Some days are just….frustrating and eBooks continue to be, I’m sorry to say, a bit strange. I think authors and publishers need to be very cognizant of the fact that pulling eBooks off sale through different channels, whether to try an exclusive with some vendor or for some other reason has several negative consequences.
First of all you need to be aware that anyone who has purchased your book (including with a free coupon) will still own the book. The website they obtained the book from will still show it in their libraries and allow them to re-download it any time they want. And sometimes, some of these people, if they liked and enjoyed your book, may try to pass those links to your work on to other people they know. And the thing is, with those direct links their friends may be able to see the complete listing for your work. Only to be told it is not available through this outlet at this time if they try to buy it. This is not a warm fuzzy experience for prospective readers. “Damn,” they might think, “these eBooks are just flaky and unreliable.”
The fact is that experiences are cumulative and every time any one of us contributes to someone having a very negative experience with an eBook makes the overall market for all eBooks just a little bit tougher. In the past, it seems to me, authors and publishers truly invested in their relationships with book sellers. These days the very idea of being a bookseller seems almost antiquarian. Everyone and his brother has their web sites set up to link to that big company in Seattle that pays a pittance to any webmaster who drives traffic to their vast online stores. But making money by selling books that other people write? Very few would even attempt such a thing these days.
I had started off today talking with an author I really like very, very much, and idly planning a future promotion for a series of books she wrote. And spent so much time fussing with my tablet and trying here there and every where to get the information I wanted to I could buy and download and read another of these wonderful novels I’m genuinely excited about promoting. And I find myself all caught up in how badly smashwords sucks on my Android, and how frustrating it is to know you are searching with the correct title and author and to have even spelled them right on the relatively tiny android keyboard only to keep getting a blank page and it just doesn’t work today.
I am continuing to re-read Rita Mae Brown’s Loose Lips (in a wonderful hard cover edition I picked up Somewhere). I know there will be days I will again whip out my tablet, buy and download a great book and read away with great pleasure again. Today is Not that day for me. Here’s hoping it’s a nice weekend in your world.