Jump to content

Hey Indie Author! How can I get your book?


Mel Hopkins

Recommended Posts

Recently, an AALBC member asked how can I buy  your book?  

While we authors may think it's obvious how readers can buy our book - it's not as obvious as we may think.  

So, how can readers buy your book?
What's your most successful way to get your books into your readers hands? 

Social Media Sales? Handselling?  Direct Sales?  What's your selling Secret? 

 

original-1-e1540060993393.jpeg

 

Urban Fantasy, Signed by the author
Buy Now $14.95 plus Shipping/Handling

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/21/2018 at 6:53 PM, Troy said:

No one person as the answer, but collectively we do. Hopefully they'll be some good responses.

 

@Troy , Yes I agree!  Getting books in front of readers was Amazon's specialty.

 

Amazon actually trained us, the readers, to go to them first when looking to buy a book. 

 

I had to break the habit and search out books from authors, then publishers, then independent book shops then chain bricks and mortar to finally online retail.  

 

Other readers may not go through the hassle and ultimately, the writer loses. 

 

We've learned the amazon process discourages some writers from participating at all.   So, yes I hope others will share their experiences.  

 

The bottom line in that case is when someone is printing off your book and selling to THEIR customers, you really can't be sure how many books you're actually selling. 

 

With that in mind, After my initial release in 2006, I also sold about 100 books on lulu.com, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  After 2008 through 2014, the numbers dwindle and averaged 3 per year - or at least that was what amazon was reporting. Lulu seemed to be more brisk in their reporting. 

 

I've since removed my title from all online retailers - and I buy my books so I can sell directly to others. This way, I can keep an eye on my inventory AND stay in contact with my customers.  

I've had the most success though Social Selling (social media) to my immediate network and their network.  Social Selling led to  promoters book me for their events where I found after a speaking engagement I was successful at  direct selling.  

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/23/2018 at 10:38 AM, Mel Hopkins said:

when someone is printing off your book and selling to THEIR customers, you really can't be sure how many books you're actually selling.

 

Exactly.  Now one might think you'd have to be somewhat paranoid to be this be suspicious of Amazon for doing this, but one has not way to determining if this is happening. 

 

Plus Amazon takes the first $100 of all you sales, plus you earn less money for each sale, plus you can actually find less expensive printers depending upon the count. plus Amazon does not give a sh-t about you or your book.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Finally! Five Secrets to Pitch Perfect (LY)" Podcast - uploaded Tuesday, October 23, 2018


Listening to Barbara Corcoran's (of Shark Tank) Business Unu$ual podcast,  I noticed independent authors could modify her "5 secrets to a perfect pitch" to successfully present their books.  

 

Corcoran's 5 secrets are as follow:

  1.   Good Hook
  2.  To the Point Short & Clear
  3. Good Backstory
  4. Look the part
  5. Cite the Next Steps

An Independent author can take these secrets and craft a pitch that will lay the foundation for selling a book or manuscript to anyone; anywhere.  

 

  1. (Good Hook) When I hear "hook," I think music, specifically Rap.  So, a book should have a catchy title.  My first book didn't.  #TitleFAIL  So, I made my title into a meme.  "You pray that love is heaven sent, but sometimes you end up Sleeping with a D-Man."  BUT look at the bestsellers here on AALBC! Check out how many words in the title?  Most have three words; 5 is the max.   Choose wisely.
  2. (To the Point Short & Clear) Tell your audience what your book is about in 2 sentences or less.   Who is this book about? What do they want?  How will they get it? Or what's preventing them from getting it.    Nicole, heart-broken and college-bound, will go to hell and battle demons for the man she loves. Literally.
  3. (Good Backstory)  Every author knows why they're compelled to tell their story.   My daughter was going off to college - I wanted to share with her how to avoid the perils of dorm and college life.  Here's where an author can share the benefits of reading their book. Let readers know how the author hopes this book can help.
  4. (Look the part)  Hire a successful book cover designer.  We do judge a book by its cover.
  5. (Cite the Next Steps)  An entrepreneur Next Steps is all "about the Benjamins" and funding. The same is true for independent authors, but our approach is a bit different.  Our goal is to develop a relationship with our readers and also have them buy our books every time we publish.  So, independent authors,  we have to let our readers know how they can buy our book. [<-link to buy my book] Do it the Amazon way and make it as easy and conspicuous as possible.  Remind them again of the benefit from buying directly from you, the author.  I read once, that most successful panhandlers tell those who put money in their cup how they will use their generous donations. 

For Example:

"Thank you for buying my book.  With your purchase you make it possible for me to continue to write books to positively influence and empower young women."  

 

By the way, Corcoran says, "the same five steps were shared by every great entrepreneur that ever left shark tank with a fist full of cash.

So, "Write On!"

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Book Selling in the Amazon Age (blog post)

ecommerce-1992280_1920-e1547225708271.pn

Independent book selling is hard in the age of Amazon. But if you think you can’t be profitable, think again. 

Amazon provides customer-centric tools booksellers can use to build their own community of readers. You just have to know where to find them. 

Visit me at theleadstory.net for more tips

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/11/2019 at 11:21 PM, Troy said:

you don't allow comments on your site? 

 

Thank you @Troy  !  No, I'm trying something else ...I figure if folks feel strongly enough about the content they will share it.

 

On 1/11/2019 at 11:21 PM, Troy said:

The difference between Anazon and everone else is that Amazon does not have to generate profit from the sale of books.

 

But it does mske sense to use Amazons data and tactics whenever the possible i know i do 😉<span>

 

Right!!! I like that you mentioned to one of the members - to become amazon associate.  As an associate  there's more customer insight available.  I don't think I'll sell my books on amazon because to them, it appears books are like "giveaways" to them.  I do appreciate the associates program. It allows me to see customers in a new way.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've soured on the associates the commissions are now negligible. As a monopoly for online booksales Amazon does not have competition to worry about a competing bookstore paying affiliates more.

 

I guess the data is valueable -- what little Amazon shares. 

 

There are others not willing to sell on Amazon. But third party sellers easily subvert the author/publishers desires which Amazon encourages. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/14/2019 at 9:47 PM, Troy said:

But third party sellers easily subvert the author/publishers desires which Amazon encourages. 

 

Yep! Except those 3rd party sellers would still have to purchase the book (s) which is another reason why I'm selling eBooks direct too. I'm considering making my eBook cost more than my print so folks will be hesitant to attempt to bootleg my pdf. Another way to protect your digital files is to offer it directly through a web reader service like pressbooks. 


By the way, my novel is currently selling on amazon.com for $62.65 and of course NONE of that goes to me - because I'm not the 3rd party seller. smh

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Mel Hopkins the book is listed for sale at $62, actually it is listed at almost $500: https://amzn.to/2MpHAqe but that does not mean it is "selling" at that price.  I believe 3rd party sellers are programmatically listing books at outrageous priced artificially inflating the "value" of books unavailable directly from Amazon.  If they get a few people to buy the books these "booksellers" can made a ton of money.

 

The Amazon is rife with so many gimmicks to separate people from money it is absurd. 

 

Some 3rd party sellers pirate physical books -- Amazon knows this too.

 

The problem with alternative ebooks formats is that the kindle reader/software is the defacto standard and Amazon is the only one who can sell these ebooks.  An increasing (alarming really) number of authors have opted for Amazon KDP Select program which gives Amazon the sole right to sell these e/books. I have chosen not to add these titles to my database moving forward. 

 

I like Pressbooks, but your typical author will go with Amazon because kindle ebook creation is free.  They will then option for the KDP select because they earn slightly higher "royalties" -- even though Pressbook is more flexible and is actually more profitable after a few sales.

 

Also I think you'd want to lower your ebook price to discourage pirating.  Few will risk pirating an ebook selling at the Amazon minimum of 99 cents, but they would a more expensive title.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Troy said:

I like Pressbooks, but your typical author will go with Amazon because kindle ebook creation is free.  They will then option for the KDP select because they earn slightly higher "royalties" -- even though Pressbook is more flexible and is actually more profitable after a few sales.

 

@Troy Thank you for PB co-sign! I'll put together a short post here in readingblack.com about pressbooks.  The beauty of  PB - is it offers a few book formats and book covers that writers can use  for POD books too. The fully formatted PDF is $79 .  Writers don't even have to use PB  beyond formatting their novel or book.  

 

There are so many tools for self-published / indy authors  to use today, that amazon should be the last resort for publishing. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 minutes ago, Mel Hopkins said:

There are so many tools for self-published / indy authors  to use today, that amazon should be the last resort for publishing. 

 

True, but people (authors and consumers) are, for lack of a better word, "lazy." People are not sufficiently motivated to seek out or exercise options -- even if they are superior.  There are many products that Amazon actually charges more for than going directly to the vendor's site, but people can't be bothers to open up another browser tab and create a new account on a different website.

 

It is why people are more than happy to treat social media as if it is the entire internet as long as they can get some facsimile news, entertainment, and contact with friends -- why bother going anywhere else?

 

It is why fast food thrives.  Everyone knows it is shit, but who can be bothered to cook? 

 

We live in a fast food culture...  We have a fast food political system with a fast food president.... but I digress. 🙂 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Troy said:

True, but people (authors and consumers) are, for lack of a better word, "lazy."

 

TRUTH!!!  This is why I like the concept of readingblack.com  -  the goal is to make buying books by and for black people -fastfood/microwave easy... Now I just have to figure out how to achieve that goal lol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the issue is getting a critical mass of us on the same page.  Because you and I can't do anything alone.  Figure out how to get enough people thinking about the issue and the solutions will some easily.

 

Interesting, just yesterday I dropped the #readingblack hashtag from the social media sharing buttons for books on this site.  Maybe I should add them back.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, Troy said:

Interesting, just yesterday I dropped the #readingblack hashtag from the social media sharing buttons for books on this site.  Maybe I should add them back.  

 

And I just made it a feature photo on one of my posts on my website and plan to add it to other relevant posts lol.  I think it's a campaign that hasn't fully developed yet

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

My books are available from my website and most all book venues due to my distribution with Ingram.  If it's not on the shelf, which it most likely isn't, you can talk to the manager and ask them for the title. I know for a fact that I'm in the Barnes and Noble and Books-A-Million catalog. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Milton that is a great deal and definitely worth it!  There was a time, not too long ago, when an indie author found it very difficult to get distribution for their titles.  I get most of the books I sell directly from Ingram. 

 

A long term goal I have to to either sell books directly or through indie authors directly and drop the Amazon affiliate program altogether.  The challenge to achieve this goal is today many indie authors sell their books exclusively through Amazon, and the general public prefer to make their book purchases through Amazon. 

 

But I suspect this will change, over time, as everyone becomes more sophisticated about book sales and companies like Ingram step in and provide services to indie authors that are competitive with Amazon.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've toyed with the idea of only selling books directly, but like you said people prefer Amazon for the most part. I think it would work, but it would mean fewer book sales but probably higher profit. I currently work with a brother in Baton Rouge who I sell books to directly at a discounted rate. He does events during the weekend and sells books and comics from me and other creators. He does very well. I wish I could find more people like him.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

(I edited my last message for clarity)

 

I actually thought about doing flea market or other events to sell some of the books I have and to promote the business. But I need to find one visited by my tribe.

 

I used to do the Harlem Book Fair and did really well there selling an even buying books, but that was 20 years ago and times have changed.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/22/2019 at 2:20 PM, Mel Hopkins said:

I'm considering making my eBook cost more than my print so folks will be hesitant to attempt to bootleg my pdf

I had a very bad experience with this when my book was new. My inexperience led me to send a "complimentary" pdf to someone not realizing that all she had to do was email it to everybody she wanted to see it. I have no idea how many sales I lost that way. I know she did it because she genuinely wanted to share the information but once I found that people who might have otherwise bought the book got it for free, I've never done that again.

 

Would you please elaborate on how making your eBook cost more than the print version helps discourage bootlegging? 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

38 minutes ago, E.equals.dtb said:

Would you please elaborate on how making your eBook cost more than the print version helps discourage bootlegging? 

