Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Keys to Unlocking House History Revisited

Keys to Unlocking House History has been available on smashwords.com and through a link on my website for over four months now. The book can be purchased through them for the Kindle, Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, the Sony readers, Palm readers, in PDF format to be read on the computer - pretty much everything out there right now. There have been 27 downloads of the preview and 0 sales so far. Smashwords distributes the ebooks to virtually everyone except Amazon, who has refused to play nicely with others in the publishing sandbox. So I have made a couple of changes. First of all I reduced the price from $4.99 to $2.99. Then I changed my distribution on smashwords.com to eliminate their distribution to Amazon. (I kept hearing that an agreement between the two was imminent, but it has yet to materialize.)

Then I went to Kindle Direct Publishing, Amazon's own book publishing arm and set up an account. I uploaded Keys to Unlocking House History and in a little over one day the book was available in the Kindle Store on Amazon. Since I now have this account with books for sale on Amazon, I headed over to their Author's Corner and set up a profile for myself. I was able to add Keys to Unlocking House History and From Buckeye to G.I. to my profile, but not Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed(room)? I have not sold that book through Amazon, so I figured that was the problem.

I filled out a help request form and was given the option of having someone call me. I barely hit the send button before my phone was ringing. An extremely helpful woman named Theresa went over all three books with me, adding the correct subject areas and search terms to each of the books. She mentioned that Who's Been Sleeping is only available on Amazon if/when a third party puts it up for sale. I asked how we could get around that, and she said she would email me information on their Advantage program. As I understand it, I would send books to Amazon and they would sell them and mail the copies out to the purchaser. So that is something I will need to look into, and I'll probably talk to some of my publisher friends to see how successful this program is since I believe there are fees involved. In the meantime though, kudos to Amazon for an amazing customer service experience today!

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