This post officially announces my break-up with the e-book publishing platform Pronoun. It was all interesting and kind of fun, but seeing no more future in this relationship, I’ve decided it’s time to call it quits. This party’s over, and I’ve removed The Novice Master from their lists, taken the e-book off the market (only temporarily) and will go crawling back to big daddy Amazon. I am not a fan of the monopolistic publishing megalith, but at least they offer options to give your book a kick in the ass when it needs it. I did have great hopes for this publisher Pronoun, which used to be known as Vook. When they relaunched back in September, they promised self-publishers the moon, but of course you knew it was too good to be true. 100% royalties is a powerful lure, but if you can’t help your authors properly market their work, what’s the point? 100% of nothing is still nothing. This was the first time my print edition ever outsold my e-book, and by a lot, too. And that’s primarily where Pronoun fell down on the job. The book they produced for me looks great. But the only marketing advice they offer is, “Choose the proper categories for your book!” And you know how much success I had with that! And as of last week, they still had not been able to get my author’s page up. So, adieu.
There’s a silver lining: The best part is I also get rid of those cheesy ‘Also-boughts’ on my Amazon page: You know, ‘Customers who bought your book also bought…’ I hate those worse than when Amazon ‘recommends’ a book they think you want based on what you merely looked at–it’s too creepy. My also-boughts stem from the days when I was misidentified as a writer of erotica, so there’s some pretty dicey stuff there. I’m tired of seeing naked flesh next to my chaste little monk. And I’m sorry, to the unfortunate buyer who thought my book was porn: what a drag! Well, it does have some scenes that almost qualify… And you didn’t return it, so there must have been something redeeming in it.
This also gives me one last chance to scour the book for typos. Don’t think they are the scourge solely of amateur and newbie writers. I have years of solid, professional copy-editing experience in New York City publishing, yet every time I re-read my book, I find another yet another cringe-worthy typo. (My favorite is when I had one character ‘messaging’ another’s stiff shoulder—aaargh!) I’m convinced it’s the work of Satan himself. I’m hoping, like bedbugs, I can nab every last one of them this time around.
At Amazon, I’ll be displaying The Novice Master with a slightly re-worked cover, and likely, at a new price. Only $2.99, so no subtle promotion here: If you like my blog, then buy my book, dammit! It will cost less than your daily latte. I’d love to charge $7.99 or even $9.99, what the big publishers charge for their e-works, but as a still-unknown writer (and that’s what I am, even if I’m persistent) I don’t have that luxury. I’m hoping it’ll be back online within a few days–maybe by the 10th or 11th of February. I’ll enroll it in their Select program, which qualifies me for giveaways and other promotions. And perhaps on ‘Zon, my book will become visible again.
If not, life goes on. Publishing sucks, but there are more novels to write, more mountains to climb: Onward!