Further Opinions of eBook services

So far, both as reader and as writer I must say I prefer iBooks.

I finally got Google to work.  First off, there’s a sign up you must do, but the instructions are arranged so that it looks like what you do is go to http://books.google.com/partner, and the sign up using a link found there.  No.

Okay, there’s a sign up link below that link in the FAQ that is where you need to start — yes, you read that right.  Where one starts is with the second link in the instructions (sounds stupid yet?).  This takes you to a signup sheet where you fill in your info.  Now, important note:  If you’ve more than one gmail account (as many people do) be sure you’re currently signed into the right one!  It’ll take you to a Google accounts login, but it’s already too late, if it’s got a username filled in for you and is only prompting you for the password?  Yeah, that’s the one it used.

The interface is obtuse.  Most things are pretty straightforward, admittedly, but a few things aren’t.  For example:  say you write and self publish some work under pseudonym (something more than a few self-published folk do, especially ones who write multiple genres), you have to set up imprints.  And it has very poor help on what some of the odder of the fields in that screen mean.

I’m still toying with it, to be fair, but I must say it’s no real surprise to me why so many of the friends I know who have AndroidOS devices use the Kobo, Nook, or Amazon apps for ebooks instead of Google Play.  I wasn’t terribly impressed with the reader app, and have long since deleted it from my iPad, and never bothered with it on my desktop.

I’m also hitting a sticking point with Nook.  I contacted B&N’s PubIt help regarding problems I’m having with their service recognising an ISBN on a book I was trying to manage, and for another where the ISBN was recognised to display that or at least have it linked in some fashion for searches … the response was a rather unhelpful thing saying that all books get a 12-digit BNID and are identified by that.  Which is a total lie.  Example: Discount Armageddon.

True, I doubt that was put up via PubIt.  So, it’s possibly true of PubIt titles.  Which points to yet another place where an eBook seller is treating independent authors, publishers, etc. like they’re second class or worse.  That ISBN is important for people who might be looking for the ebook for their favourite device and lots of services for linking to things (e.g. Goodreads.com) use ISBN based APIs for this.

I’ll keep experimenting.  And if my own work goes up via PubIt I’ve some theories on what’s going on that I can play around with.  Still, so far, Nook’s a pretty sharp platform from a reader’s point of view, less impressed now with PubIt from a writer/publisher point of view (and less impressed with their customer support, even Amazon was never that unhelpful).

So to put it another way I have just decided that my first rank goes to Apple, second to Kobo & DriveThru Fiction, third goes to Nook & Smashwords, and dead last goes to Google and Amazon.

At this point I’m starting to wonder, rather much, if I shan’t take up the agent I submitted to if she should respond positively to my books (so far still waiting with bated breath and fingers crossed) in order to save myself money on aspirin.  Self -epublishing isn’t as hard as most people make it out to be, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t work and isn’t annoying.  Still, it’ll all come down to how insulting the terms would be if I went traditional publishing house to decide if I’ll be putting Now & Forever out myself or letting someone else do it.

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One thought on “Further Opinions of eBook services

  1. God, I love Google (irony and sarcasm). The only place in the world I’ve ever found at least three different instructions for one thing on the official help pages.

    A much easier to follow instruction than the one that Google searches were turning up before is here: http://support.google.com/books/partner/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=106167

    In this one the sign-on is the FIRST link. Though, it doesn’t say that after you would need to visit http://books.google.com/partner … but if the sign-on then takes you to that page I think it should be fairly easy to figure out from there.

    Like

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