 

@E.equals.dtb

 

Human behavior.     I always go back to this story - when I was in Beijing, I noticed all the "bootleg" designer products were "real".  The sellers got the parts  and fabric from the  haute couture designers to manufacture for sale state-side.  It cost those sellers nothing to assemble those products on the side and sell them for practically nothing.  No cost or overhead to them was the goal.  Nothing but pure profit.  

 

Folks who are considering bootlegging aren't interested in spending a lot of money. If they can get a pdf for  free.99  it cost them nothing to charge others for it.
However, we tend to value what we have to pay for.  The more we pay the less likely we're to share.  That's my theory.  

***
By the way, going forward I'm considering to not sell eBooks.    Since I wrote that post, I also learned  from a pew research study that readers purchase more &nbsp;print books than eBooks - so charging less for print book just might allow me to sell more books overall. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, E.equals.dtb said:

I had a very bad experience with this when my book was new. My inexperience led me to send a "complimentary" pdf to someone not realizing that all she had to do was email it to everybody she wanted to see it. I have no idea how many sales I lost that way. I know she did it because she genuinely wanted to share the information but once I found that people who might have otherwise bought the book got it for free, I've never done that again.

 

One thing you can do with a PDF is prepare a summary of your book for distribution.  You can include a call to action to purchase the full book.  It can be like advertisement with benefits.  

Addendum

If you make it at least 3000 words you can offer it free as a "kindle" and have readers purchase the print book directly from you.  Note: AALBC also prints books too.

Edited by Mel Hopkins
addendum
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you so much! I do see what you mean about raising the price of your eBook to discourage unauthorized distribution. A person would be less likely to do that if they had to make a substantial investment to acquire it in the first place.

 

Selling my book from my website, except for the Amazon link, is something else I haven't quite figured out yet. Neither have I gotten the hang of ordering my own books and figuring out distribution from there. Right now I lack a viable marketing plan. That's what I'm trying to learn how to do. You have given me a number of excellent suggestions, and I plan to follow up on all of them!

 

Thank you again for everything you are teaching me. I am an eager and grateful student. 

 

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/23/2018 at 10:38 AM, Mel Hopkins said:

I've had the most success though Social Selling (social media) to my immediate network and their network.  Social Selling led to  promoters book me for their events where I found after a speaking engagement I was successful at  direct selling.  

 

 

 

Hi  @Mel Hopkins !  I would like to get more into Social Selling. The obvious question though is don't you need a substantial mailing or subscription list in place for this to work well? How do you attract people to your social media accounts? How do you create your network? Which social media platforms do you prefer? 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

53 minutes ago, E.equals.dtb said:

Hi  @Mel Hopkins !  I would like to get more into Social Selling. The obvious question though is don't you need a substantial mailing or subscription list in place for this to work well? How do you attract people to your social media accounts? How do you create your network? Which social media platforms do you prefer? 


Hi!  My favorite platforms are my own websites. melhopkins.com; theleadstory.org;, the leadstory.net; and more ….
I use either wordpress org (open source content management system) or wordpress.com for my websites. (wordpress.org is not for punks -It requires a lot of attention outside of blogging.  I'm thinking about getting rid of it.)

 

I use a mailchimp list builder and wordpress' "follow by email" button. I've also been active on the internet since 1995 and I've  added to my contact list since that time. 

If you use, yahoo, gmail, outlook, hotmail et al ; you also have a contact list you can export into a email marketing management system - or you can just  send out messages manually.  

 


Now to answer your question. 

 

You're in the process of building a community and it has to start somewhere.  So, NO you don't NEED a substantial mailing list or subscription list to get started. 

Consider beginning with one or two people you can tell about your movement.    Think about the content you want to send in that email to get them interested, i.e., make it exciting and shareable.  Ask them to buy your book.  If they show interest ask them why? If they show no interest, ask them why.  Then build on the feedback.  Update your content  then ask them  to forward the message to anyone who might be interested.  Repeat this process in person too.

 

 My favorite social networking site is Instagram.   I hate that its facebook property because it's so good. You can build a following; collect email, sell products, tell stories etc...If I were starting out today - it would be the only social networking site I'd use.  It's important to choose ONE social network and get good at it. You'll be spending your time cultivating an audience and routing them to your email list... so pick the one that you believe you can send your message accurately AND collect contact information. 

