Tag Archives: eBook

Self Publishing Pros and Cons: Distribution

A while ago I did a couple of posts regarding the pros and cons of Self Publishing, with the intention of doing some more posts at some point. Well this is the next one. It’s on distribution and an area that is bugging me quite a lot at the moment and where I think there is quite a big gap in the market to help self published authors.

On the eBook side self publishers have quite a good choice for distribution. They can get their eBooks published via all the main eBook retailers through a variety of means – either going direct with Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble or Apple or using distributors such as Smashwords and Lulu to do part of it for them. It seems that of the retailers only Amazon demands direct engagement from authors and won’t let a distributor take some of the pain of multiple platforms away – but then Amazon don’t want authors distributing their work via other retailers anyway. Going direct to retailers has its benefits, but self published authors have the choice usually of doing that or using a distributor for their work.

On the traditional publishing side it really depends on what arrangements have been made by your publisher. Some publishers have a difficult relationship with Amazon for a whole host of reasons. And I think some others – more small to medium sized – are still only just getting to grips with eBooks. I was surprised to find that some recent Science Fiction books that I was trying to buy recently from well known authors were not available as eBooks. So it’s possible that to go the traditional route may inhibit eBook distribution if the publisher has a tiff with someone like Amazon, or just is slow in getting its systems together – worth taking into account when selecting a publisher.

Print is not dead – still the majority of the market

This is still true and I think a major problem for the self-published author. The one clear advantage of being published by a traditional publisher is that your book will appear in print and will get some sort of decent distribution to bookshops, book wholesalers and to library suppliers. Maybe even into book cataloguers/book clubs and supermarkets if it is a bestseller. Even if the shelf life is short there will be some exposure and book shop customers can place orders for a book through a book shop and have that order fulfilled.

For a self published author to achieve the same level of distribution is difficult. To get the same face time as a publisher sales rep with book shop chain buyers who decide whether to buy copies of a book is impossible.

On the logistical distribution side it seems that the main options for self publisher are to purchase a more expensive package than the standard ones from Lulu or Createspace – you need something like the Extended Distribution from Createspace or to go with Ingrams’ Lightning Source service to even get in the major bibliographic databases, otherwise online sales via Amazon are probably the only means for customers to purchase print.

Opportunity?

For some bright spark there has to be an opportunity here. Either a start-up company or one of the book wholesalers perhaps could step in and offer enhanced sales and distribution for the self published author. They could produce a catalogue and actively sell these titles to bookshops. I think they would have to impose some sort of vetting process – the author would have to somehow justify why their book should get attention from the bookseller – previous eBook sales or direct online print sales history could play a major role here I think.

Interesting times and an area that’s still in development for self published authors.

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Tales of Magic and Mayhem Published

Tales of Magic and Mayhem New CoverI have now published my first collection of short stories. Tales of Magic and Mayhem contains five tales – all with a fantasy theme, some are historically set, while others are pure fantasy.

The stories featured are:

  • Chivalry: A Jake Savage Adventure
  • Bird Talk: A Tale of Medieval Magic
  • Bisclavret (The Werewolf)
  • Forged in Blood
  • Demon River

You can get the collection either as an eBook or a Printed book. Check out the Tales of Magic and Mayhem page on my site for more details!

 

Quick update from me and a question about eReaders

Just a quick update to let anyone who is interested know that I have some stuff to announce soon – a short story collection and some new short stories as well – 3 I think that I haven’t announced on the blog yet. However, I’m waiting for them to filter into all the different eBook channels before announcing them – some are very fast (Amazon/Kobo) but some are rather slow – Barnes & Noble for instance, but despite this I would like to give them all a fair crack of the whip. So when that finally happens I will announce each new publication.

Although I do publish a lot of my work as eBooks, I don’t actually have an eReader as such – I occasionally use my iPad. However, I have considered requesting one for Christmas, and with Kobo and Nook now available in the UK, that at last means there is more choice. Any recommendations? How does the Nook match up against the Kindle? I would be interested to hear your views.

The Honour of Rome now available from a range of eBook Retailers

I have finally managed to get my short story The Honour of Rome distributed through a wide range of eBook retailers – previously it was just on Amazon. So if you like reading books on the Nook, iPad or any other device – see Smashwords – then you now have no excuse not to read The Honour of Rome!

You can now buy The Honour of Rome from these retailers:

             

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