Posted on 2013-Jun-05
Strong Unity of the Alliance
If you ever feel lonely and lost in this business, make sure you read this blog provided by The Alliance of Independent Authors first thing in the morning before setting out a wonderful journey to create fantasy worlds and intricate characters. As an independent author, you have every right to know that you are not alone in this universe. Your colleagues have put on a united front to provide every single resource you need from start to finish to put your book in the market and bridge the gap between your reader’s literary curiosity and your book’s discoverability.
Roz Morris debunks the old myths of what indie authors have been painted to be, a bunch of people who are digitizing books yet can hardly get into the print business. Other contemporary assumptions include “rank beginners” or “burnt-out has-beens.” Each time these misconceptions are raised into their separate bullet points, Roz fulfills the daunting mission to encourage her colleagues to “prove what indie authors are really made of.” With instant reception and feedback provided by social media, it is enough to showcase the diversity of talents among self-publishers.
Book Expo America (BEA) is one big book event, held from May 30–Jun 1, to create new flavors into book promotion and authors. BEA is an event that attracts a wide range of book insiders from book bloggers to authors. This is the place when you can get autographs from celebrities and well-known authors in one place. TeleRead writer, Susan Lulgjuraj, reports how her small bags could not contain all the goodies provided by exhibitors and how certain types of attractions became guilty pleasure distractions. Women queued up to take pictures with male cover models. Ellora’s Cave CEO said that this type of publicity helps readers notice them as a publisher.
Hiring a celebrity or model or organizing an autograph signing session can be a win-win game for the exhibitor and visitor. For the former, celebrities can approach their niche audience pretty well with or without baring their skin. Yet, certainly sex appeal always works to boost accessibility. Google “Motor Show models” and you will get endless results to see the efficiency of this very effective promotional strategy. For general visitors and readers, they are thrilled to seek new experiences that only books can offer. The writer of the article enthuses over her encounter with Will & Grace actress, Debra Messing, and the legendary basketball player, John Stockton, for a number of personal reasons.
Suggestion to Improve Amazon KDP’s Customer Service System
David Gaughran is back at his workstation this time broadcasting indie author feedback in the loudspeaker to Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. These issues are critically raised by commenters from his blog and KBoards.
The list of 15 issues is noted with careful explanation and a possible solution how Amazon can improve their backend system to eliminate the time their customer service team has to deal with customers. Data is one of the resounding complaints that most authors need to verify. There is one alarming feedback from his readers that they still do not know how to ‘sideload’ MOBI file if they get the eBook file directly from him. More sub-categories are needed; examples about a wider variety of genre can be perfectly found on B&N store.
Dealing with KDP customer service team is not always a pleasant experience; mishandling the email by repeating the “same unhelpful response” does not sound helpful at all. Payment by check is not welcome due to the exorbitant fees the bank charges authors to cash in for authors outside the United States. Removing books from the system due to copyright concerns seems awkward when his book was “frozen” and he only had a few days to defend that he indeed wrote the book. Although short stories can be sold feasibly, having them priced under $2.99 will spell trouble for your royalties (you earn 35% instead of 70%).
Throughout the list, apart from presenting difficulties, he provides practical solutions for Amazon to improve their service. Better still, the responses drive the comment section discussion. The united alliance of indie authors voice the approval of David’s KDP solution. Although some of them have already reached out to Amazon, they were not taken seriously. Therefore, David’s blog strengthens their unity and serves as a meeting room for authors to converse and allow them to discover one another’s catalogue. E. S. Ivy greets another Middle Grade author swlothian. Joanna Penn recounts her personal nightmare with a check that did not work in her territory. Nick Daws further discusses his doubt in adding images in the sales page description. Felipe Adan Lerma posts a question that prompts Bernie Dowling to clarify.
To find hands-on advice for indie authors, look no further than these resourceful sources where the alliance is vocal about their vehement support. Roz Morris did an amazing job to debunk the misconceptions about independent authors while David Gaughran took it forward by letting Amazon know what it needs to be done to retain customer loyalty. Regarding the latest Book Expo America, book signing obviously signifies a rewarding system that readers need. This kind of promotion can encourage fans to create a closer bond with authors when their personalized signature means a thousand words for someone. With the presence of celebrities and eye-catching models, a group of new audience can be attracted more conveniently to discover new books. All in all, these are positive signs that tighten the tight-knit community of indie authors who contribute their energy to author’s discoverability and book’s accessibility.
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