I had two books published yesterday. One was The Brigstowe Dragons put out by Alban Lake Publishing and it’s available in their store if you click that link. Buying it there helps keep the small press alive, and the small author. The other book was Consarn Christmas and Other Stories. Admittedly this was put out by me but the stories were accepted in the past by editor Sam Bellotto, Jr. at Perihelion SF so I’m not just foisting any old rubbish on the public. Here are universal links.
Yes, universal. These aren’t just ordinary links. They are books2read links which will show you every book store where the product is available. So whether you be on kindle, kobo or even another reader not beginning with k, you can get it. This service is provided free to authors by books2read.com and I highly recommend it.
Even highlier for the self-published author, I recommend Draft2digital.com where they provide a free formatting service that will convert your word file into epub, mobi and pdf files. You can download all three converted files and use them anywhere! The decent thing, of course, would be to use them on Draft2digital and let them put the book out, which I did. However, because I have a presence on Smashwords as well I put it there too. The infamous Meatgrinder didn’t accept my epub file for the super catalogue or whatever it’s called but did put it on Smashwords. That’s all I wanted for I am very content to let Draft2digital supply all the other retailers. I suspect the formatting error was me not Draft2digital. I had two Tables of Content pages because good old Drafters put one in for you, and a copyright page, and a title page! I really can’t recommend them highly enough.
I used the mobi file they provided – with no trouble at all – on Amazon, the big beast in the digital jungle. Draft2digital don’t have ties to Amazon so doing it separately is fine. They don’t lose out. Smashwords only put your book on Amazon if you sell a certain number of copies. I’m happy to sell on Amazon but not exclusively. Smashwords provides its books in multiple formats, including mobi. Draft2digital doesn’t (yet) have a catalogue but only puts the books out through other retailers. Amazon sells books in its own mobi format and that’s it. Other practices such as their KDP Select program are attempts to rub out the competition. Amazon is a business and so wants to maximize its market share, even get a monopoly. Their welcome to try but I don’t have to help them.
There are zillions of discussions on author websites about the pros and cons of KDP Select. If you enrol on it you can’t sell your book anywhere except on Amazon but you can do promos, make it free for five days and lots of other clever stuff. Some are of the opinion that you’re a damn fool if you don’t use it. Others use it for a spell and then go back to general distribution. I’m a damn fool and decided not to use it at all. This is partly because my most important book – The Brigstowe Dragons – is on Smashwords but also because…well, I’m a bit of a lefty and think everyone should have a fair share.
I’m not anti- Amazon. I have an account with them and have bought many books from them over the years, and even dog worming tablets. I’m delighted to sell my own books on Amazon and may we both profit thereby. But I’m not helping anyone get a monopoly.