Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Time & Technology

by Nancy Madison

    At the end of the Civil War southerners look forward to more peaceful times. Instead the Reconstruction Period is a tumultuous era. Many former Confederates leave their homes in search of a better life. About twenty thousand southern residents sail to Brazil to homestead. In late 1865 Tom Mahon and his friend disinherited Virginian Randolph Carlisle finally reach Galveston after traveling cross-country from a Union prison in Maryland. Good-natured, trusting Tom is no match for clever, unscrupulous cardsharp Randolph to whom winning is everything.

Question from the e-mail: I found my paper book for sale in Israel at far more than the USA list price and with huge shipping and handling fees.First: Did YOU authorize this? Is it legal? Second: How can they be selling a book that we published? Third: How can they charge such huge prices?

Answer: It's a result of Amazon's worldwide marketing efforts, because we click on "worldwide rights." That means we can sell your books world wide in both e-book and paper editions.

You did authorize this when you signed our contract. We authorized the sale on your behalf when we listed your book for sale "worldwide" at amazon.com. They DO pay us and WE pay you. Price differences may have to do with rates of exchange and UPS shipping fees from North Carolina (where our paper books are printed) to wherever they will be delivered.

This all began when we first started listing our e-books for sale on the French web site, Mobipocket.com -- sometime around 1994 or 95. We listed books as available in English only, but sold throughout Europe and it freaked our local branch bank out when we got a transfer in Euros.

Later, Amazon bought Mobipocket.com and listed all the content already there, including all our titles) as content for Kindle, the day if first went on sale. Recently they reversed that policy and now list everything from the Kindle store at amazon.com as available for sale at mobipocket.com. 

It's a manifestation of  truth, the more stores you're in, the MORE chance you have of selling your titles. Listing at amazon.com NOW also lists you at the amazon stores in the UK, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Canada, Denmark, etc. Yes, they ARE working on China and other outlets. It also limits royalties from those sites to 35% rather than the 70% paid for US sales, but more sales is good, right?

And then there is the "affiliate" program, which has been going on for a long time.

Anyone, anywhere, can sign up to be an "Amazon affiliate." An "affiliate" web site can list books of interest to their members. Most affiliate sites have a narrow field of interest special to them, but list the books that would interest their followers. For instance, many naturist web sites affiliated to amazon.com have listed the Nudist mystery series we publish by Byron and Kay McAllister: UNDERCOVER NUDIST, RUNAWAY NUDIST, TO KILL A NUDIST...etc.

So a nudist, er, excuse me "naturist," who frequents a web site featuring news and information aimed at their field of interest, may see a "books" tab, click on it, and find those books listed among other books of interest to naturists. If they click on the book, they will automatically be surfed over to amazon.com to buy the book. Amazon collects the money and pays us. It also pays the affiliate website a small amount based on the number of "clickovers" from there.

Affiliate web sites can also list print books, though it happens far less often than with e-books. Many Bookstores can print book files now, too. They pay us for the files, download them, and print them in the bookstore while the customer browses.

Authors who Google their names are quite often surprised to find books for sale on unheard of web sites in foreign countries. Novelist K.S. Brooks recently found her Agent Night series on a site in India. But rest assured, if someone clicks on the book, they will find themselves giving amazon.com their credit card number and WWI will make sure she gets paid for the sale.

Don'cha just LOVE the Internet?

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