A friend messaged me a couple of weeks ago to say that she wanted to buy a copy of Speak Its Name as a present for somebody, and it was out of print on Amazon: was it still available?
It is; it just isn’t on Amazon. The same goes for The Real World. A Spoke In The Wheel is there at the moment, but may not always be there. As for my short stories, well, their availability is entirely dependent on the whim of whichever publisher controls the anthology they happen to be in.
(If anyone didn’t get Stronger Than Death in the Rainbow Bouquet anthology before Manifold Press shut up shop, keep an eye on I Read Indies over Hallowe’en, by the way. And you can get Prima Donna in Upstaged from Smashwords for free at the moment. Meanwhile, if you want my Victorian bicycling witch midwife story Layings Out and Lyings In, your best bet is to back the Bicycles and Broomsticks Kickstarter, which has just under three days left to run.)
I didn’t exactly mean to become an eccentric literary recluse, but it seems to have happened anyway. I took most of my books off Amazon to make them cheaper, but of course it’s had the unfortunate side-effect of making them harder to find.
Then there’s the undeniable fact that the project that’s currently firing my imagination the most is the one that’s designed specifically to be sold in one single bookshop that only exists for a week every year. For Book Bus Stories, exclusivity is going to be a selling point. It’s a limited edition, except it’s limited by space and time instead of by numbers.
And it’s true, there is something about being hard to get that’s rather glamorous and intriguing. You have to know where to look. You won’t find me sliced, diced and discounted in The Works. (I do occasionally leave a copy on a café table or a railway book swap shelf, though. I like letting chance play its part.)
What I suspect is actually happening, though, is that people who genuinely do want to buy my books are googling, hitting the Amazon link, seeing that it’s unavailable, and assuming that it’s unavailable everywhere. Which is not ideal, seeing as it’s not true.
Unfortunately I’m not sure that’s going to change any time soon. Every time I think that I really should look at putting my books back on Amazon through Kindle Direct Publishing, I hear another story about what a pain it is. Somebody I know has quoted some inoffensive passage by good friend Anonymous that’s been in the public domain for centuries and been kicked off for assumed plagiarism. Just this week, one of the Zoe Chant authors got unjustly banned, apparently by AI, and with nobody to appeal to but other AIs. They’re back now, but really. Every time I decide that it all sounds like far too much hassle.
I’m very busy and very tired, my day job’s paying the bills, my admin bandwidth is mostly being taken up by Cursillo, and selling books just isn’t a priority at the moment. My limited book time is going on creating new ones. (And writing blog posts explaining myself, obviously; but this is a half hour’s job, compared to something that could easily eat up a morning or more.) So I’m just going to keep limiting my editions. And people who really want to buy my books can do so using the links below: