Category Archives: Apple iBookstore

Three FREE Paranormal Romance Ebooks on Amazon Kindle

I have a further three fantastic free paranormal romance ebooks for Amazon Kindle users to grab this weekend. The novels are free on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th April only, so be sure to download your copies asap, and don’t forget to tell all your friends so they can get themselves a copy of each book too.

Here are the free ebooks that I’m offering on Amazon Kindle.

Forbidden Blood
Felicity Heaton
In a dark world where vampires exist and where Source Blood, a rare human blood type, can bestow godlike powers upon them, the vampire Venators of the Sovereignty fight to protect the humans by banishing those who drink it to the endless dark.

Exiled from his family and with only his duty to sustain him, Kearn has been on the trail of an elusive Source Blood abuser for three years. When he saves a beautiful human female from the vampire’s grasp, it turns out she’s the lead he’s been waiting for. Amber is a Source Blood and the perfect bait, but for who?

As they race to catch the vampire and survive the cruel games he plays, Amber is pulled deeper into Kearn’s world and discovers the painful secrets he hides behind his handsome but emotionless exterior—hurt that she has the power to heal if she is brave enough.

Forbidden Blood is a dark, sensual tale of betrayal, revenge and a love that knows no bounds.

genre: paranormal vampire romance
length: 126000 words

Available as a FREE ebook from the following Amazon Kindle Stores: | | | | |

Felicity Heaton
A witch on the verge of achieving phenomenal power, Lealandra must turn to her half-breed demon ex-lover Taig for protection from the dark force that is after her and also from her own magic.

With her Counter-Balance dead and her coven against her, Taig’s blood and power is the only thing that can help her control her magic and survive the ascension and gain the strength to defeat her enemy.

Old feelings come flooding back as Taig allows her into his world and Lealandra finds herself fighting not only for survival but to win his broken heart again and heal the pain in their past. Can he forgive her for walking out on him all those years ago and will he ever believe her when she tells him that he’s not a monster but the man that she loves?

genre: paranormal romance
length: 91000 words

Available as a FREE ebook from the following Amazon Kindle Stores: | | | | |

In Heat: Mating Call
Felicity Heaton
The English winter weather has no chance of cooling Kim down when her dreams of Erik return, and this time they’re hotter than ever! Having spent the past two years waiting to be in heat again so she can mate with her black panther shape-shifter lover, Erik Blackwell, Kim is excited about the prospect that she’s ready at last. But there’s one thing that she isn’t ready for…

The handsome white tiger shape-shifter that walks into their visions and then into their life, proclaiming himself to be her potential mate too!

Torn between two lovers and unable to stop herself from joining in the carnal pleasures in their visions, will Kim be able to resist the lure of Kristian in real life? Will Erik believe everything that happens or will he see past the lies to the truth and fight for the woman he loves?

genre: paranormal shape-shifter romance
length: 63000 words

Available as a FREE ebook from the following Amazon Kindle Stores: | | | | |

Don’t forget to grab your free copies of my other paranormal romance books too…

Vampire for Christmas
Felicity Heaton
It was one last mission. Shannon, a demon hunter with the agency, is looking forward to leaving behind the small town and the vampire she’s been stuck with for the past two years. Things are getting complicated fast and she wants out. A fresh start, free of her vampire partner, awaits her if she can survive their final mission and the lonely Christmas holidays.

It was one last mission. Rafe, a vampire doing time with the agency, watches it approach with dread weighing heavily in his stomach. Two years of working with Shannon has been difficult, especially since he started falling for her, but he doesn’t want their partnership to end. He has barely a few days to make her face her feelings and stop her from leaving, and he intends to do just that.

When a slimy demon threatens the season of peace and goodwill, it’s the chance Rafe has been waiting for and the moment Shannon secretly fears. Rafe’s determination to prise open her heart and her own resolve to keep it closed clash as violently as they do with the demon, and threatens to end as messily.

Can Rafe make Shannon see that his love for her is real and that she feels something for him too? Can Shannon face her fears and her past, and stop herself from running away from both? Will a wish on a star bring her what her heart truly desires—a vampire for Christmas?

