Savvy Book Writers

Country Road 309 in New Zealand

A (very) short excerpt from an upcoming novel of New Zealand by Dr. Lawrence Winkler: The Bolthole

When Dr. Sababa first arrived in New Zealand, some thirty years earlier, he and Jane hitched the western entrance of the Tapu, to the trailhead of the Pinnacles Walk. This was where they discovered the love for moreporks in the moonlight and glow worms in gold mines, and each other.

They watched the meteors flash across the Southern Cross at night. “Maybe some day, I’ll buy you a place with a gold mine, in the Coromandel.” She gave him a harsh glare which Kiwi’s reserve for skiting high achievers. And the fireflies danced anyway…

The 309 had become an eternal source of terror for Dr. Sababa. He and Jane drove north of Thames on SH25, on the Pacific Coastal route they had adopted as their own since they bought the Bolthole, years earlier. It was an annual ritual, landing in Auckland in the early humid dawn of each Antipodean spring, and jumping the airport express to Queens Wharf downtown. Then for the short Fuller’s ferry ride to Jane’s sister, on Waiheke Island, the old offshore refuge of “the bad, the sad, and the mad”.

Dr. Sababa quickly decompressed from his professional responsibilities, and Jane caught up with the Rellies for a couple of days, before they returned to the big city. A ten-dollar taxi ride dropped them at A2B rental cars where, for a once excellent price, they piled in an ancient Toyota RAV, vertiginous from the number of spins on its own odometer. With a stop at Caros’ Wines, they zoomed off south, and then east, to Thames. At Pak’nSave in the Golddiggers Mall, behind which you could still find kauri gum, they loaded up several months’ worth of groceries.

By early afternoon, they were swerving through the magnificent red flowering Tolkien tunnel of pre-historic pohutukawas lining the highway along the slate blue of the Hauraki Gulf. They might stop for water, or an ice cream, but never for long, anxious as they were to reach the little shack before dark. They knew every curve on the way, including when it would turn inland at Wilson Bay. The Thames Coast Road went then through the hills and swamps of Manaia. Here a two-dollar coin, dropped in an honesty box at a remote farm gate, would get them a bag of juicy tangelos.

The majestic heights of Mount Pukewhakataratara brought them to the east. Jane and Dr. Sababa would zoom down past Preece Point and the mussel farms of Coromandel harbor. Then to the SH25 turn-off over the ranges towards Kuaotunu, and the cottage.

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It had been one of those perfectly crystalline summer mornings when Jane left him for a few days to take care of a family concern.

Her Uncle Bill suggested Dr. Sababa drive his son’s old copper-colored Holden HQ station wagon north, to camp in the furthest forest of the peninsula. “Take the Bronze Whaler. It‘s a great way to disappear for a few days and see the most remote part of the Coromandel.”

He eyed the massive metal machine in Uncle Bill’s driveway with suspicion.

“It’s big,” he mumbled. “It’s indestructible, mate. Runs like a buck rabbit.”

Dr. Sababa accepted the offer with gratitude and asked Uncle Bill for directions to the remoteness.

“I’d take the 309 just south of town. There are twists and turns and a few potholes, but from Whitianga, it’s 22 kilometers of winding gravel on a northwest diagonal, along the Mahakirau Stream, to Coromandel town on the east coast. Then there it’s straight up the guts to Colville and beyond.” The 309, joining Coromandel to Whitianga, was an unpaved road.

The good doctor threw his sleeping bag and tent in the back of the Bronze Whaler, and carefully navigated out of Uncle Bill’s gravel driveway. The old man waved from the deck, anxious to see him off on his adventure.

Dr. Sababa stopped at the Whitianga supermarket and filled up the back seat with two boxes of tinned food. The only eating utensil he would need was his Swiss army knife. The Whaler roared along the bucolic pastureland on the SH25 south of Whitianga until it reached the turn-off of the 309.

Gorse and scrub and native bush began to fill in his peripheral vision, but the tarmac continued smooth and deceptive for the first two kilometers before turning into dust and stones at the quarry. The Whaler blew past tree ferns and building blocks of rainbow-colored beehives, and the black squiggles on a yellow traffic notice warning of the 309 loops and bends which would form the next ten kilometers. Another sign, red and lime green spoke of local artisanal activity further down the road. 309 Honey… 3 kilometers.

Vehicles passing from the other direction raised clouds of fine dust the lasted only as long as it took to reach the next one. Dr. Sababa was experiencing his first solo flight in hostile airspace. New Zealanders consider driving as just another extreme sport. With classic All-Black élan and strategic intent, every car is an obstacle to scoring another goal, every road is a slalom course, and every give-way sign a mere suggestion. There is no blind corner too hidden, no passing interval too short, and no single lane bridge too long not to be taken at full speed and full volume. Kiwis don’t so much drive, as aim and, what he was soon to discover, the rules of engagement were the same on the motorways, as on the poorest narrowest cork-screwiest excuses for a road like the 309.

It was around one of these gritty turns that Dr. Sababa found himself on a collision course with a large white luxury vehicle, hurtling around the corner on his side of the gravel. Four young girls appeared to be chewing gum and chatting at the same time, and one of them was pushing her multitasking skills to the limit in attempting to aim his vehicle.

Dr. Sababa, with his lightning-fast analytical ability, came to three sequential conclusions in a matter of milliseconds. The first was that these young women were likely from Auckland, given the gap between their age and the cost of means of transport, obliviousness to the rest of the world, and their straw hats. The second was that, if he could just nudge the Bronze Whaler ever so slightly to the left, he might be able to demonstrate his chivalry, and avert a collision, thus saving the day and its participants. The third thing he realized, was that his chivalrous intent had been ever-so-slightly miscalculated. It resulted in an attempt by the left side of the massive metal machine to leave the rest of the encounter, slowly but irreversibly.

