If you’re an indie author who uses Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) to publish your ebooks and print books, you’ve probably noticed that your sales have tanked over the last 2 to 3 weeks. What’s going on?
Amazon Is Undergoing a Lot of Changes Right Now
First and foremost, Amazon is making a lot of changes to its KDP platform. Specifically, it’s eliminating CreatSpace and forcing authors to use KDP for their print books. This has obviously affected hundreds if not thousands of authors because they now have to move their books from CreateSpace to KDP, but how is that affecting ebook sales and print book and KU/KOLL? It’s still a mystery. Amazon is refusing to acknowledge the problem.
When Did the KDP Glitches and Underreporting Start?
Amazon’s KDP glitches and underreporting started around September 24. At that time, you may have noticed that your KU/KOLL page flips tanked, your ebook sales slowed and your print books were failing to print. You may have even heard from readers who bought your book and said that they love it, but you do not see the corresponding sales reporting.
As of September 30, you may not have seen any KDP page flips and only sporadic downloads and print books sales to spite increasing your advertising presence. For me personally, I redoubled my efforts to post book promotions in Facebook groups, I took out Facebook ads, and I hired a brand management team the week of September 30 because I saw a significant and sudden drop in sales. Their efforts and mine have failed to result in reported sales.
At this same time, if you were on your Author Dashboard reports page, you may have noticed some very brief error messages about sales reporting. This has been happening sporadically since October 3rd. However, these are so brief, usually up an hour or less, that many author’s haven’t seen them.
What Author’s Are Saying
There are several posts in the KDP community asking about sales reporting and asking if anyone else has experienced a sudden, unprecedented drop in KDP sales. The short answer is yes. These Amazon KDP glitches are affecting hundreds if not thousands of indie authors, and along with not reporting sales, your monthly royalties are being affected. That’s right. If KDP doesn’t log your sales, you don’t get paid for those ebook downloads and print book orders.
The Threads You Should Be Watching
KDP-Community-Reports “Anyone Else Missing Sales on Their reports and in Royalties”, Is There a Lag in Sales Reports Updating”, and “Sales Report Freeze Ending?”
Amazon Is Still Suspiciously Silent
To spite the notice by several hundred authors and the many KDP community threads, Amazon is still suspiciously silent over this latest KDP glitch, but they were silent at the end of July and beginning of August until Indie Authors started mass assembling and causing an uproar on social media. It is not okay for Amazon to remain silent and fail to acknowledge the problem. It is not okay that Amazon’s glitches are currently ripping authors off.
What Can You Do?
Contact Amazon and ask why KDP sales are being underreported and royalties are not being paid. Share this post far and wide so that other authors know that it’s not them. It’s Amazon!
What Other Authors Have Said They Are Doing
Some authors are pulling out of KU in order to get their ebooks on more platforms. The KDP Select program requires authors to exclusively sell their ebboks on Amazon, which is great when KDP is functioning normally. When page reads and ebbok sales are not being reported due to glitches, it makes it impossible to sell ebooks, and in order to remain complaint with KPD Select, you can't branch out your eBooks in order to make up for the underreporting.
Going indie with their books is something a lot of authors are doing today. While it’s awesome that you get to keep all of the profits with an indie book, much of getting an indie book out there is the marketing. That’s true of any book. But with an indie book, you have to do a lot of it yourself or outsource some or all of the work. Outsourcing can get expensive, so let’s focus on the things you can do yourself to successfully market your indie book.
Just like with anything you market, a great teaser is what gets people to pay attention to your book and hopefully consider buying it. You don’t need to stick to one teaser, either. Different teasers of various lengths can be used in different ways to successfully market a book. These can be used when sharing on social media, for the description in various marketplaces, to guest post on blogs, and more.
Of course, the prettier or more memorable your book’s cover is, the better it will do as far as sales. That’s because it will catch more eyes. In order to successfully market your indie book, it needs to stand out from the crowd in a good way. It’s also not unusual for the same book to have several different covers, either, so if you can’t decide on just one, it’s perfectly fine to start off with multiple covers. Then, see which one performs the best as far as sales.
Obviously, Facebook and Twitter are a good way to get the word out about books. Google Plus and Linkedin are good for promoting books in certain genres, too, although some more than others. Be sure to know the right hashtags that your target audience frequents and be sure to vary the types of posts that you have. Be sure to share other authors’ posts to show you’re part of the team. It’s also good to find Facebook groups and niche forums that cater to those who would want to read your book.
Word of Mouth
Give the books to friends and family. It’s the old fashioned way to market anything, and it still works! Who knows. They may go on social media and say something, too! Others to give books to include book bloggers and reviewers. These are people willing to give their honest feedback in exchange for a copy of the book. Be sure to target the ones who will be honest, rather than give a glowing review just because they received the book. Honest reviews are best for marketing, as readers are more likely to trust authenticity.
The last thing to think about is Amazon ads. While these can be pricey, they may be beneficial for the first two weeks of your book advertising campaign, especially if you choose great keywords. The most popular keywords are the ones that correspond with book categories, including thriller, romance, erotica, historical and sci-fi. Amazon ads allow you to set a daily budget as well as a max budget for each keyword click, which helps make the ads more affordable. You can also pause an ad at any time if it becomes too expensive.
Marketing an indie book can be challenging. But if you put your best foot forward and be sure to cover the most important areas, you’re more likely to be successful. Some of this advice may seem simple, but it is often the simple things people overlook when trying to successfully market an indie book.
How to Write and Publish a Novel in 60 Days
Writing a book does not have to be a long, complicated process. There are people every year who write and publish multiple books. The key factor is to set goals and accomplish those goals on a daily or nightly basis. Here are some author tips to get you started.
Dedicate time every day to write.
You need to set aside time every day to write. Pick a time when it is quiet, and you will have no interruptions. A good time might be in the morning, or before you go to bed at night. Do not start writing when you are going through a big change such as a new child, a new job, or have just got married. These changes take up time that will distract from the writing process.
Set a Daily Word Count Goal
While every author knows that a novel is going to be as long as it will be, it helps to set an overall total. For example, you could set the goal of writing a 70,000 word novel over the course of the next 6 weeks. That breaks down to 11,666 words a week or 1,666 words per day.
Pick a certain word amount to write every day. For instance, if you can write three pages a day, then you can have a novel-length book written in 50 days.
Don't Edit While Your Write
Do not spend any time editing when you first write your story. Editing stops the flow of getting the words onto the paper. Then, it takes longer to get back into writing.
Use the Last Two Weeks to Edit
Take a break from writing and don't look at your manuscript for at least a day. Taking a break gives your mind a rest from the manuscript you have been obsessing over. Then you can look over the story with a fresh pair of eyes.
The first line of defense is a good spelling and grammar check program. This should not be your only line of editing. Read your story out loud. Listening to it can help pick up any words that sound out of place, or disrupt the flow of the story. Look for troubling words that you are not sure that you got right. An example of this is using effect or effect, or they're, there, or their. Also, check for words that you repeat a lot. Replace these words with something more interesting.
After you edit, you need to think about publishing the book. The fastest way to get your book published is to do it yourself. Amazon offers a good publishing service called Kindel Direct Publishing. This service is easy to use and will allow you to sell your books on Amazon. You can also use Create Space to make hard copies of the book to sell on Amazon.
All you have to do to use this publishing service is to upload your story. Then fill out a small form about what your book is about, what category it fits under, and how much you wish to charge. Amazon will take a percentage of what you earn. Still, this is the fastest and easiest way to get your book out there.
Above where some authors tips on how to quickly write a book. Set aside dedicated time, self-edit, and then publish your book on kindle.
How To Choose A Good Book Reviewer
Choosing someone to review your book should be done methodically. Besides, you've wrote a masterpiece and you want a review that will analyze the dialogue of your book, right?. There are many factors that will contribute to how you choose someone to review your book. A good book review should help your book gain exposure and generate positive reviews. However, someone reviewing your book with an unbias review may point out your strength and weaknesses which lends to the credibility of the rewiew. Contininue reading to find out how you can find a good book review for your written works below.
Find Someone With A Reading List
A reviewer that has a reading list, regularly reads books and can lend to your exposure. If they include their reviews on a blog, this can attract other readers to your book.
