As I've pointed out before, publishers (and self-publishers) that post their eBooks directly to the large online retail eBook stores enjoy an advantage over those distributed by traditional publishers or through third parties such as Bookbaby, Booktango, Lulu, etc. In addition to faster access to royalties, they have far faster access to unit sales data.
This point was driven home in a panel discussion this past Sunday at the Austin Texas SXSW event. In this Teleread blog post about that event, Wool author Hugh Howey was paraphrased as saying that if big publishers want to help authors they need to speed royalty payments and provide far faster access to sales data.
Those in self-publishing are used to seeing sales numbers weekly which makes it especially helpful when trying to match up marketing efforts with sales results. Imagine getting your sales results weeks, if not months after you initiated a blog tour or had a big public relations break. It seems to me that if authors are to be held accountable for the marketing of their book they should have the tools they need to evaluate the effectiveness of their marketing.
Coincidently I noticed this past week that Apple modified the number of aggregators they support. There are two ways to get your eBook into the Apple iBookstore: by posting it directly through Apple or by submitting it through an approved aggregator. They used to support several and now they support only two, Smashwords and Ingram. That means all other third party distributors must go through one of these two which likely delays dissemination of your book sales information even more. (Click here to see if your book distributor is listed.)
In an age where authors are being asked to take on more responsibility for their own book marketing, and when book marketing is increasingly being driven by the immediacy of social media, it is imperative that authors and publishers have far faster access to their sales data. The best way to do that is to establish direct accounts with the largest eBook retailers.
One of our specialties is helping publishers select and implement a distribution strategy that best meets their needs. Contact us today to learn more.
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