Have You Heard About Kindle Worlds?

In the August 19th, 2013 Kindle Direct Publishing newsletter, Amazon made a casual mention about Kindle Worlds.  Since this was a new tool I had never heard of (and I was about to do an Amazon workshop), of course I had to find out more.

To put it bluntly, Kindle Worlds is a place for writers to create fan fiction that Amazon will then publish and promote to their Kindle machines.  Here is a quote directly from their site:

“Kindle Worlds is a publication submission platform where you choose a licensed World, read the Content Guidelines for that World, write your story, upload that story, create a cover using free images or your own image, and accept a publishing contract with Amazon Publishing. It’s simple and it’s fast. Every Kindle Worlds story will be featured on Amazon.com and Kindle devices and apps. Review the steps below to learn how to publish your story.” (www.KindleWorlds.Amazon.com)

What kind of stories can you create?  Well… let’s say you’re a fan of the show “Vampire Diaries.”  Thanks to the licensing that Amazon purchased, you can now write a story for Vampire Diaries and submit it to Amazon.  If Amazon approves it, it gets published like a mini-book or like any other book you would publish on Amazon.  If you don’t have one already, Amazon even gives you an Author Central Dashboard and an Author Profile.  If you do have a published book already, you can claim those books in your Author Profile and it will end up being a very hand tool that ends up promoting your book.

(I will also say this, but don’t quote me… there are cases where self-published authors became hugely successful on their own, and then a Big Six publishing house came knocking on their door asking to buy the author’s “Print Rights” because they were so successful on Amazon.  Thus, it only makes sense that if you write an episode for a show like Vampire Diaries and it becomes hugely successful on Amazon, the show very well might come knocking on your door wanting to incorporate your story into their lineup.  I’m not saying it would for sure happen, but it only makes sense that it could.  After all, TV shows rely on fans to keep their shows going, and if you get enough fans from one of your products about their shows, they will want to take advantage of that for the cheapest rate possible.  It could create all kinds of possibilities in your writing career.  Just think on it… it could be a great way to get your foot into the Hollywood door, or to potentially meet someone from your favorite shows.)

To join Kindle Worlds, you just:
1. Sign up for the free account.
2. Pick the World you want to write for.
3. Read the guidelines for writing your story.
4. Write your story.
5. Submit your story and wait for Amazon to give you feedback.
6. If your story is picked, you create a book cover and then it gets published just like any other ebook.

Other things to know about Kindle Worlds:

• For Books over 10,000 words, you get 35% in royalties.
• For Books under 10,000 words, you get 20% royalties (although this is still in the works and may change in the future).
• Amazon prices the book depending on the size of the book, and the price is generally between $0.99 and $3.99.
• Since this is a new program for Amazon, you can bet they are going to market the heck out of it to make sure it’s successful, especially since they are getting a bigger chunk of the pie.  So far, they say on their website that they will market the books through their Kindles and on the website, but right now, sky’s the limit with this program.

I don’t know about you, but this program screams “Great Marketing Tool for Amazon Authors” to me.

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EricaBarton_October.jpgE.T. Barton is a researcher and a published author.  She is doing a workshop for the Los Angeles Romance Authors between September 1st and September 21st, 2013 called “The Amazon Bookseller’s Toolbox: Everything You Could Possibly Want to Know About Amazon…and then some.”

For more information about the workshop, go to:
www.LARARWA.com/Amazon-Sales-Class.

For more information about E.T. Barton, check out her website at www.EricaBarton.com.

4 Easy Ways to Sell More Books on Amazon

4 Easy Ways to Sell More Books on Amazon

Want to sell more books on Amazon?  Try these 4 Quick and Easy Tips:

1. FOR BLOGGERS:  If you have a hosted blog, use an Add-On or Plug-In to condense long ugly Amazon URLs into something pretty and memorable.  For example, WordPress Plug-In “Pretty Link Lite” can turn an Amazon link like this…

http://www.amazon.com/Years-Worth-Bookkeeping-Step-ebook/dp/B005GFAB3K/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1375591859&sr=8-1

into this…

http://MyWebsite.com/BookTitle

Obviously, the second link is more attractive for use on marketing materials as well as IN your book and in your Author Bio, and it’s easier for your readers to remember should you happen to mention it at a book signing or in an online forum.

(ADDED BONUS:  Use your Amazon Affiliate URL to your book instead in order to make as much as 15% more income through those links to your books.)

2.  LINK WEBSITE TEXT TO YOUR BOOK PAGE:  Whether you have a website or a blog, you should definitely create links from the TEXT within your blog or webpages directly to your book.  Every time you mention the book, the characters in the book or even a series name, you can link those words to your Amazon Book Sales Page.  Make sure those links are a different color so that people will click on them.  Text Links tend to make readers more curious than website URLs.  It’s a tricky way to get clicks.

