Not quite the same as a writing update, as this is about stuff I’ve already written and published. If you’ve been a regular reader for a while, you know I started sending titles to No Boundaries Press after Smashwords dropped my three flagships titles for being “inappropriate.” (Still would happily tell Mark Coker “Fuck you, hypocrite” in public, so it’s probably good that an ocean’s worth of distance separates us. Bastard wrote how PayPal would stop him from carrying Lolita, and the fucker wouldn’t carry it BEFORE PayPal pushed the issue. That’s some major bullshit hypocrisy. But I’m alone in not loving Mark these days, so what the fuck do I know? Aaaanywaaaay…) You also know that I considered the move to NBP less than ideal after realizing that even my milder titles would be sold with porn ads lining the book descriptions and my author profile. I’m not being prudish, but I can’t really refer teens to a YA book if right beside it is a list of BDSM, incest, and other choice pr0n selections. (Okay, I only have one YA title so far, but I plan to have more in the future.)
But I really do want to offer my books to NBP readers, and it is another vendor willing to carry my stuff without giving me shit about their fake moral standards, (Mark fought PayPal for incest erotica titles but unceremoniously dumped my books, and yes STILL bitter about that shit. Thanks for asking.) something I’m deeply grateful for. However, last month, I just couldn’t find the motivation or the energy to convert books. It’s not really a difficult task, but it didn’t matter how little energy it requires. I couldn’t do it.
Last night, my number one superfan and WebLit author Becka Sutton pointed me to Gumroad, a very simple file distribution service. At first, it felt too simple because I couldn’t even sort out how to post a picture of the cover until Becka looked around and explained what I was doing wrong. Still, I thought the site layout was too simplistic before I had a revelation. Since every book listing has the address of the direct link to the file, it dawned on me that I could make a page for the blog listing all my books, organized neatly by genre, and with each series grouping the titles together so readers don’t have to hunt the whole list to see if a trilogy is complete or not. The links could lead right to the Gumroad listings, and from there, people could buy my books without worrying about being secure.
This also works out better for me because I don’t have to set up another plugin for WordPress. Plugins require constant updates, and in any case, I can’t have the same store on the free mirror. This would be a far more elegant solution, and I could direct anyone to the store page without worrying about what else they’re going to see in the list. Well, I might be reluctant to direct young’uns to the store, but I don’t really know any young’uns personally. So it’s probably a moot point.
The thing is, last night, I converted and uploaded 11 titles to Gumroad, and five of those were titles for NBP. I crashed on the couch, and when I got up this morning, I emailed the files to NBP. As it’s Sunday, I don’t expect they’re in the office to jump on those submissions. But here in a day or two, or three, those files will be up on their site under my profile. (I’ll post direct links once they’re available,) The files for this month are The Life and Death of a Sex Doll, Zombie Punter, Trail of Madness, In the Grasp of the Devil, and Mmmm…Crunchy!
I wanted to slam out more files for Gumroad and get my whole back catalog completed, but I converted only two more titles before back pain and swollen joints sent me to the couch for all of the afternoon. Since the weather is likely to keep me in painful repose, I expect to get a few more files converted throughout the day, and during this next week, my main goal will be getting ePubs copies of all my books listed on their site. By next weekend, I hope to open a storefront here and on my other blog.
Which doesn’t mean I’m going to rest on my laurels and not look for more vendors. Also, I won’t just sell ePubs. But I want to first get a DRM-free format out that will work on most ereaders, and which can easily be converted to other formats should readers need it. Once I’ve got the main store open, I’ll go back and upload files for Microsoft LIT, Abode PDF, and for Amazon’s MOBI format. (Even though it’s more likely that Amazon lovers will buy the same titles directly through their vendor.) If there seems to be demand for Sony’s LRF format, I’ll go ahead and add that too. Cause I’m all about giving y’all more options, not less. (If you do want LRF, please let me know by email: zoe_whitten(at)yahoo(dot)com.)
And speaking of which, Becka had another great idea about grouping completed trilogies into a zip file and uploading that to Gumroad with a discount for buying all three books at the same time. I like that idea a lot, and so one of my immediate goals for the blog storefront is making those zip files. So, say you want the Campaign Trilogy. Instead of buying three separate files and paying $8.97, you buy the zip file for $5.99 and save $2.98. Amazon won’t be able to lower my prices on my books, because this isn’t a discount on the individual titles, but the series, and they don’t offer anyone the option of doing this. So maybe I can steal a few Amazon readers and get them to visit my store to bargain hunt. We’ll see what happens.
I’ll close by again thanking readers with your patience during this transitional period. I’m finally getting my shit sorted out, and I hope to have more updates for you soon.