One of my distributors is going out of business. Pronoun was an ebook publishing site that took submissions from authors and put them up on retail publishing sites for them. It was one of the efforts I joined in their alpha and beta phases to help them get going. The others are Unglue.it, OpenBooks and BitTorrent Bundles. Unglue.it is still going strong. The other two, while still there, have dwindled to the point that their life signs are almost undetectable.
One of the options for readers is gone. At this point I don’t know whether I will submit the books to another distributor. It’s a way to get them in front of more eyeballs, which would be good, but I don’t know if it’s worth the effort.
Farewell to Pronoun. It was a good try, but I guess it didn’t work out for them.
Since I published Green Comet, I’ve been involved with a few websites whose aim is to help people distribute their creative work. I got involved with them during their alpha and beta phases, and helped them work out the kinks in their processes. All of them espoused an open philosophy and I was glad to be involved. I still am.
The first was BitTorrent Bundle, which I signed up for in the middle of 2013. You can see Green Comet here and Parasite Puppeteers here. I was selected for alpha testing and published in December 2013, along with lots of other people’s books, videos and audios. Their idea is to provide a platform for hosting torrents of these works, and I got up to around 3,000 downloads. I can’t be sure because they had a glitch and the count had to start over. Of course I wasn’t keeping close track.-) Activity there has virtually stalled, and the addition of Parasite Puppeteers last year hasn’t done much.
The second was Unglue.it, which I joined in December 2013. You’ll find Green Comet here and Parasite Puppeteers here. The aim of this site is to free books. They allow the author to set an amount at which they will loosen their copyright on a book, and it is freed if donations reach the target. Alternatively, if the book is already free, as my books are with their Creative Commons licenses, then people are allowed to reward the author to thank them. Green Comet has just reached 1,000 downloads on Unglue.it. (Actually 999 as of this minute, but who’s counting?) Not as much as BitTorrent Bundle, but still chugging along. The fact that it still feels alive is why I say it’s the best so far.
The third site is OpenBooks, which contacted me in the middle of 2014. I told them I would go ahead and they said we’d be going live three months later. There were some delays — birthing pains, to be expected — and we finally got going in December 2014. Green Comet is here, Parasite Puppeteers here. I had high hopes for OpenBooks. Their plan is to get the books onto torrent sites and let exposure do its magic. I had visions of pirates uploading my book all over the Internet, but I can’t find it on many torrent sites. Unfortunately, Green Comet has yet to reach 500 downloads, and it feels moribund.
The experiment isn’t over. There are still more options to try, one of which I’ve just begun. But those are for another day and another report. For now I’ll just conclude, by my highly subjective criteria, Unglue.it is the best so far.
Here’s an invitation to the closed beta of the OpenBooks publishing site. They invited me to join their alpha a few months ago as an author, and I’ve been helping them iron out their procedures. They’re almost ready to open officially, and they’ve extended their invitation to more users. Have an exclusive look at what they’re doing. Download a few books to see how easy it is. Especially mine.-) Do it a few times to be sure you’ve got the hang of it.-) Review a few books and join their contest to win an iPad.