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n8r
Jul 3, 2003

I helped Lowtax become a cyborg and all I got was this lousy avatar

I know this is outside of typical self-publishing, but does anyone have experience with the Publish to Kindle system? This is part of vendorcentral which is I think aimed toward the indy publisher. We are able to set a 'Digital List Price' - we are then paid 40% of that digital list price. Amazon gets to decide what the actual price of the book is.

So here is a typical scenario:
$12.95 print and DLP
Amazon discounts the eBook to $7.13 - we are still paid 40% of $12.95

We also have some of our books on createspace - in this situation if we set the price to $9.99 - we get paid $6.57 (4mb eBook file) - this price does not get discounted.

We have a real mish-mash of listing some of these books on P2K and some on KDP. Should we be listing our titles on P2K - maybe give up some per book $$, but they get sold for cheaper? These are non-fiction fairly unique / niche books (about dogs) - I am not sure how price sensitive the customer really is.

There is also the other factor that we have our books on the other larger platforms: B&N/Apple/Kobo/Google - these all have different pricing wrinkles - depending on where it goes, the prices might need to be different.

Another thing that we have really struggled with is our title Metadata. Management (primarily me) has not done a very good job staying on top of how our books look / descriptive content across all platforms. It is now a mess - is it better to move to ONIX? Should we just go in and tune up each book on each platform by hand? Depending on how you slice it we're talking about ~200 titles or so.

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n8r
Jul 3, 2003

I helped Lowtax become a cyborg and all I got was this lousy avatar

My small family owned publishing co is starting to use createspace very extensively in our business. We put up near finished versions of the book, have a proof printed, then check for errors. There is still nothing (IMHO) that is better for final error checking than reading a physical copy. It also saves us from making $10/page $100/cover corrections with our offset printers. Createspace's B&W printing costs are very good. If you can't justify the space / cost of doing a 1000+ copy run with an offset printer, createspace is the way to go IMHO.

There are still some gaps that createspace doesn't cover particularly well - supplying to B&T/Ingram through their wholesale program doesn't work very well. You can use ingramspark/lightning source for that, but that's another platform to deal with delivering / proofing. Because we still have a physical warehouse / shipping dept, we choose to simply supply createspace books to ingram/b&t.

The math on this stuff works really well for stuff that isn't terribly long that you can charge $14.95+ for. Cheaper / shorter works isn't quite so great.

n8r
Jul 3, 2003

I helped Lowtax become a cyborg and all I got was this lousy avatar

divabot posted:

Here's a couple of questions!

1. Both Kindle and CreateSpace should be paying me at the end of this month. How good are each of these at being on time with payments?

2. My Bitcoin pundit career is going great guns! (I got to go on BBC Newsnight and call cryptocurrency garbage. Don't ever buy into cryptos, btw, they're a car crash. Trust me, I'm an expert.)

Soooo I just got a note inviting me to speak at a seminar, to a small number of people who have money. I'm gonna charge for my time of course, but I can sell books there. Which means physical paperbacks I bring in a box.

Now, one of the great things about this self-publishing racket in TYOOL 2017 is 0 capital expenditure. Has anyone here done this, or anything like it? Was it worth it? Did you end up with a box of books under your bed forever?

The books are $3.03 each to print, but all author copies come from America (because Createspace is dumb), at some ruinous shipping rate to the UK. Obviously I'll have a pile of money on September 30 assuming the answer to my first question is good, but I sorta don't right now.

Does anyone have suggestions as to how to approach this? Doing a talk with a box of nonfiction books - good idea, bad idea, no idea?

(I'll no doubt do a pile of flyers for people who haven't got cash on them right there. Who carries cash in the UK these days? Less people than you might think.)

The shipping Amazon charges for ordering your own createspace books and sending it to the UK is stunningly cheap compared to what it would cost me to send it USPS. I just selected a random book on our list and did a 50 book order and shipping was only $50. So I'm guessing you'd only be into each book $4-$5. What is your retail price for the book? I would contend that self publishers of non-fiction niche books tend to underprice them (I'm guilty of it). A combination of speaking and in person book sales can end up being result in nice income depending on what sort of fees you can command.

