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Smashwords New Distribution Channel

I thought I posted about this, but a look through the archive shows I didn’t. Oops!

Smashwords today announced a distribution agreement with Baker & Taylor, one of the world’s largest distributors of physical and digital books.

The agreement will expand distribution for nearly 100,000 Smashwords books to new devices and markets.

There are two components of the agreement. The first is distribution into the Blio online store and e-reading app. The second part of the agreement gains Smashwords authors and publishers distribution into the library market through Baker & Taylor’s Axis360 service.

More information at the Smashwords Blog.

The new channels are already showing up in the Smashwords dashboard and it looks like for some of us distribution started even before the announcement. I’m happy to see Smashwords expanding what channels they distribute to. The more the better.

I find the library angle quite interesting. The other big library service, Overdrive, is notoriously difficult for Indies to get into unless you are dominating bestseller lists. The Axis360 service isn’t as widely used as Overdrive, but maybe this will put some pressure on Overdrive to get their act together.

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J.A. Marlow

Welcome to Salmon Run, Alaska! A place of wild animals, wild land, and wild inhabitants…oh, and native legends come alive and an inter-planetary alien conflict at their backdoor.

When Zach Callahan and his father, Hawk, arrive unprepared for a new life in the wilds of Alaska they find the first challenge is just getting to the small town of Salmon Run. They think they have it made once they get to the Solar Express, the unique train that will take them through a dark roadless wilderness to their new home.

The same night a massive display of the Aurora Borealis lights up the sky.

With the Solar Express shutting itself down, stranding its passengers in the middle of nowhere, Zach and a new friend find themselves on a collision course with an alien spaceship hidden under the snow and ice.

Right under the path of the rescuers. A spacehip also feeling the effects of the light show…

A 37800 word, 152 page (approximate), Alaskan science fiction stand-alone novella in the Salmon Run series by J.A. Marlow.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords




Amazon Ebooks and New Page Count Feature

With ebooks we run into one very big difficulty: reader understanding how long or short a story is.

Some retailers understand this dilemma. On Omnilit and All Romance eBooks, there is a field in which to put the the word count of the work. Smashwords estimates the word count of the entire ebook when it converts your Word file into all the various ebook formats.

An ebook doesn’t have pages as physical books do. At the most they have ‘locations’ and then story separations such as chapters. As writers, we are accustomed to keeping track of word count for several reason. For queries, they are needed to let the potential publisher know how long a work is. For writers they are often used to quantify writing progress per day, week, month, and year.

However, word count means nothing to the average consumer.

Because of this, I have been placing in the product description not only the word count, but also the approximate page count using the standard 250 words per page in a manuscript. This way I could communicate to possible readers exactly what they are getting.

Today I noticed something interesting:

I’m not sure how long it’s been there, as I don’t go to my book’s product pages all the time, but there it is. An estimated page length on all of the ebooks.

I do wish this information would be repeated down in the regular ebook information (and in larger type), but I can see why they put it on top. It’s seen the moment a browser hits the page.

I still intend to put the length information in the description, as I believe this small typeface could easily be missed. Also, I estimate the page length of the story itself, and not everything as it looks like Amazon does. By everything, I mean not only the story, but also the title page, acknowledgments, dedications, copyright pages, and so on.

By the way, as shown in the screenshot, “Glint of a Suncatcher” is available free for a short time. Grab it while you can!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | iBookstore




Using Free for Promotion – The Right Way

Current Nano Counts:
Day 1: 9629
Day 2: 5121
Total: 14750

I’ve often said that lower priced or free ebooks can be a good idea, if there is a plan behind them. Lowering a price or making an ebook for free based on emotions (“I’m a new writer”, “No one knows me.”, “I only have one book out, but I need to get my unknown name out.”) is not a good business, marketing, or promotion plan.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch takes on this very subject today on her blog in an article titled “Free” where she not only talks about a guide to using free for your true benefit, but also the results of one of her publishers putting one of her paranormal romances out for free.

I’ve been waiting for her to reveal the results of her book “Wickedly Charming,” published by Sourcebooks, going free in early October. This is the post! It’s a very interesting read, and I expect the comments to be just as informative as her blog attracts intelligent discussion.

Pop on over and give it a read. You’ll be glad you did!

As for me, I’ve been planning to do this for some time, once I have a bit more backlist up. It is high on the promotion plan, as I’ve seen it work for many authors to use the concept in the right way.

Now to get back to writing a bit more of that backlist. Yay for Nano!

Speaking of new work, we have something new this week! Kat, this one is for you!

