AMAZON – New Sales Dashboard and Royalty Report

Written by dcakers@dc-akers.com on April 14th, 2014. Posted in Indie Writers News

Amazon has added a Sales Dashboard to the KDP Reports page to give you up-to-date reporting of paid, borrowed and free orders as they are placed in Kindle stores worldwide. The new dashboard also helps you track royalties earned as payments are processed for these orders

With the new Sales Dashboard you can:

– Track orders as they are placed: The dashboard graph provides you with daily trends for your titles as orders are placed in Kindle stores worldwide.
– Track royalties as payments are processed: The dashboard displays a summary of royalties earned as payments are processed for your orders.
– Generate customized royalty reports: The downloadable report gives you a detailed picture of orders, refunds and royalties earned.

You can filter the Sales Dashboard and Sales & Royalty Report by title, marketplace, and timeframe. The information you currently receive in the Prior Six Weeks’ Royalties reports is now available in the new Sales Dashboard and Sales & Royalty Report. We will remove this report in the near future.

Visit the Sales Dashboard to view the new reports here:

https://kdp.amazon.com/reports

 

Sales Dashboard

Your Sales Dashboard provides up to 90 days of historical orders and earned royalties, with a graph that provides daily order totals to help you see trends. The dashboard can be filtered by timeframe, title and marketplace. Royalties earned are displayed in the summary table and you can generate a downloadable Sales & Royalty Report to get more details.Information Provided on the Sales Dashboard
Under Units Ordered on the dashboard, you’ll see a graph with the following: Paid Units, Borrowed Units (through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library for KDP Select-enrolled titles) and Free Units. You can filter the graph by Title, Marketplace, and Timeframe. Below the graph, you’ll see a Royalties Earned table. This allows you to see your royalties for all marketplaces in the time period you select. The royalty amounts shown are usually updated within about 24 hours of orders being placed. To see a detailed “Sales & Royalty Report,” click “Generate Report.” This report includes units sold, refunds and royalties (excluding KOLL royalties) earned during your selected timeframe.Orders, Sales and Royalties
Any time a customer purchases your title, that’s an order. An order becomes a sale once the payment is processed. Royalty earned is based on sales.Time Zones for International Marketplaces
You’ll see dates on the dashboard which are calculated in the local time zone of the selected marketplace.. For example, if you select “Amazon.co.uk.” the units ordered there are recorded in the local time zone (GMT). And if you select “All Marketplaces,” the total displayed is the sum of units ordered on each date in the corresponding local time zone of the Amazon marketplace, just like in the Prior Month’s Royalties report.

Sales and Royalties Report

You can use this report to view units ordered  and royalties earned during the timeframe selected on the dashboard. You can download this report by clicking “Generate Report” on the Sales Dashboard page. When you have  qualifying sales in a given month, you will be paid approximately 60 days following  the end of the calendar month during which applicable sales occur. The report contains two tabs – a “Royalty Report” tab and an “Orders Report” tab. Here’s some more detail on the information provided on each tab:

Royalty Report Tab
This tab contains detailed royalty calculations to help you  understand how royalties are calculated based on the “Net Units Sold” for your titles during the selected timeframe. An order becomes a sale once the payment is  processed, which usually takes about a day. Royalty earned is based on sales.

Royalty Tab  definitions

Date Date (in local time zone) on which the orders were placed
Title You’ll a separate row for daily sales recorded for each title in the Royalty Report. If you’re title is available for sale in more than one    marketplace, the report also shows each daily sales for each marketplace on separate rows.
Author Name The author name associated with the title.
ASIN The ASIN for your title, displayed in order of most paid orders received.
Marketplace The Amazon marketplace where the sale or royalty was recorded.
Royalty Type Type of royalty applicable (35% or 70%).
Transaction Type The type of transaction recorded for this title (see table below for more detail).
Units Sold Each row shows you daily sales totals by title for marketplace and transaction type
Units Refunded Shows you the total units refunded for each title on that day
Net Units Sold Net Units Sold = Units Sold – Units Refunded. This is the basis of your royalty calculation.
Avg. List Price Average list price listed for the title on that day.
Avg. File Size Average file size of the title for that day.
Avg. Offer Price Average offer price customers saw for the title on that day.
Avg. Delivery Cost Average delivery charge for the title on that day.
Royalty Earned royalties for the sales in that row. For more information on how royalties are calculated, read the Pricing Page or Terms & Conditions.
Currency The currency of the royalty.

