Amazon imprints (the trad publishing arms of Amazon) often come onto that radar of successful self-published authors. In this episode I talk (for the first time) to an author who has had years of experience working with an Amazon imprint (47North). We also talk about the various programs that Amazon has experimented with, from Kindle Serials, to Kindle Unlimited.
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Adam Haviaras – Another author, who connected me with Roberto.
Kindle Serials – How Roberto got his start.
47North – The Amazon imprint that Roberto got his start with.
Westmarch Publishing – The author collaborative made up of previous Amazon imprint authors!
Kindle World’s – Roberto wrote in Neal Stephenson’s Kindle world.
Traditional to Hybrid
Roberto started writing with an Amazon imprint (47North) who picked him up for his Kindle Serial in 2011. When he was picked up, a lot of authors were getting deals with imprints, but he says that it seems that they have pulled back a bit in the last few years. As Amazon pursued the serial program less, Roberto found that they weren’t going to pick up his third book, but he didn’t mind self-publishing it, they had established him, and built him a reader base, and now he could cash in on the 70% rate.
Although Roberto isn’t doing the serial program anymore, he would still strongly recommend getting involved with it if possible. The deadlines, the feedback, the building of a readership, were all huge benefits to him.
Something that is regularly wondered about by authors considering working with an Amazon imprint is how much promotion they are going to do for you. They don’t give any specifics in the contracts, but they are Amazon, so have an enormous power to sell your books. Roberto says that he was pleased with the amount of promotion that working with 47North got him.
The Amazon program where readers can pay a monthly fee and read an unlimited number of books (that are opted into the program). Authors are given a royalty payment on each book, but it is significantly less than what they would get if there book was $2.99 or above. The rate has been going down for several months, and has caused quite a stir in the indie world. For the first two books that are with 47North, he doesn’t lose out with Unlimited because he has a guaranteed rate per book, the third book which he self-published gets 70%, but is suffering from Unlimited.
Roberto had built an audience thanks to Amazon, and when they didn’t want to pick him up for the third book, he realized that he could use this loyal audience to help him pay for the things that Amazon were paying for previously. He started a Kickstarter campaign and raised his target of $2,500.
At the same time that Roberto’s third book was not picked up, the same thing was happening to a lot of other authors that he was connected to. They were connected via Facebook and decided to start a publishing collaborative, where they would barter each others skills. Roberto is a graphic artist, so he was able to offer cover design. This collaborative is called Westmarch Publishing.
- Roberto writes during the downtime on his flights. No distractions. What time do you have where there is nothing else to do? Can you utilize this time better?
- Set some deadlines. Roberto found himself far more productive (and producing better writing) when on a strict series of deadlines. Set yourself multiple goals, not just one end point of “finish book,” write them on a calendar, and get to it. You don’t need to have someone else holding you to these, but if you lack a bit of self-discipline, this sure can help!
- Look into the Amazon Serials program. Highly recommended by Roberto.
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