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Old 01-04-2013, 01:46 PM
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Hi everyone,
My name is Christian and I am the Marketing Director for (cringe) a new eBook seller called PagePusher. I promise once you watch a very short video, you will see how we are very different from the other guys (hint: active marketing integrated through the absolute largest online community). One of the more charmingly vocal members of this community suggested (in jest) that the ideal digital publishing service should be free. It was an inspired suggestion! So to see what everyone thinks of our unique service, we are making it 100% free to the first 50 users from Writer’s Beat. And I do mean free. No up front costs and authors keep 100% of every book sale. Since we actually pay your biggest fans to tell their friends about your books, we are guaranteed to lose money on this, but the feedback should be priceless. Your only costs would be the minimal fee charged by PayPal when funds go from our PayPal account to yours. Watch the video and tell us what you think. Or even better, list one of your old books and try it out. I mean if it’s free, what have you got to lose?

Watch the video here: www.pagepusher.com/authors

Use this promo-code on the ePub upload page to waive ALL our fees: WBFREE

Thanks and good luck!
Cheers,
Christian

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Old 01-04-2013, 04:44 PM
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It wasn't in jest. Kindle, CreateSpace, Smashwords, are all free.
And all are very powerful, established services that immediately put your book on amazon and other huge stores worldwide.
And charge no fees.

Actually, almost any company that calls itself a "self publisher" is full of crap immedieately. You're either publishing yourself or a company is publishing you.

The woods is full of these people all trying to get some piece of writers "dreams money". Don't do it.

And anybody who wants you to write for their free brochure is automatically to be avoided.
Not quite 199%, but I'd say almost anybody who tries to sell you with a video instead of just letting you read a page is probably full of crap.

And in this particular case, any company whos MARKETING DRIECTOR badmouths people in a forum he's entered to sell you on their scheme is showing some major cracks.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:38 PM
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I did not realize that if you sold a book on Amazon, CreateSpace, or Smashwords for $5, as an author, you kept all $5. That is the equation for free.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:09 PM
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Come on Lin, the proof is in the pudding. Let Socal see what he can do.

My very serious questions, Socal, are...
What quality control are you employing. We have some great writers here, but are you just going to take anything that comes with the first 50 submissions?

And, does the free service, no costs etc. include author retained rights? Otherwise you are technically taking something.
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:22 AM
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I think it's worth pointing out gross misrepresentation.

Getting less than 100 percent from a retail sale is normal. ]

Duh.

Paying upfront fess is not "free". Waiving those fees for promotional purposes does not mean they are not there.

I think posts on this forum indicate that these people are not all that experienced or expert.
That use of video isn't just a matter of taste--it indicates a company mindset that places it in a certain school, if you will. It's important to differentiate betwee outfits who market to readers and those who market to, and make money off of, writers. You learn to spot clues.

But hey, far be it from me to trammel on the entrepreneurial impulse. Feel free to hook up with the guys if you really need to.
One thing you might consider (aside from that whole "world market vs new corner store" thing: being on this platform means you can't be on amazon's Select.

Last edited by Lin; 01-05-2013 at 09:24 AM..
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  #6  
Old 01-05-2013, 06:08 PM
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Let me take a different tack here, that might be more fair and even constructive.

Tell us, why would somebody want to do this instead of just putting their book up on amazon via KDP/CreateSpace, and on all those Nook, iStuff, etc. stores for free via SmashWords?
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:43 PM
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I was pretty damn cynical at first.
Your video didn't help that much; it looks like a parody of pyramid schemes and/or cheesy informercials, with all the buzzwords and patronisation.

But I read your FAQ, and the core concept -- automated tracking and rewarding of readers who recommend books to their friends -- is actually pretty genius. Especially combined with algorithms that can target specific consumer subsets (e.g. sci-fi fans).

I'd like to know more about that stuff. For example, you keep mentioning studies about the selling power of referrals -- what studies? Can you link to them?

