Where should I buy your book?

No no, not “me” “I”. I meant “you” “I” and…

Let’s try this again.

I’m now reading on a Kindle. A friend gave me his Gen 2 Kindle to test the formatting for Digital Divide. I expected to use it once and then stick it on a shelf to collect dust until the next time I had to proof an ebook; instead it has created a fundamental shift in my reading habits. Yes, it’s convenient; yes, it’s portable, but…

Okay, backing up again. I’m an avid reader, and run through at least two or three books a week. Until I got the Kindle, I made a bi-weekly trek to a used bookstore, filled up a shopping basket with whatever paperback caught my eye, and paid about $10 for the entire mess. I discovered a lot of good authors this way, saved a hell of a lot of money, and supported a fantastic independent used bookstore.

Now, I go to Amazon, locate the book I want to read next, download it, devour it, and repeat the process a few days later.

You could argue that changing my habits might have hurt some people: yes, I’m now supporting Amazon instead of a used bookstore; yes, there are repercussions for the publishing industry because fewer print books are in circulation. I would argue that an in-law worked in that used bookstore and I got mad store credit, and that sales of those used paperbacks weren’t tracked by the publishers.

I would also argue that changing my reading habits now means I’m supporting authors. There are (enormous) flaws in the ebook pricing model, but for every traditionally-published book I download, the author gets a cut. For self-published books*, the percentage the author keeps is higher. This was not the case with my used paperback habit: I might have been keeping the stories alive by reading used books, but I was doing no favors to the authors who created them.

There are other hidden benefits in how self-pubbed ebooks are purchased. Speaking for myself, I make the most financial profit through .pdf sales through the store, because the third-party cuts are smaller. However, purchasing my books through Amazon or another online vendor gives me free advertising. Ranking is everything; the more sales that a self-pubbed book gets, the higher it climbs in the lists, so its exposure increases, which results in more sales… It’s a lovely circle of profitability. It’s also an indicator that a self-pubbed book is good–or at least readable–as there is the very real problem of the self-publishing shit volcano.

If you’re a reader of mine and you want to know where to purchase my books, use the purchasing service that best benefits you. I will get different benefits, financial and otherwise, no matter which method you use. But if I were asked about my ideal book-purchasing scenario, I’d say: (1) Download from Amazon; (2) Read, read, read!!! (3) Post an honest review; and (4) Tell your friends if you’ve enjoyed it.

With this in mind, Maker Space should hit on Monday. See you later! I’m off to the Anxiety Pantry for some cake mix, and then I’m spending the weekend in the Weeping Closet sucking that cake mix through a straw.

*Or author-published, or whatever you want to call it. Lately I’ve been saying I practice “artisanal publishing”. Check back in June for my hand-crafted slow-brewed Summer Wheat fanfics!**

**Totally kidding about the Summer Wheat fanfics.


Published by KBSpangler

A freelance editor who writes novels, comics, and repairs a disaster of a house in her spare time: www.kbspangler.com

5 thoughts on “Where should I buy your book?

  1. You know, I love the books. I love the story working out in the comic too. But- the comic schedule is really suffering lately. Now, I can see why, but have you considered just putting *less art* into the bi-weekly comic and *more story*? Say publish a short serial chapter of the story with one or two pieces of accompanying art?

    Perhaps that would allow you to build a bigger “buffer” for the comic publication as well as allow you more time to work on the novels and other activities.

    And at the same time, feed those of us who regularly check the comic with our coffee on Monday and Thursday mornings… 🙂


  2. My daughter got bought a Kobo e-reader for Christmas when they first came out & after some gentle mocking about ‘never replacing books’ I actually had a proper look at it.

    2 days later I bought one for myself.

    I now have a ton of ebooks and not using Amazon means I can pick from a wide range of sites. I still buy dead-tree books, sometimes because it’s nice to sit with a book in your hands and other times because ‘I have 3 on the shelf, I have to buy #4’, because of my e-reader I am buying books twice, not often, but it’s happening.

    I have just downloaded from Smashwords & when you publish the paperback I will have to get that too because ‘I already have the 1st one’.

  3. Aww…but Summer Wheat fanfics sound awesome. Actually, since the first thing that popped into my mind was a joking short story/mini comic arc about one of the agents obsessing over a summer wheat brew, it seemed like something you could do to mess with us. Ah well, I need to go buy Maker Space now…

  4. I have both a Kobo and a Kindle – and am very happy with both.

    I bought Maker Space (and both Digital Divide and The Russians Came Knocking before that) from Smash Words – so that I can read the books on either.

    I prefer the epub format – it is much more flexible – but the sheer ubiquity of Kindle… I am glad to have each of them. Impulse buying is so much easier on my Kindle….

    The Auld Grump

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