D2D Live: November 2019 Ask Us Anything

Posted by: Kevin Tumlinson 1 week, 5 days ago

Dan Wood, Mark Lefebvre, and Kevin Tumlinson answer some of your most pressing questions in this month's "Ask Us Anything" webinar. This month we talk libraries, print, marketing, and so much more!

If you'd like to be in the loop for future webinars, make sure to bookmark https:/draft2digital.com/live

The full transcript for this webinar is available below.

TRANSCRIPT

Mark Lefebvre:

00:04

My name is Mark Leslie Lefebvre and I am the director of business development for Draft2Digital. And we have now he's above me on the screen. The one, the only, the voice, the man who, who says he's pants optional. Kevin Tumlinson.

Kevin Tumlinson:

00:18

Hello there. Uh, I'm Kevin Tumlinson. I am the Director of Marketing and Public Relations for Draft2Digital.

Mark Lefebvre:

00:25

Awesome. And of course on the screen that I'm looking at, when I look down below me, I see my esteemed and prestigious boss, the one and only the marvelous, the man, Dan the man. Dan Wood.

Dan Wood:

00:36

Hello, everyone. I'm Dan Wood, Vice President of Operations here at Draft2Digital. It's good to be here.

Mark Lefebvre:

00:40

Cool. And uh, you cannot see her, but we desperately need her and rely on her every month to control the strings in the background. Think of her like the, the woman behind the curtain, the Wizard of Oz. Uh, Elyssa is helping out in the background and she's going to be taking some of these questions and she's going to be punting them over to us. And I think we're going to probably start with the very first question, which I believe comes from, actually I'll have to acknowledge Richard Stevens posted a comment with a little beer there. So cheers Richard.

Mark Lefebvre:

01:09

Thank you for that. I appreciate that night. It was a good idea. I saw it. Russell Phillips. Uh, ask the question, do you have any plans to introduce a way to split royalties between multiple authors, it would be useful for people doing collaborations or multi-author box sets? Yes, Russell, it would be amazingly, uh, how helpful and it is actually something that we have developed and are in the process of still rolling out via our D2D Shared Universes platform. The whole structure of that platform was collaborations between authors, which does involve split royalties. Now because of some of the challenges that we've had with some of the changes in the industry and some of the additional developments that, you know, maybe weren't expected for 2019 that got pushed back a little bit. So that's something that'll probably be coming out in ... You'll see that coming in 2020. We do believe that the future of of publishing is going to involve more collaborations for authors and we want to help authors help each other. So that is something that is coming. So thanks for asking for that Russell. And if you pay attention obviously to our blog and you're receiving the emails from us, I'm sure that there'll be a crafty email coming from Kevin about that when we're ready to ready to roll that into. Okay.

Kevin Tumlinson:

02:23

I cannot wait for, for us to add that feature, uh, mostly because we get so many questions about it, but also because I, I'm looking forward to using it myself. So it's definitely something in the works going to be pretty exciting. Um, we have a, uh, I'm gonna, I'm going to hazard a guess on the last name. I apologize if I get it wrong. A question from, Oh wait, Nope, I was looking at the wrong question. That's Dan's problem. Okay. Uh, I have a question for Veronica Lake. Uh, it's self publication, the best route a or route depending on your neck of the woods. Uh, or through a publishing agency and what is the best way to advertise my work? There was a lot to unpack in that question. Um, so the answer in general is going to be a, is public selfpublication, is self publication the best route for you?

Kevin Tumlinson:

03:11

Uh, yes and no. It really depends on your overall strategy. If you're, uh, depending on what your goals are. For A lot of folks, self publication is the best route, uh, mostly because we can control so much of the process. But if you need someone to kind of, you know, guide you and handhold you through it through some of this stuff, uh, there's nothing at all wrong with going for a ... uh .. getting a contract with an agent and a publisher. Uh, just know that, you know, you have less control of the process. Um, I'm not gonna, you know, they're, they're [inaudible] things can be a little, uh, more a little tricky when it comes to the amount of money you can make. I won't go too deep into that, but there's a, there's a lot to consider. So really just you need to just figure out what your overall goal is.

