Archives for July 2016

Free App: Indie Bookstore Finder

Free-App

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Love to read?  Like to hang out in bookstores?  Planning a road trip or plan to fly to a big city?  You can combine all these pleasures, planning visits to independent bookstores as your travel destinations!

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Use a new app, which is called the “Indie Bookstore Finder” to discover Independent Bookstores around the country.  More than 400 stores at the launch, with more to come.  Many of the stores are having special events, author appearances and books you can only find from your independent book store.
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App for Literary Aficionados and Travelers:
Updated: May 02, 2016 – Version: 2.1.1
Size: 8.8 MB – Language: English
iPhone or Android 

“Independent bookstores make a difference in your community, more than buying from big box stores or that major online book retailer that shall not be named.  Your local shop owners support local causes, spend their money in the same community you do, or in the community you’re visiting.
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BookStore-Finder.

A handy “Near Me” map with a slider allows you to filter the amount of locations shown. Now you can choose how many nearby locations you’d like to see!
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This new “Indie Bookstore Finder” is a collaboration between GoLocalApps
and City Book Review.  They started their business doing book reviews and created an app back in 2009 to promote book reviews for children.  Since that app, they spun off the app development business into GoLocalApps and now are back working together again.
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Best of all: It’s Free! It might become avid readers’ best friend : ) Happy Travels!
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BookStore-Finder

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Great Numbers: How to Sell Your Book on Pinterest

Pinterest

Pinterest, the image-based content sharing social networking platform allows members to “pin” images, videos and other objects to their pin board, has been growing since years at record speed. It’s the world’s largest set of images that people care about. As you’re creating a board on Pinterest, other people can get inspiration from your ideas – or learn about your books – and even buy your books.

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Statistics:
Researchers at Visual Content Marketing Statistics found that color images or graphics increase people’s willingness to read your content by eighty percent.

  • Content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images.
  • Shoppers who view video are almost twice more likely to purchase than non-viewers.
  • Syndacast predicts 74% of all internet traffic in 2017 will be video.
  • Articles with an image once every 75-100 words got double the number of social shares than articles with fewer images.

Source: 37 Visual Content Marketing Statistics You Should Know in 2016.
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Pinterest for Writers and Bloggers.
The process to open an author / business account with Pinterest is very easy and really fast. Visit their sample sites to learn more.  Pin images from your website to your pin boards and then enjoy increased traffic to your blog or website when readers pin the images to their own boards and click on the website link.
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Pinterest is Increasingly Mobile and Users are Online Shoppers.
Seventy-five percent of Pinterest usage occurs on mobile devices. Forty-five percent of users are from outside the United States.  Seventy-one percent of Pinterest’s users are women.  Other sources indicate that its consumer base is international (think book sales in India), and that it has a broad consumer base of Millenial’s.  Visual communication—regardless of the medium—grabs our attention more than text.  These statistics substantiate the importance of visually based social media in your marketing plans.
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What to Post on All Your Book’s Pin Boards?
Start with verifying your website in order to have your logo on your Pinterest page. How to do this in 3 very easy steps is explained on Jeff Bullas’ blog.

  • To improve discoverability on the internet, add an ALT Text to each of your images your website.
  • Pin pictures of readers with your book. Consider holding a contest in which you challenge readers to take snapshots of themselves with your book. Then give a prize for the most remote (or most well-known!) location.
  • Your research is a valuable source of possible photos: all the locations throughout your manuscript can be implemented, such as cities, landscapes, homes, rooms, furniture, gardens etc.
  • Imaginary visuals of your protagonist and all the fictionally persons in your story can be photo objects. Be careful, don’t use photos of people who haven’t you given written consent. Best buy inexpensive images from photo sources.
  • Don’t forget to place your book trailer to your Pinterest boards – of if you don’t have one yet – videos that are somewhat related to the topics of your books.
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Pinterest has for so long been THE destination for users to come and declare what things they like. Finally!  It now has 60 million products available from retailers, small businesses, and many e-commerce platforms – and now maybe even your books?

