10000 hours is 5 years of full time hard work

New Tax Rules for Authors Selling in Japan

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You might have received the news from Amazon about Japan’s consumption tax on e-books. I had to read this email about three times to fully understand it.  Here is the curated text (easier to read and understand I hope) for fellow authors.  Only two things are really important:

  • to reach a revenue of 70% your minimum e-book price needs to be at least ¥250
  • your revenue will be calculated from the net price (sales price minus 8%)
    … well and maybe a third one: Avoid the number 4 or 9 in your sales prices for Japan

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Starting October 1, 2015
8% consumption tax will be applied to all e-books sold to customers living in Japan. List prices set for Amazon.co.jp will be then tax-inclusive, meaning that the 8% consumption tax will be included in the list price you choose.  Authors can change their price at any time subject to KDP’s Terms and Conditions.

Let’s say you set your Amazon.co.jp list price at ¥1250, inclusive tax, which will be deducted from this price, your revenue payments would be calculated on a resulting price of ¥1157 (¥1250 minus 8% tax).

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Minimum and Maximum List Prices
The new minimum and maximum list prices for the 70% royalty plan will be ¥250 (min) and ¥1250 (max) inclusive of tax (or ¥231.48 and ¥1,157.41 without tax).  When you choose your sales price, keep in mind that in Japan, the number 4 and the number 9 have a bad image, so avoid these particular numbers.

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Updates for Tax-Inclusive List Prices
Amazon’s KDP pricing grid will be updated to accept tax-inclusive list prices.  In the pricing page, authors will also see their suggested price without tax to help them understand how royalties will be calculated.  For those authors who set their Japan marketplace price automatically from their US list price, Amazon will convert the US list price to local currency which will be then the list price, including tax.”  Again watch out that your price for books sold in Japan is at least ¥250 to reach the 70% revenue.

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Your Book Won’t Be a Bestseller – Yet

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If anyone has earned Bestseller status for a book than it is YOURS. You worked very hard for years on your first novel, invested in a professional editor (who also edits for big trade publishers) and you chose one of the best book cover designers. But your book sales are still disappointing… and your friends are postponing their promised book reviews from week to week.

You get more depressed from day to day and don’t even want to read tweets or posts on Social Media where authors are bragging over their bestselling works. Even worse for you is to check the weekly NYT Bestsellers. Becoming a bestseller author seems to be totally out of reach – or is it? Here is what you can do about it, but first some hard facts:

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7 Million Self-Published Titles: Stiff Competition
Since 2010 roughly 7 million new self-published books appeared, almost all at online retailer’s websites. And these titles will be offered for many years to come, as most of them are in digital format. The “gold rush” seems to be over.

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How NYT Bestsellers are “Made”
Bestseller does not mean an outstanding book in quality-writing, it means only: sold in high numbers during a certain period, compared to other books who sold less copies. And it means a print book, mostly in hard cover and sold at book chains and mass market in the United States. This way excluded are: ebooks, audiobooks, books sold in other countries than USA, and self-published books.

If you can spend between $60,000 and 100,000 to spend for marketing you can use the services of a promotion company, e.g. San Diego-based ResultSource.com who will buy your books en masse in chain stores to get your book into the bestseller lists … We explained in detail “The Dark Side of Bestseller Lists”. First investigated in The Mystery of the Book Sales Spike by Jeffrey Trachtenberg in Wallstreet Journal.

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Even More Roadblocks for Independent Writers
Be aware that:

  • Without your personal ISBN (not from a POD) and without national distributors e.g. Igram, LightningSource etc., bookstores will / cannot even order a book for a customer. If your book is not internationally listed at Bowker,  bookstores cannot find it in their computer.
  • Big media reviewers do not even accept 10% of the submissions they receive – and as an independent author you are competing with traditional publishers (who know these reviewers for many years and might even be friends with them – and mostly also are their advertising customers – you get the idea?).
  • Bookstores are still very reluctant to order self-published books from CreateSpace – after all, Amazon is their hardest competitor.

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Dreams Don’t Work – Unless YOU Do!

Bestseller Authors who are the most successful understand that publishing is a business. If no one knows about your book, then how can you expect to make sales? Nobody ever made money writing a book – only by selling it!
Here at SavvyBookWriters.com/blog we have more than 1,130 articles, explaining authors in detail how they can overcome all these obsticles. Succeeding at self-publishing means also to use some traditional marketing methods, and a Budget, including anywhere from 5-10% for your overall book marketing, including website, paying for IT help, designer, or Google ads.
Start early and do Market Research! Authors, and especially self-publishing authors need to study their competition carefully too: Read their books, study book covers, pricing, reviews, and the marketing of competing books.

