Author Olivia Boler

writing is fun
April 25th, 2014

Why Does KDP Hate Me?

Unfortunately, there was a snafu with my Kindle Direct Publishing account, and my special sale was cut short today. I hope to have it up again, but here’s what I take away from the experience:

When I decided to independently publish my novel, I went with Smashwords first because they have a wide distribution, not just on their own website but also with other major retailers—iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo, etc….They don’t have a deal with Amazon, so I put up my book there later, unaware that Amazon had this KDP Direct program. What is it? Basically, if you publish your ebook exclusively with Amazon, you can do a couple of promos. One is a free giveaway of your book, run for up to 5 days. The other is discounting your book, again for 5 days. You also apparently get a slice of some profit-sharing that I only vaguely understand because I find such things tedious, even though they’re important.

I hesitated to take my book off Smashwords. They are great to indie authors, and they don’t ask for exclusivity. But sales had become non-existent, and I wanted to get some traction and exposure, that would be simple to run and not too time consuming. I took the book down and signed up for KDP Select. That was a mistake. I should have waited a couple of weeks because it takes a while for all of Smashwords’ partners to take down your book from their websites. KDP immediately sent me a warning. They have creepy crawlers out there, just looking for you to mess up.

When I was sure that I was in the clear, I went ahead and put the book up for free in March. It was great! Tons of downloads. Then, yesterday, because KDP has some kind of time constraint on when you can offer the Kindle Countdown Deal (the discount), I put the ebook up for 99 cents. Yay!

This afternoon, I got another robot-like email from KDP that “our records indicate that we previously informed you that submitting non-exclusive content to KDP Select is not acceptable and may result in loss of KDP Select benefits” and “as a result of repeat violations of the KDP Select exclusivity requirement, we have removed all of your books from the KDP Select program. Your titles remain available in the Kindle Store.”

WTF!?! (Deep, calming breaths. But why is it suddenly so hot in my brain???)

They sent a link (so helpful!) to the offending site, and sure enough, there’s my book on a French site—FNAC, actually, where I used to go shopping when I lived in Paris 20 years ago. How do I like them pommes? Not very much.

I contacted Smashwords about this, and got an immediate (human!) email response. They are going to work on getting this down, and they didn’t even call me a traitor for leaving them. Sniff, sniff!

Back on Amazon, my discount promo was taken down within an hour.

So, word to the wise, if you want to play with KDP, go ahead, but take advantage of KDP Select before you upload to Smashwords. Your iTunes, B&N, etc. friends will grumble, but it will definitely save your grief and time.

April 24th, 2014

Kindle Countdown Deal

I’m putting on my retail cap to tell you that from now through April 30, 2014 (that’s a Wednesday), the Kindle version of The Flower Bowl Spell is only 99 cents. That’s 2 bucks off the regular price, a 67% discount. What a deal! So tell your friends to buy up and enjoy the wonders of Wiccan Memphis Zhang and her crazy supporting cast members.

Click here to go straight to The Flower Bowl Spell Amazon page. Happy reading!

October 9th, 2012

Blogging Today Only!

Just a quick shout to let you all know that I am guest blogging today on Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf as part of her There Are Witches in the Air October event. Find out how the Wiccan New Year served up inspiration for my novel’s heroine, Memphis Zhang.

All month long, Melissa is featuring novels about witches. How spooky is that? There’s also a chance to win a copy of The Flower Bowl Spell in eb00k form. I hope you’ll head over. Cheers, and happy reading…

 

Witchesintheair2

 

March 14th, 2012

Kobo Readers, anyone?

Thank you to all who downloaded a copy of The Flower Bowl Spell from Smashwords last week during Read an E-book Week. I really hope you enjoy reading the book, that it keeps you up at night thinking, Well, just one more chapter…

Since then, things have been quiet. I probably shouldn’t share this because it’s kind of negative, but I haven’t had one sale on Amazon this month! And I have no idea how things are going over at iBooks, B&N, etc. I do know the book is finally up at Kobobooks, so if you have a Kobo Reader, go for it! And to buy one, click here.

In the meantime, I am nearly done getting the book ready for the paperback version. So, so close. I hope to have it done before heading out with the family for Spring Break, but there’s also a giant freelance project looming over my head…and a little one…Ah, life!

February 10th, 2012

Create Space for Me

I feel like I’ve been neglecting my blog, even thought it’s only been a few days. Tweeting and Facebooking about The Flower Bowl Spell have been taking up my writing time, and I get the feeling I need to stop spinning my wheels and make something happen—namely the paperback version and reviews. I know the latter must be done ASAP, but here is where I truly feel I need some kind of road map. I’ve done this review hunting before, and it’s really time-consuming with no guarantees of success. Kind of lot publishing!

I did spend an afternoon looking at the Create Space website, feeling a little more and more daunted by what I have to do on the technical side. What’s holding me up? The cover. I have a lovely cover designed by a lovely artist, but I need to figure out the “bleed,” that is the size it’s going to be. The thing about ebooks is they don’t have true page counts, but I need to figure out my novel’s page count now so that I’ll know how wide the spine will be. Blah blah blah.

Create Space also gives you a nifty calculator to figure out what your royalties will be. I was planning on making the book really inexpensive—like under six bucks—but the profit margin is so dismal, I think it’ll be more like $14 or $15. You’d pay that for a nice paperback, right? The royalties are best if readers order from Create Space directly. They’re slightly lower if the book is ordered through Amazon, and then they’re really, truly, madly, deeply bottom of the barrel if ordered through the Expanded Distribution option (meaning, if I make the book available for order from local bookstores and for libraries). I am so going to make it available this way—money is not the main issue—because I want readers who don’t want to order online to be able to support their local independent bookstores. Heaven knows, they need all the help they can get. My neighborhood is down to one general interest bookstore. Yikes. So, I plead with you, dear readers and bloggers: Go out and buy a book this weekend. You’ll be happy. Trust me.

Oh, and speaking of being happy, have you bought my ebook yet? Well, what are you waiting for?

Happy weekend, people.

 

January 26th, 2012

Welcome to Olivia’s new website

This has been quite a day, an up-and-down day. I uploaded my first eBook this morning on Smashwords. It’s called The Flower Bowl Spell, and you can buy it for $0.99. What a bargain, right?

A little bit about me. When I was about 28 years old, in 2000, I published my first novel with a small press. The book is called Year of the Smoke Girl, and you can find used copies on Amazon. I thought I’d hit it big! I wrote more novels, short stories. Even a novel-in-stories. I quit my day job as a paralegal to write full time as a freelancer. I queried agents and publishing houses. None wanted to represent or publish my new work. In the meantime, my editor passed away and so did his publishing house.

Flash forward to 2011. Ebooks are hot. Self-publishing is no longer considered a one-way ticket to Loserville. Some of my writer friends have made it. Some are still keeping their day jobs. I’m about to turn 40, and it seems time to give myself a very big gift—the gift of publishing one of my novels, one that I think has a chance to be successful.

So today, 25 January 2012, I did just that.