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Traditional publishing has snails working for them

Switch Blayde

I just heard of another case which shows some of the problems with traditional publishing.

An author queried a literary agent. After 3 months they asked for a partial (I guess the 1st 3 chapters). It took them 3 months to do that. (That's what I mean by snail.)

After 6 more months of not hearing from them, the author self-published about a week ago. A week after that, the agent finally requested the full manuscript. It took them 6 months. (Maybe it's a snail crawling through molasses.)

How can any industry survive like that?

Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

How can any industry survive like that?


Long term, they can't. However, the traditional publishers have a lot of market momentum and political influence.

Sheer inertia could keep them going for a couple of decades, but eventually they will run out of steam and when they do, they are burnt toast.

Bondi Beach

@Switch Blayde

How can any industry survive like that?


The industry, including agents, would have us believe they are so inundated with material the author was lucky to have received a reply at all.

If I had to answer the question I'd say they'll do fine. In the meantime we'll be inundated with crap. Have you looked at the "erotica" available online? Or the romance?

There's a reason why Lee Childs isn't self-published. Yeah, yeah, we all know about marketing and all that, but he got through an intitial screening that made a difference. And the tiny tiny number of super stuff that either got self-published or was published after the author submitted it to 367.5 publishers is the exception that proves the rule.

OTOH, good for the author! (I guess. Does having self-published mean he's out of consideration for the agent?)

bb

Switch Blayde

@Bondi Beach

OTOH, good for the author! (I guess. Does having self-published mean he's out of consideration for the agent?)


He was asking us what he should do. Don't have an answer to that.

Dominions Son

@Bondi Beach

Have you looked at the "erotica" available online? Or the romance?


Have you looked at what's put out by real publishers in the erotica and romance categories? There is a hell of a lot of crap published on dead tree media.

Dominions Son

@Bondi Beach

There's a reason why Lee Childs isn't self-published.


There wasn't a practical means of self publishing when he got started.

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Bondi Beach


OTOH, good for the author! (I guess. Does having self-published mean he's out of consideration for the agent?)


@Switch


He was asking us what he should do. Don't have an answer to that.


Most publishers require an exclusive offering, so as long as he 'unpublishes' the book (so it's no longer available to anyone, other than used copies on Amazon, he should be OK. However, he'll have to report that he'd already self-published and ask them how they want him to proceed. It's possible, if the publisher requests, Amazon may pull the older copies of the book. In either case, I'm sure they've purchased self-published authors before.

Note: Advice from someone who's never been published by a traditional publisher.

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach

@Crumbly Writer

Most publishers require an exclusive offering,


It's worth remembering his contact was with an agent, not a publisher. although one assumes the agent wouldn't spend much time on a manuscript he didn't think he could sell to a publisher.

bb

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach
Updated:

@Bondi Beach


It's worth remembering his contact was with an agent, not a publisher. although one assumes the agent wouldn't spend much time on a manuscript he didn't think he could sell to a publisher.


Meanwhile, when I take a break from Lawrence Durrell's literary farts I turn to Horace McCoy's Kiss Tomorrow Good-bye. "Love as hot as a blow torch ... crime as vicious as the jungle" says the cover blurb. How could one resist?

bb

Replies:   ustourist
awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

Agents prioritise authors they've already had published, and know they'll continue to get published, because they provide the best income stream. Next come the best of the new prospects, but agents know it'll require a lot of effort to tailor their work for each publisher they're offered too.

The case you describe probably involves a well-written story, but lacking enough shazzam to make it a hot prospect, worth holding onto for a lean patch. If the agent's opinion was correct, I would expect the self-published sales to be less than stellar.

AJ

ustourist

@Bondi Beach

"Love as hot as a blow torch ... crime as vicious as the jungle" says the cover blurb. How could one resist?


Easily. What category is he aiming that at? Lovelorn Mafia wives? :)

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Crumbly Writer

Say what you want about traditional publishing, but they're holding their own against the onslaught of cheap Indie ebooks. Readers know what to expect, and know they'll get a decent well-written read without a lot of risk of a badly told, error ridden book. :(

They do what they do because they can get away with it. If readers were more discerning, they'd force them to be more aggressive in what they offer, or what they offer. But it's just not happening.

