Amazon Changing File Requirements for KDP Ebooks – Written By New Shelves

Many of you have recently received emails from Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) announcing that Amazon is changing file requirements for KDP ebooks. As often happens with change, there is some confusion about how this will change how authors and publishers will upload their ebooks to KDP leading to questions and concerns.

From https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G200634390:

“After June 28, 2021, we will no longer support MOBI files when publishing new or updating previously published reflowable ebooks. Instead, use EPUB, DOCX or KPF formats, see our Frequently Asked Questions for more information. MOBI files are still accepted for fixed-layout ebooks.”

What Does That Mean, Exactly?

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6 Creative Ways to Name Your Fictional Characters – Written By Andre Clayton

Thank you, Andre Clayton for a great blog post about naming our fictional characters. We all have been there. And for all of us it’s always interesting to find out how other authors are doing it!


on The Write Life:

When you start writing your story, how long does it take you to come up with character names?

Choosing the perfect name for your protagonist and antagonist can take ages, especially when you’re not sure how to start.

I’ve been there. After wasting days staring at a blank computer screen, attempting to come up with names for all of my characters, I developed with some helpful naming strategies. And I’d like to share them with you!

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Top 15 Free Self-Publishing Companies For New Authors – Written By Derek Haines

on Just Publishing Advice:

If you are a new author, you have plenty of choices of free self-publishing companies to publish your book.

It is very easy to publish an ebook today and make it available to the world.

You can also publish a paperback book using print-on-demand services.

There’s nothing to stop you from publishing your new book, and yes, you can do it for free.

In This Article15 Free self-publishing companies, you can choose
.

The best choices for ebooks

.1. Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)

2. Apple Books

3. Barnes & Noble Press

4. Kobo Writing Life

5. StreetLib

6. Xinxii

7. PublishDrive.


Ebook aggregators.

8. Draft2Digital

9. Smashwords.


Free paperback self-publishing

10. Amazon KDP

11. Blurb

12. IngramSpark

13. BookBaby

14. Lulu

15. Barnes & Noble Press.

Conclusion

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The Fault in Our Reviews – Written By Deborah Grant-Dudley

Deborah Grant-Dudley informs us about the review rules on Amazon. It is hard to get reviews on Amazon, particularly for us Indie Authors. Deborah tells us why. Thank you very much.


How to avoid having your book review deleted

Indie authors rely on book reviews to help sell their books. But Amazon are notoriously strict about reviews. They frequently decline new reviews and delete existing reviews. If you want to help an indie author, it’s important to stay in Amazon’s good books. Yes, I went there!

Here’s a handy guide to writing reviews that will be accepted. Be aware other bookstores have their own guidelines. I’ve focused on Amazon as they are the biggest bookseller, and they sell lots of indie books.

Image of scrabble squares spelling out the word rules.
Photo by Joshua Miranda on Pexels.com

Check you allowed to review the book

Amazon has a minimum spend threshold you must meet before you can leave a review. Currently, that’s £40 in the UK and $50 in the US. You must have spent at least that amount in the past 12 months. If you meet this criteria, you can review a book on their website.

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Three Red Flags – Warnings From ‘Writer Beware’ Blog – Written By Victoria Strauss

The last three notifications from the ‘Writer Beware’ blog, by Victoria Strauss, left me shaken, like so many others she provided us with. I normally try to spread word about scam, fraud, and other warnings as good as I can, but I refuse to drown ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’ readers in negativity.

However, I think, it’s important that, in particular new Indie Authors know what dangers they might face when putting their books and their work ‘out there’. I therefore decided to publish one post with links to all three of Victoria Strauss’ warnings. Thank you for your great work, Victoria!


SCAMMERS TAKING BIG 5 PUBLISHERS’ NAMES IN VAIN: A GROWING TREND

I’ve been doing the Writer Beware thing for quite some time, and I Have Seen Some Shit. 
But this solicitation from a Philippines-based publishing and marketing scammer calling itself Right Choice Multimedia (among other names) is one of the most disgusting things that has come across my desk in a while…and that’s saying something. 


Here it is in its entirety. Read it and boggle. You can also scroll down directly to my (far more grammatical) debunking. Be sure to read all the way to the end, because I have some things to say about why Big 5 publishers should care that their trademarks and reputations are being co-opted in this way.

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CONTRACT RED FLAG: WHEN A PUBLISHER CLAIMS COPYRIGHT ON EDITS

This is an updated version of a post I published a couple of years ago.

It’s not all that common, but I do see it from time to time in small press publishing contracts that I review: a publisher claiming ownership of the editing and copy editing it provides, or making the claim implicitly by reverting rights only to the original manuscript submitted by the author.

Are there legal grounds for such a claim? One would think that by printing a copyright notice inside a published book, and encouraging the author to register copyright or registering on the author’s behalf, publishers are acknowledging that there is not. It’s hard to know, though, because the issue doesn’t seem to have been tested in the courts. There’s not even much discussion. 

