Secrets in Lace

Monday, December 9, 2013

Experimental Marketing Machine.

An industry still in the experimental stage.

by Dusty Miller

My buddy says this industry is still in the experimental stage.

My new short science fiction/space opera story, ‘Selena’s Escape,’ is now available for $0.99 from OmniLit.

This is my first title on OmniLit and it will be interesting to see the results of opening up a new platform.

They have distribution to iTunes but that looks like their only outlet so far other than their own store.

I was thinking about that—it’s all an integrated electronic network, with various sales platforms and aggregators talking back and forth.

So a title published from Smashwords by Author A and another title from OmniLit also published by Author A might both end up on iTunes, if the author for some reason or other chose to do that.

A title from Smashwords might end up on iTunes, and a title from OmniLit might end up on iTunes, and yet theoretically they should all end up on the same author page.

Think about some more famous names, i.e., not me.

They have had long careers, and some of their titles are no doubt from different publishing houses.

Yet they should inevitably end up on the same page.

Now, one of the selling points for independent publishing is control.

But a friend of mine put through some price changes over two months ago, using the Smashwords platform, and yet he can still see free books going out the door from where Amazon is price-matching somebody. 

He’s talking back and forth with them all the time and not getting much joy out of it.

All those distribution channels are not, or at least shouldn’t be, end to end in some kind of distribution chain.

They should all be separate and distinct entities, and while Kobo also might distribute to Chapters/Indigo, each channel would ideally be ‘one link long.’ A very short chain.

That way, it really shouldn’t take months for a given title to end up properly priced, with the correct cover, all available titles in all available stores, and all that sort of thing.

As things stand presently, for an author to have maximum control over covers and pricing, they would have to sign up for as many distribution channels as they could separately.

As an example, ‘Selena’s Escape’ has only one cover. There is no way that should ever end up with another cover, but those who update covers have to go and check every single title on every single platform or store, and then changes have to be requested back through the service provider, or aggregator, in this particular case Smashwords.

Once you have a number of titles, opening up a new distribution platform takes time. It requires effort, and you have no idea of what results might come from doing it.

There is a learning curve, and the more time you spend there, the more you should know about how it works, what its potential is, a and how to get the best out of what is basically just a kind of marketing machine. Yet I still think it’s worth making the experiment, and as a new store, I would want to be in there anyway.

I want to be in every new store. That too, will take time.

So that’s why I decided to try OmniLit.

It’s a new store, a new machine and it offers some alternative to Smashwords. You can always publish separately to Kindle, or here in Canada, sign up for Kobo, and do whatever you want to do.


Right now, my story ‘Poker Night’ can be read for free on the Justus Roux website’s guest writer’s page.

That was my first sale as a writer of erotic romance, and a big thumbs-up to Justus Roux for helping us out with that one.

That story will be available in January on various platforms. It’s all formatted, I have a cover and everything. 

I have another one in the works, a romantic fantasy that was a lot of fun to write.

The story is presently under submission but the odds are it will be rejected as there about a million submissions a month in this category!

I mean, you have to figure the odds.

If it takes you two years of constantly submitting and re-submitting, and you finally sell your story for twenty bucks, then you have little choice but to wonder what would happen if you had published it on your own from day one—you might have made your twenty bucks in the first three or four months and after that it’s all gravy when you consider the price of a reprint is half of what the story originally went for.  Or you can let someone publish it in exchange for mere exposure.


Yeah, my buddy said he was checking his prices on Sony and found a book cover from two and a half years ago, and yet according to him the last time he checked it was the right cover.

Right now, all the staff at all the big publishing platforms are swamped, that’s kind of self-evident.

I think my buddy’s about ready to give up!

He’ll get over it. He just loves to tinker.


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