It's wonderful that the Indie revolution has opened up so many publishing avenues for the rest of us, but the traditional publishers are here to stay, and readers are voting with their dollars (at $24 a pop, instead of $2.99 for the 'riskier' fare).

As I've said before, books are price inelastic (i.e. cheaper books don't sell more, as readers see discounted books as being defective, and thus are more than willing to pay full almost ten times more for something they trust.

Our best bet, is that readers will continue to reward Indie authors they trust (mainly those they meet via freebie sites like SOL). Again, they don't mind paying for stories they prefer and trust, they just aren't as willing to trust authors they've never heard of.

Not_a_ID

@Crumbly Writer

Our best bet, is that readers will continue to reward Indie authors they trust (mainly those they meet via freebie sites like SOL). Again, they don't mind paying for stories they prefer and trust, they just aren't as willing to trust authors they've never heard of.


Ah but this is also where avenues like Kindle Unlimited can help a new (indie) author "break in" as well, since they can use Kindle Unlimited to get wider exposure to readers.

Amazon just needs to refine how authors get rewarded under that system from what I'm seeing in here.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer

Readers know what to expect, and know they'll get a decent well-written read


I don't think that's necessarily true. I picked up a 'James Patterson &' bestseller in my library and had to abandon it after a few paragraphs because the writing was so error-strewn that reading it was too much work for too little reward.

AJ

Replies:   Not_a_ID  Switch Blayde
Ernest Bywater

Traditional Publishing best sellers are decided by what the senior editors at the publishing houses think may sell, based solely on the synopsis or the author name or the book title - then they push the hell out of it to get the sales despite it being crap because people read what's available when they go to buy a book at short notice.

Replies:   docholladay
Not_a_ID

@awnlee jawking

and had to abandon it after a few paragraphs because the writing was so error-strewn that reading it was too much work for too little reward.


Spending a lot of time behind a steering wheel, I've found that using a Kindle and throwing it's text to speech capability at stories I couldn't bear to read can often turn the product into considerably easier to enjoy.

Even if it is to laugh at either the author using the wrong words, or speech to text butchering something at random. Such as the kindle deciding that random three or four letter words/names weren't words in their own right at all, but abbreviations instead, so it will read out what it thinks was being abbreviated.

So far, I think my favorite Kindle miscue on abbreviations had to be "Throw it in the wash." Which the kindle read as "Throw it in the Washington."

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Not_a_ID

Such as the kindle deciding that random three or four letter words/names weren't words in their own right at all, but abbreviations instead, so it will read out what it thinks was being abbreviated.

Uh oh! My currently posting story, which is for sale on Amazon, uses two or three letter names for each of the main characters (ex: Al, Be, Gar, Del, Zi). Now I'm wondering how the Kindle mangles the names. Maybe that storytelling choice wasn't so intelligent after all?

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


Uh oh! My currently posting story, which is for sale on Amazon, uses two or three letter names for each of the main characters (ex: Al, Be, Gar, Del, Zi). Now I'm wondering how the Kindle mangles the names. Maybe that storytelling choice wasn't so intelligent after all


As long as you don't end a sentence with their name, you should be reasonably safe. Although "Al" may become "Alabama," and "Del" would likely become "Delaware" from past experience in the event that Kindle decides they're abbreviations. Not sure about Be, Gar, or Zi.

I guess that would be a fun help request to send back to Amazon. "Kindle speech to text keeps trying to call my character, 'Al' by 'Alabama' instead, what can I do to stop this from happening?"

Not_a_ID

To throw another fun one into the mix:

Kindle speech-to-text has some kind of weird fixation on Anti-lock braking systems.

It isn't unusual for "abs" to end up being read out as "A. B. S." instead. Of course, it didn't help that the story which called that to my attention has a tendency to write "abs" as "ABS" instead, and haven't really checked for case sensitivity. Did make for quite the immersion breaker when a guy starts licking his way across a woman's A.B.S. ;)

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Crumbly Writer

@Crumbly Writer

Say what you want about traditional publishing, but they're holding their own against the onslaught of cheap Indie ebooks. Readers know what to expect, and know they'll get a decent well-written read without a lot of risk of a badly told, error ridden book.