Have a shortened URL for your book that links to your book to Amazon through your affiliate code. Some people might want to just buy from Amazon instead of dealing with an in person purchase - so promote that as well. You're dealing with a pretty techy audience so that might be enough vs. a print book. We've had a booth at conferences in the past, and a good speaker can be the difference between virtually no sales and 50-100 copies of a title (these are 500+ person conferences).

If you're speaking to <100 person groups, I'd probably not gently caress with it and just do a tinyurl sort of link that does Amazon + affiliate.

n8r
Jul 3, 2003

I helped Lowtax become a cyborg and all I got was this lousy avatar

13# (on phone) and $17 are dumb prices. Crank those up to 14.95# and $19.95. Threshold pricing my friend.

n8r
Jul 3, 2003

I helped Lowtax become a cyborg and all I got was this lousy avatar

divabot posted:

So I sent back "I would be delighted to do a talk for £300" and haven't heard back. Oh well!

(a price calculated on spending proper preparation time, slides, practice for timing, etc. Really it should be about £500 all up, but hey.)

I'm getting more curious about book printing. SO! Anyone here in the UK got your own short run of books printed? Who did you use? What did it cost? Would they cope with PDFs for CreateSpace or mangle them? Experiences welcomed!

Typically the pdfs for creatspace should basically work. Our offset printer spine widths are slightly different than cs so we have to adjust those. Given the cost I've seen to have cs ship to even the U.K. I would not be surprised if that is a economical option.

We've moved everything that had potential for short run over to using cs and buying our own copies. We now either do 1500+ runs or buy from creatspace.

Do you have a plan where you would sell these? I don't really know the U.K. wholesale market so maybe you can get into that. Selling to the US wholesalers have some pretty big hurdles.

n8r
Jul 3, 2003

I helped Lowtax become a cyborg and all I got was this lousy avatar

divabot posted:

I looked at Lightning Source, who print in the UK and a friend said their POD was really nice. Prices look good, rejigged the cover to fit their template (paper is slightly thinner), go to create a login aaaaaand they'll get back to me in a couple of days to see if they really want me as a customer! ... what? I want you to print stuff from PDFs I upload. So, erm, waiting ...

Have you looked and ingram spark? The platform is easier to use and the same stuff. I believe the pricing is virtually the same. We have an LS account but the book setup stuff was a royal pain in the rear end. I am under the impression that LS is really for larger publishers.

It's on our list of things to do. Fun fact - at least in some markets create space is the Ingram program.

n8r
Jul 3, 2003

I helped Lowtax become a cyborg and all I got was this lousy avatar

divabot posted:

Ingram bought LightningSource, and this appears to be another version of that. I must admit, I'm balking at the bit where their price list has a $50 "setup fee" per book and they demand my credit card before I can finish account setup.

Yeah, I strongly suspect Amazon actually use Ingram to do the printing in the UK.

Are you doing spark or source? You want to do spark unless you've got some specific reason. The spark platform is easier to use and everything else is the same.

Most of the people that are successful with creatspace should do spark/ls. At least that's what the publishing consulting industry says.

n8r
Jul 3, 2003

I helped Lowtax become a cyborg and all I got was this lousy avatar

You pay title setup fees for LS as well - I think they're the same or nearly the same. Just do Spark.

n8r
Jul 3, 2003

I helped Lowtax become a cyborg and all I got was this lousy avatar

Yah any book that has sub 100k sales rank generates a nice little bit of revenue. You should consider finding a literary agent if you think you've got another good marketable idea.

n8r
Jul 3, 2003

I helped Lowtax become a cyborg and all I got was this lousy avatar

divabot posted:

I'm actually surprised I have had zero bites from actual agents, let alone publishers. (I have of course had offers from clearly scammy translators ... also from sincere translators. What sort of deal is appropriate to a friendly translator on a self-pub?)

Actually, this is a good question: self-published books are the quintessential long tail product, where 99% nobody is going to care about. I've sold maybe 2500 pushing 3000 of mine. This strikes me as a possible story! Who in the press is interested in self-pub success? I really should approach my local paper ...

The issue here is that if you have a book somewhere in that 100K sales rank - there are 99,999 other books that people can be talking about.