Kevin Tumlinson:

03:58

A lot of people get into this work because they want to see their books on the shelves at Barnes and Noble. They want to see movies made of them, that kind of thing. Uh, that sort of thing is possible with, with self publishing, but, uh, you know, so far it's still, it's a little easier to get that way if you get us a traditional contract. But the trade off is the amount of money and the amount of control. So, uh, as far as the last part of that question, uh, what's the best way to advertise your work? Uh, that's also a variable. Uh, there's a lot of strategies out there. I would recommend, uh, getting on Google, getting on YouTube and, and using that exact question, uh, to start looking at the ways that are gonna work best for you. Uh, but a lot of people rely on things like Facebook advertising, BookBub ads, Amazon marketing services. You can advertise that way. Google ads are another option. But, uh, so far it's really sort of hit or miss. All those are a little bit hidden hit or miss you, you really just kind of have to experiment, find the one that worked for you and then invest both time and money in, uh, in getting really good at it. So those are difficult questions to answer actually

Dan Wood:

05:11

They can get very specific to your particular circumstances as an author and your goals. Um, we had two questions come in. They're similar. So, uh, from Karen Carnahan, uh, will you all add Walmart to the list? And Nicholas A. [Inaudible]. I hope that's right. Uh, okay. I'll buy. How did you end up working with Walmart? Uh, so, and this or that, we already are sending books to Walmart, uh, that is through Kobo. So if you distribute your books through Kobo on Draft2Digital or through Kobo Writing Life, uh, your books are already available at Walmart. Uh, Kobo is running the backend of their eBook distribution for them. And so, um, if you download the Walmart for eBooks, that's just the Kobo app, kind of rebranded a, if you buy a book at Kobo, it shows up in the Walmart app and vice versa. If you buy one of the Kobo devices and you can buy it from either Walmart or Kobo.

Dan Wood:

06:08

Kobo has done a lot of partnerships like this with international retailers. And so this is something that for them has been, um, it's really worked well. Uh, working with other brick and mortar retailers in the UK such as, uh, I believe Waterstone and ... is it WH Smith, Mark? On the front. Um, so we've been talking to Walmart for a while now, I think since like 2016, uh, they weren't interested necessarily in making their own app. And so that partnership with Kobo ended up being a really great way for them to get eBooks onto their retail platform online. Um, the other part of Nicholas's question, he asked if we worked into a LibraOffice.org, uh, for making ePUB3's, um, our platform does let you upload any, uh, ePUB, so if you've already got an ePUB, you can use whatever platform or software you prefer to make the epubs. Um, we do recommend ePUB2 because not all of the retailers throughout the world. Uh, support, ePUB3. Um, so outside about a handful of cases, you don't really need ePUB3 yet. The technology that it adds is not going to make a big difference. Uh, so we recommend sticking with ePUB2 for the time being.

Kevin Tumlinson:

07:30

Sorry, we, we've got some, some interesting things going on behind the scenes that's distracting all of us.

Mark Lefebvre:

07:36

Yeah, my apologies. Let me explain this. Um, uh, we had, uh, a notice come up that says that it's going to shut this down in about four minutes and 45 seconds. That shouldn't happen cause I think we've handled it in the back end, but if we happen to go away for 30 seconds, we will be right back. So don't panic. Everything's still good. We're just dealing with this on the fly while we're trying to, uh, answer your questions. Um, Kevin, did you have another question that you wanted to address?

Kevin Tumlinson:

08:03

Yeah, I've got a couple here. The first one I want to address is Tammi Labrecque asking who won the most money in slots in Vegas last week at 20Books Vegas. Uh, and I'm going to assume that means out of the three of us. So, what did you guys win? What'd you come home with? Nobody came back in a, in their private jet. So

Dan Wood:

08:22

I don't gamble at all. Like it just never has really appealed to me. Like just not one of those things. So about, I don't know, 20 years ago I went with some college friends to Vegas. I put some money into, on a slots. I won $30 and I stopped right then. So I'm up $30 on now I'm up like $29 on Vegas and I'm never gonna gamble.

