A reader left a comment for me today that warrants further investigation. What eReader did you use to read Sunset Rising? It’s an important poll, because the answer will help me decide whether or not to list “Worlds Collide” solely on Amazon or have it available in other eReader formats for a limited time.
When I originally published “Sunset Rising,” I had it available in all ereader formats. Why did I end up taking it down from other ebook stores? For a couple of reasons. As a Canadian independent writer, there are a only two ebook stores I can directly list my novels on: Amazon and Kobo. In order to list on any other ebook store, I have to go through a third party. Why? Because of taxes. It’s an IRS issue. Amazon has set themselves up to deal with this issue, but not all ebook stores have. Kobo is Canadian, so the IRS doesn’t apply.
When I originally published SR, I went through Smashwords, a company set up to distribute ebooks everywhere, including Apple and Barnes & Noble. Smashwords is a great company and, honestly, my only issue with them was “control” over where my book was placed and how it appeared. I listed SR as young adult, so Apple listed it in Children’s Literature (perhaps this is why I only ever made one sale on Apple). In fact, it showed up in Children’s Literature in a number of ebook stores. I also had an issue with how the book description was showing up; it was one, long run-on paragraph in many ebook stores. I eventually figured out that this has to do with putting the blurb into HTML language, but I figured that out after I left Smashwords. I only have nice things to say about Smashwords employees – they’re friendly, efficient, and go above and beyond to help their clients.
So why did I end up leaving Smashwords? The issues I mentioned combined with low sales. I’ll be honest, I made a total of 15 sales through Smashwords. The rest of the downloads were free coupons. On Kobo I made 5 sales and zero downloads on free days. Through the Amazon select program… let’s just say I’m into the five digit range for sales and downloads combined. With Amazon, I’m able to promote the book for free for a limited time and/or drop the price as low as 99 cents. Yes, I know I can do this on other ebook sites; however, the difference is Amazon’s algorithms. Every time my novel is downloaded, I climb their best seller list. Every time I receive a review, it counts toward my ranking. The more reviews I have, the more credibility I offer future readers. In other words, Amazon select allows for a dynamic relationship between reader and writer that benefits us both. It’s win-win.
During my time with Amazon select, SR has shot up on the Amazon bestseller a few times. Over Christmas and into January, it was in the top 20 paid bestseller list in three different categories. It made in the top 10 in action/adventure romance. Writers can’t buy that kind of exposure. It’s you, the reader, who puts a book on the bestseller list. So, THANK YOU!!
With all that said, I do know there were some of you that read SR on a Nook or a Kobo. It would be helpful to know how many readers only have a Nook or Kobo to read “Worlds Collide.” If you’re one of them, can you please leave me a comment here? I’d like to take a count.
By the way, some of you asked why I’m not with a traditional publisher. I’ve written two query letters to two agents in my life, and the anxiety involved in writing those query letters really wasn’t worth it. Agents are very specific about what queries catch their attention. Most have website examples to show how to write one and how not to write one. What a writer writes is also extremely important, since it’s the job of the agent to sell it to a publishers. Hence, what publishers are looking for in a book will determine what an agent is looking for. The research alone is an enormous time suck. And the two query letters I did write, I tried to sell SR as a dystopian trilogy, which I recently discovered that both “dystopian” and “trilogy” are taboo in the publishing world: click on Publisher Weekly to read article. I realized I could be spending my time trying to write query letters (and no doubt still receiving rejection letters) or I could write books. I chose the latter. My time is important to me, so I prioritize. I’m not saying I wouldn’t go with a publisher – in fact, I’d love to get my books on bookstore shelves because they are gorgeous in print (thanks to my cover artist). I just don’t want to spend the time trying to find an agent to represent me. I’d rather be writing.
I’m looking forward to hearing back from all you! Thanks again for your support. Each and every one of your emails and comments mean a great deal to me 🙂
PS – Just about done editing Worlds Collide. It will be off to the proofreader within the next day or two. I’m anxious to release it! I think you’ll be surprised…