The title says it all. I hate the idea of punishing readers because they like a certain version of a book, and I generally prefer reward methods. So, moving forward, I will be doing the following:
1: Release dates will remain unchanged, with my Patreon users receiving the book (with special author note) 3-5 days prior to the release date.
2: I hired a new proofing editor. (Side note: none of my editors are paid less than $1k/100,000 words. I value my staff, they are paid only once for working on a book, and I refuse to pay a non-living wage for work being done for me. Period. I deserve to eat, and so do they.) As such, my base editing bill for a 100,000 word novel is $3,000. (It’s actually a bit higher, as my copy/line/etc editor is paid a little more due to having more work to do compared to the proofing editors.) (At current, the base expense to write a novel that is 100,000 words is $4,000, if I only consider cover art and editorial. That does not include copyrights, ISBNs, PA work, advertising, etc.) (Probably more than you wanted to know, but… yeah. Books are expensive, and I do not DIY anything other than, well, the actual writing… and I don’t technically get paid to actually WRITE the book.) (In my headspace, my Patreon monthly gig is my “day jobbe”, and I pretend I have a wage because I have a monthly sub… just please let me have my delusions on this one.)
3: I very much appreciate the offers to edit. I really do… on my professional team, I try to hire people who haven’t read my books and may not have a natural interest in them. The “I’m excited I’m reading this!” thing is a real problem in editorial; editors can love books they’re reading, but their job is to find typos vs enjoy the book. So, when I am hiring editors, I always go based on recommendations from friends–and I look for people who hire the kind of book I write without being a hardcore fan. (Bonus if they enjoy the books they’re editing, but I need this staff member to be looking for typos rather than getting caught up in the story.)
If I open up my beta proofing team to new members, I will reach out privately to those who may be a good fit for the little community we have built.
4: All vendors except for Amazon will have a short story exclusive to the novel in question. Yes, this includes audiobook formats. (Amazon requires that the aux directly match the book as sold on Amazon for audiobook formats. Otherwise their delicate little flower of a system breaks.) (As such, Amazon / Audible will not have the short story in question. The iTunes version of the audiobook that is sold through Amazon will also not have the short story in question for the same reason.) Print editions will have the short story no matter which vendor you purchase from. (The print editions are not influenced by the typo report tool, and there are no requirements to keep the editions identical.)
If you use Amazon and want the short stories, here are the various ways you can get them.
1: You can join one of my patreons. (Delivery method: Bookfunnel.)
A: This Patreon is a monthly subscription. In the $10+ tiers, you get all of the novels I release (Priced between $4.99 to $7.99, non-anthologies), plus you get read along stuff, behind-the-scenes stuff, and access to news before anybody else. You also get to help me figure out future project priorities in the form of polls. I also post photography there.
B: This Patreon is for those who only want the book and none of the extras. It is priced at $5.99. (Yes, less than standard retail of $6.99; I am paid much better over at Patreon, so I can afford to sell the books for cheaper. I receive the same royalty rate per book. The Patreon editions also have special content only available to Patrons, so it doesn’t get price matched with Amazon.) Starting with the next book, all books will be delivered by message only through a bookfunnel link. (Woah, a hawk just took out some form of bird right outside my window… well, that is an interesting start to my morning…)
Yes, you can join both if you need two copies or want to give a copy to a friend. (If you buy two, the license works like this… one for you, download the other via bookfunnel to get the epub to sideload, send it to one friend and one friend only. Your friend gets their license to have the book.)
C: Every rare now and then, I write a random short story and share with the monthly subscribers. So the Per Novel members don’t miss out, there’s a patreon dedicated to short stories. It’s been a while since I’ve done a short. But, when I do them, this patreon gets them. All money from this patreon goes to fund silly shit like diamond art, camera gear, etc. I’ll probably start trying to revitalize short story writing. These stories will eventually be released into retail anthologies, unlike the ones in the back of the non-Amazon vendor books.
(And no, I will not be going back and adding shorts to my backlist; this only applies to new books moving forward.)