Flying Dutchman of the Spacelanes

Sora’s first surprise of the day is finding the legendary Flying Dutchman of the Spacelanes docked at Langdon space station. The second is finding herself trapped onboard the deserted ship. The surprises keep coming with the discovery of alien skeletons… and then a human skeleton…

Sora races to unlock the riddles of the cursed ghost spaceship in a bid to return home before she suffers the same fate. Only to find the true nature of the ship could give her the dream of a lifetime.

A 7880 word, 32 page (approximate), science fiction short story by J.A. Marlow.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords




Amazon Author Central – New Sites!

This is a little late from the big announcement, but better late than never.

There are more Author Central’s to keep track of at Amazon. The first three, US, UK, and Germany I discussed in this post.

Now we have two more to add:

Japan
France

Please see the other post for advice on how to set them up even if you do not know the languages.

One good thing that I’ve noticed so far, is that any update on the US side appears to propagate across the other sites once they are set up. If anyone has had problems with this, please let others know in the comment section along with what you might have had to do to fix it.

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J.A. Marlow


A planet-wide conspiracy is waiting at Grandmother’s house…

“Always wear the red hood and cape while you are in the forest,” Grandma admonished.

For a teen with purple and red hair, and an attitude to match, the small claustrophobic city of Oburos grows ever smaller with Uncle Travis’s attempts to take over her and her mother’s life.

An invitation to visit Grandmother’s house, nestled among the giant trees filling the planet, gives Kate a welcome respite. But, there is no time for rest. A conspiracy among the forest inhabitants, moving trees, and other mysteries await her at Grandmother’s house.

Kate learns just how little she knew of the forests, much less its animals. To survive she must learn fast, and that includes trust and teamwork.

And just where was Grandma, anyway?

A Science Fiction 83600, 335 page (approximate) word stand-alone novel retelling of the fairy tale “Little Red Riding Hood”.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords




Expanded Distribution Through Apple

On Tuesday October 4th, Smashwords announced that the Apple iBookstore was expanding Smashwords ebook distribution into 26 more countries. This is very exciting news, as these markets are largely untouched when it comes to the ebook revolution. As time goes on they could start to make up a larger and larger percentage of sales. Added markets are always good for the bottom line.

New Country Markets:

Austria
Belgium
Bulgaria
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
Greece
Hungary
Ireland
Italy
Latvia
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Malta
Netherlands
Norway
Poland
Portugal
Romania
Slovakia
Slovenia
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland

This is on top of the previous markets which were:

US
Canada
U.K.
Germany
France
Australia

For those who are counting this makes a grand total of 32 countries that authors and publishers are now able to penetrate via Apple or through Smashword agreement with Apple. This allows more market penetration and the reaching of new demographics. Yay!

____________________

J.A. Marlow


A planet-wide conspiracy is waiting at Grandmother’s house…

“Always wear the red hood and cape while you are in the forest,” Grandma admonished.

For a teen with purple and red hair, and an attitude to match, the small claustrophobic city of Oburos grows ever smaller with Uncle Travis’s attempts to take over her and her mother’s life.

An invitation to visit Grandmother’s house, nestled among the giant trees filling the planet, gives Kate a welcome respite. But, there is no time for rest. A conspiracy among the forest inhabitants, moving trees, and other mysteries await her at Grandmother’s house.

Kate learns just how little she knew of the forests, much less its animals. To survive she must learn fast, and that includes trust and teamwork.

And just where was Grandma, anyway?

A Science Fiction 83600, 335 page (approximate) word stand-alone novel retelling of the fairy tale “Little Red Riding Hood”.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords




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Yes, our very own beloved Mother Hen is now struggling with a GBM tumor. The family is struggling because of no insurance and we are desperate to get her the life-saving treatment she needs. If you have a little extra and would like to help out this very deserving person, please consider giving a little donation to help her along the way. Thank you!

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Writerly Progress

2015 Yearly New Words
47.15%  188600 of 400000
2015 Yearly Revision Words
9.53%  38100 of 400000

Free Serial: Zerralon

Available Ebook Formats

The works of J.A. Marlow are available in a wide number of formats including DRM-Free. Below is a list of a few of the retailers the various formats can be found at.

Mobi (Kindle compatible): Amazon, Drive Thru Scifi, Omnilit/All Romance Ebooks, Smashwords, Xinxii

Epub (Nook compatible): Barnes & Noble, Drive Thru Scifi, Google Play, Kobo, Omnilit/All Romance Ebooks, Smashwords, Xinxii, iBookstore

PDF: Omnilit/All Romance Ebooks, Smashwords, Xinxii

Palm DOC/iSolo (Palm compatible): Smashwords

RTF (Rich Text Format): Smashwords

LRF (Older Sony Reader format): Smashwords

Plain Text: Smashwords

Online Reading (HTML): Google Play, Smashwords