Amazon Sweetens the Select Deal

But are they just making the rich, richer?

If you haven’t seen this post from Amazon about the new Select All-Stars program, I suggest you head over and take a look, especially if your books are in KDP Select. Essentially, Amazon needed an additional $2.7 million (on top of the standard $2 million), just to get August’s KU/KOLL borrows payout to $1.54. They had to more than double the pot, and it still came out almost $0.50 below the average for the last two years!

In addition, they’ve installed an All-Star program for the Top 100 books and authors per month who are in the Select program. The numbers look amazing, but when it comes down to it, Amazon is simply rewarding those who are already successful. And, if these top authors are then further thrust into additional spotlight, what chance does it give to anyone else wanting to break into the top? Are they just making it better for those who already have it good?

As always, the folks over at kboards are already heatedly debating the possible issues. ūüėČ

What do you think? Good for the author or bad for the author?

Tally Up Twitter Tuesday ‚Äď 9/09


It was a quiet couple of weeks for new content. I did a really poor job of getting out tweets that weren’t about me and my writing. Shame on me! This week’s roundup of what I think are some of the best links I’ve shared over on Twitter:

27 Places to Get a Book Tour (and the Top Ten)  via @selfpubreview 

Publishing Advice I’d Give My Younger Self ¬†via @jakonrath¬†

4 Ways Authors Can Rock on Twitter  via @CaballoFrances 

You can get these tweets first hand by following me over on Twitter! ūüėÄ

Amazon Releases Utility for Creating Illustrated Children’s Books


From Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing yesterday:

Starting today, you can use Kindle Kids’ Book Creator to create illustrated children’s books for Kindle, taking advantage of features like text pop-ups. Here’s how to get started:

1. Download the tool, and you can convert individual illustrations into interactive books for both Kindle devices and free reading apps.
2. Once your book is ready, export the file and upload it to KDP.
3. Set the book category, age range, and grade range to help customers find the right books for their kids.

Want to learn how to prepare, publish, and promote illustrated and chapter books for children? Check out the new KDP Kids for more information.

So, while folks have been publishing children’s picture books through KDP since the program began, the hurdles to getting there were significant. Now, the path should at least be a little more streamlined.

What do you think? Something you’ll use?

Hey you! Thanks!


Yes, you. Weary interweb browser. Thanks for stopping by today, or last week, or the week before. I hope you’ve read a thing or two that has informed you or at least made you think. That’s why I’me here. I like talking books and writing and self publishing.

It’s been twelve weeks, or approximately 3 months, since I moved over to WordPress from my old blogger haunts. I’ve now crested¬†100 followers and it’s really been refreshing and reminded me of why I actually like blogging. WordPress seems to have it figured out. I was certainly never able to feel the sense of community until I came here.

So, thanks. I look forward to sharing insights and thoughtful ruminations about writing and this whole publishing journey thing. ūüėČ

Tally Up Twitter Tuesday – 8/26

For the love of alliteration! This will be a continuing series for writers and self publishers. It’s a roundup of what I think are some of the best links I’ve shared over on Twitter.

This week’s list:

Stuff I want to know (from Amazon) via @hughhowey 

The 10 Dark, Gritty Rules of Dystopian Science Fiction 

Tough Love For Authors ‚ÄĒ Stop Whining And Do The Work! via @badredheadmedia¬†

10 Stunning writing studios 

TED Talks РSimon Sinek РHow great leaders inspire action: via @YouTube 


Amazon Adds Pre-orders for All Authors

How’s that for alliteration? If you haven’t noticed, or didn’t think to look like the rest of us, there’s a new button on your KDP Direct Reports Dashboard…



You may have to log out first and log back in, in order to see the change. At least that’s what I had to do. Here’s a path to Amazon’s description of the new feature:¬†

And another screenshot of where you actually choose when the book will release…



These images were not so sneakily stolen from the thread over at where heated discussion has erupted as it often does with new Amazon initiatives. ūüėÄ You can check out the conversation here.

I know I’ll be using it in the near future for my upcoming release. I’m always willing to give a new tool a shot. I’m hearing both good and bad and the thing has only been live for about three hours. We’ll see how it all pans out though.

Important Kindle Request – A Letter from Amazon


If you’re a KDP author, you might have checked your email this morning and found a rather interesting letter from Kindle Direct Publishing. In it, there’s a brief history lesson on how paperback books were initially perceived by the publishing industry, an explanation of how traditional ebook pricing is hurting everyone involved, and a request to email bomb¬†Hachette CEO, Michael Pietsch. If you’re not a KDP author, you can read¬†the letter here:¬†

My first reaction was, wow… it’s come to this. While Hachette has rallied its authors against Amazon during this dispute, Amazon has kept things fairly low key. Yes, they’ve posted letters to public forums, but this is taking the battle to a whole new level. A call to arms, so to say, to its KDP authors. And, to be honest, I’m not sure I’m OK¬†with it.

We’re talking about a corporate battle between two giants and each side has, in turn, asked its minions to throw their weight into the mix. While Hachette¬†has a¬†cadre of well-known authors, Amazon must have contacted hundreds of thousands of authors with this single email. Even if only a percentage respond, you’re probably still looking at 10x the number of Hachette’s authors. But, what’s the point? Does Amazon really believe that overwhelming this poor schmuck’s email inbox with 100,000 letters from unknown authors will sway the tide? Or, is this just a symbolic gesture to say, “You say you’ve got author power? I’ll show you author power.”

In all, the letter leaves me with a bad taste. I hope the two sides can come to an agreement soon, as I’m losing my patience in the whole matter. I agree that low ebook pricing makes sense on many levels, but I don’t appreciate being made a pawn in a battle I’m not involved in.

Amazon opens up about Hachette dispute


If you’ve been following the soap opera of Amazon vs Hachette and vice versa, you know that it’s created quite the rift between traditionally published authors (some of whom are also betrothed, contractually, to Hachette) and independently¬†published authors. Barbs have been thrown between author groups, but for the most part, the actual parties involved have been cautious in their public declarations. Amazon released its most recent statement yesterday, in the form of a letter that tries to explain the benefit of lower ebook pricing to all parties involved.

There are two parts of this statement that stuck with me:

“For every copy an e-book would sell at $14.99, it would sell 1.74 copies if priced at $9.99. So, for example, if customers would buy 100,000 copies of a particular e-book at $14.99, then customers would buy 174,000 copies of that same e-book at $9.99. Total revenue at $14.99 would be $1,499,000. Total revenue at $9.99 is $1,738,000.”

“While we believe 35% should go to the author and 35% to Hachette, the way this would actually work is that we would send 70% of the total revenue to Hachette, and they would decide how much to share with the author. We believe Hachette is sharing too small a portion with the author today, but ultimately that is not our call.”

That last part is a smooth move on Amazon’s part. Nothing like telling trad pubbed authors just how much bank¬†they’re losing due to¬†their contracts. It’s definitely an attempt to try and sway Hachette’s foundation of authors. I don’t see anyone budging anytime soon, but if other publishing houses start making deals with Amazon without all this fuss, I bet we’ll see Hachette bend in the end.

What do you think?