Here are my various author names over at Smashwords:
R.J. Blain | Susan Copperfield | Bernadette Franklin | Audrey Greene | G.P. Robbins | Lilith Daniels
Smashwords does look like it has a fairly robust system, including notifications of new releases, etc, etc, etc.
I just tried it, and Smashwords is super easy to use. You put the book(s) you want to buy in your cart, you can pay with credit card or paypal, and once you pay, it goes into your smashwords library and you are sent an email with the epub you purchased. It shows the cover in the doc version (bonus) but doesn’t nest it in the series (I recommend using collections to put your books in easy-to-find places in your kindle.)
The system was pretty easy, though, and getting access to the book was basically automatic; it showed up in my email within 2 minutes of finishing the purchase.
Unless you REALLY want two copies, please only sign up for one or the other patreons. You don’t need to be on both to get a book. BOTH get the books, just make sure you’re in the correct monthly tier.
I think this will be the best of both worlds… Amazon readers will still be able to access the books in a timely fashion, and those who use the other vendors (or side load into their kindle), will be rewarded for supporting me at a non-abusive vendor.
Please enjoy this photo I took at Pinnacles National Park.
I absolutely love this solution.
Interesting approach. Best of luck with is.
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
I really didn’t like the idea of pushing Amazon’s release back, because you know? Not my problem if people want to stay with Amazon despite their garbage policies. So, reward system it is. The people who sideload to their kindles will get the reward. (And I get better pay elsewhere.) it’s the same base book… they just won’t get the extra story.
I’m so sorry you had to do this. Thank you for letting us know what’s going on.
I loved “Doggone Mess” – as the review says (finally).
Thank you for the happy reading!
hi. Beautiful photo! Ok, I just read your latest post, and your plan is quite interesting. As a rabid purchaser of most of your ebooks/audiobooks I’m good with almost all of it. I’m a bit confused though about one sentence in the post. “The iTunes version of the audiobook that is sold through Amazon will also not have the short story in question for the same reason.” This is an option that I’ve never come across on Amazon. It’s either an Amazon US option not found in Canada, or I’m totally blind. Seriously, both are possible. Anyway, I get your audiobooks directly from Apple, so the new ones should come with the extra bits, is that correct?
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
ACX, which is the interface creators use to get books on Audible, forces you to also submit to Apple/iTunes. You cannot opt out of this. I ALSO distribute to Apple/itunes individually. As such, there are two versions of the book.
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
You will have to check the individual books over at iTunes to make sure you get the correct version. There will be a chapter named “Short Story: Title” in the back of it, unlike the one distributed through Amazon. (And this is ONLY for new releases. This will not be for older ebooks being turned into audiobooks, like the Witch & Wolf series books.)
Anyone besides me notice the sad dragon watching the sky in the [most excellent] photo?
That said, it seems you have found a workable solution for your problems with amz. You have certainly tried hard enough to resolve them!
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
omg I’m sotired of trying, i feel like I try and try and try and Amazon is always sabotaging something or other. OOF.
It is a good solution. I canceled my preorders with Amazon so that I can buy the books with the extra short story, so I can say that the solution works. I was actually planinng to do this before, but this made me do it quicker.
Take care of yourself and good luck in all you do!
Yay! You found a solution! As a hard-core B&N fan, I’m so glad for the extra stories. (I have REALLY enjoyed your short story collections!) And best of all, I hope SINCERELY that it is easier on your mental health. I was saddened to note the interruption to your (sacred) birthday-do-not-work day. I have been putting up reviews for your books, and noticed (at least on the B&N site) that sometimes there are ONLY 1 to 3 reviews! I’m doing my best to make a difference in that, although I’m losing track of which ones I have done, and which not. I have to make a list …
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
OMG the absolute fucking FURY over that, and the just depression and anxiety that came along for the ride, too. I was so mad I was in tears over it. Like… are you SERIOUS.
I do not, for the record, blame the readers for the tool Amazon includes, although I would very much prefer if readers worried more about enjoying the book and less about being bothered by humanity. Because… the only time you’re going to have an error-free book is when computers write everything and there’s no humanity left in it.
Like this solution, amazon preferred readers get the book at the same time as everyone else. The rest of us get rewarded for not using amazon.