Do ebook consumers love bestsellers, or does it just look that way? – The Shatzkin Files

Another intelligent analysis of our changing lit industry by the insightful and very experienced Mike Shatzkin.

My latest book is now available both as paperback (Amazon's Createspace) and as an e-book through Kindle or Smashwords. The amazingly versatile and well-organized Smashwords makes the same text available in a whole variety of electronic formats, including the open industry format Epub, LRF for Sony Reader, and .mobi for Kindle (as well as PDF, RTF, etc.). Thus if you are a Kindle user, you can get and read my book either through the Amazon Kindle site or from Smashwords.

The Amazon and Smashwords editions are very slightly different; in the Smashwords edition, which I just uploaded, I was able to correct a silly error (miscalculated Hegira dates in the three final chapter headings) and I added a reader review by novelist Jan Alexander as a blurb. (It'll be the first thing you see if you download a free sample of the book). I set the price exactly the same, $4.99. I get 80% from Smashwords, 70% from Kindle, so both because of the correction and the price, I would be happier if Kindle users got their copies from Smashwords. But I don't think that's going to happen: Amazon has so much huger a presence on the Internet, is so much more visible, and if you've bought a Kindle reader, you're already connected to their store. Shatzkin's essay confirms that guess. Of course, if you want to read an e-book on something other than Kindle, Smashwords is the place to go.

The other thing that is clearer now from Shatzkin's analysis is that it will take a whole string of lucky breaks for a book like mine to become a big seller. The on-line sellers aren't set up to make it easy to find the unusual and unconventional works. So far I have been lucky in two ways: readers' reviews (on the Amazon site) have been wonderful, and the book is being translated for publication in Turkey.

Do ebook consumers love bestsellers, or does it just look that way? – The Shatzkin Files

Oh well. I'll just have let happen whatever happens. And meanwhile go on to write the next thing.


"Sultan" now a Smashwords e-book

A Gift for the Sultan is now available in all possible e-formats, for your Kindle, iPhone or iPod, Nook, PDF, or whatever, through Smashwords, priced at $4.99.

I've also reduced the price for Kindle through Amazon, also now $4.99. (Higher outside the U.S. due to different taxes, but $4.99 is the price I set.)

Check out the new listing at Smashwords.