As an author, ebook availability means my readers need to be able to get their books from many sites. Why do I keep my books for sale at unpopular sites when it means more work for no more money?
What ebook availability means to the author
As a self published author, I have to do all the record keeping. It’s not that difficult to upload the books, it’s pretty much fill in a few fields and then press upload. The work comes from reconciling the reports. I’m not complaining, reconciling sales means I have sales. If I have sales, I have readers. That’s important to me.
Ebook availability is something that prompts discussions in author blogs, and groups. Do we make our books available everywhere, or do we choose one or two retailers and focus marketing there?
The business decision
This is the part of self publishing that many authors hate. It’s about the business and not about the creativity. Ebook availability is a distribution decision. Every month the business person inside me balances the risk and the effort against the reward.
Ideally every risk and every minute of effort will bring a reward. In real life, most of the reward comes from some of the effort. All of the effort is needed to generate the reward.
Here’s how it breaks down: Amazon, 72%, B&N 23%. So why do I list everywhere else?
The reason I have wider ebook availability?
It’s all about Smashwords. I can’t publish directly to B&N because they currently only deal directly with Americans. And, more importantly for my readers, I can’t provide any free books on a regular basis without them.
Amazon will price match, but not allow free books permanently.
So for the time being, I’ll be still available widely even if my readers mainly hang out in two places.