Friday, February 25, 2011
Tales From an Indie Author: Pubit Edition
My ebook distribution for Not Just For Breakfast Anymore has mainly been through Smashwords. Upload the file once, they put it through what they call the 'meatgrinder' and off to edistributors it goes. Format is a bit wonky—that could just be my ineptitude—and sales reporting is sporadic. What this distribution gains in simplicity, it loses in control.
And we indie authors sure love us some control. Huzzah!
So when Barnes and Noble started up a (similar to Amazon) DIY publishing option, called Pubit!, that was very indie friendly, you'd think I'd put on my top hat and brandish my publishing six gun. But I didn't. There was the bother, and I, frankly, like SW and it's founder Mark Coker. He has such a great attitude about this new age of publishing. Still, it bothered me that the formating was a bit off and there was no seeming way for me to fix it.
Then I read a couple of entries by indies indicating that going directly with B&N could triple sales—that pushed me over the decision ledge.
That's three more sales, people. *grin*
Besides, I'd had much better success at other e-venues, it was a point of pride to do whatever I could to increase my visibility at B&N.
Pubit has a very friendly interface, accepts all manner of submission formats (which they then convert to epub for free), and you get to preview the file in a virtual Nook before submission. My book looked great. B&N also advises that one download the newly converted epub and view it in Adobe Digital Editions, the gold standard of epub viewing. Looked great. Even on my Nook App for Iphone. Win all around.
My victory lap was to view my book on an in-store Nook. If you haven't held one in your hand, it is a gorgeous ereader. Hell, I was thinking about putting my book on EVERY Nook in the store. Can't be shy about selling when the marketing department is only you. So there I was, surrounded by customers, clerks, stacks of the best books in the world, and I loaded my novel on the display Nook.
Face fell. The format was....screwy.
Gah! it was like everyone was looking at me and my embarrassing mistake! I fled from the store. Top hat deflated.
I couldn't figure it out. I followed the directions—perhaps my freeware conversion was the problem? I went back to the Pubit site and noticed that under 'conversion instructions' for submitting a Word doc, they stipulated the use of only three fonts. I had used internet friendly fonts, but not the recommended ones.
Back to the file, changeroonie, upload. Check in Adobe Digital Editions—fine. Go back to B&N store...Gah! screwy!
Then I adjusted the text for size and realized that there were a bunch of font choices on the Nook, including setting to publisher's default. That fixed everything. Perhaps there never was a problem—I may never know—but it goes to show you how much work is involved in being an indie author.
What would happen...
If you gave an attention-shy twelve year old boy an embarrassing pet: Get kicked out of town? Make the baseball team? Both? Read all about it in NOT JUST FOR BREAKFAST ANYMORE.