A Great Gift for Writers (How Did I Ever Manage without This?)

XL Book Stand

My neck was sore from proofreading and revising. Tired of looking down at an angle, I wondered if there was something I could stand atop my desk that could hold books and papers more at eye level. I found this cool book stand on Amazon.

Book Stand

I bought the XL size (15.4″ by 11″). I set my 1700 page Webster’s College Dictionary on this, opened to the page I’m using, and it supports it just fine. I also print out my manuscript and set it on the book stand, and it works great for proofreading or typing revisions from my proofreading.

The angle is adjustable. I don’t like the steepest angle because materials tend to fall off easily with that angle, but the other angles work great. Two metal bars in the front adjust so that you can hold the current page in place. I use these bars with my dictionary, but don’t need them with my printed manuscript.

My neck feels much better since I purchased this.

(What happened to WordPress? I really miss the Classic Editor. I did manage to find everything I’m used to so that I could write this post, but I’m not yet a fan of this recent change.)

Write Happy, Be Happy

Chris McMullen

Author of the Improve Your Math Fluency series of math workbooks

Recent Improvements to Amazon KDP

RECENT CHANGES AT KDP

There have been several changes to Amazon KDP recently. Have you noticed?

SERIES. One interesting change is the introduction of the series page and the series manager. It seems like this new tool isn’t 100% complete yet, but it’s a giant step in the right direction. From the publishing end, it makes it easier to manage series. Now you get a series landing page and you can even write a series description (by default it uses the description from the first book).

From the customer’s perspective, there is a change I would personally like to see. When I shop for sci-fi books to read, for example, I see every volume of a series as a separate search result. Sometimes a really popular series has several volumes and these volumes take up a great deal of space when I’m looking for a new book. Seriously, if I didn’t want to read Volume 1, why would I get interested in Volume 6 and read that one? I wish these would show up as a single series in the search results. They should show the first volume of the series unless I’m logged in and the system realizes that I’ve already read one or more volumes, in which case it would be really helpful if the search results put the next volume in front of me (but, please, not every book in the series). I run into the same trouble when I’m looking for t.v. shows to watch on Amazon Prime, though it is much better now than it had been a few years back.

SPONSORED BRANDS. AMS introduced a new feature: Sponsored brand advertising. If you have three or more similar books (with the same author name) that you would like to advertise, you can put them together and make a special landing page with them. This makes it easy for the customer to find a set of related books, which is really handy if you’ve published a variety of books where grouping would be convenient. Of course, advertising costs money, and not all ads are cost-effective, but I like the concept, and it is benefiting some authors.

EXPANDED UK. Expanded Distribution is now available in the UK. If the UK price of the paperback edition is high enough to enable this distribution channel (and earn a reasonable royalty for it), this offers a little added visibility.

BETA REPORTS. For several months now, there has been a KDP Reports Beta option on the Reports page. This has changed recently. For authors of multiple books, tracking the performance of multiple books is a little easier in a couple of ways.

AUTHOR CENTRAL. Amazon Author Central received an overhaul. It seems like it is more mobile friendly now. Perhaps that was the main reason for the update. There are a few things that I like about it, but a couple of things I liked better the old way. The sales rank page makes it easier to keep track of the ranks of several books. It appears that whichever edition (paperback, Kindle, audio, etc.) has the best sales rank shows by default, which is convenient. For the most part, my better selling books are at the top of the page, but I note that it isn’t ordered perfectly by the better sales rank (maybe it averages the ranks of the different editions?). We seem to have lost a feature or two, such as the option to rename the url of the author page. But other features, like From the Author, are just harder to find (this seems to work for paperbacks, but not consistently for Kindle anymore).

UNIFIED AMS. If you advertise in multiple countries and would like a unified view, create a manager account or click the option to manage your accounts by clicking your account name at the top right corner.

KDP COMMUNITY. A few changes have been made to the KDP community, including the occasional presence of a KDP representative. I’ve seen an occasional post from a KDP representative. It’s nice for them to have at least a small presence in the community.

KENP AT AMS. Finally, estimated KENP royalties are included with AMS reports.

