Tag Archives: ebooks

Explaining why my books are only available on Amazon

Hi readers,

Some of you may be wondering why my books are only available on Amazon. You may be interested in how the whole indie publishing scene works, or why I personally made the decision to sell my books exclusively on Amazon. If so, this post if for you.

(If not, then please go watch Lindsey Stirling’s latest music video because it is fantastic.)

So first, you should know that indie publishing involves a lot of steps. It’s not a difficult process at all, it’s pretty easy. It’s just converting files and checking files and uploading files. Easy, but time-consuming, especially when you have over two dozen books.

So if I just want to update the “About the Author” page on all my books, it could take between 6 and 10 hours. And if I’m uploading my books to four different sites (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords), then it takes even longer. So it’s clearly easier to only deal with one of them.

Now I’ll answer some questions.

Q: Why would you give up all the extra money you would make on those other sites?

Because I’m not giving up much. When I sell my books on all the major sites, about 95% of my income still comes just from Amazon. So why would I invest 75% of my publishing time on other websites that only make 5% of my income?

Q: Why would you give up all the exposure on those other sites?

My personal experience has been that there just aren’t that many customers using those sites. Sorry! The bottom line is that I value actual sales and actual reviews over “availability” or “potential” or “exposure”. And my actual sales and actual reviews are all on Amazon.

Q: What’s so bad about publishing on Barnes & Noble?

In addition to poor sales, the publishing website does not work well, and often fails to load or publish, which takes even more of my time. And it’s been like this for years.

Q: What’s so bad about publishing on Smashwords?

In addition to poor sales, Smashwords requires a unique Smashwords-specific version of each book that says “Published on Smashwords” at the front, plus I have to delete the link to my own website because that would be “competitive” in their eyes. So if it takes me a long time to publish all of my regular books, imagine having to make a second version of all of them just for SW!

Q: What’s so bad about publishing on Kobo?

In addition to poor sales, nothing. But it makes more sense for me to get the benefits of being exclusive on Amazon instead of being available on Kobo. That’s all.

Q: What’s so good about publishing on Amazon?

Besides the fact that Amazon’s store gets me far more regular sales than all of the other sites combined, when I go exclusive with Amazon by using their “Select” program, I (and by extension, YOU) get extra perks, such as:

  1. Kindle’s Lending Library – You can read my books for free and I still get paid!
  2. Kindle’s Unlimited program – It’s like Netflix for books. You pay $10 per month and get to read tons of books as much or as little as you want. So if you read just a couple chapters of my books, I get paid!
  3. Pre-Orders – I can set up a pre-order page for my upcoming books.
  4. Freebies – I can make my books free for five days every three months.
  5. Deals – I can run price-reduction countdown deals.

All of these features make me more money (while also saving you money!).

In fact, in the month of August 2014, I will make more money from Kindle’s Lending Library and Unlimited programs than I ever did from Nook or Kobo or Smashwords… and those are books you guys are reading for free!

So that’s why my books are only available on Amazon. Time and money.

Now, please, watch Lindsey Stirling’s new music video:

All new paperback editions! Yay!

Over the last few weeks I have been creating some very pretty new anthology editions of my books, including Halcyon, Europa, Chimera, and Zelda Pryce. Up until now you could only get the complete series as ebooks, or you could only get the paperbacks as individual titles. But no more!

New omnibus covers!

Starting now-ish, you can get some very nice paperback editions of my completed fantasy series. Check out the new covers:

               

And they’re all in matte covers, none of that silly glossy stuff, so they feel great to the touch. These are big, heavy books and I very deliberately designed them to keep the page count down (along with the cover price), so you will not see much white space in them.

(I found that if I used blank pages to make the chapters all start on odd pages, it added over 100 pages to the Halcyon book. Nope-nope-nope!)

I really like how solid these feel to hold, and they look sharp on the old book shelf too. I think you’re going to like them.

So from now on, I think I’ll definitely be doing a print anthology for all of my series, which means War of the Magi will be next if I ever finish writing the third book. (I’m right in the middle of it now!)

Free ebooks!

Also, as of now, whenever you buy any of my paperbacks, you get the ebook for free. Yes, free. Why? Because you just paid a big pile of money for the paperback, that’s why. And while my profit margins on paperbacks are not what you would call substantial, I still think you should get something extra for shelling out your greenbacks. But that’s just me.

More as it develops…

Free ebooks this week: YA dystopia, epic fantasy, and more!

All right, friends,  I have several different titles free on Amazon this week:

          

ULTRAVIOLET is my new young adult dystopian adventure about a teenage girl who creates a high-tech suit to fight the evil megacorporations of Baltimore.

RAZIEL’S SHADOW is the first book in the WAR OF THE MAGI epic fantasy series about a war between angels, demons, and djinn, and the heroes trapped in the middle of it all.

SAKURA is the second book in the MYSTWOOD series of fantasy novellas for young readers, based in part on classic video games like Metroid and Megaman, about a young woman exploring a dungeon to rescue a grumpy old wizard.

Going exclusive on Amazon! (yes, it’s a good thing)

Friends, I know that some of you are dedicated Nook, Kobo, and Smashwords readers, and for the last three years I have been sure to maintain a large selection of titles in those ebook stores. Unfortunately, due to dwindling sales on those sites, I have decided to remove all of my books from them and make my entire catalog Amazon Kindle exclusive.

This offers my Kindle readers several benefits, including the ability to read all of my books for free through the online Lending Library. It also gives me the freedom to more easily adjust prices, and to host sales and giveaway events much more often. (As in, every weekend!)

Also, keep an eye out for my new epic fantasy, Tales of the Magi: Azrael’s Wrath, coming this month!

And now I’ll open up the floor to some questions.

1. Isn’t it better to be available in more stores?

In general, yes. But in this case, no. As I mentioned above, my books have been available everywhere for the last three years, and the fact is that Amazon has always provided about 95% of my business. So I feel it no longer makes sense for me to make three times the extra effort on three  other stores when going exclusive on Amazon makes things easier for me and offers more benefits to my readers.

2. But if Amazon does [ something evil ], and they’re your only store, then you’ll be in huge trouble!

No, because if Amazon does something evil, then I’ll just pull my books out and put them back in the other stores. The exclusivity agreement is not a lifetime contract. It’s barely a contract at all. But more importantly, I don’t believe Amazon will do anything evil, ever, because they know perfectly well that there are lots of good e-stores out there ready to steal their business, the same way that Amazon stole their business from everyone else. So I’m not worried.