The fellows at Scribd stopped their busy schedules and answered my pleas. Hoozah! The problem isn’t solved, but I know someone is there… and hoping they don’t just dump me like a hot potato. (Hey, it’s happened before.) So this is my impression so far on Scribd.com as a marketing/distribution resource for authors.
1. It used to be you’d go there and find a lot of copyrighted material in places it didn’t belong They’ve cleaned that up with a vengeance and made their website a lot more streamlined. I can’t say if it’s easier to explore than before, but it’s nicer to look at.
2. They now cater to big publishers – a plus for the avid reader and mainstream lover – so that the featured slots are full of books by the big guys. I stopped and looked at one or two: they were all samples. If you want to buy them you’re taken to an external link. For people shopping for that next book, this can be both good and bad – good for the big guys. Bad for the little guy who may not be noticed due to the reader being taken away from Scribd or just couldn’t see anything past the big guy ads.
3. Scribd allows independent authors to sell their books on their site. This is good good good. They pay you either by Paypal or by check. (I personally prefer the check.) And I have noticed since uploading Black Wolf, Silver Fox there are quite a few reads on it. If nothing else, it’s excellent exposure. No complaints there.
4. When you upload your book, you have the option to apply for it to be featured on the front page. This is wonderful. The downside is I can’t find any way to apply for it after you’ve finalized your information and moved on. So either you take the chance and apply right then or you never do, best I can tell.
So weighing the pros and cons, I’d say if you can get your email confirmed Scribd is an excellent resource and urge you to check it out. And if you can’t get your email confirmed, you can always do like the big guys and upload a sample that will take your reader to an external link.
Now me: I prefer to give my reader the option to purchase the whole book right then and there. Samples that lead people away, in my mind, just aren’t very kosher and should be avoided when the situation is correct for it.
Moving along in my marketing journey….
The past couple of days have been filled with working on my client’s marketing strategy, making contact with various areas, and getting really frustrated with Scribd. It appears that no matter how many times I hit send for my confirmation email – as I’d updated my information – the stupid email won’t send. “Check your spam folder” is their FAQ advice. And what if you don’t have a spam folder? What if your email box is spam free because you don’t use that particular email often and in public, so you don’t even run a filter? Then I guess you’re SOL because your emailed pleas for help to the email address they give go unanswered. It’s rather disheartening, because this means I can’t use Scribd as a full resource until they get their act together.
There are perks to having my time taken up by this, though. I’ve also managed to market some of my own things. (Because I’m evil like that.) And even though I originally had not planned to do it, I’ve taken a look at perhaps finding small distribution for 10 Confessions & A Kiss. I mean, other than going to Coldcut – who seem niced enough when they took on Akashik years ago even though I look at that comic and wince. From pain.
The kind of pain you get when your brain cramps because you need to fix that storytelling up, and you need it now. The kind of pain that sends nurses running for a liberal dose of morphine. The kind of pain…. yeah. You get it.
I just think my chances of getting 10 Confessions into Coldcut are slim. I also think those who get the Coldcut catalog would be sloughed with notices from a lot of other handmade comics (i.e. minicomics) around 10 Confessions… and it wouldn’t be noticed very well. That’s what happened before with other things.
So I happened across someone who seems to make a living at being a traditional door to door salesman. I think the proper term here is “agent”. I have emailed him, thinking to myself if I can just get him to take on 10 I will be content with 3 little stores. I’m not greedy when it comes to 10, although I should be being as I chose the more traditional route for its publication. But you see, I also don’t want to spend all my time handling a book that doesn’t pay my bills and having my bill time cut into. It’s a real problem.
Oh well, I’m terrible at making pitches anyway. So one or the other, we carry on and I’ll carry on. Chapter 2 is getting very close to getting done, and this means I’m very close to having another Kickstarter campaign. In the meantime, the printer told me the chapter one books will be on their way to me soon.
Yes, I know you’re supposed to make these by hand. Just typing this post is killing me. My days by the photocopier are sinking in the west, I’m afraid. C’est la print. 🙂