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Publishing Feedback

by Ron Kurtus

Readers have sent in a total of 20 comments and questions on Publishing issues. They are listed according to date.

You can read them to further your understanding of the subject.



List of most recent 15 letters

Title

Topic

Country

Reviewer needs to spend $50 to review my book Amazon Advantage Program USA
 
How do I get North American distribution rights? Amazon Advantage Program USA
 
Having problems getting paid from Amazon Amazon Advantage Program USA
 
Confused about Amazon Advantage Program Amazon Advantage Program USA
 
How do I get North American distribution rights? Amazon Advantage Program Sweden
 
Have not heard from Amazon yet Amazon Advantage Program USA
 
Suggested publishing resource Resources USA
 
It is profitable going through Amazon Advantage? Amazon Advantage Program Germany
 
I want to discontinue selling through Amazon Advantage Amazon Advantage Program USA
 
Suggested resource Resources USA
 
Has music books for sale Amazon Advantage Program USA
 
Export to Kindle is greyed out Exporting with Kindle Plugin for Adobe InDesign Canada
 
Should I can contract with existing publisher? Amazon Advantage Program USA
 
My book sales have dropped General USA
 
Idea for a children's book General USA
 

Next 15 letters

 





Amazon Advantage Program

Reviewer needs to spend $50 to review my book

December 17, 2016

Question

people who buy my books say they try to write a review say they can't unless they join and have spent $50.00. Why?

Jeanne - USA (27572)

Answer

I know that in order to submit a review the person needs to get an account with Amazon for purchasing item. But I haven't seen anything about them having to spend $50 on books or goods before they can submit a book review.

Amazon seems to be jacking up the prices and looking at new ways to make money. I know that they recently increased the yearly fee for their Advantage program from $29.95 to $99/yr. That is a steep jump.

Best wishes in selling your books, either on Amazon or through other outlets.

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Amazon Advantage Program

How do I get North American distribution rights?

September 16, 2016

Question

how do I get North American distribution rights?

Nancy - USA (27291)

Answer

Typically, an author who has a book published by a publishing house will sign an agreement concerning reprint and distribution rights. At the very least, you get North American distribution rights.

Using the Amazon Advantage Program means you can sell copies of your book from the publisher on consignment through Amazon. However, it is often not cost effective.

If you self-publish your book through Amazon's CreateSpace, they list your book and take care of distribution. IngramSpark is another good source for printing and distributing self-published books.

I hope this information helps.

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Amazon Advantage Program

Having problems getting paid from Amazon

November 6, 2015

Question

My name is Annell Ferguson. My husband, Myron Ferguson is the author and publisher of Better Houses, Better Living, which is still listed in Amazon books. The problem is two fold. One we still have unpaid invoices in the total amount of $2,692.55 (I can provide invoice #s if you wish).These invoices date from 2013. As of about May of 2014 my husband became incapacitated and was unable to fulfill orders. About that time Amazon Advantage stopped ordering. We still have 240 books at Publishers Storage and Shipping. Our request is two-fold we would like to continue selling the book which is still listed on Amazon and also to collect the amount of unpaid invoices. With necessary information I will be glad to ship orders to Amazon.
Thank you.

Annell - USA (26503)

Answer

I'm sorry to hear that you haven't been paid by Amazon Advantage. Do you receive paper checks or electronic transfer to your bank account? Make sure they have the correct account number.

Is Publishers Storage and Shipping a separate company that sends books to Amazon?

Amazon seems to have things screwed up with their Advantage program. They have two different web pages for the program. Check the old version for more information. The new version is simply a login, that will lead you to other pages. Try both.

The big thing is that you want to contact them to find out what is happening.

I hope this helps. Best wishes in getting your money and getting things straightened out.

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Amazon Advantage Program

Confused about Amazon Advantage Program

October 22, 2015

Question

I am so confused. I have my own ISBN number. Amazon is printing my books so I need to ship from amazon to amazon? Why that extra step?

JoAnne - USA (26466)

Answer

I assume Amazon is printing your books through their CreateSpace program. In such a case, they will automatically post your book on their website and send payments on sales according to your account preferences.

Usually, if a person has books printed locally, she might get into the Amazon Advantage Program to have the book listed on their site and then sold on consignment. However, that usually isn't cost effective.

Since Amazon is printing your books, forget about their Advantage Program.

I checked Amazon and see that your book is due out in December 2015. It might be a good idea to go through their Kindle Direct Publishing and make a Kindle version of the book. That would increase your sales.

Best wishes for success with your new book.

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Amazon Advantage Program

How do I get North American distribution rights?

