The Problem Self Publishing With Amazon [Update]

This is an update on my last blog post about selling your ebooks through Amazon Kindle.

I got my reply back from Amazon, fortunately I'm able to sell on all of my other platforms such as Payhip and Barnes and Noble and pretty soon Kobo.

I'd recommend any writer's to do the same and cast their nets really wide when it comes to selling their eBooks.  After all you want your books to reach as many people as possible.   May be Amazon will change their policy of automatically entering all publishers into KDP Select and allow them the opportunity to choose.  Check out my blog posts on selling your eBooks:
These days everything is down to money, unfortunately, so everywhere you turn there's usually a catch of some kind.  But if you don't ask you don't get anywhere.

You can check some of my other blog posts about creating, editing and selling your ebooks:


Best Blogging Platform: What Are the Options?

It can easily be said that everyone has a book in them.  Of course these days its easy to post infinite amounts of comments and tweets on Facebook and Twitter.  Fortunately there are also plenty of people who still have a desire for more mindful writing, and to share it with the rest of the world.

Blogging for many people is more than just posting a few pictures or writing the odd blog post.  It's a way of life and business for many.  You'll want to have a blogging platform that's easy to use and fits in with your budget.

If you already know the difference between free hosted blogs and self hosted blogs you might want to skip this section and check out my Start a Blog page, otherwise sit back and I'll guide you through your blog platform options:

Free Hosted Blogging Platforms

It pretty much is what it says it is, a free blogging platform.  You open a free account, get a domain name (www.example.blogspot.com) and start your website.

Your websites files are stored or hosted on your chosen platform servers.

  • No start up costs
  • Little knowledge required when starting your blog
  • If you choose not pay for a domain name you'll continue with www.example.blogspot.com
  • Less website capability
  • Free blogs can appear less professional
  • Limited bandwidth, memory space and video time
  • May limit your advertising options, making it harder to make money
Cost Involved

A free blog can stay completely free providing you don't mind having Blogger or Wordpress in yur domain name.  Otherwise you can buy a domain name for as little as $10 a year.

Free blogging platforms are perfect for first time bloggers or those on a tight budget who want a cheaper option.

Here are four of the biggest free blogging platforms:

I highly recommend Blogger, I've been using it myself for a long time, for this blog and many other's I've created in the past.  Sign in with your Google ID and start your blog in minutes.  These days you can customise it with various themes or even create your own them.

Powering a fifth of the internet its easy to see why Wordpress.com is widely used.  Create a blog for free, customise it, quick to install in a single-click.

New bloggers may find it a bit perplexing , but its still an option worth trying out.

3. Tumblr

Tumblr can often feel half-way between Twitter and Wordpress, with its strong social undercurrent.

Good mobile apps make it easy to submit content to a Tumblr blog from anywhere.

4. Weebly

Weebly sees itself as more of a website building system with drag-and-drop components.  It does offer blogging as part of the system.  You get customisable themes, layouts and sharing features.

Self-Hosted Blogging Platforms

A self-hosted blog is located on your own server, most people prefer to pay a third-party to host their blog, opening them up to all kinds of perks.  Websites such as Hostgator and Bluehost are among the most popular companies providing hosting services.  Basically these companies rent out digital storage space to users, making running a website possible.

  • Full control over your blog
  • You can install custom themes to brand your blog
  • Access to backed files, making it easier to make necessary code changes
  • Costs only a few dollars a month
  • Requires basic investment
  • Can be intimidating to new bloggers
Cost Involved

Any photos, domain names, themes you add to your purchase will go to your costs.  Self-hosting can cost around $4 a month.  Plugins may also cost a few extra dollars.

Self-hosted blogs are best suited for businesses or individuals who want to improve the appearance of their blog and boost its functionality.

Hostgator vs Bluehost

Hostgator and Bluehost are the two most affordable web hosts around.

Check out the comparison below of Hostgator and Bluehost that will help you decide when purchasing your webhosting for your blog.


Both offer 1-3 year plans.  Bluehost requires a 1 year commitment, Hostgator clients have the pay monthly option.

Winner: Bluehost

Plan Type

Yearly plans are offered by Hostgator and Bluehost.  Hostgator offers monthly options as well.  PayPal and credit cards are accepted.

Winner: Hostgator

Bandwidth and Disk Space

Bandwidth is the capability to transfer data.  It's used when visitor's navigate your site.  Both companies offer unlimited bandwidth ensuring unrestricted access to your blog.

Disk space is the storage capacity of the hard drive.  Your data, images, videos and emails are all stored here.  Unlimited disk space is included in Hostgator and Bluehost hosting plans.

