Ebooks have changed the publishing industry, right? Wrong (in my opinion). Ebooks made it easier for people to publish but it did not do away with the biggest impediments to authors everywhere: bullshit, exclusive contracts, geographical restrictions and unavailability.
I am always surprised when I can’t spend money. I decided to start to log my “lost sales,” mostly to see how much money I save by others being stupid.
The Bullshit ~ Everyone knows what BS is. For me it’s BBA (Badly Behaving Author) activities and/or being a total douchebag (BTW, you don’t have to be a BBA to be a douche).
Exclusive Contracts ~ I *think* this is something that actually started after ebooks came about and it is mostly related to self-published authors. Amazon offers the option to publish exclusively with Amazon for a 90 day period. Amazon offers the book to users for free (not sure how long). While this is happening the author can only have that [e]book for sale with Amazon. So if it was in other bookstores it gets pulled (sorry if you bought it!). I have no clue what the author gets out of it but I can tell you what the reader gets out of it: A) frustration that they can’t buy a book and/or B) to keep their money in their pocket because they can’t buy a book.
Geographical Restrictions ~ This is the biggest problem of them all. It is what is says – geo restrictions restrict the reader from purchasing books from a seller outside of the [publisher created] geographical area. Some eRetailers have geo restrictions, too. These restrictions – in relation to eBooks – make no sense. Why stop someone from giving you money?? While I can understand geo restrictions in relation to DTBs (dead tree books)…ok, I’m lying. I can’t understand them at all.
Not Available in preferred store/format ~ If I were to rank these “Lost Sales” reasons, this would probably rank #1 with me. I can’t buy your book if it’s not available in my preferred store(s)!!!! This is slightly (although only slightly) different from Exclusive Contracts. The difference is that the author or publisher is deciding what store(s) to release to (or not). Sadly (for me) Amazon and Barnes & Noble are the primary stores for a lot of companies…and quite often Kobo (my preferred store) gets left out. I’m willing to (and do) buy at other stores like AllRomanceEbooks, Ellora’s Cave and Baen Books but I have a problem buying books from Amazon and Barnes & Noble due to their DRM. I can’t read the book on my ereader and I refuse to read them on my phone or on my computer. Period.
So, that’s the primary list of reasons why someone would lose a sale from me.
Book: Making Documentary Films and Videos: A Practical Guide to Planning, Filming, and Editing Documentaries
Author: Barry Hampe
Problem: http://www.amazon.com/review/RKF6CCHZ9O7IF/ref=cm_cr_pr_cmt?ie=UTF8&ASIN=080508181X&linkCode=&nodeID=&tag=#wasThisHelpful – I saw the author turn into a raging asshat in the reviews. Also, reviews state that the author allowed his personal political views to [strongly] filter into the [instructional] work. As this is a gift, I have no clue if the author and my friend’s political views will dovetail.
Resolution: Will not purchase, will buy Producer to Producer instead
Amount Saved: $17.84
Book: It’s Always Been You (Always #1)
Author: Victoria Paige
How We Met: I saw a rating by a friend on Goodreads. I followed that to the book page which had some good reviews.
Problem: Exclusive Contract [with Amazon]. This book is only available on Amazon Kindle. I do not own an Amazon Kindle. I checked Kobo, Barnes & Noble, All Romance Ebooks, Smashwords AND the author’s site. Nothing.
Resolution: Will not purchase – cannot purchase.
Amount Saved: $0.99