Posts Tagged ‘Amazon Kindle’

Amazon has advised its authors it will be welcoming submissions for English-language books in Romance, Mystery & Thriller, and Science Fiction & Fantasy genres under its new publishing program. The news follows last week’s announcement that the publishing pace-setter plans to launch a crowd-sourced publishing program that will see participating authors receive US$1500 plus 50% royalties on net eBook revenues.

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It appears at this early stage the program is only available to authors resident in the U.S. – or, more exactly,  to authors “with a valid U.S. bank account and U.S. social security number or tax identification number”. Even so, it will no doubt appeal to those many thousands (tens of thousands?) of authors who are eligible…

And if Amazon’s recent expansion of its territories, book-lending arrangements, Kindle ereader sales and the like is anything to go on, it’s very likely the new publishing program will be expanded beyond the U.S. before long.

Regardless, here’s the letter (unabridged) we’ve just received from Amazon, explaining its progam in more detail:

Dear Author,

Thanks for subscribing to receive updates on Amazon’s new publishing program! We’re excited to announce that we’ll be opening for submissions in a couple weeks.

We’ll be welcoming submissions for English-language books in Romance, Mystery & Thriller, and Science Fiction & Fantasy genres. Any adult with a valid U.S. bank account and U.S. social security number or tax identification number is eligible.

It only takes 15 minutes to complete a submission. Here are the things that you should prepare to successfully submit your book:

  • Complete, never-before-published manuscript & book cover image – We’re looking for 50,000 words or more in Word format and a book cover image that reflects the essence and uniqueness of your book. Make sure your work is ready for others to read. Only the first pages will be posted to the website (approx. 3,000 words).
  • Book one-liner – A very short pitch (no longer than 45 characters) for your book that will be used on the homepage and throughout the website. Think of examples like “Space opera meets the Middle Ages” or “How far will one woman go to save her family?”
  • Book description- Help readers understand the content and quality of your book. Keep the description to 500 characters or less.
  • Your bio & picture – Give readers a chance to learn more about you. You will also have a chance to answer relevant questions regarding your book and personal story in a short Q&A section.

We’ll also ask you to review and accept our submission and publishing agreement that grants us a 45-day exclusivity period to post your excerpt and tally nominations. If chosen for publication, you will receive a $1,500 advance, 5-year renewable term, 50% eBook royalty rate, easy rights reversions, and Amazon-featured marketing. If not, you automatically get all your rights back at the end of the 45-day exclusivity period.

We’ll send you an email as soon as we’re open for submissions.

 

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It appears Amazon has stolen the march on competitors by announcing plans to launch a crowd-sourced publishing program that will see participating authors receive US$1500 plus 50% royalties on net eBook revenues.

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The revolutionary publishing progam comes hot on the heels of Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited (KU) initiative, which offers KU subscribers unlimited eBook borrows and which is predicted to further change the publishing landscape – and change it dramatically – if it hasn’t already.

While crowd-sourcing may not be new (feature films have been crowdsource-funded with much hoopla and fanfare) it’s a fairly new phenomenon in the publishing game. Certainly, other publishers have tried it – two others if our sources are correct – but there’s no doubt Amazon’s crowd-source funding will be highly visible. And, if our experience with the publishing giant is anything to go by, it will be highly successful.

The Digital Reader had the best summary of the new program we could find. Quoting Amazon’s PR department, it reports, “Authors will be asked to submit their complete, never-before-published book and cover. After a few days, we will post the first pages of each book on a new website for readers to preview and nominate their favorites. Books with the most nominations will be reviewed by our team for potential publication.”

According to the columnist, Amazon’s contract terms for authors are as follows:

Guaranteed advance & competitive royalties: You will receive a guaranteed $1,500 advance and 50% royalties on net eBook revenue.

Focused formats: We acquire worldwide publication rights for eBook and audio formats in all languages. You retain all other rights, including print.

5-year renewable terms, $5,000 in royalties: If your book doesn’t earn $5,000 in royalties during your initial 5-year contract term, and any 5-year renewal term after that, you can choose to stop publishing with us.

Easy reversions: After two years, your rights in any format or language that remains unpublished, or all rights for any book that earns less than $500 in total royalties in the preceding 12-month period, can be reverted upon request – no questions asked.

Early downloads & reviews: One week prior to release date, everyone who nominated your book will receive a free, early copy to help build momentum and customer reviews.

