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[Publisher] Amazon Shorts

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Bo Sullivan

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I have been invited to submit short stories for Amazon Shorts. I wonder if any of you have done so and what your experience has been with submitting your work.

Please could you let me know.

Thanks,
Barbara
 

endless rewrite

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They only thing I know about Amazon Shorts is that it is very popular with PA authors and like PA I don't see the point of it. Who is even going to know your work is on there apart from family and friends?
 

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Well if I was searching for an author's work on Amazon I would expect to come across/be given links to their other available work including short stories on there. But that's the problem isn't it, usually people have to know who you or have prior knowledge of the book to find it/look for it online. People may make the effort to search out everything available by a well known author but what about everybody else?

Saying that I use Amamzon to buy books all the time and I have never been linked to short stories available by an author or seen such an option advertised on the site. If I hadn't seen a lot of PA authors talking about their Amazon Short fiction I wouldn't even know it existed. I would be curious to know how it all works by any AW authors who have fiction on there. How do people know the stories are there? How are they selling? What is Amazon doing to make buyers aware that these stories are available?
 
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victoriastrauss

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Amazon Shorts was originally presented as an outlet for established writers--supposedly, Amazon would be inviting writers to participate and dealing with agents. I don't know when that changed, but now they appear to be willing to accept anyone. There doesn't seem to be any barrier or selectivity other than that you must have at least one book for sale on Amazon.

You have to grant Amazon exclusive rights for six months; thereafter, the grant is nonexclusive. They don't take your copyright.

Some well-known writers have participated in the program. One of them recently reported that over the course of a year, he earned about $15 from his story (which was picked up by several "best of year" anthologies). Since Amazon won't cut a check under $25, he has yet to see a penny.

- Victoria
 

Bo Sullivan

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I gave the author contract to my boss, who is a solicitor and he said I would be assigning perpetual rights to Amazon. I will know more on Friday.

Barbara
 

victoriastrauss

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Duped said:
I gave the author contract to my boss, who is a solicitor and he said I would be assigning perpetual rights to Amazon. I will know more on Friday.
Does your boss have experience with publishing and/or intellectual property law? If so, he may not be the best person to be evaluating the contract. The terms and conditions in publishing contracts are very specialized--to get good advice, you need someone with experience in the field.

- Victoria
 

Bo Sullivan

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The Amazon author contract states that the rights to Amazon are perpetual. After six months there is an 80/20 split of the Amazon short in question in Amazon's favour. My boss, the lawyer, interpreted it exactly as I did. The rights of the Amazon short submitted are perpetual. He concurs and I agree, that it means that Amazon have rights even after you have stopped displaying your work. OK at 0.49c a download, no-one is going to get rich, but certainly never the author of the short story submitted; and in my case, 9 short stories which they have requested. If the short stories are ever published, have I assigned my rights to Amazon for the rest of my life for that work (perpetual)? That is the way my lawyer and I interpret the author contract, but then we are in the UK.

If there is anyone out there who reads it in a different way, please let me know.

I contacted the Royal Society of Literature today (in London, England) to ask the question: If I want to enter my short stories in the RSL competition (entry cut off date 14th February 2007), and also enter them on Amazon Shorts, will this be allowed: Answer - No.

The Amazon Shorts programme is a considered a publication. Therefore, if the work submitted to Amazon is published on Amazon, it is considered as assigned to them for first publication rights and when a new publishing contract is entered into, Amazon have an 80/20 split. That is the way the Amazon contract is worded but I might be wrong.


Barbara
 

victoriastrauss

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According to Amazon's guidelines, the rights become nonexclusive after 6 months. Which means that you could sell the story elsewhere (as a reprint). I'm not sure what you mean by an 80/20 split.

Can you post the exact language here so we can see it?

- Victoria
 

HapiSofi

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The Amazon Shorts page doesn't feel to me like there are people involved with the project who know what they're doing.
 
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Bo Sullivan

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Now that my Nine Amazon Shorts are live on Amazon.com I am very happy with the way they are selling. The royalty split is 60/40 Amazon/Author. They have accepted another twelve of my Shorts which will go live in a couple of weeks time.

Thanks to everyone who answered queries in this thread.
 

Robert Rohloff

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If you are a Canadian writer you can not buy your Amazon short up here in Canada. I guess it is illegal to send the stories to Canada. So, that leaves out all your family and friends.
 

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It depends on what sort of sales make you happy anyway. From what I hear sales are too low to consider it a market, c.f. a promotional tool.
 

Bo Sullivan

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Obviously no author will get rich from works submitted to Amazon Shorts from a 0.49c 60/40 split. However, I am gauging which of my Amazon Shorts sells the best with a view to expanding the manuscript and turning it into a book. So far two of my mythological stories have sold the most and appeal to children and adults.

I know that Amazon Shorts are only available to US residents at present and I am a UK author, but undeterred, I still sent in my short stories. I already have an offer of publication for twelve of my short stories in book form.

Amazon has stated to me that it hopes to make Amazon Shorts available worldwide in the future, although at present there are tax and nexus problems with turning that prospect into a reality.

Barbara
 

Bo Sullivan

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By the way, I am no longer a Publish America author and have not been for over a year. Although I am happy with the content of my two historical books, being The King's Quinto the Life and Times of Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618) and Oscar Defoe and the Victorian Workhouse 1834.

Barbara
 

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As a testing ground the issue would be that the Amazon Shorts market is apparently very is small, and not representive of the novels market. I could see it being useful as something you could put out as a cheap 'taste test' to offer readers not ready to pony up for a novel by an unknown.
 

Bo Sullivan

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Like I said, no-one will get rich from publishing with Amazon Shorts. Those of you who are buying Amazon Shorts with the sole purpose of ripping them to shreds for sheer pleasure, and displaying your results on message boards, display a certain kind of spite and malice that will not particularly endear you to your reading public. Is that why you hide behind false names? Presumably those of you doing this are writers, but surely not all of you are published authors.

My Amazon Shorts are doing very well, and I am pleased to participate on the Amazon Shorts program. The Mysterious Island has been in the Hot 100 twice in the last month and that makes me very happy, since I wrote it, albeit ten years ago. If any of you want to buy it, analyze the mythological content based on Ovid's Metamorphosis, which I have studied since childhood, then be my guest. If on the other hand you would like to buy any of my other Amazon Shorts (nine so far) with the sole intention of making a critical analysis then please do so. For every author there will always be praise from some quarters and criticism from other quarters, although the credentials of the critic are rarely displayed.

Barbara O'Sullivan
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CaoPaux

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Like I said, no-one will get rich from publishing with Amazon Shorts. Those of you who are buying Amazon Shorts with the sole purpose of ripping them to shreds for sheer pleasure, and displaying your results on message boards, display a certain kind of spite and malice that will not particularly endear you to your reading public. Is that why you hide behind false names? Presumably those of you doing this are writers, but surely not all of you are published authors.
Nick Mamatas is hardly anonymous, so I can only presume you are referring to me; yet I have not bought stories to shred, so I am left confused.

In any case, payment problems aside, Amazon Shorts has degenerated into a display site, with all attendant problems. Dismiss me as you wish, but that does not change the dynamics of what you are getting yourself into.
 

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