Critiquing my own post, I just ran across the following on a LinkedIn Author post: Do traditional publishers ever publish Indie Authors?

Happens ALL the time. In fact, it's more common for blockbuster authors/series to come out of indie world (mostly web serials) these days than the traditional route. Who has come out of big houses in the last few years to equal Wool, 50 Shades, Twilight, The Martian, etc. And that's just as the heavy end of the spectrum. I have done dozens or articles and interviews of serial writers getting contracts with smaller presses.

I knew a few of these, but didn't know whether it was the norm or not, as they only see to accept the phenomenally successful (100,000 copies sold) Indie books, which are more heavily marketed (in most instances) than well-written.

Yep, I was right. They don't pick up many Indie books, but it's still the best option for most of us to garner the big publishers attention. The only caveat, you've GOT to market yourself heavily and intelligently, something few of us here are qualified at. No one wants to purchase an unpopular book which won't sell!

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Bondi Beach
Updated:

@ustourist


Easily. What category is he aiming that at? Lovelorn Mafia wives? :)


I'm not far enough into it to know for sure, but it's apparently a heist caper by someone who thinks he's smarter than he is. Being a McCoy novel (think They Shoot Horses, Don't They?), it's sure to end badly.

An interior blurb quotes a critic who says it makes James M. Cain novels seem almost "decorous" and "restrained" in comparison. That gives a good idea of what's to come in this one.

My copy is a first edition paperback with a great pulp-ish cover. Black lingerie. Hard-edged brunette.

bb

docholladay

@Ernest Bywater

You will notice that certain stories seldom if ever make the top 10 lists. Series regardless of genres are a prime example with the exception of the James Bond series. That is regardless of how many copies the individual books sell. I think that is the reason those publishers tend to put how many copies sold on the covers of reprints as an indication of how popular the stories are. As always i could be wrong as to that motive.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Grant


Brisbane author John Birmingham takes leap from trade publishing to go indie.

Birmingham said he had personally witnessed the birth of fear, uncertainty and the growing resentment within trade publishing toward the ebook phenomenon.

"I've always thought it was silly because I don't know why the two sectors can't co-exist," he said.

"It's not a zero-sum game. If I build up readers with my email list and my independent publications then those readers are probably 80-90 per cent likely to go off and buy the next trade published book I do down the track.

"But it's very, very difficult to get the trade publishers to relax and unlock themselves a bit."

Switch Blayde

@Not_a_ID

Amazon just needs to refine how authors get rewarded under that system from what I'm seeing in here.


I thought the last change did that. Pages read is the way to go.

Replies:   Not_a_ID  Ernest Bywater
Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

I don't think that's necessarily true. I picked up a 'James Patterson &' bestseller in my library and had to abandon it after a few paragraphs because the writing was so error-strewn that reading it was too much work for too little reward.


You do know that James Patterson doesn't write the novels anymore. He writes the outline and has a staff of writers who write the novel.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Switch Blayde

@Not_a_ID


It isn't unusual for "abs" to end up being read out as "A. B. S." instead.


I'm having that problem with Siri on my new iPhone. When I want it to go to the www.imdb.com website I ask something like "I M D B Harry Potter." My old Samsung Galaxy used to do the correct Google search. Siri converts it to "I am..."

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


They don't pick up many Indie books


A few wattpad authors have been picked up and their free wattpad novels were traditionally published. Those people had millions of reads (although the read count increments with each chapter read so it's not millions of readers).

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

I'm having that problem with Siri on my new iPhone. When I want it to go to the www.imdb.com website I ask something like "I M D B Harry Potter." My old Samsung Galaxy used to do the correct Google search. Siri converts it to "I am..."

You can install Google search, or even the Google audio search (forget what the app is called for that), if you don't like Siri. It's like Maps, sometimes AppleMaps will find a location, sometimes Google will, while other times both only get me within a 5 block radius, and leave me sitting in the middle of the road. Ain't technology wonderful?

awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

Allegedly Patterson personally gives each book a lookover to ensure it conforms to his 'brand', so I was surprised at how shoddy the writing was.

