Saturday, May 24, 2014

Expanded Distribution.

Createspace's six free distribution channels.

Louis Shalako

On some impulse I just Googled my name, followed by the key words ‘trade paperback.’

A friend on Facebook had posted something where they found their books on a British website. (Eason’s.)

Out of curiosity, I went to the link, searched my own name, and found what looked like the typical listing on any bookseller’s website.

There were my books, obviously through Createspace’s expanded distribution, which includes Europe, the U.K., etc.

Today I found the link to On the Nature of the Gods, which is an Ebay store. If you look at the page, the poster is claiming five available for sale. Whether it’s true or not, one would assume that when they order them from Createspace—the only way to get them without stealing a file from somewhere and printing them off in a third world country, I would theoretically earn some royalties.

Clicking on the link (not the shopping cart) took me back to another Australian website.

Another search revealed one or two of my paperbacks in an Australian store. (Booktopia.)

In the past, I’ve found various books of mine listed on a site or page, and when the link is clicked, it goes right back to Smashwords, Amazon, iTunes or any place with an affiliate program. Those were always ebooks.

I don’t have a problem with that, although I’ve found books which I gave away for free on an Indian site, and I don’t know if those ever got taken down.

So here’s Core Values on another site. (Mighty Ape.)

I don’t know if these are legit, and I suppose you could devote a good part of your life to finding out.

But the point of expanded distribution is that your books end up in a catalogue. Somehow these sites are finding the titles and listing them, arguably just as fast as they can.

It took days for me to upload all of my own titles on Google Books and on OmniLit—and I ain’t saying you shouldn’t do that, because you get some options. You get to set a price, you get reports and analytics in some cases.

But some of these other sites...they’re doing the heavy lifting for me now.

These guys are listing my books, for free, at no cost to myself. In that sense, expanded distribution was worth nailing. In the case of a handful of books, I had to have Createspace delete them. Then I uploaded using one of their ISBNs. That’s all it took to get in the catalogues.

If I made a sale, I might not know it for three months, either.

It took a few hours. It took some thought. But now those books are not just listed alongside of the ebooks on Amazon; as well as Barnes & Noble, and of course Smashwords has the provision for in-print links.

They're popping up everywhere, and I expect that to continue, to a certain extent.

I was on Wattpad, uploading an episode of The Mysterious Case of Betty Blue.

They have on the profile page a field where you can put a link—to I had the SW one filled already.

Well. I took a few hours in April and converted all my 5 x 8”s to 4 x 7s and went through the Lulu process…you guessed it.

Now I got the ‘Author Spotlight’ (another bit of time to set up) link pasted in there and everything is hunky-dory.

Within a few short years those paperback books could conceivably be in a thousand stores globally…and I wouldn’t even know a damned thing about it!

But hopefully, I will see a steady stream of revenue coming in through the Createspace account. We might sell the odd book through Lulu.

There are other places to publish paperbacks, but right now I’m doing other things…

At least that’s the theory. This is what I meant, when I wrote about The Virality of the Medium, in which article I focused more on ebooks. But it’s still relevant.

Here’s a few more links! (grins)

Looks like an old version linking directly to here, (if you scroll down and remember what that looked like.)

After a while that little old network just sort of builds itself, when you take into account recent Smashwords deals with txtr, Scrib’d, and a few others.

Here’s someone with either an affiliate link or a courtesy buy link going back to Chapters/Indigo.

I rest my case, ladies and gentlemen.


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