Available as a FREE direct download:
.mobi | .epub | .pdf

Or get the FREE ebook from:
Amazon Kindle Stores:
UK only

Apple Stores:
iBookstore US | iBookstore UK | iBookstore Australia | iBookstore Canada

Other Retailers:
Barnes and Noble | Sony Reader Store | Smashwords

F E Heaton
The Law Keeper for the Venia bloodline, Marise doesn’t want to return home but duty dictates that she must investigate the attempt on her lord’s life by another vampire.

When she sets eyes on her lord, Marise realises that she might have been called for another reason and that the attack on her lord might not have been by a vampire after all. Her only source of information is a guard who was mortally wounded during the attack, a guard who turns out to be the man who broke her heart fifty years ago.

The sight of Jascha so close to death triggers a battle in Marise’s heart that will see her struggle to turn her back on him and her family again, and maintain her sense of duty. Is fifty years enough to forgive the one you love for breaking your heart? Will Marise finally confess to everything she’s held inside and kept hidden from him? And can Jascha convince Marise to listen to what he has to say and make her love him again?

Available as a FREE direct download:
.mobi | .pdf

Or get the FREE ebook from:
Amazon Kindle Stores:
US / World | UK

Apple Stores:
iBookstore US | iBookstore UK | iBookstore Australia | iBookstore Canada

Other Retailers:
Barnes and Noble | Sony Reader Store | Smashwords

Posted in Amazon Kindle, Apple iBookstore, Ascension, Barnes and Noble Nook, forbidden blood, free stories, paranormal romance, shapeshifter romance, urban fantasy, vampire romance | Comments Off on Three FREE Paranormal Romance Ebooks on Amazon Kindle

Ebook sales, Barnes and Noble Pubit and other thoughts

I am perpetually annoyed by Barnes and Noble because of their anti-international sentiments when it comes to their Nook ereading devices and also their Pubit scheme (I refuse to add the exclamation mark and I still read it as pubic). But, as the months roll on and they continue to deny readers and authors outside the US, I have to wonder whether they really are trying to compete with Amazon and Apple.

Let’s be honest, there’s no way that you can compete with those two major e-retailers when you flatly refuse to be an international company.

I have emailed Barnes and Noble several times since they first launched the Pubit scheme. At first, the responses were positive, telling authors that Pubit would open its doors to international authors in the New Year of 2011. A few months into 2011 and that all changed. They stopped responding to emails from us international authors, ignoring us as though we were plague-ridden peasants. (Dear B&N, I have sold over 110,000 ebooks on Amazon this year alone, and over 20,000 on Apple… and a paltry figure on your own site. You had the power to change that by allowing international authors to sell on your site directly, not via Smashwords. We all know you penalise anyone publishing outside of Pubit and promote Pubit books more to your readers, the sales figures make it clear)

Of course, since then I have seen plenty of authors complaining that Barnes and Noble haven’t paid them their royalties for X months and not everything is rosy in the world of Pubit. Seeing that on the forums made it understandable when they changed their Pubit site to say that it’s only available to US authors, as opposed to lying and saying it’s available to anyone as long as they have a US Bank Account. There’s a lot of speculation about the future of Barnes and Noble on the internet and some of it is truly interesting.

Specifically the rumours that Apple might purchase Barnes and Noble to gain itself more power in the ebook market. Personally, I wouldn’t complain if that happened. Barnes and Noble isn’t worth a huge amount of money so Apple could easily purchase it with their pocket change and gain themselves a larger ebook platform, and they’re probably more likely to be inclusive and either open the Nook ereading device and Pubit to international readers and authors, or absorb it into the Apple brand. Whether Apple would do anything as predictable as purchasing a competitor in order to get a stronger foothold on the ebook market is a whole other thing. Still, as I said, I wouldn’t complain but mostly because Barnes and Noble’s anti-international approach to ebooks annoys me.

The more exciting news I’ve discovered recently is the increase in ebook sales and ecommerce over the past year. Publishers Weekly talked about this on their blog at the end of October, detailing the increase by comparing quarter two 2010 to quarter 2 2011. Year on year shift in channel market share showed that ecommerce increased from 27.6% of the market last year to 37% this year, and trade stores and chains fell by 3%. Book clubs are almost dead now at less than 3%, but non-traditional and independent book stores gained increases.

