Thursday, January 12, 2012
As an indie, I have many choices as to where my books can be purchased. Anyone who thinks that indies are limited to Amazon and Barnes and Noble is in for a big surprise. My books are there, 1 Place for Romance, All Romance eBooks, in addition to Smashwords, which if my book is approved for its premium catalog, it goes out to all sorts of places. It's rather impressive, actually. It's also quite unnerving to know that as the author and sole owner of the work, you have no idea where the hell it's actually selling.
Smashwords is a wonderful resource, but this isn't the first time I've gotten an uneasy vibe from using it. There's just something I don't trust about it, and today's email is why. I checked out the links Amazon sent and there the books are, one where it shouldn't be because it's supposed to be with Amazon exclusively, and the other for less than it should be priced. I took Destiny Redeemed down from Smashwords in mid-December, so why is it still for sale in one of its distribution channels? And I changed the price of Vampire Dreams a week ago. Why is it still the other price?
To be honest, I sell very little at Smashwords itself. I use it more as a place to store my books so I can offer a coupon when people win them in giveaways. However, it's the premium distribution channels that are more important. The problem is that they're so far away from the author who is also the distributor that it's difficult to keep on top of them. But isn't the whole damn point of Smashwords to make things easier? Isn't it supposed to make getting your book to those places easier for an indie? I think it might just be too easy.
But this issue brings home the idea every indie author must remember: As the distributor, you have the responsibility for everything regarding your book. So if you thought that writing, getting cover art, formatting, and uploading were it, here's another job you need to attend to. I still wouldn't have it any other way (unless NY is feeling free with some cash and ebook rights and wants to talk!), but it's a reality that must be handled.
I think it's time I added another resolution to 2012's list. In addition to being smart about marketing and more aggressive about selling, I think I need to add being more attentive to where my books are out there in ebook land. My gut tells me if I don't, I'll regret it.