Max Stories (Cherish Desire) hosts a Q&A. discussion

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Amazon, Kobo, B&N, and SmashWords

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message 1: by Max (new)

Max (cherishdesire) | 7 comments Mod
Right now we publish predominately on Amazon. With 102 titles currently available, and over 250 stories in them, we do ok sales ranging from 100-200 books sold every month mostly in the US, UK, and Germany.

We are experimenting with Kobo. I have to admit, the Amazon experience has spoiled us. Waiting 9 days for "Object Confessions, Collection 1" to get reviewed and approved on Kobo was a lifetime. Our entire second quarter marketing campaign for Canada had to be put on hold because of that delay. Amazon's 24-36 hour turn around on titles set our expectations, and Kobo just doesn't seem to be able to come even close.

B&N is basically a no sale zone for us. I'd like to be in the B&N store, and they certainly carry erotica, but their terms and policies seem to exclude our content. I'm not even sure we could post our descriptions. For the time being the work around has been going through CreateSpace and producing print editions. "Fade to Grey" is currently available in print from B&N, and our other print titles will be coming soon.

Which leads us to the inevitable question I get asked in several different ways. Why aren't we on SmashWords?

My short personal answer: The SmashWords customer experience.

My short publisher answer: SmashWords delays pushing titles to markets, delays receiving royalties, and non-existent statistics and information on sales as they happen.

Again, I'm spoiled by Amazon. Pull up http://www.amazon.com in your browser. Now pull up http://www.smashwords.com/ in second browser window. Now tell me where you feel an investment has been made in your customer experience.

I recognize that functionality often trumps form. SmashWords has a clear adult filter you can turn on and off whereas Amazon just randomly hides erotica titles. SmashWords provides numerous digital formats whereas Amazon locks buyers into their Kindle format. SmashWords distributes to many marketplaces where as Amazon is just one market.

But if I could pitch two simple things to SmashWords as a customer then I'd tell them to get mobile with a reader friendly viewer/app and to implement a clean modern looking UI. Arguably SmashWords should be the Steam of digital books. Instead it feels like a library in digital format.

As a publisher, I simply need much more intelligence than SmashWords can provide. I need to see my sales monthly to know what titles are not clicking and need a bit more promo or a review. I need to see my sales while my promo campaigns are running. And frankly, I like to get paid within 60 days of month end.

Cherish Desire will continue to explore other ways to get books to people. We're replanning Kobo right now as a first step, and moving forward with print editions that will make their way to major outlets. But ultimately the big question is: Where do you buy? Because that's where we want to be.


message 2: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne Steele (suzannesteele) | 1 comments Great hearing your input, thanks for sharing..


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