Tip for #indieauthors Check your Royalty payments! #selfpub #indiepub

This is just a warning to other self published authors who might not be aware of the 30% tax withholding that’s applied to Non-US citizens royalty payments. This affects Amazon, Createspace etc. Maybe you’re a new self published author, or hoping to self publish in the near future. If so, read on and learn from my mistake…

When I checked my royalty payment due from Amazon US book sales and KENP pages read, I realised there was a 30% tax withholding fee. At first I thought it was a mistake, then I thought why the hell hadn’t I noticed it before? They don’t hide the fact from you, I just hadn’t paid any attention to that column until now. Looking down the list, each month I’ve been deducted 30% on my US royalties (haven’t told the husband yet!).

So I’ve spent the morning trying to find out what went wrong when I did the tax interview on Amazon back in 2015 and how I can rectify the issue. I’ve googled, checked forums and blog posts, cursed and pulled out my hair.

Finally, I re-did the tax interview on Amazon and Createspace and added my non-US tax reference. Now its showing as 0.0% tax withholding. It’s a huge relief and turned out to be a very simple solution. If only I thought to do it when I registered as self employed last year.

So this is a word of caution, although maybe I’m the only one silly enough not to check their royalty reports properly. I also want to ask a question of those more clued up than me on the whole royalty payment and tax process. Is there any chance Amazon will kindly refund me the 30% underpayments which started in June last year?

Does anyone know how to go about requesting that refund, or have you any experience of trying to get your money back?

If not, it’s back to google and the forums for me.

#Tuesdaybookblog #Bookreview Getting Book Reviews by @RayneHall #indieauthors

Getting Book Reviews by Rayne Hall

Part of the Writer’s Craft Series

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Blurb

Reviews help sell books.
When browsing online for their next read, most readers are drawn to the books with many reviews. More and more readers glance at what other readers have to say about a book before they hit the ‘buy now’ button. The more people have read and liked the book, the more they want to experience it for themselves. This is a known psychological factor called ‘social evidence’, and it plays a big role in purchasing decisions.
The more reviews your book has, the better, especially if they are genuine, personal, thoughtful and positive. Reviews can multiply your sales and catapult your book to the top of bestseller lists – but how do you get them?
Perhaps you’re a new author and can’t get those crucial early reviews to start the train rolling. Maybe you’re a seasoned author and your books have garnered reviews, but not as many as you need to break out. Or perhaps you’ve gone the corporate publishing route, and find that your publisher’s publicist isn’t getting your book the attention it needs.
This book shows you many proven strategies to get the reviews your book deserves. Instead of urging you to labour through tedious, spirit-draining procedures, I’ll reveal quick, fun, empowering tricks.
All my suggestions are legitimate and ethical. In this book you won’t find methods for manipulating, faking and cheating. Strengthen your readers’ bond with you, don’t sabotage it.
Most of the methods I suggest are free, although some incur expenses. You will definitely need to spend time. You can apply them all these techniques, or cherry-pick the ones you like now and keep the rest for another time or a different book.
At the end of most chapters, I’m sharing mistakes I made and learnt from. They all seemed a good idea at the time.
Rayne

My Review

First thoughts

Since I self-published for the first time in 2015, I’ve been trying to increase my book’s profile on Amazon by getting more reviews. This book sounded perfect to help me do that.

Summary

Each chapter in the book covers your options when trying to gain reviews. They state the method, along with pros and cons for each and lessons learnt by the author. There were chapters on things like beta readers, approaching amazon reviewers, review circles and general product review agencies.

Writing Style

The book has a friendly, easy to read style just as the previous book of Rayne Hall’s I read and reviewed recently. Why does my book not sell? 20 Simple Fixes

Issues

My only real issue was that I’d already learnt alot of this by myself the long and hard way! It would’ve been great to have a manual like this to work through, to save time and effort.

Final thoughts

I have stumbled my way throughout the process of self-publishing and the same can be said for the way I’ve tried to get reviews. I have made connections with some brilliant book bloggers and gained some wonderful reviews, but I wish I’d known about this book long before I hit publish; things like putting a personal letter at the back of the book would have been easier if addressed beforehand.

This is a quick read, and one you can go back to again and again for sound advice.