The Whaler began a slow crocodilian death roll, off the left edge of the 309, and over the bank of the sheer drop-off into space. It could have been a ballet if there hadn’t been so much metal in play. Not only the steel of the Whaler was in the air but, at a precise rotational angle, all the tinned food in the back seat boxes flew onto the field. They smashed into the cockpit airspace and around the befuddled expression on the twirling face of the good doctor. Fortunately for Sababa, Uncle Bill had been right about the indestructibility of the old Holden wagon. In three complete axial revolutions through the solar system and down the steep embankment, the Bronze Whaler did not break. It did, however, lose most of its height, as the roof was crushed nearly flat by the impacts with the slope before it was stopped and jammed immobile by a large old rimu tree.

Dr. Sababa was stunned by the accident but relieved that he was still alive and none of the cans had smashed his skull. His passenger side doors were impacted tight against the tree the car was leaning on, but he wasn’t terribly concerned. he was confident, the young girls from Auckland would stop and inquire after his well-being, and together they would devise a safe way to extricate him from his chivalry.

The young girls from Auckland were indeed from Auckland and had continued on the way without giving Sababa’s fate so much as a second thought. Which brought him, with his lightning fast analytical ability, to his fourth conclusion in a matter of milliseconds. Thirty feet below the sheer drop-off, he was immobilized in a massive metal machine, surrounded by an even more sheer drop-off.

Carefully, he opened his driver’s side door, feeling the Whaler shudder under him. The wagon, exactly balanced on the pillar between the passenger side front and rear doors, was not in a forgiving mood for any more mistakes. Sababa gently pushed his door straight up, waited for it to catch, and slithered onto the slope, reaching for any branches or shrubs that might provide him a handhold to survival. He struggled up the bank, digging his soles in whatever they could find, rested, and then climbed again. Twenty minutes after his tumble, Dr. Sababa emerged scratched and shaken, but safe, onto the gravel roadbed which had tried to kill him. The silence was unnerving. He began to stumble back towards the Whitianga turn-off but had not walked far, before he caught a lift with a farmer, heading into town.

“What happened to you?” The farmer asked. Dr. Sababa told him the short version, emphasizing his shock and surprise at the actions of the young girls from Auckland.

“We call them Jafas.”

“Jafas?”

“Just Another Fucking Aucklander” explained the farmer. “You’ll likely meet more before you die.”

A period of silent contemplation followed.

The farmer dropped Dr. Sababa at a garage on the edge of the township. A thin, elderly man, in blue overalls, came out from under a car. He hadn’t said a word before Sababa launched a cathartic explanation of his travails, the accident, the predicament of the Bronze Whaler, its relationship with the rest of the family, the Jafas, and other topics, some totally irrelevant. “It’s down on 309 Road,” he said finally, as an admission of defeat.

The mechanic motioned him to get in a dilapidated tow truck the same color as his overalls. He didn’t speak as they drove back down into the belly of the beast. Less than fifty curves later, Sababa pointed to the edge of the road he had taken the Whaler over. The mechanic exited his own door and went around to the business end of his vehicle. He took two large iron bars and drove them into the roadbed, a fixed distance apart, with a sledgehammer half his size. He swung himself onto the large hook and rode the winch cable over the bank. The speed at which his blue overalls disappeared over the sheer drop-off into space let Sababa gasp. The man moved like he was executing a pivot in a rugby scrum and, for as much as Sababa knew about both the man and the game, he may as well have.

He swung himself onto the large hook and rode the winch cable over the bank. The speed at which his blue overalls disappeared over the sheer drop-off into space let Sababa gasp. The man moved like he was executing a pivot in a rugby scrum and, for as much as Sababa knew about both the man and the game, he may as well have.

Minutes later, his blue overalls rematerialized back over the edge, and onto the truck bed. The mechanic commenced pulling levers and pushing switches until the cable tightened, and a mighty grumbling began beneath them, thirty feet below. Dr. Sababa trembled with the terror of the exercise, and what disastrous results he might bear witness too if this taciturn grease monkey was not up to the challenge. But his torment was unnecessary.

Slowly, leisurely, the Bronze Whaler made a steady ninety-degree turn, her bonnet now facing up toward the roadbed. A tug on another lever and she began a stealthy crawl up towards the bank, swerving like the copper shark she was. Another heave and the Holden climbed over and back onto the 309, facing back towards the direction she had come. Her roof was crushed to the waistline, her windshield and windows were blown out, but she and every food can he had purchased at the supermarket were otherwise all there. The mechanic blew on two fingers and put the key in the Whaler. The engine roared into life. Dr. Sababa’s mouth was open in awe.

“Think you can drive her into town, mate?” It was the first thing the man had said. He nodded.

“How much do I owe you?” Asked the good doctor.

“Forty bucks.” Sababa paid him before anything more could happen, and watched the mechanic drive away. Clearly, there were all kinds of Kiwis, and this man was a seraphim angel of the highest order.

He found his drive back to Whitianga embarrassing. He felt every vehicle he passed snickering at the Whaler, especially because his visibility was windy, and less than five inches high. He pulled into Uncle Bill’s driveway, half relieved and half paralyzed, to find the old man still sitting on the deck where he had left him, not even three hours earlier.

