Authors & Publishers FAQ

Why should I list my books here?

Because:
  • Readers in the Know is the only book promotion management service where readers can browse books with upcoming as well as current promotions. This means that your book will receive vastly more exposure than if it was only listed on the actual days of promotion.
  • Readers in the Know is the first truly global book promotion management service for English-language books. So while there are many excellent websites targeting US readers with current free and discounted books, very few of these actively target UK readers, and as far as we're aware, none provide the correct pricing and links for all the other Amazon markets as well.
  • You will only ever need to enter your author profile and book details once!
    After this they will be stored in our database and permanently accessible. In fact you don't even need to enter most of the book details, since we pull them directly from Amazon's database.
  • You will have dedicated, permanent, linkable, public web pages for you as an author as well as for each edition of your books.
  • You will have access to a powerful management dashboard, complete with sortable book management table, charting tool and calendar, from which you can schedule promotions, events and ads throughout the coming year.
  • In addition to free and discount promotions, you will also be able to schedule giveaways, book launches, signings, readings and other events.
Still not convinced? Why not sign up now and evaluate the service for free.

How do I get my books listed on this site?

Unlike most book sites where you have to submit your details every time you run a promo, and then wait / hope for someone to add your books on the correct day, Readers in the Know gives you total control over your book and promo management.

What's more, you'll only ever need to submit your book and author details once, after which they'll be permanently listed on our site for readers to browse - even when there's no promo running. Then, scheduling free, discount, or giveaway promos, as well as author events can be done with just a few clicks! For more reasons why you should join us, click here.

So to list your books, all you need to do is create an account, login, click 'Publishing' under the main menu and follow the instructions given.

For a complete set of video guides, click here. For a written description of the full process for getting your books listed, click here.

For details of pricing, should you choose to continue after your free trial ends, see "This all sounds great, but how much does it cost?

How many readers do you have and what are you doing to attract more?

This site was first opened to a select group of authors, publishers and agents on May 31st 2014. By the end of July 2014, with several hundred authors and over a thousand books already in the database, we began PR and advertising campaigns to launch to the general public. Initially these efforts were focused most heavily in the UK since readers here, while less numerous, have far fewer book sites to choose from than their counterparts in the US.

We also post all current promotions and Book of the Day ads to our Facebook page which already has a sizeable following that is growing every day.

In addition to the advertising, we have started to run regular prize draws and other incentives to accelerate our growth in membership.

Current membership is shown here, together with pie charts showing how this is split by gender, age group and country of residence.

Do you accept any books?

We accept any book that is currently published and available on Amazon.

Our only stipulation is that you are the book's author, publisher or agent, with full permission to represent it, and that you represent it accurately with the correct content rating, classification and pricing etc.

While some book sites limit entry to books with 20 or more Amazon reviews, we feel this is unnecessary. If our readers want to filter results based on total number of reviews or average ratings, they can do so in their reader preferences.

However, there are many great books which have not yet accumulated many reviews and as such, when excluded from book promotion sites, their authors may then find themselves in a chicken and egg scenario - unable to get the exposure necessary to garner more reviews because they don't yet have enough reviews.

Will this affect my participation in Amazon's KDP Select Programme?

No. Since we do not sell any books directly, there is no conflict whatsoever. In fact, one of our key benefits, from an author or publisher's point of view, is to help promote your KDP Free days, as well as all the other kinds of events and promotions you can run.

What is the referral program and how does it work?

The referral program has recently been simplified and extended to all members including readers, and is explained in detail on this page.

In addition to referral points, Authors, publishers and agents can earn additional ad credits or direct cash payments via Paypal for each new paid member.

For each new author, publisher or agent that signs up, having first found us from one of your shared links (including your referral tag), you'll see an additional 10 'Pending Ad Credits shown on your Dashboard. If and when that member chooses to continue listing their books following the free trial and becomes a paid member, the pending credits will be automatically converted to redeemable ad credits.

If your members know my book will be on promotion within 90 days,
then why would anyone ever buy my book at the full price?

First of all, having your book listed in 'upcoming promotions' is optional, but we can't really think of many good reasons why you would choose not to.

Secondly, although they'll know that it's coming on promotion, they won't know when or how it'll be promoted, so if they're sufficiently intrigued, and have come to the end of their current read, they may decide to purchase at the full price anyway.

But fair enough, if your biggest problem is how to safeguard existing stratospheric book sales, then congratulations, you may need to untick this option. If however, like most of us, you are looking for ways to make your literary needle shine from within the giant Amazonian Haystack, then you have come to the right place.

At this moment, book promotions, whether free, discount or limited giveaways, are still among the most cost-effective ways to shine a spotlight on your titles and give their sales a much needed boost. More readers means more reviews and more opportunities for word of mouth recommendations. What's more, although Amazon's algorithms are notoriously hard to guess and probably subject to frequent change, large numbers of free or discounted sales during a promotion usually result in increased sales for at least several days if not weeks after the promo ends.

Think of it this way. Most readers visiting this site and others like it (not that there are any other sites quite like it) are looking for great deals. If they don't find your book here, they will simply choose from one of the other titles on offer and will never even know your book existed.

Amazon only has 60 - 70% of the market. Why don't you provide links to other retailers in order to cater to the other 30 - 40%?

Although this percentage is probably accurate, at least in terms of current sales, it doesn't mean that the remaining 30 - 40% are not also available on Amazon. In fact we believe that virtually every book worth buying is either already, or very soon going to be listed on Amazon.

Amazon also has great international coverage and is one of the few, if not the only book seller currently returning consistently healthy growth in market share.

Also, by aligning closely with this 800lb gorilla of the book marketplace, we can greatly simplify the process of submitting and selecting books for our members.

This isn't to say that we will never support other book retailers, just that right now, we feel the needs of our members are best served by remaining exclusive to Amazon.

What is the difference between Author, Publisher, and Agent account types?

Authors can only create one author profile and consequently, their books can only have one author.

Publishers and agents can create and manage multiple author accounts from a single publishing dashboard.

At present, there is no functional difference between 'publisher' and 'agent' accounts, although this may possibly change in the future. The reason for the current distinction is simply to help us better understand our customers.

There is no difference in pricing between any of these account types and you can change from one to another at any time you wish and with no loss of data.

So I've created an account. What do I do next?

  1. Select "Dashboard" under Publishing in the main menu (only appears when logged in as an author, publisher or agent) and enter your real name.
  2. You will then see an option to create an author profile. Do this and click Save.
  3. Upload a profile picture for you or the author you're representing. There is a cropping tool provided that will ensure the resulting image is of the correct size and aspect ratio for your profile page. Make sure the area of the photo you want displayed is highlighted before clicking the "Crop and Save" button.
  4. If you are a publisher or agent, repeat steps 2 and 3 for each additional author you wish to represent.
  5. Add your first book by selecting 'Books' from the Publishing menu tab, clicking 'Add Book', and entering its unique 10 character ASIN code (which you can find under "Product details" on your book's Amazon product page). It's probably best to start with the Kindle edition if you have one, but it can be any version except the audio book for this first stage. The system will then go off and retrieve all the details it can directly from Amazon. The reason why it's best to leave the audio book version until last is because we are sometimes unable to retrieve its full details from the Amazon databases. Whereas if you leave this edition until last, most of the details should already have been retrieved.
    Please also note that audio books, paperbacks and hardcovers may have different ASINs for different territories. In this case, just be careful to select the correct markets when adding each new edition.
  6. Check the retrieved details very carefully (they are almost always correct, but we cannot yet guarantee this every time), complete the book classification form and click Save.

    You have now in fact created two entities: the book, defined by its title, author, cover image, description, classification etc., and an edition which, in addition to these has a unique ASIN, ISBN (if it has one), publication date, global market availability and pricing information.
  7. When you now add other editions to this title, they will inherit all the common book properties so you'll only need to check / enter those details that differ.
  8. That's it. Your book and author web pages are now available to all readers in the know.
  9. Congratulations. You are now ready to schedule some promotions.

Will you automatically update my book's review count and rating?

No, this could place too heavy a load on our servers and for many books would be unnecessary.

However, we have provided a handy button on your book's 'Edit' form, so all you need do is visit the site and click this button. This will relaunch the automated process that checks all English-speaking markets for new reviews and will update the database if the combined total has increased.

What are BookBuzzr ID, Bookbzz ID, and YouTube Trailer ID?

BookBuzzr.com and BookBzz.com are book websites that both provide book flipper widgets that we can use to provide the "Read Excerpt" feature that you'll find on some of the book profiles on this site. For more details see the next FAQ here.

Your YouTube Trailer ID is a string of (usually 11) characters which you can find in the URL or embed code of any YouTube video. For more details see here.

How do I add the Read Excerpt feature to my book?

