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The author community was abuzz late last year when Amazon made its first cosmetic change to its KDP sales tracking system in years. The KDP Sales Dashboard now displays up to 90 days worth of sales and gives the author the ability to control which books are tracked during which time periods. It even displays a handy chart of how much money you’ve earned during the specified period. While this was a slight improvement, it wasn’t without its problems.

The earnings in different countries aren’t converted to a single currency, which means you have to break out a calculator or do some internet research to determine your true earnings. It also fails to take borrows into account in the earnings chart. To determine how much you earned from borrows, you have to wait two weeks past the end of the month to look at Amazon’s densely-packed spreadsheet that would give some accountants headaches. Fortunately for self-published authors, there are several pieces of software that overcome KDP’s limitations.

The following five add-ons each have their pros and cons. Some are free, while others require a monthly or yearly payment. Read on to figure out which of the following tools would best work for your indie author business.

Direct download: top5tracksales.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:04pm EDT

We share a lot of advanced steps here on the Author Marketing Institute, but there are still plenty of people out there who are starting at the very beginning. Every day, more authors who’ve sent hundreds of query letters consider the option of self-publishing. Given how far the market has come in the last five years, it would be easy to give indie publishing a shot and become completely overwhelmed in a heartbeat. Don’t be.

Tens of thousands of authors have tried their hand at self-publishing a book, and many of them made countless mistakes along the way. Don’t let the fact that they’ve already learned the ropes discourage you. Instead, get excited that other authors have dealt with every possible mistake so that you don’t have to. The self-publishing community is very inclusive, and it’s rarely hard to find an answer to even the most complicated of questions. You’ve come to the right career.

For a person just starting out in self-publishing, we recommend a six-step process to give yourself the best chance to succeed. Here is our recommended order from taking yourself from indie novice to a self-published success story.

Direct download: startingscratchselfpub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:59pm EDT

Don’t assume that money will solve all your self-publishing problems. There are plenty of authors who have hundreds to thousands of extra dollars to throw at their books without anything in the way of results. A little money spent in the right way during the publishing and marketing process can pay dividends, but you need to be smart about how you use it.

It’s very possible to set aside $50 to $100 a month and turn it into a positive return on investment for your author career. Saving up that money is only the first step of the process. You need to avoid the financial errors of the spendthrift authors who’ve come before you. Here are 4 money-related mistakes you should avoid in self-publishing if you want to get the best bang for your buck.

Direct download: 4moneymistakes.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:34pm EDT

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