“Quick trip up the peninsula,” observed Uncle Bill.
“Less up than over.” Sababa meant.
“How’d you like the 309?” Asked Bill.
“The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.”
“Looks like you found both today,” remarked Uncle Bill.

 

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Tagged: Bolthole, Coromandel Peninsula, Golddiggers, Maories, Nature, New Zealand, travel



Blast Off Book Piracy

Ghetto-Blaster

A month ago I wrote a long blog post about book piracy:
PRO’s and CON’s of Fighting Book Piracy
and gave tips how to avoid that your book is pirated – to collect evidence of the pirated work – and lots of tips how to take these piracy sites down.  For example to have Google take-down the web link, to contact the domain registrar and hosting company, even PayPal might help too, and certainly, Amazon can help you as well.

However, removing illegal copies of our content from Google is such a time-consuming and tedious chore…
Recently best-selling writer D.G. Kaye wrote two great articles about a new weapon in the fight against book piracy: 
Blasty.co
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This helpful site is FREE while in Beta: Get alerted and remove infringements with one click.  Blasty was created for writers and artists to enroll their books and anything copyrighted to be flagged to your account if any suspicious ‘BUY’ links are found from pirates on Google – but also free pdf downloads.
When suspicious links are found we are then given the right to ‘blast‘ the link right off Google yourself!  Imagine that we don’t have to go through the ringers to submit our findings, begging them to take them off, instead, we have the power to blast them ourselves!
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Check out this helpful site and start blasting away the pirates!  This unique tool takes all the effort and complexity out of the DMCA copyright infringement removal process and boils it down to one single click.

The site has a great FAQ section and short videos, demonstrating how to use Blasty correctly and efficiently.  You can even ‘unblast’ if you have blasted something in error.
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Read her two great articles about this tool here:
https://dgkayewriter.com/famous-pirated-blasty-part-2/

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DIY: Translate Your Book

Online-Outlook

Are you fluently speaking French or Spanish beside your mother language English?  Or any other language for that matter?  Maybe English is your second language?  This way you have a great benefit compared to those who are speaking English only: You might be able to translate your book(s) without paying top dollars for a professional chartered translator.  The only expense would be the usual fees for an editor who cleans up and improves the manuscript before it goes to formatting or a print book designer.

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Why Translating Your Own Manuscripts?
In one sentence: More money, more books to offer, a completely new readership, you double your success. Even if you are not self-publishing, and going with a trade publisher, it’s possible to have your book(s) in other languages – provided you have retained your publishing rights in other languages than English.  Repurpose the hard work you put into writing the English book – in all formats, such as the digital version, a print book or audio book version.

Translating also helps you to avoid “writer’s block” due to the outlook of an upcoming new book that requires less work than writing a completely new one. And while you translate, you might even get lots of ideas for your next title.

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Who Would Be Your Readers?
For example, if you translate your book(s) into Spanish, you are able to sell them not only in Spain, but in the USA, with more than 50 million Spanish-speaking citizens, and also in Mexico, Venezuela, Columbia, Argentina, and many more countries.  See a language map for details.
Or take French: It is the mother tongue of about 7.3 million Canadians (22% of the population).  Worldwide there are over 270 million people who would be able to read your books, including France.  Most second-language speakers reside in Francophone Africa, in particular, Gabon, Algeria, Mauritius, Senegal and Ivory Coast, where almost everyone uses an iPhone to read e-books.  In 2015, the French language was estimated to have 77 to 110 million native speakers (mostly France and Quebec), and 190 million secondary speakers. Approximately 274 million people are able to speak and read in French.

Well, and if you are from China or you are fluent in Mandarin, I don’t need to tell you how many potential customers you could reach with a translated book: 848 million readers.

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Consider These Points When Translating:
Translating your book is not a process to translate it word for word. Don’t follow the text exactly to the point.  Every language and every part of the world has its own culture. Keep this always in mind, and don’t be afraid to subtract or add paragraphs. Read as many books in your genre as you can get in the language you want to translate it into.
If your book is not yet published, translating it into another language allows you to see it from a different perspective.  You might even consider to rewrite it until it flows smoothly in both languages.  Another benefit: you will sharpen your editing and revising skills as well.

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Translating your own unpublished manuscripts is not as restricting as translating texts that have appeared in print (either yours or someone else’s) or which have been requested by a client.  Don’t force yourself to follow the text exactly.  Although your first draft will probably sound like a word-for-word translation, during the revision stage feel free to add, embellish and change any word, sentence or paragraph.

The main of the translation work can even be done by a computer program.  Those for professional translators might be too expensive.  But there is one that can help you immensely and has even an editing program before you hand it over to a foreign language human editor who is a native speaker. MemSource Web Editor is a fully web-based translation environment.  Its desktop alternative, MemSource Editor, is available as a free download. Both connect seamlessly to translation projects, translation memories and term bases in MemSource Cloud.

If you think about selling your manuscript/publishing rights to a trade publisher, you may want to mention in your cover letter that your submission is available in another language as well.
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Distribution of Your Foreign Language Book
To sell your foreign language e-books or the audio version in countries like France, Japan or Brazil through Amazon is just one more click at the upload process. Distribution of print books is a different story…
Many of the Print-on-Demand companies don’t have contracts with retailers or wholesale companies in these countries – even if they claim to distribute your book “worldwide”.  An exception is LightningSource which has their own Print-on-Demand branches in Milton Keynes, in the UK and in Scoresby, Victoria, Australia.