Here's a  link to the black enterprise article that featured me.  They interviewed me because I sold my first book fairly easy (2006) because I used xanga,  myspace and was beginning to sell on facebook too.  But it all started with my radio buy button on my email.   Every time I sent an email, -information about my book went out with it.   That's how I sold my first book and built a great community too.  I ended up giving my community away (for free) so when you build yours - don't let anyone have it.

Even the IRS considers your community an asset...yes it's that serious.  LOL

https://theleadstory.org/newsroom/

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow! That's a lot of valuable information! At this time I only have one generic website. I'm starting to get the sense that maybe I should create at least one other that is dedicated to just my books and other publications. I do use WordPress. That's all I've ever known but it is complicated and trolling through the plugins to find the right functionality has been a steep learning curve. I still haven't learned how to monetize the site with ads and affiliate marketing because I'm so adamant about keeping everything Black.

 

I just recently signed up with Instagram but have not used it at all. I dislike FB immensely so with Instagram being associated with it, I have put more effort into learning how to use Twitter instead.  I will have to go back in to Instagram and see what the possibilities are. I use MailChimp as well for the RSS feed when new blog articles are posted but I didn't know there was any kind of list builder in there. Something else to follow up on.

 

Let me go back and look at my email contacts from my various online sources and accounts. This is something I have never done so I might need to take a step back and make sure I have done my best to utilize this resource. 

 

Once again, I truly appreciate your answering my questions. Your advice is very empowering! ✊

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, E.equals.dtb said:

At this time I only have one generic website. 

 

One is all you need! 

 

I collect domain names but I really only need one.  

 

Something else  to consider;  use your website to post content, advertise your books and any other publications you have for sale. This way you’re your own “affiliate marketer”.  This also allows you to claim the website  as an expense on your taxes.

 

BUT keep in mind you are also working to reach and engage a community with your work too. So, it’s the blog content that keeps them coming back read and  to buy books .  It also helps them share content with their friends too. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

amp-for-wordpress.png

 

Ok, authors-publishers I've been playing around with AMP stories. The app is currently in beta WordPress (open source content management systems).

 

If you have a WordPress website and activated the plugin AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), try it!  AMP stories allow you to introduce your book succinctly.

 

Think of it as a way to make a trailer for a book without video production.  

 

If you don't have an open-source WordPress site, then try Makestories.io. According to its creator, it's free to use until 2020.  

 

Here's a link to the travel story I made on the makestories site  [ https://onl.st/miraflores-1/ ]

 

I didn't install the Makestories plugin for WordPress because there's no recent update.  But here's the same story I made on my website. https://theleadstory.org/stories/peru/

 

There's a call-to-action (CTA) link that you can add to lead your viewers to where they can purchase your book directly from you AND not AMAZON DOT COM!

Edited by Mel Hopkins
word choice
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

AMP, developed by Google, is also used to rank pages in search by mobike devices. All of my Wordpress websites use AMO fir this reason alone. I even considered making the entire AALBC website AMP. I decided against it for now. But given Google's dominance I may be forced to implement there nonstandard HTML markup...

 

I'll check out your story now.

 

BTW @Mel Hopkins the link to the Black Enterprise article is broken. I seem to remember reading it before but it would interesting to reread it now.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Troy said:

AMP, developed by Google, is also used to rank pages in search by mobike devices.


They are so evil lol!

4 hours ago, Troy said:

BTW @Mel Hopkins the link to the Black Enterprise article is broken. I seem to remember reading it before but it would interesting to reread it now.

 

Fixed it!  https://theleadstory.org/newsroom/

I really have to get better at remembering when I move stuff around!  Thank you for the heads-up!  

In other news, I just re-edited a short story for mobi and ePub format and it worked!  The only reason why I direct to lulu is because I haven't figured out where to the store the file for download.

 

Anyway, I'm so excited because I have a lot of manuscripts I put on-hold because I wanted to to teach myself how to format properly.  By the way,  I also learned that lulu charges for hosting now.  I rank it right up there with amazon charging a delivery fee for digital books.  smh.