In terms of the formats, print paperback dropped 7% to just 51% of the market, hardcover fell to 28.6% but the rising star is still ebooks. Lovely ebooks have risen by 10.5% to claim 13.7% of the market now. That’s an astronomical rise and one that is likely set to continue in the New Year as people open millions of new Amazon Kindle devices, Smartphones, Apple iPads, Sony and Kobo ereaders, and Nooks at Christmas.

Read all about the Bowker Pubtrack Consumer Report at Publishers Weekly

Last year sales tripled over the Christmas period and well into February, and have remained far higher than last year, at least for me. Each month was at least double what I did in December 2010, with around half of 2011 running closer to triple. Considering I decided to quit my job and write full time based on selling a few thousand dollars of books a month (I decided in July that I would file my notice in November based on the fact that I had sold over 2000 books in July on Amazon which was enough for me to scrape by on. Little did I know that come the New Year I would be selling five times that!)

I’m a cautious person. I run the figures thirty times over before committing to anything, and I don’t believe that everything will be rosy 100% of the time. I see the potential for downswings as well as upswings, so I never count my chickens. The ebook market is booming right now, but to be honest, it can easily go horribly wrong. I’m going to make the most of it while I can, laughing like a giddy school kid because I get to do what I love most in the world — write — and people are reading it. I couldn’t be happier, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have targets to challenge me. But more about that in a New Year post!

End of weird mashed up rant / celebration…

Posted in Amazon Kindle, Apple iBookstore, Barnes and Noble Nook, writing | Comments Off on Ebook sales, Barnes and Noble Pubit and other thoughts

Amazon Kindle Owners’ Lending Library

It’s been a strange week so far, but an interesting one. My schedule has been all over the place due to factors beyond my control, but I’ve got things done somehow, and have managed to get Crave edited in second draft, as well as writing a whole bunch of guest posts for my Winter Warmers blog tour.

The highlight of my week was an email from a lovely lady at Amazon KDP asking if she could call me and discuss something “confidential”. Of course I said yes because curiosity is a weakness we all share with cats. When Amazon email you wanting to discuss something confidential and offering to call you whenever is good for you, how could you say no?

Being sworn to secrecy is always difficult for me but I somehow survived and at least I can talk about it now. The nice lady wanted to discuss the new Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. It’s something they’re adding for Amazon Prime customers and rather than it being Kindle users lending their books to each other, it acts more like a real library. There’s a $500,000 kitty for the month of December, and each time your book is borrowed from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, you get a share of that kitty. Say there are 100,000 downloaded books in that month, and your book was borrowed 1000 times, you get $5000 that month as payment for your book being in the library. Sounds great doesn’t it? They believe they’ll get a $6 million kitty for the whole of 2012, so retaining that $500,000 a month.

Of course, there’s always a flip side to everything. In order to be a part of the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, your book has to be exclusive to Amazon for 90 days. Yep, you read that right. Amazon wants your book exclusively for three months… a quarter of a year… and if you forget to opt your book out near the end of those 90 days, it gets enrolled again.

There are added incentives to lure us indie authors into going along with our books being unavailable elsewhere for those 90 days, such as the fact that it will still be available for sale on all the Amazon Kindle Stores worldwide so you’ll continue to make money on it as you would normally too, and you get 5 days where you can have a free promotion on your book. You get to choose the days via the new look KDP, and can select either 5 consecutive days or non-consecutive. I’m interested to see whether they will promote those free books somehow so customers know about them, or whether they’ll just be free and only people who come across your book will know about it, or those you promote it to yourself.

The part I liked most about being asked by Amazon to enrol my books in the scheme was reading this on the blogs today:

Amazon says “31 of the top 50 KDP authors have already enrolled 129 titles.”

Yes, I was rather pleased to see that I had made enough progress with my life as a writer that I am considered one of the top 50 KDP authors. I shouldn’t really be surprised considering that I have sold over 110,000 books on Amazon this year as Felicity Heaton and F E Heaton, but it was nice to see it there spelled out for me. I had wondered why Amazon had chosen to contact me. Now I know.