The world of NYC book agents is not something I am very familiar with, but most of the time it's a you come to us sort of deal. If you managed to get yourself onto mainstream media and positioned yourself as the bitcoin guy, then you would definitely be getting approached by legit agents or publishers. This is just a guess, but the mainstream publishing world probably lives and dies on the top 500-1000 books on Amazon. Their business models and costs just don't wash with books that sell only a few thousand copies. Over the years of long tail products, I'm sure brings in some decent income, but seeking titles like that out is not viable at all.

I would think within the world of *coins there is room to make a pretty good living writing and speaking on the subject. This is going to be an ongoing full time job of marketing yourself, speaking engagements, writing, and blogging. In addition having a PhD from an ivy league institution will also really help that.

The big agents/pubs are always looking for good ideas, but it doesn't mean that you'll end up wealthy and famous if they publish your book. The author is still on the hook for doing lots of the marketing and sales. The author I work with that does self pub and mainstream stuff has pretty mixed feelings on the mainstream publishers.

If you don't want to continue to wade through the details of being a publisher, you should consider finding an indy publisher. They won't be able to do massive marketing, but they should bring some strong editorial feedback and refinement to your books. It will let you write, without having to work out all of the details about editing, cover design, and some pieces of marketing. If you want to continue to make money writing, you have to make people want to read *your* books - and all of the self pub advice about email marketing / blogging / social media / etc applies.

Edit:
Just to add, the mainstream pub world involves the agent pitching finished / edited books to the publishers. Often times it is on the author to get the manuscript to that point - typically spending their own money on good editing services to make it happen.

n8r fucked around with this message at 21:01 on Nov 7, 2017

n8r
Jul 3, 2003

I helped Lowtax become a cyborg and all I got was this lousy avatar

Books are popular gifts. Depends a bit on how gift-able your stuff is.

n8r
Jul 3, 2003

I helped Lowtax become a cyborg and all I got was this lousy avatar

You should definitely charge sales tax - and report it and pay it.

You might make your life easier if you set your price so when you charge tax it comes up to a nice round number. Make sure you are able to take cash, you'd be surprised how many people still pay with it.

n8r
Jul 3, 2003

I helped Lowtax become a cyborg and all I got was this lousy avatar

Is this thread still alive at all?

I'm looking at buying some publishing rights, but for some reason the publisher doesn't want to transfer the ISBN along with the rights. We would issue new ISBNs. How bad is this? I know in the past we've been able to associate new versions of books with previous versions on Amazon. I don't get why this person is being so paranoid about it.

n8r
Jul 3, 2003

I helped Lowtax become a cyborg and all I got was this lousy avatar

We've had eBooks and print books associated previously. I wonder if we can have a new version associated, I'm guessing we can.

re: createspace - setup an account and upload the book and order a proof. That's the best way to answer the question. I honestly have no idea how anyone makes money with color unless you do massive print runs.

n8r
Jul 3, 2003

I helped Lowtax become a cyborg and all I got was this lousy avatar

moana posted:

Yes, but it could be more advantageous not to link them. Amazon really really really likes new books.

Within our market, the reviews are probably more important.

n8r
Jul 3, 2003

I helped Lowtax become a cyborg and all I got was this lousy avatar

Createspace was some ancient tech - probably good it's gone away. We do a shocking amount of our business through createspace/kdp.

n8r
Jul 3, 2003

I helped Lowtax become a cyborg and all I got was this lousy avatar

divabot posted:

not really, KDP is still Createspace with a concussion.

I bet they're gonna kill the CS forums and the extensive help pages and layout template generators and so forth, even though they're vastly superior to the KDP versions.

I kinda don't blame Amazon, that little corner of their platform was/is legit ancient. My favorite was the cover creator tool running Java, straight up 2006 tech. I was annoyed when our layout person decided to mash the migrate to KDP button then say I told her to do it. It was right before we released a new book, so that caused some confusion because it took a minute to figure out the new platform.