Bestselling author and publisher Aaron Shepard wrote once:
“Lightning’s print operations are truly massive and expanding rapidly. 1.6 million titles from over 11,000 publishing clients—many of them self-publishing companies but also small publishers.  As a distributor, Lightning’s importance and effectiveness in the U.S. are largely due to a unique advantage: It’s part of the same company that houses Ingram Book Company, the biggest U.S. book wholesaler.  Almost all bookstores in the country, as well as many libraries and schools, order books from Ingram, and as you might expect, Lightning and Ingram work together closely.”

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Foreign Language Marketing
Expanding your website or blog for your new readers is not a big deal. Just add a new page and a link featuring the flag of the additional language. Translate the information about your book, and add sales links in these specific countries.  Another benefit for your readers (and a marketing bonus for you) would be the addition of several articles about you and your books. Or just general blog posts – which could be interesting for your foreign readers.
Translate your tweets and posts for your social media appearances, always using your book’s sales links in specific countries.  And don’t forget to add as many readers as you can find in these countries to your social media following.
At Goodreads and your Amazon author page (and even on LinkedIn) place the same information about you, your book and any editorial reviews (not reader reviews) to your appearance.  Try to get as many reviews as possible on the sales pages of these countries, e.g. get French-language reviews in Quebec, France, etc., in order to be placed on Amazon.ca or Amazon.fr websites.

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Last But Not Least
You might even become a publisher for foreign books in your native language.  Translate these foreign books into English and publish them for sale in English-speaking countries.  First, you have to buy the right to translate it into the desired language.  This can be obtained from the rights department of the original publisher; if they don’t have the rights anymore, they will direct you to the author or agent.  Another possibility would be to agree on both sides on a commission basis, starting once the book is translated and published.

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Selling your books written in only one language, such as English, you will effectively eliminate the majority of this planet’s books from your pool of potential readers.

Read more:
Translation Questions and detailed answers by PEN
https://pen.org/translation-faqs/

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The Only Rule Amazon Truly Cares About

MUST-READ warning for writers who sell through Amazon KDP Select by David Gaughran – prompting 64 comments so far. Here are some excerpts:
“Amazon only seems to click into gear if it suffers a PR embarrassment.
Perhaps if we all got on social media and blasted Amazon for what they really are–just a way for Jeff Bezos to become king of the world, perhaps they might do something about the underlying problems. I’ve had my share of nightmares with Amazon and have been thinking mightily about taking all my books down. I’ve been garnering more sales at Kobo and itunes in the last year than with Amazon. I’m getting sick of trying to keep up with their “rules”.”
“Amazon seems to forget that they can’t have KDP without authors!”
“Going wide is also offering me opportunities to build human relationships with key players in the wider publishing scene, a process that takes time but is a worthwhile long-term strategy. And my readers can find me on whatever platform they prefer.”
“We have the power to make Amazon listen, but only if we work together.”
Read the whole story here:

David Gaughran

On Monday, I found out that some bug hit a German e-book site causing the reactivation of long-dead listings, including one of mine, putting myself and some other authors in breach of KDP Select’s exclusivity rule.

Amazon pounced into action and cancelled my Countdown deal which was scheduled for this week, screwing up a carefully planned promotion. And despite pledging to resolve the matter and restore the promo, Amazon has not done so.

I’m going to go through what happened in detail so you can be sure that I acted correctly at all points – because there is a lot of shadiness going on at the moment – but feel free to skim some of the details if you wish.

Let’s Get Digital and Let’s Get Visible had never been in Select, so I decided to throw them in for one term as an experiment at the start of July…

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PRO’s and CON’s of Fighting Book Piracy

The CON in Publishing

The Verge reported a year ago: “Google received just over 75 million DMCA-related takedown requests in the month of MARCH, representing a new high. The rate at which requests to take down these sites have grown is truly staggering. Compare that to 2014, when Google handled 345 million requests for the entire year.”

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Scam Sites
This Year, the numbers might be even higher… Alone in the United States, publishers are losing sales in the vicinity of $80 to $100 million thanks to book piracy.  David Kudler wrote in an article:
“It’s amazing how much money some people will risk getting a $2.99 e-book for “free.” Essentially, it’s the Nigerian Oil Scam using “free” e-books as the lure. The scam counts on the scammer knowing that they’re doing something dishonest and therefore taking chances they wouldn’t take on a legitimate site. The site requests a credit card number but assures you that it won’t be used. Then you find out that you not only can’t get the content you wanted to download, but now you can’t stop your credit card from getting charged — sometimes a few dollars a month (so you don’t notice), and sometimes thousands of dollars.”  Or they use the site to spread viruses to the internet.

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Fighting, Suing – Or Just Let Go?
There are many “real” piracy sites – unfortunately, there is not much you can do — they are mostly operating out of countries where US and European intellectual property owners are not bound, e.g. China, India, Russia, Vietnam, or some exotic islands.  They can create hundreds of URLs that seem to offer your book, often linking to other sites.
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Seeing it as Book Exposure?
Someone downloads your e-book may end up buying one of your other books later on. After all, using Amazon’s KDP Select, allowing people to download your title for 5 days in a 3-months period is technically almost the same as getting your book downloaded via pdf free download. It gives your book and you as an author exposure

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David Kudler: “You can take some solace in the thought that your fans are showing enough interest to track down your book. If you’re feeling particularly daring, you can use P2P sharing and file-sharing forums to distribute promotional freebies — free excerpts, prequel stories, etc.  Include links and other promotional calls-to-action in the e-book to drive readers toward your site, where you can give them incentives to sign up for your email list by giving them more freebies.  You’ll turn these erstwhile pirates into fans by creating a relationship with them.  There are some incredibly successful authors doing just this, among them Neil Gaiman, Cory Doctorow and Guy Kawasaki.”
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Helen Sedwick,  author and copyright lawyer in California suggests in her article:
“Sooner or later, every writer or blogger will find her work reposted or republished without permission.  Those sites, offering cheap or free PDF’s, are typically scams downloading malware or stealing credit card numbers. Anyone who clicks through on those sites was unlikely to buy your book anyway…
Don’t get caught up in a game of whack-a-mole.  While it’s upsetting to see your work stolen, the theft may have very few economic consequence to you.  You could waste a lot of time chasing these low-lives.  As soon as you deal with one, others may pop up.  Your energy may be better spent creating new work and finding new readers.”

