Tag Archives: draft2digital

New distributors for indie authors: Pronoun and Streetlib

Starting out as an indie author: distributors

I have recently become aware of a couple of new distributors (also referred to as aggregators) on the self-publishing scene, Pronoun and Streetlib. Some time ago in “Starting Out as an Indie Author,” I covered the topic of distributors in general, and Smashwords, Draft2Digital, and Xinxii in particular:

Using distributors for getting into online bookstores

Smashwords, Draft2Digital, and Xinxii (Using distributors, part 2)

Today I would like to share my experiences with these two new aggregators with you — as a late Christmas present, if you will. 🙂

Pronoun

Pronoun is a relatively new aggregator that claims to not charge any distribution fees, allowing authors to keep 100% of the revenues from their books. I have no idea how they intend to make money off of this business model. While going through their help files, I found something about all their partners and how that allowed them to give their services away for free, but it was rather vague — hardly enough to satisfy this particular curious mind. Personally, I tend to think that if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Which is why I am immune to shady get-rich-quick schemes. 🙂

Pronoun publishes your eBook to Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Google Play. It will not publish an eBook that is already available through any of those vendors — it always distributes to all five of its retailers and will not carry a book that has duplicate listings. This means that if you want to test the waters, you will have to unpublish one of your books from the retailers covered by Pronoun or upload a completely new book.

In order to test Pronoun, I attempted the former, unpublishing a small short story collection that had next to no sales anyway. Pronoun claims to take both epub and docx files. I tried multiple times uploading an epub file, without success. One time it told me to run it through the validator (it passed), another time it told me the file did not include a cover image (it did). Which leads me to the conclusion that Pronoun doesn’t really want anything other than a docx file formatted according to their guidelines, which can be found here:

http://support.pronoun.com/knowledge_base/categories/manuscript-formatting-guidelines

But since life is too short to spend too much time messing with a service I’m a bit skeptical about anyway, I have not bothered trying to follow their docx guidelines. As a result, I have no real publishing experience with Pronoun to report, only a failed publishing experience.

Royalty structure:
Authors keep 100% of eBook revenues.

Channels distributed to:
Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Google Play.

Pros – Generous royalty structure; slick looking site

Cons – No opting out of any of the retailers they distribute to; do not accept double listings; major difficulties in uploading epub files; long docx formatting guidelines

Streetlib

Streetlib is a new aggregator based in Italy, and the vast majority of the vendors they distribute to are Italian. But they also offer all the major eBook retailer such as Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, B&N, and Google Play — at least hypothetically.

The site is not very intuitive, and I found it confusing to navigate. It’s very obviously still suffering from its own newness: not only was it difficult to figure out how to get around, I kept coming across Italian words and phrases, even though I chose English as my language. Incorrect English crops up here and there as well, and when I tried to get help on various topics, I frequently got an error message. As a former localization tester, it looks to me as if the translation went live without being thoroughly tested.

As with Pronoun, I ran Streetlib through its paces by signing up and uploading the epub of my collection Story Hunger. The uploading itself went more smoothly than with Pronoun, and I was informed that my book had been published. But it apparently takes some time for it to appear in the stores they distribute to — I did the Streetlib testing yesterday, and Story Hunger is still not available anywhere. One of the help files I was able to access says it takes 24 hours for books to go live, but it appears to be more.

For now (Dec. 2016), I would recommend that authors wait on trying to use Streetlib until they get the wrinkles ironed out. It might work better for someone who knows Italian and can use the Italian interface.

Royalty structure:
Authors receive approximately 60% of the eBook cover price. More details here:
https://help.streetlib.com/hc/en-us/articles/200521091-How-much-will-I-earn-by-publishing-my-book-through-StreetLib-

Channels distributed to:
Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Play, 24symbols, 9am.it, Artcivic.com, bajalibros.com (worldwide), bidi.la, bookmate.com, bookolico.com, bookrepublic.it, casadellibro.com, decalibro.it, dottorebook.com, ebook.it, ebooklife.it, evribook.com, feedbooks.com, Gandhi, harmankitap.com — and many more.

