Self Publishing

Non Fiction Sales Month 4: How to Publish in iTunes

Hmm – interesting morning. Tracey Edwards, author, was chatting and said she was surprised how well she was doing with her books on iTunes. I said I’d noticed a couple of sales (Smashwords – tells you when you’ve sold through their distribution partners, but it takes a few months), but I didn’t know how to even find my book on iTunes she told me to google itunes “book title” – and hey presto – but it wasn’t my book 🙁 Some arsehole had stolen the hub the book was based on and had it in the app store since January.

My book is there – but appears to be only showing up in the UK store – or maybe that’s because I’m in NZ? And my book shows as a book – no shite Lis – but the stolen hub is an app? WTF is that about – I thought an App had to DO something – not just be content? UPDATE: Tracey emailed to say she could see my book on the iPad in the bookstore – cool!

Meanwhile I was asking around on how to submit a DMCA complaint to Apple – I couldn’t find a specific page had to just contact iTunes support. Meanwhile someone asked:

Hitting the Big Time in the Sexy iTunes Store! Roxy Theatre, Miramar, Wellington

How Do You Publish a Book or Article in iTunes

Well I don’t really know to be honest – except I believe it involves being American and running some crappy hardware that starts with i… (yeah really!) . I use Smashwords – so long as you get the formatting right they will distribute to a long list including Barnes&Noble and Apple. Now from my sales – I’m starting to think I quite like Apple LOL

Amazon is still the biggie – but I’ve seen more than one person saying that smashwords suck as a place to sell books – they are missing the point of Smashwords does two things that I think are absolutely critical:

  • the distribute – here’s the complete list. I’ve heard if you are American you are better off distributing direct to B&N – but that’s not an option for me.
  • they allow you to create coupons to give your book away at a discount (say to a list) – or for free to reviewers etc. You can’t do that with Amazon.

What Happens When Amazon “Price Matches” By Mistake 

Amazon’s TOS says that they will price match any book that you offer in the Kindle Store. As the minimum price at Amazon is 99c – this is the only way to get your book listed there for free (drop the price at Smashwords, wait for the price to filter through the distribution channels, and then for Amazon to notice and price drop).

Writer James Crawford had an issue when he issued an except from his novel on B&N for free – Amazon noticed and price matches and his sales went from 6 and day to over 600! Unfortunately, in my opinion, James didn’t react well – he unpublished his book and threatened to sue Amazon.

I haven’t read all the TOS of Amazon – but I sure they have covered their arse from mistakes like this.

James could have used the boost of traffic to promote his brand – get his name out there, and if he’d left his book published – he would have rocketed up the best seller lists on Amazon – thereby getting him more sales, brand awareness, and reviews.

Also I am really wondering while B&N allow teasers to be published – Amazon doesn’t and that is a good protection for readers as far as I am concerned.

So if it happens to you – make the most of the attention! For the rest of us – thinking about how powerful free can be …

October Update on eBook Sales

Its quite a pain reporting figures by the month – compared to affiliate companies-  book published are pre-historic when it comes to reporting sales to the author – comes of being a monolithic gate-keeper for too long in my opinion. So I’ve moved sales across to a single page reporting on non-fiction eBook sales figures.

Actually once I’d add up, what some of you am sure think are piddling tiny amounts and a pathetic failure – I smiled -I’m getting close to breaking even. With very little promotion on my part except a bit of SEO…

7 replies on “Non Fiction Sales Month 4: How to Publish in iTunes”

I appreciate your mention in this blog post and your opinions on my experience. You may be right. If nothing else, I hope the issue I’ve had helps other new e-book authors make better choices.

No problem James – I’ve just spent 1/2 hour sending cease and desist notices to a bunch of websites which have illegal copies of my articles – life gets a little exciting in the Interwebs from time to time.

BTW in terms of not being able to get the sequel out fast – then I’d suggest you do get a twitter and/or fb social media presence, and open up comments on your blog (I can’t comment because I don’t have a login) – engage those people and they will hang around much longer

I like Smashwords more now that I noticed I actually sold 4 copies of my book via Apple last month (4 more than I’ve sold direct from Smashwords)! So while they may not be the best for direct selling, you’re right its the distribution they provide that can make all the difference.

Now I just need to re-light that fire under my arse and get bloody writing!

I actually get sales from Smashwords. No idea why – I think it might be because their urls rank in Google, and once someone clicks through they root around the site and browse the books there.

Nice one Isabella – yes they do rank easier I’m noticing than Amazon – weird!

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