AJ

Not_a_ID

@docholladay

Series regardless of genres are a prime example with the exception of the James Bond series.


And another Brit franchise involving a certain hairy guy participating in pottery.

Replies:   docholladay
Not_a_ID

@Switch Blayde

I thought the last change did that. Pages read is the way to go.


Which is a semi-recent change, will be interesting to see how it plays out.

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

I thought the last change did that. Pages read is the way to go.


What is the size of a kindle page? Maybe the words downloaded would be a more exact figure, because that accounts for part pages at chapter ends.

Switch Blayde

@Not_a_ID

Which is a semi-recent change, will be interesting to see how it plays out.


I meant it was a change over the previous method which encouraged people to write short novellas and even break a long novel into multiple novellas because as long as 10% was read the size didn't matter. In fact, shorter novellas reached the 10% with fewer pages and they got paid the same as someone who wrote a good long novel.

So to pay by page read seems like the right way to me.

Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

What is the size of a kindle page?


The million dollar question.

Grant

@Ernest Bywater

What is the size of a kindle page?

6"

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Grant

6"


most pages have two dimensions, and then you have issue with regards to fonts and font size saying how many words per page. At 6 inches long and a character wide that's only something like 25 characters to a page.

Replies:   Grant
Grant

@Ernest Bywater

At 6 inches long and a character wide that's only something like 25 characters to a page.

6" diagonal; spacing, type face & words per line are all user selectable.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Grant

6" diagonal; spacing, type face & words per line are all user selectable.


Basing the Kindle on the same ratio as 7 inch Galaxy Tablet the screen would come out as 3 inches wide and 4.75 inches high. Using a 10 point Palatino Linotype font that gives about 150 words per page - give or take for word length and other spacing - I applied those settings to one of my files and got between 130 and 165 words per page with an average of 148, rounded up to 150.

That guy Locke had an average of 250 kindle pages per book, making his books around the maximum of 37,500 words lose a few pages to the usual info required (cover, title, copyright, author info and promos), and you're down to 245 pages for 36,750 words, cut 10% for chapter heading size loses and end of chapter part pages - thus you're down to around the 33,000 word mark for the stories of the guy Locke with a million book sales on Amazon. If Amazon's default font has less words per page the stories are smaller still. Either way, that's the novella range not a novel. Which seems to support Crumbly's early comment about only shorter works do well on Amazon.

Replies:   sharkjcw
docholladay
Updated:

@Not_a_ID


And another Brit franchise involving a certain hairy guy participating in pottery.


Funny part is many of those series out sell the best seller lists. I remember one store in Long Beach California which at that time had a standing order of 200 copies for new volumes and a refill standing order 20 per volume. What store owner would waste space for something which did not sell. His store only stocked the bare minimum of any listed 10 sellers.

edited to add:
That was one of the stores I volunteered as a free worker just in order to learn why they had so much business. Funny how all those businesses had at least one thing in common. Flat watched what the distributors delivered and would return fast anything which did not sale within a week. Normal return times were 30 to 60 days depending on the book's genre. Magazines and other periodicals also had fixed return times as well. News papers and such were returned the very next day with a maximum number of copies for them as well.

sharkjcw

@Ernest Bywater

just clicked on several kindle books Amazon states page length, If you click on it it gives you the following "The estimated length is calculated using the number of page turns on a Kindle, using settings to closely represent a physical book."

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@sharkjcw

using settings to closely represent a physical book."


yeah, what size physical book? Plus what margins do they think the book should have when they calculate that. Here's some typical book sizes plus the work area after removing margins, headers, and footers are taken out, followed by a typical full page of text word count with 10 point Palatino font (no blank lines or headings - you can count on losing 15 to 40% depending on the settings). Pocket Book is the usual size for a retail paperback book sold off the shelves of shops.

Pocket Book 4.25 x 6.87 inches - 2.75 x 5.50 inches - which gives a maximum of around 200 words per page.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Not_a_ID

Kindle will default to using the full screen. Depending on the device it's usually 2-ish Kindle pages to a physical book page in my experience.