Pros – Ease of publishing; many retailers

Cons – Site difficult to navigate; English translation of pages sometimes poor or incomplete; difficult to find a way to opt out of certain distributors

Update: After a couple of days, Story Hunger finally did show up on Google Play. So for those who cannot publish directly, it would be an option, despite the problems with the site, which will hopefully get ironed out someday.

Conclusion: As of this writing, Draft2Digital wins hands down for me as the best aggregator. I will continue to use Smashwords as well, since I sometimes sell a book there directly, and I like the option of being able to offer coupons. I will eventually give these newer aggregators another shot, but at the moment they are more trouble than it’s worth for me.

I hope everyone is enjoying a great holiday season! And if anyone has more or better experience with Pronoun or Streetlib, do let us know in the comments.

Advertisements

Starting out as an indie author: Smashwords, Draft2Digital, and Xinxii (Using distributors, part 2)

Starting out as an indie author

In my last post for beginning indie authors, I went into the reasons you might choose to publish your books through an aggregator who distributes them to various sales channels for you. In this post, I will take a look at three such sites in more detail, Smashwords, Draft2Digital and Xinxii.

Smashwords

When I first started experimenting with ebooks, the main options for marketing fiction were Smashwords and Amazon. Since I was a bit intimidated by all the programs needed to create an ePub file, and Smashwords had the added advantage of a very long and detailed manual on how to create a doc file that would pass the checks of their “Meatgrinder” (Smashwords term, not mine), I began my foray into indie publishing there with my previously published novella “Looking Through Lace.”

While as whole epublishing has gotten much easier since 2011, in my experience, the same cannot really be said for Smashwords. Smashwords nominally accepts ePub files, but since they are not eligible for Extended Distribution (everything outside of the Smashwords store itself), if you want to use Smashwords for distribution to multiple retailers, you have to format your manuscript as a DOC or DOCX file according to the Smashwords guidelines.

And those guidelines are over 100 pages long. So you can imagine that it takes a while to get a manuscript prepared for Smashwords, especially if you haven’t done it before.

Once I finally got my first attempt at an ebook approved for Expanded Distriubution through Smashwords (after a couple of tries), I used that file to create a template for future uploads. But even despite the template, I have often had to upload a file more than once. The Meatgrinder appears to be very sensitive.

Some details regarding my experience with Smashwords: The “Smashwords Style Guide” suggests copying and pasting the entire text of your document into Wordpad in order to strip the Word document of unnecessary coding. I find this much too time consuming, because it also takes out all italics (among other things), which then must be manually put back into the document. I have the advantage that I still do a lot of my writing in that old dinosaur Word Perfect, which doesn’t add as much junk formatting code. So in order to get a clean copy of the text without losing the formatting I still want, I convert my Word Perfect document to html and open the html file in a text editor. Using search and replace, I get rid of all the unnecessary formatting commands. Here I also change underlining to italics and replace the scene break I usually use (#) with the one preferred by Smashwords (* * *). Once the html file is cleaned up, I open it in my word processor, copy the text, and paste it into my template.

Royalty structure – From the Smashwords FAQs (http://www.smashwords.com/about/supportfaq): “For most retail distribution partners, Smashwords pays the author/publisher 60% of the suggested list price you set for your book. These rates vary by retailer for sales outside the US. Apple, Barnes & Noble and Diesel are 60% of retail price, though for Apple’s UK, France, Germany and Australian bookstores, Apple deducts a Value Added Tax (VAT) from your sales price, so your actual earnings share = 60% of (Retail price – VAT). Kobo is also 60% for books priced between $.99 and $12.99 for US and Canadian dollar-denominated sales. Sales in other currencies at Kobo are at 38% list. For the Baker & Taylor Axis360 library platform, libraries purchase a single copy at list price, for which the author/publisher earns 45% of list, and then the library is allowed to lend the book multiple times, but only allows one checkout at a time (patrons who want to check out a book that’s already checked out have option to purchase the book).” Books sold directly through Smashwords earn the author about 80% of the list price.