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SCAM ALERT: PAPER BYTES MARKETING SOLUTIONS, BLUEPRINT PRESS, AND THEIR STABLE OF IMAGINARY LITERARY AGENTS

Once upon a time, there was a publishing and marketing scammer called Chapters Media and Advertising, owned by one Mark Joseph Rosario. Chapters pretended to be a US company–it even had dual business registrations in Wyoming and Florida, as well as a purported address in Nevada–but in reality, it operated out of the Philippines (much like its many brethren).


Chapters was an unusually devious little scammer. In addition to offering the usual substandard publishing services and junk marketing ripoffs, it had a sideline in impersonating literary professionals, including agent Jennifer Jackson of the Donald Maass Agency and literary scout Clare Richardson of Maria B. Campbell Associates. I’ve written about both of these impersonation scams (as well as the issue more generally; Chapters was not the only one doing this).

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Beware of Chapter-by-Chapter Book Critiques – Written By Lisa Cooper Ellison

on Jane Friedman site:

As an editor and coach, I’m frequently asked by writers when they should level up from free and low-cost feedback (critique groups, webinars, and classes) to more expensive forms of feedback (workshops, private editors, even MFA programs). Some are newbies who don’t understand the feedback landscape. Other writers have been burned by overly critical MFA programs, bad editing experiences, or critique group dramas—and they’ve learned that while some mistakes hit your pocketbook, the costliest ones can damage your manuscript.

Often these problems have one common cause: You’ve asked the right question of the wrong person.

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10 Common Writing Myths Every New Writer Should Ignore – Written By Derek Haines

on Just Publishing Advice:

It’s easy for a new writer to believe many of the writing myths you read about online.

However, most of them are untrue or are at least stretching the truth. If you are a new writer, a lot of the advice you read can affect your confidence.

Writing and publishing might not be for everyone. But if that’s what you have your heart set on doing, there’s nothing to stand in your way.

Forget all about the myths, and focus on your passions, strengths, and what you want to achieve.

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The Ultimate Guide to Launching a Book for Indie Authors – AskALLi Team

Launching a book is an exciting moment in an indie author’s life–but there’s so much to do. What order should you do it in and how much time do you need in advance of your launch to complete it? Today’s post is the Alliance of Independent Authors’ Ultimate Guide to Launching a Book (including timeline).

A few caveats before we begin this post.

No two indie authors launch books in the same way. The below is not a strict “this must be done here” guide but a suggestion of how you can time the activities for your launch. Of course, not everyone will have a long lead time either and not every author does every single item listed.

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Who Else Hates Self-Promoting? – Written By Cynthia Marinakos

on Writing Cooperative:

Practical tips to overcome the ickiness of self-promoting and progress your writing career

I get it. Some people are ok with talking about themselves. They could do it all day. They seem to thrive on it.

Then there are others, like you and I. We’d rather listen instead of speak. Self-promoting feels icky. It’s not really our thing.

You hate pushy salespeople. They invade your space without permission. They tell you what you should buy. Yet even if you need the thing they’re selling, there’s no way you’ll buy it from them. Or even hear them out. Your automatic response is to race away. Or slam the phone. You don’t want to be one of those people.

It’s much better to be recognized naturally. I mean, if your writing is good, people will notice. If your writing is great, editors will knock on your door. If your writing is brilliant, you’ll get invitations for interviews and book publishers begging you to write for them. Won’t they?

Maybe. Sometimes. And that is the problem. Will you risk your writing career to maybes and sometimes?

Where do you reckon your career will take you if you keep feeling icky about sales, let your self-doubts hold you back, and wait for people to notice you?

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Well, today I want to help you take control of your writing career — if you’re serious about it. You’ll get practical examples and helpful tips to:

  • Reframe how you think about sales
  • Focus on helping people
  • Set your self-promotion tone
  • Manage self-doubt

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7 Tips to Balancing the Humor and the Heavy – Written By Charles Yallowitz

I like to included humor in my stories.  Yet, I don’t want them to be seen as comedies.  I like to touch on heavy topics in my stories.  Yet, I don’t want them to be seen as serious dramas.  That means I need to have both and keep things balanced.  That isn’t nearly as easy as some people believe.  You can’t throw the two around whenever you feel like it in the hopes of creating an equilibrium.  Humor and heavy can clash like battling titans instead of uniting like pieces of a puzzle.  So, what are some ways to handle this?

  1. Whichever one is going to be the main tone of the story should be introduced from the beginning.  If you want to have a serious story with humorous sections and conversations then you need to set the heavy stage.  If it’s supposed to be a comedic tale that moves into serious territory then start with the funny.  You do have a runway to work with since the opening is more character and world introduction, so the tone may be neutral first.  Eventually, you need to decide on who gets the bigger slice of pizza.

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