You also may be underestimating the "spam factor." You're not the first person to come up with the idea of getting people to spam all their friends' facebook & twitter pages with ads/"recommendations." You might be surprised how unreceptive people can be to that sort of thing...
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:57 AM
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the selling power of referrals
Sooo . . . word of mouth, which has happened for . . . how long?
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:05 AM
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I think it's called multi-level marketing.
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:09 AM
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Is that what it's called now? Ah.
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:07 AM
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Hi everyone. I'm happy to respond. I also encourage everyone to search out my other post so you can judge for yourself if I have bad-mouthed anyone.

"Gross misrepresentation": Lin you are confusing normal with free. To claim normal is tantamount to free is just plain incorrect. To me, free means being charged nothing. This is what we are offering those on this forum. I never said it was free to the world. I bet buying gifts for you is very hard...

Authors retain all rights. It is a non-exclusive listing.

Quality control is currently based on an ePub formatting check. This is less than perfect, but then again, I expect a well formatted ePub file combined with a genesis out of this forum to be more likely to generate quality work. Keep in mind, this offer is unique to this forum.

Here are the two keys to the system that are easy to over-look: 1) The ability to reach your entire previous audience. This is priceless information that the big guys keep for themselves. It's your readership. You should be able to reach out to them! With every book release, the value of this list increases. It makes future book releases nearly guaranteed to outperform your previous books!

2) Yes referrals are nothing new. But this system facilitates and encourages them. Your biggest fans are likely to be avid readers. This can be an expensive habit. The referral system rewards these fans by allowing them to essentially read for free. Is this spamming? The study linked at the bottom shows that 4 out of 5 readers already tell their friends about ebooks they like. We simply facilitate and reward them for this. I doubt they will stop because we are paying them. For those that don't want to make money off their friends we have a charity option, allowing them to support charity through their hobby of reading.

3) Some questions to ask yourself: How many books have you sold? How many more would you have sold if everyone who ever enjoyed one of your books was paid to tell everyone they know about it? How many copies will your next book sell if it was emailed directly to ALL of the previous numbers on release day?

4) Network: Sure Amazon has amazing distribution channels. That being said we have no interest in redeveloping channels. Facebook already has done this for us. It is the largest interconnected community there is, which is good enough for us.

5) Yes word of mouth has been around forever. But to claim it's the same now as always is like comparing a musket to a machine gun. Facebook has changed the nature of "word of mouth". Nothing crosses borders faster than messaging via Facebook. The only limiting barrier is language. In addition, we can now facilitate, track, and reward this word of mouth. And then give you access to all the conversations.

MLM? Thanks Lin I won't respond.

http://www.elasticpath.com/pdf/resea...hing-world.pdf

http://allfacebook.com/facebook-word-of-mouth_b69800

http://www.zuberance.com/resources/resourcesStats.php
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  #12  
Old 01-06-2013, 08:33 AM
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I'll bet you won't.

Re: badmouthing
You say this:

I do not really take "offense" to the response, however, I am very curious what the reason is for the vitriol. You not open to people trying to help the profession of writing? The recent past seems to have been very good for independent authors, but innovation is an ongoing process. Why not participate in continued improvements? Or is spewing bitterness more fun, even if it stifles the opportunities available within the profession. Please help me understand and I mean no one any offense.
The idea that I do less to helping people with writing as a spammer who just came her to pimp a business that hopes to make money off writers without offereing them anything more with writing is no so much bullshit as just quaint.

Your arguments here are essentially the same ones you keep hearing people pour out for these things, and don't hold water. But I'm not going to bother with it. Have fun for as long as it lasts.
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:45 AM
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I can see this from both sides, and by posting here I hope to bring an end to any more... disagreements or conflictual discussions

We always welcome people with new ideas and ways of helping our members achieve success. And, as Socal is a writers as well as Director of a company with seemingly quite a lot to offer WB members in the right position, even better.

