BookBaby Just Keeps Getting Better
BookBaby has one of the best offers in the publishing world for self-publishing or small press publishing (we’re required to state that Author Options has a great service, too, otherwise the Christmas party this year is gonna be real awkward). Unlike the world of the so-called vanity press–many of whom are so shady you’d be better off throwing copies of your manuscript from a high place and hoping people send you money–BookBaby is one of the rare options that produces a high-quality book, has live customer services agents who will speak to you, and (get this) doesn’t take a percentage of your sales after the fact. You pay up front, and you’re done.
Check out their newest press release on their print-on-demand service, and the highest author royalty in the business:
BookBaby expands Print On Demand service to pay out highest royalties to self-published authors
With POD on BookShop™, indie authors earn more, get paid faster, and enjoy guaranteed in-stock inventory status.
Pennsauken, NJ, July 13, 2016 — BookBaby today announced its Print On Demand (POD) service is now available through its BookShop™ direct-to-reader sales website. Authors will earn an industry-leading 50% of the selling price for printed books sold through BookShop while enjoying all the convenience and low inventory costs that make POD an attractive option for authors.
“Authors haven’t made much money with previous POD programs, and frankly, that’s just wrong,” says BookBaby President Steven Spatz. “When authors sell their printed books through BookBaby’s BookShop, they’ll make more than anywhere else.”
For example, a typical Digest-sized black and white soft cover that retails for $9.99. Amazon will pay authors between $1.34 to $3.34 royalties. If that same book is sold through BookShop, authors will earn $5.00. BookBaby’s POD service can also include hardcover books, a book selection not found in other POD programs, including CreateSpace.
BookBaby’s new service addresses two other issues with Print On Demand programs.
- Faster payment: BookBaby deposits authors’ money into their accounts within one week after book orders are shipped. That compares to the standard 90 to 120 days lag in payments from Amazon and others.
- Guaranteed accessibility: Authors’ books are always in stock and ready to ship to readers—a feature exclusive to BookBaby.
“During last Christmas, every POD program suffered through long periods where books were listed as out of stock,” says Spatz. “Tens of thousands of authors were frustrated by Amazon and Barnes & Noble supply chain breakdowns. But that can’t happen with BookShop. We don’t have to worry about inventory—we print and ship directly out of our factory to the reader. In fact, we guarantee our books are available 24/7 throughout the busiest holiday season.”
BookBaby authors will be seeing more new features and services on the BookShop platform in the coming months. “With this new addition, our self-publishing authors have a true one-stop shop for readers to find more information about our authors and their books,” says Spatz. “It’s a critical resource for achieving success in self-publishing, and BookBaby is the only company that offers it.”
BookShop is a free online storefront exclusive to BookBaby authors, giving them an easy way to earn more money selling their printed books and eBooks directly to readers. Minimal set-up is required to get started and authors have full control over their page content.
More information about Print On Demand on BookShop can be found at https://www.bookbaby.com/bookshop.
Amazon Finally Announces Self-Publishing for Children’s Books
It was hard not to put an exclamation point at the end of that sentence! (So I used one here.) Self-published authors have long been barred from the ease of use and abundance of readers associated with self-publishing, at least in an inexpensive way. Authors could create their books, but ebooks were not as streamlined as they were for text-based books. But that’s changing, thanks to KDP’s new tool.
According to an announcement sent out just now from KDP:
Starting today, you can use Kindle Kids’ Book Creator to create illustrated children’s books for Kindle, taking advantage of features like text pop-ups. Here’s how to get started:
- Download the tool, and you can convert individual illustrations into interactive books for both Kindle devices and free reading apps.
- Once your book is ready, export the file and upload it to KDP.
- Set the book category, age range, and grade range to help customers find the right books for their kids.
Want to learn how to prepare, publish, and promote illustrated and chapter books for children? Check out the new KDP Kids for more information.
The Kindle Direct Publishing Team
Hugh Howey Wants Answers!
In another brilliant look at the publishing industry, author Hugh Howey has crafted a list of unanswered questions, questions that are not being answered for authors but that also shouldn’t be classified, top-secret information. Despite accusations in the past that Howey is practically in Amazon’s pocket, this list fires directly at the world’s largest ebook retailer and self-publishing platform and demands information for authors. A few of the highlights are below, and the full story is HERE.
1) I would love to know how many readers borrow a book and then go on to buy a copy of the same book. I’ve done this before, and I tend to doubt my uniqueness. For Prime members especially, who only get one borrow a month, do they ever love an ebook so much that they decide to own a copy for good?
2) I would love to know how far into my books readers get. Do they finish the work? Do most who drop out do so around the same chapter? What about from those who return the ebook?
4) Why can’t I see my lifetime sales anywhere on my dashboard? This one shouldn’t be hard. You do it on the ACX homepage. Give me total sales across all titles and for each individual title.