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Create a Direct Link to Your Sales Page.
Here is the most valuable tip how to leverage your Pinterest’s book photo boards:  Pinterest drives more referral traffic than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn, combined. This means if you want people clicking through to the book page on your website or on Amazon, B&N or Kobo, Pinterest may be your best bait. Invite your readers to discover your images: Spread hashtags in your comments, include keywords in your account description and to name your pin boards. Visitors to your page will be happy to “meet the author”.
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And this is how your visitors can find – and buy – your book:
Add a description of your book, the direct link to your sales page and also the price after the description with a $ sign. For example: $2.99. Pinterest will place the price in the upper left corner of the image. Pinterest will automatically link to your sales page or product when a person clicks on it. Read also: 5 Ways of Marketing with Pinterest.
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With these Pinterest marketing ideas, make sure to drive your Pinterest followers back to your Amazon, iBook or Barnes & Noble sales pages — so they can quickly and easily buy your book!

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Free ONLINE Reading from her Book

xHeart English Book
Free ONLINE eBook reading event on 
Saturday, July 23, from 10 AM to 2 PM Pacific Time
by Victoria Ngangu from her book:
IN THE HEART OF OUR SOULS
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We asked Victoria in an interview about her books and her writing. Here are her answers:
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What inspired you to start writing?
What inspired me to start writing is the story of my great grandfather.

Is there a message in your book that you want your readers to grasp?  Love and honor your family.

If Oprah invited you onto her show to talk about your book, what would the theme of the show be?  The love and sad stories of the Kingdom of Congo’s descendants.

How much of the book is based on real life (either yours or someone you know)?  The entire book is based on real life.

If your book would be made into a movie, who should play the main character?  Alley Berry

What is the best part of being a writer?  The best part of being a writer is to be able to write an excellent book and write what is in the mind.

Where can people learn more about your writing?  People can learn more about my writing at https://vickybook.wordpress.com/

http://www.helpchildrenofafrica.org/STREET%20CHILDREN.pdf

From the Poor Country of Congo to American Author
Victorine Ngangu and her great-grandfather were not paid for work they did because of their ethnicity.  When Victorine Ngangu discovered that a photographer and one of her friends had forged her signature so that they could sell Ngangu’s photographs to a major U.S. company, she was outraged. Without her knowledge and consent, 144 of her photographs were sold. Ngangu was never paid and did not receive an apology from the photographer, her friend or the company. Those people walked free of charge in the court of law. In 2012, Ngangu filed a case with local police to bring them to justice but received no satisfaction.
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Reviewer on Goodreads:  “It’s a very emotional and impacting book as you see how much was endured throughout her life but all in all an absolute incredible read. Truly Inspirational”
 
Get Victoria Ngangu’s stories at:
Victoria Ngangu’s books are available in English and French at her website, at Kobo / Barnes&Noble and soon at Amazon.
 
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A Very Expensive Mistake…

Helen-Sedwick


Lawyer Helen Sedwick monitors so-called “self-publishing companies”, aka vanity publishers or subsidy publishers, through a legal lens and wrote another great article for BookWorks.
   She explains that too many writers are intimidated by the self-publishing process or simply don’t have enough time.  Many of these companies grab too much control over the author’s work.
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An Expensive Mistake for Authors.
These self-publishing companies own the book cover, interior design, and ISBN. Helen Sedwick explains that authors are often bound to outrageously high retail prices which can kill their book sales. Other companies are tricking authors into contracts that give them audio and translation rights, even though they don’t provide those services. If an author manages to get out of a contract somehow or the company bankrupts (think Booktrope) then the author has to start book production from scratch: they have to buy their ISBN, have to get a new book cover and book layout etc. – a very costly departure from the predator…

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Read the Contract.
Lawyer Helen Sedwick advises to read the contract, the Terms of Service (TOC), especially the License or Grant of Rights.  If that section gives the company exclusive rights, turn away.  Self-publishing contracts should be non-exclusive.  An exception here is KDP Select, because the author is in control in this 90-day exclusivity agreement.

In her article, she shows contract clauses and provisions that are favorable for authors and on the other side those that should be avoided under all circumstances.  She “translates” the legalese for authors, and explains the implications.  Her mantra: an author-publisher always should maintain control over how and where the book is sold.

Read Helen Sedwick’s article and study carefully the contract examples she provides for authors.