This feature is provided through the use of one of two javascript widgets available from either:
  • BookBuzzr.com

    To take advantage of this free feature, create a free account and follow the instructions for creating your own widget. When this has been created, you'll be sent a link to the widget looking something like this:

    http://www.freado.com/book/18818/CONNECTED

    The 5 digits highlighted in red above is the ID that you must enter on your book's edit form.

  • BookBzz.com

    To obtain your bookbzz widget, create a free account, list your book, and then pay the one-off fee of $25 for creation of the widget. You will then be sent a link to the widget which looks something like this:

    http://issuu.com/bookbzz.com/docs/offoreignbuildparry?e=14921829/10818675

    The 17 or so characters highlighted in red above (including the '/') is the ID that you must enter on your book's edit form.

To visit your book's edit form, just select "Books" under "Publishing" and click the pencil icon in the Title column.

How do I add the video trailer for my book?

You first need to upload your trailer to YouTube.

When you have done this, look at the URL (link) for your trailer on YouTube. It should look something like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=At0DScD5pp0

The 11 characters highlighted in red above is the ID that you must enter on your book's edit form. To visit your book's edit form, just select "Books" under "Publishing" and click the pencil icon in the Title column.

How do I schedule promotions?

  1. Select Promotions under 'Publishing' in the main menu.
  2. Click the button marked Schedule Promotion
  3. Select the book and edition on which you wish to run the promo and wait for the page to refresh.
  4. Select what type of promo you are running, complete the other details on the form and click Save
  5. Your new promotion should now appear both in your dashboard calendar and in your promotion management table, which is searchable and sortable, and from which you can edit any existing promotions.

Do I have to schedule promotions?

No, but if you don't, then your book will not be as visible to our readers.

Do promotions really work?

Yes, they do, providing you have a means for letting people know about them, and luckily for you, this is the primary goal of Readers in the Know.

While the resulting boost in Amazon sales rank and volume from 'Free' promos has become somewhat less predictable since they first launched their KDP Select programme, many authors are still reporting healthy returns - and that's in addition to all the extra reviews that accumulate from large volumes of downloads. All things considered, a carefully thought-out schedule of 'free', 'discount' and 'giveaway' promos, spread across the various editions of your books, is an excellent and extremely cost-effective way of expanding your readership, increasing your book's review count and generally getting noticed.

Of course, you still need to promote your book to the right audience, which is one of the reasons, when developing this site, we paid so much attention to matching books to reader preferences. This way, you are far more likely to gain real fans who post reviews and help spread the word.

What type of promotions can I schedule?

There are currently 3 types from which you can choose:
  1. Free - Typically run on Kindle Editions registered under Amazon's KDP Select program.
    Just ensure that you have correctly scheduled the promotion using Amazon's KDP dashboard.
  2. Discount - Can apply to any edition. Just ensure that you change the pricing on Amazon for the duration of the promotion, keeping in mind that such changes can take up to 12 hours or more to take effect on Amazon's servers.
  3. Giveaway - Typically run on paperback, hardcover or audio editions.
    Unlike the 'Free' promo, where readers just click Buy Now to download the Kindle Edition for free, the 'Giveaway' promo is usually limited in number and requires some kind of action by the reader in order to qualify. This qualification criteria, which will appear at the top of your book's public page, may be as simple as clicking 'Like' on your Facebook page, subscribing to your blog, or it could require buying another book - either by you or by another author with whom you've agreed to run a joint promo. Alternatively, if you like, we can randomly choose and notify readers from your current author followers.

Please Note - The purpose of this site is to expose you and your books to large numbers of readers looking for great deals, and to notify those readers of any promotions and events you run. We will also help you to manage your promotion schedule and track the results. However, the logistics of changing actual product pricing or choosing 'giveaway' recipients (unless you choose the option described here) is entirely your responsibility.

Can you select the winners of my 'giveaway' promotions?

Yes, if you like, we can randomly select and notify a certain number of your current author followers after the promo has ended. To take advantage of this free service, please do the following:

  1. Make sure you carefully explain the details in your promo criteria and description, so that readers will know what they have to do for a chance to win e.g:-

    Criteria: Click 'Follow' on this Author's Profile Page (click on the name above) within the next 3 days for a chance to win a signed copy of XYZ Paperback edition.
    Description: Readers in the Know will then randomly select and contact the winning (n) follower(s) of this author via email.

  2. After the promo has ended, send us an email using the 'Contact' tab above, including:
    • The ID of your giveaway promo. This is given in your promo management table in the 'Name ID' column.
    • The number of winners you would like to be chosen and notified from your current followers*.
    • Your email address, if different from the one on record, to which the winner(s) will be advised to send their postal address, assuming they wish to accept delivery of your book.
  3. Send your book directly to each of the winners who subsequently contact you with their postal address.

