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As I recover from self-publishing my twenty-seventh book (you know about the five Sam Plank novels, but in my day job I have self-published twenty-two “piggy” books about anti-money laundering – so-called because of the piggy who features on the covers), I thought that I had pretty much come to terms with how Amazon does it all.  Compare and contrast, if you will:

  • First self-published book: Upload to Amazon and then refresh their website every four seconds or so for the next three days (and occasionally at night, so great was the excitement), before collapsing with nervous exhaustion when “the book” finally appears in the Amazon catalogue.
  • Twenty-seventh self-published book: Upload to Amazon and then go about my daily life, until husband comments in passing, “Did you know that the purple one is on there now?”

Because I started self-publishing some years ago, I find myself following a system that a new, self-publishing author might not choose – in short, I publish paperbacks through CreateSpace and Kindle books through Amazon.  Now that Amazon offers paperback publishing as well, if I were starting out today, I might combine the two.  But as mine are uploaded separately, I always get two Amazon listings: one for the paperback and one for the Kindle book.  This used to concern me…

  • First self-published Sam book: Upload paperback files to CreateSpace and Kindle files to Amazon (via KDP) and then refresh, etc., as above.  Spot that there are two separate listings and spend hours on user forums to understand what is going on.  Email a very detailed request to Amazon asking them to link the two listings.  After 72 hours the two listings are linked.
  • Fifth self-published Sam book: Upload paperback files to CreateSpace and Kindle files to Amazon, and then forget about it all for 72 hours until the two listings are linked automatically.

So I consider myself something of an old hand at Amazon.  But no: they have surprised me.  I logged in this morning to check that the two editions of “Faith, Hope and Trickery” have been linked – they have – and what should I spot but a special offer.  Of its own volition, Amazon is offering the Kindle editions of the first four Sam books as a bundle, for (on the UK website) £12.96.  I wonder whether this was prompted by my special 99p offer on “Fatal Forgery”?  (I know I said that I would run that only until “FHT” was published, but I’m going to let it ride until Sunday.  Since the start of the 99p deal, I have sold twelve Kindle copies of “Fatal Forgery”.)  So there it is: an Amazon-generated offer on my books, complete with a fabulous “group portrait” of the covers.