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Selling stories?

Uther_Pendragon

I've read that some here sell stories, and apparently there are some markets which fo not require removal from SOL.

Can you post the markets and how they can be contacted?

I saw some discussion, but can't find it again.

Ernest Bywater

@Uther_Pendragon

I post via Lulu at www.lulu.com and draft to digital at www.draft2digital.com - both of these have access to other services as well, but it cuts into your royalties. While others use Amazon and Apple direct as well as other services. Be careful out there as there are a lot of vanity publishers sucking independent authors in to charge them high fees to print their books.

also, you should be aware of Legal Deposit as noted in Wikipedia at

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_deposit#United_States

In the United States, any copyrighted and published work must be submitted in two copies to the United States Copyright Office at the Library of Congress. This mandatory deposit is not required to possess copyright of unpublished works, but a copyright registration can give an author enhanced remedies in case of a copyright violation. The Library of Congress does not retain all works.

and www.copyright.gov/circs/circ07d.pdf

I'm not sure how they class independent authors who publish e-books.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

but a copyright registration can give an author enhanced remedies in case of a copyright violation


You don't have to copyright it with the US Copyright Office. But if you don't, you can't received money (remedies mentioned above) if you sue someone who stole your copyrighted story.

Switch Blayde

@Uther_Pendragon

You need to read the Terms & Conditions for each site. Amazon, for example, does not require exclusivity unless you're enrolled in their Select program. But you cannot offer it elsewhere at a lower price than it's sold on Amazon. Since it's free on SOL, it has to be free on Amazon.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

You don't have to copyright it with the US Copyright Office.


I never said it was required, Switch. I pointed out the law on Legal Deposit which is a mandated requirement as the pdf referenced says:

You can satisfy the mandatory deposit requirement in one of three ways: (1) submitting an application to register your work, (2) sending the required copies of your work within three months of publication without applying to register, or (3) responding to a written demand from the Copyright Office.

You can be fined $250 per work for not lodging the legal deposit if they deem it to apply to you. Thus it's worth looking into so you can check if you have to comply.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

You can satisfy the mandatory deposit requirement in one of three ways: (1) submitting an application to register your work, (2) sending the required copies of your work within three months of publication without applying to register, or (3) responding to a written demand from the Copyright Office.

It seems obvious to choose option (3).

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

You don't have to copyright it with the US Copyright Office. But if you don't, you can't received money (remedies mentioned above) if you sue someone who stole your copyrighted story.

That's not quite true. You can't sue for 'damages' (i.e. potential total sales lost if someone offers your stories for free) as you're restricted to 'actual' damages (i.e. the actual sales the other party made from selling your works).

You need to file a claim in order to go after those potential damages. However, in the U.S. it costs $57 per book to file such a claim, and most people who steal your work can't be sued anyway (ex: they live in non-participatory countries, they've sheltered their money or they simply don't have any money to speak of). Plus, hiring a copyright lawyer ain't cheap! You also have a limited amount of time to file a copyright.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

Since it's free on SOL, it has to be free on Amazon.

That's Absolutely not true. Each of my 16 books (plus 2 box sets) are offered on Amazon, but are also offered for free on SOL. Because I post under two separate names (my own and Crumbly Writer), I'm asked to verify that I'm the legal owner fairly frequently, and I clearly state that I publish professionally under one, and post for free under the other. They've never had an issue with that!

What they say is that you cannot sell your work more cheaply through other outlets.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Crumbly Writer

@Uther_Pendragon

I've read that some here sell stories, and apparently there are some markets which fo not require removal from SOL.

Can you post the markets and how they can be contacted?

Getting back to the question at hand, if you self-publish, you can publish anywhere (within the limitations imposed by Amazon). If you publish through a mainstream publisher, they typically requires you to pull ALL your work from any other source so you're not competing with them selling your own work. If you publish via a vanity press (almost never a good idea!), you not only can't publish elsewhere, but you're often restricted from every publishing anything through any other source other than them (typically for a duration of two to three complete books).

