Training #258 – Hot Seats, a Case Study, and Ask Us Anything

On this week’s live training, we covered a wide variety of topics including Amazon Advertising, BookBub promotional opportunities, book launch pricing, author central, author names on the cover, pen names and cross genre book catalogs, getting illustrations into an illustrated children’s book…and more!

The first of our two hot seats was basically a case study covering all sorts of topics relevant to us as independent publishers:

We also answered a few questions in the Facebook group that we didn't have time to get to on the live call, such as where to find training about how to put links in our books, using ISBNs, changing your pen name, testing with your Kindle edition, unpublishing and republishing books, and handling the sales taxes on our book sales. Find those answers below the replay:

Which training shows us how to put links in our books, where to place them etc?

Jess E Hooper

For the overall strategy, we've talked about it quite a bit in hot seats etc. and I'd recommend checking out the Azon List Explosion training in the Children's Book Formula members area under Core Training -> Build a List of Book Buyers.

For the actual nuts & bolts and software to help you do it, in the Apex Authors (or BRS) members area, look in Software -> Book List Rocket where you'll find the software for creating a landing page as well as how to videos for using the software and setting yourself up in your autoresponder.

I have Isbn for each one – don't they have to be the same?
Carole St-Laurent

You can't use the same ISBN number for multiple editions of the same book. KDP doesn't offer free ISBNs for Kindle books, and doesn't require one, so if you didn't specifically buy one for your Kindle edition, it doesn't have one. Check out “Apex Authors Training 100: The International Standard Book Number” for more information.

I want to change from Carole to Rainbow Gal – but what will happen to all my books already listed?

Carole St-Laurent

I assume this is for the children's books, but you can unclaim books in Author Central and that won't do anything other than remove them from your author profile page (and potentially regress some descriptions etc if you used Author Central to edit your book listing at all.) You can then create a pen name in the same Author Central account (up to 3 pen names plus your account name, so up to 4 in a single account) and reclaim the books under the pen name.

You WOULD have to put the new name onto your book listings, which as we mention in the training can be done easily on the Kindle version but would require a new edition to be uploaded for the print version and a new ISBN number.

Watch our Author Central Quickstart Guide if you'd like more information or step-by-step videos walking you through the process.

Does that comment re change kindle so you can test mean start with kindle promo first?

Joe Leech

If you aren't sure about your title, cover, genre, etc. then it can make sense to just put out a Kindle edition and to test those out before putting out the print version, since you can't change the print version as easily.

Especially when you are just starting out, this makes a lot of sense as there's less of a time and money investment involved.

After you already have a following and are able to make more sales up front and have a back catalog, it might make more sense to launch different editions at the same time, but starting out and when testing it's far easier to test with Kindle versions because they can have more than just the cover and description changed.

In a paper version, if we “unpublish” as I have done and I had many create space ISBNs, does this unlink my ISBN to the title, me, and all?

Joe Leech

No, the ISBN is always linked to your book's edition. Just because the book isn't published anymore doesn't mean that that information goes away, it's locked in place forever. It's why you need a new ISBN number when you change your book. Check out our ISBN training for more information.

Do you have any guidance related to tax/business side of selling on Amazon? How are taxes handled on sales? Do you need to have a business name/tax ID number or would you start as a sole proprietor or can you start selling on Amazon without any of that?

Tami Maveus Colombo

Technically, we don't sell books on Amazon. (Okay, if you setup an FBA account and setup as a merchant you can sell books…but for the training we provide and most of our conversations, we're not doing that.)

What we are doing is giving an Amazon a license to sell our intellectual property, and they are then paying us a royalty for those sales. The nice thing about that business model is that Amazon is making the sales and in charge of handling all of the sales taxes. They just pay us our royalty and send us a 1099.

Now, you are responsible for paying your own taxes on your business income, which may include self-employment taxes, but you don't have to worry about remitting sales taxes for customer sales made through Amazon.

As for setting up a company or acting as a sole proprietor, that's a big topic and you'd want to talk to a local attorney and/or accountant about what makes the most sense for you. We discussed that very issue briefly last week in “Apex Authors Training 257 – Smarter Artist Summit: Going Pro” – watch the part of the video on the Business Dream Team which starts at 13:17 into the training.