Some good advice

Absolutely adore these videos.

It was two weeks ago, I think, when I first came across The Cozy Creative channel and Lidiya Foxglove’s videos. She has a lot of wisdom about being a writer for the long-term, and she shares it with a quirky and fun attitude that makes her videos really easy viewing.

I’ve watched more than a handful so I’m not basing my opinion on any one video, but I definitely recommend you give them a watch if you’re interested in writing journeys and good advice to get you through a long haul as an author. :)

Patreon Commerce

Saw the email about Patreon Commerce and was about to get excited. Started to add a product, in fact, when I came upon the notice that said: “Product files can’t be edited once you make your first sale.”

Um, no. That’s not how digital books need to work. What would I have to do to update a book? Would it require me to retire a product and add a new one every time? Is that even feasible?

Every retailer I sell through understands version control.

I guess this is an experiment I’ll avoid for the moment. :)

Day 5 of the daily accountability challenge

Accountability for 9/13/23

I had an unintentional day off writing. I made three book covers (finalized 2 of them) for a series. It took all day.

I meant to make time to write, but I just got too tired. It was already 3 a.m. when I realized I was not going to get to the writing yesterday, and I decided sleep was more important.

Unfortunately, when I get tired, sleep always becomes more important. That’s why I had hoped to stick to writing earlier in the day. Hasn’t happened so far. Even today, I’m actually just getting started.

As long as I stick to writing for the next few hours, I’ll be fine. But that means I can’t delay any longer, so I’m going to end this here.

Zero words yesterday.

Not zero progress, because book covers are of course a necessity in publishing. But I could have managed it better, I think, so hopefully I will remember that the next time.

Day 4 of the daily accountability challenge

Accountability for 9/12/23

Whoops. Almost forgot to post today, and that’s because there’s very little to report for yesterday.

I wrote only 51 words yesterday, on 1 story.

Why so few? And what went wrong?

For most of the day yesterday, I worked on publishing related activities that took my focus off writing.

  • Finalizing title choice
  • Finalizing cover design (needed that title!)
  • Generating the cover files I would need for publishing
  • Adding the ebook front and back matter to the manuscript file
  • Preparing the project file in Jutoh for the EPUB
  • Writing description (sales copy!)
  • Adding a web page to my author site (for the story)
  • Updating related web pages on my author site (for the story)
  • Writing a blog post (but not yet posting) to announce the publication of the story (it’s not published yet!)
  • Writing (but not yet posting) a post for Patreon (to make live when I publish)

It took me a lot longer to do just about everything I did, and that’s a problem with my ability to either control my use of time or estimate how much time I really need to get certain things done.

Still, I was pretty shocked when I realized how late it was and that I hadn’t written anything all day.

I had already decided to stick to writing more novels instead of short stories and novellas going forward. Seems like this was a great example of why I need to follow through on that. I lose a lot of time once I switch into publisher mode.

Publishing absolutely interrupts my writing.

Nowhere in my head does it make sense that those things took up my entire day. And yet, there wasn’t anything else of note in my day to account for the lost time.

If only I were better at beating back my perfectionist tendencies—perfectionism does nothing but make everything harder than it has to be.

I’ll finish getting these few that are in progress done, and then I’m going to be putting the short fiction to rest for a while.

Day 3 of the daily accountability challenge

Accountability for 9/11/23

Yesterday, I continued working on multiple stories for my multiple stories challenge.

My word count dropped below 1,300 words, which is a bummer.

Most of my day was spent working on a cover and title for a short story I finished the night before. I’m not a great cover designer, not gonna lie about that, but as I’ve said before, I don’t really want to let other people do my covers. Since I self-publish, I get to do what I want. :D Since so much of what I do when I design covers is just play around until I get something I’m satisfied with, I can end up spending a lot of time on it.

That’s what happened yesterday. That and the title issue. This story needed a title and I had a really hard time coming up with something I was happy (enough) with. Still not sure it’s the best, but it will work. Time to move on. The story will either sell or it won’t, and I plan to be working on something else when I find out.

Late last night (sometime after that last post I made), in an effort not to go to sleep with a big fat zero in my spreadsheet for the day, I wrote 621 words, across 2 stories.