NOMINATIONS. You can nominate a book for Kindle Deals or Prime Reading. It’s not easy to get a nomination accepted, obviously, and these may be more helpful for some kinds of books than for others, but it’s nice to feel included by being able to nominate books. I actually had my astronomy book included once before these nominations were made possible (in the past, you would receive an invitation by email to nominate a book, if you were so lucky, and then you would wait again to see if they accepted your nomination). Now the nomination part is easy, but the acceptance part is rare. For me, when my astronomy book was accepted, the experience had been great for me. For books that get accepted in popular categories, you probably also need to get a little lucky not to get buried in the back of the list.

CANADA/AUSTRALIA AMS. It’s now possible to advertise KDP books in Canada and Australia (in addition to the US and Europe).

Which changes have you noticed at KDP or Amazon?

Write Happy, Be Happy

Chris McMullen

Author of the Improve Your Math Fluency series of math workbooks and self-publishing guides

A New Form of Book Piracy

Image licensed from Shutterstock.

BEWARE OF BOOK PIRATES

Earlier this year, after publishing a new book, I visited Amazon to check it out. When I finished inspecting the Amazon detail page for my new book, I clicked the link by my author photo to visit my Author Central page. And, boy, was I surprised by what I found.

(A little background: Author Central now shows only my Kindle eBooks by default. Customers have to click the Paperback tab to find my paperback books.)

I noticed one of my better selling books near the top of the list. What stood out is that book is only available in paperback. (For good reason. With thousands of math problems, this particular workbook would not be ideal for Kindle.) Yet, there it was on the list of my Kindle eBooks.

At first thought, I had hoped that Amazon was finally starting to show all of my books by default (like they had once upon a time), instead of just the Kindle eBooks. Some of my books are only available in paperback, and so customers can’t find them on my Author page unless it occurs to them to click the Paperback tab.

But I soon realized that it was indeed a Kindle eBook. What a surprise! This book is only available in paperback. How was a Kindle edition of this book on my author page?

I visited KDP just to see with my own eyes that this book wasn’t showing on my Bookshelf in eBook format. Indeed, it was only available as a paperback.

When I explored this mysterious Kindle eBook, it was obvious to me that it wasn’t mine. Yet it had the same title, the same cover, and even my own name listed as the author. Only it wasn’t a book that I had published (or authorized). When I opened the Look Inside, it looked like someone had used OCR to convert my paperback to a Kindle eBook (which is NOT a good way to convert a book to Kindle format, by the way). When I reached the exercises, I immediately saw a problem. The paperback has the exercises arranged in three columns. In this mysterious Kindle edition, the three equations from the three columns merged together, so that a customer wouldn’t be able to tell when one equation stopped and another started. It was a formatting nightmare, rendering the math unreadable. So not only was there a pirated version of my book available for sale, but any customers who purchased the eBook would likely be quite displeased. Yet the book had a sales rank of about 100,000, so people had evidently been buying the book. What is even more incredible is that the list price was exactly the same as the price of the paperback. The publication date showed that the eBook had already been available for a few weeks before I discovered it.

Fortunately, Amazon has a special form for people or businesses to report copyright or trademark infringement. If you published through KDP, visit KDP’s Contact Us page, and when you select the appropriate menu item, it will automatically take you to Amazon’s copyright infringement form.

I’m not a big fan of the form itself. You have to state your problem clearly in 1000 characters or less. I struggled with this because it was my own name on the pirated book, and I wanted to make it very clear that someone else was using my name and content without my permission (to try to avoid confusion). Plus, the form has lawyer-ish language that seems nonspecific to books. One question wants to know if it is a physical item, and, well, it was an eBook. Is that a physical item? There wasn’t an option for a Kindle eBook. Other questions like this ran through my mind.

Unfortunately, it can take an agonizing couple of days to receive a response. I submitted my request on a Saturday, and Monday was a holiday, so this evidently added to my waiting period. Remember those snow and ice storms that some states had earlier this year? Guess what. This book piracy happened to occur at about the same time, so that while I was constantly checking my email for a response and Amazon to see if the pirated book would ever get taken down, at home I was experiencing frequent rolling power outages. It was a nightmare in a nightmare. (Pinching didn’t help.)

After this waiting period, I received a response and the pirated eBook was taken down. (Thank you, Amazon.)

