Choosing The Right Distributor: Smashwords vs Draft2Digital Publishing Resources

Since I started self-publishing in 2011, Smashwords has been the overwhelming favorite for savvy self-publishers who wanted or needed a distributor to reach non-Amazon e-bookstores. However, a new competitor called Draft2Digital launched a beta version of their service earlier this year and has been gaining popularity. In July, they hit 1,000 users, 10,000 titles, and 1,000,000 books sold. I’ve been getting lots of questions about Draft2Digital, and experimenting with them myself, so I thought it was a good time for a side-by-side comparison as there are distinct pros and cons to each service. But before we get into that, let’s look at the question of whether you need to use a distributor at all. The virtues of going direct In my Read More…

February Sales Report: Amazon Up, Everywhere Else Down

It has been a couple of months since I did a sales report, so I thought it might be a good time to share what kind of value I’m getting out of my pimp suit. For anyone looking for numbers with lots of zeroes in them, or tales of battling with household names at the top of the charts, I have a warning for you: this is not that kind of report. About the only big numbers you’ll see are for free stuff, but I’m selling at a nice level, paying my rent and some bills, and have been for some months now. The checks are about to get a little nicer too because I finally sorted my tax status Read More…

E-reader War Heats Up. How Can You Profit?

The big players are already jockeying for position in advance of what promises to be a bumper holiday season for e-reader, tablet, and e-book sales. All the major manufacturers are expected to release new e-readers and tablets including Sony, Apple, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. In addition, there are expected to be a range of devices from a selection of manufacturers tied to the Google platform. While users of one device aren’t necessarily chained to the retailer’s e-bookstore, customers will tend to do most of their shopping there because it’s just easier. The one major exception to that trend was Apple.

You Never Know When Your Promo Seeds Will Blossom

I am in a wistful mood this morning. Perhaps it’s the soft summer rain. Maybe its the Joe Dassin tune on my record player. Most likely it’s last tentacles of the wine I drank last night still wrapped lovingly around my frontal lobe. Whatever the cause, I’m going to take advantage of this faux-nostalgia and peer back through the mists of time, all the way to April 2011. If you keep with me until the end, there may even be a moral to the story. At the start of April, the only people who had read my writing were a handful of friends and a group of overworked literary agents’ interns. The only person who had been subjected to my Read More…

Indie Publishing For International Writers, Step 9: Discounts, Competitions & Blog Tours

This is the ninth part of my continuing series INDIE PUBLISHING FOR INTERNATIONAL WRITERS, a step-by-step guide to getting your stories into (digital) print. I’ll be doing each step with you, learning as you do, because I’ve never done this before either. I will be compiling all these steps into a free e-book for my blog-readers when I am done. It’s called Let’s Get Digital and is penciled in for release at the end of June. The final steps of this self-publishing guide is going to focus on further marketing tips. We have already covered the basics: blogging and websites, pricing, social networking, and reviews. Today, I want to talk about discounts, competitions, giveaways, and blog tours.

Indie Publishing For International Writers, Step 9: Discounts, Competitions & Blog Tours

This is the ninth part of my continuing series INDIE PUBLISHING FOR INTERNATIONAL WRITERS, a step-by-step guide to getting your stories into (digital) print. I’ll be doing each step with you, learning as you do, because I’ve never done this before either. I will be compiling all these steps into a free e-book for my blog-readers when I am done. It’s called Let’s Get Digital and is penciled in for release at the end of June. The final steps of this self-publishing guide is going to focus on further marketing tips. We have already covered the basics: blogging and websites, pricing, social networking, and reviews. Today, I want to talk about discounts, competitions, giveaways, and blog tours.

Indie Publishing For International Writers, Step 7: Reviews: How To Get Them, And How To Deal With Them

This is the seventh part of my continuing series INDIE PUBLISHING FOR INTERNATIONAL WRITERS, a step-by-step guide to getting your stories into (digital) print. I’ll be doing each step with you, learning as you do, because I’ve never done this before either. I will be compiling all these steps into a free e-book for my blog-readers when I am done. Step 7: Reviews: How To Get Them, And How To Deal With Them Some people are sceptical about the power of reviews and whether they have any significant effect on sales. However, I think this is a very short-term view.

Are Amazon Ripping Off International Customers?

I have been alerted to some inconsistent and unfair e-book pricing policies by Amazon in certain countries. If you read e-books, and live outside the US, this information could drastically affect how much you pay. If you are a writer, and are selling internationally (and you should be, this is a global $80bn business), this is harming your sales right now. When you go to Amazon.com and search for my e-book, you will see a price of $0.99, $1.16 or $3.44, depending on which country you live in. Whichever price you pay, I still get $0.35. Aside from 15 percent in sales taxes, Amazon keep the rest. Let me explain.

A Bad Week For Agents

Even God got a day off on Sunday, so here’s some stuff for you guys to chew on, while I try and get a story finished. A Bad Week For… Agents Agents made a lot of headlines this week. First we had top UK agent Ed Victor announcing the launch of his publishing imprint. Fellow agent Peter Cox bravely called for him to be thrown out of the Association of Author’s Agents (quote in comments at end). 

If You Go Into The Woods – On Sale Now For 99 Cent

I have some exciting news. I set up my own publishing company – Arriba Arriba Books – to publish my short stories as e-books for $0.99 each. You can read them on your laptop, computer, iPhone, smartphone, iPad, or e-reader. The first release – IF YOU GO INTO THE WOODS – is available now from Amazon. I have a special deal to kick things off – two stories for the price of one – both creepy tales set in a world that’s not quite right. Here’s a quick taste of what you get for $0.99: 

Indie Publishing for International Writers, Step 4: Format Your Story

This is the fourth post in my continuing series INDIE PUBLISHING FOR INTERNATIONAL WRITERS, a step-by-step guide to getting your stories into (digital) print. I’ll be doing each step with you, learning as you do, because I’ve never done this before either. Step Four: Format Your Story All those different e-readers and devices use different software to display e-books, but there are a few industry standard file formats. What we are going to learn today is the digital equivalent of typesetting, known as formatting. While you are waiting for your final edits or your cover, I recommend that you start learning how to format. You won’t be able to begin on your e-book until you have everything ready, but it’s good Read More…

Making Money From Writing, Part 3: Sales Channels

For the last two days we looked at the various markets where you can sell your short stories and novels. Yesterday we covered the reasons why you should be cautious before you self-publish your work. Today we are going to look at the various sales channels where you can sell you self-published stories: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, Apple, Diesel, and Xinxii. You should be publishing on all of them. It requires very little work once you have done your formatting, and if you don’t you are cutting your sales for no good reason.