 

Anyway, like I mentioned, now I have to figure out how to store my ePUB or mobi files for one time download without saving a copy.   Can you help @Troy ?

Edited by Mel Hopkins
add information
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Probably. Can you claify this statement by describing the steps on the process; "without saving a copy" is tripping me up.

 

5 hours ago, Mel Hopkins said:

now I have to figure out how to store my ePUB or mobi files for one time download without saving a copy.

 

Google isa  evil they can create proprietary extensions to HTML then require people to use them. For wordpress it is as easy as installing a plugin. for my site we are talking about some development work that I dont have time or money for.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Troy said:

Can you claify this statement by describing the steps on the process; "without saving a copy" is tripping me up.

@Troy thank you! Ok 

1. A shopper decides to buy a digital book from my woocommerce website store.  

2. She completes the purchase.

3. Now can access her purchase (digital book) through the download radio button. 

4. When she executes her download she can now save an ePub or .mobi copy on her pc.  This now means unlimited distribution.

 

How do I DRM (digital rights manage) my ebooks? 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Troy said:

You don't want the user to share the file with anyone else. Can the users read the ebook on different devices they own?

 

@Troy Correct! On this  eBook, I have a standard copyright notice - "all rights reserved."  All copies should come from me. 

Yes, the eBook is created in a EPUB format. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll have to research this as it is a real issue for authors who use Amazon for ebook publication because they lack a suitable alternative.

 

My refusal to sell Kindle ebooks only exacerbates the problem for these authors making them even more dependent uoon Amazon for marketing -- since Amazon is their only retailer.

 

Have you ever considered Kobo? I have not looked into it yet, but it is the solution the ABA uses.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Troy said:

I'll have to research this as it is a real issue for authors who use Amazon for ebook publication because they lack a suitable alternative.

 

@Troy Exactly! We continue to tell authors not to let AMAZON use them, so this is the logical next step. 

I think sharing my book publishing journey and asking questions like this well help all of us.   I do know, once I formatted my eBook for mobi (kIndle) I was able to read it in my kindle for pc.   So I didn't need to publish through amazon to use its digital reader.  It  is literally  a standalone file on my pc. 

I created the mobi file and the ePub file two different ways.
 

  • I uploaded (import) my manuscript (microsoft word docx) to pressbooks.com. 
  • I formatted with front matter(copyright page and introduction), chapters and back matter (about the author, about the series). 
  • Export the document in .mobi, .epub, and pdf (for digital).  There's a pdf format for print but I didn't use that one because its a short story.
  • downloaded those formats to my pc.  
  • I opened the mobi file in my kindle for pc and it was perfect.  I open the epub file in my microsoft edge browser - and it was perfect!


I created a ePub file of my eBook by:

  • first formatting my microsoft word docx - for ePub/Mobi conversion.  
  • This time I used lulu.com to convert my microsoft word document.
  • Because I formatted the word doc correctly, the conversion was successful.  


You can see by checking out the preview  <-This is the ePub file.  When I launch it - it opens in microsoft edge.  Others might have different results.

 

2 hours ago, Troy said:

Have you ever considered Kobo? I have not looked into it yet, but it is the solution the ABA uses.


I haven't used Kobo but I know who is an advocate - @richardmurray ! I believe RM's books and music are available on Kobo. 


EDIT | A little more about Kobo...

 

"In January, Walmart partnered with Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten on online grocery in Japan, as well as the sale of audiobooks, e-books, and e-readers in the U.S. Today, Walmart is capitalizing on that relationship with the launch of a full e-book and audiobook catalog on Walmart.com, alongside its assortment of physical books.

The new site, called Walmart eBooks, includes a library of over 6 million titles ranging from NYT best-sellers to indie titles and children’s books.

And similar to Amazon’s Audible, Walmart will also now offer a monthly audiobook subscription service.

However, Walmart is undercutting Amazon on pricing. While Audible subscriptions start at $14.95 per month for one audiobook, Walmart’s subscription is only $9.99 per month for the same."

