Update to Brave New World of Publishing

Hi Folks,

This morning as I emailed a friend, I had occasion to revisit an old blog post, one I wrote here back in October, 2015. The information in it bears repeating, especially in light of recent posts over at Dean Wesley Smith’s website. I recommend you read my older blog post before continuing with this one, even if you think you remember everything about it. To do so, click Brave New World of Publishing.

After that, to read one of the more important posts to come along in awhile in the way of advice for writers from a guy who’s been doing it successfully for decades, read Dean’s Blaming the Reader (for no sales).

His post includes a list of reasons your books don’t sell even a few copies. It was so good I copied/pasted it into a Word document, mostly so I could re-read it in the future and also to share it with others.

But back to this post. This is an update on the information I shared in the October 17, 2015 post.

First, I no longer use Pronoun. They don’t allow the author to select the venues to which they distribute the author’s work. For me, that’s a deal killer.

As for XinXii I have sold one copy of one short story collection through them (as far as I can tell) for a grand total royalty of $1.10. That’s in well over a year. So I’m not pushing them anymore either. Then again, $1.10 is a minuscule price to pay for a lesson.

I also had some problems interfacing with OmniLit’s website (they’re also All Romance Ebooks). I found the website clunky at best and unresponsive at times. Soon I decided the few sales I might get through them wasn’t worth the hassle. But that might have just been me. I recommend you check them for yourself, especially if you write romance or erotica.

So today, my titles are distributed through Amazon, Draft2Digital, Smashwords, and through direct sales at StoneThread Publishing.

Yes, Amazon remains the biggest seller.

Draft2Digital remains by far the easiest distribution venue to use, and they pay fair royalties.

I still despise Smashwords’ extremely clunky interface. If you have only a few titles to manage, it isn’t a big deal and it isn’t bad. But if you But with 200 titles in my account, using the channel manager or anything else is a nightmare. Still, the number of big-deal sales venues they offer makes the aggravation acceptable.

Back in the Iron Age (2011) I didn’t mind the clunkiness at Smashwords so much. It was pretty much state of the art. But today, all you have to do is compare the submission process at Smashwords with D2D to see what I mean. If D2D had the venues Smashwords has, I’d drop the latter in a heartbeat.

I haven’t mentioned CreateSpace. They are by far the best choice for do-it-yourself print production and distribution. If you don’t want to do it yourself, you’ll need to look around and select a print-layout and cover design service. Because loyalty and honesty are important to me, I cannot in good conscience recommend any service in particular.

If anyone out there knows of any that you recommend or if you do your own layout and spine and back cover AND ENJOY IT, please let me know.

Of course, if you aren’t writing and producing new work, none of the above matters in the slightest. Ahem.

That’s it for this time. ‘Til next time, keep writing.
Harvey

2 thoughts on “Update to Brave New World of Publishing

  1. I do my own layout, and enjoy it. I’m still learning, of course, and use the “Palm” template in CreateSpace, with my books get just the CreateSpace-created spine (I don’t like that so much, but one of my learnings ahead is to do a full .pdf cover so I can dictate my own spine). In a big no-no from Dean, I do my interior layout in Word. Probably more hassle, and less finesse than InDesign, but it works for my level.

    Going to D2D is on my list for the future. Even though SmashWords distribute on to numerous sellers I note that Dean recommends going directly to those others. Since I’m based in New Zealand, there are a couple I can’t go to directly as they require a U.S. address. That’s okay, SmashWords scoops them up for me. I even make a few sales that way.

    • Hi Sean. Thanks for your comment.

      I haven’t done my own layout for CreateSpace yet. For me, it’s simply a matter of time (and interest). The layout that my former design person did was in Word and then saved and uploaded to CS as a .pdf file. So if I ever do it, I would use Word also.

      I made a few sales on trade paperbacks. Mostly I wanted my titles in paper for the price comparison to drive buyers more toward ebooks. However, that also (for me) is a negligible benefit.

      So for now, for the sake of efficiency and so I can spend my time writing instead of doing layout, etc. I don’t bother with paper at all.

      One caveat: I’m going to experiment within the next few days with D2D’s print option. If I can get a good quality paperback that way, I’ll report here. At that point I will no longer recommend using any external layout people. I might even offer a series of blog posts on how to do it yourself to get a quality paperback via D2D.

      Harvey

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