Kevin Tumlinson:

08:46

I last year I put money in a slot machine while waiting near the men's room for everybody come out. I won 89 cents for my dollar. I still count it as a win.

Mark Lefebvre:

08:56

Awesome. Not a dime in any one of those machines. I walked past every single one of them, thousands of times. It felt like as I was moving from place to place, so I won because I didn't play.

Kevin Tumlinson:

09:07

We are so lame. Okay. Uh, I do have another, a legitimate question in three minutes apparently to answer it. Uh, what is the number one reason I should use Draft ... This is from Paul Christo, by the way. What is the number one reason I should use Draft2Digital instead of distributing myself? Um, I'm going to say, and you guys can weigh in on this, it's largely about, uh, having everything consolidated in one place. It's about, um, you know, saving time basically. Uh, we also offer, there's a whole bunch of features that we offer. You can use most of those for free with or without distribution through us, but w but, uh, maybe the number one thing is our support. So if there's a problem, if you need to delist, if you need, you know, uh, if you having a problem with a distributor, you're not getting paid something like that. We take care of all that for you instead of you having to chase it all down yourself. So I'd say that's probably number one. Number two is just the convenience factor. You guys want to weigh in?

Dan Wood:

10:09

I agree. We do offer a lot of distribution channels you can engage directly too. That's true. And so there are a handful of the bigger platforms that let you go directly. For most of our international retailers and a large portion of our library retailers you can't go directly to. And so that's one reason we've made our whole system set up to where everything is opt in, so you can go directly everywhere you want to. Um, and then use us for everything else. Um, in many cases, uh, royalties are a little bit better, like under $2.99 Or over $9.99 our, uh, royalties stay the same with some of the dried platforms. If you go under or over those marks, then your roll to gets cut in half.

Mark Lefebvre:

10:55

I was, yeah, I wanted to make sure we mentioned that cause I always forget about that one, which is a really important one.

Kevin Tumlinson:

11:01

So it says less than a minute and I'm really concerned.

Mark Lefebvre:

11:04

Yeah, we're, we're, we're all worried about being able to answer a question properly in case it drops down. Are you seeing that remaining time on the, on the top of the screen too? Yeah. So you guys, if we do drop, don't, don't panic. Stick around. We'll be back if we drop out. Uh, can I answer a question from Ashlyn Chase? Do it. Ashland said, I'm bummed that Amazon won't allow preorders from books coming from D2D. Is that anything that can be changed? Ashlyn, I'm bummed too because I have a book up for preorder but I couldn't put it up. Put it up through D2D. Um, so I, that is something that I think one of the challenges is our retailers have different perspectives. Our retailers have different ways that they deal with things. And Amazon is very particular about that. Dan. Is that something that, um, is there a particular reason? Was there a business reason for that or was it just a structural thing with Amazon?

Dan Wood:

12:00

Um, at first they didn't, they didn't have a way to do it through, um, the way we interact with Amazon. Okay. That may be changing. So yes. And it's not something, um, it's definitely not something they said they'll never provide. Um, so we are working with them on something.

Mark Lefebvre:

12:21

Awesome. Awesome. Thank you. [quick break!]

Mark Lefebvre:

12:29

Are we back?

Kevin Tumlinson:

12:29

How'd we do [inaudible] okay,

Mark Lefebvre:

12:32

Now Dan's on top of me and Kevin's below me. This is just up, just shook it up a little bit. Are we back live in the feed? Elyssa or Kevin? Can you see that?

Kevin Tumlinson:

12:41

Uh, I'm out of that live feed. So yes, we are lost five. Okay. Hi everybody. Uh, we're welcome back. Yeah. Wow.

Mark Lefebvre:

12:54

But now we're, now we're going to be focused because we're not going to be worried that it's going to suddenly shut down.