Transaction Types

Transaction

Description

MatchBook Your book was sold as a part of the Kindle MatchBook program.
Kindle Countdown    Deals Your book was sold during a Kindle Countdown Deals promotion.
KOLL Your book was borrowed as a part of the Kindle Owners Lending Library.
Standard Your book was sold as a standard Kindle book transaction.

Negative Royalties
Earned royalties  are calculated based on your Net Units Sold. Since Net Units Sold = Units Sold – Units Refunded, it is possible to see a negative royalty if your “Units Refunded” exceed “Units Sold” for a  particular day.

Orders Report Tab
This tab contains a summary of paid, borrowed and free orders received for your title(s) during the selected timeframe. This is the information provided in the Units Ordered graph on your Sales Dashboard.

Orders Report Tab: Definitions

Date Date (in local time zone) on which the orders were placed, starting with the most recent date.
Title You’ll see each title on a separate row in the Royalty Report.
Author Name The author name you entered for the title.
ASIN The ASIN for your title.
Marketplace The Amazon marketplace where the sale or royalty was recorded.
Borrowed Units KOLL borrows recorded for the title.
Free Units Free orders received on that date.
Paid Units Paid orders received on that date.

Series Updates for Kindle Books on Amazon.com

Written by dcakers@dc-akers.com on April 2nd, 2014. Posted in Indie Writers News

 

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Here is a NEW update for Kindle Authors! We’re making updates to the way series books are listed on Amazon.com. Series books are books with multiple volumes—whether they’re each complete books, or individual sections of a longer book. To make these books easier for customers to find, we’re updating how we organize them in the Kindle Store in the coming weeks, including changes to the detail page so that the title displays as “Title: Subtitle (Series Title Book Volume)”. These changes will help make sure that customers can find all of your books easily.Here’s how series information should be used:
• Series Title: Your Series Title in KDP should be the name of the series. By ensuring that all books in a series have the exact same value for “Series Title”, you will improve discoverability of your books.
• Volume: Enter only a numerical value (eg: 1, 2, 3; not “Book 5” or “Book V”)For example, if your book is called “The World” and is the second book within your “Science Facts” book series, your information would be as follows:• Book title:   The World
• Series title: Science Facts
• Volume:       2

The title for this book will show up as “The World (Science Facts Book 2)”.

Please update the series information for your books listed above by April 14th to ensure your series books will surface appropriately in the Kindle Store once we’ve made our updates. Also, please review any other series books you’ve published to ensure they follow the same standards noted above.

To update your book information:
1. On your bookshelf, in the “Other Book Actions” columns next to the title you’re updating, click “Edit book details”.
2. Enter changes to your series information under “Step 1. Enter Your Book Details”.
3. Click “Save and Continue,” then click “Save and Publish”. Your book will be reviewed and republished with your new series information within 24 hours.

Thank you for your attention to this. For more information, read more in help: https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A20O3YB8HW1PIW

Sincerely,

Kindle Direct Publishing Team

J.K. Rowling Regrets Hermione-Ron Romance in Harry Potter

Written by dcakers@dc-akers.com on February 5th, 2014. Posted in Indie Writers News

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Well all writers regret something after a book has been published. But for J.K. Rowling it was a big one. In fact, I have always wondered about it myself. Hermione and Ron… why? I guess I wasn’t alone.

Seven years after the beloved Harry Potterbook series came to an end, author J.K. Rowling has revealed that she regrets turning characters Hermione Granger with Ron Weasley into a couple.

In a Wonderland magazine interview with guest editor Emma Watson, who played the brainy Hermione in eight films, Rowling admitted that she thinks Potter and Granger would have been a better pairing.

