Today total randomness was sparkled by this post and I’m going to elaborate on both the reader and writer side of it.
Like I said, I’ve been buying on Amazon since 2004 – much like this guy. I even got myself a Kindle Keyboard way back in 2011 because it had no touch screen (something I hate, and that’s why I don’t have a smartphone nor any other kind of tablet). Except I don’t buy all my ebooks on Amazon. Quite the opposite. I go on Amazon only for those darn KDP Select authors. Like my friends who own Kobo e-readers and buy from everywhere but Kobo.
So I totally relate with him. As a reader. But also as a writer. I’m not KDP Select. Yes, most of my sales these days come from Amazon ITALIA – because there is less competition, since Italy is way behind in indie publishing and my books are obviously cheaper than the ones put out by Italian trad-pubbers. But I still don’t put all my eggs in Amazon’s basket.
Now I can’t comment on the guy’s blog post since I had such a hard time deleting myself from Google+ (losing my YouTube channel in the process, hence the book trailers have vanished from this blog), but I wonder if he knows of XinXii. If he ever buys anything from there. Because XinXii is still expanding its distribution channel, but still doesn’t allow sampling, unless the author uploads a separate file for the sample. So the European Smashwords is fundamentally flawed – and its distribution doesn’t really take me to places I don’t already go myself.
Plus, I got their free ISBN in December (special offer), and now those 2 titles are locked, I can’t change the file and update it or anything. I will have to unpublish them if I want to put up the revision. So I stopped putting stuff on there, also because I haven’t sold ONE book in two years there. Even DriveThru is better! I keep uploading there because there is the free sampling and sometimes I do get a sale.
Oh, and I got a couple of reads on Scribd through Smashwords. And one tip on NoiseTrade. So that’s a lot more than what I got from XinXii. Although I’m not sure samples really help sales. See this marketing survey – where I also gave my answers. So I don’t know what’s wrong with XinXii. I don’t think adding titles would help my visibility there…
So, what do you say? Do you use samples or not? Do you browse just an online retailer or do you shop many places? How do you find your next book to read?