The big 'gotchas' on publishing (where you can and where you can't) is based on content, and determines which regions of the world can charge you with obscenity (such as denigrating the royal family and Islam in general in several Arab countries).

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

They've never had an issue with that!


I'm surprised. This is from their T&Cs:

From time to time your book may be made available through other sales channels as part of a free promotion. It is important that Digital Books made available through the Program have promotions that are on par with free promotions of the same book in another sales channel. Therefore, if your Digital Book is available through another sales channel for free, we may also make it available for free. If we match a free promotion of your Digital Book somewhere else, your Royalty during that promotion will be zero.


Now it does say "we may also make it available for free," but I thought it was a given.

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

Now it does say "we may also make it available for free," but I thought it was a given.

Perhaps their lawyers wrote the T&C with the intention of ensuring they can do whatever they want, whenever they want, but what CW has described is what they do in practice.

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


I'm surprised. This is from their T&Cs:


The key is the qualifier:


Therefore, if your Digital Book is available through another sales channel for free, we may also make it available for free.

The problem isn't that the material is available for free on a private site requiring a log-in, it's that another sales channel is underpricing Amazon. While they allow me to offer the material for free, I couldn't offer it for free on either SW or lulu.

Ernest Bywater

@Uther_Pendragon

The other thing to do is to very carefully read the full Terms of Service for whatever organisation you intend to use. I have regular disagreements with CW and Switch about Amazon because they say Amazon aren't a bad group to deal with while I'm get concerned about some of their terms of service which also turn up in a few other companies (most of which I later find out are owned by Amazon) but not in all organisations.

With Amazon I have issues with several of their terms, especially the formatting term where they claim the right to change it how they like, and term 5.5 Grant of Rights (copied below with bold by me to emphasise aspects):

You grant to each Amazon party, throughout the term of this Agreement, a nonexclusive, irrevocable, right and license to distribute Digital Books, directly and through third-party distributors, in all digital formats by all digital distribution means available. This right includes, without limitation, the right to: (a) reproduce, index and store Digital Books on one or more computer facilities, and reformat, convert and encode Digital Books; (b) display, market, transmit, distribute, sell and otherwise digitally make available all or any portion of Digital Books through Amazon Properties (as defined below), for customers and prospective customers to download, access, copy and paste, print, annotate and/or view online and offline, including on portable devices; (c) permit customers to "store" Digital Books that they have purchased from us on servers ("Virtual Storage") and to access and re-download such Digital Books from Virtual Storage from time to time both during and after the term of this Agreement; (d) display and distribute (i) your trademarks and logos in the form you provide them to us or within Digital Books (with such modifications as are necessary to optimize their viewing), and (ii) portions of Digital Books, in each case solely for the purposes of marketing, soliciting and selling Digital Books and related Amazon offerings; (e) use, reproduce, adapt, modify, and distribute, as we determine appropriate, in our sole discretion, any metadata that you provide in connection with Digital Books; and (f) transmit, reproduce and otherwise use (or cause the reformatting, transmission, reproduction, and/or other use of) Digital Books as mere technological incidents to and for the limited purpose of technically enabling the foregoing (e.g., caching to enable display). In addition, you agree that we may permit our affiliates and independent contractors, and our affiliates' independent contractors, to exercise the rights that you grant to us in this Agreement. "Amazon Properties" means any web site, application or online point of presence, on any platform, that is owned or operated by or under license by Amazon or co-branded with Amazon, and any web site, application, device or online point of presence through which any Amazon Properties or products available for sale on them are syndicated, offered, merchandised, advertised or described. You grant us the rights set forth in this Section 5.5 on a worldwide basis; however, if we make available to you a procedure for indicating that you do not have worldwide distribution rights to a Digital Book, then the territory for the sale of that Digital Book will be those territories for which you indicate, through the procedure we provide to you, that you have distribution rights.

What makes this term worse is the term on termination the agreement (number 3) states this term will survive the agreement termination. In short, it gives them the right to continue selling your book after you part ways with them.

If you run a check on my name with Amazon you will see some books I have for sale with them for nothing or next to nothing, but you will also some some books advertised which they do not have approval to sell - thankfully they currently list most of them as unavailable. Yet they still advertise the books and I can't get them to remove the pages for those books.