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Excuses: Myth & Truth About Book Reviews

Book-Reviews


After writing reviews for many years, I am often encouraging others to do the same once they finish a book.  Giving a honest opinion of the title they just read is also a thank-you to the author.  And as often I hear quite an interesting array of excuses:

“I never wrote a review before”.
Sure, there is always a first time.  But it is easy: just read lots of reader reviews for other books to learn from excellent written ones and also to learn which platitudes to avoid – such as: “I could not put it down” or “it kept me up all night”.  Sign up at Amazon, look for: “Write a Customer Review” on the book’s sales page (scroll down, past the existing reviews).
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„It will not be interesting for others.“
What you think about the work is certainly interesting for readers and potential book buyers. Even if you are not interested in reading reviews: many others do! Book reviews are a form of social proof…  When a reader is deciding whether or not to buy a book, one of the things they look at are the reviews.  Missing reviews might drive potential readers to move onto other books.  It’s obvious how important reviews are.  And even those who are not reading reviews will glance at the number of stars that are given to the book.
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“I can’t write as good as those book bloggers.
Book bloggers are often working with publishers and receive free books from them or from authors.  Their reviews need to be elaborate and in a professional style.  Amazon requires only twenty words to consider your review. t’s certainly advisable to spend a bit more thought into a book review.  In one of our blog articles we gave plenty of tips how to write book reviews.

A review gives the reader a short and concise summary of the content. This includes a relevant description of the topic as well as its overall perspective, argument, or purpose.  And most important: Your task is not to champion or chastise the author – it is to evaluate the merits of the work – and if the author accomplished it.

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“The author doesn’t care about reviews”
Everyone who published a book will read reviews of their books!  And might even learn from critique.  And they certainly appreciate if readers post their review on several platforms, such as Goodreads, iBooks, or in several Amazon “countries”.  It doesn’t take much more time to place a book review in ten countries than it does take for one country. How to post a review on all Amazon sales pages can be found on our blog under the title: “Amazon Book Reviews Worldwide?”
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“It doesn’t help the author”
It sure does!  Authors get a lot of positive motivation from reviews, and even negative critiques help them for future projects.  It also shows the author which stories and protagonists are popular with readers – and why.  Reviews might even encourage writers to start and finish the next book faster.  Knowing that their readers care is very encouraging!
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“My Review is considered Not helpful”
There are dozens of reasons why people click on “Not helpful” when reading reviews on Amazon.  Mostly because they do not agree, or because they want to push their own, or the more elaborate – or the positive reviews to the top.  Just don’t care about other opinions, important is your own!  After all, a review makes an argument.

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The most important element of a review is that it is a commentary, not merely a content summary.  It allows you to enter into dialogue and discussion with the work’s creator and with other audiences.  You can offer agreement or disagreement and identify where you find the work exemplary or deficient in not reaching its merit.  Short excerpt from the upcoming book: 111 Tips on How to Get Free Reviews.

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Formatting and Converting Your Manuscript

ebook-formatting

 

No matter how you publish, and if you upload your book to online retailers by yourself, or if you use a service provider: a perfectly formatted e-book is a must!

Most distribution services / aggregators and online retailers ask you to upload a completed book file that is appropriately formatted, and vary widely in the types of files they accept.

Fortunately, many e-publishing services accept a Word document and automatically convert it to the appropriate format, but you still must go through an “unformatting” process for best results.  All major services offer step-by-step guidelines for formatting your Word documents before you upload them for conversion.  Here an example:
Guidelines for formatting and converting preparation.

Do NOT include any of the following:

  • Page numbers (some devices will allocate page numbers to the eBook based on the preferences of the device owner, but eBook files do not have universal page numbers)
  • Headers and Footers
  • Borders, background colors or background images – not recommended, as these can look make the text faint or indistinct on grey scale e-reading devices
  • Fancy drop-caps at the start of each chapter
  • Different text colors– see above
  • Multi-column layouts – just use a single column
  • Text Boxes – These can be included but bear in mind that the box may break if the text within runs onto the next page.  This can happen if someone is viewing the book with a large font size, and therefore as less text on each ‘page’ or screen view
  • References to specific eBook retailers such as Amazon or Apple, as the retailers do not allow promotion of competitors in products listed on their websites.
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What’s the Difference between Formatting and Converting of Your Book:
“Too many authors’ books are only converted – and not formatted.” Formatting and converting e-book files are two different things.  Formatting is when a designer polishes your manuscript to professional standards for both, print and e-book formats.
Conversion is an automated process of changing files from one format into another, without editing or styling.  It’s often easy to convert files with software, but the resulting file will most likely look unprofessional, or even appear unreadable, if not formatted appropriately before.
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This is How the Formatting Process Works:
PublishGreen explains what goes into creating an e-book: “When we make an eBook, we take your manuscript, break it down to its most basic parts, then rebuild it from the ground up using eBook-specific code, similar to what is used to create a website.  Here is a look at the steps we take when creating your eBook:

