Thursday, April 9, 2015

Changes In The Background



I am changing distributors. I've gone through several. When I was direct to Kobo, B&N and Sony my sales started good, but soon I had outstanding balances that I had no hope of collecting.

By using Smashwords, instead of going direct, I thought it would make everything easier. But, alas, The Meatgrinder kept chucking my files back at me, and I was unable to find the errors in their FAQ database. Any changes to the files, new covers, new back matter, new ebooks, anything at all and it became a Help Desk issue to get my files approved. Even switching to epub files didn't stop the errors and the delays.

Meatgrinder has become rightfully infamous, once you've run an ebook through it, there isn't any way around it. Anything once run through the Meatgrinder lives forever, untouchable, in formats that can't be updated, corrected or deleted. Worst of all, all potential customers will see the dozens of corrupt files, and could down load any of them at any time.

Then there was the lag on getting these changes published; on getting new ebooks approved; the lag in price changes. Testing and tweaking becomes agony when there are logistical problems. Yet, with falling sales, testing and tweaking is necessary, even critical, for any writer.

Then there was the reporting oddities - a week long 'glitch' that showed I had another $50 in sales last year. Sales and money that mysteriously vanished one day. I got frustrated.

I have nothing personal against Smashwords. Marc's made a huge contribution to Indie Publishing. It's just the software glitches in the site drive me nuts.

So I went back to testing and tweaking once again. First I opted out of Kobo and Scribd in mid-February, and didn't check on the status of the files until this week. They are down, they are all down.

I started tweaking covers in mid March, and updated quite a few of them. But I have yet to fight with the Smashwords site. Instead, I switched some ebooks over to D2D. Every one of the files I loaded went through without a hitch, the same day.

That's right, they shipped the same day.

Now we'll see what will happen with the new ebooks. I will, of course, have to take them down at Apple, via Smashwords. It will take a very long time.

Eventually I'll get my mother's ebooks switched over. Eventually, I'll get all the Smashwords ebook covers updated. Hopefully, there will be improved sales because of the new covers.

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