A very good, not to mention timely, question has been asked by one of my readers. They want to get a copy of one of my books, but they don’t have a Kindle EBook reader. I’m going to address that problem here – rather lengthy I’m afraid, only because I’m a big windbag and I want to talk about a few other things too. And yes, I do have a solution up my sleeve – eventually.
As most of you know now, I’ve recently done something reckless and stupid – I’ve started publishing some of my stories. What’s reckless and stupid about that? Karen Singer doesn’t exist – even though she does exist. See my “About Me” page for further confusion. There’s a link at the top. But the bottom line is that my wife knows nothing at all about my Karen side, and it’s important that things stay that way. If she starts seeing an income in our bank accounts from Amazon, then you have no idea the problems it will cause. So for me, it’s risky business. End of story!
I started publishing my stories because I felt they were worth publishing and I wanted to make them available to a wider audience than just Fictionmania. Those of you who think publishing books will make you rich, think again. I published a book as myself – a truly good book – and I got almost nothing at all for it. In fact, by the time I paid for an advertising package for the book, I’m literally thousands of dollars in the hole because of it. But then, I can’t seem to find it in me to ask people to pay $34.00 for a paperback book – the stupidly high price the publisher placed on it, not me. Because of that experience, I’ve been rather slow about doing any kind of publishing.
Over the last few years, I’ve noticed a trend in books where readers are going away from the printed books and moving on to the EBook formats instead. Both my wife and I have read from nothing but our tablets for a few years now. Before that, our home was literally getting overrun with books we had read and didn’t know where to put. The EBooks solved that problem, they’re cheaper to buy, we can get the books immediately, and reading them from out tablets is a lot easier since we can set the font size, the brightness, and many other things that literally make reading easier for us…especially at our age. However, we don’t read from the Kindle Apps on our tablets, we went with the Barnes and Noble Nook Reader app instead. We set this up several years ago, and back then, Barnes and Noble stores were one of my favorite places. Besides, in my opinion, the Barnes and Noble Nook Reader is by far the best EBook reader out there! I even do a lot of my story editing on it. I can’t do that with the Kindle app. The only thing I can’t really do with my Nook reader is to read a book I buy in the Kindle format.
But despite all that, I decided to go with Amazon to publish my Karen books. From what I can tell, Amazon is probably one of the biggest book publishers out there. As with normal book publishing where the publisher is taking all the risks, the three books I’ve now published through Amazon have literally cost me nothing at all to publish, so the few dollars I receive is nothing but pure profit. No overhead at all! Barnes and Noble has the same kind of deal available, and I could have set things up to publish through them as well – two different companies handling my book, but I decided dealing with only one was easier. I could have also sent my book to a big distributer who would have made the book available everywhere, but they would have gotten their cut of the little money I receive and that would have cut into my profit margin.
I’m going exclusively (for now) with the Amazon format, because if I sign up to make the books exclusively available through them, then I get a 70% cut of the price the books bring in. If I don’t make the books strictly available to Amazon, then I only get 35%. That’s a big difference to me! Plus, dealing with only one company is much easier on me. Of course, that’s where a good distributer would come in, but I’m going to be greedy and try to get all the money I can for myself instead of everybody else getting their too big cut. Besides, as I said, dealing with only one company is easier on me. So that’s why I went with the Kindle format.
Oh, and if you do have a tablet, the Kindle Reader app is free, and it is a pretty good EBook reader. It’s just not as good in my opinion as the Nook reader. So if you have a tablet, then you should have no problem at all getting one of my books from Amazon. And now that I think about it, there are a number of very good EBook readers you can download for free that will handle any formats at all – Kindle, Nook, or just about anything.
Amazon offers me a “dashboard” where I can track the number of sales for each book and just how much I’m raking in for it all (or not raking it in as the case actually is). I can’t tell you how good I feel when I check it each day and see that someone has been interested enough to take a chance and buy one of my books. My favorite book, the one book I’d really like people to buy, “Second Life, Second Chance,” is actually selling a book here and there. But “The Winds of Chaos” has sold fairly well. I think between the two of them I’ve managed to sell about one book every single day – on average! Some days I don’t sell any. It doesn’t look like “Baby Bobby” is going to be a big hit, but I didn’t expect it to be. The market for it is too small. But it should still be interesting to watch.
Now…what to do about the people who don’t have tablets or EBook readers. Yes, I’m finally getting around to the real point of this blog post.
Several weeks ago, I decided to start looking into another service that Amazon offers – printed books. What they do is, whenever someone wants a printed version of a book, they print out a copy of the book for that person and send it out. I haven’t had time to look very far into the service yet, but I will be looking further into it. As long as it doesn’t cost me anything, then I’ll go forward with it. I’ll probably have to charge slightly more for the printed books since Amazon gets a much bigger cut, but I still want them to be relatively cheap so people can afford them.
So that’s what’s going on. Hopefully, I’ll have my books available in both the EBook and the printed formats so you can have your choice. And hopefully, the prices won’t be very different. I still don’t know what’s going to be involved in the printed book requirements yet, but I hope it’s not a lot!!!
So you can watch for blog posts in the future telling you what books become available in print as well as the EBook format. And hopefully, that will solve all the problems of people wanting to read my stories, but not having the Kindle Reader to do it.