So a couple of weeks ago I made a semi big announcement: I decided this year I was going to start publishing e-books. Needless to say, I'm incredibly excited about everything. I'm hoping (without any complications) my novella I Woke Up In Love This Morning will be available for downloads in two weeks. I have no idea how everything will turn out; it might be the least downloaded book ever, along with 101 Uses For Potatoes or Ike Turner: Hey I Was Hit Too! So when I started doing research on ebooks, I decided to figure out what was a good fit for me.
Amazon is the King Bee these days with ebooks with the mighty mighty Kindle. In two years it has helped authors JA Konrath double his sales and has helped unknowns like Karen McQuestion and Amanda Hocking become literary superstars. Amazon became tempting when they announced KDP Select Publishing, which means you can only sell on Amazon for ninety days.
Many authors (like our Christopher Meeks) have had great luck with the KDP program. However, giving Amazon exclusive rights to my work--even though it's only ninety days--gave me pause. One of the reasons why I wanted to try ebooks was that I could control how my writing is marketed and read, at least in the beginning. To not give possible readers a choice on where they could get my book, it felt like I was shortchanging them, and myself.
Plus I'll be honest: I love independent bookstores. Last month when it was announced that if customers could get a five dollar coupon for checking prices at independent bookstores, it made many independent booksellers see red. Quite frankly, I can't say I blame them. Many businesses are hurting; we need to support them.I won't lie, I've bought books from Amazon, but I also to go to bookstores as well as often as possible. Where else but The Storyteller in Lafayette would understand someone walking in three days before Christmas asking "Do you have the Origami Yoda/Darth Paper books?" (My nephew's book requests) Not only did they have the books, they gift wrapped them in beautiful red and white paper. Nephew was a happy camper. Thanks Storyteller!
However, I knew I still had to go through Amazon.But there were so many other places: Nook, Kobo, Sony readers, it made think how could I do it all? Plus I had to format each ebook each time differently, which would result in time suckage.
So I figured out a new mantra:What Would Amanda Hocking Do? I read the interview she did with Strawberry Saroyan (yes, that's her real name. Her grandfather was William Saroyan) Hocking decided when she was ready to publish, she would do it on Smashwords. Smashwords publishes ebooks, but they also distribute to Amazon, Nook, iBooks, Kobo, and Sony. Also you could buy it straight from Smashwords themselves rather than Barnes and Noble or Amazon. What I really enjoyed was the fact they also gave the option of downloading the book as a PDF file, where people could just print out the book and read.Many of my friends don't have e-readers or e-reader apps. Giving them an option of printing the book out to read would be great. If they can't figure out how their printers work however, there's nothing I can do for them.Unless they want to publish it from the library. There! Problem solved!
So next week I'm going to be published on Smashwords. My only hope is I won't become one of those people that checks her sales stats every minute of the day. I doubt it. I'm too busy checking my Red Room dashboard. More to come...
Causes Jennifer Gibbons Supports
Gilda's Club, Greenpeace, Rosie's Broadway Kids,Westwind Foster Family Agency, Amber Brown Fund, Linda Duncan Fund for Contra Costa Libraries