I can’t imagine what the “pirate” was thinking. Somebody invested some time to get the book, OCR the book, and make the Kindle edition (as little effort as that might have been, and as poorly formatted as the result was). What did they expect to gain from this? Amazon doesn’t pay authors for a couple of months after the purchase specifically so that in the case of infringement or other violations of the TOS, the infringing author won’t ever receive one penny. Did the person expect not to get caught? The book used my cover, my name, even got linked to my actual paperback. Kind of hard not to notice. I’m guessing the “pirate” must have done this to several books, not just mine. The copyright team hopefully checked out any other books that person had published when they blocked the book that I reported.

The lesson is to make sure that nobody else is selling your book on any major retailers, such as Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Smashwords, etc.

A more common mosquito-like book piracy problem is to find websites that claim to be selling or giving away unauthorized copies of your book. Often, these websites don’t actually have the book. With all of the viruses, malware, and phishing that plagues the internet these days, my advice is to avoid visiting untrusted websites, avoid clicking links, and avoid downloading files. Hopefully, most customers will be wise enough not to try to obtain books from unknown sites. People shop for books at places they trust, like Amazon. If you find your book being sold or given away, you can issue a takedown notice. Unfortunately, this can become a regular occurrence, taking up a great deal of time and energy.

If you’re an author, I hope you never have your book pirated. I hope you sell enough books that other people “wish” that they had written your book, but I hope they don’t try to actually sell unauthorized copies of your book.

Write Happy, Be Happy

Chris McMullen

Author of the Improve Your Math Fluency series of math workbooks and self-publishing guides

Expanded Distribution Has Expanded

EXPANDED DISTRIBUTION

Amazon KDP now offers two Expanded Distribution channels. In addition to the usual Expanded Distribution channel for the US, they have added an Expanded Distribution channel for the UK.

Authors and publishers using Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing for paperbacks may now add the Expanded Distribution channel for the UK. Each title must be individually enrolled. To sign up for Expanded Distribution in the UK, find a book on your Bookshelf, and go to Page 3 of the publishing process for the paperback edition (the pricing page). You may need to click an option to show prices in other countries. If your list price is too low, your book won’t be eligible for Expanded Distribution in the UK (unless you’re willing to raise your UK list price). Check the Expanded Distribution royalty amount that is displayed and make sure that you’re comfortable with that royalty. The process isn’t complete until you click the button at the bottom to submit the book for publishing (or for “republishing”). The changes won’t take effect until the book is republished.

Every little bit helps. 🙂

If you had edited your book description through Author Central, beware that the description in your KDP description field (Page 1 of the publishing process) will now overwrite the Author Central description. If this may be an issue for you, copy/paste the HTML version of your Author Central page into the KDP description field before you submit the book for publishing. (If you receive an error message, it might be that the syntax for KDP’s description HTML is different than Author Central’s regarding br for manual line breaks.)

Write Happy, Be Happy

Chris McMullen

Author of the Improve Your Math Fluency series of math workbooks and self-publishing guides

Author Central Has Changed

CHANGES AT AUTHOR CENTRAL

If you haven’t already done so, when you next visit Author Central, it will ask you to sign up (even if you are already signed up). This part should be easy. It found my previous information and quickly transferred it over. I checked my biography and author photos, which were the same (although I noticed a couple of duplicate photos and deleted the duplicates). At first, it seemed like my blog feeds were missing, but when I proceeded to add them, I saw that they were still there.

The way that books, reviews, and sales ranks are displayed has changed, and it is not as clear how to edit a book’s information.

(With thousands of authors currently checking out the new Author Central, it’s possible that you will experience delays or that the site will appear to be temporarily down when you visit. This happened to me briefly once, but was working again just a few minutes later. The other times I visited this morning, it was working fine.)

PLUSES

I like the Sales Rank report (but see the Minuses below) and Customer Reviews report. It’s basically the same information that we have seen before, presented in a new way.

Visually, these appear nice, in my opinion.

I also like that I can scroll down to see more ranks; I don’t need to paginate my way back and forth through all of my books.

The sales ranks are displayed according to popularity.

You can also change the marketplace to see how your books are selling in other countries, or to see recent reviews in other countries.

If you are looking for a specific book, the search tool (accessible by clicking All Books) makes it easy to search for one.

Back under Profile, it is easy to visit Author Central in other countries where it is available. You can also add a biography in a new language.

MINUSES

The Sales Rank report and Customer Reviews report can only be sorted by popularity.

