This is what I mean about being your own curator
Back in August, I wrote a piece called “You Are Your Own Curator.” Today, I ran into a perfect example of what I’m talking about in that post.
I published my first two novels through iUniverse who offered me paperback and ebook options. They’ve been great, honestly. I have no bad feelings towards them.
Back in 2012, I was shocked to learn that my novel Barry’s Cherries had appeared in the Kindle store (and was also on iBooks and Nook). iUniverse had apparently gone ahead and published a Kindle edition as part of the deal I’d made in 2006 for ebooks. (This deal didn’t apply to my novel Being Good which I published in 2004.)
Last month, I learned that the Kindle, Nook and iTunes versions of Barry’s Cherries had disappeared from those stores. This was news to me. When I spoke to iUniverse last week, they told me they’d sent an email to alert me my deal was discontinued (which likely got caught in the spam filter). They will republish for no cost once I give them my consent. Nonetheless, as I spoke to the customer representative there, I thought: I am my own curator. This is precisely the reason why. I want my books to be available. iUniverse doesn’t have (much) skin in the Kindle game. I do. I can’t rely on another party to keep my work current.
We have options to curate our own work effectively. Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing program is a great way for authors to manage their releases. And Bandcamp works just the same for musicians. I used to use Tunecore to list my music across other stores. The problem with that kind of service is that the artist is one more step removed from the sale. That’s the problem I’m having with iUniverse. It’s great that my readers can buy my paperbacks directly from them but relying on them to stock other stores gets dicey. It removes options for me when I have to rely on them for listings.
I’m actually relieved the book was pulled from virtual shelves. When I downloaded that version, it had a lot of formatting errors in it that I couldn’t easily correct. So I’ll now make my own Kindle version and address those errors, plus add some goodies. Pretty soon, you’ll be able to find new Kindle versions of my novels on my Amazon author page.