October 14, 2015

Question

Hi!
How do I get "North American distribution rights" for a book that i have produced in Sweden?
Regards Susanne

Susanne - Sweden (26438)

Answer

If you have copyrighted your book, are the publisher and have not sold the distribution rights, then you can be considered to have North American distribution rights. However, if you have gone through another publisher, such that they own the ISBN and have their imprint on the cover, they most likely own the rights.

Going through the Amazon Advantage consignment program may not be cost-effective for selling books from Sweden, due to the shipping costs. It would be better to go through their CreateSpace program, where they will print-on-demand for orders through Amazon.com. You can still sell your existing books in Sweden.

I hope that helps. Best wishes in your book sales.

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Amazon Advantage Program

Have not heard from Amazon yet

September 17, 2015

Question

i was approved approx 3 weeks ago vendor code RAKWM AND I HAVE NOT HEARD FROM YOU WITH MY FIRST ORDER TO GET STARTED

PAUL - USA (26385)

Answer

I have nothing to do with providing orders for your books. That is done through the Amazon Advantage Program.

Login with them to try to find the status of your orders.

Also, check to see if they have listed your title in their books for sale.

Best wishes on selling your books through their program.

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Resources

Suggested publishing resource

September 14, 2015

Question

Hi there,

My name is Vanessa and I'm part of the team at Canva. I was doing a bit of research when I stumbled upon this page: www.school-for-champions.com/publishing/resources.htm.I notice links posted about ebooks and was wondering if you have tried Canva? Here's a link: https://www.canva.com/create/book-covers/. We'd love to be included in your post.

Basically, Canva is a simple, drag-and-drop, design software that’s completely online and free to use. It gives you everything you need to easily turn ideas into stunning designs. Create designs for Web or print: blog graphics, presentations, Facebook covers, flyers, posters, invitations and so much more. It's been a very exciting adventure: we’ve been around for just over 21 months and already have 4 million users.

Please let me know if you are interested. Don't hesitate to ask any questions. Thank you for your time!

Best Regards,

Vanessa - USA (26380)

Answer

Thanks for the suggested resource. It is a topic I had just been thinking about.

I placed a link to your site at Publishing Resources. Best wishes with your company.

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Amazon Advantage Program

It is profitable going through Amazon Advantage?

August 13, 2015

Question

Hallo!
Will it be profitable for me to sell my book over Advantage? I don´t know, whether I have the "Northamerican right" to sell the book, since I live in Germany, but got my book printed in Sri Lanka (I grew up there and wrote about the time in Sri Lanka and my parents´ work there). I thought to sell it for 10 Euro per book (since it is "English broshure" and has coloured pictures (digital printing). Is it better for me to send the books directly from Sri Lanka to Amazon (whats the adresse of Amazon, into which country do I have to send the books?)or will it be better to bring the books to Germany and send them from here to Amazon.
Or is it better not to use Advantage, but to send the books by myself. What would you suggest?

Sieglinde - Germany (26271)

Answer

Although you can make some money selling through Amazon Advantage, it is not the best route to take. I imagine you have had a number of your books printed and available to sell. You can only send a limited number of books to Advantage. If they are sold, they will request more copies. However, that ends up costing money on shipping fees.

You might try taking copies to local bookstores to see if they would be interested in buying them or even selling on consignment.

Another route is to go through Amazon's CreateSpace- Germany. They will publish books for fee and sell them through Amazon's website. However, having colored pictures could be a problem.

You could also have your files converted to an e-book format through Kindle Direct Publishing- Germany. Colored pictures would be acceptable. They would also be listed on Amazon.

You can also check on Amazon's Germany website for these programs.

In either case, it would require some work to get things out there. You still could sell the books you have through other means.

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Amazon Advantage Program

I want to discontinue selling through Amazon Advantage

July 22, 2015

Question

I want to discontinue sales of a book through Amazon Advantage. The book is out of print and I will not be printing more copies. I just received an order to a few copies of the book from Amazon. How do I reject or cancel a small order that I just received but can't fulfill how do I remove the book from Amazon's list?

Scott - USA (26186)

Answer

It doesn't look easy to get out of the program. If you log into your account at Amazon Advantage, and click on Membership Agreement on the left menu, it states: "b. Termination by you. You may terminate this Agreement at any time, with or without cause, by giving us written notice of such termination. Your termination is effective 30 days from the date we receive your written notice. You must continue to accept, confirm, and fulfill all orders that we send to you prior to the effective date of termination."

That doesn't sound too friendly.

Also click on Help on the top menu and then click on Managing Your Account, you can find information about making adjustments.