Channels distributed to – Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Amazon (limited distribution), Apple, Page Foundry, Baker & Taylor Blio, txtr, Library Direct, Baker-Taylor Axis360, OverDrive, Flipkart, Oyster, Scribd

Pros – The largest number of sales channels; the potential for sales through the Smashwords store itself; coupons for promotional purposes; easy to opt out of individual sales channels

Cons – Very stubborn Meatgrinder

Draft2Digital

D2D is a newer site for distributing ebooks to multiple retailers, and they don’t support as many channels as Smashwords. In my experience, however, they are much easier to use. In addition to DOC and DOCX files, they also accept EPUB files, which they will distribute directly to their retailers, as long as the file passes their ePub check. You can minimize the chance of your EPUB file being rejected by running it through EpubCheck yourself.

Since I always start with a correctly formatted EPUB for the sales channels I upload to directly, being able to also upload EPUB to D2D is a huge timesaver for me.

Another advantage of D2D is that they also distribute to CreateSpace for POD paperback books. Since formatting paperback is one of the more demanding chores of the indie writer (for me at least), this could be another helpful shortcut. I have only used the service through Draft2Digital once, however, for a collection of stories I wrote with Jay Lake, Almost All the Way Home From the Stars, because I wanted the royalties all in one place for me to make it easier to send Jay (and now his heirs) their share of the profits.

In order to generate the PDF for CreateSpace, D2D requires a DOC or DOCX file with a linked Table of Contents. I talk more about my experience creating a paperback through Draft2Digital here. Once I approved the PDF generated by D2D, I had to make the wraparound cover for the paperback, like so:

A disadvantage of publishing to CreateSpace through D2D is that you do not get a discount for author copies. You are not the publisher of the book, Draft2Digital is. So if being able to order discounted books directly from CreateSpace is important to you, you will have to create the PDF and upload to CreateSpace yourself.

Royalty structure – 60% of the book’s list price. From the D2D web site: “We only make money when you do. Our fee at most sales channels is approximately 10% of the retail price (it’s technically 15% of the net royalties). Everything else is up to you. You choose the book’s list price, you choose which sales channels you want to distribute through, and we’ll make it happen.”

Channels distributed to – iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Page Foundry, Scribd and CreateSpace. According to the web site, they are currently pursuing distribution agreements with Overdrive, Flipkart, Ingram, Omnilit, Tolino and Google Play.

Pros – Very easy uploads, no extra formatting needed, except for CreateSpace; the option to self-publish in paperback through CreateSpace

Cons – Not as many sales channels

Xinxii

Xinxii is primarily of interest to authors who want to get into European bookstores. Based in Berlin, Xinxii distributes to a number of important ebook retailers in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Spain, as well as offering distribution through Amazon and B&N. Since the level of English reading skills in Germany is quite high, there is definitely potential for sales of ebooks in English, as an excerpt from my Xinxii dashboard shows:

xinxii

As the screen shot also shows, however, authors do not make as high a percentage on their works through Xinxii as through other aggregators. On the other hand, they distribute to international markets difficult to reach any other way.

I found publishing to Xinxii quite easy. They accept EPUB format, as well as quite a few others; according to their web site “a Word document, a PowerPoint presentation, an Excel spreadsheet, an audiobook or a document created in PDF or ePUB.”

Royalty structure – Approximately 40% of the list price of your book. From the Xinxii site: “Please check the information page in the “My XinXii > Manage Uploads”-section for the specific royalties on sales transacted via XinXii distribution partners. Generally, we pass on up to 85% of the amount, that we receive from them, to the author.” Or, as Patricia clarified in the comments below, “You keep up to 85% of net revenue through our retail partners (= 50% of net price) and 70% of net price for sales through XinXii.” It appears that 50% of the net price is a little over 40% of the list price.