(For WordPress, I like the MaxBlog Press Ninja Plug-In because it can instantly create thousands of links throughout your site.  Go to www.EricaBarton.com/MaxBlog to watch the video about what this plug-in can do.  It’s a major time saver.)

3. WIDGET UP:  As mentioned before, if you are an Amazon Affiliate, you can make as much as 15% more on your book every time you sell your book from your site.  Pretty Links and Text Links are one way.  Banner and Carousel Widgets are another.

When you sign up for an Affiliate account, you will see an “Add to Widget” button appear at the top of any Amazon page.  Click on it and you can add anything to a custom widget, which can become a banner or even a carousel.  Amazon then offers an HTML code which you can copy and paste anywhere on a website or blog.  Use these banners or carousels to display all of your books in one series.  Title it “My Books” and put it in your sidebar under widgets or in your site’s header or footer.  Then, these widgets will appear on every page of your site.

4. GET THEM INTO YOUR NEWSLETTER.  Forget Contests!  Don’t even bother when it comes to getting readers to join your newsletter.  Instead, bribe them with either a short “Prequel” to your series (5K to 20K words max) or the “Missing Scenes” from your books (the scenes that didn’t make the publisher’s cut).  Tell them that when they join your newsletter, they can get these freebies just for being a fan.  PDF those files and upload to them your website, then get the URL of the files.  Next, use a mail response company like Aweber, MailChimp or GetResponse to manage these subscribers, and IN YOUR WELCOME OR CONFIRMATION EMAILS, PASTE YOUR LINKS TO THE PDF FREEBIES.  Readers only see those links when they add themselves to your list, and you don’t have to do anything else ever.

Finally, advertise these free bonuses in your books’ Author Bio Pages as well as on your website.  If the bio is in the beginning of the book and people download the sample, they will see there is a freebie and they may join the newsletter before they buy the book just to check out your writing style.

ADDED BONUS:  The Mini-Prequel I just mentioned (if it’s okay with your publisher), put it up on Amazon yourself and give it away for free.  This will suck people into your book series and give them a taste of your writing style.  The book doesn’t have to be long to be effective.  It just has to be entertaining.

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EricaBarton_October.jpgE.T. Barton is a researcher and a writer.  She has published multiple books on Amazon in both the business section and the romance section. She will be holding an online workshop from September 1-21, 2013 entitled “The Amazon Bookseller’s Toolbox:  Everything You Could Possibly Want to Know About Amazon… and Then Some.”  For more information about this workshop, go to her website www.EricaBarton.com, or go to the chapter website to sign up before September 1st at www.LARARWA.com/Amazon-Sales-Class.

What Age are Men Most Likely to Get Divorced in America?

As a writer, it’s always so much fun to come up with random and bizarre questions and then get to do the research to find the answer. One such question I came up with recently was when I was researching for one of the books in my Wannabe Spy Club series. That question: “At what age are men most likely to get divorced in America?”

Actually, the real question I had was: “What is the divorce rate in America?” However, as I was doing the research for this much less interesting question, I came across an article that actually detailed out divorce rates by age and sex. Looking at the statistics, I suddenly found an answer to the much more interesting question of who gets divorced when…and thus the topic of this blog post. So, for those of you who came to this site just because of the question in the title, here is the answer*:

According to 2011 divorce statistics, men that get married at the following ages have the corresponding divorce rates (Age When Married / Percent of Divorce):

  • Married Before 20 years old / 11.7% are likely to get divorced…
  • 20 to 24 years old / 38.8%
  • 25 to 29 years old / 22.3%
  • 30 to 34 years old / 11.6%
  • 35 to 39 years old / 6.5%

For women, the rates are as follows:

  • Married Before 20 years old / 27.6% are likely to get divorced…
  • 20 to 24 years old / 36.6%
  • 25 to 29 years old / 16.4%
  • 30 to 34 years old / 8.5%
  • 35 to 39 years old / 5.1%

What I can’t help but conclude from this information (in my own twisted way), is that it seems the best time to snag a man is either before he turns 20, or after he turns 30. The “before 20″ part I happen to find especially interesting. Does that mean that a man’s “first love” is likely enough to last him a lifetime?

As for women, it seems the best time for a woman to settle down is any time after 25. That’s a good argument for anyone with an over-romantic daughter… “Wait until after college.”

If you find this article interesting, you should definitely check out the original article. You might be surprised to see the statistics on religious couples divorce rates versus agnostics and atheists. (I know I was surprised.)

* Source: http://divorcerate2011.com/divorce-updates

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Erica Barton is a full time blogger, writer and researcher. She spends most of her time focusing on the three “R’s”: Reading books, ‘riting for fun and profit, and Riding her motorcycle. You can find out more about Erica at www.EricaBarton.com.