Monday, May 6, 2013

The times of our lives.

For however many years it's been out, it's quaint to think that self-publishing is still kind of in its infancy. I say this after some weird issues with Amazon that have been making news, but more immediately due to a response I got from Kobo Books regarding why Daemonique vol.3 is still "in progress" for near a month now. So bear this in mind if you're publishing with Kobo.

"The reason why your book has not yet been approved for publication might be that you have extraneous information in the title field.

We have recently started insisting that authors remove information that belongs in the synopsis from the author name and title fields. The general rule of thumb is, if you wouldn't put it on the cover, it doesn't belong in these fields."

Now I don't have a problem with that in itself. Kobo's category selection is fairly generous anyway so title tags aren't as necessary as other places where it's all under > Erotica. What did bother me was that book had been "Publishing... Your eBook will be in the Kobo store soon!" since April 19th and they made no attempt to alert me to this change in principle or have any sort of open dialogue. There's nothing on the 'new book' page, no header text asking for exact name, no feedback notes on the dashboard. Just the promise that it'll be done "soon!" Checking in on the process again I found an email address for just this problem and asked about it to get the above response about three days later.

Comparatively, Smashwords' dashboard will show "pending review" and then if it needs amendment will tell you what. It'll still show on their site and be available for purchase, but for premium catalogue and shipping to other channels, it has to fit that criteria. But they do keep that open dialogue with authors, and their dashboard isn't a horrid mess of hiding everything from you, either.

It's just funny how ad-hoc and inconsistent some of these distributors are with this new function of independent publishing. They all want in on the profits and craze of it, oh boy, of course, "ebook sales are the future!" just gloss over who provides the content, but they don't seem to know how to handle it now that content isn't being provided by some stiff publishing company. Ease of access to distribute makes the world a scarier place.

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