Exciting New Site For Indie Authors


Hi friends, fellow authors and illustrators,

libiro logoWe are very excited to introduce a brand new site dedicated to exclusively selling only books by independent authors. This site has been in beta for a few months and only this week has gone live. It shows a lot of promise. I have two books listed on it, but held off promoting it until they had sorted out some issues for my author page. Now that is has been sorted, I have some confidence that this site will help all indie authors. It is a very professionally designed site and it costs nothing to sign up and start listing your books. No matter what you charge for your books (up to a maximum set by the site), you always get 70% of takings and you always retain all rights to your own work. Why not take a look yourself and see what this new site has to offer indie authors. Below are some links:

Visit Libiro here.

To see what my own listing looks like, go here.

Here is Libiro’s twitter page

Cheers,

Paul G Day & Janice Spina

On behalf of the admin team of PiA

 

New Book Cover Tutorial


Hi authors, illustrators, visitors and members,

I know it’s been a little while, but I did promise I would do another tutorial and seeing how the last one has had 144 views on YouTube, this encouraged me to do another one on designing a book cover. In this new tutorial, we show you how to make a great book cover with only two images and only with PowerPoint. You will be surprised how straightforward it really is to make stunning covers. Along with the video, there is the original PowerPoint, including the images you will need to practice. We hope you enjoy using this tutorial and please share with as many of your writing friends as you can.

1. Video: “Tutorial for Life on Mars” (see below)

2. PowerPoint: Tutorial for Life on Mars (including images needed to practice)

Note: This book title is, well, fictional. It’s just for the exercise. Although, I reserve the right to use it down the track. lol

A Positive Note About Amazon


Hi all friends, fellow authors and illustrators as well as all visitors,

No your eyes aren’t deceiving you and yes you did read that title right. At last I have something positive to say about Amazon and no, it has nothing to do with sales or listings. Today I published my latest book and I was pleasantly surprised to find it took less than two hours for it to be up and live on Amazon. In the past this could take up to twelve hours to appear and a few days for all the details to be added. This is a huge improvement and Amazon are to be commended for these improvements. In my most recent correspondence with them, they also promised to revisit listings etc. We can only wait and see, but things are looking much more positive for the future of Amazon customers who publish their own books.

Cheers from the Admin team,

Paul G Day and Janice Spina.

Saying Hi


Hi friends, authors, illustrators and visitors.

Just touching base. I’ve been working really hard both on our property and on my novel, so haven’t had a lot of time for much else. I wanted to also tell you that Janice has been under the weather and has been flat-out with life as well. But we can, both of us, assure everyone, we will be posting articles, interviews etc. real soon.

Just some news about membership:

Recently, a few people have contact us asking to become members and/or authors. Both Janice and myself take membership seriously and don’t take any decision without consultation. I always try to look into the work of an author/illustrator, what they offer, whether it is suitable for our purposes (i.e. mainly children and young adults) and whether they have credibility and legitimacy. To illustrate this, I just this week rejected a membership request because after checking the “reviews” of the person’s work, I became suspicious that the reviews not only weren’t genuine, but most likely written by the same person who wrote the books being reviewed. This was not difficult to spot, but wasted a fair amount of my own time and in the end I decided, after consulting with Janice, not to approve the membership.

I say this to highlight a very real problem in the self-published industry. Some so-called authors will do anything and everything to give themselves the best chance and whilst you can’t blame them, writing your own reviews on Amazon and palming them off as somebody else’s is not something we at PiA want to encourage or be part of.

One last thing. We are fast approaching 5,000 views on PiA. Any ideas for something special we can do to celebrate, we’re all ears. 

More soon…

Excited to be Back


Hi all friends and visitors,

I’m excited to be back. You all knew it would not be long, didn’t you. lol. I can only say that I can never stay away forever. I’m going to say right here and now that I am a bit…how can I say this…mad. Not mad as in angry, but mad as in loony, weird and a little bit insane. but then, aren’t all creative people a little left of center (as in my case a lot left of center)?

If I were to chart my progress over the past three years, it would resemble the most incredible roller coaster ride ever. I’m not just talking about ups and downs here, but ins and outs and in-betweens and upside-downs and inside-outs, the whole shebang. Indeed, I could write a book about my thought processes, but then who would understand it. I’m sure I don’t and I’m convinced my beautiful wife doesn’t. Well then, I’ll just have to come to terms with it and make it work for me.

Three times in the last twelve months I have cursed my own work, piled it all above a pit full of tinder, soaked in petrol and threatened to light the match and cast it in, along with my despair, my angst, my depression and my muse. Every time I have to force myself not to do it. Then I go through these strange set of emotions, first disappointment, then anger, then regret and then I make peace with myself and rebuild. You don’t think that’s strange? I certainly do. I’m nothing if not completely honest about it. I have to be. If I could go to Writers Anonymous I would. I bet I’d get to step twelve (making Peace) and I’d revert and have to start all over again at step one. (*grins*).