I don't use the service anymore, because selling books on consignment isn't worthwhile.

Best wishes on getting things resolved.

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Resources

Suggested resource

July 20, 2015

Question

Hello
 
First off, I want to compliment you on an outstanding site! It’s really impressive how you're helping writers.

I was perusing your site and found your resource list here: http://www.school-for-champions.com/publishing/resources.htm#.Va0iWPkYOYc
 
My name is James Rose and I’m writing because we’d love to offer our services to your readers. At our site, InstantPublisher.com, we have been helping authors self-publish for the past 15 years.

Please check out our site and if you think we could be of service to your readers, we would be honored to be included on your site.
 
Thank you for your consideration and please contact me for any questions.
 
Best Regards

James - USA (26181)

Answer

Thanks for the resource. I added your company to Self-Publishing Resources.

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Amazon Advantage Program

Has music books for sale

May 14, 2015

Question

private seller: Music workbooks w/teacher's editions, music notebook w/reference pages, sheet music w/attached CD, CD in jewel case, inspiring messages book. Please help me categorize these products. I need the name & address of your fulfillment center.

Carole R. - USA (26001)

Answer

It sounds like you have some individual items that you would like to sell, as opposed to some self-published works. You can sell them through the Amazon Advantage Program or on eBay. Also, you might check with the music department of your local school to see if some teachers would be interested.

We aren't in the fulfillment center business.

Best wishes in selling your items.

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Exporting with Kindle Plugin for Adobe InDesign

Export to Kindle is greyed out

March 25, 2015

Question

I have noticed that Export for Kindle is greyed out on InDesign CS4 on Windows 8.

Do you have an idea as to why this is so? The book is indeed open and it works on Windows 7. Is this a Windows 7 vs 8 issue?

Thank you.

Daniel - Canada (25861)

Answer

You need to have downloaded the Kindle Plugin for InDesign.

It should work with ID CS4 for both Win 7 and Win 8.

Note that the present Adobe InDesign CC strategy is to have users export to an EPUB file that Amazon can then convert to the Kindle MOBI format. However, the Kindle Pulgin should still work for CS4.

I hope that helps.

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Amazon Advantage Program

Should I can contract with existing publisher?

December 14, 2014

Question

I published a title with Dog Ear Publishing earlier this year, "Crashing Streams of Change" I am now my own publisher and plan to join the Advantage Program to sell my book. Would I need to can my contract with Dog Ear in order to sell my book through the Amazon Advantage Program?

Moulton - USA (25645)

Answer

Right now, your book is listed on Amazon.com as published by Dog Ear Publishing. Probably, they are the publisher-of-record for the ISBN of the book. You may have to get a new ISBN for the book to list yourself as publisher. That may not be worth the trouble.

With any publishing house, the authors often needs to market and sell the books themselves. You could get copies from Dog Ear and sell through the Advantage Program, or you could have the books printed elsewhere and sell through Advantage.

I feel that the best route is to have the book printed and distributed through Amazon's CreateSpace or IngramSpark. In that way, you don't have to have the books shipped to you and then deliver to the buyers.

You might check with Dog Ear to see what is the best route to take.

I hope these ideas help. Best wishes on selling your book.

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General

My book sales have dropped

November 4, 2014

Question

I found your site great. Thank you so much for offering to help. I have a few questions. First, I have a book on Amazon which has kind of run out of steam. I waited too long in between revisions. My books are the Super Job Search series. The last one was dated 2011. BUT, over the past four years, I have done a complete rewrite and the book has grown from 352 pages to more than 450. Also, I made it interactive with my website. All links referred to in each chapter are shown on my website by chapter and will appear also on the app I programmed in 2012 and published in 2013. Rather than release it immediately, in September I put it up in NetGalley.com to gather as many new testimonials as possible and that paid off with 30 outstanding ones which appear on the cover and inside the front of the book. I priced the book way below what it should sell... at $19.95 list, which competes favorably with other career books. The book is now at the printers in Michigan. I would like to know:

1. I have a long-standing merchant account with Amazon. In the early days they purchased from Baker and Taylor and that was a piece of cake. Now, I see that I have to deal directly with Amazon. So, I have it my mind to try to get an order from Amazon in advance so I can drop ship some of my initial order (1,000) copies directly from the printer to Amazon. It is not clear if I can do this as I do not want the book appear online with them when it won’t be available until the beginning of Dec. Can this be done or do I have to have the books sent to me in Los Angeles only to send them to perhaps back to some out-of-state address. If it can be done, how can I do it? It will cost me at least $.50 to $.80 a book to ship from LA to wherever their warehouse will be.

