Sunday, January 18, 2015

A Look Into eBook Distributors

Lovely day at the beach!

I've been doing a little research lately, mostly on how the self-publishing veterans are managing the business and operations aspect of their work. In today's post I wanted to focus on distribution platforms: who, why, and how it works.

First, let me start by noting that I had previously locked my novel, Violet Storm in the KDP Select program. Which meant that by electing into the program, my ebooks were exclusively sold by KDP/Amazon and no other ebook channel. After a little more research and several months into the program, I later found that experts did not recommend this (check this great article by HuffingtonPost). My own personal sales and the data itself made me reconsider my original strategy. I wanted my novel back in all the channels it was once in, plus a few others.

That led to more research. I wanted to know what other successful self-published and hybrid authors were doing to better achieve this goal. Enter the one-stop-shop platforms.

Let's look at two of the platforms I personally considered: Smashwords and Draft2Digital. What do they do, you ask? These platforms allow you to manage your online distribution channels in one location. No more logging individually into multiple sites like B&N, iTunes, Kobo, etc, one by one to check your sales and your royalty payments. Talk about painful. They do take a 10%-15% commission for their services but from what I've read by other authors, it's well worth the cost to have a one-stop service like this. As writers, we want to spend a majority of our time focusing on writing, followed by marketing, and then financial management.

What's also useful is that these platforms can give you data that may shape your marketing approach. Both of these platforms do the same thing. So how does one decide on which to move forward with? The answer is "user-friendliness." Smashwords has been around a long time. But the interface needed a lot of work to truly make the process "simple" for users. The idea was right but the apparently, the solution needed some refinement, as expressed by many frustrated users. Enter Draft2Digital, which has been gaining a lot of traction and positive feedback from authors.

Because our time is precious, and we shouldn't have to deal with the challenges of learning new systems that are supposed to make our lives easier, I decided to choose the platform that would achieve just that. Draft2Digital was just as advertised. Simple and easy to use. They pay out royalties on a monthly schedule, and offer a simple chart to track your sales. Within minutes, Violet Storm was loaded and sent off to five different ebook channels.

I hope this info has helped you in some way!

In Other News:

With the new distribution channels and the homework I've been doing to better write compelling blurbs and synopsis (a true weakness of mine), I decided to rework  Violet Storm's blurb. The original was fine, but who wants fine when one just needs a little practice to make it great?

Here is the updated version:


Aeva Storm is a sensible but maddeningly tenacious athlete with the grisly scars to prove it. On the night of her most riveting championship victory, a bolt of lightning rips from the sky, sealing her fate to becoming humanity’s newest kind of weapon. A Modi.  

Modi’s are humans reconstructed with synthetic parts, turning them into frighteningly invulnerable and striking creatures. The innovation was first used as a cure for a fatal disease within the City of Light. But the genius behind the invention has gone rogue with his experiments and the Monarchy is determined to shut him down. The cunning scientist forges ahead with his controversial operation, unleashing a new era for all mankind.  

Filled with political intrigue, unbreakable familial bonds, and evocative young love, VIOLET STORM is a gripping read that will challenge the way we think about our own human limitations.  


You can now (if not soon) find  Violet Storm in Kobo, Nook, iTunes/iBookstore, Page Foundry, and Scribd. Draft2Digital is working on securing a contract with Google to get it into GooglePlay! I can't wait!


The kittens send their love.





23 comments:

  1. Good move Ava! The more the merrier. Self publishing seems so scary to me and yet you make it look so easy. I know it's probably not but shhhhhhh (no one has to know!)

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    1. Thanks Shay! It's definiteky hard which is why I want to try and go the traditional publishing route for my next series! Marketing and self-promo is no easy endeavor. :)

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  2. So much work goes into self-publishing. I had heard SmashWords recommended before but I wasn't sure why. Sounds like you're on the right path for your next one!

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    1. Absolutely! I'm hoping to be a hybrid author so as to expand my readership in more markets. We'll see how it all goes!

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  3. Thanks for the info Anna. I just got my rights back from Vampire Island and was wondering which way to go. I'm all for easy so it will probably be D2D.
    Placed an order for Violet Storm:)

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    1. Ooh! I will keep my eye out for Vampire Island :) I saw an order go in for Violet Storm -- THANK YOU! :) hugs!

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  4. the babies! <3 have they adjusted to each other fully now? Still obsessing over adopting a second for fear Penny will freak lol. And great tips here--you definitely know your stuff. Important considering all the outlets there are!

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    1. The babies just keep growing! And they have definitely bonded. It was a tough two weeks as Fitz (the oldest) transitioned, but now he appreciates Happy so much. He finally has a buddy who can keep up with him LOL. Penny might love a companion!! ;)

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  5. Great post! I'm so grateful my publisher loads my books up because I can imagine it gets to be tedious going to all the sites. Glad to hear things are going well with Draft2Digital. Love the new blurb, too!!

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    1. Yes! I can't wait to be in that position and just have the publisher manage everything. LOL

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  6. Smashwords makes the process of publishing much easier. The fact that all can be done from one place is great. That being said, I still sell most of my books from Amazon.

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    1. Absolutely. And I see the same. I definitely see more sales from Amazon. :)

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  7. I liked the blurb before, but this update is a really good one. Thank you for sharing your experiences. It's hard to know what's going on in the self-pub/hybrid world without an insider. :)

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    1. Thanks David! :) I'm hoping to be a hybrid author myself! Glad to have this knowledge and appreciation for the amount of work that goes into it, but I certainly can't wait to have a publisher's support and just focus on the writing.

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  8. Awesome. Thanks a ton for the info. I really don't like the Smashwords set up either. Totally antiquated.

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    1. You're welcome! :) Yeah I checked out both platforms and D2D just seems to be way more direct and effective. Happy I went with them. I'll keep you guys posted on how it all works out!

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    2. Good because I'm thinking about transitioning. =)

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  9. You always write such great, informative, helpful posts about self-publishing. They are a real asset. Thank you!!

    LOVE the kitties :)

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    1. Thanks Liz! Figure I should share it in case someone knows a better approach. It's all a ton of work but only initially. There are so many successful authors who've gone the self-pub route and are doing so well. I don't think I can do it entirely on my own. I definitely want the support of a publisher in the future, so I'll just keep working both approaches until then. :)

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  10. Hope you're having a pleasant evening, Anna.

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  11. I almost had to upload my children's book to Smashwords which I really didn't want to do. Thankfully, my self publishing company had Amazon's Kindle convert my book so it's available in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.
    I hate writing my own blurbs, lol. I am too hard on myself when it comes to this task. I had help with my first book and I am sure I will need help with my second one once it goes through the publishing phases.

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