Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Two new books and Why just Smashwords?

This week I've released two new novels:

Paid in Gold an Blood (fantasy)

Katashan left behind his past; all the good and the bad, including his belief that the gods would help him in a time of need. Moving to a new land, he has every intention of starting a new life. What he finds, though, is the body of a woman sacrificed at the foot of a statue to a benevolent goddess. Katashan is soon caught up in a mix of magical and political troubles -- and drawing far too much attention from the gods he no longer serves.

Vita's Vengeance (Science Fiction)

Alsandor Vita has returned home with bad news for those who hoped outsiders would help against a treacherous enemy poised to invade their world. Despite the situation, Alsandor hadn't expected dramatic changes in his own future, but unusual circumstances soon give him a chance to fight the war in ways he never expected, leading Alsandor into a perilous world of secret identities and dangerous allies.

The war will affect the lives of others as well, from generals to presidents and from farm boys to pirates -- all caught in a tangle of deceptions, desperation and lies.

Both of these can be found on Smashwords, which offers versions for Kindle, Nook, Sony and other ebook readers, as well as PDF.

At the moment, they are only available on Smashwords.

Why haven't I gone ahead and posted on the Kindle and Nook sites?

Amazon has done a couple things lately that have directly affected me. First, for no reason at all, they decided to remove the Forward Motion Storefront, which had over 150 entries by people at FM. The reason? The note said that someone associated with us had done something that was against their rules, so we lost the store.

Right. Not that I had done anything, and the store was in my name. But Someone they didn't name did something they won't tell me.

Next, I happened to notice that some of my books were suddenly going from live to draft and with no reason at all. And no notice. I have no idea how long this has been going on.

I just found this all so annoying and unprofessional on their part that I have been trying to decide if I even want to go back there. That along with their high-handed decision to remove reviews by anyone who writes in that genre, plus removing tags so people can't use those to find books . . . Yeah, it's still the big name, but that doesn't make them good.

On the reviews part, someone told me she liked Amazon better than Smashwords because she could answer reviews on Amazon. I actually think this is a bad thing, and I'm just as glad you can't write notes on reviews at Smashwords. I also like that you can only review things you've bought at Smashwords, so you can't get people who (for good or bad) write reviews on stuff that they haven't read.

The Nook site is a slightly different situation. They are, as many people know, going through changes. There was some concern off the start, but they've changed a few thing for the better. I have nothing really against the Nook site, but I don't make enough sales there to worry too much over it. I let Smashwords handle my Nook uploads, even though Smashwords then takes a small cut.

Amazon kept claiming they were going to let Smashwords do the same there has, of course, not come through.

Is Smaswords perfect? Of course not. I've gone crazy trying to figure out why some books go through the process without a problem and others don't. I've reworked and reworked some, and still not gotten it right. That's part of the annoying world of Indie Publishing -- having to figure out everything on your own.

At the moment, my choice of distributors is based on a growing distrust of Amazon, a wait-and-see feeling towards Barnes and Noble, and the feeling that at least Smashwords only concern is ebooks and making money for the authors (and them). At Smashwords, we aren't a dangling addition to the 'real' store. I like the feel of it much better than trying to deal with the megalomaniac take over the world feel from Amazon. I'll probably get over that feeling later, but right now for my personal books, I'm sticking to the place where I feel writers at least are important to the business.

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