I was honest when speaking to the lady and told her that I wouldn’t enrol any of my current releases in the library because it is the run up to the biggest retail week of the year and I’ve been working hard to promote my books over the past few weeks and get them into prime position for the Christmas period. Plus, as I said to her, I once tried to get Barnes and Noble, via Smashwords, to remove my books back when they were heavily discounting and causing me problems on Amazon, and several emails and four months later and they were still for sale on B&N. She did say that Amazon would give a two week grace period during which the author would have to remove their books, or make a very obvious effort to do so.

90 days is a very long time to have your book exclusively on one retail site. Okay, Amazon is the biggest, and the thought of getting a nice slice of the kitty plus the regular royalties for sales of the book is very alluring, but I do think it’s a long time to have your book in just one place.

Also, if you remove your books for sale on websites like Barnes and Noble, Apple iBookstore, Sony Reader Store, Kobo Books, etc then you’re going to lose rankings on those sites, as well as reviews most likely. You’re basically killing your previous marketing efforts for that book on those sites, and resetting everything. You’ll have to work doubly hard to get your book up the rankings again, and get reviews back. Of course, I’m sure Amazon knows this. The lure of a share of that pot will likely tempt people into giving it a go though.

Let’s do the math. Rather than opting one of my current releases in, I asked if I could add a new book to the site. The lady said yes so I added a book to the site before the deadline and supplied the ASIN for that book to Amazon. The book is a fantasy romance short story entitled The Night by Felicity Heaton. You can see it on here:

When you look at the Amazon book listing page, like you see when you search for a book title, it shows like this:

So people can immediately see that the book is available free if you’re a member of Amazon Prime. That should entice people for a start.

I’m selling the book for $0.99. That means I get around $0.35 per sale. If a Christmas miracle were to happen and the book is borrowed 1000 times, and only 100,000 books are borrowed in total from the library, then I get $5000 from the library kitty.

How many $0.99 books would I need to sell to get that in normal sales? Around 14285 books.

So, if the book you’re enrolling in the library is only $0.99, it makes a little financial sense to enrol it in the library like I have and see what happens. Even a $2.99 on 70% royalty option would have to sell close to 2500 books to make the same money as a book lent 1000 times. Plus, let’s be honest, you’re more likely to get someone reading your book for free from a library than paying for it. People love free stuff.

Is it worth not having your book on all the other retailers for 90 days? I’m not sure. I guess it depends on how many you think you can sell on those sites during that period. In reality, most of us would be likely to shift on average around 600 copies a month of a $0.99 book on Amazon. I have managed to do more than 3000 of a $0.99 in a month before though. Still, it’s not the 14000 I would have to sell to make $5k. In my personal experience, sales across all other sites are substantially lower than I get on Amazon. On average totalling around 200 a month across the other sites for a $0.99 book. Lose those 200 sales and risk gaining more money through the lending library? It’s a hard call. Since I can’t enrol in Pubit because I’m not American, I don’t make that many sales through B&N. Apple is my second biggest revenue source. Even then Amazon dwarfs it.

Still, I don’t think I would rush out and remove my books from other retailers. I am tempted to use the Amazon Kindle Owners’ Lending Library in a different manner though. I often work quite a way in advance on my releases but in 2012 I’m aiming to have them completed a few months before the advertised release date. I could do a soft launch on Amazon a little over 90 days prior to the book’s release, enrol it in the library for those 90 days, and offer it exclusively on Amazon until the official release date. Promotion wise, it would have to be very minimal until the official launch, but the book should sell some copies without me crooning about it all the time or touring the blogs with it. I just don’t know how readers would react to it. Would they be annoyed that they can’t get the book at Sony or Kobo or Apple or B&N or my own website for those 90 days? Most likely. Would Amazon users feel a little privileged because they could? Most likely too. Would I do it? It depends on how readers feel really. I’m not about to start alienating my readers to gain a few extra dollars. A lot of it would depend on the opinion of my readers and on how well my initial book in the library performs. Do I think Barnes and Noble, Apple and other retailers are going to be miffed? Absolutely!

Read more about the Amazon Kindle Owners’ Lending Library:

Read more about The Night:

The Night
Felicity Heaton
A powerful seventh level wizard, the last thing Zane expected to happen in his life was being cursed, even if he did deserve it. Each night he turns into a cat and remains that way until dawn breaks. His search for a cure uncovered rumours of a powerful witch who might be the only one in the world who could save him. From the moment he set eyes on the beautiful and mysterious Celene, he was lost.

