What’s up with Amazon?

The Human Centered Brand author Nela Dunato

It’s been almost 6 years since I published The Human Centered Brand

I sell the ebook through Gumroad, and I used Ingram Lightning Source as my paperback printer and distributor. (Lightning Source is a service similar to IngramSpark, but IS wasn’t available to Croatian customers at the time.) I didn’t want to use Amazon KDP because back then Croatia didn’t have a tax treaty with United States, so I would have lost a lot of money paying double taxes.

During the first few years, it’s mostly been a smooth ride. My paperback book was available through every reputable online bookstore that carried the Ingram catalogue.

In addition to Amazon.com and its localized variants, my book was also available on Barnes and Noble, Blackwell’s, and The Book Depository. The latter was popular with international buyers because it offered worldwide free shipping. (It was my preferred bookstore as well.)

And then the problems started.


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Canva Brand Style Guide template (and instructional video) now available!

The Human Centered Brand Style Guide Kit now includes a Canva template, in addition to the InDesign, PowerPoint, and Google Slides templates.

The 38-minute instructional video explains in detail how to customize the fonts and color palette in the document, and add your own logos and other graphics.

Canva brand style guide template preview

You’ll need a free Canva account in order to use the template. A trial of Canva Premium is helpful, because you’ll have additional features (your Brand Kit) that will speed up the process of customizing your style guide document.

Everyone who has already purchased The Human Centered Brand Style Guide Kit will find the new template and video in their Gumroad library. But if you run into any issues, please let me know and I’ll do my best to help.

This Canva brand style guide template was long overdue! When I first created the kit it wasn’t possible to share a template privately. And later when this feature became available, it was never a good time to record the video. Recently I taught a Canva workshop so this reminded me of needing to create this template, and so I finally did, 4 years after first publishing the book. Better late than never!

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Book events – Autumn 2018 edition

Presentation of The Human Centered Brand at the Rijeka City Library Business Corner

I regularly speak at conferences and while some of these were booked irrespective of the book, it coincided with the paperback launch, so I had an opportunity to share a bit about the book to the audience during the 4 events that took place from September to November.

Digital Olympus

The first event was an international online conference in September called Digital Olympus. I gave a talk titled “Human Centered Branding: The Key to Marketing with Authenticity”. (Check out the slides here. Sadly the video recording was not made available.)

It was a short talk followed by a Q&A, and the best part is I didn’t have to leave my house to present it.

Rikon 2018

The second event was a sci-fi convention Rikon. I timed my local paperback release to coincide with it, because I knew many of my friends and colleagues who were interested in the book would be there. I gave a talk on the topic of Self-promotion for creatives, and participated in a panel on turning a hobby into a career with 4 other creative professionals from our community.

I didn’t have a booth, but I made a whole hoopla about the book on my social media, so whoever was following me knew where to find me if they wanted a copy.

Nela Dunato on a panel at Rikon convention

Panel on turning a creative hobby into a career with LARP game designer Miroslav Wranka, costume designer Tajana Stasni, fantasy writer Maya Starling, illustrator and game designer Sven Nemet, myself, and moderator Igor Rendic. Photo: Sabrina Baricevic

Lean In Osijek: Lean on Yourself

“Lean on Yourself” was a conference for women business owners, or women who plan to start a business. I lead a short 1-hour workshop in front of 170 attendees based on “The Human Centered Brand” framework. The organizers were very kind to print and bind the workbooks for all the attendees so they can follow along.

Nela Dunato speaking at Lean on Yourself conference in Osijek

Photo by Alen Večanin

The Human Centered Brand workbooks at the Lean on Yourself conference in Osijek

The Human Centered Brand workbooks. Photo by Alen Večanin

The event was great, and I had a wonderful time. I’d definitely do something like that again.

Book presentation event at the Rijeka Public Library

The central department of Rijeka Public Library has a “Business Corner” section where people can learn about starting a business, lend business books, and attend lectures on related topics. I gave a talk there last year, so as soon as I arranged for the paperbacks to be printed, I contacted the head of the department and told her about my new book, and expressed my desire to present it there.

I invited my friends and family, and my friends invited their friends, so there was a nice crowd with a mix of familiar and unfamiliar faces, as well as some press that interviewed me for the local TV and web portal.

