Amazon, e-book, Fatal Forgery, formatting, Kindle, marketing, Samuel Plank, self-publishing, Smashwords, Susan Grossey
As was predicted, it turns out that perhaps the most difficult part of self-publishing is not the writing or the formatting (although both nearly tipped me over the edge more than once), but rather the marketing. Which is just a fancy word for selling the blasted thing. You have heard me moan about this before. As has my husband, so when I started again today he said (although rather more kindly, as he knows who provides the dinner in this house), “Stop whinging and do something about it”. Point taken. So I went back through various self-publishing blogs and fora that have been helpful in the past (particularly Catherine, Caffeinated), looking for tricks that I might have missed. And indeed there was a glaring hole in my efforts: I had carefully published “Fatal Forgery” for Kindle, via Amazon, but ignored all the other e-book platforms. Thankfully the majority of these can be accessed using one uploading service, and so this afternoon was devoted to reformatting my book for submission to Smashwords.
I’m not big on the detail, but I do know that when I Kindle-ified my book, it was turned into a format that can be downloaded (shock horror) to Kindles. However, Kindles are not the only fruit, and this is what Smashwords promises me: “Smashwords will distribute your books via multiple online channels, including but not limited to the Smashwords.com web site, major online retailers (Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo, Baker & Taylor (operates Blio, a popular e-reading app, and also operates Axis360 which distributes ebooks to public libraries), the Diesel eBook Store, mobile phone appvendors (Aldiko on Android; Kobo on all mobile platforms) and other online venues.” I say: there are platforms there that I haven’t even heard of, so that must be good. It took a couple of hours to format the file to Smashwords’ standards and to set up my profile, plus the usual hell that is filling in a US tax form so that they don’t take 110% of my earnings at the outset, but all done now. The sparkly new “Fatal Forgery” is awaiting final review, which I am told takes about a week, and then I shall enjoy the idea of Sam appearing on a Nook near you.
Roy McCarthy said:
Let us know the results Susan – I’ve just never bothered going beyond Amazon.
So far, Roy, nineteen people have entered the giveaway, two have added “Fatal Forgery” to their bookshelf of “books I want to read”, and one person has made a friend request – so it seems that a giveaway does attract attention. “FF” has been on Goodreads since its publication in mid-July, and no-one added it to their bookshelf or wanted to be my friend (sob!).
Best wishes from Susan
Sorry, Roy, just realised that I answered the wrong question! You were asking about the results of using other e-book sellers apart from Amazon. I will report back on that too, but so far I have had four (free) downloads of the sample of my book direct from the Smashwords website (i.e. the 15% “take a look” portion that is available to everyone). My book is still waiting for review from Smashwords before it is listed in their “premium catalog”, which is when it becomes visible to all those other sites and sellers. Apparently this review takes about a week, so I’ll let you know when the book goes live.
Best wishes from Susan
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