Createspace / KDP has meant that we barely do any offset printing for new titles. Amazon can buy directly from us, but in the last few years they've been buying our titles from B&T which is both good and bad. The good being sending books to B&T is logistically easier, the bad being when Amazon buys directly from us we get better margins and they pay shipping. If we drop our titles from both B&T and Ingram, Amazon will revert back to buying from us, but then we lose out on other resellers who buy from Ingram/B&T. We have tried that with a few titles, and it seems like about 10-15% of the purchasing from Ingram/B&T goes to people other than Amazon.

When you are small/indy you just have to pick which turd you wanna eat.

n8r
Jul 3, 2003

I helped Lowtax become a cyborg and all I got was this lousy avatar

Amazon KDP - unless you're looking for really high print quality.

n8r
Jul 3, 2003

I helped Lowtax become a cyborg and all I got was this lousy avatar

Black and white is fine, never seen a color printing. Google KDP print calculator. You're looking at something like $2 for 150 pages iirc.

n8r
Jul 3, 2003

I helped Lowtax become a cyborg and all I got was this lousy avatar

KDP will still be cheaper than any game in town. Putting the files up on KDP won't do you much harm. Even if you don't like the product you get, the files you make for KDP will be the same as what you'd send to anyone else.

n8r
Jul 3, 2003

I helped Lowtax become a cyborg and all I got was this lousy avatar

With createspace you could print something without ever publishing it which was really nice and we used quite a bit. Now it seems that you have to publish it somewhere, but you can just turn on Japan and nowhere else. Once you have it turned on in Japan, you can order copies, then immediately turn it back off. You can order proofs without having the book published, but the covers do have proof printed across the front of it. Even if you end up printing elsewhere, KDP can be a really nice quality check to make sure the layout looks good.

You could also check Ingram Spark maybe? I'm really just familiar with those two options, I'm sure there are lots of short run printers available via google, but I'd be surprised if any of them can touch KDP's pricing.

n8r
Jul 3, 2003

I helped Lowtax become a cyborg and all I got was this lousy avatar

The one author I know that has been published Simon and Schuster has a publishing agent which seems to make a huge difference. The good agents only bring good work to the publishers so they learn to trust them. Good luck just landing an agent without some credentials. S&S did virtually no marketing for her last book despite having a long time strong selling book for them. You have to create your own audience. The only way to have an audience is to write. We always look at how much of a following an author has prior to publishing them. If you have no following you have to write something really amazing for us to want to deal with you (we are an indy non fiction pub).

n8r
Jul 3, 2003

I helped Lowtax become a cyborg and all I got was this lousy avatar

I think you could back the sun light way off if that is something you're adding in with photoshop. I'd be interested in seeing it without that aging/artifact effect you've added on. I think you're colors are off on the fonts as well, the 'book three' part stands out the most because it's white. I'd suggest going smaller on the author name as well, nobody knows who you are, really prioritize the flood tide title. I think you could probably ditch the book three thing completely off the cover.

I'd do no artifact, reduce/eliminate sun effect, title where author name is, author name in lower right or lower left. Use either the same color for both title / author name, or use a 'real' complimentary color for the author name:
https://www.sessions.edu/color-calculator/

n8r
Jul 3, 2003

I helped Lowtax become a cyborg and all I got was this lousy avatar

jazzyjay posted:

Interestingly I haven't done anything with the photo beside text and scratches - all the lighting is in the original photo. My guess is the photographer used fill flash or lighting to offset the sun behind the model and that's what you're picking up as weird lighting effects.



Photoshop a bit more sky, put the title up there. Starting just below her waist do some author name / series name stuff. Big huge author name style screams lovely grocery store paperback. Also ditch the scratches.

There is enough going on with the original photo, don't overdo it.

n8r
Jul 3, 2003

I helped Lowtax become a cyborg and all I got was this lousy avatar

pseudanonymous posted:

And thankfully, we know that's reliable data from digitalbookworld.com. There's no way digitalbookworld.com has any interest in skewing the survey. digitalbookworld.com only cares about reliably surveying authors to analyze their income (wait how the gently caress did they identify "aspiring" authors).

I guess my point is, that chart is completely worthless garbage.

