With indie e-book publishing there’s two main options for you to publish on. Smashwords and Amazon. I use both but as I continue to experience hassles with Smashwords I really wonder if it’s worth it. I know you can publish directly with Barnes & Noble via Pubit but it isn’t available to authors out of the
yet which really sucks. The problem I’m having is that I want to take The Arrival off free on Amazon and have it back at .99c. The free idea is great but I don’t know if it’s something I’d do permanently, I’d prefer to have it for a few months at a time. But because the book still shows as free on Barnes & Noble I can’t get the US Amazon to take it off their free list. UK Amazon just did it, looks like they allot a certain amount of time for each book to be free which is a clever idea. US
So I popped on Smashwords and changed the price. Then waited. And waited. And waited. Then bombarded them with e-mails after the first several I sent over a few weeks were never replied to. I got a terse reply from the creator of Smashwords along the lines of ‘what’s your problem?’ which had me pointing out that no one had replied to any of my emails until now. After I’d sent LOTS. He told me it’d be sorted in their next shipping of books. Okay, cool. Three weeks later, it hasn’t been shipped yet and I’m still waiting *sigh* It’s more than a tad frustrating. Not surprisingly I’m wondering if it’s actually worth being on Smashwords. Sales wise I’ve made all of $12 and the download count is low. Really low. I know the appeal with Smashwords is that you can get the book in any format so I’m beginning to look into the idea of creating a ‘buy’ button on my blog. Then I can send it through in whatever e-format the reader requires. Also the idea of never having to deal with that god-awful meatgrinder Smashwords has *swoon* now that’s a nice thought! This is just one of my current frustrations with e publishing.
The other biggee is the actual allowed formatting. E books are great but because of the current HTML requirements they still can’t match paper books. As you’re all well aware, I use multiple shifting point of views in The Arrival. It’s a style I chose for the trilogy as it conveys the story in the way I want. The problem is that in paper format it’s far easier to make out the switches (if you’re a person who finds them a little confusing) compared to e-format. Because in e-format there’s just two paragraph styles to choose from and you CANNOT use both. If I could use both, it might work better. Now that I have my kindle and I’m reading stack loads more books I’m seeing this format issue in pretty much every single one. Whether it’s through a publisher or whether it’s an Indie author. I think it has to be one of the most common complaints in reviews – formatting! But having worked behind the scenes in this I have utmost sympathy for anyone trying to make their e-version convey what their paper version does. Thankfully technology always progresses so I’m just waiting for it to move along in this. Until then, my kindle is as prized a possession as my books are and I won’t be stopping my paper back purchases anytime soon.
Take care all!