So long, Smashwords

After long consideration, I've decided to remove my backlist of crime novels from Smashwords, which will in turn remove my ebooks from Nook and other non-Amazon sources. The ebooks soon will be available only through Kindle.

I feel bad about making my books unavailable on any market, but Amazon requires Kindle Unlimited books to be exclusive and I can no longer ignore the revenue stream that Kindle Unlimited produces. Subscribers to Kindle Unlimited "borrow" ebooks for free. As they read them, the authors are paid a little bit per page by Amazon. With a big backlist like mine (27 books and counting), those pages can add up.

As an experiment, I've had six short stories and two novels (LOST VEGAS and CALABAMA) on Kindle Unlmited for a while now, and they're generating monthly revenue. Meanwhile, my most recent quarterly payment from Smashwords was the lowest yet.

I plan to "unpublish" all the Steve Brewer books on Smashwords on May 6. Any of you who use Nook or other e-readers might want to stock up before then on any titles you might be missing. A day or two later, all those titles will become available on Kindle Unlimited. The titles will include the nine mysteries in the Bubba Mabry private eye series as well as standalones like THE BIG WINK, A BOX OF PANDORAS and FIREPOWER.

The recent Duke City trilogy published by Alibi under my pen name, Max Austin, will remain on sale everywhere. Also, most of my books are still available in paperback, and you can get those through your favorite bookseller. But I must try the Kindle Unlimited thing for my ebooks.

Fortunately, I control the ebook rights to all the books published under my name, so I can do such experiments with my backlist. That's one reason I urge new authors to always insist on a way to get their rights back when they're considering book contracts.

By the way, I've got no knock against Smashwords. I think their Meatgrinder software is still the best way to reach users of non-Amazon e-readers. But that audience seems to be shrinking while the Kindle giant keeps growing.

In whatever way you get your hands on my books, please keep reading them. Thanks!