Understand Your Booking Marketing Strategy
Decide what your marketing strategy is going to be for your book, before you look for a reviewer. For example, will you be marketing your reviews on social media? Your marketing strategy is another important contribution to finding a book revenue source because scholarly reviews attracts readers.
Hire Book Review Services
If you have a good marketing budget for your book, hiring professional book review services to do all the work is a great idea. Hiring a professional allows you to focus on new material, find your strengths and weaknesses in your current written material, or work on generating revenue for your written work. Professional review services will give you a membership, diverse reviewers, quality reviews from a professional team, and possible discounts.
Additional Marketing Strategies
Quality & Quantity
Always look for quality thought out reviews for your book. Quality reviews means your book will get maximum exposure and generate great opportunities for increased sales. The goal of getting a review is giving other readers quality perspective about the characters, storyline, and dialogue of your book. Quantity is the complete opposite of quality because it dictates how many reviews a book can generate. If you're interested in quantity, you should still be concerned with quality for the best interests of your book. For example, getting your reviews from a book club allows author's to get reviews from the entire club of readers.
Find a book reviewer that will be open minded about all types of reading material. You can get someone that is committed to your written genre to read your material. However, if you dare to be bold, you can always find a reviewer that has no experience with your reading material to lend more credibility to your review. Avoid someone you've already dealt with in the past to review your book because you want to avoid repetitive reviews. If a notable author is reviewing your book, it may be beneficial to have a review from them once or twice. It's good to know that noteworthy scholars are reading your material.
Finally, always try to follow-up with your reviewers to thank them for taking the time to read your book.
What's The Difference Between A Guaranteed Positive Paid Review And A General Paid Book Review
Lets face it; reviews are a great way to advance your author brand and get people to take notice. However, if you want someone to assess the nature of your work, you need a reviewer who is unbiased in order to give you an honest review, and when we think of unbiased reviews, we generally think of customers who have purchased your book and either loved it or hated it enough to leave a detailed comment. Unfortunately, some authors have difficulty getting natural reviews for their books from paying customers. In these instances, the author may choose to pay for reviews, and reviews generally come in two types, including guaranteed positive reviews and general paid reviews.
General Paid Reviews
General paid reviews are not expressly considered taboo and not expressly forbidden. However, they represent a gray area for book sellers and authors. A general paid review means that the author paid the reviewer money to ensure they read the text of the book and to review that book on popular websites, like Amazon and Goodreads. The quality of the review and the star level is not guaranteed, meaning the reviewer could rate it anywhere from 1 to 5 stars, and the author has no control over the rating or the text of the review. However, since most book reviewers do not want to damage an author’s reputation by posting poor reviews, many won’t rate below three stars, and if they believe the book is worth one or two stars, they simply won’t leave a review.
For sites that charge for reviews, this can be problematic. The site wants to attract more authors so that they can receive more money, but if the site gets a reputation for not posting reviews,it could harm the business. In this instance, many book review websites will send the book to more reviewers in hopes or finding someone who likes the book enough to rate it three stars or better. This causes many authors to think of paid book reviews as being unethical and unfair.
Guaranteed Positive Reviews
Positive paid book reviews pose a credibility threat to authors and can make readers wary if they think a book review thread is stuffed with paid positive reviews. A guaranteed paid positive book review also falls under fake reviews and can cause the author to be penalized on popular websites like Amazon.
Truthfully, paid and guaranteed positive reviews are not fair to potential reader's and can cause sites like Amazon to remove the review, warn the author and even revoke the author’s and/or the reviewer’s account. Many sites, including Amazon, are cracking down on the subculture that exchanges reviews for compensation on many publishing websites.
They are doing this because, four and five star reviews help improve conversion rates and puts the author’s books higher in the Amazon search ranks. Amazon has closed the accounts of hundreds of customers suspected of using their account for commercial purposes (i.e. paid guaranteed positive book reviews).
Are Paid Book Reviews Even Worth It?