“I wrote the Hermione/Ron relationship as a form of wish fulfillment. That’s how it was conceived, really,” Rowling, 48, told Watson, 23. “For reasons that have very little to do with literature and far more to do with me clinging to the plot as I first imagined it, Hermione ended up with Ron.”

Read more here

A WRITER’S RESOURCE TO HELP SHOW AND TELL WITH DESCRIPTIVE WORDS

Written by dcakers@dc-akers.com on January 13th, 2014. Posted in Indie Writers News

CoverThis is a little something that I put together with several of my author friends and now it’s time to share.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned writer, most of us struggle with the age old battle of “Show. Don’t tell”.  But let’s face it—sometimes you have to tell and when you do, it needs to be in a way that captures the reader’s attention and draws them into the world you are trying to create. Coming up with descriptive words can sometimes be a challenge, not to mention knowing where to start.

Well now there is Word Bank. Word Bank is a great writing tool to help you, the writer, be descriptive whether you are trying to show or tell. Word Bank has been designed with the writer in mind; it’s a quick-no frills reference tool with an easy-to-use navigation list. Just select the word you are trying to describe from the table of contents such as “eyes” and get a wonderful list of creative ways to describe a person’s eyes. Then choose what you like from the list or mix and match to come up with your own descriptive style.

What makes Word Bank so powerful is that it’s created by many contributors, not just one person. Word Bank is updated quarterly at no additional charge for those who have already purchased it, so if you have fantastic descriptive words that you would like to share and have included, submission is just a click away.

P.S.

I would like to thank all the authors and individuals who have contributed to this project. Your endless hours of time, knowledge and ideas have culminated in the completion of this wonderful resource.

Always,
D.C. Akers

Smashwords Signs Distribution Agreement with Scribd

Written by dcakers@dc-akers.com on December 20th, 2013. Posted in Indie Writers News

scribdbuttonSmashwords today announced a distribution agreement with Scribd, which operates one of the world’s largest publishing platforms and online reading communities.  Scribd receives over 80 million monthly readers to their platform according to their website.

There are two distribution components to the Smashwords agreement with Scribd.  1. Smashwords will supply books to Scribd’s new ebook subscription service, where for $8.99 per month subscribers can enjoy unlimited reading.  2. Smashwords ebooks will also be available for individual sale to Scribd customers under our standard retailer terms.

Ever since Scribd launched in 2007, I’ve admired their publishing platform, their social reading technology and their commitment to content creators.  Scribd has built a massive audience of millions of readers, and these readers are now accessible to the 70,000+ authors and publishers that distribute with Smashwords.

Scribd’s roots are in community publishing. They’ve been a pioneer in user generated content, and in making it possible for content creators to share their works with the world.  Their platform makes it easy for people around the world to upload documents, presentations and books, and they’ve always done a great job of making the content discoverable, readable and sharable.

Back in October, I wrote a two-part blog post in which I named Scribd as one of the leading examples of the new breed of ebook subscription services that aim to do for ebooks what Netflix did for filmed entertainment and what Spotify did for streamed music.

Over the last year, they’ve developed a compelling subscription ebook service.  For a low monthly subscription of only $8.99, readers can enjoy a massive catalog of ebooks, and a frictionless reading environment where book price is not a deciding factor.  Readers can enjoy unlimited reading on-demand.