In contrast, when you go to the Books page, you can change the sorting to alphabetical, newest to oldest, etc. It seem an obvious “oversight” that you can’t similarly change the sorting of the Sales Rank and Customer Reviews reports. Very often, I like to see how my most recent books are doing (sales rank or reviews), without having to search for each book specifically, so such sorting options would have been useful.

The Books page has changed. I see all of my titles (without having to paginate, which is nice), but with the old Author Central, we used to be able to see the total number of reviews/ratings and the average star value next to each book. Now we just see the book covers, nothing else (without additional clicks). I liked being able to monitor review totals and averages for several books on the page without having to click on one book at a time to access this information.

When I do click on a book from the Books page, with the first click it only pulls up a minimum of information, and it may not be immediately obvious to all authors that they can click again to see more information and get more options. It is necessary to click on one of the thumbnails if you wish to edit your book description or access other fields like From the Author or Editorial Reviews. Most authors will have two thumbnails (one for paperback, one for Kindle). After you click the thumbnail (really, the second time you click on a thumbnail), you will see slightly more information: the full title, the review tally (finally), and a little product information. You will also see an Edit Book Details button. Currently, this takes you to the classic editor. Beware that if you edit your book description, you need to copy/paste the HTML of the description into the book description field at KDP, otherwise the next time you republish your book (even just to change the price or keywords) it will revert to the old description (as KDP now overwrites the Author Central description).

SURVEY

On Home page or the bottom of other pages, you can find a quick Survey.

There was only one place to enter a comment, and it was a small box. It reminded me of the joke where an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper has a tiny rectangle drawn on it, with text above it stating, “Enter your complaint in the space provided.” I partly understand that if they allow thousands of authors to submit comments, they will be overwhelmed with an encyclopedic amount of feedback. Writers love to write, after all. But if they really want to know what needs to be improved and why, the survey really needs more than the few questions it asked.

If you have specific feedback that you would like to offer, there is a Contact Us button at the bottom of the Author Central page.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Do you like the new Author Central better, or the classic one?

What do you like about it? What do you dislike?

Write Happy, Be Happy

Chris McMullen

Author of the Improve Your Math Fluency series of math workbooks and self-publishing guides

What Is the Kindle Unlimited Per-Page Rate? A Current Month-by-Month Breakdown

Image from ShutterStock.

HOW MUCH DID KINDLE UNLIMITED PAY PER PAGE?

Following is a monthly breakdown. I’ll update this page monthly to add the latest amount when it becomes available. I won’t be making a new post every month as I have done in the past; I’ll just update this article once per month. Check around the 15th of each month to find the per-page rate for the previous month. For example, July’s per-page rate will be available around August 15.

If you bookmark this page, around the 15th of each month you’ll be able to quickly pull up this page to see what the per-page rate is. (You might need to wait until later in the day or even until the 16th, depending.) By bookmarking this page in your web browser, you’ll have easy access to this page. Remember, I won’t be posting a new article each month like I did in the past; I’ll just update this page.

This list is for Kindle eBooks enrolled in KDP Select, for pages read through Kindle Unlimited or Amazon Prime borrows (where an official page read is called KENP). These are the KENP per-page rates. (Going all the way back to when Amazon started paying for pages read in the summer of 2015, the per-page rate has never fallen below $0.004 per page. It has come very close a couple of times, but it has often been in the 0.0045 to 0.005 range. If you read through the list, you’ll see that some fluctuation is typical.)

