Showing posts with label Smashwords. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Smashwords. Show all posts

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Scribd and Kindle Changes- Good or Bad?

The week just gone has seen a couple of changes relating to e-books that have implications for both writers and readers.

The unsettling announcements came days apart, so concerns and questions will depend upon which service is your priority...

I'd heard of Scribd, a subscription service for e-books, but never looked into it further.
I can see that if you're travelling every day then reading a book on your mobile device would be a good way to pass the time, and you could get through a number of books in a month, before you add on the number you could read at other times. So a one-off cost each month would be cost effective.

For the writer it's another sales avenue that doesn't rely on Amazon only, and gets their books out to more potential readers. But now it seems many romance writers will find their books delisted- though free offerings are being kept.

Smashwords who provide many self-published books to the service have an extensive post on their blog, and highlight the few advantages the culling of titles will bring- less competition being no.1, nice if your paying titles are kept, not so good if they've been removed...

For anyone who is unfamiliar with the news, here's a few links to find out more: Smashwords blog and the Guardian books section. And the Bookseller. Obviously there will be some duplication of content, but each has something different to say on the subject.

Now to the Kindle changes.

For those authors who have books in the KDP Select and the Kindle Owner's Lending Library, they will now be paid by the page read. This will be referred to as KENPC- Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count, so no matter how you've formatted it, it will be calculated to a standardized form that they've worked out.

There's a good explanation of how the money side works in this Bookseller article.

The brilliant thing about KDP was that there was finally a place to publish novellas- something many mainstream publishers didn't want. Every story has its own length, and not every one will be novel length, so authors of shorter works could suffer under this new regime- it depends on whether the amount they get per page equates to what they would have received under the previous system...

Writers who have been able to build up a readership over a number of books, probably have more choices available to them, plus the statistics to help them.

Likewise. those who have e-books with a mainstream publisher are in a different position to self-publishers.

Anyone just starting the self-publishing process needs to step-back for a moment and look at all the options available to them before they make a decision.

Yes, Amazon will triumph because they have the largest share of the e-reading market, and any writer who ignores that fact does so at their own peril. The option of which service you sign up to will be the difference...

It will be interesting to see what effect the Scribd and Kindle changes make, to both writers and readers of e-books, for the remainder of the year.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

I'm Back...Just.

Hello everyone, I'm finally feeling near normal and my head is clearer, so I can now concentrate to write and hopefully make sense...

I've done quite a bit of reading over the last two weeks, and have to say that my kobo e-reader has been a wonderful companion- thank goodness for the adjustable font size.

If you have your e-book/s on Smashwords then you'll also be likely to find it on the Kobo bookstore- so don't forget to tell your potential readers about it.
Yes, it will cost more than buying as a kindle book, but there are a lot of readers who don't have a Kindle- they want to avoid Amazon, but may instead have a Kobo, Sony or Nook e-reader, or one of the numerous types of tablet devices that you can read e-books on.

With e-books the first few chapters in a preview can make the difference in whether the  book becomes a purchase, or a potential reader is put off for ever.

Basically it's just like your first three chapters having to impress an editor or agent to make them want to read the rest of your manuscript...

I may have said this before, but I've found some of the previews I've downloaded sadly lacking, compared to others. And the lacking ones were not always the self-published e-books.

If the accompanying blurb (whatever the fiction genre) interests me, then I'll download the preview; if I like that, then I'll buy the book. Sadly I've found, in a dozen books so far this month, the blurb promised much, but the writing wasn't engaging- to me personally.

So here's a few of my recent purchases after reading the previews: 'The Real Katie Lavender' by Erica James; 'A Winter's Tale' by Trisha Ashley (I've bought a few of her previous Christmas tales and enjoyed them, but this was a little different ); and an Agatha Christie, Miss Marple short story, 'Strange Jest'.

I've also bought and read a few short stories and novellas by some of my favourite romance authors, and story collections by other blogging writers, and this is where e-books do come into their own.

Short stories, or collections of short stories, and novellas- which wouldn't have been considered by a print publisher unless you were a 'name', are now able to reach a wider (and appreciative) audience via e-books.

Writer Maggie Cobbett has just released her first collection of short stories on the theme of murder with a humorous edge- 'Anyone for Murder And Other Crime Stories' on Kindle. One reviewer said they were the sort of stories you could read in 5-8 minutes when you didn't have time for a full chapter of a book, and they do have a 'twist in the tale'.

Digital has giving writers opportunities that previously they could only dream about.

No, it isn't easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is...