Celene took Zane in without question a year ago and since that night she has been falling for him. Fearing he will leave if he discovers the truth about her, Celene learns all that she can from books and does all in her power to help him, but nothing is working and from daybreak to nightfall she must leave him to fight on alone.

When she realises that time is running out for Zane, Celene redoubles her effort to cure him but his stubborn refusal to tell her anything about the curse only hampers her efforts. But Celene can be stubborn too, and when she finds a slip of parchment with the clue she’s been hoping for, she sets about forcing Zane to confront his past.

Will Celene be able to save the man she’s come to love? And will Zane finally discover the truth about Celene and break his curse?

Price: $0.99

Available at Amazon Kindle Stores:

Posted in Amazon Kindle, Apple iBookstore, Barnes and Noble Nook, dark fantasy romance | Comments Off on Amazon Kindle Owners’ Lending Library

FREE kindle book – Reunion (Vampires Realm Series) by F E Heaton

I have a FREE Kindle book on and right now. Yep, you can get your mitts on Reunion, a vampire romance novella in my Vampires Realm series, for absolutely nothing. It’s also available at the Sony Reader Store, Barnes and Noble Nook Store, and Apple iBookstore, as well as my own website, Smashwords, and Feedbooks!

Don’t worry if you haven’t read anything in my Vampires Realm romance series yet. Reunion stands alone and you won’t miss a thing by not having read the other books, but hopefully you’ll be enticed to try a few out. Most of the stories in the Vampires Realm romance series that I write as F E Heaton do stand alone, so you can pick and choose which to read.

F E Heaton
The Law Keeper for the Venia bloodline, Marise doesn’t want to return home but duty dictates that she must investigate the attempt on her lord’s life by another vampire.

When she sets eyes on her lord, Marise realises that she might have been called for another reason and that the attack on her lord might not have been by a vampire after all. Her only source of information is a guard who was mortally wounded during the attack, a guard who turns out to be the man who broke her heart fifty years ago.

The sight of Jascha so close to death triggers a battle in Marise’s heart that will see her struggle to turn her back on him and her family again, and maintain her sense of duty. Is fifty years enough to forgive the one you love for breaking your heart? Will Marise finally confess to everything she’s held inside and kept hidden from him? And can Jascha convince Marise to listen to what he has to say and make her love him again?

ebook price: FREE EBOOK
genre: paranormal vampire romance
length: 27100 words
rating: sultry
released: January 2008
Book 6 in the Vampires Realm series

Available as a free e-book download from:
» My website
» Amazon Kindle Store
» Amazon UK Kindle Store
» Barnes and Noble Nook Store
» Sony Reader Store
» Smashwords (Epub, Mobi, PDF, LRF, PDB formats)
» Feedbooks (Epub, Mobi, PDF formats)

Happy Reading Everyone!

Posted in Amazon Kindle, Apple iBookstore, Barnes and Noble Nook, free stories, vampire romance, Vampires Realm | Comments Off on FREE kindle book – Reunion (Vampires Realm Series) by F E Heaton

Love Immortal – Vampire Romance Book Extended Excerpt

You can now download the first 10 chapters of this action-packed, passionate paranormal romance book as a PDF direct from my website. Also, the book is now available from more places in both e-book and paperback!

Download the first 10 chapters:

Love Immortal

Felicity Heaton

Rescued from werewolves by the most breathtaking man she’s ever seen, Lauren is dragged into the fight of her life and a dark world she never knew existed. There, she discovers that she’s the latest reincarnation of a goddess and must drink the blood of her immortal protector, Julian, in order to reawaken and continue her three thousand year old mission to defeat Lycaon, the original werewolf.

With the help of Julian and an organisation of people with supernatural abilities, Lauren fights for her life, their future and the fate of mankind against Lycaon and his deadly army, but can she succeed when Lycaon has killed all of her predecessors?

