Writers and Self-Censorship – She Writes

Writers should not be censored. I think everyone can agree on that. The whole idea of censorship conjures an image of stern political enforcers, combing through every line of poetry and prose with an eye to deleting or destroying anything that works against the current regime and its often hypocritical ideology. Who can create art when afraid of offending? Had Picasso been …

Source: Writers and Self-Censorship – She Writes

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Are Authors Being Ripped Off? – Amazon “Kindle Unlimited” Scammers Netting Millions | Selena Kitt

JZ Comment: If this is true – and Selena Kitt is a very well established author – EVERY author who uses Kindle Select should be reading this and following the subject very closely in the near future.

How are scammers making millions off Amazon? (And off any author enrolled in Amazon’s KDP Select program?)

It’s easy. So say digital entrepreneurs scammers like Dave Koziel – who admits to outsourcing his material, he’s not an actual writer or anything. You see, all you have to do it just upload “books” stuffed to the gills with anything, even unrelated material (romance books, cookbooks, South Beach diet books, foreign language texts, any and everything you’ve got at your disposal) then use a click-bait link at the front of the book (something like “Click here to win a Kindle Fire!”) to take the reader directly to the very back. A German blog has detailed these tactics as well, although it seems the German Amazon store (much smaller than the U.S. one) is cracking down on this now…

Source: SCAMAZON – Amazon “Kindle Unlimited” Scammers Netting Millions

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JZ added Comment: On March 14th Amazon posted the following ‘Global Announcement’ in response to this:


We have recently received a number of questions on topics such as TOC formatting and our policing of abuse and fraud among KDP publishers.

In many cases, putting a book’s Table of Contents (TOC) at the end of a book can create a poor experience for readers, and in general we suggest authors locate TOCs to the beginning of a book. If the formatting of a book results in a poor experience or genuine reader confusion, or is designed to unnaturally inflate sales or pages read, we will take action to remove titles and protect readers. That said, absent any other issues of quality, locating the TOC at the end of a book is not in itself outside of our guidelines.

Relatedly, some in the community have contacted us about the activities of a small minority of publishers who may attempt to inflate sales or pages read through the use of various techniques, such as adding unnecessary or confusing hyperlinks, misplacing the TOC or adding distracting content. We both actively police for this type of activity on our own as well as investigate when the community points out such abuse (thank you to those of you who have helped us in this regard). Any abuse we find results in the immediate suspension of a title. Some circumstances, including repeat offenses, will result in KDP account suspension. In any abuse cases, we will also remove related pages read from the allocation of the monthly KDP Select Global Fund.

We have updated the Kindle Guidelines to reflect the above. As you might expect, our guidelines – along with our processes to identify abuse — will continue to evolve. Our goal is to most effectively meet the needs of the many authors who so constructively support this community and Kindle readers.


The Kindle Direct Publishing Team

Pay with a poem: cafes around the world to exchange coffee for poetry | Books | The Guardian

Annoyed at the rising price of your coffee, and a hipsterisation so extreme that it’s apparently become a symbol of gentrification? Offended at your barista for not rewarding your loyalty with a free latte? You can forget it all on Monday and put your literary talent to use instead, by exchanging a handwritten poem for coffee in 1,280 outlets around the world.

To mark World Poetry Day on 21 March, an Austrian coffee roasting company is offering a shot of caffeine to customers who hand in a poem. More than 100,000 people gobbled up the offer last year according to coffee company Julius Meinl. The firm has now have expanded it from 23 into 34 countries, mostly in central and eastern Europe, but also including locations in London, Edinburgh, the US, Canada and Australia. You can find a map of this year’s participating establishments here.

