Shortchanging yourself and your ebook.

The other day, I found a novel I wanted to read. I found the author through an online article, and even though it wasn’t in a genre I normally read, the blurb really got my attention. This author had a few novels self-published through Amazon, and when I did a check to see where else she might have published, I couldn’t find any. Needless to say, I was more than disappointed. I have the Kindle app on my laptop, but I was given a Kobo for Christmas. I haven’t used my Kindle app since.  

It made me wonder about this new lending library thing Amazon is doing and whether it’s a good thing or not. Personally, I think it’s detrimental to a self-published author’s career to publish their book with only one company. One of the keys to sales is word of mouth, and it’s hard to get the word out if you’re only on a few sites. Even if those sites represent a large portion of the ebook buying industry. 

I know a few writers who only published on two sites only—Amazon and Smashwords. Smashwords creates several files, many that support the more popular readers, but if I purchase an efile, I have to transfer the file to an SD card, then to my reader. It would be easier if I could download the novel from the Kobo website library to my reader, and isn’t one of the big selling point of digital books is because it easy for the reader to get them?

I thought about my little book. I have it on Amazon and Smashwords only, but I’m thinking now of looking into iPad, B&N (even though I’ve heard some stories about their lack of payment to authors), Kobo, and Pubit. I don’t want a potential reader to disregard my novel because they can’t get it in the format for their reader. The biggest drawback for me is formatting. After reading the Vendor’s Guide for Kobo, I’d have to create at least three different files. That’s a lot of work. Is it really worth it?

Right now, I’m only looking into the publishers I’ve mentioned. I think they’re the most popular, and considering I’ve released my second novel, I’ll have two up for people to read. Right now Smashwords and Amazon are the two main, but if the others prove to be a good investment, I think I might just go for it. After all, having your book in many places is a good thing, but new authors embarking into the self-publishing don’t have a lot of money, so you need to put your investment into where it counts.


About Darke Conteur
Darke Conteur is a writer at the mercy of her Muse. The author of stories in several genres, she prefers to create within the realms Science Fiction and Dark Fantasy. A pagan at heart, her personal goal it to find her balance within nature; exploring the dark through her stories and the light through her beliefs. When not writing or working with crystals, she enjoys knitting, gardening, cooking and very loud music.

4 Responses to Shortchanging yourself and your ebook.

  1. Wow, these are good points. I had not thought about the fact that if I download a Kindle book from Smashwords, that I have to connect the Kindle to my computer to download it. Nor did I consider that would be the case for all the other ereaders, too. I sort of had the impression that Smashwords took care of the distribution problem and I didn’t have to think any further than that.


    Guess I better start checking into the these other sites, like you mention. Oh. Joy. More work that’s not writing.

    On another subject – thanks for all your retweets for me, which brings up a question. How do you manage to see my tweets all the time? I can’t imagine you’re on Twitter all day. Can you clue me in? I’d like to see your tweets, too. I think I’m a big Twitter Fail, because I just can’t figure it out much.

  2. I didn’t realize how much work it was to upload Smashword files either, so you’re not alone there. It’s that reason that I started thinking about other sites. I know the Kobo and Nook both take epub files, but I’m not sure if they convert or if you have too. I have a program that can convert, it’s rather simple too.

    How do I see all your tweets? Tweetdeck, my dear. I use that instead of going through their website. I see all posts that have my @name and I can stroll through tweets from people I follow and retweet.

  3. This is the one thing I hate about all these readers. It’s so much easier to have one source aggregate the file to each format.

    I imagine it’ll be a while yet before the dust settles and we get get something uniform for everyone.

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