Kevin Tumlinson:

12:58

Yes. Yeah. I think that was distracting us. Uh, uh, quite a bit. So let's get to some more questions. Who's got one Mark? I, I,

Dan Wood:

13:07

uh, I've got, I've got one. So a Dorothy Zemac ask, is there a time estimate? An online book submitted in September might be available through hoopla. So we are the absolute first platform to, uh, help indies get into hoopla at all. Um, they have a different sort of this model where they're providing new books that are approved individ plug go into, they're available to all the libraries to subscribe Google. So they do a little bit more curation or their, uh, on their end, they're doing some of the checks that we do to make sure the content is appropriate. Um, so in general, hooplah said they're going to take about two to three weeks to approve a book once we send it to them.Um ... Since when we opened up hoopla, we sent about 60,000 books to them. Uh, it's taken them a little bit longer than that.

Dan Wood:

14:00

And so, um, four books submitted September, I would guess, maybe by the end of the year. Uh, it's just, they have quite a backlog to work through and they've been working to them steadily, but it is taking a little bit longer. Uh, then we would like. If you remember Overdrive was kind of like the when Indies first started going Overdrive just takes a little bit longer as a, a new partner lets Indies into their realm to trust the content and to get the processes in place. Uh, because Indies are publishing so fast. And so that's not something that I'm used to from working with, uh, the traditional publishers. Sometimes

Kevin Tumlinson:

14:36

This isn't just impacting libraries by the way. We've, some of our other, uh, vendors will say, uh, have been really surprised the impact of indie publishing and how quickly things change. Uh, how quickly authors are pubslihing, not just the work they already have, but publishing new work and how quickly and how frequently they're making changes to that work. It's really thrown off the folks who are used to dealing with the traditional publishing.

Mark Lefebvre:

15:04

And it's funny because libraries are so used to doing it a completely different way, right? Amazon is an online bookstore. Kobo and Apple nook are online bookstores. They're used to rapid change libraries is a completely different process that's used to a lot longer lead times. So yeah, we are really taxing those systems. I've got a question from Ron if I can, if I can throw it. Go for it. Ron Sauder asks, does D2D support differential pricing for libraries? Are you seeing any best practices that protect value for authors who are being read in libraries? Yeah, this is what I love about it Ron, is we have a retail price, which is meant to go to our retail partners and we have a separate library price that goes to our various library partners that we just talking about. One of them. And what I love about that is if you're doing a price promo, let's say you've booked a BookBub or something through written, Written Word Media or something and you wanted to drop the retail price to 99 cents for, I don't know, you know, cyber Monday's coming up, you can still drop the retail price without ever having to change the library price.

Mark Lefebvre:

16:04

Cause again, you know, libraries and change don't move hand in hand as quickly. Like when we send an update to Amazon or Apple or cobalt or their relatives, you know, quick to get those. And you can also schedule your price changes. Um, in terms of best practices for library, um, because traditional publishers charge libraries so much money. Uh, I S I standard book from a major library or a major publisher maybe anywhere in the realm from it retails for let's say seven to $15, but their library price is often 30 to a hundred dollars. It's depending on, on, on the publisher and what they're doing. Uh, on top of that and MacMillan publishing recently announced that they would not be allowing libraries to buy more than one copy of their books from November, 2000 and November 1st, 2019 on. So a couple of things to keep in mind is that let's say your retail prices $4.99 U S for your book and just thinking about US, cause the library pricing is only in U S dollars.

Mark Lefebvre:

17:05

We usually recommend based on information that we've received from our library partners that you would want to price your library price two to three times the retail price because with the one to one a licensing where a library can buy one copy and they can loan it to one consumer at a time, or when library patron at a time, that book will be able to be borrowed forever. Um, and so what you want to do is you want to value it a little bit higher because you're only gonna make that money once. The other thing about that is it's still going to be a great value compared to a large publisher title. The other thing about that is some of our library partners, and this is becoming more and more prevalent, is the cost per checkout model where instead of getting that 47% that you would get from a, from a one-to-one sale, you're getting roughly the equivalent in most cases, about 10% of what the, of what that price is that you put in there.