Crumbly Writer

@Not_a_ID

Which is a semi-recent change, will be interesting to see how it plays out.

It helps, but not significantly, since the KDP Direct (?) still doesn't pay significant amounts to the author, regardless of how many papers or percentages of the book read are. I haven't noticed any significant increase in the amount of authors offering books to Prime subscribers recently (on the various author forums, at least).

In my own case, Prime readers seem uninterested in my books, so I see little reason to waste my time. As it is, Amazon Kindle already has the least attractive books on the market (i.e. they strip most formatting from the books to ensure they'll display on decades old ereaders no one uses anymore).

People kept insisting I try it, so I did, but I was unimpressed with the results. You've got to play too many games, manipulating your stories to 'game the system' in order to succeed. That's not better writing, that's marketing above content.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

What is the size of a kindle page? Maybe the words downloaded would be a more exact figure, because that accounts for part pages at chapter ends.

There is no standard size, instead each 'reader' offers a different page size. When you submit your book to Kindle KDP they offer a 'kindle view', which shows how your story looks on each device, so you can see how many pages it is, but you select the device. Obviously, the early Kindles display significantly less than, say, an Apple iPad Pro. Also, many people read their kindle books on their desktops or laptops, in which case the page can be as large as their displays are.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

There is no standard size, instead each 'reader' offers a different page size.


And the user controls the font size

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Plus what margins do they think the book should have when they calculate that.

The Kindle format doesn't support margin settings, thus they don't matter in page count determinations. (That's what I said about their stripping formatting from submitted stories). For a while, I'd define paragraph styles, rather than using html's < blockquote> commands, but they've done away with that too. Now ALL paragraph types are treated the same (with the exception of centered lines).

In short, Kindle is the 'dumb reader' of the 21st century, offering less attractive displays during a period where every device making is switching to retina displays (300dpi min.).

Replies:   Grant
Crumbly Writer

@Not_a_ID

Kindle will default to using the full screen. Depending on the device it's usually 2-ish Kindle pages to a physical book page in my experience.

That's assuming a standard 3x5 mass-market paperback novel size, rather than a 6x9 trade paperback size. Since the 3x5 uses smaller fonts than the larger books, it's not really a fair (straightforward) comparison either way.

However, these discussion of the size of a 'standard' Kindle device have no bearing on what Kindle defines a 'page read' as, as that's how they determine payout. I can't remember how they define pages in that context.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

they strip most formatting from the books to ensure they'll display on decades old ereaders no one uses anymore


Mine's not quite a decade old, but it's getting close, and I still use it.

Ernest Bywater

@Not_a_ID

Depending on the device it's usually 2-ish Kindle pages to a physical book page in my experience.


Thanks for that, it tells me the Kindle author under discussion is clearly writing novellas or short stories, and not full novels.

REP
Updated:

A few years back, around the time Kindle was starting to become popular, I read a hard copy book; but I can't recall its title or author. My recollections may be confusing the story's details with Heinlein's story about Daniel Shipstone and his invention of the Shipstone power cell.

The story's premise is a young man invents a small, easily portable device that allows its user to download a book and read it in public. He is going to sell the idea to a publisher(?) but his girlfriend and future wife sees the market for the device. She convinces him to not patent it and to go into business selling the device and electronic books. The story is about the man's idea leading to the demise of books being printed on paper by traditional publishers. It ends with the man having passed away of old age and his widow and the corporate board celebrating the corporations success by drinking a toast to his memory and the creation of the company.

Replies:   Capt. Zapp
Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

but I was unimpressed with the results. You've got to play too many games, manipulating your stories to 'game the system' in order to succeed.


What do you mean by that? People were gaming the system the old way. How can you game the system the new way?

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

instead each 'reader' offers a different page size.


When my wife downloaded my new novel to her iPad it said it was over 700 pages. At around 84,000 words, it's not. There is no page on an ereader.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

What do you mean by that? People were gaming the system the old way. How can you game the system the new way?

People protested when they only paid a set amount per book. The new system is better, but only slightly, and the 'gaming' being employed hasn't lessened, it continues, largely unabated. The majority of books being offered via the "Prime" service (KDP Direct) are short works, rather than full novels, while most publishers avoid promoting their works there.

