Non-Profit Org for Writers

I have this idea. It’s been running in my head for several weeks. The idea is for nonprofit organization for writers. It would start with a forum as a means to get to know one another and support each other. There may also be an exchange of services board for help with alpha reading, beta reading, proofreading and other such things. Another board might be for a ‘Meet the Author’ forum so fans can talk to their favorite authors.'Writing' photo (c) 2008, Tony Hall - license:

In addition to the forums, I’d like to start with offering basic editing and formatting services for ebooks. Eventually I’d like to add content editing, book covers, and hopefully publishing services.

There would also be a Twitter feed announcing new members and announcing when members publish new materials.

In order to do this, I would need volunteers and donations. I’m not asking yet, I just want to know who would be willing. I don’t want ANY donations until this is a legal entity. I have a domain and hosting, but I need a logo designer and web designer (or an easy template).

I could do this as a regular business, but I’d much rather it be non-profit. As such, if it takes off, it could change the face of e-publishing. I’d really like comments, input, offers of potential future assistance…anything really. I need to know how to proceed here. I am just not sure where to begin with such a big idea…but the idea won’t let me go! Please help?

Apple to Compete with KDP Select?

Rumors are flying today about a Press Conference Apple will be holding later this month regarding a new software release.  The rumor-mill says the new software is Apple’s answer to Amazon‘s KDP Select: An exclusive self-publishing incentive for indie authors.  As yet there are no details, but Mark Coker of Smashwords says of the rumors:

Apple has a unique (and in my opinion extremely successful) approach to content acquisition in which they complement their own self-publishing platform with a carefully selected list of recommended aggregators. Smashwords been on the list since the iBookstore’s launch. All of the aggregators are subject to ongoing audits where Apple scrutinizes every aspect of our business for our ability to serve their publishers, and if any of us don’t make the cut we’re dropped from the program.


Frankly if they do decided to try to compete with Amazon (which won’t be much of a competition once the KDP Select participants see how low the actual payouts are, in my opinion) I hope they do a much better job giving Indie authors the payout they deserve.  Leave a comment telling me what you think.




Should I use KDP Select?

Well this may be a bit late, but it’s been on my mind a lot and I thought I’d comment on it.  The TOS for KDP Select is here.


I think few authors realize that there are so many limitations to this KDP Select, blinded by dollar $igns.

The Pros:

  • Yes, you get put in a pool with all other KDP Select users and Amazon will market your book for you.
  • You’ll get your share of the $500k (or whatever their monthly budget is) after each month, depending on your sales per capita.
  • You can promote your book for up to 5 days within the 90 day period in which you are committed to KDP Select.
  • Your book will be available in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library

The Cons:

  • Amazon has EXCLUSIVE rights to your book/story during the 90 days you are committed.  That means you can’t sell it anywhere else or even post it on your own blog.
  • Amazon will automatically renew your commitment at the end of each 90 day session, so if you aren’t careful you may be committed for a very long time period.
  • Your book will be available in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library Program where all Kindle owners can access it for free.  (I listed this in pro and con because yes, there is more visibility, but also you don’t get paid for any of those views.)
  • If you should per chance make a mistake and thing you’ve opted out of the KDP Select program, then post your book elsewhere, or even forget to pull it from everywhere it’s available, then Amazon no longer owes you any of the Royalties from the monthly pot and may take out any previously paid royalties out of future royalties, via a lien.

“Your Commitment. Your commitment to these terms and conditions is important, and the benefits we provide to you as part of this option are conditioned on your following through on your commitments. If you un-publish your Digital Book, we will remove it from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, but you must continue to comply with these commitments, including exclusivity, through the remainder of the Digital Book’s then-current 90-day period of participation in KDP Select. If you don’t comply with these KDP Select terms and conditions, we will not owe you Royalties for that Digital Book earned through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library Program, and we may offset any of those Royalties that were previously paid against future Royalties, or require you to remit them to us. We may also withhold your Royalty payments on all your Digital Books for a period of up to 90 days while we investigate. This doesn’t limit other remedies we have, such as prohibiting your future participation in KDP Select or KDP generally.”

Amazon already reserves the right to end your agreement and stop selling your products without any reason at all, and they allow 7 full days for refunds…which is plenty of time to read a book completely and then just go back for your refund after you’ve read it.  That’s a bit excessive in my opinion. There should at least be some kind of limit as to how many times you can do this in a year.

As a buyer, and not yet a published author, I can see why this refund policy is good.  You may not realize you clicked on something until you have checked your email several days later. But as one who hopes to be published, and a friend to several published authors on amazon, I can see how authors are seriously in jeopardy on this point.  Okay I’m off topic here, but I feel it’s relevant that you know the full story about Amazon’s policy before you publish with them.  My author friend posted not long ago about a friend of hers who’d had $50 in sales on her book, only to get to payday and find that her check was only $5 or thereabouts.  When she questioned Amazon, she was told it was due to returns.  That’s a REALLY high percentage of returns.

Amazon wants to corner the market on e-publishing, but they don’t seem to want to take care of their main source very well.  They are taking advantage of their authors in a bad way. One would think they would treat their bread and butter better.  Maybe they think they are doing writers a favor, and in a way, they are, but as yet, they aren’t the only ones out there, and while they sell more e-books than anyone else, that may not remain the case if they continue to take advantage of their suppliers.