7) I want to know why you all haven’t come out and explained that the 70% cut we make on ebooks priced in a certain range aren’t really royalties. (See #5 of this list for an example of improper usage of the term). When they’re called royalties, the 70% seems exceedingly generous. Because publishers pay a lot less. But publishers provide other services, like editing and cover art. We are handing you a finished product. As a distribution fee, you taking 30% (plus more for delivery fees) sounds less crazy-generous. It seems downright reasonable, in fact. Or even an area where you all could afford to give a little more.
8) Why the 70% price cut-off? In a recent announcement about ebook prices, you all admitted that there are occasions when ebooks deserve to be priced higher than $9.99. I agree. I’d love to package my entire Silo Series trilogy together and sell it for $12.99. That would be an amazing savings to the reader, a great value to your customers. But you all treat every ebook product the exact same, which means my royalty rate would drop from 70% to 35%. That’s not good.
Take a look at the rest of Howey’s questions and the more in-depth explanations behind his reasoning on his post.
KDP Introduces Pre-Orders for Self-Published Authors
Amazon made a striking announcement today that is great news for indie authors:
We’re excited to announce that you can now make your new books available for pre-order in Kindle Stores worldwide. With a few quick and easy steps you can create a pre-order page up to 90 days in advance of your book’s release date–your pre-order product page will be created within 24 hours. When you make your book available for pre-order, customers can order the book anytime leading up to the release date you set. We will deliver it to them on that date.
One advantage of using pre-order is that you can start promoting your Kindle book pre-order page on Author Central, Goodreads, your personal website, and other places ahead of its release to help build excitement for your book. Also, pre-orders will contribute toward sales rank and other Kindle Store merchandising ahead of release, which can help more readers discover your book.
Visit your KDP Bookshelf to set up your new book for pre-order.
This is great news for authors who are looking to generate sales before the book comes out, which is much the same process that Pubslush offers for authors who crowd source their books. For authors who already have titles in KDP, bear this in mind for future books.
Scribd Unveils New Enhanced Browse Features for Better Book Discovery
eBook subscription giant Scribd announced new search features this week that will make it even easier for readers to find great content. And with a catalog of over 500,000 titles and counting, discoverability is certainly going to be an issue for both authors and readers.
“Our goal with the new browse experience was to retain the same human touch that we have come to love about personal recommendations from a trusted friend, but use the power of technology to extend it to our catalog of over 500,000 books,” said Jared Friedman, co-founder and CTO of Scribd. “The result is as if we’ve built every reader their own personalized bookstore, with the human touch readers love, that they are now able to carry around in their back pocket.“
The new feature works by letting readers search in two directions at the same time. They can go for a broader search option, which would be akin to walking into a vast bookstore and heading over to the Science Fiction section, or they can narrow it down, which would be like having a personal shopper handing over only the books that contain all of the search options the reader is interested in. This dual system lets readers be highly specific about topics of interest, but also lets them just “wander” the aisles of Scribd when they don’t have a specific title or content in mind, but still know what they like.
“Scribd’s subscription model does wonders for book discovery, because it eliminates so much of the friction that usually exists to begin reading a good book,” said Trip Adler, co-founder and CEO. “Meanwhile our new browse feature alone is a huge step forward for book discovery. Ultimately we believe it’s the combination of the subscription model with our innovative book discovery offering that will create a magical experience for readers, and this is just the beginning of more to come.”
This search enhancement is going to be a tremendous boost to indie authors who’ve put their titles in the subscription catalog through Smashwords’ agreement with the company, as it will let Scribd’s membership find new titles without having to have the boost of advertising dollars from the major publishing houses.
Scribd will be rolling out this search capability across of all of its platform-specific apps in the coming weeks.
Amazon Backs Its India Store with $2B Investment
Not to be outdone by Flipkart, the largest e-commerce site in India, and its $1 billion investment in its retail site, Amazon has announced its own $2 billion backing of its Amazon.in marketplace, only one day after Flipkart announced its round of funding.
According to Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos, India stands to be its fastest growing marketplace, and the first of its retail markets to produce one billion dollars in sales. Given the population within the country, the abundance of tablets due to strong education initiatives in mobile technology, and the fact that English is one of its official languages, this comes as very little surprise.
While Flipkart has claimed the status of India’s largest e-commerce site with 22 million users making five million shipped purchases per month, Amazon has already refuted that claim. Despite the US-based retailer’s standard operating procedure of not disclosing any specific sales data, Amazon claims to retail more than 17 million different products within its Indian website.
While both Flipkart and Amazon.in are talking and investing in terms of more than just books, this focus on the market means a great deal for self-published authors. With constraints on international book rights in place, even many traditionally published authors don’t find their titles available in every market. But thanks to both Amazon’s KDP platform and self-publishing/ebook distribution site Smashwords, indie authors can list their ebooks in both the Amazon.in Kindle store and Flipkart’s ebook store, due to Smashwords’ agreement with Flipkart.
Authors who don’t take the steps to list their titles with these two options are missing out on a significant number of English-speaking readers who already have a history of online purchasing, have the devices on which to read ebooks, and may already be clamoring for ebook content.