Saturday, 6 July 2013

Diary of an Aspiring Writer – E publishing the choices

In my previous blog I looked at how easy it was to e-publish. From that a number of questions have come back as to how payment/royalties work and how much control Amazon has. I will attempt to explain my understanding and the choices I made because of this understanding. I am not saying this is the way everyone will want to go and I am not saying this is the correct way but this is my way.
As part of the process of uploading the book onto Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) you are asked if you have the publishing rights and if so do you have the world rights. You will then be able to publish your book in all the different countries where you have publishing rights.
When you first come to upload you book you will be asked to key in details of you book. This includes the title, a description of the book and details of the author. If you are publishing an anthology by a number of writers you must get their permission to publish. You can enter all the authors’ names in the book contributors section. You then will be asked to select categories. This will highlight your book under search criteria within Amazon. Be careful as the main categories are all non-fiction. I was the top selling English book on family relationships on Amazon France for a few days until I discovered my error. You have to find the fiction category and then drill down to select your category. Don’t worry if you want to change it after you have published as you can go back into the book and change these things very easily. You will then be asked to upload the book and the book’s cover.
The next section looks at pricing and publishing rights. First you clarify whether you have worldwide rights of just specific rights in certain countries. Once you have established the countries you can publish in comes the hard part, the royalties you will receive and the price of the book in the many different countries you will publish in.
There are two different royalty percentages 35% and 70% and you, like me, might go ‘Well obviously I am going for the 70% royalty’, but it is not that simple. First of all if you go for the 70% royalty the cost of the electronic delivery will be deducted from your royalty, with the 35% royalty, delivery costs are covered by Amazon. The delivery price is different for different territories but it is approximately 10p per megabyte of data. My file is only 175kB so this would be negligible for me. The reason I eventually chose the 35% option was one of pricing. With 35% option the lowest price you can charge is $0.99 but with the 75% option the lowest price you can charge is $2.49. I am a new writer and the book is a small anthology of flash fiction stories. I could not justify charging more than $0.99 and didn’t think anyone would pay any more than that.
Once you have chosen the price on you can then either chose a different price in all the other territories or just link it to the price and Amazon calculate the exchange rates to come up with the prices. I chose the latter option as I have friends all over the world and thought this would be the easiest option.
Finally before completing the process you are asked it you would allow the book to be lent. I ticked this purely because I do not in any way want to stop people being able to see my book.
You then click the save and publish button and the book goes off to KDP. Within an hour they will confirm that the book is okay to be published and then twelve hours later it will be on Amazon.
I believe the book stays on Amazon and unless their terms and conditions are broken they will not remove it.
You can change things as you go through and also you can join KDP select. With KDP select you have access to other resources which I have not yet explored but it does mean you are tied to Amazon for the first ninety days and not allowed to offer the book for sale on other platforms during that time. I have not yet explored what KDP select has to offer me, but I will investigate, as anything that can help get the word out is worth utilising in full.
Jo’s first Anthology – So the Feeling shows is available from Amazon at the links below

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