Mark Lefebvre:

17:57

But you get that every single time the library checks it out. So the curation and the library side has done a little bit differently. It's not curated and added to their account because they bought it. Sometimes the library will push a bunch of titles out and let the consumers or the patrons check those out. So that when you thinking about libraries, you want to think about providing the library a good value but also not too much value because you don't want to undervalue it. I think in the early days of library support, in some of some of the other players who were distributing books to libraries before we got into the game, um, they kind of flooded the libraries with really, really cheap books. And so librarians in some cases, libraries, librarians I've spoken to in the last couple of years and have said, uh, they, they, they're suspicious because they got some really shady sort of titles that they thought were, I, it's only, it's only a dollar 99 what a great price. Uh, and, and they S they now very, very often equate low priced to low quality. So that's another reason why you may want to go a little bit higher. Guys, what have I missed on libraries? Cause it's such a big area for us.

Dan Wood:

19:01

Yeah, I think you've got most everything that I would make sure to mention. Uh, we're just excited about libraries. It's, it really stinks that if you're exclusive with Amazon, you can't be in libraries. It's thinks that, uh, some of the traditional publishers are, uh, doing these embargoes and different things to libraries. And so we think it's a huge opportunity for Indies to come in. You know, libraries are a key part of discovery. Um, not just right. Just this moment for lifetime readers though. I mean, that's definitely what made me a huge fan of so many different series. Those are all serious. I've gone on to buy the digital books of audio books 30, 40 years later. And so it's an incredibly shortsighted of the traditional publishers to be, um, treating libraries. My brands poorly.

Kevin Tumlinson:

19:52

It's shortsighted and it's a, but it's a huge opportunity for indie publishers. This is, this is a hot time to make sure your books are in libraries and that you are marketing to librarians, uh, to say, you know, if you, like, if your readers are looking or your patrons are looking for, uh, you know, Dan Brown, uh, they might love Kevin Tomlinson. Uh, just a little plug right there. Um, okay, so I have a question from Lynn arc. Dale our, our, I'm sorry, our Katie, I'm sorry about that. Lynn. Lynn, our Katie ass. Uh, is there a benefit of book one free as far as visibility, if we go through D to D, um, really the, the book one free thing, it's, it's kind of, there's some variety going on here in the world and it doesn't really matter whether you're going through Draft2Digital or not with this part of it.

Kevin Tumlinson:

20:43

Uh, but the book one free can be very beneficial. It's usually kind of down to what genre you're writing in a, because there's so many free books out there right now that it's become a little watered down. Um, but as a way to introduce people to your series and to get people interested, uh, it doesn't have all the magic marketing muscle that it used to have, but it is still a good way and a good thing to send to people, uh, to get them kind of onboard. So, uh, yeah, you can still use that. And through Draft2Digital you can price to zero, uh, for most of the markets. Um, and Amazon will match those prices if you, uh, alert them to it. Uh, even though you can't price to zero on Amazon through us or Amazon at this point. Uh, but yeah, we, uh, we'll, we'll help you out with that all we can. Uh, mostly you're just gonna have to experiment and see if that's going to be effective for you. I, I kinda like doing the first in series free on a sort of round Robin, uh, method, uh, where every now and then I make that book free and push it out with, uh, you know, like a BookBub or something like that. Um, as a way to onboard people in this, into the series. So that's been, that's what's been effective for me.

Dan Wood:

21:57

I would agree with that 100%. Some of the retailers do have places where they feature a free person series and so when you have opportunities to take parts of those types of promotions and encouraged fill out, um, we have a couple of questions about print on demand that I thought I'd start going through. Uh, the first one is from David Gumpert and he asked, uh, where does print on demand stand? As many of you know, we have a print on demand program right now in beta, which are at the vigil right now. We kind of have, we're not pulling in new people into the beta, uh, because we are revamping these are interface a little bit. Uh, at first we thought that most people that were wanting to use our print on demand service would be people that are using us for digital distribution as well.