It's pretty easy to glean sales data from Amazon sales rank. I can tell you a 50,000 sales rank is probably 100 copies a month. 5000 is 1000 copies a month - very roughly. No idea what 500 or 5 correlates to, but I can tell you that very few authors are making a living just off their books. Have you seen the fees authors charge for speaking? That's where some of the big money is...

n8r
Jul 3, 2003

I helped Lowtax become a cyborg and all I got was this lousy avatar

If the book actually gets popular, would using the name Britannica as the name of the kids get you into trouble?

n8r
Jul 3, 2003

I helped Lowtax become a cyborg and all I got was this lousy avatar

Doesn't your blurb contain two fragments right off the bat in the first paragraph? Also it's in italics making it a little tough to read. Who is this greaser talking to?

I can't give exact feedback on the writing, but the stuff I read was... stilted. It was like there were too many commas all in the wrong spots. Did you have this book copy edited?

The only portion available on the look inside is a weird scooby doo style prologue. What does this prologue have to do with the main story? If this is supposed to be the sales pitch for the book, it didn't work for me. I was mostly confused and had to re-read sections to tell what is going on.

n8r
Jul 3, 2003

I helped Lowtax become a cyborg and all I got was this lousy avatar

Getting impartial feedback can be difficult as an author. I cannot count the number of times we've had authors bring us manuscripts that they swear are ready for publication because all of their friends have read it and say it's amazing.

n8r
Jul 3, 2003

I helped Lowtax become a cyborg and all I got was this lousy avatar

Have you ever purchased a short story? Me neither.

n8r
Jul 3, 2003

I helped Lowtax become a cyborg and all I got was this lousy avatar

Your book looks cool as hell but that print cost is wild. We only deal with perfect bound but on a $3 cost we want to sell for $19.95-24.95. This involves dealing with distributors taking 40-55% discount.

I donít know much about hardcover but Iím under the impression that manufacturing is all in China. Were you dealing with someone there directly? Printing is all about volume and often times 2000 copies is nearly the same price as 500.

Quite an accomplishment to produce a work like what you did, congrats.

n8r
Jul 3, 2003

I helped Lowtax become a cyborg and all I got was this lousy avatar

Has anyone tried to publish in Spanish? Any tips/pointers on getting started. We have no in house Spanish speakers and I think the fees to get started might be too high.

n8r
Jul 3, 2003

I helped Lowtax become a cyborg and all I got was this lousy avatar

Weebly letís you run a 5 page site on your hosting for free. I have a $2.50/month plan from newtek hosting. Works great and was an easy setup.

n8r
Jul 3, 2003

I helped Lowtax become a cyborg and all I got was this lousy avatar

Leng posted:

Alright, back with more questions!

Based on new data coming in, it seems like the majority of my target customers buy either from Amazon (in which case they'll most likely order the KDP paperback over the ebook), or direct from the publisher (i.e. me). Reading up on IngramSpark's vaunted "distribution" into actual bookstores seems like it's not that accurate and also not that beneficial (you would have to set royalty at 55% AND allow returns AND they won't ship returns to Australia so the only option for returned stock is destruction ).

HOWEVER, the majority still prefer reading in hardcover.

So right now I'm thinking of ordering small batches of author copies and selling hardcovers directly through my own website. Since it's such a niche audience, I think I'd have more luck selling directly.

Has anyone done something similar? If so, what are you using for the ecommerce side of it (WooCommerce, Shopify, Wix, etc)? I'm looking at Ecwid currently as they have a free plan (https://www.ecwid.com/pricing) which would suit me fine since I won't need anything more complicated.

Where are you pulling the information about people buying directly from a publisher? I seriously doubt most people even know who the publisher of a particular book is. Having the infrastructure / volume to justify hardcover seems beyond the means of most self pub. You really should just stick with kdp/Ingram (with 55% and returnable).

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n8r
Jul 3, 2003

I helped Lowtax become a cyborg and all I got was this lousy avatar

The book industry runs on 55% and returnable. If you donít give that discount I believe they call it a ďshortĒ discount. If a bookstore canít get full discount / ability to return it, why carry it?

The reason most peopleís books arenít stocked is most peopleís books suck rear end.

I know nothing about bilingual books. I have dealt with selling English language through kdp/Ingram internationally. For actual foreign rights we just wait to get approached by a publisher and sell them for a flat fee.

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