DailyLit has apparently never heard of the long tail

So, I’ve been working on getting my books and eBooks around to as many places as possible lately. Putting them up in over half a dozen formats (apparently have to figure out how to make eReader, Palm Reader, and MS Reader compatible versions, as well) for free on my website, getting them available on Amazon for the kindle (done), getting them on Google Book Search (apparently even uploaded PDFs need to be manually “processed” so that could be a couple of weeks), getting set up at Lightning Source (which would include distribution, and for which I definitely want to have the MS and Palm versions ready, if possible – oh, and for which I’m faxing the paperwork over to them today), and emailing other eBooks sites to see if I can get my books up. I need to look closer at WOWIO and a couple of others, but so far I’ve emailed DailyLit and BookGlutton to see if they could put up my books. Each is either entirely or mostly free, having mostly or entirely Public Domain / CC works.

Heard back from DailyLit. Here’s an excerpt of what they said:

“… right now we are looking for works in the following categories:

  • Best-selling or critically acclaimed titles
  • Titles by authors who have a big following (especially on the web)
  • Works that are especially well-suited to the DailyLit format”

Which is to say, they’ve apparently never heard of “the long tail” … DailyLit would be an excellent service for the long tail of eBooks, since they have an even lower psychological barrier-to-entry than traditional eBook retailers; they send books to you via email in small, easily-digestible chunks. Everyone is used to getting daily emails these days, email newsletters, they check their mail, they read their mail, it’s part of everyday life in a way that reading paper books often isn’t, and reading eBooks on digital readers isn’t for everyone who doesn’t own one. DailyLit is a format I can imagine people would be willing to try new books out on, new authors on. DailyLit has a universal enough platform that all those niche books in the long tail, instead of targeting their eBooks at only the people with digital readers, or who are willing to read a full-length traditional eBook on their screen, they can target everyone who is comfortable reading email. Which widens their niche, I would think.

As we know about the long tail, each title may not be purchased very often. Yet if we make each of these less-popular, niche titles as widely available as possible to the most possible readers, they will see an increased possibility of success. (And DailyLit would see more volume of business overall.)

Alas, like traditional “Big Publishing”, DailyLit is only interested in you if you’ve already got a big audience they can tap into. Oh well. Their loss as well as mine.

E-Books coming online

Alright, it took me roughly twice as long as I was hoping to get this far, but I’ve spent roughly 32 hours of the last 40 working on getting my books converted to a variety of E-Book formats and uploaded to my site and a couple of others. There’s still work to do (I have to fax some paperwork to Lightning Source to get set up for E-Books there, and maybe convert to a couple more formats for that), but I’m as done as I can be for right now.

Which is to say that my novels are now available as screen readable PDFs, printable PDFs (galley-like layout), basic HTML, RTF, Mobi, .epub*, and plaintext files. They are also available for purchase on the Amazon Kindle. All my print books (including poetry) will (soon?) be fully searchable on Google Book Search & purchasable via same as E-Books. After I get them set up via Lightning Source, they will also be available for purchase through all major online E-Book retailers, but that could be a couple of weeks.  Oh, and I also created preview PDFs of my poetry books – I don’t want to give those away for free in their entirety, and think their format doesn’t work as well as E-Books.

Starting tomorrow, I’ll be recording audiobooks almost full time for a while, and accompanying videos soon thereafter. For now: sleep.

*I’m not sure that my .epub files are formatted correctly – I couldn’t get several of them to open with Adobe Digital Editions, but they did open in other readers. I haven’t tested them on my PC yet, only my Mac.  Anyone use the .epub format who might be willing to assist with getting these to work better / look better?  Thanks