Winner: Tie Hostgator   Bluehost

Free Domain Name

Bluehost offer a free domain name for one year, with 1 and 2 year hosting plans.  Free domain registration is not included with any of Hostgator's plans.

Winner: Bluehost

Automated Backups

A crucial part of the automating process is file and database backup.  Performed on a regular basis. Bluehost include automated weekly backups at no extra charge.  Hostgator charge $15 to restore an automated backup.  Manual backups can be performed (at no cost) via cPanel with both providers.

Winner: Bluehost

Account Set Up

Both Hostgator and Bluehost will set up your domain and server once you've signed up.  So you can start on your website right away.

Winner:  Tie  Hostgator   Bluehost

24 Hour Technical Support

24/7 technical support is included with all Hostgator and Bluehost plans.  Including phone, emails and chat support every day of the year.

Winner: Tie Hostgator   Bluehost

Money Back Guarantee

Hostgator offers a 45-day money back guarantee.  Bluehost offers a 30-day money back guarantee on all plans, pro-rated for the first month.

Winner:  Hostgator

The Outcome

So there it is, both providers offer value for money.  With the above rating scores Bluehost is the winner, but it is pretty close.

Visit Bluehost.com                            Visit Hostgator.com

Read more about Blogging: How to Effectively Monetize Your Blog[Blogging for Beginners] To Host or Not to Self Host?How to Start a Blogger Blog and Make Money

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.


The Problem Self Publishing With Amazon

I published my first eBook in March 2015 on Amazon, thinking it was a great idea.

Little did I know that in doing so I wouldn't be able to sell it anywhere else.

You see that's the problem, for anyone out there trying to make a living from selling their own eBooks you need to find your audience and spread your net wide at the same time.

The Biggest Problem Selling Your eBook Through Amazon

When you sign up to Kindle Direct Publishing, your automatically put on their select program which seems wonderful.  All of those customers at your fingertips through Amazon.  If only it could be that simple.  You'll notice when you start inputting your eBooks details that at the very top of the page is a box with a tick in to include you on the Kindle Select program.

I recently decided to put my eBooks back on Amazon, so I unticked that box thinking it would take me off their select program and able to sell them anywhere I wanted (including my own website).
I was wrong, Even though I'd taken the decision to untick that box Amazon still put me on its select program.

Where Does That Leave Me?

That's a good question, because where does that leave anyone who has a blog of their own and wants to reach out to as many customers as possible?

As a writer I love the freedom of having my own platform to sell on as well as other companies to sell from.  I don't mind taking 70% royalties, but what I do mind is the fact that I've been mislead by Amazon in thinking that I can untick a box and be automatically taken off a program I didn't want to be on in the first place.

By Saturday 26th November I'll find out if Amazon will allow me to sell my ebooks with them and on other platforms.

This is a subject I'll continue to cover throughout my blog.  I'd love to hear if anyone else has had any problems with Amazon or any other publishing platform.

Read More About Self-Publishing: A Bloggers Guide: My Experience  so far Selling eBooks OnlineHow to Self-Publish on Kindle: 3 Simple Steps to to Publish Your eBook


Pricing Your eBook: 5 Amazing Tips on How to Price Your eBook

These days its unheard of charging $60 or $70 for an eBook.

Even charging $25 for really good content could raise a few eye-browse.  Times are hard and money can be pretty tight so who's going to buy a $25 eBook?

Not many people I'm guessing.

eBooks Can be Too Cheap

Most people opt for the $0.99, pricing their own eBooks too cheaply.

On Amazon.com, for example, you can find eBooks ranging from $0.99 to $20 and more.

Often eBooks priced lower contain more value than eBooks priced at $10 and over.

In this age of technology eBooks cost nothing to write unlike a paperback book which requires a publishing house.

When you publish an eBook you have no printing costs, publishing fees, postage or packaging costs to worry about.

With a basic laptop or PC anyone can write an eBook.

So bearing all that in mind the list below will help to decide on how to price your eBook productively.

1. eBook Production Cost

If you've paid someone else to write, proofread or create an eBook cover design you need to factor that into your pricing.

If you've written and created your eBook from start to finish, without outsourcing, you'll not acquire any costs.  The price you choose to sell your eBook at would be all profit.

2. Quality and Length of Content

How long is your eBook?  If it is 20 pages or less it may be more sensible to price it more affordably may be up to $3 or $4.  If you've written over 70 pages it might be worth a bit more, so about $5 to $10.

Don't think that it lessens the quality and value your eBook provides if its only around 20 pages.

3.  Value and Uniqueness of Content

Does Your eBook Stand-Out From the Crowd?

