Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Unpublishing? Don't do it!

I went to my local Barnes and Noble yesterday and soon I found myself in the magazine section.  After looking though the plethora of periodicals I finally found the magazines about writing (and why where they located on the bottom shelf of the Men's Interest section just below Playboy, Motor World, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, and other such content is beyond me).

Now I when looked though them, I found some with very interesting content and tips.  But other articles were so inaccurate that I just had to wonder about the whole publication itself (and why I didn't purchase them).

One of the articles was about a hobby author that upon being laid off from her usual job, she took some of her retirement fund with the intent of becoming a full time writer.  The attempt was successful apparently, and she is happy she took the plunge. However, she had several inaccurate items in her "publishing insights" article. 

One that really stood out: She said make sure your book is helping you not hindering.  If not then you need to change your strategy, while the theory is sound her reason for this was not.  She had her book on both Nook and Kobo, when the sales were low she unpublished the books from both services.  And said "I felt bad about the readers there but it was costing me."  Or something to that effect.

Wait a minute here, it never costs you to list a book on a retailers system.  At least not Nook or Kobo (and I have yet to see a legitimate ebook system that does charge up front).  I deal with both and the only cost is commission upon sale.  It costs you nothing to leave your book listed.  They are not like ebay where you have to pay to have your book up for sale.  And this person was a expert?

Also it is always a bad idea to unpublish a book.  You loose your sales rank there and all reviews.  This also cuts you off from a possible revenue stream that costs you nothing to leave in place.  Sometimes books will have a "break out" or in other words become very popular at one retailer before others.  I know of a few that started becoming popular at Kobo then later on it spread to Kindle and Nook.  If that author never was at Kobo, he may have never become popular in the first place.  Or perhaps he would have, but at a much later date. 

Another aspect: Readers tend to stick with the platform they have.  While most e-readers allow the reading of standard epub content via side loading (copying to the device over USB from your computer), many people won't bother hooking up the cable to do it.  They would rather just get it directly though the WiFi and its designed store.  Therefore, these customers only shop at Nook Store if they own a Nook, or Kobo Store if they own a Kobo device.  Not to publish (or remove your work from) there is really foolish.  Most independent authors should "flog the water" and have it everywhere because you never know where the seed you planed will take root.

In summary there is never a good reason to unpublish or remove your book from a retailer.  If it was costing you to have your book for sale, I could understand, but it does not.  This also goes to show you can't believe everything you read, even a article in a professional magazine from a "so called" expert.  Always do your own research and double check, it will serve you well.

Don DeBon is the author of Italian Fever.  Currently available in Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBook, and Kobo.

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