But by the same token, we also recognise all the support and guidance that can come from member's like Lin, who has a wealth of experience in so many areas of publishing, and who in most cases is willing to share it with anyone who has a genuine interest in moving forward with a career in writing. There are more than a few here who have publishing credits to their name thanks to Lin's support.

I think it would be great if we could move forward from this point, looking for ways to succeed for everyone no matter what route they try.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:23 AM
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Agreed on all counts.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:33 AM
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I would also like to discuss an issue mentioned earlier; the listing fee. While I wouldn't think it shouldn't be a concern here since I've waived it for this forum, let me explain it in more detail. If an author's intent is to only sell a few hundred books, then our service would not make sense due to a listing fee. However, if you intend to sell 1,000 or more, then access to this list of readers becomes far more valuable than $149. Think of the value of that list at 5,000 and you get the idea. How many extra sales would direct marketing to 5,000 previous clients generate? I suspect more than $149 worth. That being said, the reason we have it in place is because our profit margin is slimmer than it looks. Full disclosure: if we normally only keep 30% of sales, and then out of that 30% pay out referral refunds, that leaves very little left. Enough to run a business, yes, but at the expense of being able to advertise effectively to get new authors and readers. The listing fee is designed to cover our author acquisition costs. As soon as we know exactly what this CPA is, then the listing fee will be reduced to that amount. Regardless, our service only makes sense for authors with aspirations of selling lots of books and we're doing our best to break down all barriers to this end by not charging up front.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:45 AM
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Also, if anyone wants 20% off at any product or service that BookBaby offers, PM me for a discount code.
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  #17  
Old 01-06-2013, 06:20 PM
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If you are charging $149 to list books on this (and I suspected something like that, thought it wasn't mentioned before...just this disengenous, "Fee" sham) then writers should not come anywhere near it.

Again, one more of these start-ups, all making huge promises based on "promotion" smoke and mirrors. Just the idea that it would be a good idea to sell on this instread of KDP Select would cause experienced publishers and marketers to fall over laughing.

Sorry, Lorry, but I have a REALLY hard time seeing this as being a help to writers.
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:55 PM
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Lin, I appreciate your insight. This is obviously not for you and I accept that and respect your opinion. My hope and belief is that others will find value in my offer of 100% free publishing with 100% royalties. And perhaps their readers will also appreciate said authors decision to use a service that gives them a chance to read premium books for free through recommendations.
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by socal View Post
My hope and belief is that others will find value in my offer of 100% free publishing with 100% royalties.
That doesn't really make sense. 100% royalties go to the author? How is that a sustainable business model for you?
Or is that just a promotional rate you're using while you work out the kinks in the system?

Don't mind Lin. He seems kind of set in his ways and takes offence to any sort of non-traditional approach to things. I'm frankly surprised he doesn't write with an inkwell and quill instead of a keyboard.

I, on the other hand, appreciate new innovative ideas and take the time to explore them thoroughly.

My main concern with this, is that it seems that you're limited to tracking readers who engage with the PagePusher website or app. Is that right? In which case, doesn't that constrain potential readers solely to your userbase? Otherwise, how would you reward someone who isn't using the service? Furthermore, what's to stop someone from recommending books to dummy accounts they've created?

Your Twitter account currently has 0 followers. You say the process starts by getting 25 of our friends/fans to buy our book off you, but if we supply the book and the readers, what exactly are you providing? A reward scheme? A list of buyers? Both of which require them to register with your site? You even said 4/5 people will tell their friends about books they like anyway, so what difference does the reward scheme even make? Do you have any statistics/projections on that?

It seems like a pretty good idea in theory, but I'd want to see cold hard numbers before I got involved. I guess that's what this promotion is about...?
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:24 PM
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I have trouble with innovative ways of publishing???

Boy is that every stupid/ignorant/buttheaded.
You've got NO fucking idea.


But, truly, this isn't anything particularly newfangled. This sort of thing has been popping up for years.

