03/04/2017 – 09/04/2017

First week back and I forget to write the post on the Sunday. Argh!

Anyway, what have I done this past week? Well, I continued with an on-screen edit of the fourth book in the Midgard Born Series, which I finished. It’s all printed out ready to do a hard copy edit. However, before that, I need to finish the hard copy edit of my second Hunter Vampire Chronicles short story. This is already half done. When I’ve done that I’ll type up the changes and get back to the other book. It’s a juggling game, as always.

Today, which isn’t really last week, but hey, this is my blog, was the launch of Metally Fatigued, the first of the short stories in The Hunter Vampire Chronicles. It’s Amazon exclusive, and in Kindle Unlimited, if you want to go and check it out.

Metally Fatigued Cover

Reading has been going better this week, but I haven’t finished another book yet. I hope to do that today, or tomorrow.

Hope to see you next week.

Thoughts on the New KU Payout Structure

I’m sure everyone’s heard about the new KU payouts for authors, starting next month. If you haven’t, they’re going to start paying on number of pages read, not passing 10%. Some people think it’s a positive step, others see it as negative. I suppose that depends on the length of the books they have in the programme.

But, let’s not forget that Amazon’s ultimate aim is to benefit Amazon. They need to make money.

The thing is, when you have an all-you-can-eat subscription service, you don’t care about finishing books. You might read beyond the ten per cent, because that’s only 30 pages in a 300 page book. But if you decide you don’t like the book and you’re a quarter of the way through, or half way, you can just give up on it and try something else. It doesn’t cost you any more.

Amazon already knows how many books are abandoned, and exactly where.

I imagine there will be a significant number of authors who are shocked by how many people abandon their books a long way from the end and how little money they will now make.

Is it fair? Yes, and no. It is fair that if you have a great book that people can’t put down, that you are properly compensated for that. But, if someone bought the individual book, you’d get paid for the complete book, even if it was abandoned.

This is the digital age, and things change every day. Everyone who wants to be a success in KU is going to have to start writing page-turners. I wonder how long it will be before the other subscription services decide to do something similar.

The Gift of eBooks

So, here’s my beef. Why is it beyond Amazon’s capacity to devise a system whereby you can properly gift an actual eBook to a recipient? I know in some countries (is it just the States?) you can send someone a gift certificate for a particular book, but my understanding is that they are under no obligation to buy that book and can use if for something else. Elsewhere, we don’t even have that option – a standard gift certificate, for a specified amount of money, is all that is available.

This is madness, and so frustrating.

My family tend to get annoyed with me for asking for gift certificates all the time for birthdays and Christmases, but if I want to have eBooks as presents, from Amazon, that is my only option.  If other sites can do it, eg Smashwords, surely Amazon can.  Unfortunately, not all the books I want to read are available via Smashwords and the device I own is a Kindle, so I don’t have much choice.

Is anyone else frustrated with this?

Amazon’s Kindle MatchBook

I assume that, by now, anyone with both paperbacks and eBooks on Amazon will have signed up to the MatchBook programme. If you don’t know what it is, starting in October, anyone signed up can offer their eBook at a reduced rate for those who have purchased the paperback already. I assume it will also be available to purchase both in the same transaction.

Although I have signed up, I do wonder how well this programme is going to do. To use a good old English expression, it seems a little arse about face to me (that means the wrong way round, if you didn’t know already).

There are plenty of times I’ve heard of people saying that after reading an eBook, they decided to buy the paperback so they could have the book on their shelves, but I can’t say I’ve ever heard it the other way round. Of course, it couldn’t work that way round for Amazon, because they don’t produce all the paperbacks that will be part of this programme (I understand it’s available to both traditional publishers and self-publishers), especially as some authors keep their digital rights when publishing with a traditional publisher. Also, some books may no longer be in print, even though customers bought them through Amazon originally, whereas eBooks are supposedly a ‘forever available’ item. I also can’t imagine that many impulse buys where someone says, what the heck, I’ll buy both, especially when it comes to novels.

However, I can see it being of use for non-fiction, specifically reference books. You could read the eBook on your way to work, say, to appraise yourself of the basic information, but then have the paperback on your shelf to refer to at a later stage. Writing books would be a good example of this. I usually buy the paperback because I want the easy reference ability, but I might be tempted to buy both if I saw there was an offer.

I guess, as with all the other developments in this rapidly changing market, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.