Recommend to

I think this book is most helpful to authors who are soon to publish. Of course if you have already self-published, there are still plenty of helpful tips in here for you.

Rating  4 stars

#Mondayblogs My 10 tips on running a book stall/signing #indieauthors #writingtips

I ran my first book stall at the local Christmas fair the other day. I was nervous about it during the weeks leading up to it, but I knew it was time to start putting myself out there. It felt a bit like coming out of the closet ‘My name is Suzanne Rogerson and I am an author.’

I did sell some books, which is wonderful, but most importantly it was a big step in building my confidence. For those of you who are nervous about trying it, I say go for it! Here are a few tips that might help you make a success of your own event.

My Tips

  1. I had a sign stating ‘Local Author’
  2. Display your log line big and bold to draw some interest.
  3. My posters of the book cover could be seen from a distance and were eye-catching.
  4. The boards were great for displaying everything a potential reader might want to know without having to ask.
  5. Have readers quotes on display so the browsers can see others have enjoyed your book.
  6. Have different forms of information on display. I had posters, picture quotes that I used in my blog tour, quotes from readers with star ratings and my author photo.
  7. Display the price so you don’t have the embarrassing discussion of money
  8. Be approachable, but not pushy. I was happy to talk to anyone who wanted to, but I didn’t throw myself at them.
  9. I had a sign to show where the book is available and the prices. I also mentioned it’s free to read for Kindle Unlimited readers.
  10. Don’t go over board with stock.

 

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Things I wish I’d done

  1. I would have had a sign that said please take a card.
  2. I could have walked around handing out cards – but I didn’t want to force myself on people. I don’t like that approach in the street, and it’s just not me.
  3. I didn’t mention the magical words ‘If you like it, would you consider leaving a short review.’ Some were bought as Christmas presents so that wouldn’t really have applied anyway, but it’s still a missed opportunity.

 

I haven’t made any money, but I didn’t enter into it for monetary gain. It’s all about getting my books into readers hands and getting exposure. I’ve already had some lovely feedback and that is what matters. People have been really supportive – friends and strangers alike.

My final advice to any shy writers like me, don’t let it hold you back. Go for it and see what happens!

#WWWBlogs My review of the self-publishing summit #indieauthors #selfpublishing #indiepub

On Saturday I had the pleasure of attending a self-publishing summit at Kings College London run by New Generation Publishing.

It was a very informative day. There were 3 Q&A / talks with panels of industry professionals and self-published authors. I’m still processing much of the information  but I wanted to share an overview of the day and what I feel I’ve gained from it.

Start

The day didn’t start well. It was pouring with rain, and during a dash across Waterloo Bridge I got soaked twice by vindictive bus drivers. It took until lunchtime for my trousers to dry! My map got so wet I couldn’t read it, but thankfully Kings College was easy enough to find, and everything improved from there.

The talks

As I mentioned there were three scheduled talks with Q&A’s. The first talk focused on the two guest authors experiences and advice for new authors. The second was about marketing and how to sell your work. The third discussed the future of self-publishing.

I found the talk about marketing the most interesting and helpful to my current situation.

Some nuggets of advice from the talks

Look at marketing as fun and be creative.

Think local news – Create an angle for you / your book. Local interest for radio and newspaper could lead to bigger opportunities.

Say yes to any publicity.

Contact book shops – prove to them they can sell it, who will buy it, what you are doing to market it. Remember they like to buy in advance of publication.

Publicity timelines – Differ for bookshops, radio and magazines.

Think about your ideal reader – where do they shop and how can you find them.

Cover Design – think audience, create a buying impulse.

Elevator pitch – Think how you can grab someone’s attention and make them want to buy your book. Be able to talk about your book and sell it!

ISBN’s – Buy your block of 10, rather than 1 at a time. You can’t sell in a book shop with the Amazon ISBN’s and they won’t accept the createspace paperback.

Pitching sessions

The best part of the day for me was the pitch sessions with individual members of the panel.

I spoke to an agent, Kate Nash, who unfortunately doesn’t represent fantasy but provided a lot of interesting information in her talk and great advice to the other authors in the group. I asked whether she would be more likely to consider a self-published author if they had gained a following on social media. She said any decisions would be based on the book submitted.