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Here Are Some Useful Tips From WikiHow:

Preventative Measures

Encrypt Your eBooks and Manuscript Files
There are encryption programs, such as LockLizzard  or EditionGuard available for e-books that will only allow the file to be read by authorized users.  This can help prevent a transfer of the original file because the file wouldn’t be readable to anyone but the original purchaser.
This method wouldn’t protect your book because anyone can make a screen photo of each page and sell that as a pirated copy.  There may be some e-book retailers that don’t support encryption, which could limit the availability of your book.

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Track Your Books, Using Watermarks
Trade publishers are protecting their e-books with invisible watermarks and you may have similar security available as a self-publisher. While the watermark technology doesn’t prevent anyone from pirating your book, it does allow you to track the copy of your book. The watermark isn’t visible and is more like a tracking code embedded in the book code. Anti-piracy services scan the internet for the code and report when a pirated copy of your book is found.
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Don’t Allow File Sharing
Readers who purchase your e-book can share it with a friend. If you turn this option at online retailers off, people won’t be able to share your book. Prohibiting file sharing is a double-edged sword because you are losing the opportunity to gain a new reader! Someone who borrows a book from a friend may end up buying one of your other books later on, so if you have numerous titles planned, allow file sharing on your early books.

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Here is What You Can Do If Your Book is Pirated:

It’s YOUR Copyright!
As an author, you are responsible for uncovering pirates and enforcing your copyright by filing a lawsuit. Set search alerts for your name and your book’s title, and for unique text strings that appear in the first 10% and last 10% of the book through Google Alerts.

It’s a good idea to search for yourself once a month – not only for your titles but also for significant expressions in your manuscript. And if you find pirated copies of your book, do not click any links or the download page, you might get a virus. These pages can be moved or deleted easily. Gather evidence of the piracy. Type the main page of the seller in a separate search, and try to get as much information as you can about the website, make screen shots, and bookmark the page.

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Collect Evidence of the Pirated Work.
Monitor the internet for your work and immediately report pirated copies you see. Pirates also will scan print books to make digital copies. Take screen shots, write down direct web addresses, and get web archive copies if possible. Research the site’s visibility, how much traffic does it get? Run a search for the website’s main URL at
https://www.prchecker.info/check_page_rank.php for Google PageRank, and for Alexa Rank.
These sites will give you information on the site’s traffic and how high up the page would appear in search results and an idea of how many people potentially have downloaded a pirated copy of your work.

Find the owner of the domain through the WHOIS domain registry at https://whois.icann.org/en. It will tell you who has registered that domain. If the owner hasn’t enabled identity-blocking, it will give you their address, phone number, email address, and IP address.
If the domain owner has an identity-blocking service enabled, the information you get will be the address and contact information of the domain registrar, not the individual owner. However, you can still use this information to contact the registrar regarding the pirated copies.

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Send a Cease-and-Desist Letter
Here is a template for such a letter:
https://jux.law/cease-desist-letter-template-example-sample-forms/#copyright
If you were able to find the owner of the domain, write a polite letter informing them of the pirated copies of your book available on their website. Take the attitude of assuming that they were unaware of the piracy, and will be willing to work with you.

In your first communication avoid accusing them of stealing your work, and don’t threaten a lawsuit.  Simply provide information about the piracy you’ve found and ask them to work with you to rectify the situation.  Give the owner a deadline to respond, but remain informal. You may get a response that is less than helpful. They may blatantly refuse or they may ignore your letter.  In that case, you may want to talk to an attorney and send a more formal letter.

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Google Can Take-Down the Web Link
Send take-down notices to search engines, such as Google and Bing. Ask them to stop linking to your pirate book on those sites. Include information that proves that you are the copyright owner of the intellectual property in question — and you need to do it for every single pirate link.

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Get Help from Social Media
Social media sites like YouTube, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Facebook have online forms for reporting infringement and sending takedown notices. Look under links titled Legal, Copyright, Report a Problem, or Help.

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Contact Their Web Host
In the U.S., the law requires web hosts, such as WordPress or BlueHost, to have a DMCA agent who can be notified regarding pirated content. Find the link to their copyright page. You’ll find a form you can fill out to notify the site’s DMCA agent. You must provide your name, address, and phone number, along with your copyright information, as well as about the pirated content. The DMCA agent will review your notice and if they agree with you, they’ll remove the content themselves. You’ll typically hear back from them within a day or two.
Contact the domain registrar and hosting company.  If you can find the name of the company that registered the domain or provides hosting services for the website, they also may be obligated to take down pirated content.  Companies located in the United States are required to remove pirated content if they are notified of it.  Send copies of your takedown request to the domain registrar and hosting company.