Presentation of The Human Centered Brand at the Rijeka City Library Business Corner

The host Kristian Benic and I talked about the whys and hows of creating this book, and then we discussed some of the topics of the book, and opened the floor to questions. After the official part, several people came by to chat and to buy the books. The remaining available books in the library also got checked out that day, so I’d say this event was very successful in attracting new readers.

If you can understand Croatian, here’s a short video of the event:

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The Human Centered Brand paperback now available

The Human Centered Brand paperback

The Human Centered Brand is now available as a paperback from various online book retailers. The full list of websites is on this page, but first let me clarify a few important details so you know what to expect if you want to buy my printed book.

Back in the day, self-publishing meant you had to pay out of pocket to get a large batch of books printed. You’d have to keep them in the garage, mail them individually to buyers across the country, and walk into bookstores and try to get them to sell on consignment. Luckily, we no longer have to do that. Printing technology and distribution logistics has advanced so much, authors can sell books worldwide without even touching a copy.

Printed on demand

Print on demand (POD) means that instead of printing 1000 or 500 or however many copies of the book and storing it in a warehouse, a book is printed when it’s ordered. That means I can order a few books to bring to events, instead of clogging my office with hundreds of them. This also means that any buyer can order the book from anywhere in the world, and have it printed and shipped from a facility that’s geographically closest to them, to minimize the cost for the buyer (and the environmental impact).

The print on demand process adds a few days to the shipping schedule, so please keep this in mind if you want to give the book as a holiday or a birthday gift.

The Human Centered Brand book interior

The Human Centered Brand book interior

Where to buy The Human Centered Brand paperback

You can currently find printed copies of my book in these online stores:

Book prices vary from store to store. Despite me defining list prices that are equivalent to $25 USD across all the different marketplaces, ultimately it’s up to the individual store to respect them. Some stores include their local VAT in the list price, while others add it on top. Some sellers offer short deals, so if you happen to see the book listed anywhere for less than the list price, I recommend you jump on that because the discount may soon go away.

Amazon stocking issues

Sometimes Amazon says that certain books are “temporarily out of stock”, or “usually ships within 1-2 months” for reasons that have to do with their automated inventory management. The time estimates are exaggerated, and they’re able to get the book in stock whenever anyone wants it because it’s printed on demand.

The book is printed and shipped when a buyer orders it, so none of the stores have it in their warehouse. The book seller places an order with my printing & fulfillment company (Lightning Source), and it’s shipped to you with 1–2 days delay compared to books they have in stock. If the buy button is present on Amazon, you can still purchase the book and it will arrive at normal schedule. (Sometimes the buy button is gone altogether. If you notice that, please let me know so I can submit a complaint. Thanks!)

If you’re worried about Amazon’s cryptic messaging that doesn’t tell you when your book will ship, I suggest that you purchase from another retailer that labels the book as “in stock”.

The Human Centered Brand paperback back cover

The Human Centered Brand paperback back cover

Quality control

Because the books are shipped directly from the printer to the buyer without me ever seeing them, unfortunately I can’t check each book for printing errors.

I urge you to let me know about any printing defects you encounter, and I’ll contact the printer to send you a replacement copy. I can only do this if you send me a report with photos of the book (and the receipt) so I can follow up with Lightning Source, the printing company I work with.

Examples of printing errors that I’ve heard about from other authors include:

  • Streaky print on pages with graphics.
  • Pages or the cover being cut off so that the white of the paper shows on the edges.
  • Globs of glue sticking out from the spine.
  • Pages falling out of the book.

That’s not to say this is common, but it can happen. If you receive a copy that’s less than what you’d expect buying a book in a bookstore, don’t just just wave it off! The printer promised me professional quality books, and I don’t want any less for you. Please let me know if you encounter any issues.

Get your book in time for the holidays!

If you have a client or a loved one who is a small business owner that could use a little branding help, The Human Centered Brand makes a wonderful gift. If you order now before the rush starts, you’ll be set for this season. And who knows, when you see the book in person you might even want to get another one for yourself 😉

If you’re still not sure if this book is right for you, check out the reviews, and download the free chapter.

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