Channels distributed to – Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Casa del Libro, iBookstore, Kobo / Fnac, o2, Sony Mobile, T-Mobile, Vodafone, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Thalia, buch.de, buecher.de, donauland.at, otto-media.de, derclub.de, Flipkart, e-Sentral

Pros – Distributes to European and other markets hard to get into; accept a wide range of file formats

Cons – Low royalty rate compared to other platforms

Next week in this series I’ll talk a little about the costs of ebook publishing. If anyone wants to contribute something in the comments about their own experience with the kinds of investments they’ve had to make before being able to self-publish, I’d be happy to quote you and link to your site. 🙂

Starting out as an indie author: Using distributors for getting into online bookstores

Starting out as an indie author: Using distributors

Aggregators and sales channels

In my last blog post for beginning indie writers, I wrote about various ways to format your manuscript for ebook publishing and some of the more important sales channels where you might want to upload your books.

The sales channels I mentioned there, however, are only a few of the very many online bookstores that have started cropping up in the last few years, such as OverDrive, Flipkart, Oyster, Scribd, Baker & Taylor, Page Foundry and more. Not to mention the genre specific eBook stores like All Romance.

The thing is, for every channel where you sell your books directly, you have to register, format your book(s) according to the store guidelines, and upload the file, cover, description, and whatever other information the site requires. That can be a lot of work for one measly sale a year. (I personally have never sold anything in most of the stores mentioned above.)

But if you don’t want to miss out on those possible sales, there is an alternative. A new business model that has sprung up since the beginning of the ebook revolution is what is now most often referred to as “aggregators” — an ebook publisher who will distribute your book to multiple ebook vendors, while you, the writer, only have to upload your book once, rather than registering at ten different sites and uploading your book individually to each one.

Some reasons for using an aggregator

Such a service naturally comes at a price, in this case, a percentage of what your book earns at the stores the aggregator distributes to. While Amazon, B&N and Kobo typically give the author 70% of the sales for books priced at $2.99 or higher, at the aggregators the return for the author is usually 60% or less. (By comparison, books under $2.99 on Amazon only earn the author 35%, and some aggregators make no distinction according to price, making the question of whether to use their services even more complicated …)

So assuming your book is priced at 2.99 or more, why would anyone want to allow a simple distributor to take a percentage off their profits?

1) Uploading directly is too much work for too little gain

As I implied in the first section of this post, where I described the service that aggregators provide, sometimes it just isn’t worth it in terms of time and effort to upload your books directly to every single store out there.

As an example: say you have a novel selling for 3.99. At 70% from a sale of the book (standard for Amazon at that price), your take is 2.79. At 60% from Smashwords, for example, it comes out to 2.39. If you sell one book a year each to Page Foundry and Oyster, you have handed over a total cut to the aggregator of 0.80 — and you have saved *at least* an hour’s worth of work, and probably much more — registering for and uploading to all those channels directly (since you had no idea where you might possibly make a sale). Of course, if you’re seeing hundreds of sales to these channels, it would be worth it to register and upload individually. But it is very easy to opt out of distribution on both Smashwords and Draft2Digital, if your sales on one of those channels start taking off.

2) You can’t get into the market otherwise (frex: iBooks)

As I mentioned in my last post about preparing your manuscript for various channels, some stores have high or even insurmountable hurdles for uploading your books there directly. The iBooks store only accepts files uploaded through iTunes Producer, which means you need a Mac running OS X 10.8 or higher (as of July 2014). As I do not use a Mac, I have to rely on an aggregator to get into the iTunes store. For authors with a greater sales volume, it might be worth it to buy a Mac in order to submit to the store directly. But when you calculate that you are handing over 0.40 to the aggregator for every sale of a book priced at 3.99, you would need to sell over 1000 copies of your ebooks on iTunes before breaking even on the purchase of a MacBook.

Another example of not being able to get into the market is Barnes&Noble. For a long time, only writers with a US address and bank account could publish directly to B&N. They have since expanded to the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, The Netherlands, and Belgium. Nonetheless, that still leaves many writers who have to rely on an aggregator in order to reach readers with a Nook.