Visit the Scribd home page and it’s immediately apparent they’re positioning their entire business around ebooks.  They’re working to convert their 80 milllion monthly visitors to subscribers for your benefit.
Scribd is going to provide an incredible level of support to Smashwords authors, and I trust every Smashwords author will want to be involved and support their efforts.
Scribd reaches a global audience, serving readers in over 100 countries.
The terms we negotiated with Scribd are author friendly, generous, and closely aligned with our standard retail distribution terms.  But as you’ll see, they’ve thrown in some compelling twists as well.
For Scribd’s retail store, the terms are identical to our standard retail agreements.  Smashwords authors and publishers will set the price, there will be no discounting, and authors will earn 60% of the list price on all sales.  The first 10% of the book, from the cover image forward, will be the free preview sample, similar to most retailers.
For Scribd’s subscription ebook service, authors will earn 60% of the list price on all qualifying reads, and here they’ve added a cool twist.  With subscription services, the author or publisher earns credit for a full read when the reader reaches a certain trigger point, measured by the percentage of the book that is read.  The first 10% of the book is a free sample, similar to a retailer.  Excluding the sample, once the reader reads an additional 20% of the book, a full sale is triggered and the Smashwords author earns 60% of the list price, up to a maximum of about $12.50 per read.  In practice, what this means for most fiction writers is that after the reader reads more than the first 30% of your book, it triggers a full sale.  For some non-fiction writers, where your book’s content is more likely to be read non-sequentially, it means if the reader starts their reading deeper in the book at Chapter 10, a sale could be triggered after reading only 20% of the book (As an aside, this underscores the importance of authors building fully functional navigation into their ebooks so that all their book’s content is easily discoverable.  To learn how to upgrade your ebook’s navigation, check out my recent blog post and video, How to Add Navigation to a Smashwords Ebook).
Unlike any other subscription service or retailer, Scribd has sweetened the pot by added a secondary sales trigger for the author by providing credit for partial reads.  If the subscriber reads 5% more than the first free 10% but less than the additional 20% necessary to generate a full sale, this triggers a credit for partial read.  For every ten partial reads, which Scribd calls a “browse,” the author earns credit for a full sale.  Since most people read fiction from page one forward, this means if 10 people read just over the first 15% of your book but less than 30%, it’ll generate a full sale.  For non-fiction, where readers are more likely to read non-sequentially, they can read 5% of the middle of the book and trigger a browse credit.
Smashwords and Scribd have begun integrating our respective distribution systems and conducting test shipments.  If all goes as well as we expect, Smashwords books will start appearing during the month of January.
To qualify for Scribd distribution via Smashwords, the book must be Premium Catalog approved.
In addition to the sales opportunity represented by their subscription service and ebook store, Scribd has outlined some exciting plans to take their support of Smashwords authors and publishers to the next level.
Here’s a hint of some of what you’ll see from Scribd in the months ahead:

  • As part of this relationship, they plan create ongoing merchandising features dedicated to indie authors, showcasing and celebrating the amazing talent of the indie author community.  Smashwords will share our bestseller lists with Scribd, drawing upon our knowledge of your sales through the Smashwords distribution network (yet another reason to maintain full distribution with Smashwords!).
  • For a limited time, they’re planning to offer Smashwords authors who distribute to Scribd via Smashwords a free one-year subscription to the service so you can try it out.  Multiplied by 70,000 Smashwords authors, this is a $100 per author bonus, and an overall potential commitment valued at over $7 million.  Cool beans!  To qualify, make sure your books are opted in to Scribd by January 1.  The Scribd distribution channel will appear in your Smashwords Dashboard’s Channel Manager later today.
  • They’re planning to develop author profile pages that Smashwords authors can access and manage.
  • They’re planning to create analytic tools in which they aim to give authors unprecedented data about how readers are engaging with their books.  I’ll share more about that in the months ahead as their plans unfold.

Please join me in welcoming Scribd as the latest member of the Smashwords distribution network.  I’m looking forward to working with Scribd to grow our authors’ audience and sales in the months and years ahead.  I’ll send out an author/publisher alert about the deal later today.
Check out the Scribd blog which quotes Smashwords author Quinn Loftis.

AMAZON KEYWORDS: UNLOCKING THE POWER

Written by dcakers@dc-akers.com on November 22nd, 2013. Posted in Indie Writers News

This is a great bit of information straight from Amazon KDP themselves that I thought I would share. I know from experience that the right category and keywords make a difference. A few small tweaks like this help my book to soar from 2,331 to being #1 on the Amazon Best Sellers List in three categories. It’s a crucial step to building a strong foundation for your book. Remember, building an author platform is lot of hard work; its primary job once it has been built is to share, retain, and grow your customer base/readership. But you can’t build an effective author’s platform useless your target audience knows you exist. So concentrate on getting noticed for FREE—let Amazon help you do that. Become a master of category placement and keywords and your target audience will find you.

