View Full Version : Amazon Kindle / Digital Text Platform

Jacob Spire
01-26-2008, 10:49 PM
Is it safe? Can I really trust them with my bank information and social security identificcation?

01-26-2008, 11:40 PM
Is this the Amazon Digital Text Platform (http://dtp.amazon.com/mn/signin)?

There are some folks on here who have books available in the Kindle format and I'm sure they'll be happy to answer all of your questions.

02-26-2009, 12:54 AM
I've written my novel and tried and failed to get an agent interested. I'd still like people to read it but I don't really want to try self publishing. However, I now see that anyone can go ahead and transform their novel into a Kindle book and offer it up on Amazon. I was wondering if anyone here had done that and what their experience was?

03-01-2009, 06:15 AM
I've seen the advertisements for Kindle, but haven't looked into it. But, before you decide to go that route - you say you haven't been able to get an agent (you're not alone there, by the way) - how many queries have you sent out to agents, have you had requests for partials.

If you haven't exhausted all the possible agents out there for your work (and have you searched on agentquery for listings?), you might want to see whether someone in the query letter section of share your work (forum a bit below this one) can offer some comments on your query by posting it for suggestions. You can also post the first chapter (or 1,000 to 2,500 words thereof) for people in share your work to offer comments and suggestions. It's possible that you have a good story but your query is lacking and it's also possible your story wasn't quite ready to query yet.

So think about taking a look at those options. You can take a look at share your work before you post anything to get an idea of how things work. There's also a good advice for newbies in the main share your work forum at the top of the share your work subpage. Puma

03-04-2009, 10:34 PM
If you've tried querying hundreds of agents already (yes, literally) and are ready to give up on that, you can always try editors directly before self-publishing. You also can wait until your next WIP is ready and if you get an agent for that, show them this one afterwards. The same project can find interest even in people who passed on a query before under the right circumstances.

If you do self-publish, do your research so you know what to expect and can sell as many copies as possible. Personally I view that as an ultimate last resort.

01-15-2010, 12:12 AM
Has anyone used amazon.com's Digital Text Platform to publish a Kindle book? If so, how long did it take you to go from "ready" to live so that your book appeared in the listings?

01-15-2010, 01:36 AM
Screw publishing direct to Kindle. Just go to smashwords. The meat grinder will put your book in multiple ebook formats, including kindle. Through affiliate contracts, this means your book will show up on amazon, barnes and noble, and bunches of other places.

Formatting to Kindle is super hard. It takes days to get your book published after you upload it. They only give you a 35% advance. (If you direct your buyers to smashwords, they'll give you 85% of the price you set.) You have to set a price on Amazon. You can't give it away for free.

(Um, incidentally, I don't work for smashwords or anything. I just <3 them.)

01-15-2010, 01:49 AM
The problem with any self-publishing, (e or otherwise), is promoting and name recognition. If no one knows it's out there, then no one is going to search for it in the vast jungle of self-pubbed work already out there. This does not include the books already out there with traditional publishers who have the larger promotion departments getting their authors name where ever they can...

Smashmouth seems to be the better platform for overall control and ease, but you still need to promote like the dickens just to get a few sales.

Melanie Nilles
01-15-2010, 02:38 AM
It's not as hard as valeriec80 says. You just want a simple, clean format in html, which Word will do for you when you "Save As".

As for Smashwords, I like them, but I prefer going directly to Amazon's dtp for Kindle, mostly because I can see an up to the minute report of the numbers that have sold and put in a full blurb description. Smashwords limits the description to a specific number of characters. It's hard to get in the full blurb in their limited allowance.

AND by going directly to Amazon, you can see the reports for each month at any time, receive a direct 35% royalty not 35% of Smashword's 85% royalty. Last of all, you can enter your own publishing name, rather than have it show up as Smashwords, Inc. There are far more advantages to going directly to Amazon's dtp than routing through Smashwords.

01-15-2010, 09:17 AM
For me, it took Amazon about a week to make the Kindle version available after I clicked "Publish".

Their 35% royalty system is for the birds.

Melanie Nilles
01-15-2010, 05:48 PM
I'm not happy with it either, zpeteman, but it's better than 35% of 85% of the cover price. There's no reason Amazon needs to keep 65% when it's just bytes on a harddrive to store the books.