Many credible websites are against positive paid reviews and penalizes authors that use positive paid book reviews. Many publishing websites have begin to ban authors that are suspected of offering incentives for a book review. Reviews are important to marketing strategy of your book, and Amazon encourages honest reviews from actual readers. The integrity of the reviewer's on their e-commerce network is at stake, and they work diligently to get honest reviews from their book club readers and customers at Amazon. They have a book club that reviews books, but not from being compensated by the author.
Yes, paid book reviews work, but they may not provide a credible review, if the reviewer is being enticed with a reward to say something nice about your book. Do you want your reviews on the back cover of your book or reviewed on a top website?
Traditional publishing is a business agreement that a writer must thoroughly have full knowledge of, prior to opting into such agreement. With this method, writers must create a manuscript and proposal. Once, successfully completed the writer can either have an agent submit it in or they can send in the proposal on their own. Next, the proposal will then be thoroughly examined by an editor to distinguish if it is suitable to be published.
Most times, the proposal can be sent back for alterations and then must be resubmitted to the editor. At this point, the author must wait to hear back from the editor to see if it will be rejected or published. Furthermore, if the publishing company has interest in the proposal and choose to move forward with publishing your novel, they will purchase authority from you and offer you an advance and additional future royalties. The publishing company will finance all expenses for the design and supplies for the novel and will only print enough books that will actually turn over a profit.
Self-Publishing differs from traditional publishing, since the author will have sole proprietorship of their book and does not have to adhere to any contracts with publishers or publishing firms to get their book started. However, the author will be responsible for all expenses that may consist of design, printing, marketing and advertising to get their book out there.
Traditional Publishing Pros
Traditional Publishing Cons
Self-publishing is a superb strategy to expose your name or brand within the world. Keep in mind, when you use this method to create a novel you are responsible for the groundwork in getting the story advertised. This may consist of paid reviews, marketing and various useful concepts to enhance your book brand. One important thing to consider prior to your books completion is where do you find reviews for your novel? Here are a few companies that you can look into for reviews for your book:
LibraryThing offers an astonishing outlet for individuals who chat about books, reviews etc.; It also hosts a social platform web site that is an extraordinary atmosphere for writers to associate with possible insiders. This leaves many ideas to get your novel out there and pull in interested readers. LibraryThing also features participant sweepstakes which allows authors to render books to readers. Authors can customize the number of novels specifically for giveaways and individuals will register for the sweepstakes for a chance to win these books.
Goodreads is another great resource that offers a broader widespread of tools for writers. However, authors do not have selling capabilities or do not have to pay for reviews from this site to sell their books; they must be offered to readers for free. This can benefit most authors, as this can bring a host of input from readers who have read your novel. Keep in mind; if you are knowledgeable, you can advertise your novels on your primary site and other sites to make up for the budget of the free novels rendered on sites like Goodreads.
Social websites can also be a benefit to your novel if you know how to work your magic where you can get free reviews for your novel. The good thing about social sites is they have a large widespread of users who enjoy reading and rendering book reviews. You can browse for people to review your novel on well-known sites like Facebook, twitter, Instagram and many other social platforms that will get your novel out there.
Any Subject Books
Pays their readers cash for reading novels and rendering honest book reviews. This is also a great resource, since users are familiar with what this site requires. Users must first register as a reviewer and Any Subject Books will ship books to these prospects to read and provide an honest review.
Kirkus is another great resource that works in the industry of book reviews that authors will have to pay to obtain, however, in the end it could be worth the while to get insiders familiar with your novel. They are not specific on the various packages they offer, however they generally require reviews of a 350-word novel or more and writers can obtain a bundle for no more than $500 to obtain reviews for their book.
Most journalists choose to have their novel examined by critics with good intentions. Truthfully, a novel written by an unrecognized writer, is likable to start slow to reach development. In some cases, journalists may research famous well-known writers to request permission to have them provide an influential novel brief or a positive statement, that is usually posted on the canvas of the novel, accessible on the web site where the books are advertised.
Furthermore, many novelists may ask love ones or network for feedback. Realistically, if you’re not a well-known writer that has previous trendy and favorable novels to back up you up. The notion of paid feedback can be a challenge. Furthermore, in case your story is not doing well, you could obtain editors notes, with the risk and hope of a positive outcome.