Metadata Guidelines

Providing accurate, descriptive title information about your story (known as metadata) helps create the best experience for our readers. Below, we have some guidelines to follow when providing your metadata. Kindle Worlds will not publish any submission with metadata that is meant to advertise, promote, mislead, or impair our readers’ ability to make good buying decisions.

Title

The title field should only contain the actual title as it appears on the cover of your story. Kindle Worlds will automatically prefix your title with the name of the World in the Kindle store. We will also append your title with “Kindle Worlds” and may include an indicator of the length for shorter works.

Titles are the most frequently used search attribute. Missing or erroneous title information may make it more difficult for readers to find your work. Customers pay special attention to errors in titles and won’t recognize the authenticity of your story if it has corrupted special characters, superfluous words, bad formatting, extra descriptive content, etc. Examples of items that are prohibited in the title field include but are not limited to:

  • Unauthorized reference to other titles or authors
  • Unauthorized reference to a trademarked term
  • Reference to sales rank (i.e. ‘best-selling’)
  • Reference to advertisements or promotions (i.e. ‘free’)

Series Title

A series is a connected set of stories. If your story is not part of a series, please leave this field blank. However, if your story is part of a series, enter the name of the series in the Series Title field. Identifying the name of the series helps customers find other titles that are part of that series in the Kindle Store.

Data entered into the Series Title field will be appended to the title on your story’s detail page. Because titles are the most frequently used search attribute, your series title name must adhere to title guidelines above.

Search Keywords

Search keywords can be a word or a phrase. Kindle Worlds allows up to seven keywords to be submitted, with a total letter count less than 100. We recommend that for the best results, you use phrases that are 2-3 words long. To determine the right search keywords for your story, we suggest you think like a reader browsing for a book. What are your target readers searching for?

As you consider which search keywords are right for your story, note that when a story has search keywords that are not accurate descriptors of its central storyline or are completely unrelated to its content, it can lead to unexpected or confusing search results and provide a poor customer experience. We do not tolerate search keywords that mislead or manipulate our customers. Examples of items that are prohibited as search keywords include but are not limited to:

  • Reference to other authors
  • Reference to books by other authors
  • Reference to sales rank (i.e. ‘best-selling’)
  • Reference to advertisements or promotions (i.e. ‘free’)
  • Reference to anything that is unrelated to your book’s content

Amazon.com.au Now Available for KDP

Written by dcakers@dc-akers.com on November 19th, 2013. Posted in Indie Writers News

 Announcing Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) for Australia. You can quickly and easily publish at kdp.amazon.com.au and if you have indicated rights to publish in Australia, your book can appear in the new Australia Kindle Store within two days. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Keep control – Maintain complete creative control and own your copyright.
  • Reach readers worldwide – Make your books available in the Australia Kindle Store and in more than 175 countries worldwide.
  • Earn up to 70% royalties – Set your list price in Australian dollars and be eligible to earn up to a 70% royalty for book sales to customers in Australia and New Zealand.
  • Get paid in local currency – Receive payment in your local currency for book sales, if your bank account is in Australia or New Zealand, and track your progress with KDP sales reporting detailed by marketplace.

Visit your KDP Bookshelf to review your preferences or learn more in our Help section.

Announcing Kindle Countdown Deals – A New KDP Select Book Promotion Tool

Written by dcakers@dc-akers.com on November 1st, 2013. Posted in Indie Writers News

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We are excited to introduce Kindle Countdown Deals. A new KDP Select book promotion tool that lets you provide readers with time-bound promotional discounts for your Kindle books, available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

Here are some of the benefits of Kindle Countdown Deals:

  • Set time-bound promotions – You control how long your book is discounted. The time remaining for your promotion will be visible for customers to help generate excitement for the price discount.
  • Customers get a great deal – Your customers will see the great deal they’re getting with the regular price included on the book’s detail page, right beside the promotional price.
  •       Retain a 70% royalty rate – You will earn royalties based on your regular royalty rate and the promotional price. As a result, if you are using the 70% royalty option, you’ll earn 70% even if the price is below $2.99.
  •         Increase discoverability – Customers can easily browse live Kindle Countdown Deals at www.amazon.com/kindlecountdowndeals – a great way for you and your books to get discovered.
  • Monitor performance in real-time – A new KDP report displays sales and royalties at each price discount side-by-side with pre-promotion performance, so you can compare results.

