In the interest of honestly sharing my book publishing journey, I have to confess that I’m now having second thoughts about using Smashwords as my ebook distributor after reading this article.
Basically, it comes down to the issue of control. Do I want Smashwords and the bookseller to control when my book actually makes it into their store? Or do I want to do that?
Do I want to set the price? Or do I want to risk allowing the bookseller to discount it for me, which is apparently a larger issue when using a distributor instead of doing it myself, causing a mini price war among all sellers? Do I want to risk losing my 70 percent commission? Lest I be thought of as greedy, let it be known that I make very little off each ebook purchase, and considering I did ALL the work, I think it’s OK to be a little picky about the return on my investment. I’ve got bills to pay.
I will still keep Charlotte Collins for sale on Smashwords, but I may make another large time investment and distribute the ebook myself, which means more fun formatting and headaches.
On the up side, this freedom is actually a benefit of self-publishing. While I may not relish either option, I am thankful that I have the choice and do not have to leave it up to some company that may not have my book’s (and my!) best interests at heart.
It's absolutely okay to be picky about the return on your investment! I don't envy authors these days — the pricing/selling of ebooks is such a complicated issue — the linked article was very interesting. I've used Smashwords as a reader but only for specific books (author linked to it, etc) — otherwise, there's so much to wade through I don't find it a great place to browse for new books.
You have taken the time and effort to write a book; there is no reason you should not be picky about what return you receive from your investment! I wish you the best of luck with you decision and hope that any formating headaches will be minor 🙂
I think you definitely have to protect your investment in this effort Jennifer! You have to protect that rather staunchly truth be told. Its way too easy to get trampled on by a publisher that takes creative liberty forgetting about the author once they have a contract. The nice thing about setting it up for you to sell yourself is that even if you don't go that route, the very existence of it ready to go corners the publisher into good behavior. You should be proud of what you've done and I think you're on the ball with this!