Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Why My Books Now Cost More On Amazon

Update: 12 June 2013: As Amazon make it too difficult for authors in Malaysia to be paid their royalties, my books are no longer available from there.  Please go here to buy Storm Chase.

Some writers price their work according to what the market will bear; I want to sell mine at a price so that I get mass-market appeal.  I sell my books on Smashwords from US$0.99 upwards but from now on the same titles on Amazon will be sold at US$2.99.  The reason lies in Amazon's payment system.

They pay 30% unless I charge over US$2.99.  Also, as I live in Malaysia, so they won't direct deposit into my bank account.  And for writing a cheque, something they will only do if I make more than US$100, they will charge me a fee.

In contrast, Smashwords pay 70% of the 99 cents into a Paypal account as long as you make over US$10. No fees and no messing about.

Amazon are also under fire for changing their royalty scheme: if you charge more than US$9.90, they drop royalty fees from 70% to 35%.
Buy this at Smashwords for 99 cents
- or at Amazon for US$2.99

Everyone has a right to run their business in any way they like but I must confess that I find that Amazon treat writers based in Malaysia very badly.  I didn't realise quite how bad it would be when I signed up. Apart from the payment issues, I have trouble getting my writer's profile working (if you buy one of my books in the US, it won't tell you I have written other books, it sends you to other writers instead), and I can't buy any Kindle books even though I've been a customer since 1996.

Amazon have a huge market in theory so I'm leaving my books there for a year to see if it's worth dealing with the hassle but so far I must say that I've sold more through Smashwords than Amazon.

I'll let you know what happens.

Hugs, Storm

Friday, 19 April 2013

Guest Post: Sherri Fulmer Moorer, The Truth About Writing

Today Sherri Fulmer Moorer, author of Resonance and Quarantine talks about writing full-time:

I remember one day several years ago when a former colleague snarked that I must not be a good writer because I still had a full time job.

It was tempting to lambast her with my expanded vocabulary, but instead I did the right thing: I told her that her comment just showed her ignorance of how the business of writing really works. She had no idea that many famous writers like J.R.R. Tolkein, C.S. Lewis, and P.D. James never quit their "day jobs" to pursue writing. They wrote while working full time, and writing wasn't their primary "career" until they retired.

As it is for us all. Indeed, the Stephen Kings and J.K. Rowlings of the world are the exception rather than the rule.

I wish I knew where these stereotypes of making a living pounding on the laptop while in their pajamas and sipping coffee came from. I can assure you that they didn't come from me.

Like many of you, I struggle to find writing time between a home and a full time job. It isn't easy. Fortunately, there are tips and tricks that can help, and I've written a guide to help newcomers to writing. It's titled So You Want to Be a Writer, and it's available for free. That's right, free. This short guide is my way of giving back to the community by helping newcomers find their way through the vast (and often confusing) amount of information and advice out there.

Writing is a labor of love, but it's one that feeds off a fullness of life. So don't feel bad if you're still out there working a 40 hour week while trying to launch a writing platform. That, perhaps, is the fuel that's feeding your stories, and your life.

Thanks for reading. Now go pick up your free copy of So You Want to Be a Writer at Barnes & Noble or Smashwords 

If you have a Kindle, you can find Sherri here.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Self Publishing Vs Traditional Print

Hi, I'm Storm and I write erotica.  Yeah, sounds like a confession, doesn't it?  I've been writing erotica since September 2012, so I'm only a few months old, but in my other life I write full-time. 

I write newspaper columns, magazine features, and I've written books with various publishers from big international houses like Pearson and Marshall Cavendish to smaller one-country groups like MPH.

As Storm, I'm going it alone.  I use Smashwords, Amazon and gave up using Lulu.  So when it comes to self publish versus traditional publishing, I look at this issue from both sides.

3 Good Things About Traditional Publishing

1. Editing.  I don't know about you, but I can't spot my own mistakes.  With a good publisher, there are at least two people who check your work for punctuation, grammar, inconsistencies, etc.

2. Know How.  If you're with a good publisher, they'll know exactly what sells and what doesn't and they'll help you tweak your work.

3. Connections.  Even if you live in a country where bookshops will work with independent authors (Malaysia does; Spain won't) publishers will make sure your books is available everywhere.  

3 Good Things About Self Publishing

1. Speed.  You can work at your own pace, and if you happen to be a prolific writer like me, it means fewer delays getting your books out there.

2. You get what you earn.  Traditionally, you do the work, the publisher pays for everything else, and you split 10-15% against 90-85%.  Online you can get 30% to 70%.  Or more if you sell only through your own domain.

3. Sink or swim.  You produce the whole package including branding, marketing etc so you get total control over everything.  If it works, it's great.  If.

That's it for today.  If you want to leave a comment, please do.  If you want to get in touch about guest blogging, reviews etc, look to the contact box on the right.