Only two again? Yes. I was too tired to get to work on another one. :)

And you know what? Despite not reaching 1,300 words for the day, I feel like it was a win. :D

Ignored another Amazon KDP survey

Once I realized how unresponsive Amazon is to the surveys they send out, it was easy to start ignoring their survey emails. It’s also easy to see how much it isn’t about being helpful to authors and publishers on their platform and is about collecting information about their competition. And gaining leverage over the authors who use their platform to publish their books.

This latest survey purported to be a survey to improve their print publishing, but the first batch of questions were clearly focused on gathering as much information about the competition as possible.

Many people will give away their valuable business data and think nothing of it. I decided a while back it was better to send feedback in an email and ignore these surveys completely.

Naughty naughty Amazon. :D

My Kindle Vella story has the lowest profit for any story I’ve published

Yeah, I just did the math for the earnings per word for my Kindle Vella story and although I knew it was bad, I hadn’t realized just how bad.

As of this moment, my Vella story has earned me $0.01833520 per word. Not per month, but for all time. I’ll bring this up again in a few months and see if things still look as pitiful.

Admittedly, I’m doing no advertising or other promotion of the story, because I have other priorities, and I always intended this just to be a way to get me writing regularly again, but the sad fact is, I have a lot of projects that I want to do, that will also earn me significantly more (I can’t even stress how much more) money than this project has been earning me.

I wanted to finish this in a reasonable time frame, but I just don’t think it makes sense in any world to do more than the bare minimum for this until I’m ready to actually sit down and finish it wholesale because I’m ready to publish it as a book.

Which, thank goodness I fully plan to sell this as a book later. Otherwise, I would feel like it was a lost cause and put it so far onto the back burner that I might never get around to picking it up again. I have a series I’ve let that happen to. I’m not happy about it, because I like writing the books, but I don’t like writing the books more than I like writing the other books in my other series and they make me a lot more money, so I’ve kept putting off that next book. It’s been about five years at this point.

I really need to spend more time writing.

And that’s another thing. This year, I’ve decided (as of this moment, to be honest) to stop saying I need to write faster. Because yes, on some level I do need to write faster and I wish I was better at that, but the true, underlying, number one reason I don’t write “faster” is because I don’t spend enough time writing.

So it’s time to own up to that and start talking about it in a way that is honest with myself.

Yes, there are days where I spend plenty of time writing and maybe I don’t write as much on some of those days as I wished because I’m not a 1,000 words per hour writer. But. And it’s a big but. Those days don’t happen as often as the days where I just do not spend enough time writing and end up with a word count commensurate with that effort.

Ah. Honesty is hard to swallow sometimes. And this post is a bit of an accountability post for me.

All that said, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to my 2022 goals even as late as it is into the new year (quarter one is done, for goodness’ sake). I’ll be back with a post about it when I’m ready.

Getting stuff out the door before Christmas and a new year’s goal

Finished my story. Now on to publishing, writing an episode for the serial I’m doing on Kindle Vella, and finally getting back to editing those novel chapters. Trying to do it all today. Time will be short because of a family obligation but I’m going to try.

I wrote over 2,400 words yesterday. I will have to look at my spreadsheet and see when the last time is that I made it over 2,000.

I haven’t mentioned it yet, but I’m trying to get my 7 day total up to 16,800 before the new year and keep it there. That’s a 2,400 words a day average, although I’m not talking in averages anymore since they really don’t fit my writing/work style.

Time to publish and move on

Today I’m working on formatting a story to publish. Yes, it’s the one I was editing. As soon as it’s gone, I’m going to write.

I’m actually excited to get back to writing. I kind of wish I could justify dumping everything I already have going and just start fresh with it all, but I don’t think I’d be happy to do that in the end, so I’m going to just pick up where I left off on it all.

Plan is simple: over the next few weeks or as quickly as possible (because I want to join NANOWRIMO with a project I can make a fresh start on) I want to finish all my outstanding works in progress.

Here’s what I have to get through and the words I’ve already written:

WIP Novel #160,660
WIP Novel #216,344
WIP Novel #37,737
WIP Novel #42,801
WIP Novel #5 (Will start this fresh for NANO)3,459
WIP Novella #15,398
WIP Short Story #1 (Sequel to the story I’ve just edited, had no idea I’d already written so much for it)4,353

Now, there’s no way I can get through all those WIP novels before November. But I can possibly finish the first two. Then I’ll do the NANO thing, finish that one, then get the rest of these completed by the end of the year.

That’s the plan.

