Marsha Canham's Blog

March 31, 2012

Shameless promo and another vent. Or two.

Filed under: Caesars Through the Fence — marshacanham @ 2:21 pm

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*






  1. VERY interesting, Marsha! Hope B&N get their act together soon, and thanks for ‘splaining! 🙂

    Comment by flchen1 — March 31, 2012 @ 5:07 pm | Reply

    • I hope they do too. It’s a great store and has a good reputation, so I’d hate to see it go the way of Borders. The very fact they DO have Pubit and their own reader, Nook, means they are trying to keep abreast of all the changes happening. They just have to be willing to listen to the authors more. There are an awful lot of indies out there now, and more every day.

      Comment by marshacanham — April 5, 2012 @ 1:35 pm | Reply

  2. Awesome!! SO glad you are back! Can’t wait to read your latest. (-:

    Comment by Kay Rogers — March 31, 2012 @ 10:20 pm | Reply

  3. Thanks for the rant, Marsha. I agree completely! I used to be a faithful B&N customer, even waiting for them to issue their own eReader but I got tired of waiting and got a Kindle instead. Love Amazon for their service and forward thinking. Best move of my life. So enjoying your backlist books at your reasonable price, want to buy your Scottish trilogy but holding off till price drops. Meanwhile, I’m off to buy your latest and I fully support you against those publishers who continue to operate with a mind-set equivalent to 19th century mores.

    Comment by Marilyn Keith — March 31, 2012 @ 11:59 pm | Reply

    • Thank you Marilyn, and I hope you enjoy The Following Sea.

      Comment by marshacanham — April 5, 2012 @ 1:25 pm | Reply

  4. Makes me even happier that I bought a Kindle to start with, and get 95% of my books from Amazon, both print and electronic…..Recently we had a very nice travel trai
    Er stolen, and YIKES my Kindle was inside….alng with many other things….The very first thing I replaced was my Kindle…and all the books I had ever pu
    Chased were right there in cue on my new Kindle….Love it will never ditch Amazon. Although I do occasionally purchase books movies and such from other sources….I am happy with my Amazon account…..and by the way Congrats on the new book….many sales too you….

    Comment by Robyn — April 1, 2012 @ 1:43 am | Reply

    • Thank you Robyn. I bought a Kindle for my granddaughter this past Christmas. She’s 10 and carries it everywhere. I’m sure it’s just the novelty of carting around an electronic gaget and it might wear off eventually, but it’s a great way to start younger people reading!

      Comment by marshacanham — April 5, 2012 @ 1:24 pm | Reply

  5. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal in early March, the US Department of Justice is conducting an antitrust investigation of e-publishers. Wonder why?

    Comment by Barbara Brincefield — April 2, 2012 @ 1:02 pm | Reply

  6. Please don’t give up on B&N yet! I love your books and cannot wait to read The Following Sea. However, I do have a Nook so I have to wait for B&N to get their act together. I will be waiting very impatiently to see your book on B&N now that I know it’s out 🙂

    Comment by Jennifer — April 3, 2012 @ 1:14 pm | Reply

    • I’m not giving up on B&N, but they really do have to play a bit of catch-up. Those initial three books I uploaded took two weeks to actually get on the B&N site and go up for sale. I uploaded The Following Sea on Tuesday and it’s on the site today, so go figure. There has to be some kind of uniformity, if for no other reason than to give the author the ability to anticipate when she might be able to start advertising and promoting. All of that…the marketing end…is now the responsibility of the author, and some of us pay for sponsorships and ads.

      Comment by marshacanham — April 5, 2012 @ 1:21 pm | Reply

  7. I too was stunned when the prices of eBooks from certain big name publishers started creeping up and then exploded over the $10 mark. It almost feels snarky…sort of a “we’ll show them”….

    I have had my Kindle(s) – I wear them out – since a couple of months after the first one was released. The most surprising thing to me has been this advent of self publishing. I did not see this coming but when it did it was such an obvious outcome. Now we have several remarkably successful new authors whot were never published until they self published, many established writers rereleasing out of print books, cut chapters being reinserted, writers releasing short stories and novellas. I find it so exciting to experience this explosion in freedom that is sweeping the publishing world. It feels a bit like picking up a Gutenberg Bible in 1455.

    Comment by sandiegosuzanne — April 3, 2012 @ 11:59 pm | Reply

    • I feel the same way. Just the fact that we can go back in and edit or revise, or cut things in our backlist books is a huge bonus. Plus we now have the freedom to actually choose what goes on the cover and how it should look, and not have to go through the aggravation of seeing a blonde with long flowing hair where there should be a redhead with short hair. I also hope the print publishing world wakes up and adjusts their century-old way of thinking.

      Comment by marshacanham — April 5, 2012 @ 1:12 pm | Reply

  8. Just finished reading The Following Sea and loved it. Can’t wait for the next!

    Comment by Shannon — April 23, 2012 @ 1:05 am | Reply

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