 

From TechCrunch -  Walmart and Kobo launch Walmart eBooks, an online e-book and audiobook store August 18, 2018

 

Edited by Mel Hopkins
added more information about KOBO and Walmart
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Mel Hopkins books and audiobooks for reading or listening:)  Music is something I am working on.

 

To any who may see the following

I have to go into storytime mode , talking about Kobo, with the advantage of hindsight.

The ebook industry's problem began with the firm first to make an ereader, Amazon. Amazon knew, based on how they dominated the eretail market, that people online in the usa are loyal to websites. They do not leave them voluntarily, for the most part. I know this having been forced to leave two blog sites, and only after the second actually doing real searching into what is out there. amazon also knew the only danger to their plan is not having a large library and not having a growing new publications list. Amazon thus opened their writing program  and converted as many books as possible into ebooks, using their system. The last piece of their statian domination , though most vital, was their machines. the Amazon kindle was the first ereader, but the amazon fire is the economy car tablet. Thus, amazon had the two devices most people in the usa will have to read ebooks. And the kindle doesn't accept epub and the fire doesn't allow every other app, like kobo's for example. The dominance Amazon has in the usa market is like facebooks. I know for certain other websites do better or equal to facebook or instagram in the esocial , but their audience is not based in the usa. Sequentially, people in the USA are hard to see the other firms. That last point connect to Kobo but I continue. ... Barnes and noble tried to mirror Amazon's strategy, thinking their book stores gave them a userbase that can wither amazon's in the reading world. But, barnes and noble was wrong. amazon's strategy depended on being first, the second your firm is not first, you can not duplicate amazon. Another bookstore called Borders had to do something. They were not a tech firm like amazon and didn't have the money like barnes and noble to invest in making a product. But, this canadian firm Kobo, had a product. Me side my blood relatives, love to read, and liked going to borders. Sequentially, when they sold the first Kobo's we were interested. The best thing about the original kobo was the purpose. This was not a multipurpose device, this was a straight forward read ebook device. I do not like to buy technology that overlaps purpose, so I was interested. Over time, borders went out of business as Kobo couldn't provide the uptake needed in the usa market. But, Kobo survived cause outside the usa, many liked the universal nature of kobo. Unlike barnes and noble or amazon, Kobo's objective is getting people to read. And, they developed a nice market share in europe especially, where the buying habits to technology are not like the usa. THis is why in Europe, the nintendo game systems market shares are much larger than sony playstation or microsoft xbox. PEople in europe do buy sony or microsoft, but many people in europe have an affordable quality mentality to buying technology. Nintendo fits that mold, Kobo as well, fitted that mold. But, to make more devices, Kobo needed investment and they couldn't get it on there own. So, here comes Rakuten, a japanese company, biggest publisher in japan. They owned Overdrive, which is a website that was started in the usa, but centers on ebook collections. Rakuten bought them too and combined was able to advance both companies projects. Overdrive like Kobo are not well known by the average usa ereader, but in certain sections in the usa and definitely outside of it, are more well known or more importantly used.

 

Now, what does this have to do with being a member of Kobo writing life. You have to comprehend, being a member of Kobo in the usa, means few will ever know what you are talking about. My storytelling was meant to explain the international strength of Kobo is key. Kobo is not the biggest ebook firm in the usa, and will not be any time soon. Many, not necessarily most, of the biggest kobo writers also have amazon accounts. But, if you are expecting people in the usa, to have automatic recognition to kobo, you are wrong.

Having said that, I considered joining amazon aside others writing programs. But I joined Kobo after trying to join amazon first, it was too complicated or messy. It seemed amazon wanted me to sign an affidavit on something and that bothered me.

 

I conclude with the following. Do what you want, in terms of writing program. I am not a fan to amazon but in the end I am not one to tell others where to go or what to do. But Kobo is a stable or straightforward writing program, that gives you access to strong unfamiliar reading markets outside the usa,which are becoming more accustomed to the ebook at a faster growing rate, or overdrive.  I can't give you a revenue sheet to guarantee financial success. But, I can tell you that Kobo's writing life , even part of Rakuten, maintains their original premise, which is an open format,  for writers to dictate their prices and how their books are sold. Kobo is not going to beg anyone to come to them but the door is open, use at your own will.

