Sep82017

Where’s the print edition? The Mess Behind Self-Pub ~ Some Sad Hybrid Truths

Pre-order for Romancing the Werewolf will go live soon, Gentle Reader, and thus I anticipate being asked about the print edition.

I’m going to state up front, Gentle Reader, one basic truth… if the book is long enough (novella or longer), I will always endeavor to publish a print edition for you. That said…

I am no longer promising to try and synchronise Print with Digital release dates.

I will bring out Romancing the Werewolf in print as soon as possible. It will be coupled with The Curious Case of the Werewolf that Wasn’t short story, as a little extra bonus for your patience.

Here’s Why Print Editions Are Delayed

 

  1. Lack of Print Pre-Order:
    There is no way to set up pre-order for print safely and without great financial risk. We can hope Amazon will fix that (and yes, with 75% of the market or more, I will be talking mainly about Amazon). If I want to workaround their prohibition on pre-ordering print, it takes too much time, effort, and TOS risk to make me comfortable.
  2. 3rd Party Scraping:
    In order to get print set to drop at the right time, I have to list the book with Createspace or IngramSpark and then take it off distribution. I know, getting technical, but it means that 3rd party scrapers find the book during the brief moment it’s offered wholesale. They then list it for sale, even though it isn’t (they just throttle shipping when you order from them) which brings us to…
  3. Buy Button Scammers:
    Since Amazon changed TOS there has a been a big scramble to steal buy buttons. I’m a prime target for this kind of thing as I work hard to promote my pre-order and get everyone excited. Then a 3rd party can basically steal all the print pre-sales from me by listing it before I do (see point #2) and charging extra. Readers think that’s my print pre-order, and then the 3rd party just pretends to ship even though they don’t have the book. (How to Avoid Scams While Shopping on Amazon?)
  4. BookBub Rejection:
    BookBub will not send out a new release notification to my followers if someone else (e.g. 3rd party scammers) lists the book as already published. What the scammers do is claim an early publication date, (in the case of my last book – a July release – they claimed May release). Then BookBub says they can’t post a new release about my new book, because the print book was “already out months ago” according to Amazon’s listing.
  5. Possible Copyright Issues:
    This TERRIFIES me. If someone else can claim my book released early, they can also try to claim my copyright. Fortunately, I have a  killer IP lawyer. Still, I’d rather not have to use him, because we are getting very expensive, all because the print edition. Which can’t make back that kind of money.
  6. Print Edition Sale Date:
    There is no way to schedule a strict on sale date for the print edition. You submit to Createspace, they say “available between 5-7 days,” and drop it 3 hours later. I’m not a gambler, I hate not being able to have everything planned.
  7. Price wars:
    Between 3rd party scammers, Ingram’s restriction, and Barnes & Noble all trying to claim market share on print books I can’t control the price of my book. Print is already a favor to the fans, I make very very little income on my print editions, and guess who loses out if someone decides to slash the price and Amazon decides to price match? Yeah… me.
  8. Vendors Don’t Care:
    Never make the mistake of thinking Amazon or any other vendor will do anything about any of this. They do not care about authors. They do not care about readers. They care about profit. They are a business. That is their business. So I must safeguard myself.

Finally, and here is where I get possibly too honest (but that’s ever an issue with me):

I can’t make enough money off print editions of my self-published books to make any of this worth my time. Self-pub print editions are less than 3% of my income.

They are, literally and figuratively, a luxury item that I produce for those of my readers who must have print editions.

Yes dahlink, I’m looking at you.

So where does that leave us?

  • Me, still trying to get the print to you as fast as possible but it will likely start to run a week to a month behind digital releases.
  • You, still writing me emails, comments, and such every time I publish a book and it isn’t instantly in print.
  • Me, directing you to this blog post. *waves*

Could be worse, you could not want it at all, right?

Or it could be audio, which always takes way longer than it should.

All that said, I will still try to continue to use Borderlands to pre-sell print editions. That, I believe, I can do simply because they are close enough to me that I can physically truck books over to them using BART. (See how much I love you? PHYSICAL LABOR on PUBLIC TRANSPORT!) So if you really want it, you’ll end up having to go through them.