On receiving your request, we will first manually verify the details of your promo and then run an automated programme that will randomly select your desired number of winners and notify them via email. In this they will be told that if they choose to accept your giveaway, they should email you with their postal address.

*Only followers who have chosen one of the Amazon markets selected for your promotion will be entered into the draw. So for example if you did not run the promo in Australia, any followers in Australia will be excluded. If the number of qualifying followers is less than the desired number of winners, all qualifying followers will be notified.

Are there any rules on the scheduling of promotions?

Yes, and these are:
  1. The minimum duration for any promotion is 1 day
  2. The maximum duration for free and giveaway promotions is 5 days
  3. The maximum duration for discount promotions is 7 days
  4. Concurrent promotions for a given book (title) are allowed, but not on the same edition.
    So for example you could have a promotion for the Kindle version overlapping with a promotion for the paperback version of the same book, but not two concurrent promotions for the Kindle version. But that wouldn't make much sense anyway.
  5. With the exception of discount promotions, promos of the same type on the same edition must be at least 30 days apart.
  6. If a book (edition) is scheduled for promotion within 90 days, you must run at least one promotion on that book during that 90 day period.
    If you don't, you'll be unable to list it in the upcoming promotions list until the first day of its next promo.
    The reason for this strict rule is so we can keep our promise to readers, that all books listed with upcoming promotions will indeed come on promotion within the expected time period. You cannot therefore keep postponing a promotion just to keep it listed.

How do I run Amazon KDP Select Countdown promotions?

Just schedule separate discount promos for each incremental discount price and of course remember to unselect all countries except the ones in which you're running the promo, which will be either the UK, the US, or both.

For more details on how to manage countdown promos on Amazon see here.

How do I use the 'Result Charts' tool?

After any of your promotions have ended, you will find 3 additional optional fields on their 'Edit' form:
  • Resulting Sales Volume (how many extra did you sell as a result of the promo)
  • Resulting Sales Growth (a handy calculator tool is provided for this)
  • Postmortem observations (any comments to help you remember the details at a later date)
These details are for your own personal records only, and are never divulged to any third party. The charting tool will automatically plot the results for any promotions for which you have entered values in these fields and show them in vertical bar charts below your promotion management table.

What if my book has multiple authors?

If you chose an account type of 'Publisher' or 'Agent', you simply go to the book's 'Edit' form (Publishing -> Books from the menu bar above), select an author profile and click 'Add Author to this Title'. (These controls are displayed next to the current author's name at the top of the form.)

If you chose the 'Author' account type, you will first need to edit your User profile (from 'Edit Preferences for author: your_name') and change it to 'Publisher'. You'll then be able to add author profiles for each co-author and add their names to the book as explained above. There is no additional charge for this and none of your existing information will be lost.

How can I update the cover image for my book?

Assuming you have already uploaded your new cover image to Amazon using the KDP dashboard, simply go to your book's 'Edit' form (Publishing -> Books from the menu bar above) and click on the cover image displayed there. This will start an automated process to query the Amazon database in the first of your listed markets, retrieve the latest image, and save this to our database. A few seconds later, the new image should be displayed for you.

When I try to add a book, it tells me the author profile doesn't exist, but it does. Why?

To reduce the chance of books being added with the wrong author name, we try to match the name returned by the Amazon database with the names of all author profiles added via your account. An extra space here or there or a difference in capitalisation won't matter, but the letters and punctuation all have to match perfectly.

If you have differences in the way your author name is spelled between different books, then you will need to edit the name in your author profile to match the next book being added. Once the books have been added, no further checks are made, so you can safely add or remove middle initials etc. without causing any problems.

Does it matter if there is another book with the same title / author name as mine?

No, this is not a problem as long as the other book was not added through your account, and of course, as long as it's not actually the same book.

Why is there a delay before the blog posts appear at the bottom of my profile page?

Since it can take a little time for our servers to collect these posts from your website, we decided not to delay the loading of your profile page while this was happening. Instead, we wait until the page has loaded before making the call to your website. This means our readers can start reading your biography straight away and well before they reach the end, your last 5 blog posts will have been displayed also.

Why aren't my blog posts appearing at the bottom of my profile page?

For this to happen, your website needs to have an RSS feed with the default address of:

your_website_url/feed

or

your_website_url/blog/feed

This all sounds great but how much does it cost?

For readers, membership will always be free.

