Tag Archives: Amazon

Tax Chips at Book Profits

Sometimes I question why most authors are so under-valued. They spend so long writing their books – literally months a few hours every day – then they’re paid small amounts for each book and finally they’re taxed. If you reach the thousands of copies purchased each day, then the endeavour might be worth it, but most of us authors are overjoyed when purchases number a handful a week.

I have just gone through the agony of an online ‘Tax Interview’ in order to print some of my books in softcopy through CreateSpace.

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Taxes due no matter how little

Now, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the digital opportunity for writers provided by Amazon and digital publishers like Kobo and Issuu. They gave me the confidence to take my writing to the next level. But governments have now realised there is a stream … well maybe a trickle … of revenue they were not tapping into. Consequently we writers have to register as foreigners if we’re earning money from the US through Amazon.

The process has taken me a couple of hours – not because it was particularly difficult but because the terms are described in legal-speak and not given an explanation in common english. I’m sure those for whom english in a not a first language must be even more perplexed.

CreateSpace’s Taxing Tax Interview

Finally, after searching on several search terms I finally came across thirty-something blogger Catherine Howard’s  informative post that answered the one question I couldn’t find an answer for anywhere else, even after reading Amazon’s CreateSpace Tax Information Guide.

Catherine’s Blog on Completing Your Tax Interviews is a godsend in that she has taken the time to capture the full process in images. I would highly recommend that you have this open on your second screen, or even (said in muted tones with a touch of apology for my old-fashioned view) printed out. 

Thank-you Catherine. I’m finally ready to start researching how to put up my new title on CreateSpace.

Heather Sylvawood, Writer at WriteGear
www.writegear.co

Think big

Author: Let Readers Read Your Writing

You’ve written a book – a novel. You’ve had friends read it and have received encouraging comments. You could go ahead and publish on Amazon Kindle, Kobo, CreateSpace or Smashwords. (These links take you their publishing pages.)

However, if you’re not quite ready for total exposure you can take advantage of Wattpad – a website that publishes new and old writing a chapter at a time.  You can read another writer’s style and decide whether it is for you, then go look for them in the online book stores. Or you can simply sample and read on – a chapter at a time – the work of authors who appeal.

That sort of dip-in and leave or come-again reading without having to commit any cost is useful in many ways. You can use the talents of others to compare or lift your own writing style.

James Joyce  – masterful writing still

I was able to click into “The Dubliners”, a collection of short stories by James Joyce (now out of copyright). I read Joyce’s story “The Sisters”. It’s written in the style of last century, but what stimulated my writer mind was the subtlety of the revelation of characters. It was not the sisters but the character of the priest which is revealed, hint by hint. Joyce’s use of language, though now apparently old-fashioned, is masterful still.

Wattpad for aspiring authors

Here are a few trending titles on Wattpad right now:

      

The real benefit of Wattpad for an indie author with a completed book is the option you have of uploading your own works to the website (unpaid, of course) and testing out the response of readers. You could actually write your story online in their text editor, but I would urge you to copy and paste into the editor and follow the instructions to upload your story. It’s a great way of testing out the potential popularity for a serial.

Be careful, though, that you’re not infringing any of the rules of the websites where you may want to publish later, e.g. Amazon has strict rules about how much of a work may be published elsewhere if you choose to enrol in the Kindle Direct program and receive higher percentage royalties.

Become an educated author

No I’m not advocating that you go out and spend megabucks on books and writing/publishing or marketing courses. The information is out there and ready for the taking if you are prepared to spend time sifting through the dross. Look for blogs by successful writers – those with more than one book on the online shelves. Here are two I suggest you check out:

  • Non-fiction author Tim Ferriss’ How to Write a Bestselling Book This Year blog. This link to Tim’s blog is littered with other links that will take you to more information. Tim is author of the “Four Hour Workweek”, “The Four Hour Body” and several others in the same vein.
  • Well researched fiction author, Joanna Penn writes at The Creative Penn blog and invites in equally talented authors to talk about the processes they use to make them great. Joanna adds podcasts to her blogs which you an download and listen to at a later date.

