I promised you an announcement last week. Unfortunately, I ran afoul of a deadline gone wrong, but here it (finally) is:
Alliteration Ink will provide a la carte distribution services to the four major digital bookstores (Amazon, B&N, Kobo, and the iBookstore) and my own web store.
I think this is an important step to take, both personally and as a small press. While I am a small publisher, this is explicitly designed to be as close to DIY (and VIP) as possible.
- The eBook file (in ePub and/or Kindle format) – You can provide this to me, or I can convert it for you. Your choice.
- A new ISBN. If you are only distributing to Amazon and Barnes & Noble, you do not need one. You can obtain one yourself or through me ($25, flat). Use a different ISBN than the one for your print edition.
- The cover art as a separate file, the smallest side no smaller than 600px. JPG, GIF, or PNG, please.
- A contract and statement of rights. That is, a statement saying that the file is yours and your responsibility.
- Some money. I charge $15 ($10 of this is non-refundable) for getting each book to each store, and 4% of gross reciepts for each book at each storefront. There is one exception – if I distribute your book to any of the other stores, you have the option of listing it for free (and 4% gross reciepts) at my storefront.
- Paypal or physical address For paying you, naturally.
Some (hypothetically) FAQ’s:
- So you don’t care if I upload it somewhere? Not particularly. You may not offer the book less elsewhere – that breaks agreements with the storefronts. As long as you have the same price everywhere (hint – have it end in .99 so that the iBookstore will take it), we’re good.
- Are you charging a rate for “day labor”? Not really. The uploading fee is strictly paying me for my time. The 4% of reciepts is meant to reflect my time and energy doing some accounting work for you. I believe that on the balance, this will be the cheapest for authors without screwing me over. I may revisit this later if I’m wrong.
- How often do you pay authors? Currently, I’m paying quarterly, simply due to time constraints on my time. The good thing is that I will pay you quarterly regardless of how many copies your book sold. Several places (the iBookstore comes to mind) have “thresholds” for payment. I won’t make you wait for them. I hope to get the payments up to monthly (or less), but I’d be foolish to promise that now… I simply have too many other commitments.
- Why isn’t my book up yet? Three possible reasons.
1) I’m one guy, who also has a “day job”. Sometimes I get overwhelmed, and while I’m working on improving my scheduling, I do get to everything… eventually.
2) It’s the storefront’s fault. While getting it up to my storefront is rather speedy, all the others take at least twelve hours. Kobo seems to take 7 business days, the iBookstore approximately 10.
3) They rejected it for some reason.
- What if my book is rejected? It depends on whether or not I converted your book, and why they rejected it.
If your book is rejected due to content or legal reasons: I will refund the $5 portion of the fee. Please fix whatever issues there are before starting again.
If your book is rejected due to formatting reasons: If I converted your book, fixing such problems is covered under my guarantee. If I did not convert your book, I will refund the $5 portion of your fee. Please fix whatever issues there are before starting again. (Note: My guarantee applies if I just fix your eBook, which is less costly.)
- So do we know why my book got rejected/ Is my rejected book fixed yet? In my experience, getting answers why a book is rejected from the iBookstore is a long process involving multiple e-mails over weeks. (Yes, weeks.) Please be patient dealing with them.
- What if I change my mind and don’t want to use you any more? You do not need to give a reason to stop using my services. Should you do so, I keep the original $15 fee, we settle accounts immediately, and pull the books from digital distribution. I cannot transfer ownership of the ISBN; however, the eBooks will still be yours2.
I’d be interested in any questions you have – or things that I didn’t make clear. My goal is to honor Yog’s Law (money flows toward the author) and to create something that is a tool for DIY/VIP/Indie authors to use when and as they need it.
1 This is official; I’ve updated the Alliteration Ink website to reflect these terms.
2 Giving you the final copy of the converted eBook is part of my conversion services, and if you provided me with one, you’ll still have it, naturally.