Source: Pay with a poem: cafes around the world to exchange coffee for poetry | Books | The Guardian

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How Social Networks Play Favorites, and Who the Real Winners Are | Literary Hub

To the partisans of social media, a sudden burst of viral fame is a path to success. The contours of this path may be elusive, but that is all the more reason to spend more time on social media, honing your brand, developing your voice, cultivating your audience, and all of the other vaguely buzzy practices around which a flourishing consulting industry has developed. But as with semantic analysis, the people achieving success here are not those trying to go viral at all costs, but rather those selling the shovels. It’s the writers of how-to books, the leaders of viral-marketing seminars, and the highly paid advisors, experts, and keepers of metrics who have profited handsomely from the hunger to go from unknown to famous through some social media alchemy. And most of all, it’s the platform owners.

Some of us have something tangible to sell—the rise of self-publishing…

Source: How Social Networks Play Favorites | Literary Hub

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Here Is The Full Author Earnings Report From DBW 2016

Author Earnings has been chronicling the rise of self-publishing on Amazon and is one of the definitive sources on how their sales directly affect the big 5 publishers. Data Guy has been quietly anonymous this entire time, he has been responsible for diving deep into big data and making sense of it for the entire publishing industry. He spoke publicly for the first time at Digital Book World 2016 and here is his entire Power Point presentation.

Source: Here Is The Full Author Earnings Report From DBW 2016

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Why Do Kids Prefer To Read Print And Not Ebooks?

Nearly two-thirds of children will always want to read print books even though there are ebooks available. Literacy advocate and teacher Donna Rasmussen thinks this is because “We are tactile creatures. We will judge books by their covers and that’s okay,” she said. “We do many creative things with books we can’t with digital, like building a poetry out of book spines.”

Recent research conducted by BookTrust in association with the Open University revealed that 76% of surveyed parents found their children prefer print books for reading for pleasure and 69% prefer print books for educational reading. As for interactive e-books…

Source: Why Do Kids Prefer To Read Print And Not Ebooks?

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Literary Trumps: Crowdfunding a publishing revolution | Features | Culture | The Independent


These are strange times for the book. Technology now enables us to shrink an entire personal library onto an electronic device the size and weight of a single paperback. Yet at the same time, it is also bringing back one of the most old-fashioned ways of funding how books reach readers.

Source: Literary Trumps: Crowdfunding a publishing revolution | Features | Culture | The Independent

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Amazon, spam and the biggest slushpile in history. | Literary Agents Advice (Could also be known as – “Just How Do You Tag/Meta Your Books Properly?”)

(Subtitle: What would Google do?)

(Series title: A spam-filled, junk-rich, keyword-dense post of suspense, intrigue, mystery and spam, spam, spam, spam, spam.)

at offers a strong answer to the question you arrived with? Or do you find the results a bafflingly hard-to-read collection of titles, only some of which look like books of real quality?

If you don’t know what I mean, try…

Source: Amazon, spam and the biggest slushpile in history. | Literary Agents Advice

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E-book Sales Tumbled in October 2015 – According to the A.A.P. at least

Sales of adult e-books dropped 22.0% in the month, compared to same period last year, according to figures released by the Association of American Publishers through its StatShot program.

JZ Comment:  As with previous “falling ebook sales” reports, please always temper this news with the fact that these figures are ONLY from those who report figures. In this this case, only 1205 publishers of the AAP reported the figures that produced this report. With the huge ebook business generated by authors moving to self-publishing platforms it can’t simply be extrapolated from these reports that the entire ebook industry is seeing ‘plunging’ sales. It is highly likely that the ebook industry, as a whole, is seeing continued growth.

Source: E-book Sales Tumbled in October

Yet another 'Ebook Sales Tumbling' report, this time from the AAP Click To Tweet

Write a Book with James Patterson

Are you a budding mystery or thriller writer? How about the chance in a million to collaborate with one of the best?

James Patterson is giving authors the chance to do just that via his MasterClass site. You have to be enrolled in MasterClass, then submit you idea for a novel. There’s only one month left to do it, as it closes on March 22nd. For full details visit the MasterClass website.

Cash prizes are also on the line for those who don’t quite make it.

Source: MasterClass

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