Amazon launched streaming video services for television and movies. Next, it moved into e-books, with Oyster, Scribd, and, yes, Amazon launching services. (Amazon doesn’t seem...

Kindle Unlimited, Two Weeks Later: The Netflix-ization of Books (For Me)
April 15, 2015 | 12:25 pm

kindle unlimitedI am two weeks into my Kindle Unlimited free trial, and already, I am noticing that this service is having the same effect on me that Netflix had on my TV and movie viewing---I am caring less about consuming media that isn't there. Let me give you an example. When I moved in with the Beloved, I convinced him to give up cable. And, aside from the live sports issue (which he has just corrected by buying himself an MLB.com subscription for his birthday) he hasn't missed it. At the time, there were two cable shows we did watch (The Big...

Amazon debuts Lei Crime Kindle World; what do you want to see next?
April 13, 2015 | 12:25 pm

LeiCrimeThe latest Kindle World popped up last week with the Lei Crime Series. The Lei Crime Series, written by Toby Neal, debuted on April 7. Kindle Worlds allow anyone to write stories within specific universes using characters already developed by the respective authors. The Lei Crime Kindle World kicked off with eight new stories. Kindle Worlds helps writers (please read all the conditions first) earn money for their fan fiction by selling the stories through Amazon. Amazon currently has nearly 40 Kindle Worlds, including G.I. Joe, The Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars, The World of Kurt Vonnegut, and J.A. Konrath’s Jack Daniels and...

Goodreads: A Casualty of the .Ca Upgrade
April 6, 2015 | 2:25 pm

goodreadsI wrote earlier about converting my Amazon.com account over to the .ca portal. Amazon seems to be strongly preferring that people shop at their 'correct' country portal these days---they let me keep using the .com site for my Kindle purchases, but had annoying banners and pop-ups regularly encouraging me to switch over. More recently, they started offering enticements such as a month of free service from Kindle Unlimited. So I bit the bullet, and switched. All my books transferred over just fine. I understood that some people had problems with subscription content such as magazines, but I had no such content...

The Great Canadian Amazon.ca Upgrade
March 31, 2015 | 10:25 am

amazon.caI did something a little momentous today---I finally caved to Amazon's repeated suggestions that I move my account over to Amazon.ca. I did it in part because the Canadian dollar isn't so strong right now and I didn't want to get dinged on the exchange rate, and in part because I want to sell on the Kindle store and figured that a .ca account may simplify that process for me. But mostly, I did it because I wanted to try out Kindle Unlimited. There is a 30-day free trial option, and I wanted to look. And...how did it go? Smooth, very smooth....

Amazon return policy: a case for when it’s appropriate
March 21, 2015 | 10:42 am

amazonA article from 2012 on Amazon's return policy seems to continue getting hits here on Teleread! The updated comments came at an opportune time for me because I just returned a Kindle book yesterday. Here is what happened. The book was a re-purchase of an oldie-but-goodie I had in paper. I did a casual glance at the preview just to make sure it wasn't Topaz, and then I bought the book for $4.99. I realized midway through the first chapter that I was in trouble. There seemed to be an issue with the letters E and C; I was seeing words like...

Amazon AutoRip: better than I expected
March 19, 2015 | 2:41 pm

amazon autoripLast week, I got the hankering to buy [easyazon-link asin="B0029LHW68" locale="us"]This Is War[/easyazon-link] by 30 Seconds to Mars, and I hopped over to Amazon to check pricing. I'd previously purchased one track off the album, and I was expecting I'd get a tiny discount to "complete the album." However, I noticed the CD was on sale for $4.99, which was about half the price of the digital album, and the CD was AutoRip eligible. Cool! I'd known about Amazon AutoRip, but because I seldom purchase CDs, I hadn't given it much thought. When the started the service, I think I ended up...

What Should a Canadian Know Before Publishing on the Kindle Store?
March 5, 2015 | 12:25 pm

kindleI have been preparing some of my teaching stuff for possible publication via the Kindle store, but I have been a little overwhelmed by the process. I want to make sure I do everything correctly, from a business standpoint. But it does not seem like there is good information out there about how to set everything up. Here is what I have found so far: 1) This blog post talks about Amazon withholding taxes for all authors, even non-American ones, and suggests that you need a special American tax number to get out of this. 2) My personal tax accountant, who is...

Should I Try Out Kindle Unlimited?
March 4, 2015 | 2:25 pm

kindle unlimitedKindle Unlimited Rolled Out in Canada a short time ago, and I have been contemplating trying it out. There is a free trial option, but this does not make the decision as straightforward as it might seem because in order to avail myself of the free trial, I would have to convert my Amazon.com account over to the Canadian portal, and I'm worried about doing that. So, some pros and cons. Maybe those of you who have tried this service can tell me what you think? 1) Pros - There seems to be a decent selection of books. I know people have complained...

J.A. Konrath added to Kindle Worlds, but with a twist
February 28, 2015 | 2:20 pm

JD_Banner_1._V329978821_ Kindle Worlds just got a little bigger. J.A. Konrath announced that writers can now submit stories for Jack Daniels and Associates. However, Konrath’s world is a little different as he explained on his blog. He loved the idea of Kindle Worlds when it was announced in 2013. Fans of a specific segment can create new stories using already created worlds and characters and make money off of it (as well as the original author). Fan ficcers get a bad rap. We all learn to write (and speak, and walk) by imitation. Copyright does do some good in protecting intellectual property and allowing a writer...