For authors, publishers and agents, after completion of your 60 Day Free Trial, a Paypal button will appear on your dashboard with which you can choose to continue your listing by paying the annual membership fee of £20 (UK Sterling - see currency converter to the right).

This will cover your first 3 titles, each with as many editions (e.g. Kindle, Paperback, Hardcover, Audio Book) as you want, and with no further charges for scheduling events, price promotions, or indeed for any of the other extensive functionality of this site.

Additional titles will cost just £1 each per year - again each with as many editions as you want.

Your next renewal date will always be set one year from your current one, so you lose nothing by renewing early.

And that's it! There are no additional usage charges.

Once you become a paid member, you have unlimited access to our full range of membership benefits such as the powerful publishing dashboard, book management table, event / promotions calendar and charting tool. The only other potential cost will be if you choose to advertise your book in our Book of the Day slot, and even then, you may have already earned enough ad credits to get this for free.

How do I pay my membership fee, and how is the next renewal date calculated?

For the sake of simplicity and peace of mind, we currently use Paypal for all payments. This is because Paypal is currently the simplest, most trusted, and widely used global payment service available.

Even if you don't have a PayPal account, you can still use them to make a one-off secure payment using your credit card.

The first renewal notice will be sent via email 30 days before renewal is due and a notice will appear on your publishing dashboard, along with a PayPal button. Simply click this button and follow the Paypal instructions for making your payment.

If you do not renew your membership, you will receive one more notification email every week until you pay, or let your membership expire. If you allow your membership to expire, your books will cease to be listed on the site. Eventually, if your membership is not renewed, your books and profiles, will be permanently deleted from the database.

On payment of your renewal fee, the next renewal date, will be set 1 year from the current renewal date, not from the date of payment, so you lose nothing by renewing early, should this be more convenient for you.

Why are my books no longer listed on the site?

The most likely reason for this is that you have allowed your free trial or annual membership to expire.

If this is the case, you will see a notification at the top of your publishing dashboard along with a PayPal button*. Click this to proceed to Paypal and complete your payment.

Once your payment is complete, your books will all be re-listed

*You should also have received a number of notifications via email, so please check your spam folder and make sure you whitelist our email address to avoid missing further correspondence from us.

I've just added a new book, but it doesn't seem to be listed on the site?

The most likely reason for this is that you need to increase your 'Paid book count'.

The membership fee of £20 covers 3 titles (each with as many editions as you like). Each additional book costs another £1 per year.

To increase your 'Paid book count', go to your Publishing Dashboard, and click on the PayPal button* displayed under your 'Paid book count' on the left hand side of the screen.

*If your membership is currently up for renewal, then the only PayPal button will be for the renewal fee, and this will also cover any additional books you have recently added. Also, no Paypal button will appear during your initial free trial and there is no limit on the number of books you can add during this period.

How can I advertise on this site?

To have your books permanently listed on this site, you need only join as an author, publisher or agent.

Aside from this, there is our Book of the Day advertising slot, priced at £50 or the same value of accumulated Ad Credits -see What is the Referral program and how does it work? Only one such ad will be shown on any given day and it will be shown to all* readers regardless of their reader preference settings.

To schedule a Book of the Day ad, you must first become a member and submit at least one book. Then you simply select 'Advertising' from the 'Publishing' menu tab (only available when logged in as author, publisher or agent), select the book you wish to feature and click any free future date on the calendar provided. If you don't have enough ad credits, a Paypal button will appear on your ads management page through which you can buy more.

Regarding the placement of other ads, although it's quite unusual these days to find a popular website so relatively uncluttered by ads, we rather like having all that extra space available for our books and authors and, in the hope that you do too, have no current plans to start accepting other ads.

*The one caveat to this is that Book of the Day ads will of course only be shown in markets where the edition being advertised is available to purchase from Amazon. i.e. in those markets selected by you in that Edition's edit form under 'Global Availability'. If the purchased Book of the day is not available in your local market, you will instead be shown our free random Book of the Moment ads instead.

What is "Book of the Moment" and how do I get my book displayed here?

You just need to be patient!

"Book of the Moment" is a random book selection programme which runs when either no Book of the Day ad slot has been purchased for that day, or when the edition being advertised is not available in your local Amazon store. If either of these are the case, then the programme will randomly choose a book from the database each time the home or promotions pages are requested, so even if your book has not yet appeared to you, it may well have appeared to other members.

If you want your books to appear more often, then you'll just need to write more books :)

Alliance of Independent Authors /
Accept Cookies?
Provided by OpenGlobal E-commerce