Needs a title

I skipped writing work yesterday. I planned to proofread the last two chapters of my story, but I was tired and I just didn’t get started. I changed my routine and I suspect (ha!) that I sabotaged my own momentum.

Today, I went back to the exact routine that got me working on my story Sun–Wed. So I am here and I am ready to finish this story and, if at all possible today, publish it.

Yesterday, I did listen to some of Dean Wesley Smith’s “Writers’ Deadly Delusions” Pop-up on Teachable. His Pop-ups are similar to his lectures, and I received access to a few as a reward for a few Kickstarters I’ve supported. I’d claim to have learned something, but I’ve heard it all before. :D On the other hand, it’s nice to remind myself of the mindset I find most helpful and enjoyable for my writing and publishing. My perfectionism and other issues really get in my way and I need to work constantly to keep those things from screwing myself over.

On that note, it might be time to re-read some of my Lawrence Block books on writing. Spider Spin Me a Web is excellent, and it’s my favorite.

Now, I’m going to start on the last chapters of my proofread, make every effort possible to ignore my inner critic and fix only what needs fixed, and then get some actual publishing stuff done.

[I’m a bit pissed off with WordPress right now. For some reason, it deleted the paragraph I had here originally, and now I’m having to rewrite it. Not only did it disappear, WordPress didn’t save it in the revisions. >:( Ah, fuck it. It was something about NANOWRIMO, November, and some wips I want to finish so I can start fresh with a book for it. I really don’t want to waste any more of my morning on this. :D]

I’ll think of a title later

I’ve been in a slump. Probably the worst slump of my life when it comes to writing. I’ve never gone quite as long as I’ve gone this time without wanting to spend time writing anything at all.

I think I’m finally recovering. “Think” being the real state of things, though. I can’t say for sure. I need to maintain a writing streak for a while before I’ll be convinced. I’ve had several small bursts of writing since it started but none of them lasted. Seeing it last is the real test.

My goal today is to finish a proofread of a story I started writing almost two years ago and finished almost a year ago. I proofread half of it six or so months ago, but then I just quit. Don’t know why. Now I have to start over. Which is only fair. :)

Before I quit for the day, I also want to do some actual writing. So off I go to get started. First up, timing myself as I proofread the chapters. Knowing the timer is going keeps me focused and lets me make it through the chapters one by one much faster than I ever did before I started timing my proofreading.

KDP has a new series manager

I logged into KDP a few days ago and found the links to the new series manager.

Today, I noticed there is big link to it on the main Bookshelf page.

Image of KDP's Bookshelf notice for the series manager

I’m glad to see this. I once had a problem with one of my series books not showing up as part of my series, all because of an apostrophe. I didn’t enter the series name differently in the book details, but somehow the system did something totally weird and messed it up anyway.

Maybe now if something similar ever happens again, I can deal with it on my own. :)

The spreadsheets that help me tame the minutia of indie publishing

I’ve been reading a lot lately about spreadsheets and inventories on another site.

Reading about the time involved in such a massive project has made me very happy that I’ve been tracking my stuff from the very beginning.

My main “publish-list” spreadsheet is up to ten tabs of data these days, and even includes all the sales links for my books on all the retailers I upload to. It’s been a handy thing to have.

I include so much in this spreadsheet that it’s difficult to think of something I can’t find there.

Screenshot

Screenshot

Screenshot

Within those tabs, I have a sheet called “File Updates” that tells me how long it’s been since I updated a file on any particular distributor site. It was a wake up call when I added that one because I ended up with a lot of titles in the “2000+ days” category, meaning all the back matter was way out of date.

I recently decided to tackle those old files and the way I’m doing it is to have a goal of updating at least one old file each week on an ongoing basis. That’s 52 files updated in a year, so that means I will have caught up within a year or so without adding in a lot of extra work or losing a lot of writing time.

(I have 34 titles at this point. Someday it will become more than a year’s worth of weeks of updates but I’ll worry about that when it happens.)

I also have a pretty streamlined EPUB generation system these days so this first year of updates will go a long way to making future updates take minutes instead of the hour or so it will take for some of these books now and will mean I should be able to easily update multiple books at a time instead of keeping it to one a week after this first round.

I update my publish-list spreadsheet every time I publish something or make a change that needs to be recorded. And keeping this thing updated is something I force myself to do every time I do anything that affects the data I keep up with. I don’t let myself off the hook on this, ever. It’s just too probable that something will slip through the cracks if I do.