Well, this is me. I guess I’m not all that different from other writers I’ve met, but you know what? It’s what makes our work ooze with raw emotion. It’s what makes our characters so real. It’s what gives our writing real energy and a sense of having lived it before.

What about all of you? What’s your story? Where are you at right now. Are you on step twelve, having made peace with yourself and rebuilding? or are you on step one again, having had a blow up at yourself and sworn you want to give it all away?

Paul G Day.

 

Reply From Amazon


Below is the reply from Amazon regarding my previous letter (see previous post). It’s interesting to see that they admit that people who receive a gifted book can exchange that for a voucher to buy other products. I disagree with their analogy of what happens when a book or author’s rank changes. In my experience, my ranking has always shot up with every single sale. My contention was (and still is) that three book sales on the same day should have made a notable impact on my ranking. As it was it went down slightly. This is the first time this has happened and their explanation, whilst interesting, does not make sense. What does everyone think?

“Hello Paul,

My name is Marco and I am a supervisor within KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing).

I apologize for the frustration the Amazon sales rank and Kindle Gifting policies has caused.

Please keep in mind, Rank calculations are based on Amazon sales and are updated hourly to reflect newer and historical sales of every item sold on each website, with recent sales being weighted more heavily. The Bestsellers Rank is relative and may change even when there are no sales of a book, or may not change when there have been new sales. For example, if you were to sell a copy of your book and the rest of the books in the store happen to be selling more often than normal, your Bestsellers Rank may not change.

If recipients don’t want your Kindle book gift, the recipient has the option to exchange it for an Amazon.com gift card within seven days of receiving the gift giver’s email.
In such a case, the recipient may not choose to redeem the gift for the same Kindle book and the gift will not show up as a sale in your KDP Reports.

I realize this policy might not be ideal for current query however, I will take your suggestion as feedback as we plan further improvements to our platform. We value all feedback from our customers and publishers, and thank you for taking the time to send us your comments on this issue.

I hope this helps. Thanks for using Amazon KDP.

Regards,

Marco C.
Kindle Direct Publishing”

Letter to Amazon


Hi all,

I am finding my way back again. Part of the reason I stopped writing and publishing has to do with Amazon’s policies, which you all know well I have been challenging since the beginning. Below is a copy of an email I sent Amazon, outlining some of my concerns. I have told them to feel free to visit this site, but if any of you have issues with it, you might want to withdraw membership from PiA, if you feel it might have a negative impact on your own publishing journey. As for me, I have nothing to lose. My sales aren’t going anywhere and in the end, I don’t really care what Amazon do to undermine me. Frankly, they are already undermining my efforts and the efforts of all self-published authors with their arrogant, dismissive attitude and their listing policies which severely disadvantage self-published authors. Here is the letter:

“Recently three of my books were bought online through Amazon and yet my ranking not only did not improve, but actually went down. Normally, when a single book is bought, my ranking goes up a little. This is very worrying as it is difficult enough to sell books through Amazon of late.

Two years ago, when I only had a couple of books, I was making sales almost every day without trying. Now, a whole month can go by without a single sale, despite the fact I now have more than a dozen books and I heavily promote them through social media.

I believe that Amazon’s ranking system is unfair (namely listings by date of publication and also New and Popular). Some authors seem to be allowed to put a publication date up to 2030 in order to have their book appear right at the top of the listings. Yet, I was told that I cannot put a date beyond the current date for my own books. My last release (The Red Bearon) was listed almost at the bottom of the list (around 2000th) shortly after release, making it near impossible for people to find. Ahead of it were many books with dates of one, three and even fifteen years ahead (one had a publication date of 2030). I screen captured and noted those incidences for future reference

At present, I don’t believe it is an even playing field and Amazon’s policies seem to severely disadvantage self-published authors to the point that it is almost pointless even listing them with Amazon at all.

In addition, I was told (by Amazon) that people who were gifted my books (paid for by myself) can exchange those gifted books and purchase any other item for sale on Amazon with the value of that book. In my view this is a rort and tantamount to fraud, as I paid for those books and gifted them in good faith, believing that people would read them and possibly review. I know this as fact because I check almost every day the progress of sales (including gifted books) and when I questioned Amazon about it, I was told (as fact) that anyone who has a book, whether they paid for it themselves or it was gifted to them, can return the book and use the value of the purchase to make other purchases.

I have raised these issues before and all I got was a generic response pointing out what Amazon’s policies are, without any real concern for my rights as a self-published author.

There are many other aspects to Amazon policies that concern me. I would like someone senior to explain why Amazon’s policies place me at an unfair disadvantage, when I have supported Amazon through purchases (and spent a small fortune on buying my own books).

You should know that I will not be content with yet another generic response. I want a real person to tell me and my readers what Amazon is doing to address these concerns.

I am placing this email on my website for others to comment on at http://www.publishedindieauthors.wordpress.com

Sincerely,
Paul G Day”