BTS054, Changes to the KDP Print Pricing, New Categories in KDP, and A Solution to My Series Mistakes | May Author Diary

by | Authorpreneur Podcast, BTS Podcast Diary, business, First Draft Tips, Marketing, Season 3: How to Outline a Story, Self-Publishing, Tech for Writers, tools, Writing

Hello, Writers!

 

In the April Behind the Scenes Author Diary, I mentioned that I screwed up my amateur sleuth mystery series; well, a solution might be at hand. So, in this episode, I discuss my plans for my James Lalonde Amateur Sleuth Mystery series books three and four and a new shiny object. On top of this, I discuss a few self-publishing updates, including changes to the KDP print pricing, the new KDP categories, and selling direct with WooCommerce.

 

 Without further ado, let’s get into the show.

 

About the Episode

Just to let you know, this episode was recorded on Monday, the 12th of June, so this show is primarily me looking back at May 2023. And, if you’re new to this podcast, I want to say a huge thank you for stopping by and trying out my show. To those of you who have been faithfully listening, thank you for regularly listening in and supporting me; your support means more to me than you know.

 

Thank You to My Buy Me A Coffee Supporters

One last thing, I’d like to thank Kathleen for taking the time to buy me a few coffees and leaving a nice message congratulating me on my 100th episode. Your support and kind words mean a lot to me, so thank you. 

Changes to the KDP Print Pricing

The news isn’t something I like to comment on for my podcast because it ages the episodes, and I want my content to be evergreen. In light of that, there are a few interesting changes happening on Amazon that I think are worth discussing.

 

First up is the paperback cost of printing prices are increasing, and thus if publishers don’t adjust their physical book prices, then the cost of printing will eat into their royalties. If you’re wondering how the pricing changes are going to affect you, KDP does tell you this, but Dave Chesson from Kindlepreneur.com has created a helpful calculator to help you figure this out. These pricing changes will take place on Tuesday, the 20th of June.

 

My Thoughts on the Price Changes

What prompted me to discuss this was discovering a few “the sky is falling” posts on Reddit, where people were claiming the paperback royalties were changing—and this is not accurate. I suspect that Amazon has kept the prices of the printing the same until a point where they needed to change the costs because it’s no longer advantageous for them. And because they have a huge cash flow, they can afford to eat the costs that are changing due to inflation and the price of paper.

 

Ingram Spark Price Changes

Throughout the last two years, Ingram Spark has been changing the prices of the cost of printing a few times, and I have adjusted my book prices both on Ingram and KDP because I want the prices to be the same.

New Categories in KDP

Technically this change happened a couple of days ago when I created this blog post, but Amazon is no longer accepting requests to add books to categories. Instead, we can choose up to three categories in the KDP dashboard.

 

In the mystery section, I noticed that there is a subcategory for books with LGBTQ+ characters, so that’s good news for queer cozy authors. There was also a subcategory for series that is only available for ebooks, an amateur sleuths category for both ebooks and print and the usual subcategories that you can expect to find. Naturally, I updated the categories for all my books.

 

In a nutshell, the categories in the dashboard finally reflect the categories on the Amazon store. Yay!

 

Book Three Writing Update

In the April Behind-The-Scenes Author Diary, I shared how I discovered that the partially written book three in my amateur sleuth mystery series was starting to morph into a mystery thriller. So, this month, after much deliberation, I decided to simply write the story that’s present and just accept I’ve written chapters that will need to be deleted before publishing. During the revision phase, I plan on removing the chapters that take the story out of genre, possibly during this time or after feedback from my favourite beta reader.

 

Embracing the Unknown

However, I also need to make sure that the story that’s left is complete or stands on its own, is free of plot holes and makes sense. This means I may have to do another light pass. But because I’m Writing Into The Dark, this may resolve itself by the end of the story—I honestly don’t know, I have to work with what happens in the writing phase. A podcast listener commented under the blog post for episode BTS052 and said that she used the out-of-genre parts of her book as bonus content for her email list, which is an interesting idea. Obviously, I will need to add a spoiler label for my email list subscribers.

 

Falling Out of Love With Writing

One thing that’s worthy of note is I’m starting to feel the same way I felt when I was outlining and was getting stuck as I wrote the first draft. I never felt like this when I wrote The Locked Room*—I was free, happy, and enjoyed the creative process, and I needed to get back to this place. While I wrote the Locked Room, I just wrote the story that came out and enjoyed the process, I never questioned the genre of the story.

 

A Writing Update on Book Four

Honestly, I can’t believe that I’m about to share this with you. When I told my husband that I was going to do this, he gave me a strange look. It was as if he thought I was nuts. You see, my husband has completed a master’s degree and a PhD which involves writing a thesis, defending it, and then publishing it—so he has a good idea about what it takes to finish writing a body of work that’s novel-length.

