Round up #294: 100% royalty rate, Kickstarter goal reached

Round up #294: 100% royalty rate, Kickstarter goal reached

The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.

Book project funded!

I recently wrote about one of my sibling’s Kickstarter campaign to fund a new book (A Problem Solving Graphic Novel Guide for General Physics). I’m happy to announce that the goal has now been reached!

If you did (or you do…even though they’ve reached the goal, the project goes through May 23rd) pledge at least $5, you should be getting the Kindle version of the book in September.

Thanks for at least taking a look!

I know these authors! page

I’m hoping to make public the “I know these authors!” page on the ILMK blogsite soon. If I do know you (see the post linked above as “recently wrote” for what I mean by that), please remind me and if possible, give me a link to your Amazon Author Central page, so I can include you.

Day 3 of the Amazon Echo

On Thursday, I wrote about my

Amazon Echo: first impressions and menu map

I’ve been using it since, and thought I’d give a few more impressions and anecdotes:

  • I am impressed with its conversational abilities, although they are still quite limited. I tried, “Alexa, to be or not to be?” Alexa replied, “That is the question.” I’m glad that a joke wasn’t made out of that one. I asked, “Alexa, who’s the fairest of them all?” and got a great response: “Famed is thy beauty, Majesty. But hold, a lovely maid I see. Rags cannot hide her gentle grace. Alas, she is more fair than thee.” Hm…actually, I believe that’s from the Disney movie. I thought it might be from a public domain source
  • If you plan on getting one when they become publicly available, I’d start adding Prime music to your library now (if you are a Prime member). That’s free to do, and it makes it much easier for the Echo to play it. Add Prime Playlists, Prime Stations, individual songs, whatever. No charge for that (beyond your annual Prime membership). You might be tempted to add everything 😉 but that might actually make it harder for the Echo to find what you want. I haven’t quite figured out what it does if there are two different songs with the same name, for example…does it pick one, or give me a choice? Prime Music (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)
  • Whether you have an Echo or not, you may find this Prime playlist interesting (if you are a Prime member): Echo Favorites (at AmazonSmile*). It’s “regularly updated” with the songs most listened to on the Echo. It’s a fascinating list! Sure, you have Uptown Funk and All About That Bass, but there is also Chopin and Beethoven! I’m sure some people might find that jarring, but I like it as an eclectic mix
  • I did take the Echo to work, even though I figured I wouldn’t be able to get it on the guest wi-fi network there (you have to acknowledge terms, and there really isn’t a way to do that). What worked really well was that when I plugged it back into power at home, it just worked on my home wi-fi network again. I didn’t have to select it or anything…nice!
  • The app (I have it on my Fire Phone, but I assume it is basically the same on an iPhone, Android, and so on) has a lot of cool information! For example, you can go to the menu (three horizontal lines), choose Now Playing, and then tap “History”. Looks to me like is going back to the first song I played! I can play a song right from there, create a new station, or buy the song (as opposed to listening to it as part of our Prime membership)
  • I’ve sent one real piece of feedback through the app (Menu-General Feedback), and got a response quite quickly. I said this: “I am enjoying our new Echo very much. I did want to make a suggestion which would make it feel much more natural. You could introduce the option to put it into conversation mode. Once there, you would not have to say “Alexa” to get it to pay attention to what you said..That would continue until you took it out of conversation mode, or until it was quiet for a certain period of time. For example, that would allow you to ask a question, get an answer, and then say thank you and get a response without having to say “Alexa, thank you.” Getting it into conversation mode could be accomplished with a natural language sentence, like “Alexa, let’s talk.” As you know, the remote already works that way…you don’t have to say Alexa.”
  • To clarify something (thanks for commenting, readers): all you really need to use the Echo is a wi-fi network. To set it up, you’ll need either an app you download (to your Android phone or tablet, iPhone, iPad)) or the ability to use a browser on your computer. I would say you pretty much need the app to do many functions (for example, you can’t delete an item from to the To Do List from your Echo, I believe), but you don’t need any other connectivity than w-fi. The Bluetooth lets you do additional things, but you don’t need to set up anything in your house to make that work
  • I’m still thinking this is one of the really big tech stories of the year (after it gets released to the general public…I’m guessing mid-July), and that it’s a talked about gift at the holidays (not forgetting the Apple Watch, of course). I hope they can have enough available!

Kindle Unlimited keeps growing

Just saying…I think we’ll have one million titles in Kindle Unlimited for the USA market before July 4th (might be as early as June 1st, but that’s pushing it).

100% royalty rate

Yep…read that one again.

According to this

Publishers Weekly article by Calvin Reid (obviously no relation, but I could take that as an attractive imperative) 😉

Gatekeeper Press gives independently-published authors 100% of the sale price of the book.

How do they make money?

By charging for services…for example, proofreading is $6.50 per 1,000 words.

This seems to be a legitimate business: they’ve been mentioned in the mainstream media (according to the site), and generally, it looks good when I look at the site.

Searching for “Gatekeeper” as a publisher, I found 38 results at Amazon. I found one ranked at 391,164 in the Kindle store…really, that’s pretty good. It’s in about the top 12%.

If you are an indie, I would consider this as one of your options. It may be worth it to pay someone to improve the quality of your book, if what you really want is sales and not just to communicate.

An infographic of pen names

I sometimes have people assume that Bufo Calvin is a pen name. It’s my real name…on my driver’s license, how the IRS knows me, all of that. 🙂


infographic at Electric Literature–WHODUNIT: A HISTORY OF NOMS DE PLUME

has some really interesting things to say about pen names…who, how much, and why. I’m not sure I buy all of the “whys”, but it’s still an interesting bit of work. They credit another site…but when I click on the link, I’m just taken to a place to buy toner (the ink for printers and such) as far as I can tell. I didn’t dig around that other site much…I’d just view it on the Electric Lit site.

What do you think? Are you okay with authors using different pen names for different sorts of works? Is that just legitimate marketing, or do you feel it is deceptive? Did you pledge for my sibling’s book? Have you ever supported another Kickstarter project for a book? Oh, and I can’t forget my other sibling’s book coming out June 1st…One Murder More (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*). Currently ranked in the 500,000s at time of writing, I do think it will do reasonably well when it is released…getting some good blurbs. 🙂 If I know you, please remind me soon…thanks!

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.


3 Responses to “Round up #294: 100% royalty rate, Kickstarter goal reached”

  1. Lady Galaxy Says:

    FYI, the phantom books, “Potash Deposits…,” “Innovations in Competitive Manufacturing,” and “Frontiers of Evolutionary Computation” are back at the end of today’s long list of Kindle Daily Deals on my K3.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Lady!

      I haven’t sent that to Amazon yet…but it is odd!

      Gee, maybe someone is trying to send you a really arcane message… 😉

  2. Sassy Persona brings “Conversation Mode” to Alexa | The Measured Circle Says:

    […] I switched the coverage of Alexa/The Amazon Echo to this blog from my I Love My Kindle blog, I wrote back in May about my suggestion to Amazon that we be able to put Alexa into a “conversation mode”. […]

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