___WORDS FROM ME_____________________________________

what i wouldn't give for kindle unlimited

It’s been a while since I mentioned my ebook novella What I Wouldn’t Give. It’s been a while since anyone else mentioned it too. And still longer since anyone bought a copy.

I’m not particularly surprised. The ebook novella was always an experiment for me, a way of learning how to format such a book, create a cover for it, and to publish it myself for as little money as possible. It wasn’t something that I was going to “market” like a professional. Hell, I doubt I’ll ever do anything like a professional; I rather suspect I’ll be a hopeless amateur the rest of my life. The plan was to simply get it up and available and see what happened. Anyway . . .

The easiest way to go about this was through Amazon, and so that’s where I went to do it. After all, there were plenty of “how to” articles floating around the internet, and some YouTube videos that helped as well; enough of them for me to grasp the basics and put out a no frills ebook.

Being a straightforward novella, What I Wouldn’t Give didn’t require me to insert a contents page or much of the jazzy stuff that can be put into ebooks these days, such as hypertext and so on. It felt like all I had to do was get the writing right, and format away. Simples, as the Meerkats say. All the same, I did a bit of interior work on the book. For instance, starting sections in Bold type, just to differentiate sections from what had gone before, and to make the text look interesting before you even started reading it. (You can catch up about that stuff here.)

It had been in my mind, back then, to make the novella available on other platforms too, after a while: Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and anywhere else that might offer a place to sell it. But that proved more complicated than I was ready for at the time. It was also going to be potentially costly. Where Amazon aced it over most of its competitors was by allowing you to list your ebook without paying for an ISBN or the near-mythical eISBN. (In some countries ISBNs are free; in the UK they are anything but free. And when the budget for the project is the change in your butt cheek pocket, this is a no-go area.)

That’s slowly changed and making use of the other platforms is now a real and desirable possibility. Though Kobo and others prefer an ISBN, to make use of all of their facilities, they now appear to offer in-store equivalents.  Enough to at least get you off the ground. Suddenly, “going wide”, as they call it, isn’t as costly as it once was. And given the dangers inherent when companies have such market dominance they are almost a monopoly, I think more and more writers want to spread the availability of their books, rather than find the terms of their agreements a little one-sided in any one particular company’s favour, and then wind up at the bottom end of the gig economy, out on the street with a Homeless and Boneless sign pencilled on a piece of cardboard.

But ever the contrarian (a word I may have just made up, or at the least misspelled) I have just signed the ebook up to Kindle Unlimited, making it uniquely available through Amazon.  Partly this is laziness, partly it’s me wanting to see if it makes a difference to the number of people who have read it. On Kindle Unlimited it’s possible to borrow the ebook for free, rather than pay the staggeringly high amount of 99p for it (less than a cup of coffee from your favourite coffee chain).

Despite mentioning the ebook in author biographies attached to short story sales – the one bit of marketing you could say I have done – sales of What I Wouldn’t Give have hardly been impressive, even though some kindly souls have put up some nice reviews for the tale. One of the mistakes I’d made was to discourage people from reviewing the title on Amazon; I hadn’t realised that the reviews also boost its visibility and store position and that it’s not simply down to sales alone. Told you I was a hopeless amateur. But it is what it is.

It’s my hope that the Kindle Unlimited offer might see someone else read the piece. If someone does, they might even be nice enough to review it for me.

To read What I Wouldn’t Give in the US, click here.

To read What I Wouldn’t Give in the UK, click here.

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