 

Without further ado, here is my news.

 

So, I’m not publishing book four for several reasons. Yes, you read that correctly. By now, you’re probably wondering what led me to this decision. There are a few things I need to point out. In the April Behind-The-Scenes Author Diary, I realised that Immunity, Book Four, was out-of-genre as well.

 

Mistakes Were Made

The first is, Immunity which was the first mystery novel I ever wrote, so it’s going to come as no surprise when I say I made a few mistakes. For instance, I added the words “he said” as a tag for my character’s thoughts or inner dialogue.

 

Secondly, I didn’t consider the Narrative Point-of-View before I started writing. Just like my unpublished romantic comedy, I wrote the first half of Immunity in Third Person Omniscient Point-of-View and the second half after I realised my mistake in Third Person Limited. I also made errors with the use of past and present tenses. Also, I didn’t understand the role of narrative in a novel, and as a result, I didn’t filter everything through the point of view character, I described everything, just like you would set the scene in a screenplay.

 

On top of this, too much is happening in the story, and technically, it could be split into two full-length novels.

 

Learning From Past Mistakes

After pointing out all of the errors that I know about in Immunity, it makes sense for me to say that it needs a major rewrite. Now that I’m on this side of the major rewrite that I delved into for Duplicity, I can say with certain knowledge that I NEVER want to do that again. Completely rewriting a novel-length work is like pulling teeth without anaesthetic—not something that I recommend.

 

Somewhat Inappropriate Content

Then there’s the elephant in the room. The content doesn’t feel appropriate to this post-virus world because it discusses pharmaceuticals and the creation of vaccines. Also, the story has a touch of medical science fiction because what is happening in the novel isn’t technically possible. Maybe I’m taking this too seriously, but it no longer feels appropriate.

 

As a result of my decision not to publish book four, I no longer feel boxed in by what’s ahead—I now have a blank slate. So, I’m taking one hundred and eighteen thousand words out of the James Lalonde Canon. And it feels great.

 

Indulging in Shiny Object Syndrome

While trying to figure out the issues with my series, I indulged in shiny object syndrome. I started writing a cozy mystery short story as a palate cleanser. The series features a middle-aged female sleuth—in a similar vein to Agatha Raisin but minus the detective agency. It was supposed to be a series of short stories, but I suspect it will be a novella or novelette length. So, the protagonist is in a mid-life crisis scenario. She’s at a place in life where things haven’t worked out the way she imagined, and now she’s starting again at forty. I also gave her a valid reason to have the cash flow without the career, at least temporarily, so she has time for sleuthing.

 

Selling Direct with WooCommerce

The other exciting thing that happened, in the sense that I made a decision and rolled with it, was I set up a WooCommerce store on authoradhay.com*. In May, I recorded the process of setting up my store with WooCommerce with the Divi Theme* on a WordPress website. Previously, I set up a WooCommerce store, selling digital products for Le Villain Book Covers, so I have some experience going through this process.

 

At present, I’m in the process of turning this into a mini course that I’ll sell at a low price—possibly US$39. The idea behind the course is for you to follow along and set up your store with me. At present, I’m 75% of the way through editing the course. On top of this, there is a bonus module on how to style your store if you use the DIVI theme.

 

So, if you’re interested in hearing about this in the future, sign up for my email list using the form below. Even if you receive emails from me, still sign up because MailerLite will flag you as interested in hearing about this product.

 

Concluding Thoughts

So, that concludes this May Author Diary episode. If you have any questions or have tips on book marketing that you would love to share with me, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

In the next episode of the podcast, I will discuss the results of a book marketing experiment, including the stats on free downloads and sales. It’s a bonus episode that I can’t wait to share with you. 

 

Thank you for listening, and happy reading and writing, everybody.

 

Your coach,

Amelia xx

 

* DISCLAIMER: This blog post contains products created and sold by me or affiliate links to products (marked with an *), which means if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. The commission helps support the blog and allows us to continue to make content like this. Thank you for your support. 🙂

 

Have you found the blog and podcast useful? Wish you could buy the host, Amelia D. Hay, a cup of coffee. Now, thanks to Buy Me a Coffee, you can!

Amelia D. Hay

Written by Amelia D. Hay

I’m Amelia. When I’m not hosting the Authorpreneur Podcast™️ and the Book Nerd Podcasts, I write Mystery Novels under the pen name A. D. Hay. And, I’m the author of Suspicion, the Lawn, and the Candidate.

On this blog, I help new writers to finish their first draft, prepare their manuscripts for professional editing, and when they get stuck in the first draft phase or are confused about the revision process.

Right now, I’m editing and preparing my soon to be published mystery novels, Suspicion, Duplicity, 24 Hours, and Immunity for publication.

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