3) You can’t be bothered

I do not mean this in a snarky way. Some writers would much rather be writing the next book instead of keeping track of a dozen sales channels. They have no problem giving up 10% of their profits to an aggregator, as long as they don’t have to worry about uploading new versions of their ebooks to every single ebook retailer, and would much rather stick with only Amazon and one or two aggregators. This is a completely valid choice and something to consider when you start publishing.

4) You want to make a book or story permafree for promotional purposes

Most ebook retailers will not allow you to set your price to free if you upload it directly. For some mysterious reason, though, this is possible when using aggregators. Thus, if you have a first book in a series or a short story in a fictional world that you want to make free, you will have to use an aggregator. (I have discussed some reasons why you might consider giving a book away for free elsewhere.)

In my next post, I will include more detailed info about the three aggregators I have worked with until now, Smashwords, Draft2Digital and Xinii.

Publishing to multiple stores through Draft2Digital: Almost All the Way Home From the Stars

A while back, I promised to blog about the process of formatting a book for all sales channels offered by Draft2Digital, including CreateSpace. Before I published this collection of stories I wrote with Jay Lake, Almost All the Way Home From the Stars, I only used D2D for B&N, Kobo, and the Apple bookstore. For that, I could upload the EPUB file that I compiled with Scrivener. For this collection, however, I also wanted hard copy, and in order to generate the PDF for CreateSpace, D2D requires a DOC file.

So I made a clean doc file of the book, (I talk more about that here), uploaded it to D2D, and waited to see what would happen.

I had a couple of problems with the upload that writers who use the service in the future will not have, at least according to a recent email I received listing some of the improvements they’ve made. I knew, for example, that the generation procedures used by Draft2Digital at the time of my upload stripped away all the scene break symbols, like “#” or “* * *”. On the Kindle Boards, I’d read the recommendation to use a graphic to indicate scene breaks in order to get around that “feature”. So I found a dingbat I thought fit in a science fiction book and replaced all the scene breaks with that.

Unfortunately, the D2D generators didn’t understand it, it defaulted to something else, and I ended up with a random letter between scenes.

Next try, I found a symbol native to Word in the hopes that it would stick, a simple diamond, and replaced all the scene breaks in my DOC file with that. That worked for the ebook venues, and I approved the ebook for publication.

Next step, CreateSpace. I wasn’t completely happy with the PDF that was to be the basis for the print copy, for several reasons. The most important was that it didn’t have a Table of Contents. That’s perfectly fine for a novel, but a short story collection really needs a TOC. So the wonderful Draft2Digital folks decided to use our book to test a new and improved PDF generation.

Now, after a lot of PDFs sent by D2D support and suggestions for improvement made by me, not only does the print version of Almost All the Way Home have a TOC, it also has running headers. You can take a look at how it turned out here.

Once I approved the PDF, I had to make the wraparound cover for the paperback. This is what it looks like:

The disadvantage of publishing to CreateSpace through D2D, I discovered, is that I don’t get a discount as an author, boo hoo. But now that it’s live, I think I’ll manage to buy myself a copy anyway. 🙂 (If you’re interested in other stores carrying the ebook, I listed them here.)

As to writing, rather than formatting and publishing, I finished the new version of Island of Glass last week. It is now 23,000 words, 7,000 words more than the last incarnation. Most of that is through adding Chiara’s step-sister Minerva as foil for the protagonist, as well as more detail where I had skipped it. Right now, I’m going through a printed copy before sending it to my niece, who will be my first reader.

Anyway, never a dull moment. And now, the winter that never wanted to end is finally showing signs of ending, and we have SO much to catch up on in the garden! That has taken a lot of my free time the last few days, I have to admit. 🙂

Wishing everyone a great week and much success with whatever you undertake!

