Author Help

Helping authors publish

Weekly News: 25th October 2021

Every week, we post a curated list of links that authors should find useful or interesting. Here are this week’s links:

  • How authors support each other on social media.
  • Amazon will start adding a transparency code to KDP Print books if the uploaded cover doesn’t include a barcode.
  • Lots of authors are looking for alternatives to Audible & ACX. Be careful, even established companies like Scribd can engage in rights grabs.
  • Facebook (or any other social media company) could delete your account at any time. Make sure you have a mailing list that you control.
  • Give your chapters titles, not just numbers. Chapter titles are useful for marketing.
  • Kristine Kathryn Rusch on deadlines.
  • Writing non-fiction? Avoid these mistakes that make your work look amateurish.

If you want to publish your book, email us to find out how we can help.

Weekly News: 18th October 2021

Every week, we post a curated list of links that authors should find useful or interesting. Here are this week’s links:

If you want to publish your book, email us to find out how we can help.

Weekly News: 11th October 2021

Every week, we post a curated list of links that authors should find useful or interesting. Here are this week’s links:

If you want to publish your book, email us to find out how we can help.

Weekly News: 4th October 2021

Every week, we post a curated list of links that authors should find useful or interesting. Here are this week’s links:

  • Details of two new scams that affect authors.
  • DeepZen and Ingram have partnered to offer AI-powered audiobooks based on voices from real actors.
  • Goodreads had lost a lot of favour with authors recently, but Penny Sansevieri argues it’s still useful.
  • The benefits and pitfalls of joining a writing group.
  • There are several ways of working with another person to get your book written. Which is best for you?
  • Most copyright enforcement on the internet is done by bots, not humans. Make sure you keep on the right side of them.
  • How to make the most of a writer’s retreat.

If you want to publish your book, email us to find out how we can help.

Weekly News: 27th September 2021

Every week, we post a curated list of links that authors should find useful or interesting. Here are this week’s links:

  • Authors have many options these days. How do you choose the one that’s right for you?
  • We’d all like to be more productive in our writing. These ideas might help.
  • New opportunities appear at a dizzying rate. Kristine Kathryn Rusch on how to work out which ones are worth pursuing.
  • Joanna Penn has been a full-time author entrepreneur for a decade. Here’s what she’s learned in that time.
  • Being approached by an overseas publisher is exciting, but a note of caution is advisable.
  • The pages your website should have, and the ones that are good to have.
  • Your website theme came with stock images and text. Make sure you delete all of it.

If you want to publish your book, email us to find out how we can help.

Weekly News: 20th September 2021

Every week, we post a curated list of links that authors should find useful or interesting. Here are this week’s links:

  • Amazon have added hardbacks to KDP’s offerings, alongside ebooks and paperbacks.
  • The key to winning NaNoWriMo is preparation.
  • The global ebook market is huge, much bigger than most realise. Ignore it at your peril.
  • Too many people resist collaborating with others.
  • Interesting article about libraries, ebooks, and audiobooks.
  • Don’t get taken in by all the hype around Substack.
  • Publishing has a diversity problem. The Alliance of Independent Authors has some ideas for how authors can help.

If you want to publish your book, email us to find out how we can help.

Weekly News: 13th September 2021

Every week, we post a curated list of links that authors should find useful or interesting. Here are this week’s links:

If you want to publish your book, email us to find out how we can help.

Weekly News: 6th September 2021

Every week, we post a curated list of links that authors should find useful or interesting. Here are this week’s links:

If you want to publish your book, email us to find out how we can help.

To DRM or not to DRM?

One of the questions we ask our authors is whether or not they want to enable DRM for their ebooks. Our recommendation is always not to enable it, but as with everything else, it’s the author’s book and so the final decision is theirs. This article explains what DRM is, why you might want it, and why we always recommend against using it.

What is DRM?

DRM stands for Digital Rights Management, which is technology that tries to prevent unauthorised copying of electronic files. There are DRM technologies available for various types of electronic files, but this article is only concerned with ebooks.

In theory, an ebook with DRM can only be viewed on an authorised device. In other words, if you buy a Kindle ebook from Amazon, you can read that ebook on any Kindle app or device that is registered to your Amazon account. If you buy an ebook from Kobo, you can read it on any Kobo app or device registered to your Kobo account. There’s no point uploading your file to a piracy site, since no-one else will be able to read it.

Does it stop piracy?

If it worked as intended, DRM would stop piracy. In practice, for anyone who knows how, removing DRM from ebooks is quick and easy. Most readers don’t know how, of course, but anyone wanting to pirate ebooks can find it out from a quick internet search.

This means that pirates know how to get around the restrictions. Thus, the pirates aren’t affected, and piracy isn’t prevented.

What does it mean for readers?

Most of the time, nothing. But if a reader has been reading books on one platform and decides to move to another, they won’t be able to take any DRM’d books to their new ereader. While it’s possible to strip the DRM to do this, the average user is unlikely to know how.

If the vendor decides to stop selling ebooks, the reader will not be able to read their DRM’d books elsewhere. If you’re thinking that’s unlikely, note that Microsoft stopped selling ebooks as recently as 2019. Back in 2013, Kobo removed all self-published books from its catalogue in what turned out to be a temporary purge. In the early days of Kindles back in 2009, Amazon removed copies of George Orwell’s 1984 from Kindles.

So overall, there is no real benefit to enabling DRM, but you might potentially cause problems for readers.

Weekly News: 30th August 2021

Every week, we post a curated list of links that authors should find useful or interesting. Here are this week’s links:

  • People are doing more and more of their shopping online, and Amazon’s share is falling.
  • Microsoft are investigating ways to use blockchain technology to incentivise reporting of copyright infringement.
  • Authors are turning away from Goodreads because of multiple issues with the site, including scams and trolls.
  • Amazon is switching to unlimited subscription models.
  • Many authors would love to win an award, but not all awards are worth entering.
  • Canada’s Indigo bookstore is concentrating on digital sales, not brick and mortar stores.
  • If you’re intimidated by the thought of editing your novel, break the task up into smaller pieces.

If you want to publish your book, email us to find out how we can help.

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