New Author Tools Available for Amazon Authors!

A quick look at Amazon’s author tools, and whether or not you should go with KDP Select.

By Daniel Ottalini

Hi everyone, today I’ll be talking a bit about some new author tools available for Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (Also called Amazon KDP). First, let me introduce to you….

Kindle Countdown Deals! – Essentially an easier way to manage a sale of your novel, at the cost of being able to only publish the novel on Amazon. This is a big cornerstone of their new push to make authors exclusive on their platform. What do I think? Great idea! (If only they could allow it while being on other platforms.) I think they would make more sales IF you would see that they have it cheaper on Amazon as opposed to elsewhere, rather than just being a lower price on Amazon and not shown anywhere else.

Kindle Lending Library– Want to earn free money for letting people borrow your book? This is the way to go! Alternatively, you could encourage people to buy your book, but hey, some people would rather save precious MBs on their kindle Fires I suppose. You earn a changing fee every month based on the total number of lends/borrows and the total number for the planet out of a set amount of millions of dollars. In essence, you earn a fraction of what the entire world is given, but it can end up being more than the price of the book. Good for those novellas or side novels you’re willing to sell for 99 cents, because you could end up making $2 or more off each borrow.

Free Book Promotion Tool – So, want to offer a great big promotional ‘free day’ without the hassle of having to change the price on multiple sites? Amazon’s got the tool for you. Tell them when you want it free, send people the links, and there ya go! You only get five days of this, so use them wisely!

Overall Thoughts – Amazon’s got some great tools. I read somewhere that they are willing to sell Kindle Fires and E-Readers at a loss to gather market share, and these are definite supporters of that plan. KDP Select is a great tool, but it may not be the best for you. With only one publishing platform, you limit yourself and your slice of the market.

Yes, most to many people use Amazon’s services, but not all. Barnes and Noble & the i-Store for apple may be the strongest competitors, but neither have similar promotional tools. Barnes and Noble matches the ease for uploading that Amazon has, but I have yet to figure out how to upload stuff to the iStore. (Even with directions). That being said, I encourage you to use all the platforms available. Amazon has shown a willingness to ‘change the rules’ before, and thus we should not be surprised if they do it again. If allowed to completely dominate the market, authors will be getting the shaft at the end as Amazon will be allowed to control all aspects of the payment and royalties without our ability to say no.

What do you think? Should authors go with KDP Select, or should they diversify?

Black Friday Sale!


Are you getting your loved one an e-reader for the holidays? You’ll need some great books to go with it!Roma-Aeronautica-2500x1563

Right now I’m offering my newest book, Roma Aeronautica, at half off, for this weekend only! This deal is only available on Amazon Kindle and Nook eBook.

But as they say…But Wait, There’s More!

2013_EBook_WINNER-smGet my award-winning début novel, Brass Legionnaire, at 33% off! Yes, you can now get the novel that started it all for only $1.99. This weekend only, so you better move quickly! This sale is available at Amazon and Barnes & Nobel.

Click here for the Paperback Version!

Guest Post: S.M. Boyce on Sticking with It

Enjoy this Guest Posting by author S.M. Bryce about the holidays, her latest book, and hanging in there when everything seems to overwhelm you.

Without further ado, here is author S.M. Boyce sharing a nice message for this holiday season. Boyce’s new novel, Treason: Book Two of the Grimoire Trilogy,is out now on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

A little hope for the road…

With the holidays fast approaching and the cold already here, I wanted to give you a little hope to help you through scraping the ice off your front windshield.

It’s easy to lose hope, especially in the winter: it’s dark most of the time and cold all day long. It’s easy to forget how wonderful you are, or what you bring to the table. I think we all push ourselves too hard nowadays—we’re striving to achieve, to be better, to succeed in something before we die. We sometimes lose track of the why. Why bother?

It’s in those spiraling moments that we need a trampoline—something bouncy and a little soft. Sometimes, we’re just not strong enough on our own to remember what makes life so beautiful, or precious, or funny as all hell. So we need some help.

The trampoline can be a person. It can be the teddy bear no one knows you still have. It can be a solo hike through a forest, or an hour spent looking at adorable pictures of cats. It can be an evening laughing over dinner with a good friend.

Trampolines—and the hope that comes with them—are everywhere.

I’m analytical. So when I’m low, I write a list. It’s just for me. It’s a list of everything I’m good at doing. Things I know I can do well. It ranges from the big to the small, and it’s just for me. I’m not allowed to be modest when I write it, because that can turn into self-deprecation that makes me start to spiral again. But here’s the truth: we’re all amazing at something. A lot of us are amazing at several somethings, and it’s easy to forget. It’s easy to lose hope in ourselves and forget to love who and what we are. And if we can’t love ourselves, we can’t love anyone.

Treat yourself today, whether you’re low or not. Write a list of everything you can do well, whether you have a sweet laugh or can pick up socks with your toes. You don’t have to be the best in the world at it, but you’re good. Works for me. Write it down.

There’s always hope. Sometimes, we just need help remembering where we left it. Hold on tight. You’ll get through the low spots. And love yourself, damn it. You’re awesome.

 About Boyce

Boyce is a fantasy and paranormal fiction author who likes sarcasm and cookies. You can find her books on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Daniel: I’ve also attached an excerpt of Treason below, just click and you’ll go through to it! Enjoy, and thanks for reading!

Continue reading “Guest Post: S.M. Boyce on Sticking with It”

Why I did my holiday shopping with Barnes & Noble this year

A post on why I did my holiday book shopping at Barnes and Noble instead of Amazon.