Can she crack the armour around Julian’s heart and seize her happily forever after with him? And can Julian bring himself to trust Lauren with the fragments of his heart after everything he’s been through?
ebook price: $3.99
genre: paranormal vampire romance
length: 157000 words

Available now at:
My website:
Amazon Kindle:
Amazon Kindle UK:
Barnes and Noble:
Kobo Books:
Sony Reader Store:

Also available in paperback for only $12.99:
Barnes and Noble:

Posted in Amazon Kindle, Apple iBookstore, Barnes and Noble Nook, extended excerpts, Love Immortal, paperbacks, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, vampire romance, vampires | Comments Off on Love Immortal – Vampire Romance Book Extended Excerpt

update on the iBookstore

I’m excited to say that there has been a slight improvement with the iBookstore in that I can actually verify that my books are there. iBookstore is now available in the UK and you can get it on iPhones, and I asked a work colleague to check whether my books were there. They were, and In Heat and In Heat: Mating Call both have five star ratings, which was rather exciting to see!

It’s a shame that my only way of seeing iBookstore is via someone else’s iPhone if they happen to have the app installed. I still think Apple need to wake up and realise that without a physical website URL we can send readers to, we can’t effectively promote out e-books on the iBookstore. I think the problem stems from the fact that they’re primarily a computer / software program sort of company, and don’t really have a firm grasp of what it takes to sell books online—namely a good website where people can browse the books and decide to buy, and where authors can direct their readers who might be interested in buying their book for a certain platform.

I would like to see them open a website but I don’t think it will happen. I’m eager to see if my sales have picked up at all since they last sent data to Smashwords back in June. I hadn’t sold much then. I don’t think that the twenty-something e-books I had sold on iBookstore in two months of my books being available on there could compare at all with the several thousand I sold at Amazon in that same timeframe.

The reason I asked my work colleague whether he could get the iBookstore on his iPad in the UK (which he then informed me he could get it on his iPhone too) was because a fellow author emailed me, having read my previous blog rant about the iBookstore, asking if anything had changed since I posted it back in April. Nothing has really changed except that I’ve verified that my paranormal romance books are indeed there, but at least I can tell him that if he has an iPhone or iPad, or knows someone who does, that he can see if his books appear there too when he submits them.

Does being able to see the books on iBookstore in the UK tempt me to purchase an iPhone or iPad? Not really. I’m not actually tempted to buy an Amazon Kindle either, although I do use Amazon’s Kindle PC program and find it’s a good piece of software.

I don’t spend enough time reading to warrant owning an e-reader of any sort. While I have grand designs when it comes to taking breaks and having some reading time, I often end up engaged in something else entirely—namely writing, developing websites, or drawing. (or reading manga, but that’s a beast of an addiction)

Posted in Apple iBookstore | Comments Off on update on the iBookstore

What is an acceptable price for an ebook?

Since the Amazon scuffle of earlier this year, there’s been a lot of movement on the Amazon Kindle forum about prices. I’ve read plenty of the posts, and seen authors adjust prices, and try to find the sweet spot, but I’m still left wondering: What is that sweet-spot price that everyone is looking for?

It’s probably FREE, but even then I’ve seen plenty of readers complain about the free books because they spent time downloading it only to think it was rubbish or lacking in something.

I agree that ebooks should never ever cost the same as the hardback, or even the paperback. It’s completely justifiable to say that most ebooks ARE overpriced. The publishers defend themselves by making out that there’s lots of work involved with ebooks and trying to push the cost of editing, proofing, etc over onto them too, but the trouble is that most readers probably see the ebook as a by-product. The book has been written, edited, proofed and given a cover for the print editions, so surely the digital edition is just a bit of tweaking and formatting? I do agree that the amount of work that goes into an ebook, when there is already a print version being made, is fairly minimal, but remember that not all ebooks have print counterparts. Yes, I’m talking about us darling indie authors and our ebook-only stories. While I can’t defend publishers for the prices they put on ebooks, I can’t defend those that want to pay pence for the ebook either.

Readers do seem to expect to pay rock-bottom prices these days. Yes, the economic downturn is probably partly to blame, and another portion can be assigned to those people in print who drive the prices up to ten dollars, but not all ebooks can be free, or priced at a level where an author won’t actually make a profit.