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Amazon Will Compensate You
According to the Kindle Direct Publishing Terms of Service
5.7 Rights Clearances and Rights Dispute Resolution:
“ If you notify us through the procedure we provide on the applicable Amazon Property for making claims of copyright infringement that a third party has made a Digital Book available for distribution through the Program (or for distribution in a particular territory through the Program) that you have the exclusive right to make available under the Program, then, upon your request and after verification of your claim, we will pay you the Royalties due in connection with any sales of the Digital Book through the Program, and will remove the Digital Book from future sale through the Program, as your sole and exclusive remedy.”
But you need to file a notice of copyright infringement through Amazon’s online form or through written communication with Amazon’s legal department. Their rules, addresses, and contacts can be found at their dedicated website for copyright infringement of digital books.
However, their subsidiary company CreateSpace does not!

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PayPal Might Help Too
WikiHow: “File a report with the payment processing company.  Some payment processing companies, such as PayPal, will ban or suspend users who receive money for pirated content. If the website you found is taking money for pirated copies of your work, you can potentially take away their ability to make any money off of it while you evaluate your other options.
Look on the website for logos of payment processing companies they use. Go to that company’s website and look for a legal or copyright link that will give you the information you need to file your report.”

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Contact Their Advertisers
Jennifer Mattern, a top blogger on freelance issues, suggests you contact the site’s advertisers as well. But you have to be 100% certain the site is actually infringing your work, otherwise it could backfire.

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Follow-Up on Your Infringement Reports
Just because a website or host removes a particular link or page, there’s no guarantee that the pirates won’t simply repost your content.  It also won’t stop them from going to another website and uploading the same content there.  Keep up with intense monitoring of the internet and revisit sites periodically to make sure the pirated content doesn’t return.
Without proper protection, work you have created could end up making money for someone else. Photographer Jeremy Nicholl wrote: “Some time ago I began registering all my photographs with the US Copyright Office.  Like all photographers, I have witnessed a massive increase in theft of my work in recent years.  And, like others I have found it difficult, if not impossible, to get reasonable compensation for these infringements, especially if the infringer is in a foreign country.  But one country, the US, provides very hefty penalties for copyright theft – so long as the work has been registered prior to the infringement in question”.

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However, this is all theory – if the theft is committed in a country where suing is very difficult and costly – or the criminals cannot be caught, or don’t have the means to pay penalties. Read more about copyright registration here

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Register Your Copyright
If you still aren’t able to get rid of pirated copies of your book on the internet, you can sue the pirates for copyright infringement. The registration of your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office has to be before you find out about the criminal actions. Be aware that it can take as long as eight months to process! Better start as soon as your e-book is available in .pdf, .epub or .mobi version – even before it is uploaded to online retailers.

To file your copyright, you can find registration applications and instructions at the Copyright Office website at and you don’t need an attorney to register a copyright. The application is simple and you can complete it online in a few minutes. If you’re the only author of your book, the filing fee is only $35 (by credit or debit card), provided you complete your application online. The copyright registration application must be accompanied by electronic copies of your work, which will be filed with the Library of Congress.

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Legal Proceedings
If you’ve exhausted all other options, such as take-downs by Google, Amazon or the web host of the pirate’s site, you may want to consider suing in court. If you lose considerable amounts of book sales, hire an attorney who specializes in filing copyright infringement lawsuits, and get their opinion on your case. K eep in mind: Federal court proceedings are time-consuming, expensive, and stressful.  Think about it: Is it worth the effort, suing pirates for copyright infringement?  It means you could spend thousands of dollars on legal fees before your case even gets a trial date.  Consider it as a last resort, or if they’ve been selling thousands of pirated copies of your work and made a lot of money.
One law firm that is specialized in copyright law is Hoffman in NYC, but you will find them in almost every state. There are websites, such as Findlaw.com that sort them by cities too. Some lawyers will even work for you on a contingency agreement for a percentage of any settlement; as long as you have registered your writing or your image correctly.
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How Much Can You Charge:
What’s An Infringement Worth? Attorney Carolyn E. Wright who is a specialist in copyright law has an interesting graphic on her website that shows the average amount of damages the perpetrator has to pay:

  • Actual Damages
  • Statutory Damages
  • Ordinary Licence Fee
  • Profits
  • Fine
  • Attorneys fees & costs

If you are an author in the U.S.A.: copyright laws allow punishment for removal or alteration of copyright information a substantial statutory damage – $2,500 – $25,000 – for each image or text.

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Don’t forget: “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. And: copyright infringement can even be a source of income for you if you charge the thieves : )

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Resources:
http://johndopp.com/writers/amazon-will-compensate-victims-of-piracy/
http://inkwelleditorial.com/prevent-ebook-theft
http://www.savvybookwriters.com/why-registering-your-copyright/
http://www.wikihow.com/Combat-Book-Piracy
http://www.toptenreviews.com/software/security/best-encryption-software/
http://www.toptenreviews.com/software/security/best-mac-encryption-software/
http://www.savvybookwriters.com/outsmart-thieves-of-your-content-part-1/
http://www.savvybookwriters.com/outsmart-thieves-of-your-content-part-2/

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To learn more about professional book marketing and publishing,
please read also “111 Tips on How to Market Your Book for Free”
https://www.amazon.com/Tips-Market-Your-Book-Free-ebook/dp/B018RA72LY

Our email newsletters with free insider tips are sent out once a month.
To sign up, just go to the form on the right site of each blog post.



Benefits of Getting Your Own ISBN

ISBN

30% of all e-books sold in the United States lack an ISBN number and are not listed in library and book stores – nor in market surveys or reports by Bowker, AAP, BISG, and Nielsen. So, why do author-publishers don’t obtain their own ISBN’s? Could it be to they want to avoid the fees?