PayPal hassles are pushing me to switch from Smashwords to Draft2Digital

I divorced some-odd years ago, and I’ve lagged with the name change for an online bank account and my PayPal account. I finally got around to it recently, and dear lord, it’s obvious to me now why I waited.

PayPal changes are a hassle. Their (new) website is glitchy and won’t accept my documents for the name change, and the email support is a run around, as is the chat support. First you get automated responses that make it near impossible to get hold of anyone real to deal with issues and then when you do, the wait time is interminable and the notifications to let you know the issue is being dealt with are nonexistent.

The only money I get through PayPal are my Smashwords deposits. Draft2Digital will do direct deposit to a bank account.

I haven’t wanted to switch, for a variety of reasons, but this might just be the thing that does it. If PayPal doesn’t get this done soon and right, I’m just going to close the account. If I close the account, Smashwords no longer makes sense as a distributor. And getting paid for Smashwords sales will become a hassle because I’ll have to go to a check.

However, if that’s what it takes, then so be it.

I do like that Smashwords is not just a distributor, but also a storefront. I do make money from that storefront and I do use the Smashwords coupons sometimes. Still, I’m not that happy with the payment set up because PayPal or check are the only options.

Smashwords really needs to get their house in order and start offering direct deposit.

*Despite the run-around, PayPal actually got this fixed. Crisis averted for the time being.

My writing process in five sentences (and some words about those sentences)

I write a book. I start at the beginning. I write through to the end, taking a few detours along the way usually but always ending up at the end. (3)

I read the book and mark errors and continuity issues to check or fix and make sure nothing sounds wrong (that’s a totally subjective thing for me but it’s just something that sometimes happens because I often write my sentences out of order, leave them half completed, come back to them, finish them, and then realize I just repeated myself—can’t seem to help that this is the way my brain often puts a sentence/paragraph/page together—on the other hand, it’s definitely not how I put a chapter together because I can’t get from one unfinished scene to another!—but sometimes the remnants of this process gets left behind to be found during later read throughs). (4)

I fix all that stuff I mentioned in the previous sentence (which, yes, was just one sentence!) and call my book done. (5)

That was it. Five sentences.

If you think there are steps missing, you haven’t been reading this blog very long. :-)

I indie publish because I like to be in control of my works. I do what I want to do with them. I choose to do what I do, not because of necessity, but because it pleases me. That’s the beauty of indie published works. I can be an artisan.

I’ll be blunt here: I am an artist.

There are people out there who’ll say that back to me with a sneer. But I’ve made my choices and they’ve made theirs and my choices should mean nothing to them. And if they do, maybe those people should rethink whatever it is that makes them feel like they have the right to expect me to live by their rules.

I don’t use first readers, second readers, beta readers, alpha readers, or, in fact, any readers at all other than me during the writing and publishing of my books. I am my own editor. And yes, that includes copy editor, and yes again, I know some people will scream at me about this and claim I’m disrespecting my readers by doing that.

I disagree. I’m an indie publisher with a system that happens to run counter to the majority. That doesn’t make my system wrong. Only different.

If someone picks up one of my books and thinks it isn’t edited properly they can (1) get a refund, (2) never buy another book from me, (3) complain and/or review the book and tell everyone the editing is nonexistent and the book sucks, and/or (4) write me a nasty letter and tell me what they really think.

Don’t link to your email list provider in your books

I’m going to sound smug for a moment, because frankly, that’s how I’m feeling right about now.

From the beginning, I’ve done everything I can to make life easier on myself, and it’s paid off in several ways in the long run.

I make all my links in my books go back to my own author website, including the link for my newsletter sign up.

Link to one of my books? It goes to my website (a page just for that book).

Link to my newsletter sign up form? It goes to my website (a page just for the form for the newsletter sign up).

This is part laziness on my part and part forward thinking. I’m always imagining worst case scenarios, and the worst thing I can imagine happening with links is some service going under and me being stuck with the task of editing who knows how many books and having to upload new files to all the distributors.

So here’s my advice to you, especially if you have a lot of books or plan to write a lot of them!

Link to your own website pages, no matter what anyone else recommends you do, or how much they swear you’ll earn more or get more subscribers or whatever.

