A fantasy fan since being read 'The Hobbit' by her father at the fireside at the age of six, she has been an avid bookworm her entire life. When the idea for her current trilogy popped into her head, there was never any doubt that it would be in the fantasy genre. Unfortunately, real life gets in the way, and writing has to fit around her full-time job at a global engineering consultancy and family life (husband and two young adult children). It took ten years to pen her first book, Medar, which was a finalist for the Tom Fitzgibbon Award in 2015 and was published in 2017. Her second book, Tyrelia was nominated in the Young Adult Fiction category in the 2019 Sir Julius Vogel Awards. Her third book, Golden City, is due out in 2021.
I thought I’d try and distribute the paperback versions of my books with Ingram Spark and keep the e-book versions with Amazon KDP. I used to have my second book, Tyrelia, available as print-on-demand via Amazon, but since changing the cover I haven’t put it back up there. And by the way, I have 3 separate ISBNs for the various formats of the book (one for paperback, one for kindle e-book, one for non-kindle e-book).
But when I tried uploading Tyrelia to Ingram Spark (after spending an hour setting up an account & filling in all the fields, uploading interior and cover files) I got an error message saying that the ISBN was already in use. So I chatted the help desk. The conversation went something like this:
[upon initiating the form, I had to enter my full name, Ingram Spark account number and my issue. I wrote “When I try to upload my paperback file to Ingram Spark, I get an error message saying that the ISBN is already in use. What do I need to do?”]
IS: Hello, thanks for contacting the service desk. What is your name and account number?
Me: [grrr. Can’t they read? I re-enter the details]
IS: Thanks. And how can I help you?
Me: [grrr. Can’t they read?] When I try to upload my paperback file to Ingram Spark, I get an error message saying that the ISBN is already in use. What do I need to do? [again!]
Ingram Spark (IS): Once you’ve uploaded your file, we’ll distribute it for you.
Me: That’s the problem, I can’t upload the file. Because of the ISBN error message.
IS: Oh. OK, let me check the ISBN…I found the e-book ISBN is available on KDP Select. We can’t distribute an e-book that’s enrolled in KDP Select. [massive blurb about Amazon’s exclusivity clause about e-books enrolled in KDP Select]
Me: I don’t want to sell the e-book via IS. I only want to sell the paperback.
IS: OK, then you need to transfer the title to us.
Me: [Finally!] Thanks. How do I do that?
IS: you need to fill out this form [& they gave a link]
Honestly, it shouldn’t have been that hard! So I’ve requested the Tyrelia paperback to be transferred. I’ll see how that goes before transferring any of the others!
I plan to mail out 4 times a year. I’ll pop in some new work as I write it, as well as some special deals. Would you like to subscribe to my newsletter? If so, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ve set myself a number of goals so I get a sense of achievement in this writerly game. Things like:
Receive royalty from Amazon (achieved last month!)
Break-even on the cost of producing my books
Get my Amazon marketing campaigns into positive ACOS (ie earn more than I spend 🙂 )
Win an award for one of my books
Well, one of my goals was to sell over 500 books…and sometime since releasing Golden City I finally achieved that goal! That’s across all 3 books, in all formats (paperback or e-book) and all sales platforms.
Unfortunately I am a long way off achieving any of my profitability goals. So that is my focus this year: make more money than I spend (easier said than done when I make less than a dollar per e-book sale…)