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Amazon’s Hall of Spinning Knives

David Gaughran

Phoenix Sullivan is well-known in the indie community – I’ve known her myself since 2009 or 2010 and consider her a close friend.

Aside from being exceptionally generous with her time and knowledge, tirelessly sharing her insights on marketing and algorithms, Phoenix is also well known as a vocal campaigner against scammers and cheaters – particularly on the current big issues of book stuffing and clickfarming.

And now she is being targeted.

Phoenix made a box set free for a few days back in September, advertising on Freebooksy, KND/BookGorilla, and Digital Book World – all legitimate sites – and there was no other promotion involved with this title. No BookBub CPM ads, no Facebook campaign, no tweets, no newsletter swaps, no mailing lists.

On the third day of her free run, Phoenix’s box set was rank-stripped by Amazon, a punishment normally reserved for those who have used clickfarms or bots…

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CreateSpace eStore is Closing Effective October 31, 2017

chrismcmullen

Image from ShutterStock.

CREATESPACE ESTORE IS CLOSING

Beginning October 31, 2017, customers will no longer be able to purchase paperbacks directly from the CreateSpace eStore.

If you have a link to your CreateSpace eStore and a customer clicks on it, the customer will be redirected to the corresponding page at Amazon.com.

According to CreateSpace, the reasons behind the change include:

  • It’s much easier to search for books across Amazon’s site than it is to search for books on CreateSpace.
  • Amazon offers a much better checkout process than CreateSpace does.
  • Amazon offers better shipping options, including Amazon Prime.
  • Amazon sends out tracking notifications for orders placed through Amazon.
  • Amazon’s storefront is a much more familiar interface for customers.
  • Several customers have requested the features described above.

Unfortunately, when a customer clicks on a link to a CreateSpace eStore and is redirected to Amazon, authors will earn Amazon.com royalties (not eStore…

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You Can Win Without Cheating FFS

David Gaughran

Most self-publishers will agree: it’s getting tougher out there.

If you are in KU, then you’re pretty much dependent on one income stream and if Amazon sales dip or you run afoul of the Hall of Spinning Knives for whatever reason then you are totally boned. And it’s getting so competitive in KU that it seems to take more titles and quicker releases, along with multi-pronged marketing campaigns – which can be complex and/or expensive – to get any real traction or stickiness.

If you’re not in KU, hitting the charts on Amazon is increasingly difficult and holding on to position is near-impossible – especially when your book is being leapfrogged every hour by thousands of borrow-boosted KU salmon running all that mad marketing. And you can’t even advertise to the same level because they are getting reads on top of those sales to make ROI easier.

Getting visible at…

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Michael Hyatt Has Something To Sell You

David Gaughran

Michael Hyatt has successfully reinvented himself as an author and speaker – one of those quasi-experts on marketing who slowly morph into a life-coach type guru. It’s a well-trodden path and these guys all tend to present themselves in similar ways.

Here’s Michael Hyatt reclining among soft furnishings. Here’s Michael Hyatt enjoying a tender moment with his dog. Here’s Michael Hyatt projecting success with a shiteating grin for the ages. It’s almost easy to forget what he did. Almost.

In 2009 when Michael Hyatt was CEO of Christian publisher Thomas Nelson, he was instrumental in the creation of WestBow Press – one of the first white-label vanity presses operated by Author Solutions on behalf of an established publisher.

The Naming

The shadiness began right from the start, with the choice of name. WestBow was already an established fiction imprint at Thomas Nelson, with titles still in print and stocked in…

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This Self-Publishing Course Is Free… And Great Too

David Gaughran

When I heard someone was giving away a self-publishing course, I was a little skeptical, presuming it was either some kind of bait-and-switch or an opportunity for some hardcore upselling.

But I was wrong.

Iain Rob Wright has done something pretty amazing. He has created a pretty damn comprehensive course on self-publishing and marketing – over 50 hours of HD Video – and he has made it all free. Not the first bit free. Not free for a limited time. Not free if you also buy this, or agreed to be assailed by that.

Just free.

Iain had originally planned to charge quite a lot of money for it, but the idea didn’t sit right with him and just before launching he made the decision to make the whole thing free. The course is called Self-Publishing Mastery and you can enroll here.

You are probably skeptical. And you…

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A dark date with destiny…

Maxpower's Blog

For a man who doesn’t scare easily I woke up quite afraid this morning. I had a dream you see, not a nightmare but a dream and it frightened the livin’ Bejesus out of me for a number of reasons. I warn you now; you should only stay with me, if you are not of a nervous disposition.

Now usually, dreams are odd and at the best of times they can be hard to remember. Some people say they rarely dream or they just don’t remember them. I remember them all. Perhaps it’s because I’m a light sleeper. I’ve always remembered my dreams and they have always been vivid and filled with colour. Nightmares haunted me as a child but I learned to wake myself from the worst of them. These days I rarely have nightmares.

My mother was a dreamer too. I loved my Ma but she frightened the…

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Why I’ll Never Run Another Goodreads Giveaway Again … Probably … Maybe

Carrie Rubin

I’ve wanted to write about this for a while, so I’m emerging from my blogging peek-a-boo and publishing an actual post.

I could have just as easily titled it “That Time Winners Made Money off My Book but I Didn’t.”

I’m referring to winners of book giveaways who immediately sell the book on Amazon (or some other venue) without reading it first or leaving a review, which, although not required to win, is certainly the hope. Why enter a book giveaway if you’re not interested in the novel?

Of course, not all winners leave reviews. Maybe they never got around to reading the book. Maybe they didn’t like it and want to spare the author a bad review. No problem. Expecting everyone to review the book is unrealistic. I net about a 30% review response from giveaways, and from what I’ve read that tends to be the norm.

Hmm, that…

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