Final Thoughts ~ Gail Bucks Tradition

Here is the thing, I come out of traditional publishing and putting all three editions out at once (digital, print, audio) is a traditional approach. It’s intended to make a run on the Lists. It helps with a broad reach. It does all sorts of important things. There is something admirable about it, no fan is left in the dust. But it is traditional.

I’m not that kind of person. You know I like manners and history, but tradition?

I’ve always been interested in experimenting with new things as an author. Jumping whole hog into something different. When my publisher calls me up and says, “Would you let us try…?” I almost always say “YES!”

That’s why I went hybrid in the first place.

That’s why my books are such weird mash-ups of so many different genres.

I don’t like to be in a category.

Nevertheless, I tried to do my self-published stuff the same way my publisher does my traditionally published stuff and…

…it doesn’t work.

I should have known that from the outset. Because not only it is not my style but the system is not set up for an individual author to fight that particular fight. Not even an author like me who has the most enthusiastic killer fabulous fans on the planet.

So I’ll be trying other ways going forward until I figure out what works best for me.

Unique, my dear! Unique.

One of the things I’m trying is occasionally throwing a short in with the print edition, to make it a little different from the digital, given print readers have to wait slightly. A perk of gratitude.

I hope you don’t mind being on this strange experimental journey with me.

As always, many hugs,

Miss Gail

Publishing Moves On. Do Readers?

{Coop de Book: Gail’s monthly read along for September is The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia McKillip.}

SCRIBBLES ROUND UP

  • Meat Cute ~ A Parasolverse Short
    Status: Rough draft complete. Layaway.
    Possible anchor short story for Secret Project A or SS collected/omnibus in 2018 or 2019.
  • TOC ~ San Andreas Shifters #2
    Status: Writing Rough draft.
    The werewolves are back. There’s a bartender with a mysterious ability and a big scruffy man mountain with a powerful crush. The pack’s started a business called Heavy Lifting. Gail is contemplating shifter food trucks ~ Do it raw! Sometimes we wiggle, sometimes the food does.

NOW IN DIGITAL, PRINT & AUDIO!

The Sumage Solution: San Andreas Shifters #1 by G. L. Carriger, now in all editions.
Contemporary m/m paranormal romance featuring a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.

Can a gentle werewolf heal the heart of a smart-mouthed mage?

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1901 Afternoon Dress The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

My friend Alex White models his book

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

10 Steps to Making a Living as a Self-Published Fiction Author

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Why Does Microwaving Water Result in Such Lousy Tea?

Book News:

The Hat Tilt On My Cover Art

Reading My Collection says of Prudence:

“This book is ridiculous, wonderful and fantastic…. It was a delight reading the adventures of the grown up children of characters I came to love.”

Quote of the Day:

“When all else fails, dress beautifully and throw your food.”

~ Gail Carriger

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? There’s a wiki for that!

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Posted by Gail Carriger

11 Responses

  1. MadameDoVary said:

    Thanks for the Writerly Tinctures. So that’s why tea was so bad lately…
    I can hardly wait for “romancing the werewolf”, hope there will be an audio later . Good luck with your work!

  2. Carole Nelson Douglas said:

    I also investigated the work-around for getting print editions of books on pre-pub on Amazon and also concluded that it was too risky , given the rules. It’s not safe to mess with Mother Amazon. Perhaps an author’s group could bring up the issue with MA.

    1. Gail Carriger Post author said:

      Fingers crossed. I’m thinking they will do it eventually, it doesn’t make sense not to as it’s a money maker. My gut tells me it’s likely going to be an option with KDP print.

  3. Jo said:

    Thank you so much for putting in the effort for us must-read-in-print nerds! I’m eternally grateful. A book’s just not the same if you can’t smell the pages, no?

  4. Roz said:

    I had a similar question related to all of this. Will any of the other novellas be available via iBooks after this? I love them all, but I lack a Kindle to pre-order off Amazon.

  5. Kathryn said:

    As one of those “Only PRINT will do” readers (sorry!), I’m quite happy to wait for it, but really appreciate the explanation as to why we must wait.
    And, of course, I have to have Major Channing in print – enclosed between covers is surely the best place for him?!

    On another subject, are you sure Alex is modelling his book? It looks more like the book is modelling him…

  6. Pingback: Romancing the Werewolf Cover Art & Preorder - Gail Carriger

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