Actually the contemorary twists on KDP are way ahead of it.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:33 AM
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So... this is affiliate marketing for fiction, right?

Emerald, I'm guessing the business model is - 70% to the author, commission of 20% to the referrer, 10% to the company plus all the listing fees. They won't make money off anyone directly with this special offer, but they will off the people who get referred, and any company like this needs a sizeable userbase to be viable, and giving good deals to early adopters is a good way to kick-start that.

I'm not convinced by the 4/5 figure. There's a BIG difference between 'talking about a book' and 'sharing it across every social network'. The 'conservative' 25% figure is pushing it, too. Also, there've been quite a few studies that have shown financial incentives don't work for this kind of thing. People like being paid for grunt-work; being paid for stuff they'd do anyway bizarrely tends to mean less people do it - they don't like the idea of that it could be thought they're only doing it for the money.

I'm curious about the buy network - how exactly does it work? Do you collect e-mail addresses of everyone using your social reader app, then mail them whenever a new listing goes out? And does the author also get a copy of all these contact details? And how do people get your Social Reader app in the first place?

Lin - what are the contemporary twists on KDP? I'm not up to date with all the stuff you can do with that platform at the moment.

FWIW, I can see some value to this in getting exposure, but if you're relying on viral marketing to make money from your book - especially if the first $149 is sucked up as a listing fee - I'd expect you to be waiting a very long time for your cash.
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  #22  
Old 01-08-2013, 08:45 AM
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Yeah, affiliate payments have to be the answer to much of this. Which is a pretty thin income stream.

Your comments on the wow-zow are well taken. So much of this stuff blares big numbers that don't really mean "readers" and sure as hell don't mean sales.

To me, the $150 puts the whole thing out of the question and the "special to you" waiver just sounds suspicious. I would wonder if anybody reading this thread will ever sell $150 worth of their books.

Nothing specially super with KDP, just what they do. Like Select--and I think this might disqualify a book from Select. I mentioned that and they didn't respond to it, so....
What I referred to was the whole complex of building reviews on amazon, smart use of the 5 Select free days, coupled with "layering" listings and promotions around those days.

If this isn't MLM, it's really close to it. What part of "you buiid a downline of readers who get points off" doesn't fit in with that?

But the HUGE factor is that fee.
Kevin McLaughlin, about as saavy a commenter/blogger on publishing as I know of, repeats that the acid test of publishing plans isn't "vanity", it's whether somebody charges both a fee and royalties.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:03 PM
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Howdy,
I'll try and address all questions:

Q: That doesn't really make sense. 100% royalties go to the author? How is that a sustainable business model for you?
A: It's not sustainable. It was a gift to this forum based on a thread I started in "Publishing". Typical promos will just be listing fee waivers.

Q: My main concern with this, is that it seems that you're limited to tracking readers who engage with the PagePusher website or app. Is that right?
A: Short answer, yes. Keep in mind, that this model does not rely on readers coming to you, via say browsing Amazon, but rather brings your book to them through the inter-connectivity of social media.


Q: In which case, doesn't that constrain potential readers solely to your userbase? Otherwise, how would you reward someone who isn't using the service?
A: We will be rolling out a Kindle portal in the next 4-8 weeks which will allow readers to access via Kindle, yet still be rewarded if their friends purchase based on their suggestions.

Q: Furthermore, what's to stop someone from recommending books to dummy accounts they've created?
A: The 5 referrals = 1 refund only applies to referrals that generate a sale. Example: You have 500 freinds on Facebook, read Mayan Calander Girls purchased from PagePusher (yes, fantasy land here, lol). You love it and post on your wall that it's a great book. You 500 friends see this in their News Feed and 8 click on the link and buy it too. You get your money back and the author is paid for 2 book sales.

