Monday, April 30, 2012

And now we talk of business.

On May 9th, the second book of the Super series, Fire With Fire, will go live. (And I'm very close to being able to do the cover reveal, which has me so excited; the model, Audrey as photographer, and Tanner as graphic designer have produced an amazing work of art on very few resources.) On May 13th, Super will exit the KDP Select program. After considerable thought on the matter, I've decided not to reenroll it. The results of the experiment, while favorable, have not been favorable enough to salve my lingering unease about making my books available through only one retailer. A friend of mine recently wanted to purchase SM Reine's Death's Hand based upon my glowing review of it and was utterly crestfallen to discover that she couldn't have it because she uses a Nook; I don't want to do that to readers of my own books. So, as of May 14th, Super will be available once more via Smashwords, Apple, Diesel, and Kobo.

You'll notice that I'm leaving a significant retailer out there. Yes, after dithering and pondering for the two months and change that Super has been enrolled in KDP Select, I've decided not to distribute to Barnes and Noble any longer. This wasn't a decision I came to lightly, and nor is it connected to the Amazon vs. Barnes and Noble ideological slap-fights that have been making their way about the web. As far as I'm concerned, Amazon and B&N are equally amoral. B&N, however, have established a way of doing business with regard to ebooks that actively costs me money. It takes them weeks to adjust prices (whereas Smashwords does it instantly, Amazon does it in a matter of three-four hours, and Apple, Kobo, and Diesel make their adjustments within one-two business days, which I consider reasonable given that I'm playing telephone with Smashwords to pass along the message), which simply does not make sense in the digital age. As a result of this lolly-gagging and Amazon's policy of price matching, I lost a significant chunk of money through B&N keeping Super at a lower promotional price long after the promotion had ended. This may seem as though it's also shanking Nook users, but B&N is also notorious about not making indie books searchable (I can attest to this), so I don't think that I'll be losing much in the way of sales. My books will go back to being available as .epubs on Smashwords, which was the only place save for Amazon where I experienced notable sales prior to KDP Select.

And here's what else the return to Smashwords means: my books will be truly open to international readers in ways that I cannot do with Amazon. I've always admired Smashwords for not geo-locking and for providing books in so many different formats; their Meatgrinder is also the cleanest, easiest conversion software I've encountered yet, and I'm very happy about working with them again. I will continue to roll books into KDP Select and then out again in order to promote the next release, but I'll be sure to issue plenty of advance notice each time.

In other news, I'm starting a new day job tomorrow, so my writing time is all over the map, but I'm currently editing Leech, with Siren doing its requisite drawer-time as a first draft. Meanwhile, Bulletproof's outline is stalled out at about three-quarters of the way through, as the end game kicks into high gear in that book and I've had trouble getting into gear on it until I finally cried uncle and started outlining the final book, Legend at the same time. Clearly, I lack a lot of things (a sense of balance, many would say), but a work ethic is not one of them.

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