Saturday, March 17, 2007
Authors these days tend to be very aware of the importance of distribution. All the promotion in the world does you no good if you can't get the actual book in front of readers. With paperbacks that means having a print run, deep discount and returns policy that allows your book to be stocked in chain stores. For ebooks it comes down to websites. Some epublishers have a large readership that hits their own website and webstore. Others depend more heavily on third party distribution.
Ever since Amazon shut out every format other than mobipocket (a move that created a noticeable lack of protest even from authors and publishers), the big dog in ebook distribution has been fictionwise. They have a good customer base (40,000 books sold every month) and can cause a significant spike in sales as well as exposure to readers who are not part of your specific publisher's readership. However, it must be said that the costs of converting to their formats are prohibitive for some small publishers and may well not be worth it even for the larger houses who will make a higher profit per book from selling the books directly. (Authors should be aware that a publisher not using a distributor is not necessarily making a mistake.)
There have always been other ebook distributors out there but they are generally minor players selling only a few copies per book. But I am very impressed by a relative new comer All Romance eBooks. They require no special formats and take 40% of cover price. I am told that a list of the participating e-publisher can be found on the site--but I could not locate it. I saw books from reputable presses listed, including: Samhain, Liquid Silver Books and Phaze.
When I hit their website the very first thing I noticed were these categories on the sidebar "Erotica, Gay/Lesbian, Multiple Partners, BDSM." Thank you, AReB! Let us please call a spade a spade and a gay a gay. Writers may be familar with how we throw around terms like m/m and the dreaded "alternative lifestyles" but in the real word these terms are meaningless or even have radically different meanings from those many publishers seem to give them. My guess is that All Romance eBooks will do very well.
I have a postcard that provides a code to register and get your choice of one of ten ebooks free. I have not used it and will pass it on to the first person to comment here and ask for it--please provide and email address :) (The options are Waxing by Megan Powell, Opposites Attract by Cat Johnson, One Foot Forward by Rose Middleton, One Handsome Devil by Rob Preece, 24/7 bu Susan DiPlacido, Killraven by Arline Chase, The Queen of Cherry Vale by Judith D. Glad, Forbidden by Samatha Sommersby, Once Burned by Jackie Griffey & Double Dare by Leigh Ellwood).