2. I would like the labels that the printer places on the cartons to confirm to the Amazon spec. I tried finding that spec out and got lost in a handful pdfs. Can you please tell me simply what labels you place on the cartons that meet with Amazon’s specs? How many labels per carton, where do you place them and what info is on each label? I assume you ship inventory to them and do not use POD. My book is priced so low that I have to be careful or I’ll make just a few bucks if I am lucky. I am relying on the eBook version to make a reasonable return.

3. My book is priced at $19.95 and I will have a Kindle version. What price do you recommend me charging for the Kindle? I was thinking of $8.99 or maybe $9.99. I assume that Amazon will most likely discount the trade paperback down to $13.95.

If you want to learn more about my book, please check out....
http://www.superjobsearch.com/html/sjs4.html

4. Is there any way of speaking with a help desk live person instead of only submitting questions online which is terrible. I don’t get answers that make sense.

Thank you in advance very much for your advice regarding the above questions. Best, Peter

Peter - USA (25496)

Answer

One reason your book has run out of steam is that it is not listed for sale through Amazon. A number of third-party sellers have it available at reduced prices.

If you are coming out with a new edition, it is worthwhile to have it published through Amazon's CreateSpace program. You get much better visibility on Amazon, as well as distribution through other channels.

It is also worthwhile to follow up with self-publishing through IngramSpark, which used to be Lightning Source. This gives added international distribution.

It is better to let them do most of the selling. Having 1000 books printed and then trying to sell and ship them is not really value-added.

The links for your books should go directly to Amazon, as opposed to try to sell and ship them yourself. As a user, buying from you does not seem appealing. Have links for the Kindle version go directly to Amazon and for the EPUB e-book version to Barnes & Noble.

You might trim down the size of your book. Even 350 pages is quite a bit. These days, book with less pages sell more.

Your price seems to fit within the range of similar books. The Kindle book price seems high. I often think twice before buying a Kindle book at $9.

I hope these ideas help. Best wishes for success in your book sales.

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General

Idea for a children's book

August 22, 2014

Question

I am a children's writer and I am working on a picture book for grades K-5 which uses magnetism as the storyline and I have a question. I wonder if you might be so kind as to help me out.

The title of the book is Magnetic Magic and young Dena delights the little kids at the pool by performing tricks with magnets. Of course, she doesn't fess up that she's using magnets, she calls it magic. In comes this new kid, Mark, who tells her is not nice to fool the little kids. Dena simply doesn't care. Mark then hands her a map from 1905 and dares her to find the spot. Here's where the declination comes in. Using the NOAA site, I came up with a change of 10° W from 1905 to 2015 on the line that seems to pass through Virginia. Our heroine can't find the treasure using the directions on the map, but eventually she finds the treasure and realizes the directions were wrong. Mark fooled her just like she fooled the little kids. He lets her know that magnetic North has changed over the years. In the end, Dena lets the little kids know that it's magnetism, not magic.

The way I have written the story, the quest takes place in a small town and the kids walk in search of the treasure. I just want to make sure that can happen in such a small place. That is, when she marks her route using a protractor and the 1905 directions, ten degrees over could just be a couple of blocks away, not miles away. Doing the math and plotting in my head and on a map, I believe this will work, but I want to make sure before I submit the manuscript.

I plan to submit the manuscript to Arbordale Publishers. They publish engaging stories that touch on science, but include four pages of hard facts and educational text on the back of the book as well as many pages of more educational text, games, and activities on the book's website. My first book for Arbordale was on the recovery after Mount St. Helens' eruption. The book was named Outstanding Science Trade Book by the National Science Teachers' Association and the Children's Book Council. They will be publishing Sounds of the Savanna, a book about sound as told through a story on prey/predator interactions in the African Savanna, in 2015. I also write educational text for the Smithsonian Science Education Center. I would love to chat with you about this if you have a minute. I will be happy to call you if you let me know the number.

Thank you so much for considering my request.

Sincerely,

Terry Catasus - USA (25309)

Answer

Congratulations on writing another children's book. It looks like you have a good writing background, as well as getting awards.

I got s little confused concerning your story line. I'm guessing that the 1905 map indicates where a treasure is buried, according to the inclination of a compass pointing at the magnetic North Pole. Since that pole moves slightly each year, they would have to calculate the position according to the 2015 position of the pole.

That might be too difficult for 5th graders. Also, it seems to be getting off the theme of properties and experiments with magnets. Perhaps it could be changed to something like finding an old iron mine, using a compass.

Feel free to contact me to talk about your book and stuff.

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