Industry News

Book Censorship: First it was Roald Dahl, now they’re after Ian Fleming…

By: Ginger | Posted on March 10, 2023

The issue of censorship has always sparked heated debates, especially among authors and in the literary world. Some argue that book censorship is necessary to protect vulnerable readers and uphold current moral standards, while others see it as a violation of freedom of expression. In recent years, the debate has intensified as even popular celebrities have faced backlash for past remarks or actions, and social media sites have banned or restricted certain types of content. As Ginger discusses below, the latest target of this trend are authors Roald Dahl and Ian Fleming, whose works are currently under fire for including language or passages that would likely never have passed an editor’s review if written today. However, this raises the question: should we be censoring books written in a different era, based on current cultural and social norms? Instead of altering these books, maybe a better idea would be to preserve… Read More >

Should Authors Embrace the AI Revolution?

By: Ginger | Posted on February 17, 2023

ChatGPT exploded onto the scene a few months ago, and I honestly don’t feel like I’m overstating things when I say that it literally changed almost everything overnight. There’s a reason why it set a record for the fastest user growth ever, hitting 100 million active users within 2 months of launch. People are finding new uses for it almost daily, and one of the most interesting (to us) is in how it can help authors.  Sure, there are negative stories about how students are using it to write essays or pass their tests, or the sky is falling type articles warning how everyone is about to lose their jobs to AI, but we can either fear change, or embrace it. The reality is, this is just the tip of the iceberg. The cat is out of the bag on this, and it’s NOT going back in.  AI is here… Read More >

Are Apple and Google Screwing Over Self-Published Authors?

By: Ginger | Posted on January 6, 2023

As the titans of the internet duke it out for as much profit as they can squeeze out from each other, those of us just trying to earn a living selling our books are getting caught in the crossfire. If you’ve seen a drop in your book sales, digging a little deeper may help you figure out if recent changes are affecting you and give you some ideas on how to combat it. Ultimately, though, the only real long-term solution may be for the big companies to finally realize that their current path hurts everyone, and it’s better to have a smaller percentage of something than a larger percentage of nothing. Is Big Tech punishing small-time publishers with their exorbitant transaction percentage fees? This June, Amazon quietly made a decision to remove the “Buy Now” button for books in the Amazon Android app – something they’d done on their Apple… Read More >

How Amazon Attribution Changes the Game for Self-Published Authors

By: Ginger | Posted on December 9, 2022

Selling your books these days means advertising them, and up until now, if you were advertising an Amazon book on a platform other than theirs, you had to use a lot of guesswork to determine whether or not your ads were converting into actual sales. Recently, however, the retail giant has provided a method that allows you to track what happens when a customer follows your ad from elsewhere, and when used properly, this can be a game changer for self-published authors. Here’s Ginger to tell you all about it, and next week he’ll go through setting it up in more detail. Writing and self-publishing a novel is often only half the battle for self-published authors. The next step is to market that book to a receptive audience – hopefully one willing to reach into their wallets to support your work. That’s why advertising has become such a vital part… Read More >

Ian Fleming Publications Quietly Revolutionizes the Publishing Industry

By: Ginger | Posted on November 11, 2022

In yet another blow to traditional publishing’s quickly loosening grip of an industry they once entirely dominated, the estate of Ian Fleming recently announced they would be taking back control of the James Bond books and publishing them on their own.  Self-publishing may have taken off by giving a voice to smaller authors that couldn’t (or chose not to) go the traditional route, but moves like this are a signal that the tide has changed, and it is quickly becoming the self-publishing path that is the more desirable one to follow – for both small time authors and big names alike. I expect that it won’t be long before we start seeing more examples of popular traditionally published authors and franchises making similar moves. On October 5, 2022, the world recognized the 60th anniversary of the celluloid James Bond – marking six decades since the first movie in the franchise,… Read More >

Amazon Updates Return Policy Amid Pressure

By: Craig | Posted on September 30, 2022

Everyone loves a good David and Goliath story, which is why it was welcome news this week when Amazon confirmed their plans to alter their eBook return policy to make it less likely to be abused. Sure, it took them close to six months to finally relent and the change isn’t implemented yet, but at least it’s coming. Here is what we know about the upcoming changes, and what we think about them. As some of you will remember, we first reported on this story back in April amid growing reports of larger than normal return rates seen by some Amazon authors. Despite the fact that Amazon’s eBook return policy hadn’t changed in years, the increase in returns was traced back to a growing number of social media posts (mainly on Tiktok) highlighting the lack of restrictions and ease of which readers could return eBooks on Amazon, and then even… Read More >

Stabbing of Salman Rushdie Demonstrates the Power of Words

By: Ginger | Posted on August 19, 2022

As a child, if someone called you a name you may have responded with the sticks and stones song, in an attempt to show how you were unbothered by mere words. And yet, nothing could be further from the truth. Words have tremendous power, and as we’ve moved into a more digital age, we’re seeing more evidence of that than ever before. Words can lift us up, or bring us crashing down. When used truthfully and logically, they can change our minds for the better, but when twisted or corrupted they can make us believe in things that aren’t true.  Words push us one way or another because they appeal to our emotions, which also means our experiences shape how we interpret or react to them. That was certainly the case when Salman Rushdie published his fiction book The Satanic Verses more than 30 years ago, which instantly became one… Read More >

You can no longer buy books through the Kindle app

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on June 10, 2022

Last week, Amazon announced that they were ending the ability to buy books or manage your subscriptions through the Kindle app – meaning readers will have to go to the regular Amazon website. Why did they decide to do this? And what impact will it have for authors and readers alike? You may have seen a bunch of articles this week about Amazon’s decision to end purchasing through their Kindle app. It comes as a result of Google charging 15% for all transactions (of digital products) made through apps available on Google Play, and apparently Amazon weren’t having it any longer! That being said, this move isn’t a surprise to many people. Apple have blocked in-app purchases that bypass their payment portals since 2011 – and go even further, by not allowing links that redirect to a third-party hosted webpage for payment, either. But what impact will this have on… Read More >

Is Amazon’s eBook Returns Process Too Easy to Abuse?

By: Craig | Posted on April 15, 2022

Amazon loves to cater to the customer experience, which is a business model that has made them one of the biggest companies in the world. However, in the case of their unrestricted policy on eBook returns, they have left authors open to abuse by unscrupulous customers looking to read for free. While this policy is not new, a recent increase in social media posts and videos, urging customers to read and return books even after they’ve read the entire thing, has highlighted how easy this policy is to exploit. Is it finally time for the eBook giant to take a cue from the rest of the industry and tighten up their rules?   As of writing this, 43,545 people have signed a petition posted by author Reah Foxx on called Change Amazon Return Policies for Completed E-books: Protect Authors from Theft! Just a few more thousand and this will… Read More >

Amazon delivers another blow to traditional publishing

By: Ginger | Posted on April 1, 2022

In recent weeks, Amazon has done something previously considered unthinkable – offering up the option for authors to advertise their books using Advertising on Amazon even if they’re traditionally published, or the rights to those books are held by somebody else. In doing so, they’ve delivered yet another gut punch to traditional publishing by providing authors that aren’t yet self-published with an opportunity to test whether they can do a better job of promoting their own books, while at the same time getting a view into just how much money they’re leaving on the table.   If you’ve visited your Author Central account on Amazon recently – the one where you can post your biographical details, and curate all the books you’ve written or contributed to – you’ll notice a new tab called Reports & Marketing. On that page, you’ll see the option to go directly to the Advertising on… Read More >