Just Like That

Posted on 2 May, 2013

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TandN-Final (1)With the push of a button, Tooth & Nail is officially published. There’s a lot of “you should have a launch event” out there online but I don’t even get how one has a launch event for an ebook. I’m sure one of the local businesses where I’m a regular would be willing to host some sort of event but what is meatspace to a Kindle? I mean, c’mon.

I’ve had the book available on Amazon and Smashwords for days, actually, as I fussed with formatting and the like. The wonder of digital distribution is the absence of scarcity; is the price the absence of anticipation? I have to put something up to make sure a buyer will have the proper access to it and be able to download it and the like. It’s as though the salesman has to drive your car home for you once just to make sure the wheels don’t fall off.

Anyway, here’s where you can get it for $3.99 with maximum ease of access and syncing across devices:

  • Amazon
  • Nook
  • iBooks will list it sometime in the next two weeks (their process takes forever).

If you’re willing to fuss with loading it onto a reader, or if you want it in a format other than those (or want to load it into iBooks immediately), you can get it for free with coupon code WC76F at Smashwords.

You can also sample it at those sites or on Goodreads and all that jazz.

I’m doing a little experimentation, in that this time around I’ve announced its availability in a different order and via different means and I’m trying a different price. I started with Google+, which put me over the ten purchase goal of thisPerishables Project within 24 hours. Those were giveaways, but I’m counting those anyway because it’s my Project and I make the rules. A couple of days later I sneakily announced it to my drastically smaller number of followers on Facebook via a request for someone to buy it on Amazon to verify the resolution of a completely legitimate formatting concern I had. That resulted in a couple of downloads also, beyond the help of the long-time friend who worked with me on the resolution verification. Today I tweeted about it but didn’t see anything happen.

The price difference between Tooth & Nail and Perishables is only a dollar but this book is significantly longer and I’ve dropped Perishables to 99c with plans to keep it there at least until June 30.

The conventional wisdom, as I have noted on several occasions in various fora, is that Facebook and email lists drive sales and that 95% of all sales are via Amazon. My experience couldn’t have been more different. I have literally 20 Google+ followers for every Facebook fan. (Caveats: a bunch of those G+ followers are spambots and I arrived at the 20X estimate after subtracting out about ~75 people who are real-life friends with whom I would interact on G+ even if I didn’t do things to draw attention to myself in public.) Only three people ever have subscribed to my email list and two of those were the people who were sitting with me when one of them walked me through setting it up. (Yes, I will send out a note so that one legitimate subscriber can be informed. A sale is a sale, even if it is forever in the singular.) Likewise, about 80% of my sales have been via Smashwords rather than Amazon.

I’m not saying all this to tell you the conventional wisdom is wrong. Rather, I’m noting that everyone’s experience will be individual. After all, even Asimov’s genius Hari Seldon could use psychohistory to predict successfully the broad swath of the future but could not account for the random influence of individuals and their experience.

My proof copy of the paperback of Tooth & Nail will arrive on Monday and I will go through it for weirdness. If all is well, I plan to take ~30 copies with me to ConCarolinas at the end of this month. I will also be their featured freebie in an email sent to registrants two weeks before the Con begins. I am pretty stoked about that convention, as I have yet to hear what panels I’ll be on but I volunteered for a Babylon 5 panel and I really, really have my fingers crossed.