Confessions of a Digital Novelist

Tag: Kindle

Thanksgiving Promotion! Evermore: Call of the Nocturne will be free on Thursday, October 4th!

by on Oct.02, 2012, under Books, Digital Publishing

Get it for free on Thursday, October 4th. Only on the Kindle Store.

As part of the KDP Select program on Amazon, I am given five days in the next three months where I can promote the Kindle Edition of

Evermore: Call of the Nocturne by giving it away for free. I am proud to announce that the first promotional day will be Thursday, October 4th. Get a free copy of Evermore: Call of the Nocturne to pass the time this long weekend. Whether you’re relaxing on the porch watching the leaves fall or inside waiting for the turkey to cook, there’s never been a better time to read an e-book, especially if it’s free.

The promotion will start on Thursday at midnight Pacific Standard Time and will end at midnight on Friday, again on Pacific Standard Time. You can find Evermore: Call of the Nocturne Kindle Edition on the Kindle Store.

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The Future Will Not Be Printed

by on May.31, 2011, under Books, Digital Publishing

I haven’t had much time to post recently. My job, hot yoga and preparations for an upcoming family reunion have taken up more and more of my time. In the time I’ve been away, the publishing world has continued to undergo rapid change. Most notably, Amazon has announced that ebooks now outsell all printed books on Amazon.com. Amazon now claims that since April 1, for every 100 print books that Amazon has sold, they have sold 105 Kindle ebooks. They also claim that they have already sold more than 3x as many Kindle ebooks in 2011 then they did for all of 2010.

However you want to cut it, that is a significant shift in how the public consumes literature. It’s not surprising. Ebooks are cheaper, more convenient, and more portable. But their rapid growth since the introduction of the Kindle and iPad are no less impressive.

The growth of the Ebook sales and its growing acceptance by the public through multiple devices such as the Kindle, iPad, and other tablets has begun to challenge the current pricing model. Narasu Rebbapragada from PCWorld has a fascinating article on the subject. I won’t review the entire document, but I would say that the current prices for ebooks are far too high. The strength of app and music sales from iTunes comes from impulse buying where customers instantly buy what they want without stopping to think about their pocketbook. If the customer has to think about the price then you’ve probably lost a sale. Personally, I believe that $4.99 is the most appropriate price point. It’s reasonable high enough to differentiate its higher value in comparison to songs or apps, but it’s low enough that the consumer is not going to worry too much about the price. $5 is an easily digestible sweet spot.

That said, I don’t have too much of a problem with the publishing industry’s agency model. Personally, I believe that they can and should be able to set the price to whatever they want. If they believe that they can sell a book at $14.99, then it is their right to set their price. I believe that they’re wrong but I’m not going to begrudge them their right to do so. Besides, with hundreds of thousands of books available now, it’s not  like the customer doesn’t have other choices. For me, it’s an advantage. The high price point creates a opportunity for cheaper, independent books to gain a greater share of the market.

It is indeed the Wild West and nobody knows exactly how it will turn out. However, one thing remains true: we are entering an age of complete literary freedom. Anybody can publish a book and anybody can sell a book. The publishing world has become a free market. It will be fascinating to see what it can produce.

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Amazon’s Digital Text Platform Comes to Canada and Changes Everything … again

by on Mar.30, 2010, under Digital Publishing, Tools of the Trade

Wow, I can’t believe that I missed this one.  Back in January, Amazon announced that it was extending its groundbreaking Digital Text Platform to non-US authors.  The complete story is here.

This is big news indeed for the cut-the-publisher-out-of-the-picture movement. Today, Amazon announced that it has opened its Kindle Digital Text Platform (DTP)–which is the Web-platform that allows writers to upload and sell their own Kindle books, meaning to self publish via the Kindle Store–to writers all over the world writing in English, German and French. Previously, only US-based writers could take advantage of the DTP.

Here’s more from Amazon, which also promises to add more languages to the DTP in the next few months: “‘We are excited to make the self-service Kindle Digital Text Platform available to authors and publishers around the world,’ said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President, Kindle Content. ‘Now any content owner can offer English, German or French-language books to the fast-growing audience of Kindle owners around the globe.'”

Whatever one’s grievances with Amazon may be, it has done a pretty good job of creating an international bookstore. And now that authors living all over can upload books, we have the potential to get heretofore unimagined texts, though most of them will likely be very bad, and all of them will be hard to find.

For authors like myself, this is huge.  My earlier game plan was to get my stories onto iPhones by going through Smashwords.  Smashwords would have allowed me to sell my stories directly through the excellent Stanza app.  However, there were a number of problems that bothered me.  As I said at the time:

To format it properly for all of the different digital formats that are in use these days, Smashwords feeds the manuscript through a software program called the “Meat Grinder”.  This gives the author almost no control over the final end product.  In a perfect world, I would prefer to use Amazon’s Digital Text Platform.  Amazon’s DTP would give more control over the final product and make my manuscript available to buy on both the Amazon Kindle and the Kindle app for iPhone.  Rather than buying it through an obscure websitem, Amazon’s DTP would allow me to sell my novel on the popular Amazon store.  Unfortunately, neither the DTP or the Kindle are available yet in Canada so I will have to stick to Smashwords for the time being.

Well Hallelujah.  Christmas has come early.  Not only do I avoid the atrocious formatting of the “Meat Grinder”, not only do I get access to the world’s biggest online e-book store, but my stories will now be available to everyone with a Kindle or the Kindle App for iPhone.  Yes, I can now publish to the iPhone.  All without paying a dime.  Incredible.  God Bless Amazon.

For those of you who are not familiar with Amazon’s Digital Text Platform, it is a service that allows you to log in with your Amazon account and upload your manuscript directly to the Amazon Store.  There is no middlemen.  There is no publisher.  Just you, your audience, and Amazon taking 70% of every sale.  The most significant barrier to publication has now been removed.  The only problem is that now everyone can publish, so getting your manuscript noticed becomes a Herculean task.

But that’s a challenge I live for.  I’m just happy that my wish has come true.  I can now publish to Amazon, the iPhone, and to the Kindle.  Now I have to just figure out how to publish to the iPad.

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