Guess what? We survived!

Survived what? Black Friday and the busiest shopping weekend of the year! Cyber Monday and more deals that my inbox can tackle in one go! I, too, was one of those insane people going out and about on Thanksgiving night (Although I swore I wouldn’t) mainly because the S.O. and I needed to get rid of our cabin fever at 9 pm on Thanksgiving. Then on Friday it was off to the mall, and what did I learn?
That I couldn’t wait to run home and shop online at a book store.

You see, none of the THREE malls in our area has a book store, and the nearest one to my immediate location is about 15 miles away. The simple reason I am telling you is that it’s getting harder to buy books in person (at least where I am). Fewer places nowadays have a quality selection. This makes me both sad and annoyed. I like physical books. Given a choice, I will always choose the paperback over the ebook copy, if only because it’s easier on my eyes.

So in the end, I ended up online at B& – for a variety of reasons – and I could not have been happier with the experience. When I was in college, Amazon was king for me – time, effort, that handy-dandy free shipping over $25 dollar thing, and ta da, three or four books delivered to your door in a snap!

So why the change?

1.) I have a B&N membership card – Yes, I spent the $25 for the card, but I get free 1-3 day shipping online, and 10% off OR MORE in store. So, I placed two seperate orders this weekend (yes, yes, I know, not good organization on my part) but I paid $0 in shipping. I would have spent about $15 for the 1-3 day option, instead getting it free. B&N even has the free slower shipping option that draws so many people to Amazon, so the two companies are again equal there.

But what about Amazon Prime? You ask, isn’t that just like the B&N Membership? Yes and no. You might get free shipping online, which I do too, but I can also go into a physical store and return my product if I don’t like it, or buy other things at discounted prices if I do. Double Whammy.

2.) Returns – I like being able to go into a store and return something. I like my money being back on my card now. Or I can mail it back. Two choices means two ways to keep me happy.

3.) Tradition and Jobs – Okay, some people may not consider this a reason, but I do. Buying a book at a store means that the store has to hire employees, the employees circulate their paycheck through the system, and thus the economy continues to run. Does amazon have employees? Yes, but yet again not at a store in my community, where the money will circulate locally.

Just a side note: Many people will probably say that Amazon has a better selection of everything, this may be true, but I was looking for books and book-related things in particular!

So now some end points. Yes, I know that I could do even better by purchasing from an independent book store. And I do/have! By the way all, please check out Malaprops, my favorite independent book store (located in Asheville, N.C., so far from me, but still with great stuff online!) Another point is that we all need to take some time to buy local – I know that I went out on Small Business Saturday to look for some specific items I needed at local stores, but this can’t be the only time during the year that we do this.

So what do you all think? Amazon or B&N? Or another site?

(P.S. – I’m not an employee, sponsored by, receiving anything from, or in cahoots with B&N, I just wanted to share my own, personal opinion. I do have a book for sale on B&N and Amazon, but it’s not connected to this in anyway. Thanks!)

Amazon KDP Changes Authors Payment Option

Amazon KDP Glitch Causes Author’s payment options to change! Read more inside.

Hi all, this will be a short post! As a heads up to my fellow authors, please go and check your Amazon KDP settings for payment. This is a glitch in the system, but Amazon has not fixed it. So go to your account on KDP and make sure that your payment option is not set to check and is instead set to ETF. Thanks to Indie Book Spot for breaking this story. You can read the original story here.

By the way, don’t forget that Brass Legionnaire is on sale this weekend for half price! Check it out on Amazon and Barnes and Noble


Brass Legionnaire going on Sale for the Thanksgiving Weekend!

Brass Legionnaire is going on sale for this holiday weekend. I’m offering my novel at 50% off for one weekend only. Check inside for more information!

Hi everyone! Big News!

Brass Legionnaire will be on sale this holiday weekend! If you haven’t had the chance to read the five-star reviewed alternative history & steampunk novel, now’s your chance to get this exciting adventure novel for half price!


Thursday, November 22nd – Monday, November 26th (Cyber Monday)


This amazing, one time half-off deal will be available only on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, as well as Apple iPad, Kobo, etc through Smashwords.

For Smashwords, you’ll need this coupon code – UT37C

UT37C – You’ll need this for Smashwords!

Don’t forget to share this with your friends!


I know you wonder, why should you purchase my novel? – I’ll let the reviews speak for themselves.

I thought this was a great debut novel that gives much promise for the Author’s writing career. It’s fresh, never been done before, and one of those intriguing books one just has to read because it’s such an interesting twist on the norm.

Brass Legionnaire has a great premise as being the only novel that mixes steampunk with the Romans and, though I never would have thought of that myself, it really works well in this alternate universe that Daniel Ottalini created in this novel. You get the feel of the traditional Romans, and yet there’s a more modern and really awesome steampunk twist to it. All the gadgets and machines were neat and fit in well with the Romans, making it seem that this story could have actually happened in some alternate reality.”

– Hazel West – Five Star Review

Or this one!

The author has produced a really nice piece of “alternate history” fiction, with engaging characters and an interesting plot line. This could (and I hope will) serve as the basis for a whole series of novels. On the strength of this work, I would certainly purchase the next installment.

-SEB – Five Star Review

If you want even more reviews, check out the reviews on Amazon!

Brass Legionnaire is the perfect gift (paperback or ebook) for the Steampunk lover, book reader, or History buff in your family!

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