I spoke to Ben Galley, a fantasy author and self-publishing consultant. He is about to publish his 11th book, so it was great to get my book in front of him for some advice. I asked him what I could do to get more readers to find and purchase my book.

His Tips:-

Buy your own domain name to look more professional.

Don’t lower the price.

Use a professional typesetter to make the interior of the book really stand out. This can help the search inside feature really sell your book to the browsing reader – make the experience a pleasure.

Consider a UK company for the UK printing of paperbacks. It will be cheaper and better quality than Createspace.

Join genre forums and facebook groups and get involved.

Have a newsletter.

I also spoke with the two self-published novelists, Roz Morris and Toni Jenkins, who were both lovely ladies and happy to discuss their experiences within the industry. Among other things we talked through ideas on how to get more readers, reducing my social media output to really focus on those that count, and a website called MEETUP where I could advertise to start my own local writing group.

I spoke with David Walshaw the publishing exec of New Generation Publishing. He was happy to talk me though the options of self-publishing with his company, but there was no hard sell or pressure in any way. It’s great to know there are other options and that I don’t have to do everything myself. I still need to research whether I can afford this for my next book though.

Downside to the day

For me the coffee breaks, and in particular lunch break were painfully awkward as I wasn’t comfortable mixing and chatting in large groups.

Things I wish I’d done differently

I didn’t hand out my card to anyone or swap contact details with other authors as I had hoped to have done.

I didn’t mingle enough / at all!

I didn’t have a proper pitch prepared for the pitching sessions

Value for money

At £59.99 I thought it was great value for a day of immersing myself in the world of self-publishing. The food could have been a bit more varied, but it was fresh and tasty. And there was a constant supply of drinks, although it did arrive a little later and after the soaking I received from the bus, I needed that hot drink!

Overall view

It was a very worthwhile experience. I gained some knowledge and had my book looked at by others with more knowledge of the industry. It was generally felt that I’d done a good job for a first timer! So I came away proud of my achievement and buzzing with ideas for what to do next.

If you get the chance to go to a summit in the future, I recommend you try it out for yourself.

 

Help, I’m going to a self-publishing summit! Any advice? #indieauthor

I’ve finally decided to put myself out there and attend a self-publishing summit next week. I haven’t been to any network events before and I hope this will be the start of me gaining confidence as a writer.

It’s easy enough to sit at home and think you’re a writer (I still cringe when I state that’s my occupation), but to actually physically go out into the world is a gigantic step for me. I don’t know how much I’ll get out of the day, but I’m nervously excited about the opportunity and looking forward to meeting some like-minded authors.

I have my notebook and pens ready, business cards to hand and I plan to have some book blurbs prepared to share. The trouble is I’m the world’s worst at selling myself. Whenever I hear the words ‘So what’s your book about?’ my brain freezes and my tongue disappears inside my head.

Have you been in this position? Do you have any tips for being more confidant, or advice to make the most of this networking day?

I look forward to sharing my experience with you and hopefully I’ll have lots of new ideas to put into practise for my current self published novel, and the book I hope to publish early next year.

Indie Interview: Suzanne Rogerson #indieauthor of #epicfantasy Visions of Zarua

I’m really pleased to share my interview over on Rebecca’s ‘Read A Lot’ blog.

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Since I’ve missed a whole week, I got right on to getting this interview uploaded for you. Suzanne Rogerson kindly agreed to take part in the Q&A, and there are even some graphics with qu…

Source: Indie Interview: Suzanne Rogerson

Results of the poll ‘Are book trailers worth it?’ #indieauthors #writers

Last week I ran a poll to see if it was worth my time and money investing in a book trailer (original post). As promised here are the results.

40% stated it’s a waste of time.

40% stated they would consider buying a book if it had a good trailer.

20% voted other – (waste of money, don’t know what a book trailer is)

0% have sold books because of a book trailer

0% find books to buy that way.

I’ve had some interesting comments from other bloggers who mention other options available to people wanting to make their own trailer. As well as Fiver, there is iMovie, moviemaker and an Animoto app. I’ll be looking into these in more detail when I get the chance.

I still haven’t decided whether to go ahead with the trailer idea. And if I do, will I make the trailer myself or pay for a trailer to be made for me. It’s an extra marketing tool, but there’s still no saying it will encourage people to buy the book.