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Bestseller Authors Need Years
Building up their audience takes lots of time, so it is surprising, that authors dream of their first book as a potential bestseller, and don’t realize that it takes a long time and hard work to get an audience, one reader at a time – especially if they did not do the groundwork to build a huge following at Social Media, in reader forums or in real-life before they start publishing.
A book marketing professional has to learn years and years. Why, as an author, not take advantage of their knowledge to keep your head free for writing and interacting with readers? No one would start a catering business without learning to cook, and knowing how to present food or how to find customers. Writing a book does not make for a publisher. Take the time to build your author platform and establish a brand, it will eventually give you an advantage in the market, no matter if self-publishing or going with a trade publisher.

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Print is a Must!
Print books still make up for about 60% of the book market, depending if you look at book sales numbers or revenue per book. The audio-book market is certainly growing too. Libraries order both book forms, however prefer hardcover with spine. How to sell / distribute to libraries is explained in detail in our blog article.

Books for library-use need a Library of Congress Catalog in Publication block or, for a self-published book, Publishers Catalog in Publication block and / or a listing with Bowker word wide.

One more tip:
Be very carefully in which categories you place your book, especially on Amazon and other online retailers, so that readers find you easily and that you are not placed in a category with too much competition.

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How to Get Prestigious Book Reviews
Check out professionally published books:  Many of these trade books have either on their back cover (paperback) or on their binding flap (hard cover) several snippets of the book reviews, as well as endorsements from bestselling writers or other professionals, that were already written before the book was printed.  It is not easy to get your book reviewed in these journals; however, it is possible.

Librarians read reviews — at least those in Library Journal  and Kirkus.  Both are paid reviews, so are a couple other professional book reviewers, which are often used by Trade Publishers, and are open to independent authors as well.
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Find Professional Networks
Long before your manuscript is finished (or even better: before you start your book) get yourself into professional networks:

  • Join lots of Reader Communities
    such as Goodreads, Wattpad, LibraryThing etc.
  • Write for Newspapers / Magazines
    Why? These networks with editors and publishing professionals will not only help you to improve your writing portfolio (and maybe even get you paid for it) but it also improves your chances to get coverage by your “colleagues” – in contrast to begging a prestigious newspaper / magazine to review your book.
  • Clever Marketing and reaching millions of people can be done totally free (other than your time). Just use your creativity and imagination!
  • Be self-assured and don’t hesitate to pitch international newspapers / blogs. It takes as much time as to pitch your local neighbourhood paper.
  • Write something of value for readers – which is “by chance” part of your book, such as travel tips to the location of your books plot, museums, festivals or public transportation that are mentioned in your book.
  • You have to do your research anyway, why not use the material you gather and write several articles that you can offer – always mentioning your book.
  • As a writer you know how to write, just learn how to write online content by reading lots of online articles and how they are set-up
  • Have a stunning photo on your books cover!
  • Prepare a Media Kit on your website – and in print, with perfect book description and professional photos.
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Send out Advanced Reader Copies:
ARC’s, or advance review copies (8 – 6 months! before your publication date), to booksellers and journalists. Because ARCs may not have been put through the entire editing process, the copy will often differ slightly from the standard edition of the book. You need professional reviews to entice pre-orders and early readers / reviewers.

Study these Magazines’ /  Newspapers’ review submission guidelines – and follow to the point!  Read also their previous columns, maybe a book review fits into this column, rather than the book review editors section.
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Online Marketing and Social Media
Blog / Website 
“At the very least, new authors should be blogging” – that’s what publishers and agents expect. Blogs are an essential tool of any writer. Not only does it get you writing on a regular schedule, it lubricates your writer’s brain, eases that fear of putting yourself out there in the world.
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Social Media
In order to be found on the Internet’s Search Engines you need to be on Google+. Second comes Goodreads where all the book lovers are, and then Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Try to stick with readers, reviewers and book bloggers on these Social Media platforms.
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Become Friends with Book Bloggers and Reviewers
Careers everywhere depend on networking, same with a writing career. Start making “friends” with reviewers, long before your book is finished: Search on your social media sites for reviewers, reviews, book bloggers, etc. when using the search function on top of Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook and Google+ pages. At Goodreads, reviewers are listed, so you can conveniently choose them as friends and follow them for a while, see which book genres they prefer, before you approach them.
Check out the bestsellers in your genre (in bookstores or online) and find names of reviewers. If these reviewers have a blog (and most do), comment on their articles. Offer them well-written guest blogs, geared to their topics and readership.
Joining reader communities, such as Wattpad and posting sample chapters also helps to attract book lovers who often are approachable for review inquiries.
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Here are a Half Dozen Links to Book Marketing

http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/11/14/checklist-how-to-organize-your-book-marketing/

http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/7-tips-to-promote-your-book-for-free/

http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2014/08/24/17-tips-how-to-successful-run-book-giveaways/

http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2014/07/28/benefit-of-writing-contests-and-book-awards/

http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/12/03/successful-selling-books-the-non-traditional-way/

http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/how-to-choose-the-right-genre-for-your-book/

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Conclusion:
The possibilities to market your book are endless, and it should be an ongoing process to build your author brand and to establish a huge platform from where you can interact with your readers. However to become a recognized and “real” author with lots of book sales, you need to write at least 3 to 5 books and dozens of magazine or newspaper articles for your portfolio.  It will take time – a couple of years – but you will eventually become a Bestseller author. Take Stephen King as a role model and never, ever give up! Have fun writing and meeting your readers.

