I’ve been meaning to write this blog all day. Actually, for the last two. Sorry for my tardiness. (I nearly mis-spelt that ‘tardis’ – I think my inner Doctor Who geek is clawing his way out!) I’ve mostly been panicking about the very thing I’m going to blog about. So maybe this’ll help me vent a little.
Obviously, on Wednesday, I released Not Quite Normal, my short story anthology, at long last. As I write this, it’s actually doing pretty well. The free edition has had 61 downloads and somewhere in the region of 200 page views. That’s a pretty decent return! The actual, paid version, has had one sale. Now, this might not sound like a lot – because technically it, uh, isn’t – but I can’t accuarely put into words how happy that has made me. Someone, out there, has spent actual money on something I’ve made. It just…blows my mind. If the person who bought it reads this, I can’t thank you enough. It’s just incredible. Even if it’s the only copy that gets sold, it’s validated me a little. Made me feel that, with enough hard work, dedication and (more than a little) luck, I can start to make a life of this. I know it’s one sale of $2, and I’m probably overstating it, but it’s how I feel right now. Maybe I’ll feel differently in the morning. Who knows. But thanks.
To what I’ve been panicking about. Obviously, I’ve been using a site called Smashwords for my epublishing needs. And great they are too. But there have been some…issues that I want to clear up with y’all.
Firstly,Not Quite Normal is currently exclusive to Smashwords. But Smashwords operates a distribution network which means that it will eventually end up on sites like iTunes and Amazon’s Kindle Marketplace (although I believe they’re having some issues with Amazon at the moment). This process can take a little while, alas. But what’s been worrying me is the fact that my freeNot Quite Normal samples have appeared on Amazon. Seriously. Search Shane Rynhart on either amazon.com or amazon.co.uk. You’ll notice something is a bit…odd.
Amazon are charging for them.
This is a HUGE problem. They are free on purpose. They are samples. I want to make absolutely clear right here and now that, if someone purchased one of them, I would not see a penny of the return. I don’t know who would. Presumably Amazon. Hell, the copy ofMirrors on there doesn’t even have the cover I made! I’ve gotten in touch with Smashwords about it, but they haven’t gotten back to me yet. Which isn’t helping my worry. Obviously talking about it here isn’t going to make any difference either, but it makes me feel happier knowing that it’s out there.
Basically, what I’m saying is that currently if you want to buy or download any of my stories, please do so exclusively through my Smashwords page. I appreciate that that makes it pretty awkward – I’ve had a couple of messages saying that it being on iTunes would make things easier, and I totally accept that – but it’s the only way I know that everything’s alright, if that makes sense. I can keep track of how many people have downloaded things, how many copies of Not Quite Normal have sold and so on. Smashwords does have some information about how one can transfer downloads from their site onto various devices (like the iPad or Kindle) – I highly recommend having a look if you’re interested but concerned. I can also verify that Smashwords is also safe to put card/PayPal details into.
I am looking at other methods of distribution. I can manually put Not Quite Normal on Amazon, but I’d rather not until the whole thing with my ‘free’ eBooks is sorted. And, alas, manually uploading to iTunes is going to be impossible, since you need a US tax ID. You can get one from within in the UK, but with the amount of red tape involved it probably wouldn’t be on iTunes until about Christmas…by which point, I’d like to think, everything is going to have been sorted with Smashwords anyway. But I will look at other ways over the weekend – maybe other eBook distributors or, if it came to it, some sort of manual purchasing system right here. If I could work out how to sort something like that out, o’course.
I’m sure I’m boring you now, so I’ll leave it at that. But please keep reading my stuff and, if you like it, do consider buying a copy of Not Quite Normal. You’d make me the happiest man alive.
Thanks, as ever, for reading.