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Of course, I’d like you to check my own WriteGear Facebook page where I post many links to the results of my research, and you can enrol at my www.writegear.co website to access the long list of how-to writing and publishing videos.

All of these blogs and websites require you to register, but the pay-back for writers who want to learn and succeed will be tremendous.  And who knows? You might even discover new authors you’d like to follow.

In the creative flow – Heather Sylvawood, Amazon Author

Write blogger because you must

 

I have just been watching a YouTube video uploaded seven years ago. It is a speech by Toni Morrison as she accepted her award for Literary Services at the PEN Awards presentations in 2008.

Her words struck me as so prophetic and even now, almost a decade later, the message to bloggers, fiction writers, playwrights and poets is as an urgent reminder to not stop writing.

Action is in the word

Toni Morrison has tackled major issues in her writing. In ‘A Mercy’ her theme is the issue of slavery and how some people can assume they have the right to exercise power over unwilling slaves.  Although her novels look at the issue from a black person’s point-of-view, the implications are more wide ranging: while any population seeks to dominate (enslave) another and force their will on them, we will never have peace.

You can see her Amazon Author page HERE.

The word and writers need protection

The message I took away from her PEN award acceptance speech is that authors/writers in any genre, who expose human experience, or name the as yet unnamed activity in the world are activists. They expose the unthinkable; they draw attention to the issues; they awaken people who are in a coma about reality. If you want to hear what she said watch the video below.

Toni Morrison accepts her 2008 PEN award.

So fellow bloggers and writers – keep writing and blogging; keep researching; keep telling your story. You are the key that others will use to dig deeper, to challenge the status quo, and seek a peaceful wise world.

Heather Sylvawood, Amazon Author.

Is self-publishing and promotion keeping you out of the Indie market?

In past decades, writers, good and bad, have been turned away from the gates of traditional publishing.  The published author was often the one who had managed to swim through a sea of rejections and keep crashing against the seawalls until they found a way in.

Self-publishing has changed in 5 years

Nowadays, with traditional publishers fighting Amazon, and self-publishers squabbling amongst themselves, you could be led to believe that becoming self-published is easy. You just have to write the book and put it up on Amazon.

Maybe that was true of self-publishing five years ago, but successful self-publishing today is a combination of carefully planned:

  • Writing for a popular market
  • Good editing (as it still is in traditional publishing)
  • Well designed book covers that catch attention
  • A carefully crafted launch strategy
  • Continual self-promotion

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Today you have to develop a ‘presence’ on the Internet with Blogs, author websites, a regular presence on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, popping up with comments on other sites where writers/readers might be – like Goodreads website.

Self-publishing success = quantity

So where is the time for writing goals? Well, it seems from the blogs and books I read, authors can no longer linger over the fine details of a book until it reaches perfection. Instead they must be writing a book a month, or as writer Alex Foster in Writing a Kindle Book a Week suggests writing quantity and accepting smaller income from each publication.

Video Titled: How To Write More And Create A Daily Writing Habit

Joanna Penn, author of three thrillers, is setting her sights on a writing goal  of creating three books a year using a method suggested by authors Dean Wesley Smith and Kris Rush The video is well worth a watch and you might want to follow-up with a look at Wesley Smith’s website where he demonstrates his method by publicly revealing how many words per day he puts on paper.(http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/productivity-workshop-starting/).

Finding the magical key to self-publishing

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Get the picture?

Currently challenged as I am, with editing my completed novel, juggling life and expectations of others, plus a part-time contract, how I can achieve a greater output eludes me. The trouble for me is that there are so many blogs and books to read on the subject, I don’t have time to discover the magical key to major output AND successful self-publishing.

So hello other writers who are struggling with this plethora of ideas and options. Self-publishing isn’t easier; it’s just more possible with a lot more work.

Heather Sylvawood, (struggling) Amazon Author