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,130 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? There is also the “SHARE” button for easy sharing at Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook etc.

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The 10,000-Hour Rule for Writers

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The-10,000-Hour-Rule

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Expectations? Lower them!
Ian Irvine, an Australian bestselling author wrote: “Feel free to write the most beautiful, thought-provoking words in the English language. The public will feel equally free to ignore them. Rarely, someone will write a book and get it published straight away.  I was once in a roomful of writers when that question was asked, and only three writers raised their hands. Most writers work for 5-10 years before getting their first book published (my first took 9 years.)

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Remember the 10,000-hour Rule
“That’s roughly how much work and practice it takes to become accomplished in any field, whether it be sporting, creative or professional. 10,000 hours is 5 years of full time hard work. To become a virtuoso, triple that.”

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Bestseller Authors Need Years
Building up their audience takes lots of time, so it is surprising, that authors dream of their first book as a potential bestseller, and don’t realize that it takes a long time and hard work to get an audience, one reader at a time – especially if they did not do the ground work to build a huge following at Social Media, in reader forums or in real-life before they start publishing.

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Author-Publishing is Like a New Profession
And professions need to be trained! It takes years to become an excellent writer and it also takes years to become an excellent publisher. It involves lots of skills and knowledge business-wise, marketing skills, not to mention, learning constantly new internet techniques and get to know the latest changes in publishing.
Many authors have unrealistic expectations when it comes to the time required for effective book promotion and to make meaningful connections with readers. They expect wonders from a single sales campaign, and don’t understand that under-pricing or “selling” for free is not a marketing strategy.
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Take Advantage of their Knowledge
A book marketing professional has to learn years and years. Why, as an author, not take advantage of their knowledge to keep your head free for writing and interacting with readers? No one would start
catering business without learning to cook, and knowing how to present food or how to find customers.  Writing a book does not make for a publisher. Take the time to build your author platform and establish a brand, it will eventually give you an advantage in the market, no matter if self-publishing or going with a trade publisher.
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Did You Learn About Your Readers?
It is staggering how few authors think about their future readers – and about their competition. Authors often do very little research – if any at all – to really understand their audience. Asking: “Who is your audience and who is your competition?” one might receive only vague answers … Topics, that are not only very important for self- publishers, but also for authors who want to go with a traditional publisher. They need to proof to the agent or publisher that they have done their homework.
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How Can You Research Your Competition?
First of all make a long list with possible keywords that readers might use to find a similar book.  Check out the complete categories / genres at Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Kobo, Apple, Sony, Google
Books, Waterstones etc. and study all the books, that could be similar to your future work. Visit several public libraries and book stores to find similar books as the one you want to write, learn about your competition. Borrow the most interesting ones, not only to read them, but also to study the book layout and design. Read the online reviews of their books carefully!
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Can You Answer These Questions?

  • How many books of this topic / keywords have been published already?
  • Where are these books sold and for which price?
  • In which format are they offered: e-book, print, audio-book?
  • Who are the customers of these competing books?
  • How are these books received and which ones are bestselling?
  • Which categories did they choose, and which keywords?
  • In which categories / genres are these competitive books listed?
  • What cover designs have been chosen for these books?
  • Which author represent him/herself and their book the best?
  • Did you study their Amazon and Goodreads author page, their website or blog?

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More and More Competition for Authors
According to a new report from Bowker, the number of self-published titles in 2012 jumped to more than 391,000, up 59 percent over 2011.  The 2012 numbers will be published soon, but they might be even much higher – which means: more and more competition for authors.

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Marathon – Not a Sprint:
Becoming an author-publisher is a long-term commitment and requires hundreds of small steps on the path to success! Before you start writing, create yourself a road map. Take your time, see your writing & publishing as a long-term project and don’t have unrealistic expectations. First create a professional looking book, do the ground work to build up your author platform, and then have fun, winning one reader at a time.  Becoming an author-publisher is a marathon, not a sprint, and it will require hundreds of small steps on the path to success!  Before you start writing, create yourself a road map.  Bowker explains: “The most successful self-publishers don’t view themselves as writers only, but as business owners. They invest in their businesses, hiring experts to fill skill gaps and to gain more time for writing.”

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Read More:
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/04/01/writing-is-an-art-publishing-is-a-business/
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/05/12/what-publishers-wont-tell-you/
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/05/11/success-for-your-book-in-non-traditional-markets/

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,060 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
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Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://www.111publishing.com

http://www.e-Book-PR.com/

http://www.international-ebooks.com/

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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Tagged: 10000 hours is 5 years of full time hard work, a list with possible keywords, Bowker Statistics, getting their first book published, Ian Irvine, research your competition, study your competition


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