Dan Wood:

22:44

Uh, it turns out there's a lot of people that we just wanted to use it, the print side of things with us. And so we are kind of separating the process out a little bit. We originally had it very integrated into our ebook workflow, but the people who are just using us for print, it just made a lot more sense to make it a little bit easier for them. Uh, and so once we get all that done, we'll start bringing in more people to test user interface. Mmm. Things have gone very well with like making books available, uh, to the different retailers. Uh, we are looking, uh, Silicon for partners who handle, uh, the author copy side of things well and international countries. Uh, the costs of shipping is still very, very high, uh, through our current providers. And so we're always looking for how can we make that easy for people because we work with authors all over the world.

Dan Wood:

23:34

So the next front of the main question, I had was, uh, does D2D have an arrangement with Ingram Spark in order to get our print books with you in the bookshops? Um, we have a direct relationship with IngramSpark and a lot of cases, English spark, uh, owns a lot of the different printers around the, uh, the U S and so our partners, IPG, they do using our smart sometimes to print the boards. Uh, your books do become available in the Ingram catalog. And so when small, uh, big shops are looking for your book, it's going to be there. Uh, same thing with the libraries. And so it makes it very easy for anyone to order your book. The final question I want him to address on a per on demand, uh, was from Rory. Rory Guynup. I hope I said that right. I'm not sure. Is there a benefit to being on bode due to the inning or smart for print? And the answer is they overlapped. And so the, if you're already on IngramSpark, there's not really a benefit. Um, with the D2D, uh, print, we're not charging the fees to make changes and everything. And so for a lot of people it's going to be a better option. Um, but English where it does give you a lot more. If you're looking to do hardbacks, you're looking to do a lot of different types of formats. We're not going to support it as meaningful. And that's as I do.

Dan Wood:

24:55

That's all the ones I've got for now.

Mark Lefebvre:

24:58

That was good. I'm glad you were able to batch that. I think there was another question that came in from, uh, Ashlyn, Ashlyn ask what's the newest on print book? So I think, uh, I think Ashlyn, uh, Dan answered your questions, um, from there as well. So that was good. Thanks Dan.

Kevin Tumlinson:

25:14

Prints another one, I can't wait until it's fully launched. Oh, I've been using, I have to tell you, I use it. Mark is it, I, all my print books are available via D2D print right now. Um, and it's been just, it's been great. I mean, I, I can't wait to see the improvements that are made when we update the interface, but it is, uh, it is every bit what you hope it will be, uh, as far as the quality of the books and the way it works.

Mark Lefebvre:

25:40

And, and, and an additional call out and thank you to all of the beta users who've helped us with this. Because if it wasn't for their feedback, we would, uh, you know, for everyone else out there to make it so much better when, when it launches wide, if I can turn into a different direction, Melissa care, uh, asks, uh, with collaborative groups such as, uh, the formal Kindle world and box sets. What's the best way to promote these types of sets? So I thought I'd start, but I know, Kevin, you've got some experience in this as well. I think, um, Melissa, the key thing about collaborative groups is that one of the benefits of a collaborative group is that you may have an audience of people who love and appreciate your writing and your style. And then you probably have other authors in the same genre who appreciate an of your style.

Mark Lefebvre:

26:25

And the whole reason you do a collaboration, whether it's a bundle, whether it's a a something and while Kindle worlds doesn't exist, but you know, D2D Universes is that you're all leveraging your own audience to help discover other great books that people want to read. There are people who read more and more of the whale readers, the ones who enjoy an amazing thriller by Dan Brown and they say, Oh my God, this Kevin Tumlinson guy, I'm going to check him out too. And I'm going to check out Joanna Penn because they all write the very similar styles, genres. So you're getting den and Joanna and Kevin working together, they're each going to call upon their own audiences. And I know Kevin has a bigger audience than Joanna or Dan Brown, so he'll probably be carrying the two of them. But that's the kind of thing that happens is you say, let's say I have 500 people and you have 500 people and someone has 500 people.