Visit your KDP Bookshelf to enroll your titles in KDP Select, and click on “Manage Benefits” to get started.

Kind regards,

The Kindle Direct Publishing Team
Questions? Learn more at KDP Select.

FIGMENT.COM IS BECOMING PART OF RANDOM HOUSE

Written by dcakers@dc-akers.com on October 29th, 2013. Posted in Indie Writers News

Hot off the press from figment.com

Hey Figs,

We have some big news: Figment.com is becoming part of Random House.

When we started Figment, we had a simple idea: to create a safe space for users to read, write, and share stories. Since the day we opened our doors, in December 2010, hundreds of thousands of you have joined Figment, producing hundreds of thousands of books. Over the past three years, we’ve seen an incredible community grow before our very eyes. Figment is, and has always been, a product of you. We’ve just been lucky to be along for the ride.

We have read amazing, humbling stories. We’ve met phenomenal writers. Writers whose names we’ll see on a bookshelf someday and proudly say, “We knew her!” and then hastily add, “Not, like, in real life, but we were super close online. It was this thing, hey don’t even worry about it. Let’s get coffee.”

We know this wonderful, weird community isn’t the kind of thing you find every day. Figment is incredibly special, and the collaborative spirit and endless creativity that you bring is the reason it will continue to grow.

Random House, one of the biggest publishers in the world, is dedicated to maintaining Figment’s integrity and openness. The site will remain the same today as it was yesterday. Your stories, comments, and forum posts will all be here. You’ll still own all your stories. Random House believes in the written word, in authors and books, and in the creative spirit — all the things we founded Figment to celebrate. We couldn’t think of a better steward for this supermegaawesome place.

We’re feeling a lot of feelings right now: gratitude, happiness, optimism. But mostly we’re excited to see the Figment community become bigger and better with Random House. Figment users are . . . well, you know what you are. You’re the best good thing about the site, and we know you’ll grow and thrive and become even more talented, creative writers than you already are.

The only thing better than each of you is all of you.

Love,

The Figment Team

MORE INDIE AUTHOR OPPORTUNITIES – KINDLE BOOKS AND TIPS

Written by dcakers@dc-akers.com on October 28th, 2013. Posted in Indie Writers News

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Here is another great place for Indie Authors to share their FREE Ebooks! http://www.fkbooksandtips.com/

A bit about Kindle Books and TIPS:

The Kindle Books and Tips blog has a simple purpose to provide an interactive blog where you will receive tips to maximize your Kindle experience, author interviews, articles from the author’s take on the eBook world, links to special and discounted Kindle books, and the heads-up on the numerous books, short stories, and more available to read (and listen to) on your Kindle for no charge from numerous sites in addition to Amazon.

The Kindle Books and Tips blog has been ranked the #1 blog in terms of paid subscriptions in the Amazon Kindle store since 2010, and is consistently ranked in the Top 100 for all Kindle titles – books, newspapers, and blogs combined – every day of the week, week in and week out.  If you would like to have the blog’s posts sent to your e-Ink Kindle, you can click here or type in http://smarturl.it/fkblog into your web browser to go to the right page on the Amazon website.  Once there, just click on the “Subscribe now with 1-Click” icon on the right-hand side of the page to start a free two-week subscription.

Find out more here: http://www.fkbooksandtips.com/

Concept Art

Concept Art

Gallery quality print on natural white, matte, ultra smooth, 100% cotton rag, acid and lignin free archival paper using Epson K3 archival inks. Custom trimmed with 1" border for framing.