If your eBook is solving a problem, this is seen as something valuable.  Particularly if it offers a unique perspective, your thoughts, knowledge and insight on a particular subject can add value.

4. Cost of Selling Your eBook

If you're selling your eBook independently through your own website via a platform such as Payhip or Selz the costs incurred are usually pretty small.

Using a third party ecommerce platform such as ejunkie, ClickBank etc your fees will be a bit more.  These fees need to be taken into consideration when pricing your eBook.

5. Your First eBook?

If this is your first eBook, or even the last eBook you wrote.  Was it received well? Did you make any money?

Trust is something that is built-up with your audience over time.  People need to know what you're about before they start buying.

I've priced my eBooks high and low, discovering that the $2.99 mark seems to suit my eBook price.

Quick Summary -
  • Recognise how much your eBook cost to create.
  • Recognise your eBooks value and uniqueness to your target audience.
  • Recognise how much content you've written for your eBook.
  • Recognise how much your eBook is going to cost to sell.
  • Recognise whether you've done your research well enough.

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.


Become a Better Writer: Dealing with Criticism in 4 Steps

Writing is a process that is both intimate and solitary, receiving any feedback from other people can be extremely stressful at times.

It doesn't matter the size of the project undertaken, receiving any negative criticism can feel painful.

In the long good and bad feedback are a process all writer's need, but dealing with that criticism and becoming a better writer because of it is what I want to touch on today.

Best Place to Start is Changing Your Mindset

Don't look at negative reactions as a reflection on you, see it as an opportunity to be a better writer.

It's not easy giving back thoughtful criticism and being able articulate your thoughts in such a way as to help the writer.

Step 1: Collect Your Thoughts, When Words Sting

All natural responses are okay this includes anger, frustration and guilt.  Don't let any of those emotions guide your response.

Instead take a deep breath, collect your thoughts.  Have a walk, call family or friends, anything that can distract you in that moment.  Helping you to clear your head and give a measured response.

Step 2: Analyse Your Source

Don't take your feedback to heart because people are people at the end of the day.

The more time you spend writing the stronger your personal rudder will become, helping you to self-edit and navigate through comments good and bad.

Step 3: Identify What You're Being Told

After you've cooled down go back over your feedback and recognize what you're being told.

Are you being to clumsy with your topic? Is there a problem with your story, prose or characters?

At first glance it may look like everything is wrong, but when you start to identify the problem it may be one or two small things that need changing.

Step 4: Seek Clarification

Once you understand the feedback, send an email summarizing the changes required or talk it over on the phone.

Read More About Writing: How to Write Like a Writer Everyday, If You Feel Like it or Not, A Quick Guide to Improve Your Research Skills and Write Accurately


Beginners Guide to Blogging: 7 Awesome Reasons Why You Should Use Bluehost

If you're scouting around for a web hosting company, look not further than Bluehost.

Currently hosting over 1.9 million websites its one of the internets most trusted self hosting companies.

With its affordable pricing, offering some of the best features it really stands out from the current competition.

Note: If you want to give Bluehost a shot, you can start a website for just $3.49 with a 30 day month back guarantee!

Discover 7 awesome reasons why you should give Bluehost a try:

1. Unlimited Bandwidth and Branded Email

Bluehost provides you with unlimited bandwidth allowing you to store as much information or data as you want.

With every Bluehost account sign up you get free business emails, no more paying for services such as Google Apps.  With Bluehost you save extra money.

2. Convenient Dashboard

If you're not tech savvy, no worries, its easy-to-use dashboard allows you to navigate and brows your account with ease.  Any problems chat support is always available.

3. Guaranteed 99.9% Uptime

You can be assured that your website will always be up and running.  Seldom do Bluehost have any technical issues.  Your website is available 24/7 with Bluehost's 99.9% uptime guarantee.

4.  Discounts and Freebies

You can expect lots of exciting surprises once you sign up with Bluehost.  Most noted freebies include free branded emails and free domain name.  Bluehost show their appreciation for long stays by offering ongoing discounts and freebies to their customers.

5. Dependable

One of the fastest web hosting services Bluehost has a world-class data centre.  With a recorded customer account of 1.9 million websites, their growth will continue in the year's ahead.

6.  24/7 Customer Support

Customer support is vital to any blogger or website owner, with Bluehosts web application that is always available to assist all of its users.  Customer Support will deal with all of your questions and concerns. Ping them once and they'll be on hand to answer your query.

7.  Affordable Pricing

Bluehost is hard beat when it comes to its features and pricing.  See below:

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.


Quick Guide to Writing 2000 Words a Day

I decided fairly recently that I really needed to set myself a new goal.  Something that would both encourage me and motivate me more.