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After all ISBN’s Belong to the Publisher!
If you are the one who has complete control over your book, doing the marketing and distribution, then consider getting your own ISBN. Each version of your book – e-book, paperback, hardcover, or audio-book – needs a unique ISBN.  Order at least a block of ten numbers.  ISBN numbers are assigned by a group of agencies worldwide coordinated by the International ISBN Agency.
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Where to Order Your ISBN:

Canada
http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/publishers/index-e.html
USA
http://www.isbn.org
UK
http://www.isbn.nielsenbook.co.uk/controller.php?page=121
Australia
http://www.thorpe.com.au/isbn/
New Zealand
http://www.natlib.govt.nz/services/get-advice/publishing/isbn
South Africa
http://www.publishsa.co.za/publishing/isbn-numbers

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Benefits of an ISBN
As an author, you may have received offers from distributors, POD companies or “Vanity-Publishers” for a discounted ISBN. Don’t fall for these traps explained in this article!

  • Only the one who purchases their own ISBN from the official distributors is considered the publisher! Or self-publisher.
  • You can list your book worldwide with Bowker to be in all databases of libraries and bookstores around the globe.
  • One of the most important reasons to have your own ISBN is that an ISBN helps to cement your publisher brand and makes it easier for the bookstores and libraries to carry your book or e-book.
  • In Italy e-Books that do not contain an ISBN are charged 22% VAT – while e-books with an ISBN are charged at a rate of only 4%.

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What Do All These Numbers in Your ISBN Code Mean?
ISBN is the International Standard Book Number, a 13-digit number that uniquely identifies books published anywhere in the world. Parts of an ISBN are:

  • group or country identified
  • publisher identifier
  • title identifier
  • and the check digit

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To sell your e-book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple or Kobo doesn’t necessarily require an ISBN, but it will be necessary, as soon as you start your book’s print version. Any book on your book shelf, at libraries or in book stores has a mandatory ISBN.

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Read more:
http://www.isbn.org/faqs_general_questions
http://www.savvybookwriters.com/who-is-the-publisher-check-the-isbn/
http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2015/best-practices-for-ebook-front-matter-copyright-page-part-1/
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BEHIND CLOSED DOORS Available in Print

Imagine you are a little house fly and you could get access to homes and mansions were celebrities and politician reside – being able to get a peek behind closed doors and spying on them.

BEHIND-CLOSED-DOORS
Take a peek behind the masks of hypocrisy and the walls of deception that lurk and thrive in the mainstream; the secret, desperate lives of sinners, perverts, and criminals that remain usually well hidden in posh mansions from the wrath and condemnation of our society.

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Get now also the print version of the fictional story BEHIND CLOSED DOORS on all Amazon sites around the world.  Such as Amazon for the USA, Australia, NZ, South Africa – or on Amazon.de, Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.fr or at B&N, Kobo, Gardners, Scribd, Story- Tel, OverDrive, Bookmate, just to name a few of the many retailers and distributors that carry her books.
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Author Dr. Charlayne Grenci’s purpose was to expose and dramatize the true reality of what goes on in the private lives of people in suburban America.  Watched by a tiny little detective fly – tells you all…

https://www.amazon.com/Behind-Closed-Doors-Charlayne-Grenci/dp/1988664055/
Paperback: 282 pages
Publisher: French-Flair Publishing July 21, 2017
ISBN 978-1988664057

Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Behind-Closed-Doors-Charlayne-Grenci-ebook/dp/B06Y6DP5JY/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Behind-Closed-Doors-Charlayne-Grenci-ebook/dp/B06Y6DP5JY/

Amazon Germany: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Behind-Closed-Doors-Charlayne-Grenci-ebook/dp/B06Y6DP5JY/
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Follow the Author:
Website and Blog
Author Page
Amazon Book Page

Connect with her on social media:
Facebook
LinkedIn
Google+
Twitter: @CharlayneGrenci

More books by Dr. Charlayne Grenci:
Queen of Domination: My Secret Life
Marcel Proust EXPOSED
SECRET CINEMAS
Last Curtain for a Stripper
A Politician EXPOSED

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Want Your Novel in Bookstores?

Imagine to walk into a local Barnes & Noble and find your own book displayed on the shelves…

IBPA

Before you approach bookstores, make sure your book will pass muster with a book buyer.  The Independent Book Publishers Association has published an Industry Standards Checklist for Professionally Published Books.  If you want bookstores to carry your book, please make sure you can check every single box on this list before you bring a copy into their store and ask them to carry it.

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In March 2017, IBPA’s Advocacy Committee published an Industry Standards Checklist for a Professionally Published Book.  The purpose of the checklist is to give book authors and industry professionals an at-a-glance gauge of the professional presentation of any book in order to help level the playing field between indie publishers and large-scale conglomerates.

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How IBPA Helps Authors:
“Too often, IBPA has noticed a bias against self-published authors, independent publishers, and hybrid presses when it comes to choosing titles or authors for review consideration, book award contests, association memberships, and inclusion on independent bookstore shelves,” said IBPA CEO Angela Bole.
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Excerpt From the Industry Checklist for a Professionally Published Book

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COVER DESIGN
Reference the October 2016 issue of IBPA Independent magazine for examples of great design. If you no longer have your copy, email the IBPA office at info@ibpa-online.org to request a new copy for $4.95 per issue.