Since there's little interest in my books posted there, I see little reason to even try playing those games. And while I do publish on Amazon, smashwords continue to be a more profitable and more successful (for me at least) venue.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

When my wife downloaded my new novel to her iPad it said it was over 700 pages. At around 84,000 words, it's not. There is no page on an ereader.

That's the point, Kindle has no objective definition of what constitutes a "page", instead they toss the word around like it's confetti, distracting readers and authors with little objective meaning.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

What do you mean by that? People were gaming the system the old way. How can you game the system the new way?


Any system can be gamed if you know enough about how it works.

Grant

@Crumbly Writer

In short, Kindle is the 'dumb reader' of the 21st century, offering less attractive displays during a period where every device making is switching to retina displays (300dpi min.)

dpi is for printers.

The current basic Kindle offers 167ppi resolution. The higher end units offer 300ppi.
Higher resolutions do not always result in better images, and comparing a 600 dpi backlight display with a 300dpi reflective display is like comparing a fruit with a cut of meat.

My Kindle (probably 5 or more years old) offers a much better image for reading than many of the current high end LED displays.
Completely different technologies, so a resolution that gives a very good image on one (Kindle) would give an illegible image on another (LCD/OLED).

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

The majority of books being offered via the "Prime" service (KDP Direct) are short works


One aspect of this I just had a thought about - - Does Amazon count a read of a story on KU as a book sold for the count of sales via Amazon? If it does, it would explain why some people get high sales figures for their short stories at Amazon, because they'd probably count a single page read as a sale.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

That's the point, Kindle has no objective definition of what constitutes a "page", instead they toss the word around like it's confetti, distracting readers and authors with little objective meaning.


And they like having a page number on the page with the book blurb, but it seems the more more we discuss it the number is less relevant to anything.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

Does Amazon count a read of a story on KU as a book sold for the count of sales via Amazon?


No, pages read (even if they read the entire book) and sales are counted separately.

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


The majority of books being offered via the "Prime" service (KDP Direct) are short works, rather than full novels,


That was caused by the old way of paying (10% read of a 40K novel earned as much as 10% of a 140K novel). That's why people started writing short novellas and even breaking long novels into multiple short ones. They gamed the system causing the change.

So KU isn't driving short novels.

ETA: KU today should encourage longer novels because they have more pages.

Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

KU today should encourage longer novels because they have more pages.


To a point. They cap pages read at 3000/book/reader. So there is still a penalty for really long books, though to hit the cap you are in oversize epic saga range as even Lord of the rings comes in under the cap (~2700 KENPC)

Crumbly Writer

@Grant

The current basic Kindle offers 167ppi resolution. The higher end units offer 300ppi.
Higher resolutions do not always result in better images, and comparing a 600 dpi backlight display with a 300dpi reflective display is like comparing a fruit with a cut of meat.

I wasn't talking about the devices, but about KDP and the Kindle formatting. Although it does display detailed graphics, it still treats text as if every single space is vital and thus reduces all formatting to a basic paragraph type. I used to get around it's limiting < blockquote> commands to a single space by creating a separate paragraph style, but they yanked that support recently. The maximum indent, in any circumstances, is a single space. Thus while they allow detailed graphics, the Kindle format is at least a decade behind every other book format. A significant amount of what I used to include in my Kindle formatting has since been rendered useless, and of course, they never announce when they're removing formatting, so unless you check each instance, you can miss the changes between submissions. Many here are unsatisfied with the quality of Kindle formatting, though there's little you can do about it (although, apparently, if you submit ePubs to KDP, it still supports the ePub formatting.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

One aspect of this I just had a thought about - - Does Amazon count a read of a story on KU as a book sold for the count of sales via Amazon?

No. If you look at your sales graph, there's a separate graph for "Kindle Edition Normalized Pages (KENP)". Those are you KU reads, as you're paid on a separate scale and as a basis of total sales on ALL kindles, rather than unit sales (they have some reserve, where they put aside money and only allot it to their biggest sellers, instead of giving it out to whoever gets read equally).

