Thursday, June 5, 2014

Apple is a Poopy Head and Other Self-publishing Dribbles

I'm just about to publish Hanging Loose to vendors other than Amazon, and slowly getting ready for the publication of Dead Man and the Army of Frogs in August. The busy work brought to mind a self-pubbing tip I thought I'd share.

When you are putting out your own book you have more control and more options, and you should take advantage of them. At the barest minimum, you should put a bio with link to your web site and/or blog at the end. You can also add links to your Goodreads page, twitter, Pinterest, Tumbler, etc. pages.

I like to add blurbs to a couple of my other books as well. It's like the candy bars at the checkout lane—they are there to encourage impulse buying. Once you add a blurb, you should also provide a link to the actual book. The easiest is way is to link to the book's page on your own web site. You should have a page for your book, with blurb, excerpt, and prominently placed buy-links to all the major vendors selling your book, anyway.

Having secret masochistic tendencies, I like to further complicate things by providing buy-links to individual retailers. This means creating separate ebook files for each. The file I upload to Nook Press has link to my book on Barnes & Noble, while the file for All Romance eBooks has link to the ARe store. Smashword is an aggregator, so it gets a generic link to my web site.

Stuff gets complicated with Amazon, because a couple of years ago they decided not to allow direct buy links from their apps. I can't say they did it specifically to stick it to Amazon, but I bet it was part of the motivation. Amazon had no choice but comply. In the old days, if you were reading a sample of a book on your Kindle app (on iPad or iPhone), there was a link at the end allowing you to buy the full version with one click. Not anymore. However, direct linking is still possible from actual Kindle device.

Because I'm a stubborn bastard, I'm starting to double-link from my mobi files intended for Amazon. One direct link and another to the book page on my web site.

I know, this all sounds nuts, but ain't so bad. To publish to three vendors I need only seven files. Three for Are, two for Smashwords, and one each for Amazon and B&N. Ta-da!

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