Win by Design
http://articles.ibpa-online.org/article/win-by-design/

3 Challenging Covers
http://articles.ibpa-online.org/article/3-challenging-covers/

Sample 1: General Cover
http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.ibpa-online.org/resource/resmgr/images/checklist/cover-sample-1.png

Sample 2.1: General Cover
http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.ibpa-online.org/resource/resmgr/images/checklist/cover-GillianPugsley-awards.jpg

Sample 1: Advance Reader Copy Cover
http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.ibpa-online.org/resource/resmgr/images/checklist/ARC-cover-sample-1.jpg

Sample 2: Advance Reader Copy Cover
http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.ibpa-online.org/resource/resmgr/images/checklist/ARC-cover-sample-2.jpg

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INTERIOR DESIGN SPREADS
The following interior design spreads are linked with permission of the publisher.

Sample 1: Interior Spread
http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.ibpa-online.org/resource/resmgr/images/checklist/book-interior-sample-1.jpg

Sample 2: Interior Spread
http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.ibpa-online.org/resource/resmgr/images/checklist/book-interior-sample-2.jpg

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TITLE PAGES
The title page is often the very first page of the book (if you don’t include a half-title page).

Sample 1: Light Messages Publishing
http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.ibpa-online.org/resource/resmgr/images/checklist/title-page-1.png

Sample 2: Light Messages Publishing
http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.ibpa-online.org/resource/resmgr/images/checklist/title-page-2.png
COPYRIGHT PAGES
Copyright pages vary, but all contain the same general information.  Below are copyright page examples linked with permission of the publisher.

Sample 1: She Writes Press
http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.ibpa-online.org/resource/resmgr/images/checklist/copyright-page-sample-1.jpg

Sample 2: Independent Book Publishers Association
http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.ibpa-online.org/resource/resmgr/images/checklist/copyright-page-sample-5.png

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“IBPA’s Industry Checklist for a Professionally Published Book will help industry professionals and independent publishers and authors bridge this gap by offering a structured means.  It will ensure that books be judged on merit and quality rather than on the business model used to produce them or the size of the publisher.”



The Kindle Store is Officially Broken

Open-Letter-to-Amazon

“Amazon’s continued inaction is increasingly baffling,” wrote best-selling author David Gaughran on his blog. Gaughran reported about many incidents, such as the one that happened recently, when a “click-farmed” title hit #1 in the Kindle Store. And Amazon took no action…

“Over the last six weeks, one particularly brazen author has put four separate titles in the Top 10, and Amazon did nothing whatsoever.  There are many such examples.  I wrote at the start of June about how scammers were taking over Amazon’s free charts. That post led to a phone conversation with KDP’s Executive Customer Relations.  I explained in detail how none of those contentions were true, that readers are leaving angry reviews under these books, which regularly hit the charts, and further that KDP has singularly failed to act on 18 months-worth of complaints.”

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The Facts and How Amazon Reacts (or NOT)
Here are the details what’s going on at the Amazon charts: An increase of 38,584,000%! within days…  How does that not set off alarm bells in Seattle?  Amazon is yet to respond or take any action. Sam DeSilva, a lawyer specializing in IT and outsourcing law at Manches LLP in Oxford had mentioned that: “Potentially, a number of laws are being breached – the consumer protection and unfair trading regulations. Effectively it’s misleading the individual consumers.
It seems that Amazon can invent flying delivery robots, but can’t handle a 1990s-level internet marketer scam.

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Amazon Has A Fake Book Problem
In this former article author David Gaughran explains in detail 
how the click farm scammers “produce” and distribute their books: “For over fifteen months now, scammers have been raiding the Kindle Unlimited pot using a well-worn trick.  They usually pilfer the content first of all – often by stealing an author’s original work and running it through a “synonymizer” – and then upload it to Amazon, thus avoiding the automatic plagiarism detectors. They make sure the “book” is as long as possible.
These thieves make the book free for a few days, and then use a variety of banned methods to generate a huge and immediate surge in downloads – generally suspected to be bots or click-farms or dummy accounts, or some combination thereof.  These fake books then suddenly jump into the Top 20 of the free charts, displacing authors who have gone to considerable effort to put together an advertising campaign for their work.”

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What are Click Farms?
A click farm, according to Wikipedia is a form of click fraud, where a large group of low-paid workers -usually located in developing countries, such as India, the Philippines, and Bangladesh – is hired to click on paid advertising links for the click fraudster.

It is extremely difficult for an automated filter to detect this simulated traffic as fake because the visitor behavior appears exactly the same as that of an actual legitimate visitor.  In an effort to circumvent filtering systems, click fraudsters have begun to use these click farms to mimic actual visitors.
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KindleUnlimited – Forget it!
David Gaughran explained in his blog that fake authors are sucking in money from the communal author pot, and stealing visibility from genuine, hardworking authors – despite the irate reviews from readers.
“One of these scammers who has been engaging in various shady tactics for years with impunity – has gate-crashed the Top 10 four times in the last six weeks using click-farms.  His books tend to immediately slink back to around 100,000 in the charts and don’t have “Also Boughts” weeks after publishing (meaning that he didn’t manage to rustle up 50 genuine sales yet – borrows don’t count towards “Also Boughts”).
On the same day that this click-farmed book hit #1 on Amazon, KDP announced yet another drop in rates for Kindle Unlimited authors – and rates have been steadily dropping for some time now.”

See the long list of emails which David Gaughran sent already to Amazon – without any action from them to stop these scammers. It shows clearly that authors are screwed when participating in KU – not only due to the measly payouts. Best step for authors is NOT to enroll their book in KDP Select.
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Inclusion in KDP Select (and KU) means that authors are losing out on other revenue streams – and also becoming increasingly more reliant on Amazon.  KU is NOT an author’s friend.  It’s Amazon’s friend to draw customers to their site.

 

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