Featured Amazon marketing: Your book will be enrolled into the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, Kindle Unlimited as well as be eligible for targeted email campaigns and promotions.

To read The Digital Reader’s full report go to: http://the-digital-reader.com/2014/09/22/amazon-publishing-crowd-source-next-books-now-recruiting-kdp-authors/#.VCCBKBYXPCY

The KDP discussion forum on Amazon’s planned initiative makes for interesting reading also. Here’s the link to it: https://kdp.amazon.com/community/thread.jspa?threadID=207604&start=0&tstart=0

 

Happy reading! Lance & James

 

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There’s a rumor that Amazon will soon be launching its controversial Kindle Unlimited ebook subscription reading service internationally.

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 Kindle Unlimited subscribers can download as many ebooks as they like.

The-digital-reader.com (quoting BuchReport.de as its source) reports that that Amazon will launch Kindle Unlimited at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October.

The writer admits he/she doesn’t know who BuchReport’s source is, but says, “I tend to believe this rumor.”

If true, the expansion of Kindle Unlimited has major ramifications for readers, authors and publishers worldwide. As we reported in our blog of August 10, “Almost overnight, Kindle Unlimited is changing the entire environment of not only the way people read, but also the way the world’s major publishers continue to sell books – or try to.”

Here’s an excerpt from the-digital-reader.com article:

As I reported when Kindle Unlimited launched in July, there was a report coming from a French publisher via the French media blog Actualitte that Kindle Unlimited would launch in France in September or October.

The Frankfurt Book Fair runs from 8 to 12 October this year, so it fits with the time frame, and since it is a major international book fair this would be an ideal time and place for Amazon to launch Kindle Unlimited. We still don’t know for sure whether Amazon will launch in select countries or every where at once, but I would bet on a global launch.

Launched in the US just over a month ago, Kindle Unlimited enables Amazon customers to download and read up to ten ebooks at a time. It costs $8.99, and offers access to a catalog of over 600,000 titles.

Amazon hasn’t revealed yet how many subscribers have signed up, but there are signs that KU is already having an effect on the Kindle Store best seller list.

Unlike Amazon’s competitor’s Scribd and Oyster, the Kindle Unlimited catalog draws almost entirely upon indie titles distributed via the KDP Select program with only a smattering of traditionally published books mixed in. Amazon has signed HMH, Scholastic, Wiliey, and a few other major publishers, but they do not yet have a deal with any of the Big 5 US trade publishers.

There’s also no information on major publishers in other countries and who they might have signed a deal with, but I would expect that information to be revealed when Kindle Unlimited launches internationally.

To read the full report go to: http://the-digital-reader.com/2014/08/25/kindle-unlimited-launch-internationally-frankfurt-book-fair/

German speakers can access the original BuchReport here: http://www.buchreport.de/nachrichten/verlage/verlage_nachricht/datum/2014/08/22/kindle-limited.htm

 

★★★★★ INVITATION: We’d love to hear from our followers, fellow authors, publishers/indie publishers and readers what you think about Kindle Unlimited. Let us know if you feel as positive about Amazon’s latest initiative as we do…and if not why not. Thanks!

 

Lance & James

 

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Amazon’s controversial Kindle Unlimited subscription reading service was released late last month and despite all the naysayers and doomsdayers we believe the early signs indicate it’ll be a win-win for readers and authors alike.

For those who don’t yet know, paying the $9.99 per month Kindle Unlimited fee allows readers to download as many ebooks as they like – hence the word “unlimited”. It has been dubbed by the many journalists as The Netflix of reading.

Almost overnight, Kindle Unlimited is changing the entire environment of not only the way people read, but also the way the world’s major publishers continue to sell books – or try to. Perhaps justifiably, the big publishers are scared and fear they are losing control of the way they have monopolized book distribution for eons. As more and more book stores go under, the competition to dominate the ebook market is reaching fever pitch.

But as published authors, and also keen readers, we have little sympathy for the big 5 publishers. If Kindle Unlimited does prove to be a better deal for authors, and readers can read as many books as they like, then who cares what the likes of Random House or Harper Collins think? At the end of the day it’s a free market and whoever presents the best deal (in this case Amazon) for readers and writers should triumph in the end.