That's when I came up with writing 2000 words a day, as a start and something  I could build on as times goes by.

I want to motivate anyone who reads my blog to put away all excuses and start writing more.  Even if its 500 words a day, that's a good start and something you can build up gradually.

You could use it to write your daily journal, your dreams, your plans or even that novel you've been wanting to write.

If you feel yourself opposing those words as you read them, welcome to the Writing Resistance Syndrome club!  You're probably thinking you have to take care of the kids: you have a job; you have the dinner to make: you need to check on your social media.

I don't have kids or any pets, but I do have responsibilities I need to take care of during the day.  Don't think that every day is productive for me, because it can be anything but.  It's easy to waste time when you have devices and the TV at your fingertips.

Inside you head you probably think you can write page after page, but you discover the reality is very different.

So how to you write more than 2000 words a day when every fiber of your being is telling you to resist?

Things you don't need to worry about:
  • You don't need to worry about distraction.
  • You don't need to rent a cabin in the woods.
  • You don't need to cut off the internet.  That's insane!
  • You don't need to bury your iPhone.
1. Writer's Block is a Myth

Everyone gets tired and finds writing difficult, it doesn't make it a block.  If your mind is blank in a particular topic try something else.  Don't worry if your writing is rubbish, write anyway.  Be more creative if you can't think of a single word, don't restrain yourself.  Read books, take a walk.  Never say its writer's block.  By giving this myth power you've destroyed your ability to write consistently.

2. Don't Stop the Writing Flow

When you start writing your inner writing voice comes out, it can seem a little faint sometimes but it's there.  When you're in full writing flow don't interrupt it.  Don't take a break until its finished its say. The more you write the more you'll hear it.  You can take your breaks, be distracted, but don't do it when the writing voice is in its flow.

3. Don't Go to Bed Until You've Written 2000 Words

This gives you a full day, but make sure you get 2000 words in!  If your favourite TV soap or drama series is on, make sure you write 2000 words.  Keep telling yourself you will get those 2000 words a day done, and don't take no for an answer.

Read More About Writing: Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Online ArticlesQuick Guide to Writing 2,000 Words a Day.

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.


5 Amazing Blogging Insights Your Analytics Can Tell You

If you're a regular blogger or even a newbie you may  be surprised at the information your blog holds and just how beneficial this can be for you.

If you're getting regular traffic from routinely posting on the web, chances are you're sitting on a goldmine of information.  Did you know that you can leverage all that data and collect valuable insights and improve your blog content?  All you need to know is how to use it to your advantage!

Let's start by breaking down each individual blog metric so you can start making improvements to your blog to gain even more traffic.


1.  Bounce Rate

Bounce rate will tell you how often visitors leave your blog without visiting other pages on your blog. This is a great indicator of the quality of your content, but can also be used to draw your visitors to a CTA (call to action) at the end of your post.

Of course your blog could be doing the opposite and making people leave to visit other similar websites.  If this is the cast you'll definitely want to make sure your blog posts are of the highest quality.  You may want to try implementing a popular post widget in your blog side bar to showcase your best performing posts.  This allows visitors to choose a post that caters to their individual needs and helps them to stick around a little longer.

2. Subscriber Count

Your RSS subscriber count can tell you how much your readership is growing over time.  This can also indicate how many people are reading your blog posts regularly.  These readers are more likely to spread around your blog post links and share them within their own network.  Always make sure your email and RSS subscriber widgets are displayed at the top of your blog post in the side bar to encourage new visitors.

3. Views/Traffic

You can gain an overall understanding of how popular your blog really is and how much traction its gaining over time through your blogs traffic and views.  You can also discover some slightly less obvious points such as how many views you're getting with individual blog posts, and how you audience responds to your chosen topics.

You'll also discover the topics that aren't doing so well.  This means your audience doesn't see these as being important when they visit your blog.  You may want to try publishing more on your most popular topic and less on the others.  Look at which titles are getting the most views and you'll see how you can structure your other blog post titles along the same lines.

4. Referral Sources

Your blogs referral sources will tell you which websites are referring traffic to your blog.  You can use this information to identify your blog's visibility and help diagnose why you may have low traffic to your blog.  You'll also discover if you're getting traffic organically or from social media sites.

Use keywords to optimise your blog content and target your audience so it gets found in search engines.  Discover which sites give you the most traffic and ramp up your promotion.

5. Inbound Links

The links you receive from other websites can tell you how authoritative your blog is.  Your inbound links can show you how effectively your blog is contributing to your websites overall SEO, because inbound links re one of the most powerful factors  impacting search engine optimisation.  Inbound links will also help identify your blog's top content.

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.