I mean, I guess if you don’t mind the work, and doing it in a hurry too when something happens that screws up three hundred links you’ve put all over the web or inside your books and promo materials, then do what you want, but I will never recommend anyone link to anything but pages under their own control.

The end.

:-)

Mailchimp changes—read Gaughran’s post

So day before yesterday, I spent an hour or so trying to find info on the Mailchimp changes I’d just been notified about by email.

I’m on the free plan, because my lists are tiny. Like, really super tiny, because I don’t promote them except in my books and on my websites, and I don’t do list building. (I can barely keep up my writing, so yeah.) My lists are 100% organic and I like it that way. I despise marketing, and dealing with that stuff ratchets up my stress levels to the point that I’d just as soon get another job in accounting as deal with it. At least I like accounting work!

Anyway, I had a feeling someone would put together a good post on the Mailchimp changes, and sure enough, yesterday, David Gaughran did.

Go read it if you use Mailchimp and you’re questioning what the heck they’re doing.

As for me, the first thing I did after reading the email was scoff and then tell my daughter it was obvious Mailchimp was looking for a way to inflate the numbers that they use to charge people for services. Gaughran’s post does a good job of laying it all out, and definitely supports my own view on that.

I can see why Mailchimp did it, but I still think the changes they’re making are kinda stupid. I mean, most people are going to see right through their blather about audiences and retargeting and blah-blah and see the move for what it is—an effort to offer less, earn more, and get out of the “forever free” promises they made in the past.

In all honesty, I think what it shows me is that Mailchimp can’t be trusted.

I went last night and finished up the profile I’d started with Mailerlite and got my account approved. I haven’t decided to bail just yet, but I guess I’ll have to. I have two lists, one of which has 6 subscribers (not joking!) and I’m not going to a paid plan to service that list.

I deleted my unsubscribed and cleaned emails from my main list at Mailchimp and exported it as a csv file, as I do every so often for backup, and over the next week or two I’ll figure out what I’m going to do.

Gaughran and several people in the comments of his post talk about archiving these unsubscribes, but from my reading of the Mailchimp help pages, delete works best for me. I want to be sure people’s info is scrubbed if I’m not using it, and I’m not using unsubscribed emails for any reason.

It’s pretty clear from my reading that people have the right to ask for their info to be deleted at any time, so I chose to be proactive and delete now. If I’m reading all that stuff wrong, I’ll deal with it. This is what I’d want done with my info, so I’m doing that for others.

So… Blasty

A lot of authors will know what I’m talking about: Blasty, that company that claims to send DMCA notices to copyright infringers on the internet, mostly pirates.

What it actually does is send notices to Google to get the sites that infringe out of the Google search engine. Or at least that’s been my experience with it.

It also screws up and sends notices about sites that are not infringing and causes them to lose search engine rankings and (possibly) income.

Ask me how I know.

I have some book promo sites. Or review sites. Or whatever you want to call them, I don’t care. :D I used to talk about books I love and I used affiliate links on those websites to make money before I turned to self-publishing my fiction. There are several old posts on this site from early 2012 and before that talk about it.

Yeah, there’s a reason I haven’t included a link to Blasty here, and that’s because I’m holding a grudge. I also think they’re pretty much a useless service that’s making someone a lot of money from uninformed authors who just want to feel proactive and protect their content.

As I said in a comment on The Digital Reader:

Someone set up a Blasty campaign last year and Blasty sent a DMCA notice to Google about it, and because I had my site set up in Google Webmaster Tools (Search Console), they kindly sent me a notice about it which I immediately disputed. Then I emailed the author whose books Blasty claimed I was infringing. The author told me they couldn’t figure out how to tell Blasty that my site wasn’t infringing.

Then the reported page was out of Google for 10 days while Google processed my dispute.

My personal opinion is that Blasty is run by bots, with no oversight at all. It would have taken one hasty glance at my site’s page to see that all it does is link to Amazon (or some other retailer) where people can buy books and I can earn a little to help pay for the site’s hosting and domain.

What Blasty is really doing is harming some authors’ reputations. If you set up anything automated at Blasty you’re risking auto notices being sent about sites that are not infringing—Blasty clearly does not do any oversight for this. That’s on you and if you screw it up, you could be like the author whose books triggered the DMCA notice to Google for my websites’s page: forever off the list and in some book blogger or promo manager’s never-again black book.

There are authors and books that I will never mention on any site I run ever again. And it’s not even personal. Blasty is a problem I just don’t have to deal with.

