Saturday, March 17, 2012

Changing my mind

I just "unpublished" A Gift of Ghosts on Smashwords and re-enrolled it into KDP Select. I suppose I should make sure that my sister (the only Nook owner I know) had a chance to get it first, but maybe I'll just make her an ePub version and email it to her. As far as I know, it was never actually available anywhere. It sat for ten days in Smashwords' Pending Review queue which gave me plenty of time to wonder whether it really made sense to distribute everywhere. "Everywhere," after all, would probably meet my original book-publishing expectations, ie a copy or two a week, for the privilege (?) of selling at B&N and Apple. Meanwhile, Amazon's free days were great for sales after each free day. Chances were that I'd make more money selling only through Amazon.

I'm not sure what made the decision for me in the end. Impatience? Maybe. But I think it was also reading a lot of Amazon-bashing. Scott Turow's article about Amazon being evil might have been the turning point for me. I don't think Amazon is evil. I think Amazon is a collection of really smart, hard-working, creative people with an amazing focus on making the experience of shopping great for consumers and that as a company, its goals match mine. Much more so than B&N or Apple. B&N, in particular, is doing an incredible job with the PR what with all the "ooh, woe is poor B&N, the tragic underdog" stories. But every time I read one, it irks me. The story was a whole lot different fifteen years ago when B&N was doing its best to destroy the independent bookstores.

Maybe I'll change my mind again. But at the moment, going with an ebook Amazon exclusive felt like a smart decision. I also, though, paid the $25 to get extended print distribution through CreateSpace, so any indie bookstore can buy actual paper copies anytime they want.

Ooh, and someone bought a paper copy from Amazon (which I just found out by trying to look up the specifics of extended distribution). I wish I knew who, so I could tell them that they own not just the first edition, but the very first book in the first edition!


  1. Hi, Sarah! Best of luck on your AGoG sales. You no doubt know that you can skip Smashwords and go straight to B&N's Pubit to get your books on the Nook.

    I was wondering if we're gonna see AGoT on CC, or are you happy with the crits you're getting on FictionPress?

  2. Hi, Mike,
    I discovered with the first couple chapters that I can't write and work on critiques at the same time, so I'm mostly just eking out the words and trying not to judge them too harshly myself right now. Fictionpress definitely isn't a replacement for CC -- readers don't give critiques and the reviews mostly say "update faster!" -- but I don't know how much and when I'll post at CC. With Ghosts, I only posted the first three chapters, I think. I'd definitely love to get in-depth feedback, but the process is a lot of work, and I've got limited time.

    Smashwords seemed like a good way to efficiently get to a lot of places, but Amazon's KDP Select seems like a good way to sell books. It was an interesting mental debate. I had to remind myself several times that I am allowed to change my mind again every 90 days!

  3. Sarah, congratulations, and thank you. This is excellent information, and it's something I've been thinking about. I just came here from Reinventing Fabulous. Now I'm off to order your book. : )

  4. Thank you! I hope you enjoy it. :)

    If you ever want to learn more about my experience with self-publishing, I'm happy to chat via email and share anything I've learned. I've posted most of it here, too, as it's been happening, so there's lots of background info, but my email is if you have questions I didn't answer.