The Daily Journal, Tuesday, July 16

In today’s Journal

* Update
* Topic: A Tale of Two Businesses
* Don’t miss
* Daily diary
* Of Interest
* The numbers


Light day yesterday. I watched/listened to one of the Pop-Ups I received through a Kickstarter reward (writing stuff).

I also decided to invest in a second set of speakers for my computers. I’ll keep one set in the Hovel for those times when I’m studying writers’ stuff and one in the house for when my wife and I are listening to publishing and marketing and licensing stuff.

Topic: A Tale of Two Businesses

First and foremost, I find writing a great deal of fun, so there’s that. But some time ago I decided to also go into business, selling licenses to others for the use of my creations.

I sell those licenses at three levels:

* I license directly to the reader—This is done through StoneThread Publishing at a discount. The reader pays less and I retain 100% of the net purchase price.

* I license directly to retail—I license Amazon to list my books on their site for readers to find and license. The reader pays whatever price Amazon sets and I get 70% of the purchase price. (You can also license direct to other retailers, but for various reasons, I choose not to.)

* I license to an aggregator—The aggregator takes my raw document, converts it to the appropriate formats, then distributes it to retail stores, libraries, and other aggregators for broad distribution around the world. I earn the purchase price minus 10% to the aggregator(s) plus whatever royalty split the store takes.

If I want to make a living from my writing in the long term, licensing to aggregators has to be an important part of my business plan.

In any given month, there’s a better chance I’ll sell 1 copy of a book in each of 400 stores than 400 copies of the same book in 1 store. That’s why I use aggregators.

I currently use Smashwords and Draft2Digital. Through them I reach around 200 stores and 400 libraries. I was looking to expand.

StreetLib and PublishDrive are ebook aggregators whose reach would vastly extend my own. I’ll definitely be expanding into StreetLib and thereby adding another 180 stores that don’t currently list my books.

I hope to do the same with PublishDrive, but we’re off to a rocky start.

In business—at least in my business—time and information are important.

On July 11, I emailed both StreetLib and PublishDrive with the same question: Can I upload an .epub file created by another aggregator for distribution and sale to select markets through [your business]?

StreetLib got back to me the following day, July 12, with a definitive answer. Yes, I could do that.

PublishDrive also emailed me on July 12 and referred me to an item in their Help section. Unfortunately, the item had nothing to do with my question. (Yes, it said, I could use them as well as another aggregator.)

I wrote PublishDrive again, still on July 12. I told the rep she hadn’t answered my question.

She emailed me again on July 13 to say she would check with a colleague for an answer to my original question.

Finally, this morning, on July 16, PublishDrive emailed to say yes, I could upload a file created by another aggregator. Five days after I asked the original question.

Fine. Good. But I’m not overly confident in PublishDrive.

Remember that old saw about only getting one chance to make a first impression?

I asked a simple yes or no question that had the potential of increasing the aggregators’ revenue.

The contact at StreetLib conducted whatever research was required (or knew her business going in) and responded quickly. If there was any doubt or confusion on her end, I wasn’t allowed to see it. That’s good business.

The contact at PublishDrive showcased her own ineptitude and was slow to respond. That telegraphed to me that any future dealings with that aggregator probably will be as rocky as the first.

This is business, so I’ll still take advantage of PublishDrive as an aggregator IF they can deliver my books into a significant number of stores that StreetLib doesn’t reach.

But if this turns out to be strictly an either-or proposition—if the two aggregators have the same reach, say plus or minus ten stores—StreetLib would win the contract. Hands down.

Don’t miss tomorrow’s post. Tomorrow I will rebut, point by point, a post that claims to be in support of writing into the dark but is actually chock full of harmful misinformation.

Rolled out at 2:15. Wrote the stuff above, was somewhat ambushed by a site whose blog posts I had subscribed to, and wrote another topic for tomorrow.

Went to the store for those speakers and some other items. Back at the Hovel I listened to a Pop Up lecture on setting up and running my own online bookstore. I have a lot of that in place already, but I got some new ideas.

I’ll spend the balance of the day today setting up a StreetLib account and bulk-uploading my backlist. If there’s time, and if I decide to go with PublishDrive, I’ll do the same with them.

Talk with you again tomorrow.

Of Interest

See “If I Can Make It” at I encourage you to leave a comment on his site.

See “Heinlein’s Rule #1” at

See “On Fan Mail And Diving Down Into The Research Rabbit Hole” at

See “A Writer’s Guide to Fair Use and Permissions + Sample Permissions Letter” at

See “22 Literary Journals that Accept Reprints” at

See “What’s Age Got To Do WIth It?” at Especially if you’re new to this Journal, please see my comment too.

See “Free Fiction Monday: The Wedding Ring” at

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 1000 (Journal)
Total words for the day: 1000

Writing of ()

Day 1…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 3173
Total fiction words for the year………… 354511
Total nonfiction words for the month… 19080
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 203280
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 557791

Calendar Year 2019 Novels to Date…………………… 7
Calendar Year 2019 Novellas to Date……………… 1
Calendar Year 2019 Short Stories to Date… 1
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 44
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 194
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31