01-16-2010, 01:12 AM
Yeah, that's a sweet deal for Amazon! I think I will go the Amazon direct route because of the higher royalty, though I am having a little trouble with my formatting. I did it in Word, and all looks well, except for a random two paragraphs where the font suddenly gets large and underlined, for no apparent reason that I can see. It doesn't look like that in the Word doc.

01-16-2010, 02:55 AM
You'll have to ask Melanie how she got Word to look good on Kindle. I always had to go the search and replace route with html tags. But I do write html code, so it wasn't that hard for me to go that route.

I just don't get a lot of Kindle sales. Since publishing with Kindle in June, I've made like $50 from Kindle sales. I've made over $300 from Smashwords sales.

Like thothgard says, you've got to market yourself to sell anything. This means most of your sales will come from your efforts and your point of sale will most likely be your website. You'll get more sales from wherever it is that you direct people to buy your books. Which is why I direct my readers to Createspace for print books. Sure, the books are on Amazon, but I'd rather they buy from Createspace so that I get a higher royalty. If you offer your readers the option of buying via Kindle--one ebook format--or buying the same thing via smashwords--ten ebook formats--I think most people are going to go for smashwords.

What I'm saying is, sure, upload direct to Kindle if you'd like. I did that for several of my books. But offer some other ebook options as well, even if it's just a .pdf you're sending out via email after a paypal transaction. Not everyone who reads ebooks owns a Kindle.

In regards to your original question, my last book took three or four days to get "approved." Good luck!!

01-19-2010, 05:52 PM
Well, the book in question is currently in a print version with an ebook (PDF) through Lulu. I mainly just wanted to add a Kindle version and was trying to figure out how to do it. The formatting was a bit troublesome and Amazon seems to be taking a long time to go live since it has been in the "ready" state, and I was wondering how long it took people here to get in the search listings once they had uploaded their book. I have two other novels in Kindle versions (as well as print), but my publisher did that. This other book is self-published and so I have to do it myself. I don't expect a lot of Kindle sales; I'm more of a print author, but I like that the option is there.

Melanie Nilles
01-19-2010, 07:35 PM
Check your royalty payment/account information. I had trouble there in the set up and it was holding back the first book going live. I didn't realize it until I went back in and looked at it specifically. There wasn't anything wrong with the book itself. The second book I loaded went live within a couple days.

David Wisehart
04-12-2010, 11:26 PM
Formatting my book for Kindle took a few hours in Word, using HTML. The book went live three days after uploading to Amazon.

04-13-2010, 12:35 AM
I saw several references to Amazon's 35% royalty rate on Kindle books, but you should know that, at the end of June, I believe, Amazon is going to a 70% royalty. They're not doing this out of the goodness of their hearts, of course, but to match the royalty rate for the Ipad.

There are a few conditions to this higher royalty rate, mainly to do with giving Amazon the best price on your ebook and not pricing it too high as compared to a paper version, but I don't think they're too onerous.

04-16-2010, 10:14 PM
Good to know they are going to a higher royalty. I finally figured out how to do it. I had to e-mail them to get it live, however, as there was some kind of hold up.

06-25-2010, 08:18 PM
I am still very curious about this Kindle thing. While I understand thoroughly about not looking for self publishing until you've exhausted all other options (which I am nowhere near doing) I would like to see this question answered.

How do you view books published only in this format? If I wanted to buy a book someone had published in this manner, and they didn't have any resources beyond just word of mouth, how easy would it be to find?

How successful, typically, are books published this way compared to other routes of publishing, especially considering that book advertising is usually carried out by the author anyway? It seems beneficial to not have to give up royalties to a publisher.

Does this cost money to do? Or is it free?

Thanks for anyone who answers these.

06-25-2010, 10:15 PM
...especially considering that book advertising is usually carried out by the author anyway?.Sorry, but that's wrong. Book advertising to the public sells relatively few books. Just ask James Patterson. The extremely professional prime-time commercials for Max failed to increase its sales significantly over his other books in the series. Book marketing by publishers to booksellers sells lots of books. Book availability in bookstores sells books. Great word of mouth sells huge amounts of books *if* people can find them in bookstores.

Check the Kindle top sellers. Most are current bookstore bestsellers at an attractive price; some are commercially published backlist of successful authors/series sold for a dollar or less. You'll not often find a self-published book on the list, even if it's given away free. This is not promising for you to make money from a self-published Kindle edition. You are much better off working to get commercially published.