Distribution News from Smashwords

New FlashSmashwords Expands Global Ebook Distribution with Odilo, Tolino and Yuzu

Smashwords today announced three new partners that further expand the reach of the Smashwords ebook distribution network in the US, Europe and South America.
The new agreements with Odilo, Tolino and Yuzu span three continents and will allow over 300,000 Smashwords titles to reach new readers at retail, in higher education and at public libraries.
Here are details for each the three agreements:

Odilo brings Smashwords expanded library distribution in North America, South America and Europe

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Updating Published eBooks

eBook UpdatesTime ages things: bread, people…eBooks. Every now and again, we must spruce things up, get a make-over or update information. Although I’ve tinkered with my eBooks a few times since originally publishing them, I haven’t done major renovations.

I’ve decided January is a good month to perform the task. I think I might even turn this into an annual event.

When I speak of renovations, I’m not talking about editing the story. I’m talking only about updating the actual file and the information that completes the remaining space in that file.

In the past twenty months, I’ve learned a lot about what an eBook should contain. My writing material has also expanded, much of it still ignored by eBooks published more than a year ago.

In the next few weeks, I’ll renovate each publication to date (all nine of them). Although updating files and ‘republishing’ them may take only minutes at some vendors (Smashwords) and twelve hours at others (Amazon), it will take much longer for other outlets (such as iTunes, Sony, Barnes & Noble) to receive them from Smashwords. These slow reaction times will mean the whole process will take a few months to complete even if my part of the job is done in one week.

eBooks are different than print books. Different information goes in the front and the back. After much research and consideration, here is what I’ve decided to put as front matter in my eBooks this time around:

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Free Book Debate

fire campOver the past three years I’ve seen the pendulum swing back and forth. Many say that gifting (or giving away) books helps sales. Others are adamantly against pricing their books for free even for a short time.

I’ve read accounts where free books have increased sales substantially on the free book involved (after the free period) and for other books by the author, particularly those in a series. I’ve also read the other side too: no increase at all, just crickets in the dark night.

Personally, I think sales are influenced by many things, including free offers. But the free offers must coincide with other things, like the time of year, the genre, other books offered by the same author, the alignment of the stars and moon and…many things that are too complicated to list here.

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Kobo Quarantining and Reviewing All eBook Titles

New FlashI just received this message from Kobo. It sounds as though they have quarantined every title to ensure nothing that violates their content policies is published through their outlet.

Here’s what the email said:

To our Kobo Writing Life and self-publishing partners:

As you may be aware, there has been a significant amount of negative media attention in the UK regarding offensive material that became available across a number of eBook platforms. Kobo was included in the reports from media and we are taking immediate action to resolve an issue that is the direct result of a select few authors and publishers violating Kobo’s content policies.

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Writing a Back Cover Blurb

In all honesty, writing a blurb for the back cover should be the fun part of creating a novel. We get to be splashy, to the point, mysterious and brief. But often, writing a blurb—a summary for a book—becomes an anxious time for a writer. How can they dramatically and effectively tell their story (without giving away the ending) in two hundred words?

Don’t sweat it. You can do it. And there’s a formula to help you.

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Calculating the Price of Ebooks

The publishing world is changing quickly, making it difficult for authors and publishers to accurately judge the value of an electronic book. When ebooks first became available, there were no numbers to crunch to calculate their price. Should they go for free because they’re not permanent (in the same sense as a printed copy), or should they be priced the same as their paper counterparts?

Now with several years of ebooks behind us, a general pricing by publishers is taking shape. It’s aided by the facts more readers have devices to read ebooks and ebooks are becoming more popular. Have you looked at the price of the ebook version of the recent paperback you just bought? I did. The paper copy cost about $15.00 whereas the ebook cost $10.99.

Browsing Chapters online, I found many ebooks selling for more than ten dollars, some more than $30. Wow. I never thought electronic books would sell for so much, but then, this is a whole new world for books, authors and publishers. They—we—are learning as we go.

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