Updates, Explanations and a Sneaky Trick

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you might notice that some stuff looks a little bit different this week (especially if you're reading this on a computer and not a phone). Namely, there's a strange thing in the sidebar that seems to be advertising a new Super Sporty Short Story. Not only that, but the new short story is available at not just Amazon, but at iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Smashwords (incidentally, though it doesn't mention it in the sidebar, it's also available at Sony and Scribd and Oyster and Inktera and lots of others). Not only that, but it's also free.

Now, as you may know, Kindle Direct Publishing (which is the platform I usually use to publish my books) doesn't allow you to set your book's price to free, and it only makes your book available at Amazon, not iBooks and B&N and Kobo as well! (not to mention Sony and Scribd, etc.) Obviously, I have some explaining to do.

Mystery #1: Why didn't I blog about the new SSSS (Super Sporty Short Story) last week, even though it was available at all those stores by then?

Answer: Even though it was free on most stores, it wasn't free on Amazon, yet, and I didn't want to advertise a free product that wasn't free at the world's biggest eBook retailer. More on this later.

Mystery #2: How did I get it into all those stores?

Answer: Easy. I used Smashwords.

Here's where I'm going to explain a little about Smashwords. Smashwords is a website a bit like KDP, where you upload your book file and it gets put into the store. However, there are two major differences between Smashwords and KDP. Firstly, Smashwords uploads your book not just to the Smashwords store, but also to iBooks, B&N, Kobo, etc. Secondly, on Smashwords, you can set your price to FREE (the all-caps is Smashwords's, not mine). I could write an entire blog post about Smashwords, and in fact I will -- next time.

Mystery #3: So, if you can't set your price to FREE on Amazon, how come the new SSSS is currently priced at $0.00, even though it's not in KDP Select and you're not running a free promotion?

Answer: Making your book permafree (permanently free) on Amazon requires making use of a sneaky trick. The reason it works is because Amazon is a BIG competitor when it comes to matching prices. I simply waited for my book to become available at iBooks for free (iBooks is one of Amazon's biggest competitors, so Amazon REALLY wants to make sure it stays on top of them), and then wrote a message to Amazon through my KDP dashboard telling them that the book was free on iBooks, and I wanted them to price match. They wrote back saying they'd review my request, and voila -- within a few days, my book was available for free on Amazon!

Again, I could write a whole blog post about making your book permanently free on Amazon, but someone else has already done it. This blog post by James Calbraith explains the process from start to finish (go check it out!).

So, I think I've now addressed all the mysteries pertaining to my new eBook, Super Sporty Short Stories: Down to Earth. And I may have mentioned this before, but it's free (or FREE as Smashwords puts it). So head on over to one of these links...

Super Sporty Short Stories: Down to Earth on Amazon
Super Sporty Short Stories: Down to Earth on iBooks
Super Sporty Short Stories: Down to Earth on Barnes & Noble
Super Sporty Short Stories: Down to Earth on Kobo
Super Sporty Short Stories: Down to Earth on Smashwords
(Or Sony or Scribd or Oyster or Inktera)

... And snag yourself a copy for your favorite e-reader (did I mention it's free?).



You may have noticed that the domain name of my blog that shows up in your address bar is now different. Instead of the old, rather messy http://ellie-firestone.blogspot.co.uk, there is now the rather classy http://www.elliefirestone.com (I'm not for a moment suggesting that .co.uk domains are old and messy. I was referring to the .blogspot bit. And the dash between my first and last name, which I couldn't seem to fix no matter how much I tried). Yes -- I bought a proper domain name, and that means that this blog is now officially a WEBSITE! WOOHOO!

(Actually, I'm not sure what the exact distinction is between a website and a blog. But the domain name now doesn't have the letters B-L-O-G in it, so there!)

Also, I'm getting Super Sporty 3: The Mechanical Menaces ready to be available as a print book! I'm just working on fixing the cover dimensions right now, and it should be available to buy before the autumn.

I didn't really mention this before, but I'm now on Goodreads! Honestly, I have no idea why I didn't get on there before, but I'm very glad I decided to take the plunge. It's fab, because even if you have an author profile, you can still engage as a reader. If you're on Goodreads (or you're going to get on Goodreads), I look forward to connecting with you! My profile can be found here: https://www.goodreads.com/elliefirestone.

Finally, a quick word about author interviews. You may have read this blog last week, when I interviewed two children's authors (Lenita Sheridan and Darrin Mason). Well, I'm pleased to announce that author interviews look set to become a regular thing on this blog! I originally started doing them with the idea that I could just shove one in every time I didn't feel like writing my blog post for the week. However, that idea kind of backfired, because I got so many submissions that I have to post one at least every two weeks to get through them at a reasonable rate. So ... I'm going to post one every two weeks. However, to make sure that this blog doesn't end up being completely made up of author interviews, I'm going to have to write a blog post TWICE a week instead of once. Which isn't that bad, I guess ...

(ASIDE: If you're a children's author, and you would like to have an interview posted on this blog, fill in this form. It might take a while for me to get to your interview, due to all the submissions I receive, but I WILL post it eventually. That's a promise.)

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