There are oodles of books and authors out there that I can promote who aren’t going to make my sites a target.

The problem of publishers pretending to be authors

The fact of the matter is, if it weren’t for the stolen content, the plagiarism, the stealing of rights from (some) people (ghostwriters) too inexperienced to realize what’s actually happening and how many rights they actually have under copyright law, those publishers putting out frequent releases and burying everybody else’s books under their deluge of releases wouldn’t be news.

Well, except for the fact that they’re also unethical enough—or so ignorant of accepted publishing industry practice—to think that pretending to be an individual author instead of being the publisher they really are is a good idea.

I’ve made it clear in the past what I think about author personas. They’re not pen names and they are an outgrowth of get-rich-quick schemers entering the indie publishing industry as the barriers to entry fell away. They’re often unethical attempts to have it both ways: keep everything about oneself private while connecting and commiserating with others about things that matter in their lives by lying about what’s real in one’s own.

It has been a thing in the industry for longer than I’ve been alive to have a publishing house put out books that are written by various people under the pen name of one author. But in almost all cases it is a very easy thing to find actual evidence that this “author” is a house name and not a real person. Publishers haven’t generally tried to convince readers that these house names are authors in the sense we’re all used to.

The new breed of publishers that’ve grown up out of the indie author self-publishing industry spends a lot of time trying to convince us that they’re not publishers—but are in fact individual authors just trying to get by.

Yeah. I don’t think so.

They’re going to great lengths to keep the fact that they’re publishing instead of authoring a secret.

They are lying. They are deceiving. And they are jerks.

And the darkest part of the underbelly of this is that some of them aren’t even depending on real readers to make them money. They’re paying for reads at a cheaper rate than they’re being paid for them in Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited system.

What a crock.

It’s not that I haven’t known about this for a very long time, because I have. But a long time ago, I realized there was nothing much I can do about it at all, except write my own books, refuse to compromise because of what other people are doing, and be my own person.

I’m an author, a writer, and a publisher. And when I publish a book with my name on it, you can bet your ass that I wrote every damn word of it. I don’t publish books for other people and can’t imagine that I ever will. I don’t want to be a publisher. I’m my own publisher because it’s necessary if I want to sell books.

Honestly, I couldn’t care less about what publishers publish. But publishers faking it as authors and lying to people is the one subject that just really pisses me off. And those committing plagiarism to get ahead aren’t even publishers; they’re scammers.

Copyright infringement is against the damn law. People doing that are criminals and no sob story changes that. It is wrong, and our society has codified that in the law.

(I toyed with the idea of linking to bunches of articles and blog posts but the fact is I have a book to write and this stuff takes me way too much time to put together. I’m not a speedy blogger, that’s for sure. If you want more info on all this stuff, just do a few internet searches and you’ll find more than you ever wanted to know about all this garbage.)

The following are just a few of the things I’ve read, to get you started down that rabbit hole.

http://www.courtneymilan.com/ramblings/2019/02/18/cristiane-serruya-is-a-copyright-infringer-a-plagiarist-and-an-idiot/

https://kriswrites.com/2019/02/20/business-musings-ghostwriting-plagiarism-and-the-latest-scandal/

https://www.plagiarismtoday.com/2019/02/20/the-cristiane-serruya-plagiarism-scandal/

http://fallintothestory.com/plagiarism-then-and-now/

https://www.shilohwalker.com/website/2019/02/hot-takes-part-oh-honey-you-went-and-pissed-me-off/

https://jamigold.com/2019/02/what-can-authors-and-readers-learn-from-copypastecris/

Good news for the pre-order averse from Barnes & Noble Press

From the latest Barnes & Noble Press email I received:

eBook Pre-Order no longer requires a placeholder interior file, so you’ll never have to worry that readers will receive anything less than your finished project once it’s ready for release.

This is good news. One reason I’ve personally avoided pre-orders has been the need to provide an interior file. I haven’t felt that the risk of a distributor sending out a file not meant for distribution is offset by the benefits of having a pre-order available. But I also haven’t wanted to tie up a ready-to-publish book in a pre-order, so I haven’t used pre-orders at all.

Smashwords has allowed an asset-less pre-order for a while (as of 2015, in fact), but I just haven’t felt it was worth putting up a pre-order in only one venue. Now here’s another.

This might be the year I finally do some experimenting with pre-orders.