 

Now, I am off that silly pulpit.

  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, richardmurray said:

you have to comprehend, being a member of Kobo in the usa, means few will ever know what you are talking about.

@richardmurray  thank you!  I remember when you first mentioned Kobo to me awhile back.  It takes me some time to digest all the information I take it - but I rarely forget who shared the information. :)   This is excellent background on Kobo and now I see why Walmart joined them.   I did sign up with Kobo using my walmart account.  I'll be sure to share how the program works for me too. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a bookseller, I'm only going to consider open ebook and audiobook book formats to sell in this website.  I focus primarily on physical books, as I have not designed the site to accommodated the site to accommodate multiple formats of the same book.  It is not something I plan to do in the short term. 

 

So, if a book is only available in ebook format, I'm only selling and open version.

 

@richardmurray does the Kindle handle Kobo ebooks?

 

I actually have two kindle ebook readers and have not used wither in years.  I also have a Nook and I guess this products is obsolete for all practical purposes... I'll probably resuscitate these devices as I begin my research. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Troy No, the Kindle handles Amazon's ebook format, Mobi. Kobo uses the open format Epub. Epub is not Kobo's epub is for anyone to use, Kobo reads epub and pdf's. Kindle read Mobi and pdf. That is what i meant about amazon. They knew being first to have an ereader, they had a chance to use their own ebook format exclusively. Epub was made and is used mostly throughout the industry. But in the usa, the market of amazon pulls toward mobi while outside the usa it is epub.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/21/2019 at 7:52 PM, Troy said:

If there was real competition in the American eBook market Amazon would have to wor8d with ePub as well it own format.

 

@Troy Did you mean "work with ePub"... that's how I read it.  So, I hope you did. And the truth  in that statement makes the amazon deal bittersweet. 

 

And here's why.  Again Amazon.com /Jeff Bezos really understands his market.  He helps writers help him become even more wealthy -   -


Now, the following indictment may not be true of all writers but it must be true of most of us self-published writers or we wouldn't even bother with Amazon.   Case-in-point.  The last time I was in my KDP account was about two years ago when I decided to unpublish my stories on Amazon.  So, today, I sign into my KDP account  (long story - but I decided to remove my digital assets from most outside vendor digital platforms) and I delete two of the manuscripts I forgot about.  And since there was no option to delete the other two, I thought, at least I could remove the files so CreateSpace couldn't print my book. (Not saying that they would,  but "lead us not into temptation.") 

Anyway, as I was about to delete the file - I noticed KDP offers a free book formatting file.  I emphasize "free" because most things free in commerce - come with a hidden cost.  But I digress.  Once you download this "free" formatting guide to your PC it promises to do the heavy lifting to design a beautiful book.  See Images and the link  https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/GYVL2CASGU9ACFVU

kindlecreate.pngkindlecreate-new-project.pngkindlecreate-help.png

 


Now, this format only works for .mobi . So, you have a beautifully formatted  mobi file for an eBook that only works on Kindle readers.   So once again, if you're writer with limited tech skills this is a godsend.  All you have to do is upload your manuscript, manipulate the template and now you have a mobi file ready for publishing and distribution.  

All this to say, we writers/independent publishers must make it as easy for our readers to get our books; as Jeff makes it easy for us to publish them.   

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Mel Hopkins you decoded my text correctly 🙂 (I can't help but think of Cynique when my typos are exposed she was a stickler on that). 

 

Your comment on free is actually really important -- nothing is "free." Indeed we provide so much value to social media, Amazon, and Google they should really pay us for using their platforms -- I'm completely serious. Amazon was still paying me to send readers to their site. I just did not think it was enough, so I stopped.

 

All the "free" services Amazon provides can become fee based or removed at anytime. Which is what they tend to do once they have as they 

 

Again, easily creating a eBook that you can only sell on a single vendor's platform is only considered a benefit if that platform holds a monopoly position. Easily creating an ebook for a platform noone uses is no benefit.

 

So I'm afraid giving authors an easy way to create ebook that can't be sold on Amazon is not an alternative....

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...