Monday 4 April 2011

Notebooks and the Subconscious...

If you're a writer you're likely to have a notebook in your bag or pocket-and a pen or pencil to write with. If you haven't, why not?

Even non-writers need to make notes sometimes.

Though I admit that I do know writers who use their phones to send an e-mail with those sudden bursts of inspiration, or even use a Dictaphone.

While I was waiting for an appointment this morning I thought I'd review what moments of insight I'd jotted down in the past year or two but hadn't looked at - okay, I admit the notebook contains as many pages with notes relating to names and phone numbers, plus other non-writing associated scribbles, but there are a few ideas, dialogue from my characters, all mixed among snippets of overheard remarks or sights seen.

But I did come across something which ran to three and a half sides of A5, though sadly at the bottom of the first side the words became an indecipherable scrawl as I was having a hypo at the time (a hypoglycemic reaction- low blood sugars).

I was surprised because the words have no mental visual images associated with them- which usually happens when I get an idea- so my mind is completely blank about them.

Here's what I jotted down that I can still read...

In the beginning we'd never believed Felicity would return. Return to this house of purity and truth.
Truth had never been the purpose. It had been the desire to resolve the truth of that photo.
That so revealing photo of  Mathew and Mark. So engrossed in a romance of love and desire that they...

Sadly I will never know the answer to what I was writing as from then on as it becomes unreadable.

Now that it is in my mind, my sub-conscious may start working on it and eventually I will find out who Felicity is. Who, or what Mathew and Mark are to her and what IS so revealing about that photo? And who is the narrator telling the story?

I'm a great believer in letting my subconscious work on writing problems while I get on with other things and it usually works.

If I ever find out the answers and/or write the story, I'll let you know...

Edited to add: I wouldn't normally use repetition  in the way I have above, that's just what came from my pen at the time.

Friday 1 April 2011

More Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Information...

Following on from my last post, writer Jay Mandal has kindly been giving me some further information and links-which has helped a great deal as I've been having a little computer trouble this week.

Jay's earlier books were made available as digital downloads (as well as paperbacks) from his publisher at a time when e-books were still unfamiliar to many readers. One of his stories has been included in each of the Best Gay Romance anthologies (2009 and 2010 are both available on Kindle) 2011 is currently in paperback.

Jay is a whizz at remembering information and finding links, so a big thank you from me...

So down to facts.

Whether you're buying an e-book from a publisher or setting one up for sale on Kindle Direct, price matters, it can be the difference between making sales and not selling at all.
Unlike the paper version, e-books are subject to VAT at 20% - so Amazon will put the VAT onto the price you set, you don't need to do that yourself, but you do need to remember it will be added.

In another post  this year I mentioned that market survey company Mintel had asked about e-book pricing in December 2010 and found :-

"(For anyone thinking about pricing of their e-books) those who expected to pay less-for an e-book-preferred a price of £3 to £6, while existing e-reader owners expected to pay £6 to £10."

Royalties are the big advantage of KDP and selling to the US, UK or CAN brings a 70% royalty, while other countries will bring a 35% royalty.
As each book is going to be individual in size and price here (scroll down for the GBP list) and here are a couple of useful links to read.

We've all heard the saying about the only two things in life that are certain, are death and taxes, well with KDP paying attention to taxes is important.

As a UK taxpayer, you'll obviously declare your income to HMRC, but unless you take action you could find yourself paying into the American tax system too.

If you're on Facebook then you may find it useful to find writer Ali Cooper who has just completed the paperwork to avoid the IRS taking that 30% from her kindle earnings. Her simple guide for UK authors to sort out US tax appeared on the 19th March 2011 at 16:22.

It is a three stage process and does require getting appropriate paperwork, proving identity and some expense, but if you're going to be saving 30% of your earnings it is probably worth it!

But do remember it may not be right for everyone, it will depend upon your own tax situation- so investigate thoroughly first.

There is an online form for contacting the IRS- Help With Tax Questions for International Taxpayers

I believe this system can also be used if you are resident in the UK and have solid books released and sold in the US. I'm not certain if it also applies to sales in US magazines, so if someone knows the answer to this please let me know so it can be passed on.

There's a lot more that could be talked about, but too much overloads the brain, so I'll stop there...