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Here at MYEBOOK we ♥ authors. Our days are spent helping authors reach new readers around the world whilst reducing the costs associated with self-publishing. We achieve this by helping to convert, publish and market an author's eBook online.

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Self-Publishing Your eBook or Use a Traditional Publishing Company? Make An Empowered Decision.

Self-Publishing Your eBook or Use a Traditional Publishing Company? Make An Empowered Decision.
This article disputes that fictitious world where the big name publishers care for your work as much as you do. It also disputes the idea that sales reports and royalties are frequently and promptly delivered to eager authors. It brings home the cold reality that the author is often left alone and in the dark, forever lost in the shadows of the world's largest eBook store, Amazon.com   Could this article and it's assessment of a single case of poor book marketing be considered unfair? Perhaps, but let this information serve as a signpost to authors navigating  the online marketplace, of what to expect either of themselves or of their publishing partner when marketing  books or eBooks online. This article is born out of frustration experienced from countless authors who feel that that they are not been treated fairly... and are right.   Please understand that this piece is not meant as an attack on the author's choice of publisher. Unfortunately, I am confident that I could  find numerous other examples where these commonly made marketing mistakes highlighted in this article could be the costing the author well-deserved royalties. ---   As an author you have invested countless hours (and hundreds of cups of coffee) whilst bashing away at your keyboard, whilst shaping your work of art. You have endured the well meaning comments and doubt expressed by your friends or family, worse than that the self-doubt that arises from within whilst you flesh out ideas into chapters. Finally however your passion and the important message that you have wished to share with the world finally begins taking shape as the first draft of your manuscript is finally completed.   You have taken all the necessary steps that authors should consider when deciding to share their written work with their eager readers. Your book cover is a brief but dazzling display of artwork, that captures your readers' attention. Your manuscript has been proofread by a professional who has sifted out the grammatical errors as a gardener would remove weeds from his prized vegetable garden. You now relax, savoring the feeling that comes now that your work is completed and it's time to hand your prized manuscript over to the professionals.   In this case, you were lucky enough to gain the interest of a publishing house that, for a tidy sum has offered to handle all the marketing work for you. You now step back, feeling secure in the belief that this publisher will navigate the complex world of book marketing, whilst you simply collect the royalty cheques, adding the title of 'published author' to your CV.   Is this situation familiar to you, or does it perhaps relate to someone you know?   Using this real example of bad eBook marketing through Amazon by a professional publishing house, let's see what should have been done in the process.   eBook Marketing Mistake #1 - The over-priced eBook.

This Kindle eBook is listed (from a South African perspective) as $11.99 on Amazon.com meaning that after removing the $2 Amazon Whispernet Surcharge added by Amazon and the 14% VAT added by the South African government the publishing house intended to sell this work for approximately $8.5

 

A list price of $8.5 for an eBook written by an author that, from Amazon's perspective, was not well known is a bad move, more likely to dissuade  potential customers  rather than encourage the purchase of this eBook. This also fits neatly into the already well-voiced complaint that big-name publishers simply charge too much for eBooks.   The publisher should have rather examined the prices of the competition within the selected eBook categories they chose to list for an idea of how the eBook should be priced, I believe it would have been considerably less than $8.5   eBook Marketing Mistake #2 - Lack of valuable Links within the eBook.

Glancing through the eBook sample that Amazon was kind enough to generate for me I noticed that this author was credited with having written six other books. What is the worth of mentioning these other acclaimed works if they do not have the links pointing customers to the sales info?

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South African Authors Will Now Pay VAT on Amazon eBook Purchases

South African Authors Will Now Pay VAT on Amazon eBook Purchases

 

Since early February 2014 South Africans who purchase their eBooks through the world's largest eBook retailer, Amazon, have been paying VAT on top of the normal Amazon eBook list Price. Now let's put this 14% increase in perspective before I get accused of bemoaning South Africa's progress towards progressive digital legislation!   The addition of VAT onto Amazon's eBook sales and other digital products purchased outside our borders is nothing new, this pretty much brings us in line with the rest of the world. The taxing of international internet companies such as Amazon and Apple are expected to net the government a tidy sum of almost R980m One could also argue that the addition of VAT onto Amazon's Kindle eBooks would make our local eBooks that much more competitive. However here is what really irks me, the VAT jumps on the back of the already troublesome Amazon Whispernet Surcharge.   For those who might not have have heard of the Amazon Whispernet charge this is a phantom $2 fee that is added onto the list price of eBooks for customers outside the developed countries such as the US, UK, Germany, France etc. This $2 surcharge does not increase an authors royalties. This means that customers purchasing an eBook that would normally retail for $0.99 in the US would now pay $3.41 ($0.99 + $2 * 1.14)   So as an author it means your customer is paying more for your eBook, and unless you are VAT registered (which most self-published authors will not be) you will see even less of your eBooks list price on Amazon as royalties paid to you) Whilst this additional tax does is understandable, it does take away some advantage that was desperately needed by our authors.   Let's hope this that the governments affect on our author's eBooks sales on Amazon will stop there. What are your thoughts on the additional of VAT on Amazon eBooks, will this affect your eBook sales, maybe it has already - Let us know!
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Hiring a Professional Freelancer to Help - What you need to know about the online platforms available.

Hiring a Professional Freelancer to Help - What you need to know about the online platforms available.

As a South African who often needs work outsourced, I used to often look into the great world wide web and it's various platforms to hire freelancers with some fear. although understandably this is often born from ignorance.

A few years down the line and a little wiser I now realize the value in outsourcing of certain aspects of your workload. One of the biggest obstacles in the process is actually a mental one, namely the "I will do everything myself" mindset.

Being South African, I think we need to accept that we comfortably lag the rest of the developed world in terms of our understanding of the web and the thousands of ways we can use it to improve on certain mundane or repetetive work we find ourselves doing.

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