Almost All the Way Home From the Stars now available on Amazon, iTunes, B&N, & Kobo

I just realized that I never posted the links to Almost All the Way Home From the Stars (the first collection of my stories with Jay Lake) here on my blog, only on Facebook. So without further ado, here are the links to the various ebooks stores where you can buy it:

Amazon

iBookstore

Kobo

Barnes and Noble

The CreateSpace version is still in the works. Draft2Digital is a great service, but it’s still in Beta, after all, and the helpful folks there are working on a way to generate a Table of Contents for books that need them. Their default PDF generation didn’t include a TOC. That’s fine for a novel, but a table of contents is necessary for a short story collection. Non-fiction too, for that matter.

Once that procedure is complete, I’ll blog about different ways of getting your book up on Draft2Digital.

If anyone is interested in a review copy of the collection, drop me a line, and I’ll be happy to send you whichever format you need.

“Story Hunger” up on Amazon, a new mini collection – and various other updates

After getting my story collection with Jay Lake, Almost All the Way Home From the Stars, up on Draft2Digital, I decided to get one more big thing off my to-do list, and finished another collection of my own stories, Story Hunger:


Here’s the blurb:

“Story Hunger” is a short collection of two stories and one flash fiction piece: a tale from the cycle of the Rose knights; a fantasy prose poem; a story of Native American magic and of Raven in an alternate Pacific Northwest.

What these stories have in common is that they all revolve around the power of words; to affect us, to move us, to change us.

In preparing Story Hunger for publication, I tried to take a shortcut, since I’ve been so pleased with the way Scrivener makes EPUB and MOBI files: I skipped the step where I make a clean copy by going through HTML and a text editor. (I’ve talked before about how I do this here.) Boy did I regret skipping that step. When I uploaded the mobi to Amazon, I kept finding centered passages, even though they looked fine in Word and Scrivener. I ended up uploading Story Hunger about four times, sigh.

If you’re interested in getting the collection, wait a few days. Even though I no longer believe KDP Select is particularly effective, I enrolled this little collection and am planning to make it free soon. I will announce it here once I have the free run organized.

I still haven’t gotten back to the cover for Chameleon in a Mirror, but as soon as I have a new version, I will upload it and pick y’all’s brains for feedback. 🙂

I’ve had a request to write a post on uploading a book to Draft2Digital, and that is now in the works. Another thing to look forward to is a post on my experiences uploading Yseult to Createspace.

Me, I’m looking forward to concentrating mostly on WRITING in the coming week. I’ve gotten a lot of stuff off my business to-do list, but I’ve done next to no writing. Time to get back to the reason I’m in this business to start with!

The Canadian Who Won’t be Returning From the Stars

Ooof. I finally got the first collection of SF stories I’ve written with Jay Lake up to Draft2Digital tonight, Almost All the Way Home From the Stars. Here’s the blurb:

“Almost All the Way Home From the Stars” contains seven science fiction short stories by award winning writers Jay Lake and Ruth Nestvold. The settings range from distant worlds, to the near future, to an alternate US where slavery was never abolished. Here a sampling:

“Rivers of Eden”: In a world transformed by a virus affecting faith, one lone scientist wants to set loose a cure for fanaticism.

“The Big Ice”: On Hutchinson’s World, Vega and Mox are trying to unravel the mystery of the Big Ice — until the family responsibilities Vega has been trying to escape come back to haunt her.

“The Canadian Who Came Almost All the Way Home From the Stars”: An NSA agent is assigned to look after a Canadian scientist whose husband has left Earth to visit the stars — and the strange dimple in the lake that she is watching, while waiting for his return.

Five of the stories have been previously published elsewhere, in various online and print markets, including Gardner Dozois’ Year’s Best Science Fiction. Two stories are new with this collection.

No links as yet, since it takes a while for books to go up on the various markets, but I will pass them along when I have them. I’m going straight D2D this time, since I’m passing all the profits on to Jay (what little there will be, given how notoriously hard short story collections are to sell). But it will make it a lot easier for me to keep track of profits for this book if everything is in one place. AND D2D will also do all the Createspace work for me. I wasn’t completely happy with the PDF that will be the basis for the print copy of the book, but doing all the Createspace formatting on my own for Yseult was a huge amount of work, and I don’t feel like tackling that again this week. I want this done and out of here. 🙂

And Jay needs to concentrate on his bucket list.

