Now that The Following Sea is finished and uploaded and available almost everywhere, I can get back into the saddle and do a bit of venting.
You’ll notice I said “almost” available everywhere? To ‘splain that I need to do a bit of backstory here. I’m a Canuck, as most of you know, and for some unknown reason, Canucks cannot publish directly to Pubit, which is the ebook arm of Barnes and Noble. I had to wait until I came down to Florida for my annual snowbird get-the-hell-out-of-the-snow migration before I could begin the process of publishing directly to Pubit. They require a US address, which I most happily have, and a US bank, which I also have. So. A week ago last Wednesday, roughly 10 days ago, knowing I was within a nosehair of uploading The Following Sea, I thought I would get the process started to establish the Pubit account in order to publish directly to Barnes and Noble. Had all the requirements. Put up three of my books to open the account, then had to wait for them to get accepted before adding more. Sounds easy, yes?
Now, when an author publishes directly with Amazon, it usually takes between 12 and 24 hours for the book to go live. They convert the Word.doc, set up the page etc etc and voila. The book is there, sales begin. When I uploaded the files to Pubit, I was told basically the same thing, that it would take 48-72 hours to go live.
By Saturday night, Pubit was still telling me the account was “pending approval”. I sent them a little note asking if there was a problem and got the standard reply back that they would direct my concerns to the appropriate department. After another two days when I heard nothing back I sent them a rather snarky note saying if they couldn’t give me a reasonable answer, or if there was a problem they weren’t telling me about, I would simply pull the books, close the account, and keep my business at Amazon.
That must have reached someone’s desk a little more promptly than the first polite inquiry because within a few hours I received a notice that the account had been *manually reviewed and approved* and would be live soon.
That was three days ago. As of this morning, right now, 9:48am, my account still says “processing”
So now for the vent. I hear a lot these days about the big bad Amazon trying to steal the publishing market, trying to establish a monopoly, treading all over poor Barnes and Noble and anyone else who gets in their way. Look what happened to Borders! *gasp gasp* The same thing could happen now to Barnes and Noble! *gasp gasp, wave signs, pickett, boycott, whatever*
In my humble opinion, if Barnes and Noble wants to stay in the game, they better start learning how to play. 12 hours versus 10 days to upload a file, process it, and put it on a page for sale? Really? And they expect us to shy away from the big bad giant?
Which brings me to vent #2, and here I really start shaking my head. For some unknown, unfathomable reason (note how I got a sea-faring term in there…did I mention The Following Sea is available now?) some of the Big Six Publishing Houses, who have also been whining about the evils of Big Bad Amazon, have suddenly decided to price their ebook version of print books HIGHER than the print copy. I’ll use my own Scotland Trilogy as an example. When the self-pubbing wave swept through the publishing world last year, the Big Six thought it wise to lower their ebook prices to compete with the $2.99-$4.99 the Indies were pricing their ebooks at, moi included. Most of my backlist books are priced between $2.99 and $3.99, which I think is more than fair for me as well as for the readers. It’s electronic, people. There are no stores, no shelves, no trucks, no storage facilities, no printing presses, no big offices, no overhead. It’s an electronic blip that travels through the air and magically ends up in an ereader. Sure, we still have costs for covers and copyeditors and advertising, but we accept that when we decide to handle our own careers independant of some 20 yr old editor in New York telling us we *must* write a Regency Vampire Romance with elements of the paranormal.
But it’s still an electronic file. Zap! One main file sent out a million times electronically.
So why, in their wisdom, have some of the Big Six decided to RAISE the price of their electronic versions HIGHER than the print prices of the same book. What am I missing here? Why did my Scotland trilogy, which, unfortunately are the only three of my backlist books still controlled by Random House…oops, did I mention their name? tsk tsk….why were they suddenly raised to $10 and $11 for the Kindle version when the print copies are only $7.99???
Can’t blame Big Bad Amazon for that.
There is a marvellous sort of irony here. If my three Scotland books don’t sell well at those extortionate prices, they will fail to make the quota of sales required for RH to keep the rights. The rights will then revert to me and I’ll be able to give them spiffy new covers, and reissue them with a much lower price tag.
Did I mention that The Following Sea took two days from the time I got the green light from my copyeditors to go from my puter to your ereader, as opposed to the 11 months it would take a publishing house to read it (usually takes two months just for that) do the cover, slot it into a sale month, print it, ship it, etc? Did I mention it’s an original, new book, not a backlist but it’s still priced reasonably low at $3.99?
Happy Saturday everyone. I’m off shortly to have lunch with Julia London, one of the Loopies, who happens to be here in Orlando at a booksigning. There may be margaritas involved *grin*