A new review! And some thoughts on Amazon and selling books

2 April, 2008 at 11:28 pm 1 comment

Not even sinusitis and fever can keep my spirits down with reviews like these!

Jaime Samms has reviewed “Lieutenant Samuel Blackwood (deceased)” over on Uniquely Pleasurable. The website is a great resource for recommendations; it’s really worth the time to have a look around if you’re interested in homoerotic and lesbian fiction, art and other media.


and if you feel like buying the book, please don’t let me hold you back! Just go over to my website – it only takes a few mouse clicks, and “Lieutenant Samuel Blackwood (deceased)” will be yours. The book, that is, not the lieutenant. But then I’m not so sure you’d want that gentleman around your house, anway.

Maybe you have already read about Amazon’s recent move which mainly concerns authors of “Print on Demand” authors – like myself, for example, so naturally, I am concerned. I’m already battling with the problems other “POD” authors might face in future. To quote Gary Larson: the future looks bleak – we all have brains the size of a walnut and the mammals are taking over.

The sales I make through Amazon Germany are ok, but I sell most of my books through my own website, because I write in English. It would be so much easier if I could sell through Amazon USA and Amazon UK, because that’s where people buy their books, and that’s where they would buy my books. There’s also still this perception in some circles that “available on Amazon = good book”. Because the Gods know there are only top-quality books available on Amazon…

I’m currently facing the following problems:

– There is no “print on demand” service in my country. I have to order in Germany, which means that I have to pay import taxes on my own books.

– Postage here is really high. My readers can’t profit from collected shipping like on Amazon.

– The more pages the book has, the more expensive it gets, and the more it weighs. Means: higher postage.

For me it’s not about making big money, it’s about covering my costs while keeping the price low enough for people to afford my work. I guess I’ll manage that with Samuel Blackwood, though handling everything yourself is a lot of work (it’s also a lot of fun, so I won’t complain.) With “The Purser, The Surgeon, The Captain And His Lieutenant”, things will be different, though.

“Samuel Blackwood” and the other “Penny Dreadful’s” which will follow can’t be turned into Ebook format, because layout and illustration as well as general presentation are part of the book’s concept. For PSCL there is the option of making the book (which consists of three books, actually) available as an Ebook – only few illustrations, for example, and if you want the “real thing”, there will still be the print version available. I’ve discussed this with Eve yesterday; we both agreed that saving money by using thin paper or cheaper print quality is a no-no. It’s not what we want, it’s not what we’ll do.

How do you feel about this? I think that especially for my readers over the pond an electronic version of PSCL could be an option, because let’s face it, I’m aware that book price plus postage for this big, fat novel of mine would be quite high. Not everybody could afford it.

We haven’t decided on anything yet, but I thought I’ll mention the idea here. I’m also thinking about putting book one of the three up on the website for free, so people will get an idea what they buy if they buy (of course cutting the freebie off right when our heroes are hanging from the cliff…!)

Entry filed under: emma. Tags: .

Eve le Dez and Bimo are fabulatastic – and they found my ideal library! Your local shipwreck’s speaking

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. alexbeecroft  |  3 April, 2008 at 11:10 am

    I would certainly go for having an ebook version *as well* as a print one. From my experience with The Witch’s Boy, the ebook is selling better *and* it’s making me more money per item (to the point where I’ve almost broken even ;) ), but the emotional satisfaction of enabling people who want to to hold the actual book is still there.

    As a buyer, I would still prefer to buy print – but I am probably not typical in that. I think it makes sense to cover all your bases.

    Thankfully ‘Captain’s Surrender’ is out via Booksurge already, but I don’t know what will happen to The Witch’s Boy – whether it will ever get that listing on Amazon that I paid £90 for! OTOH, I think Booksurge’s printing is better than Lulu’s (lulu’s covers tend to bend and crinkle after a while), so I wouldn’t be sorry to have that extra quality.

    Squee for the review, btw! And they’re normally quite a hard sell, so it means more when they do like it :)

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