I like the idea of having a trailer to add to my Amazon page and post on YouTube. Plus there’s the option to get people to watch the trailer for entry into Rafflecopter and Amazon giveaways. These would be great for the trailer’s exposure, but yet more expense.

As one blogger said; ‘While I’ve watched a few book trailers out of sheer curiosity, I’ve never *wanted* to see one. They don’t tell me anything the blurb doesn’t tell me, and I have other things I’d rather watch.’ Lilyn G of Sci-fi & Scary.

So, after this little experiment, I remain undecided.

My thanks to those who took part in the poll, and to those who’ve taken an interest in the post.

Have you anything to add to the discussion? Has this poll encouraged or discouraged you to make or pay for your own trailer?

Are book trailers worth it? Join in the poll #WWWblogs #indieauthors #writers

I have been making my way through my list of marketing ideas, which includes giveaways, blog tours and a book trailer.

I worked out a pitch, found a trailer format I liked on fiver, but then I chickened out. I started to question if it’s worth the £50+ price tag. Will I reach more readers? Is the £50 better spent elsewhere?

Before I take the plunge, I thought I’d open the question up to you guys. Please join in the poll.

I’ll post more about my thoughts on book trailers in a few days, along with the results of the poll.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear your thoughts and advice on the matter, please get in touch.

Is this the end of my #Indieauthor dreams? #indiepub

I had hoped to post a very positive update today, but Amazon’s new ruling on reviews has left me feeling depressed and concerned for the future of Indie Authors like myself.

I’ve not been affected as yet, but many of my reviews are from book reviewers who’ve kindly given their honest opinions in exchange for a free copy. Those reviews mean everything to me, to know that all the hard work and dedication have been worth it. Will these reviews disappear overnight?

And what about winning copies? I try to review the books I’ve won, and have plans to run my own giveaways to celebrate Visions of Zarua’s 1st anniversary in November. If these do result in any reviews in the future, will they be allowed? How far will Amazon take this new rule? And aren’t they going to damage their own profits if they push Indies out?

Yesterday I read a post that Amazon were celebrating Indie Authors throughout October. Today I read they are stripping them of their reviews. It’s a mad world.

I’ll still be running my giveaways starting with a Goodreads one launching next week. And I want to try out Rafflecopter too – I have six copies to give to loving homes!

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I suppose the Amazon thing is hitting my harder today as I’m about to meet my lovely beta reader and hand her the finished draft of my next book, The Lost Sentinel. I’m at the stage where I should be thinking of covers and blurbs, not if I should even bother.

I want to be excited at the prospect of another self publishing venture, but this news has taken the shine off it all. How can indies get discovered without reviews? Will this change the world of blog tours and ARC’s?

Is it time to start the process of looking for an agent or publisher?

I’ll stop moaning now and hand it over to you. Am I panicking about nothing? Do you have any advice or news to share?

#Bookreview Why does my book not sell 20 Simple Fixes – Rayne Hall #writers

Why does my book not sell? 20 Simple fixes

Author – Rayne Hall

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First thoughts – I saw a review of this book recently and thought great, this is just what I need to give my book sales a boost. I had high hopes it would show me what I was doing wrong and how I could sell more.

Summary – Each of the 20 stages is relevant to indie authors. The book covers topics like the blurb, know your reader, targeting your readers and social media.

Writing style – It’s very easy to follow, down to earth and not condescending. I especially like the lessons learnt section at the end of each chapter, where Rayne Hall shows us examples of her mistakes.

Issues – It seemed at times as though the book assumed you were already selling some copies, so it was a bit depressing on that front. I’m doing pretty much everything she suggests, so there are no miracle fixes for me. But it’s all still great advice and it doesn’t hurt to go over everything now and then to see how you can improve.

Final thoughts – The book was short and sweet. I read it in an evening and made plenty of notes. For me the best section was probably about the blurb. As she states its the biggest factor when a reader chooses to buy your book.

I’ve picked up a lot of my knowledge over time, but I wish I’d known about this book at the start of my self publishing journey and had read it much sooner.

Recommend to – Every indie author will benefit from this, especially if you are just starting out or preparing to self publish for the first time.

Rating – 4 stars