Q: Your Twitter account currently has 0 followers. You say the process starts by getting 25 of our friends/fans to buy our book off you, but if we supply the book and the readers, what exactly are you providing? A reward scheme? A list of buyers?
A: Yes, we provide the system. We also provide payment out of our proceeds to your readers. We also provide a system that gives you access to your previous readers on future book releases. You provide the book and a base of readers, and we expand this base exponentially. (I'm not sure what you mean by us requiring 25 users)

Q: You even said 4/5 people will tell their friends about books they like anyway, so what difference does the reward scheme even make?
A: Well I'm sure those 4 would be more likely to buy your next book, if they were refunded for the last one.

Q: It seems like a pretty good idea in theory, but I'd want to see cold hard numbers before I got involved. I guess that's what this promotion is about...?
A: The promotion was really just about trying to give back a little here, since we are guaranteed to lose money on it. You can see what spawned it in the Publishing section. Sure we would get some great feedback, but we have other options for this (existing content libraries are available). But outside of a 100% free promotion, I can't give you much else.

Q: I'm curious about the buy network - how exactly does it work? Do you collect e-mail addresses of everyone using your social reader app, then mail them whenever a new listing goes out?
A: We get either the email or Facebook addresses of every reader. This data is then tied to the specific authors whose books the reader has purchased. When each of these authors releases their next book, they have the option to "Include Buy Network" in the release message sent to their personal Facebook/email/Twitter etc contacts. If they check this box, the message that they type goes to everyone who ever previously purchased a book from them with a description and link to buy. We are currently considering allowing authors to periodically send out non-book release correspondence as well (capped at say once a quarter).

Note: I'm not convinced by the 4/5 figure. There's a BIG difference between 'talking about a book' and 'sharing it across every social network'.
A: This may very well be correct, but keep in mind what just Facebook can do. Throw a post on your wall during the afternoon and how many people will see it? The average Facebook account has well over 200. Most have wayyy more. If just 5 people bought a book as a result of a friend's recommendation then they are reading for free.

Q: FWIW, I can see some value to this in getting exposure, but if you're relying on viral marketing to make money from your book - especially if the first $149 is sucked up as a listing fee - I'd expect you to be waiting a very long time for your cash.
A: The reason we have it in place is because our profit margin is slimmer than it looks. Full disclosure: if we normally only keep 30% of sales, and then out of that 30% pay out referral refunds, that leaves very little left. Enough to run a business, yes, but at the expense of being able to advertise effectively to get new authors and readers. The listing fee is designed to cover our author acquisition costs. As soon as we know exactly what this CPA is, then the listing fee will be reduced to that amount.

Hope this helps. Obviously this system isn't for everyone, but thanks for engaging me with great questions and I welcome more.
Cheers,
C
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by socal View Post
Example: You have 500 freinds on Facebook, read Mayan Calander Girls purchased from PagePusher (yes, fantasy land here, lol). You love it and post on your wall that it's a great book. You 500 friends see this in their News Feed and 8 click on the link and buy it too. You get your money back and the author is paid for 2 book sales.
Wait a minute. Why is the author only paid for 2 book sales if 8 are made? I thought the referral incentive comes solely from your end?

Also, by cold hard numbers I didn't mean money. I meant sales statistics. I think you should be focussing on metrics: proving that this publication scheme actually works through controlled market research. As it stands, all you've got is a vague hope that asking/paying people to do what they already do (tell their friends about a good book) will somehow translate to higher sales.

Haven't you put this theory to the test at all? It seems pretty amateurish to go live with a system when you haven't done any sort of market test analysis. Or have you?
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:27 AM
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I think Fantasy Land describes that scenario pretty well.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Emerald View Post
Wait a minute. Why is the author only paid for 2 book sales if 8 are made? I thought the referral incentive comes solely from your end?
?
Oops, my mistake. Author gets paid on all sales. I confused myself trying to be clear that authors get paid even on books that are subsequently refunded.
Cheers,
C
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Old 03-25-2016, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by socal View Post
I did not realize that if you sold a book on Amazon, CreateSpace, or Smashwords for $5, as an author, you kept all $5. That is the equation for free.

That's really true..I was amaze
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