No one has ever been able to figure out the Kindle/Amazon sales stats, as I've never been paid based upon their reported sales, and even then, I don't trust their reported sales (I suspect they don't count a significant amount of transactions).

Replies:   Switch Blayde  Not_a_ID
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

And they like having a page number on the page with the book blurb, but it seems the more more we discuss it the number is less relevant to anything.

It's a sales gimmick to make the short stories popular on Kindle UL look more impressive than they are.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

ETA: KU today should encourage longer novels because they have more pages.

It isn't the pages read calculation that drives shorter stories, instead it's the low pay per book and turn-around time. If you write ten 10,000 page books, you earn significantly more than if you invest the extra time into writing/editing/formatting a 100,000 page book, which takes much longer to complete. Thus the money is in cranking out the shortest books in the least amount of time, regardless of the calculations of pages read.

Capt. Zapp

@REP

My recollections may be confusing the story's details with Heinlein's story...


If I recall correctly, in Heinlein's story, He was told adults wouldn't be willing to switch to the electronic format, so instead he sold it as a child's toy.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer  REP
Crumbly Writer

@Capt. Zapp

so instead he sold it as a child's toy.

Child's toy/Teenager's toy/Child who never grows up, same diff.

REP

@Capt. Zapp


If I recall correctly, in Heinlein's story, He was told adults wouldn't be willing to switch to the electronic format, so instead he sold it as a child's toy.


The Heinlein story I referred to was about Daniel Shipstone inventing a rechargeable "battery" that could hold an immense amount of energy. It required special construction techniques and materials. He designed it in a way that it would self destruct if someone trying to reverse engineer it tampered with it. The battery was used to power homes, space ships, industrial complexes.

Replies:   Capt. Zapp
Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

No one has ever been able to figure out the Kindle/Amazon sales stats,


I think it's straightforward. They tell you how many were sold that day by region, and how many were returned. What more do you want?

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

They tell you how many were sold that day by region, and how many were returned. What more do you want?


Lulu tells me how many of each book is in a purchase (yes some of the freebies have multiple copy sales) which country it was bought in, and how much I get from the sale. I can also create customised reports for better stats or different periods, if I want.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Capt. Zapp

@REP

The Heinlein story I referred to was about Daniel Shipstone inventing a rechargeable "battery"...


Okay. I got my stories confused. It's been a while since I read them.

Replies:   REP
Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater


Lulu tells me how many of each book is in a purchase (yes some of the freebies have multiple copy sales) which country it was bought in, and how much I get from the sale.


Amazon tells you that plus other information, such as the royalty percentage, costs, list price, net price, currency, etc.

And then on the bottom of the spreadsheet it has tabs with other information.

I don't know what else I would want.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

I think it's straightforward. They tell you how many were sold that day by region, and how many were returned. What more do you want?

I want the amount they pay me to match the number of books they claim they sold! It's always a bitch trying to reconcile the two. The reports I get from smashwords, B&N and lulu are always straightforward and easy to understand (and reconcile), while those from Amazon are confusing, misleading and circumspect.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
REP

@Capt. Zapp


Okay. I got my stories confused. It's been a while since I read them.


That I understand. In my original post, I admitted I might be confusing the details of the E-Reader story with Heinlein's story. After awhile they all seem to just flow together.

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

I want the amount they pay me to match the number of books they claim they sold! It's always a bitch trying to reconcile the two.


They do that in the spreadsheet when you generate the report. The only problem is, it's in the local currency. You have to wait for the payment report to convert it to U.S. dollars.

Not_a_ID

@Crumbly Writer

No. If you look at your sales graph, there's a separate graph for "Kindle Edition Normalized Pages (KENP)". Those are you KU reads, as you're paid on a separate scale and as a basis of total sales on ALL kindles, rather than unit sales (they have some reserve, where they put aside money and only allot it to their biggest sellers, instead of giving it out to whoever gets read equally).


Essentially this. Drilling even further, if you did a copy paste citation from a Kindle, it would give line numbers, rather than page numbers. Although recently it will now also try to cite the relevant page # if there is a corresponding physical book Amazon knows of.

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