  • First, create a copy of your manuscript text.
  • Strip out any headers, footers, endnotes, footnotes, page numbers, etc. that interrupt the flow of text.
  • Extract all the raw text from the manuscript.
  • Reformat the raw content using eBook-specific HTML (code) to recreate the style and design elements seen in print (ie. bold, italics, underlines, chapter headers, drop caps, etc.).
  • Create the structure of the eBook by inserting prefaces, parts, chapters, sections, etc. that will reflect appropriate page breaks and table of contents hierarchy when viewed on a device.
  • Re-create bulleted and numbered lists, using HTML.
  • Insert and hyperlink footnotes so readers can zip back and forth between the text and the corresponding note.
  • Code hyperlinks for any outside websites that appear within the text.
  • Insert images using specific code that tells the eReader how to display the image.
  • Create a metadata file that will provide the device or software with pertinent information about the book, such as title and author.
  • Create a hyperlinked table of contents that will be accessible in the navigation function of each eReader.
  • Create eReader-specific title and copyright pages.
  • Adjust the CSS (another type of code) of the file to reflect any universal styling that will apply to the entire eBook.
  • Convert the HTML (the eBook’s source code) to EPUB and MOBI formats (the actual file type recognized by eReaders).
  • Test the files on each major eReading device.
  • Make changes to the source code (now that we can actually see what all the code looks like on the eReader!), convert to MOBI and EPUB, and re-test as necessary.”

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Apple iBooks:
You can create an e-book in the .ibooks format by using Apple’s free iBooks Author software.  The advantage of this software is that it allows you to easily create multimedia e-books optimized for tablets.  However, there are drawbacks.  Apple has restricted the sale of any e-book created through the iBooks Author tool to Apple’s iBookstore.  You may not sell your iBooks anywhere else.  iBooks can be read only on their iPhone, iPod Touch, Mac and iPad.  However there are ways to transfer them to your PC as well – as shown on YouTube .

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The Shocking Fact Why Authors Don’t Get Paid

Publishing-Contracts

If you go to an Amazon sales page, you will find that they offer a new paperback for $14.98.  But also another new paperback for $4.98.  And a used paperback for one penny…

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“Now, why would you choose to buy the more expensive copy, instead of the other, much cheaper paperback?   They’re both new.   You’ll buy the cheaper one. But where does that cheap paperback come from?  It’s probably a copy the publisher sold off to make room in a warehouse somewhere.  It’s very common.  Publishers have high hopes for every book they make, they make more copies than can sell… After a certain period of time, they realize they need that space in the warehouse, so they sell off copies cheap to a jobber, a middleman.  They sell them at a very deep discount.”
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Publishing Contract Clauses:
“Many publishing contracts have clauses that will allow the publisher, under these circumstances of deep discount, to pay no royalties.  The publisher gets paid by the middleman.  And the middleman gets paid. Only the author will get NOTHING at all for the sale of this book.”

This is from a speech of author Roxana Robinson, President of the Authors Guild since 2014, who warned of the mounting difficulties authors are facing in finding compensation of their work.  It was one of the keynotes at Publishing Perspectives’ Rights and Content Conference and presented in an article by Porter Anderson, Editor in Chief at Publishing Perspectives.

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This is How Authors Will Eventually React.
First of all: Authors Beware… of Publishing Contracts.  However, Publishers beware too – of authors !  They can just decide not to be a token in making money for you!  And can opt out of trade publishing altogether. Many high-profile bestselling authors went this route already and are now self-publishing.

Speaker Randy Petway at this conference also warned publishers: “Or the other scenario is the one which the author becomes an adversary,  if they don’t feel you’re doing enough as an advocate to protect the rights of the content they provide to you.”  Which means in other words to sue the publisher.

