I’ve been checking the Smashwords site every day to see whether Death on a Dig has been distributed to other online stores. It has, although not all at once.
The process worked just as Smashwords FAQ said it would. The book was distributed to one or two new sites every day or two so that it has now been distributed to them all — Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Sony, Diesel, Page Foundry and Baker & Taylor.
Frankly, I’ve never heard of Diesel, Page Foundry or Baker & Taylor.
As soon as I saw it had been distributed, I started monitoring those sites to see when it would show up. So far I can find it on Kobo and Barnes & Noble. It took Kobo an extra day or two to include the book blurb, again, more or less as Smashwords warns might be the case.
Barnes & Noble still don’t have a product description, so unless someone is going to buy solely on my name [they won’t] or the book cover [I think it’s good, but I’m not sure it’s that good], there won’t be any sales there.
Another problem — trying to find the damn bookstore. Apple, Page Foundry and Baker & Taylor have web sites that want to tell you about the hardware and/or software they have to sell. Finding the page where you can start searching for books takes persistence.
This experience is reminding me of how important marketing is. Even on Amazon, which has a fairly extensive filtering system, I cannot find Death on a Dig by browsing in the appropriate categories. There are tens of thousands of books, and mine doesn’t appear even after browsing through a dozen pages. Unless someone is actually looking for a book titled Death on a Dig, they’ll never know it’s there.
My experience is a little different for Girls of Summer: In Their Own League, which I wrote and HarperCollins published in 1992. (It’s about the Canadian and American women who played pro ball in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League from 1943-54.)
I posted it as an ebook on Amazon about three months. A search of some combination of girls, women, sports, baseball and history always brings the book up on the first page. #indiebook
Does any of this resonate with you as a writer? What about as a reader? Do you have problems with the search features of bookstore web sites? I'd like to hear about it. Leave a comment below.