Mark Lefebvre:

27:12

There may be overlap, but that's, that's part of the joy. And so when I would advise when you're collaborating with people, don't just think about the crossover in, in, in this style of writing and, uh, and, and the books and the themes and the genres. Think about, are these people actually going to help? Are they going to actually participate? Are they actually going to be, you know, dragging you down? Just be, you know, taking, taking the ride without doing any work. So that's something to consider. I think when you're thinking about those sets. Um, Kevin, I'm sure you've got some other ideas on, on that collaboration.

Kevin Tumlinson:

27:45

The biggest strength of collaborative marketing is that everybody uses, you know, everyone should have their own, uh, email newsletter, their own mailing list, right? So everybody gets to, uh, kind of spread the wealth a little and, uh, cross promote and it's a natural fit because your work's in there. Uh, one thing that a lot of people don't think about is if you got any, any folks in the group that are actually pretty good at the Facebook ads side of things, you can actually create lookalike lists based on each of your mailing lists. And, uh, use that to promote the work even further, uh, to folks that you, you know, you don't already promote to. Uh, so that's one, one way I've seen these, uh, it's really great because you know, you can do your own look alike lists and it is pretty useful on Facebook, but have like if you've got eight different writers and an anthology and all of you go out and do this, uh, your reach is far greater and you're also able to multiply the effect of your marketing dollars that way.

Kevin Tumlinson:

28:46

Um, so those, those sorts of things are things I would consider. Uh, and uh, you know, it really kinda comes down to how you're leveraging your platforms. Uh, so it's not just a mailing list, but it's also your social media reach and that sort of thing. So, uh, it's good to co, as Mark was saying, try to find folks who are, uh, you know, going to be additive for your marketing effort. Uh, maybe they've got an audience you don't have that you don't normally talk to. One of the, one of the issues that, uh, like me and Nick Vacher and Ernie Dempsey have is that we essentially have the same readers. So we're always, uh, when we cross promote, we're just getting hundreds of emails from folks that say, yeah, I'm already on everybody's list. I'm already on Kevin's list. Uh, so it is kinda good to branch out and find, uh, folks that you don't normally see or work with or hear from. Uh, and so that you can leverage a new pocket of their marketing of that space.

Kevin Tumlinson:

29:43

I had a question from, from, from David Gumpert here. Uh, and I see it's, is there a way to make books available for free to reviewers and media, et cetera. Uh, and I'm gonna plug, uh, our good friend Damon Courtney at book funnel for this one. Cause that is my favorite way to do that. If you haven't checked out book funnel, it's book funnel.com. Uh, Damon has built a, an amazing service. I mean, I practically, everyone in the industry uses it at this point. Uh, but that for a fairly low fee, uh, you can actually make your book available to anyone who wants to download it. There's, there's some safety features built into this like watermarking the file so that if it gets shared on privacy sites, you can track down who shared it. Uh, there's also these, uh, he's got some tools like, uh, I forget what he calls it, but it's like a mailing list thing where, uh, you know, you can actually see a, if you send out a to say an Ark group, uh, you can see who's downloaded and who hasn't. So there's as long a little features and their stuff I don't even use yet. I mean, I, there's, there's features built in this thing I haven't used yet. So book funnel is a tool of choice for Kevin Tumlinson at least. And maybe for duty in general. Uh,

Dan Wood:

30:57

Oh yeah, definitely. No one's better than the woman that is digital copies. And just to clarify, um, gets expensive. I wouldn't say there's a lot of reason as an indie author to print a RCS and send them out. Yeah. There's a handful of reasons why you might do so, but it's uncommon. So digital copies, but Donald's the way to go. Um, other question that I want to make sure I can get to you. Cause it was asked pretty early on from Pamela, correct? Uh, can open office be used to create texts with pictures to a 30 to 40 page youth work on animal activism. I would not use open office for that. In fact, it's very difficult, um, pictures and the eBooks, uh, generally you're going to want to hire a professional film editor to work with you on that. Um, most eBooks and most of the readers are designed around the idea of global tech, uh, which works very well with, uh, fiction, iPads.