  • February, 2021: $0.00455
  • January, 2021: $0.00422
  • December, 2020: $0.00451
  • November, 2020: $0.00464
  • October, 2020: $0.00454
  • September, 2020: $0.00459
  • August, 2020: $0.00432
  • July, 2020: $0.00429
  • June, 2020: $0.00455
  • May, 2020: $0.0042
  • April, 2020: $0.00423
  • March, 2020: $0.00426
  • February, 2020: $0.00455
  • January, 2020: $0.00441
  • December, 2019: $0.00466
  • November, 2019: $0.00493
  • October, 2019: $0.0047
  • September, 2019: $0.0047
  • August, 2019: $0.00439
  • July, 2019: $0.00439
  • June, 2019: $0.00464
  • May, 2019: $0.00466
  • April, 2019: $0.00467
  • March, 2019: $0.00451
  • February, 2019: $0.00478
  • January, 2019: $0.00442
  • December, 2018: $0.00487
  • November, 2018: $0.0052
  • October, 2018: $0.00484
  • September, 2018: $0.00488
  • August, 2018: $0.00449
  • July, 2018: $0.00449
  • June, 2018: $0.0046
  • May, 2018: $0.00454
  • April, 2018: $0.00456
  • March, 2018: $0.00449
  • February, 2018: $0.00466
  • January, 2018: $0.00448
  • December, 2017: $0.00506
  • November, 2017: $0.00463
  • October, 2017: $0.00456
  • September, 2017: $0.00443
  • August, 2017: $0.00419
  • July, 2017: $0.00403
  • June, 2017: $0.00422
  • May, 2017: $0.00433
  • April, 2017: $0.00457
  • March, 2017: $0.0046
  • February, 2017: $0.00497
  • January, 2017: $0.00475
  • December, 2016: $0.00524
  • November, 2016: $0.00538
  • October, 2016: $0.00519
  • September, 2016: $0.00497
  • August, 2016: $0.00458
  • July, 2016: $0.00481
  • June, 2016: $0.00493
  • May, 2016: $0.00469
  • April, 2016: $0.00496
  • March, 2016: $0.00478
  • February, 2016: $0.00479
  • January, 2016: $0.00411
  • December, 2015: $0.00461
  • November, 2015: $0.00492
  • October, 2015: $0.0048
  • September, 2015: $0.0051
  • August, 2015: $0.0051
  • July, 2015: $0.00578

The list below is for the KDP Select Global Fund. It’s amazing that the KDP Select Global Fund climbed above $30 million dollars. These are royalties that Amazon pays to KDP Select authors in a single month purely for Kindle Unlimited (and to a much smaller degree, Amazon Prime) borrows. It doesn’t include royalties for purchases; it’s just pages read for borrows. That rate is over $300 million per year, which is a huge audience. Back in the summer of 2015, it had first jumped above $10 million. It tripled in the 5 years since. If you go back to before Amazon introduced the notion of paying for pages read, in July 2014 it was a mere $2 million (15 times smaller than it is now).

  • February, 2021: $33.5 million
  • January, 2021: $36 million
  • December, 2020: $34 million
  • November, 2020: $33.2 million
  • October, 2020: $32.9 million
  • September, 2020: $32.7 million
  • August, 2020: $32.6 million
  • July, 2020: $32.4 million
  • June, 2020: $32.3 million
  • May, 2020: $32.2 million
  • April, 2020: $30.3 million
  • March, 2020: $29 million
  • February, 2020: $27.2 million
  • January, 2020: $28.2 million
  • December, 2019: $26.2 million
  • November, 2019: $26.1 million
  • October, 2019: $26 million
  • September, 2019: $25.9 million
  • August, 2019: $25.8 million
  • July, 2019: $25.6 million
  • June, 2019: $24.9 million
  • May, 2019: $24.6 million
  • April, 2019: $24.1 million
  • March, 2019: $24 million
  • February, 2019: $23.5 million
  • January, 2019: $24.7 million
  • December, 2018: $23.7 million
  • November, 2018: $23.6 million
  • October, 2018: $23.5 million
  • September, 2018: $23.4 million
  • August, 2018: $23.3 million
  • July, 2018: $23.1 million
  • June, 2018: $22.6 million
  • May, 2018: $22.5 million
  • April, 2018: $21.2 million
  • March, 2018: $21 million
  • February, 2018: $20 million
  • January, 2018: $20.9 million
  • December, 2017: $19.9 million
  • November, 2017: $19.8 million
  • October, 2017: $19.7 million
  • September, 2017: $19.5 million
  • August, 2017: $19.4 million
  • July, 2017: $19 million
  • June, 2017: $18 million
  • May, 2017: $17.9 million
  • April, 2017: $17.8 million
  • March, 2017: $17.7 million
  • February, 2017: $16.8 million
  • January, 2017: $17.8 million
  • December, 2016: $16.8 million
  • November, 2016: $16.3 million
  • October, 2016: $16.2 million
  • September, 2016: $15.9 million
  • August, 2016: $15.8 million
  • July, 2016: $15.5 million
  • June, 2016: $15.4 million
  • May, 2016: $15.3 million
  • April, 2016: $14.9 million
  • March, 2016: $14.9 million
  • February, 2016: $14 million
  • January, 2016: $15 million
  • December, 2015: $13.5 million
  • November, 2015: $12.7 million
  • October, 2015: $12.4 million
  • September, 2015: $12 million
  • August, 2015: $11.8 million
  • July, 2015: $11.5 million

Write Happy, Be Happy

Chris McMullen

Author of the Improve Your Math Fluency series of math workbooks and self-publishing guides

How Much Did Kindle Unlimited Pay in January, 2020?

