This past week I have been weighing my options. A few years ago, that would have been simple. You wrote a book and sent it off to publishers as many times as necessary until it was accepted. Once this happened, you were pretty much done. Except for the book tours and cashing the royalty checks. And answering fan mail.
It’s a different ball game today and authors are faced with a bewildering array of choices. At first glance, it’s still simple: you either try to get an agent or publisher, or you decide to self-publish.
It’s the second choice that leads to still more choices, like branches of a tree. I decided to go with CreateSpace for the two novels I had first published with an indie publisher. Since they had already been formatted and edited, this was fairly easy. Of course I also wanted to have the books available in e-book form, so I set them up on KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing). Then I was given a choice of joining KDP Select, which offers the option of promoting the books through “count down” bargains or free for a limited number of days. The downside of this is that you can’t offer the books anywhere else.
I did this, but after 90 days I didn’t feel the advantages (if there were any) made up for not having the books available though other markets. I checked and lo! the 90 days had expired and evidently so had my e-books. They still showed up on the amazon.com pages, but there were gone from my KDP dashboard. So I had to reload all four books (counting the two I had self-published earlier).
I have an author page, but have been told it is wise to add your author pages to foreign Amazon markets. So I went to Amazon’s sites in the United Kingdom, Germany, and France. I’m no language wizard, but it wasn’t all that difficult. I did watch a YouTube video before attempting this. I have no idea what difference it will make, but like everyone else, I am willing to try anything if it gets my books noticed.
Since I was uploading anyway, I went to Smashwords where I opened an account some years ago. I had one book there, so I added the other three. All went well until I got a message that “Angels Unaware” had some formatting flaws. I was relieved to find out the “flaw” was that e-pub won’t accept Word’s autoformat for numbering. I have a study guide at the very end of the book and the questions were numbered. Have you ever tried to add numbers to a series of paragraphs without auto-number kicking in? I finally worked out a cheat and managed to get the numbers in front of each question without Word noticing and adding its two cents. Re-uploaded, and thankfully this time the file was accepted.
From there I went to Nook and uploaded the books.
I’m sure there are more places to put my life’s work, but right now I am tired (smile).
One more thing, and that is to fix one link on B&N that goes to my old blog–the one I had to retire when one day Google suddenly wouldn’t accept my password and in spite of tears, pleas, and threats, never let me back on. It’s still available, but I can’t add anything to it.
Such is the writing life. As I said last week, plumbers are pretty well paid.
What’s your take on distribution? Stick with the giant amazon.com or put your books on as many outlets as possible?