What follows are some excerpts (that we tend to agree with) from a recent letter Amazon sent to authors around the world regarding a heated legal dispute they are engaged in with leading publishing house Hachette. Many of these comments strongly relate to Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited scheme which is predicted to lower the prices of ebooks over time and lead to unprecedented book sales for authors…

 

Just ahead of World War II, there was a radical invention that shook the foundations of book publishing. It was the paperback book. This was a time when movie tickets cost 10 or 20 cents, and books cost $2.50. The new paperback cost 25 cents – it was ten times cheaper. Readers loved the paperback and millions of copies were sold in just the first year.

With it being so inexpensive and with so many more people able to afford to buy and read books, you would think the literary establishment of the day would have celebrated the invention of the paperback, yes? Nope. Instead, they dug in and circled the wagons. They believed low cost paperbacks would destroy literary culture and harm the industry (not to mention their own bank accounts). Many bookstores refused to stock them, and the early paperback publishers had to use unconventional methods of distribution – places like newsstands and drugstores. The famous author George Orwell came out publicly and said about the new paperback format, if “publishers had any sense, they would combine against them and suppress them.” Yes, George Orwell was suggesting collusion.

Well… history doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

Fast forward to today, and it’s the e-book’s turn to be opposed by the literary establishment. Amazon and Hachette – a big US publisher and part of a $10 billion media conglomerate – are in the middle of a business dispute about e-books. We want lower e-book prices. Hachette does not. Many e-books are being released at $14.99 and even $19.99. That is unjustifiably high for an e-book. With an e-book, there’s no printing, no over-printing, no need to forecast, no returns, no lost sales due to out of stock, no warehousing costs, no transportation costs, and there is no secondary market – e-books cannot be resold as used books. E-books can and should be less expensive.

Perhaps channeling Orwell’s decades old suggestion, Hachette has already been caught illegally colluding with its competitors to raise e-book prices. So far those parties have paid $166 million in penalties and restitution. Colluding with its competitors to raise prices wasn’t only illegal, it was also highly disrespectful to Hachette’s readers.

The fact is many established incumbents in the industry have taken the position that lower e-book prices will “devalue books” and hurt “Arts and Letters.” They’re wrong. Just as paperbacks did not destroy book culture despite being ten times cheaper, neither will e-books. On the contrary, paperbacks ended up rejuvenating the book industry and making it stronger. The same will happen with e-books.

Many inside the echo-chamber of the industry often draw the box too small. They think books only compete against books. But in reality, books compete against mobile games, television, movies, Facebook, blogs, free news sites and more. If we want a healthy reading culture, we have to work hard to be sure books actually are competitive against these other media types, and a big part of that is working hard to make books less expensive.

Moreover, e-books are highly price elastic. This means that when the price goes down, customers buy much more. We’ve quantified the price elasticity of e-books from repeated measurements across many titles. For every copy an e-book would sell at $14.99, it would sell 1.74 copies if priced at $9.99. So, for example, if customers would buy 100,000 copies of a particular e-book at $14.99, then customers would buy 174,000 copies of that same e-book at $9.99. Total revenue at $14.99 would be $1,499,000. Total revenue at $9.99 is $1,738,000. The important thing to note here is that the lower price is good for all parties involved: the customer is paying 33% less and the author is getting a royalty check 16% larger and being read by an audience that’s 74% larger. The pie is simply bigger.

But when a thing has been done a certain way for a long time, resisting change can be a reflexive instinct, and the powerful interests of the status quo are hard to move. It was never in George Orwell’s interest to suppress paperback books – he was wrong about that.

 

A comprehensive list of books that can be read for free by Kindle Unlimited subscribers can be found here on the book reading social media site Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/genres/kindle-unlimited

Popular Kindle Unlimited Books

The Ninth Orphan (The Orphan Trilogy, #1)

Hudson (Fixed, #4)

Fiji: A Novel (The World Duology, #2)

Rhett (Rhett, #1)

Sweet Addiction (Sweet Addiction, #1)

The Orphan Conspiracies: 29 Conspiracy Theories from The Orphan Trilogy

Beautifully Forgotten (Beautifully Damaged, #2)
With This Heart
Breathe with Me (With Me in Seattle, #7)
World Odyssey (The World Duology, #1)
The Orphan Trilogy (The Ninth Orphan / The Orphan Factory / The Orphan Uprising)
The Orphan Factory (The Orphan Trilogy, #2)
Tied with Me (With Me in Seattle, #6)
Flat-Out Love (Flat-Out Love, #1)
The Orphan Uprising (The Orphan Trilogy, #3)