Newsletter #46 — Amazon A+
November 1, 2022
Newsletter #46 — Amazon A+
Amazon A+ Content — My writing and publishing life was made more complicated for a week or two by Amazon's introduction of a new advertising program called A+ Content. This enabled me to add a "From the Publisher" section to the books I've published through KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing). But even using Amazon templates, there were hours of work for each book. However, at first glance it seems that the A+ content may be creating a modest increase in book sales.
Authors Guild, Serialized Fiction — Last month I took an Authors Guild webinar on serialized fiction, such as that published by Kindle Vella. The deal is that you can write a novel (or, really, anything — but the longer, the more lucrative) and then serialize it in chapters written to fit into a length of one thousand, two thousand, or three-thousand words. You can publish as often as you like (Monday through Friday, for example, or one day a week only, or MWF: it's up to you). Readers pay to read your installments. Or, they decide to not pay and they walk.
Serialization has a long and noble history. The novels of Charles Dickens were serialized and fans stood in line to buy the issues that contained the chapters. I was at the webinar mainly because I was considering the possibility of rewriting in serial format one or two of my unpublished novels. After the webinar was over I went to Kindle Vella and read a couple of serialized novels. A YA, an adult mystery, and one other. Anybody can read the first three chapters of any such work for free. After three chapters, you are required to pay.
I decided that, at least for now, serialization is not for me. I didn't care for the format of trying to end each chapter on a cliffhanger or of having no introspective text (all action, all dialogue seems to be the norm), and most of all I didn't care for the fact that literary writing wasn't even a category. So no serializations for me.
You might be interested in knowing who the main audience for such fiction is. According to the webinar participants, it's commuters who read these brief serials while on their way to or from work.
Webinars Are Dangerous — And then some perverse voice urged me to take still another webinar, this one sponsored by Wordpress, on how to use Blocks to build your blog posts. "How to use" is not exactly the reason I took the webinar. No: I was looking for "How to update." Because, you see, I started my Wordpress blog back in 2014, and at the time I chose a theme (basic format, structure, fonts, and colors) called Fictive (so appropriate). That theme has served me well, but as time went by I began to recognize that: (1) the theme was starting to look dated, and (2) sooner or later, Wordpress would no longer support that theme (as it has done with other of its themes), and when that time came I would be required to suddenly, based on somebody else's timeline, redesign my entire blog.
I decided that I would be better off updating my blog site now, not later, and so I took the webinar. There I learned that I could migrate my entire blog into one of the very latest themes, and the theme structure would take care of most of the updating. Or, I could start with a blank slate and build my new blog site block by block.
As tempting as that was, I do have a mule book to get back to ASAP, and so I went with migrating my blog site into the new theme. This turned out to be not quite as easy as I hoped it would be, because I wanted to add some things to the basic blog theme. The new theme exhibits my six latest blogs, which is good.
But I wanted to also exhibit my ten most popular blogs, just to show the wide variety of topics I've written about. And so I had to construct that section, and that took some time. Unfortunately the theme I selected overruled a few of my wishes, but all in all I'm happy with the new blog site. It is definitely easier to use. You can visit it here.
My Writing Life: 7 — In my November 1 blog I cover the time I spent researching and writing Women at Play: The Story of Women in Baseball.