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Weekly Write-Up: 14th November 2018

by Tom Ashford
Welcome to the SPF Weekly Write-Up, where each Wednesday we’ll be collecting together the self-publishing news of the week so you don’t have to.

This week: the new Kindle Paperwhite and Kobo Forma get released, and authors experience some trouble with Amazon US.

Kindle Paperwhite 4 versus Kobo Forma

It’s that time of the year again – Amazon and Kobo are going head-to-head with their new eReader models.

The first difference people will likely notice is the price – the Kindle Paperwhite 4 is a modest $129, whereas the Kobo Forma is a whopping $299. That’s in part because the new Forma has a larger screen (eight inches to the Kindle’s six), one which is preferable when reading manga and comic books (and your standard ebook might look more snazzy, too). There’s also a far greater level of flexibility regarding fonts and font types, and even a colour temperature system.

But, the new Paperwhite is only $129. And you can listen to your Audible audiobooks directly through the device – something not possible with a Kobo device.

Let the battle commence (again). Troubles

It seems as if a lot of self-publishing authors are having trouble with KDP at the moment, and there are a lot of theories being thrown around as to why the platform seems a little bit of a mess at the moment.

I myself noticed that one of my books was only available as a paperback in the US store. But it wasn’t that I couldn’t buy the book – from my point of view, the book simply didn’t exist in Kindle format!

It seems to be that Amazon, whilst tinkering about inside itself, has made it so that anyone outside of the US cannot purchase ebooks from the US Amazon store. This doesn’t seem unreasonable. However, it seems to have inadvertently made them invisible to us, too.

Knowing that our readers in the US can still see and buy our books is a relief, for sure. Though it does raise a concern for those customers around the rest of the world who use Amazon US as their main store (there are plenty of countries that don’t have their own) – not only are they unable buy our books, but they don’t even know they exist.

As Mark says, don’t panic. Amazon are aware and working on a fix.

Tom Ashford

Tom Ashford

Tom Ashford is a professional copywriter, author of numerous dark fantasy and sci-fi novels, and the Head of Content at the Self Publishing Formula Blog. His books include the Blackwater trilogy and the Checking Out series.

He lives in London with his wife, in an apartment that doesn’t allow pets. Find out more about Tom here.