4.23.2016

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!

2 comments:

Radine Ramsey said...

I enjoy reading your books on my IPad. Being able to increase the font size is wonderful because I am old and wear glasses (LOL). I am currently reading, House of Houses, by Pat Mora. I was unable to get a Kindle version, and I am having lots of trouble reading the tiny mouse font contained in her book. Kindle has been great! I recently started reading a book that was not Kindle and had to finally get new glasses with a better reading prescription.
Box of Pandoras was very funny! You knew so much about how women think that I was very impressed. I especially loved the Hotel California reference, "Such a lovely place. Such a lovely place." I am originally from Los Angeles, California. I am flying to see my mom in Murrieta, California tomorrow. Wish me luck. She is getting older, and I know that I can be helpful around the house with the cleaning. My mom turns 82 on August 22nd. She has been in very good health, but she has had three surgeries for glaucoma in the last year. The surgeries have drained her.
I am looking forward to being a member of your Honors class next fall! Your books are amazing! My first class was with Dr. Michael Thomas, and I really enjoyed reading his books. I have all his books in hard copy, and I am really happy that he is getting them on Kindle.
Good luck with all your books!
Radine Ramsey

Debra Burrow said...

Your books are so interested to read, I really enjoyed reading your books.
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