I was a reader long before I was a writer, and I’m still a reader more than a writer (’cause, you know, reading is a faster process than writing). So when I read Dear Author this morning, wherein Jane proceeds to give publishers advice as to how to help readers buy books and she didn’t miss a trick, I shouted hallelujah!
(Although the fact that she needed to defies winning models of doing businesses, but this is publishing we’re talking about.)
This one in particular caught our attention over at B10 Mediaworx (which website is in the middle of redesign to implement a better shopping cart than what we’ve got now):
Have a website where readers can easily find out about titles, where to get them, what formats they’ll be in, when they’re being released, and how they relate to other books with a link to an excerpt. Each publisher’s website should contain the information of title, release date and book description as early as possible along with the excerpt.
I can’t tell you how many times I have:
A. Gone to a website to purchase an ebook and had to spend upwards of a half an hour to do so because of all the extraneous steps required (or got tired or distracted or had a time limit and ended up not buying at all) and/or
B. Couldn’t find anything anywhere to tell me where I could purchase an ebook, even though I knew it was available (this included trolling authors’ sites, which helped little nor not at all) and/or
C. Read someone (or a whole lot of someones) on some blog complaining about A and/or B.
Quite often I read someone who goes, “Hey, Author A: Tell your publisher it needs to do X, Y, Z because I’d sure LIKE to buy your book, but I can’t. What’s up with that?” It doesn’t help anyone to request an author to help because s/he has no control over that—
—which is kind of the nice thing about opening up your own shop. (And some days, you have to scramble to rustle up any nice thing about opening up your own shop.)