JohnBobMead
Updated:


If you run a check on my name with Amazon you will see some books I have for sale with them for nothing or next to nothing, but you will also some some books advertised which they do not have approval to sell - thankfully they currently list most of them as unavailable. Yet they still advertise the books and I can't get them to remove the pages for those books.


I just looked at what they had listed on your author page. One item is Kindle only, One item is Kindle and Paperback, and one is Paperback.

I'm presuming the one that is Paperback only, and listed as out of print-limited availability, is one of those you are mentioning.

Amazon doesn't just sell stuff themselves, others sell through them; in specific, in this case, others sell used copies of books and other items.

It was established a very long time ago that while you can control, to an extent, who sells new copies of items you produce, you have no control over the disposition of used copies.

[Unless, of course, it wasn't actually sold, but only licensed for your use by the producer of the item, which is the argument put forth by Microsoft, etc, in regard to copies of their software... and why some sites will not allow you to download copies of eBooks that you have "purchased" from them, their claim is that you have only licensed access to them via their site, and if they go out of business, tough.]

Those items that Amazon has an entry for where they are not the authorized seller are there as the result of a third-party seller marketing them through Amazon. This includes items which were being sold as used, not new.

If they state that it is a new copy, and neither you, not your official agents, have a record of selling them copies for resale, the question of how they obtained their copy becomes valid.

Used physical copies? Anyone can sell them through any sales portal, so long as they acknowledge that it is a used copy.

So, somewhere along the line, someone who had purchased a print copy of this work of yours, which you are not marketing through Amazon, listed it for sale as a used item via the Amazon Marketplace. That is legal.

Once created, Amazon keeps item descriptions in their active database, even if there are currently no items currently listed for sale through them. It doesn't matter to Amazon whether it is an item they were an authorized reseller of, or where it was listed by a third party; nothing displays in the public view of the record to indicate how the record came to be entered into their database.

The idea is that the next time someone has a copy of that item they want to sell through Amazon, they will use the existing record, if it matches the edition they are selling, rather than create an additional record for the same edition.

They leave item records with no current copies available in the searchable database to alert people to the fact that, at one time, a copy had been available via the Amazon Marketplace, so it would be worthwhile checking back at a later date to see if another copy became available.

In this case, such a copy would be a used copy.

Ernest Bywater

@JohnBobMead

In this case, such a copy would be a used copy.


JBM, you're right about people having the right to sell used copies. However, some of the people on Amazon selling supposedly used copies haven't bought them yet. They offer the copies for sale at a price higher than you're selling elsewhere, get a sale, then place the order on your supplier to ship direct.

I've seen third party sellers offering print copies of some books I sell only on lulu at twice the price they sell for on Lulu. I know it's a con because I can see the sales records at lulu and where they don't show any sales of print copies other than the few I buy, then I know no one else has a used print copy to sell.

Replies:   JohnBobMead
Crumbly Writer

@JohnBobMead

Used physical copies? Anyone can sell them through any sales portal, so long as they acknowledge that it is a used copy.

I just discovered a used copy of my book, for sale on Barnes & Noble, which is available for $94! But for you, my loyal readers, I'll offer it for only $9.99.

JohnBobMead

@Ernest Bywater

Jez Leweez!

I guess people actually do fall for that, which says something about their ability to search for other sources for the item they are seeking.

I knew the prices varied greatly for similar items, as I recently researched some books I own to see what they were currently selling for [or at least what they were listed for, which is an entirely different thing; anything currently listed clearly hasn't sold...]

It's interesting to see how prices vary between Amazon Marketplace, ABEBooks, Fantastic Fiction, Alibris, eBay, etc. for the same ISBN...

And the differences do seem to indicate that some buyers only look at Amazon, because for a number of items the prices listed there were significantly higher than elsewhere, which would only work given a captive audience.

Turned out a couple of items I own would theoretically be worth a pretty penny, but, as noted earlier, the copies currently listed haven't sold, so what people are really willing to pay for them is clearly less than that.

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