Monthly Archives: October 2013

Trying to leave Amazon again. We’ll see.

I hate not being diversified.  I hate it.  I diversify my life in many ways.  I own several different stocks, and types of stocks in my portfolio.  I make my income from several different sources.  I diversify where I make friends.  I diversify my interests and hobbies.  Diversifying your income is a key to thriving in the 21st century.  (Read this great post from James Altucher on diversifying your life.)


“They” always say don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

Which is why I hate I don’t like being exclusive to Amazon on ebooks.

But when your other options are mediocre to terrible then, well, there you are.  I wrote about these terrible option before.

I have put my two first books up on Nook.  I was going to put my first book, Kevin and the Seven Lions, back up on Kobo.  But that was pointless.


The book was just in ‘delisted’ status on Kobo and when I tried to relist it the system got “stuck”.  Unfortunately I had experienced this before.  When I first put up Seven Lions it was in publishing status for several days.  Days.  And their support had no idea why.

No idea.

Kobo pic

Yeah. If you could get that out of “In Progress”. That would be great.

Then I reread the payment policy at Kobo.  They only pay you when you reach $100.  If you don’t reach that, then you only get paid once every 6 months.  I’m not there yet.  I like getting my $15-$35 monthly deposits from Amazon.  So this wouldn’t be a problem with someone who has a much broader audience than I currently have.  But having a broader audience doesn’t solve the problem of a system that gets books stuck in publishing.

I have put the two Kevin books back up on Nook.  And even that isn’t perfect.  They will pay you monthly with $10 thresholds.  But the uploading needs work.

I upload the Three-Headed Alien book’s epub and Nook doesn’t allow me to preview the book online.  Seriously?  I have no idea if the Nook formatted the book correctly, the only way to check it is to buy it.  I guess Barnes and Noble is that desperate for sales.  Authors must purchase their own work just to check it.  Nice.

I am not even trying Apple right now.  I feel no need to sacrifice an animal to get on ibookstore.

I have paperback versions of each of my books.  that has increased my income from books.  It has diversified who has purchased my work.  We all know people who are still “I don’t read ebooks!  I like paper!”  Great!  Here is my book on paper!

Three-Headed Alien Paperback-1

See. Book in actual paperback form.

I keep that in the back of my mind as I try selling my ebooks in other places other than Amazon.  If I go back to Amazon exclusively, people can still buy my books at Barnes and Noble and other places.

What do I get by staying with Amazon?

Right now I get borrows.  There is the key.  In August and September, payments from borrows were somewhere in the neighborhood of 30-40% of my royalties.  But I had no borrows this first part of October, and the first of the month is when borrows typically happen, so I decided that it was a good time to not renew the exclusivity with Amazon.

So here I am again learning why Amazon is winning.  And winning big.  Because they deserve too.  They make things easy for authors and readers.  Good for them.

So if you’re new to my work, you can check out Kevin and the Seven Lions on Nook, and Kevin and the Three-Headed Alien on Nook, as well.

“They” always say don’t put all your eggs in one basket.   But when the other baskets have gaping holes, and velvet ropes around them, then I am not sure that advice holds, as I like my eggs safe.

If you have had different experience, please share in the comments section.

Dolbin School for the Extraordinary is now available on Kindle

Woo-Hoo!  The new book is here

Dolbin Kindle Cover

Click on the pic to get the book at Amazon.

The book is currently #90 on the Hot New release list in Children’s ebooks.  Sweet.  I got a screen grab when it hit #100.

It may not be the top 100 regular children's books.  I'll take it.

It may not be the top 100 regular children’s books. But I’ll take it.

The book is a 27,000 word middle grade book for 4th graders and up.  I am probably breaking all sorts of rules by not staying in the same genre.  I’ve gone from picture book, to chapter book, to middle grade book.  There in lies the beauty of indie publishing.  Some agent or publisher wouldn’t allow that.

Anyway, it’s only going to be 99 cents for a few days.  So pick it up now and let me know what you think.

Teachers Should Write More Books

I know that several of you that follow this blog are teachers.  I also know from talking with you online and in person several of you are trying to write your own books.  And several of you have just thought about writing books.  If you have just thought about making a book but can’t think of an idea.  Get over it, start writing ,and make a book.  It will make you a better teacher.

Write a book just to see it here.  Trust me.  (P.S. image not from  my school library)

Write a book just to see it here. Trust me. (P.S. image not from my school library)

After years of teaching first grade, I was moved this year to teach fifth grade.  I was surprised that several of my students did not know about my Kevin books, because the first one is in our school library and it was mentioned on the school announcements.  I know.  How do they not know!
So recently I brought in a copy of Kevin and the Three-headed Alien, and I wrote the book with third graders in mind, but these 5th graders were competing to read one of the copies I brought to class.  A lesson learned is that in can be very hard to narrow a children’s book to a very specific age group.

Three-Headed Alien Paperback-1
My class asked if everyone could get a copy.  What a wonderful request.  A request that I cannot afford.  (Some how people seem to think I get the books for free.  Cheaper? Yes.  Free? No.) But with two copies in the class students have a waiting list to read the book.  You are missing out if you never experience that as a teacher.

To alleviate stress in the class I changed my lesson plan, (don’t tell my admin) and did a shared reading lesson on my own book.  I read the first chapters and the students made connections with the text.  They made personal connections with the text and made connections with other texts.
As a writer this is unbelievable access to how your market is connecting with your work. As a teacher I have engaged my students more. Now they are creating their own books in class. One student told me they were going to upload their book to Amazon. Engaging your students and inspiring them to create their own work is why more teachers should be writing.

P.S. I have another book out soon.  It would be great if you joined my mailing list.  If you are on the list you will get news of the new book first.  Don’t worry I don’t spam, I am too busy.  Click here to join the list.  Thanks!


Seriously, people go write those books.