The Kindle Unlimited Per-Page Rate for January, 2020

$0.004411 is the per-page rate for KENP read for Kindle Unlimited in January, 2020. It’s down from December’s rate of $0.004664, which was also down from November. It takes a dip around this time almost every year, probably an effect characteristic of the holidays. Fortunately, even after the dip, it’s still significantly above $0.004 per page.

The KDP Select Global Fund rose to a record high of $28.2 million for January, 2020.

Write Happy, Be Happy

Chris McMullen

Author of the Improve Your Math Fluency series of math workbooks and self-publishing guides

Kindle Unlimited for December, 2019

The December, 2019, Kindle Unlimited Per Page Rate

The Kindle Unlimited per-page rate was 0.004664 in December, 2019. It’s down from December, perhaps from holiday Kindle sales, but close to what it had been in October.

The KDP Select Global Fund rose to a new high of $26.2 million for December, 2019.

Write Happy, Be Happy

Chris McMullen

Author of the Improve Your Math Fluency series of math workbooks and self-publishing guides

Amazon 4-Star Store

AMAZON FOUR-STAR STORE

I recently visited an Amazon 4-Star store. I had no idea what to expect, other than my assumption that every product in the store was rated 4 stars or above.

(My daughter asked why they didn’t have a 5-star store. I tried to explain that it would be virtually impossible, since if a product had 49 5-star reviews and one 4-star review, it would drop the average below 5 stars.)

The first thing I realized was that it wasn’t a bookstore. There were a few books, but there were mostly other products. Later, the cashier informed me that their selection is constantly changing, and includes some cool and trending products, not just bestsellers.

There were definitely many interesting products. The prices of most of the products seemed quite reasonable to me, plus when I looked closer, I noticed that Prime members save even more, and the savings is often significant.

My daughter found a Harry Potter item that she wanted. Normally, I wouldn’t have paid $75 for it, but I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that the Prime price was less than $30. Most of the Prime discounts were more modest, but as I mentioned earlier, most of the prices seemed reasonable to begin with.

I also found the same toy that I had ordered online a few days previously, and it was $55 (or $69 for non-Prime members) in the store, whereas I had paid $130 online. Well, it was easy to decide to return my online purchase and buy the one in the store instead.

Even the Amazon gift card that I purchased is really cool. It looks like a small Amazon Prime box, and inside you put the gift card.

I was a little worried about getting my Prime savings, but it turned out to be far easier than I had imagined. I didn’t need to download an app. I didn’t need to remember my password. All I had to do was use any credit card (perhaps there are a few restrictions of which I’m unaware) that I’ve ever used to make a purchase on Amazon. When I inserted my credit card at checkout, the system did indeed recognize my card and it applied my Prime savings.

I instantly received an email receipt on my phone, too (though they also gave me a paper copy in my bag).

My visit to the Amazon 4-Star store was interesting, fun, and provided me with unexpected savings. Even my trip to the store was a surprise. I had no idea there was an Amazon store where I would be visiting.

It was cool to discover Amazon in a store.

Write Happy, Be Happy

Chris McMullen

Author of the Improve Your Math Fluency series of math workbooks and self-publishing guides

Kindle Unlimited, October, 2019

The Kindle Unlimited Per-Page Rate for October, 2019

$0.0047 is the Kindle Unlimited (KENP) per-page rate for October, 2019.

It’s nearly identical to the rate for September, 2019. (You need more decimal places to see a difference.)

September and October were about 7% better than July and August.

The KDP Select Global Fund reached a new high of $26 million.

Write Happy, Be Happy

Chris McMullen

Author of the Improve Your Math Fluency series of math workbooks and self-publishing guides