Speaking of Yseult, Createspace has finally approved the files I sent for the print version, but I would rather wait until the light of day to ok them for publication. *g*

In other news, my daughter and I created an amazing cover for Chameleon in a Mirror, but it’s late here in Central Europe, and I can’t figure out how to upload the image from the Facebook page, where I first asked for feedback. When I have a new version, I’ll upload it here!

Haven’t gotten very far in the New Words department in the last few days. I’m hoping that with a couple of these bigger projects off my list (see above), I can spend more time on plain old creation again.

On losing work (and other frustrations)

I spent several hours on Monday doing revisions of Island of Glass: addressing critique comments, filling holes, researching some things I’d left out. It felt really good to have a nice block of time for serious writing again, after all the writing business I’ve been doing lately, what with the formatting for the hard copy version of Yseult and the short story collection I’m putting together of my stories with Jay.

Then yesterday I opened the file — and none of the revisions I did on Monday were there.

I’m not sure what happened, if it was some kind of a software glitch or something, or if I was just so befuddled that I copied the old version onto the new rather than the other way around (I was working on my little netbook, which tends to keep me from wasting too much time on the Internet).

I was so frustrated, I didn’t bother going back to it yesterday, and only today have I started trying to recreate the edits I lost. Sigh.

It’s been that kind of week. I got the PDF of Yseult made and uploaded to Createspace, and it told me I needed larger inner margins, since the book is over 600 pages. More formatting, new PDF, another upload. The next time, it objected to the map. And so it goes …

At least I got Yseult up to Draft2Digital today. When I recently had an ad on Bookbub, it took Smashwords about a week to update my sales to the Apple store; D2D gives me that info the next day. So once the D2D version of Yseult is up, I’m canceling the Apple distribution on Smashwords. I will slowly be doing that with the rest of my books too.

Well, if the weather plays along, tomorrow there will be grilling in the garden, and maybe a little bubbly too. 🙂

Marketing demands muscle out the writing — yet again. Oh, and Iceland too.

I have two group promos coming up again very soon (I will make the official announcements when the time comes). While I really need another push for my sales, which have been in free fall this month, the organization is taking a huge chunk out of my writing time. I only managed to complete another 1000 words on the Murano novella, which I am now intending to call Island of Glass. I liked “Prison of Glass” a lot, but “Island of Glass” goes better with the pre-made cover I bought.

Besides group promo organization, I also decided to make my little fairy tale collection, Never Ever After, permanently free. To that end, I both made it free on Smashwords and uploaded it to a new aggregating site, Draft2Digital, that promised to be able to get free ebooks available on the iTunes store. And they did! Draft2Digital is still in beta, so if you’re interested in their services, you need to write them to get a beta code, but they are very fast, and very helpful, and I can only recommend them. Check it out: Never Ever After is now available for free for the iPad! If anyone has one of those overpriced toys, please do me the favor any download my mini-collection. The point of perma-free is too get some attention, and that won’t happen without downloads. It’s not free on Amazon yet, btw. First Ama has to notice that it’s free elsewhere and price match. I will probably be asking for some help with that at some point, but not tonight.

One other business-slash-writing project was distracting me from new words this week — I compiled the stories for the upcoming collection Story Hunger and sent them to my editor.

Then there was the personal stuff that consumed a lot of time: my father is turning 80 this year, and he wants to get the family together in the summer for a late b-day celebration. Flight prices between Europe and the US have become outrageous at high season, but the cheapest are through Iceland Air. So Chris and I decided to make that into a vacation: we’ll be spending a little under a week in Iceland before we continue on to Seattle. Then of course, once I booked the flight, I immediately started checking into hotels and rental cars, and got lost on Tripadvisor and Expedia …

Wishing everyone a great week!