Some quick Amazon news besides the obvious

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Some quick items from the world of Amazon self-publishing:

  • First off, the really good news, at least for those of us who self-publish niche books. Amazon has lowered the electronic funds transfer threshold to $0 for most of its international stores. In a nutshell this means I get paid for ANY sale I make on Amazon, even if I only sell one copy of Fractals You Can Draw in Italy (I’ve been getting Remittance Payment e-mails most of the day, i.e. I’m getting paid). The exception to this is Brazil where you still need $20 in sales to get issued a payment. Amazon makes up about half of my total sales, though still only about 25% of total profits, though this will certainly help.
  • About a month ago Amazon launched Kindle Countdown Deals. A book can be discounted for a period of time before automatically going back up to the regular list price. The discount has to be at least $1 and can be timed in several different increments over a period of time. For self-publishers this is once again exclusive to Kindle Select (Amazon only) books. It’s pretty likely that Surreality will be an Amazon exclusive book (at least initially) so I may try this out when that book is launched. Nook sales seem to be significantly lower than Amazon sales, due in part I think to the perception that Nooks are on the way out (it’s only the tablets, they’re still making eReaders). And while Surreality is hopefully the first book in a series of books, I don’t have a good bundle for it to use Bundle Dragon (though I might have some other ideas you’ll just have to wait and see).
  • In the fall Amazon launched Kindle MatchBook which offers discounted or free eBook versions of your past physical book purchases (Matchbook eBook prices have to be either free, $0.99, $1.99 or $2.99). In my case this was one book, Philip K. Dick’s The Man In The High Castle, a book I bought for a class nine years ago, which later became ineligible. From the looks of it, if you self-publish a book on CreateSpace, you can enroll it in Matchbook, though again everything has to be Amazon exclusive. I just got Brian’s excellent poetry book in the mail on Wednesday from CreateSpace and have to admit I might want to try it for Surreality. If I do I expect I will significantly discount the eBook for anybody who buys the physical book.

Enjoy your weekend!

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2 Comments

Filed under Books + Publishing

2 responses to “Some quick Amazon news besides the obvious

  1. Again you are leaving out Apple enthusiasts… Here’s a motivator: Apple enthusiasts have money, and willing to spend it on quality products through the channels that they have built customer loyalty for. Help us give you money!

    • Here’s the thing I’ve never really understood: There is an Amazon Kindle app for the iPad and iPhone right? What’s to stop an Apple enthusiast from buying my book on Amazon and reading it in the Kindle app? Or for the fractal book, buying the Bundle Dragon version and reading the epub or PDF in one of the many fine eReading apps?

      In truth Apple’s iBookstore just hasn’t been on my radar yet, in part because I’m kind of a purist. I don’t like testing the books on simulators or software, I like testing them on actual hardware that people own. That’s why I have two nooks, two kindles and a third party android device. I don’t have the money for an iPad, an iPad mini or an iPhone. Now if one of my readers wants to gift me one… 🙂

      And getting books into multiple channels is a lot of work, especially one like my last one which had all sorts of formatting considerations. The epub version I created might pass muster, but Apple requires specific certification for eBooks, and I’d likely have to go through another number of rounds of tweaks. Smashwords makes a business of getting a book to multiple channels, but their better business bureau rating leaves something to be desired, and they can’t handle books over 5MB.

      Now Surreality will probably be more in 200-300KB range so Smashwords or the iBookstore would work, and it’s simpler in format so it would probably be easier to get certified, but that still leaves out hardware testing, and for that matter being able to own a copy of my own book in that channel (I used to have an iTunes account which I used to buy some This American Life before they sold the MP3s on Amazon).

      And we could get into the whole Apple price fixing court case, but that’s another story for another time.

      I’m not ruling anything out in future, and I am considering publishing a physical version through CreateSpace which works with any device and can even be autographed by the author ;). Kindle’s Select program is in increments of 90 days, so I may change my mind if demand seems to be there. Out of curiosity readers, how many of you would buy my books if they were available in the iBookstore (besides John) 😉

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