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Publishing Contract Issues.
Kristine Rusch:  Just be aware that publishers often cut payments, and they use the contract as their guide.  Not necessarily the contract negotiated in good faith with a corporate entity long merged into five other corporate entities, but the corporate entity that exists now.
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The largest problem about publishing contracts is that trade publishers have very savvy lawyers, who will ensure that everything is to the benefit of the publishing house – while on the other side are authors / artists who are not familiar with contract law, who often have no background in reading legalese or business and accounting – and don’t get a copyright lawyer’s advice (or cannot afford it) before they sign the publishing contract. And even after signing…

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Bestselling author Kristine Rusch writes:
“All contracts can be changed, modified, muted, and defanged with enough effort.  Sometimes that effort requires a judge and a courtroom.  But often that effort is just as simple as a letter of notification, saying quite clearly that one party to the contract no longer wants to follow one particular clause in the contract.  The other party may simply accept that notification, or the other party might protest.  Either way, a dialogue has been opened and the contract might end up being re-negotiated.”
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Writer Beware offer some general advice if you want to opt out of your publishing contract or if you need to go further.   And in many countries authors can sue for free, if their financial circumstances are not favourable, there are possibilities to be exempted from court fees, and / or to get free representation by a lawyer (pro bono) or at least free legal advice (most law schools provide this).

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Always remember: There is no need to contract with a trade publisher.  Self-Publishing goes mainstream now: “The quality of literature from non-traditional sources is higher than ever.”
~ Adam Gomolin

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Another Trap: Agent-Curated Self-Publishing

 

Traps
Lobster Traps

The New York Times reported once: “A new Perseus unit, called Argo Navis Author Services will be available (only) to authors who are represented by an agency that has signed an agreement with Perseus.”  For me it was somewhat shocking to learn that Ingram acquired Perseus’ distribution elements – which includes Argo Navis at the end of March 2016.

Perseus emphasized that while Argo Navis provided distribution and marketing services, the author remained the publisher.  While authors get a higher share of the revenue under this arrangement, they’ll receive fewer (or almost none) of the services, and financial support, provided by publishers under more conventional contracts.  Argo Navis will provide basic marketing services, like placing product pages on retailer Web sites.  It will also make more extensive marketing services available for a fee.”

… Which is essentially just uploading the cover image and book details, a part of the distributing process, and has nothing to do with marketing.

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The Passive Voice Did the Math:

What’s In It For Authors?  Participating authors get lower royalties, no sales reports, slower payments, and lose the ability to make quick changes to things like pricing – which is essential for marketing.

An author self-publishing directly with KDP will receive up to 70% of list price – an author who self-publishes via Argo Navis will receive 41.65% of list price.

Or in other words:
A self-publisher with a book priced $4.99 on Amazon nets $3.49 per sale.
Argo Navis clients with a book priced $4.99 on Amazon receive $2.08 per sale.
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“Most Argo Navis books are selling 1 copy a month (or less!). Instead of getting a better deal for their authors, these literary agents are ensuring their authors get a much worse deal.”
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Why Are Literary Agents Using Argo Navis?
Bestselling Author David Gaughran wrote about this money grab from them and the literary agents: “Argo Navis has been very clever with how they market their service.  It’s pitched as agent-curated self-publishing.  Argo Navis don’t (and won’t) deal with authors directly, and will only accept titles for distribution submitted by literary agents.  Given the abysmal rankings of books published via Argo Navis, it’s not a challenge that they are handling well.”

“But what’s in it for the agent?  For starters, royalty checks come to their offices first (after Argo Navis have taken their considerable bite).  This allows the agent to deduct their 15% before the author sees any money.  Of course, it allows unscrupulous agents to take a little more – something enabled by Argo Navis only providing sales reports to agents rather than directly to authors – but I digress.”

“These agencies are simply passing the manuscripts from the author to the distributor, Argo Navis, billing the author for any services they need, plus taking their 15% cut.  And what have they done for that cut?  Put them in the hands of a crappy distributor who is taking 30% of their revenues (on top of the 30% the retailers take and separate from the 15% agents are getting).  At this point you would be forgiven for thinking that no reputable literary agency would go for this.  Well, I wish that was the case…”

See a long list of well-known agencies that have signed up with Argo Navis – and who may not fulfill their legal obligation to seek the best deal for their authors, on David Gaughran’s blog.