I think when readers purchase books, they need to consider the big picture. There’s much more than just the editing cost, the cover cost, etc to consider. There’s how much time the author spent writing the story for example, or planning out those little details that make it a refreshing read. It’s about the vast number of times they visited Starbucks (guilty) to write that novel. The cost of printing it out for editing it. A lot of blood, sweat and, very likely, tears went into it too. So based on that, as an author, I can’t understand any reader who insists that the 150,000 word ebook they want to purchase should be less than two dollars just because it is an ebook.

I try to be realistic with my prices, and often drop the prices of stories that have celebrated their second birthday, but the sheer number of people campaigning for 99 cent stories or stories under two dollars, slightly cripples a lot of authors efforts. We can’t all sell books for under a dollar. It just isn’t feasible (especially when so many people distribute them for free on torrents too!).

Some authors go by page count, but I like to go by word count, or what length book it would be as a paperback, and price it accordingly.

I think it’s totally reasonable to have a short story, or short novella, at 99 cents. A novella of say, 20-40,000 words could happily sell for a cost of $1.99 (that’s half the cost of a cup of coffee) because less time has been spent writing and editing. A novella of 40,000 to say a novel of 60,000 could be $2.99. A novel, I think should be $3.99… minimum. If you’re talking about my 150,000 word example, I would go as far as $4.49 or $4.99, as the print counterpart would cost at least $7.99 (or, ahem, £7.99 in the UK! that’s $12.50)

I think they’re quite reasonable prices. They accommodate all of the factors for editing, writing, proofing, planning, and making the formats and cover etc.

Of course, even I would choke if asked to pay $4.99 for a 15,000 word short story (as seen in a few places online).

Ebooks to me should be a few dollars cheaper than their print counterparts, but not free (unless they’re promotional) or priced so low that the author won’t ever break even on them.

What do you think?

Posted in Amazon Kindle, Apple iBookstore | Comments Off on What is an acceptable price for an ebook?

iPad and iBookstore flaws for UK Self-Published author…

Well, as an author whose romance ebooks have been accepted for sale in the Apple iBookstore for the iPad, I’m pleased as punch, however, there’s a rather large flaw that I can’t help feeling is going to be detrimental to the sales figures for my books.

iBook appears to be purely an app and not a physical site like, so the casual user can’t browse a site and make a decision that way. They have to do everything via the app on their iPad, presumably because you have to have an iPad in order to read the book anyway. That’s fine, except I’m a British author without an iPad, and even if I had an iPad, the iBookstore isn’t available to readers outside the US (Kindle, here we go again, in about a year, Apple will wake up and realise that people OUTSIDE the US also read and write ebooks!). Therefore, I have NO way of checking whether my books are on the virtual shelves of the iBookstore or not, so I can’t promote them… which brings me onto the next issue…

Since this is purely an app, I don’t have anything to link to. I can’t give potential purchasers a link to encourage sales, which means I can’t promote my books on iBookstore with any real chance of success (especially since I can’t actually check they’re there!), which leaves me somewhat twiddling my thumbs. Seriously, Apple, grow a bit of sense. Most books sales are driven by promotional efforts of either the publisher, book store or author. Since I’m just an author on my lonesome, I drive all the sales myself. I spend time on the Kindle forums, on my twitter, on my site and my blogs, posting links, reviews and excerpts of my books to drive readers towards buying them… I can’t do that with iBookstore. Effectively, you’ve tied my promotional hands behind my back. Since I don’t even know for sure that the books are even up on your iBookstore (smashwords say that they’ve been shipped, but that doesn’t mean they’re on there, believe me. I’ve had my books shipped to Barnes & Noble for a long time now and they’re still not on the site!) I can’t even stick a little something on my website to say they’re also available on iBookstore.

It all seems rather stupid. Plus, I agree with the thousands of users of iPhone and iPod Touch that they should also be able to use this iBook app for their phones. The ePub format can easily be used for such small reading devices and you’re restricting your market by denying them. Even Amazon Kindle has a PC version you can download now. I know, I use it.

Please, Apple, wake up and see that you’re not really helping authors by not allowing us to even see if the books are on your store and not giving us a way of linking to them to promote!

I guess I’ll just have to keep pushing my promotional efforts at the sites which do let me see my books – Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Smashwords, Fictionwise and my own site.

Grr… and I had such high hopes for Apple iBookstore too!

Posted in Apple iBookstore | Comments Off on iPad and iBookstore flaws for UK Self-Published author…