Mick Rooney from the Independent Publishing Magazine wrote  already three years ago: “We’ve witnessed agents and publishers alike happily clamber into affiliation programs, partnerships and arrangements with solutions services offering anything but fair and transparent deals for authors.  It makes you wonder if agents and publishers know, bother or even care about the reputation and quality of a company they choose to do business with.”

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Who is the Best? Book Distributors Compared

Book-Distribution

“In my experience, it’s almost always advantageous to go direct where you can.  Benefits include faster payments, up-to-date sales figures (crucial for measuring the effectiveness of any marketing), more direct control of which categories you appear in (important for both discoverability and visibility), and the ability to make changes to your metadata quickly, e.g. to change price for a temporary sales price campaign.  But there are roadblocks: Barnes & Noble only allows US self-publishers to upload books.  Apple famously requires self-publishers to use a Mac to upload,” writes bestselling author David Gaughran.

Are you living outside the USA as an Indie Author / Self-publisher and you don’t want to go through all the hassle with opening a US branch, or US bank account and tax number? The easiest way to circumnavigate this dilemma is to use the help of a book distributor, also called aggregator.
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An ebook aggregator deals with ebook authors directly and connects them with ebook retailers such as Apple, Kobo, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  There are two categories of e-book (and often also print) distribution services:

Online Retailer Upload:
These services, typically retailers such as Amazon, distribute and sell your work through only one channel (their own) or their devices, such as Kindle Direct Publishing and PubIt! by Barnes & Noble (for US writers and publishers only), Kobo WritingLife and Google Play.
Apple iTunes allows DIY uploading of your iBooks too, if you’re an Apple Mac user.  Single-channel distributors / online retailers do not offer any assistance in converting your e-book files, although they sometimes accept several file types for upload.  Many other on and off-line book retailers work only through an aggregator / distributor.
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Multiple-Channel distribution:
These services, such as eBookPartnership, Draft2Digital, Smashwords and BookBaby, act practically as middlemen and upload your work to a variety of retailers and distributors.  It reduces the amount of work an author must do tremendously.  Instead of dealing with many different single-channel services, accounting systems and payment variations, you deal with only one service and revenues from several online retailers reach you in one amount, which saves writers and small publishers certainly a lot of accounting work.

Quite a few of these distributors also offer basic and advanced conversion services.  Some act as full-service companies, requiring no effort from you, the author – for a hefty fee.  However, in exchange for the services of a multi-channel distributor, you typically have to pay either a yearly upfront fee per book and/or give up a large percentage of your sales.
Book distribution is not a “set and forget” task.  No matter if you self-distribute, or use an aggregator, you need to periodically monitor your book’s presence, out on the digital bookshelves.

Many authors start by using Kindle Direct Publishing, then add on a multi-channel distributor such as eBookPartnership, Draft2Digital, BookBaby, Smashwords (which distributes to all major devices and retailers except Amazon KDP).

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IMPORTANT:

When choosing an Aggregator / Distributor: ask, compare and research before you decide which service company you choose.  Are you willing to pay for convenience?  You pay one way or another: either a yearly fee or a commission per book sale.

  • Cost: lump sum per year – or percentage of each book sale?
  • Ease of upload, and do they explain it on their website?
  • Sales reporting: how often and how detailed? Ask them for an example
  • Do they let you set up an author page at the online retailer’s site, will you get the password to do it yourself?
  • Payment schedule: monthly or quarterly?
  • Sales channels: how many retailers and which ones?
  • Revenue: is there a deduction per sale?
  • Speed and cost of changes after your book is distributed?
  • Pre-Orders at online retailers possible?
  • Customer Service – can you talk with a life person?
  • Conversion / Formatting quality – VERY important!
  • Formatting / Conversion costs: Formatting is when a designer polishes your manuscript to professional standards for both print and eBook formats. Conversion is just taking the manuscript and turning it, with the help of software, into epub or mobi format.
  • ISBN’s:  An ISBN is not required for e-book distribution to Amazon Kindle or Barnes & Noble Nook, however Kobo, Apple and other retailers and services do require one.  Authors will need an ISBN for their e-book.  Some services will provide you with an ISBN as part of the fee for their services, however it means THEY are considered the publisher – and you cannot ever reverse it!  Buy your own through ISBN.org!

ISBN’s make you look professional.
ISBN’s get your books into more places, you are considered a publisher.
ISBN’s make your books easier to find – your book gets into a worldwide database
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COMPARISON

eBookPartnership.com
Upfront Cost: $50 per year
Deduction per sale: NONE
Formats accepted: doc, docx, odf, pdf, rtf, mobi, kf8, epub, pages.
Distributes to: Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, OverDrive, Scribd, Baker & Taylor, Gardners Books, EPSCO, Scribd, GooglePlay, eSentral, Textr, Waterstones, BookMate, Indiebound, BookTopia, Angus & Robertson, BookFoundry, Feedbooks, Goodreads, Ingram, Kalahari, StoryTel, Books-a-Million, Whitcoulls, Askews & Holts, and StoryTel – just to list some of the more than 150 partners and 65,000+ libraries.
What’s more: ebook conversion, cover design and book scanning services

Special Offer until 07/31 from eBookPartnership: Save 25% on Worldwide eBook Distribution.
Sign-up for our eBook distribution service and save 25% on our usual prices! This is a limited time offer for orders of new titles placed on or before July 31, 2016.  Simply place an order for our eBook Distribution service and enter the promo code “save25dist” when prompted.
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Smashwords
Upfront Cost: $0
Deduction per sale: 15%
Formats accepted: Word .doc, professionally designed epub
Formatting: By the author with the help of a formatting guide (unless a fee is paid)
Distributes to: Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, OverDrive, Scribd, Baker & Taylor, mobile phone app vendors and other online venues (must upload to Amazon KDP yourself)
What’s more: Coupon generator for free books
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BookBaby
Print Distribution: $199 for any printed book order of 25+ books.
Upfront Cost: $299 (without ebook-formatting $149)
Deduction per sale: 0%
Formats accepted: Word, PDF
Formatting: Included
Distributes to: KDP, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, Copia, Gardners Books, Baker & Taylor, eSentral, Scribd, Flipkart, Ciando, EBSCO, ePubDirect,
What’s more: Print-on-demand and book cover services available. However, their site is tricky built, users are constantly lead into their other (high-priced) services, when just looking for distribution.
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Draft2Digital
Upfront Cost: $0
Deduction per sale: 10%
Formats accepted: Word .doc or .docx, RTF
Formatting: Included
Distributes to: Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, Scribd, Tolino, Page Foundry (must upload to Amazon KDP yourself)
Giacomo Giammatteo wrote a great article about Timed Promotion and Territory Pricing that is offered by Draft2Digital.

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IngramSpark
There is no easy way to find out the cost (other than the one-time set up costs) for distribution and what they are deducting per sale – unless you sign up for an account and give your credit card first.
Indie publishing strategist Sellbox wrote: Ingram pays out a flat 40% of NET sales (after they have all their costs covered) when the eBook is sold.
Ingram’s website says: E-book distribution from more than 70 online partners.
*And: If you have provided any e-books to Amazon for the Kindle in the past 12 months we will not be able to provide service to Kindle through the IngramSpark program.
**If you currently have e-book content available on Apple, you will need to remove those e-books from the iBook store prior to uploading those same titles into IngramSpark.  Also note that any reviews or ratings of that content will NOT transfer when your titles reappear in the iBook store!
It seems their main business is more print book POD / combined with availability for distribution…
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Knowing the Rules and Terminology:
“Access to over 39,000 retailers, libraries, schools and universities…” for example means only that readers can order your book via any of these suppliers – NOT that your book is automatically delivered to all of those…
Your ebook will be only uploaded to several major online retailers, while for the rest of the retailers, bookstores, libraries etc. your book is listed as “available” if someone orders it.

Don’t expect much in the fine-tune of each online store’s book selling tools, such as categories, keywords and description formatting, for example—and the ability of your distributors to present your book, the author page and the keywords / metadata attractively…
There are also roadblocks in terms of Amazon KDP Select – think book sales campaigns, free days, Matchbox, countdown deals etc. as it would require to take down all your books from your other retailers as Amazon requires exclusivity when you choose KDP Select.
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If you think Smashword’s 15% distributor commission is a bit much, then read our next article where an “Agent-Curated Self-Publishing Distributor – Argo Navis – is taking 30% commission!  And where unscrupulous literary agents are getting an additional 15% for not doing anything, other than  just handing over the name and manuscript of authors to this distributor…

 

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