Dan Wood:

31:56

Um, because you just got taxed when you start adding in pictures. You've got to remember that you're making, you're trying to make a book that will work on any device and it might be, you know, a very small smartphone. It might be an, I have had it, it might be a Kendall. They range in sizes and the dimensions, uh, say it's very hard to get pictures to look exactly right. Um, in addition to that, Amazon charges fees based on the delivery fee is based on the file size. And so if you use pictures that are too high resolution, you might end up making your book where you're not making any money off of it. Um, so there's something called a fixed format layout, um, which is more aimed at a picture of boats.

Dan Wood:

32:40

Mmm. For what I've seen, there's not a lot of children haven't moved over to eBooks in the same way that adults have. Um, you know, for the most part, adults are going to be buying books for children as gifts. So it's just not as big of a market. Okay. Do you want to get into it and there are people that are, make some money on it. I would look into some of the other text layout formatting options or, um, like Amazon has some, um, um, I can't think of the name of software. It's like some enzyme creator or something that's for making books that have pictures in them. Uh, Apple has their own creator as well. Unfortunately, with both of those, it's exclusive to their platform. So there's no easy way to make something that will work on Amazon or Apple. It'll work, work. Um, it's kind of the wild West out there for trying to do a picture

Mark Lefebvre:

33:33

that's often the area where I, uh, I mean vellum can do some, some of that. But, uh, that's where I usually say if it's, if it's a graphic intense book, chances are it's not gonna sell as well in ebook as it would in print because it's, it's bound by that form, that fixed layout. But that would be the area where you may want to hire an actual professional designer. I mean, as good as the free tools are, um, that, that's probably an area you may want to,

Kevin Tumlinson:

33:59

You should reach out to us too though to, uh, before you commit, um, and ask us questions about that sort of thing. Cause, uh, we do have some folks on staff who are, uh, who've done this sort of thing for quite a while and they know how to, and they know what's going to work and what's not gonna work. Uh, I'm a, I'm, I'm kind of amazed at how, how frequently this comes up. Actually. People are really, they really want those images and footnotes and figures all like perfectly lined up in their eBooks. I can kind of understand it, but yeah.

Dan Wood:

34:33

Yeah. We had talked, we had a further question on scale since we're talking about it now. Judy Shearwater's uh, having problems with children's eBooks, with large pictures and ideas. The same thing we've just been talking about. Like it's just right now the ebook market is not well suited to books with pictures. Um, you know, we hope that changes. There's really not a lot of recent surcharge, any to ovary fees. Uh, Apple doesn't charge those. [inaudible] doesn't charge those and say we're hoping all the retailers will start allowing, it's all our graphics a little bit better than the pump to those, but it's still not perfect. Um, it's sad that not everyone supports the pump Korea. So yeah, it's just, it's a crazy market for anything with lots of graphic images. Right.

Mark Lefebvre:

35:26

Can I jump into another question?

Kevin Tumlinson:

35:29

Yeah. Dive on in, sir.

Mark Lefebvre:

35:31

Uh, Alana, Terry asks, is there any benefit to being on both DDT and published drive? Um, thanks for asking that Alana. It's a good question that our, our approach, our philosophy has always been authors should always be in control. Authors should always have choice. And our goal is to provide tools that allow you to, uh, as Dan said earlier, you get to opt in. We don't just automatically send your stuff anywhere. We allow you on a title by title basis to control where it's being sent. We do everything we can to save you the time. We are a distributor and we make money when you actually sell books. So the whole idea is provide some great free tools, help authors with it, and get you into the market. Now, published drive also distributes to different markets and uh, they're available. Like they have some Asian markets and other markets that Draft2Digital's not, uh, in, so you may want to look at that. The one thing to be aware of is published drive isn't the same type of business as Draft2Digital. They recently pivoted and we just, we were just hanging out with Kinga from published drive at Vegas and that was on uh, uh, fortunate enough to be on a panel with her as well. And their model has changed. They're not a distributor so much as they are a subscription service for authors. So I know they have an opportunity where you can publish one book and it doesn't cost anything, but the rest of their model is based on a charging you on monthly fee for use of their tools, but then giving you the full royalty as if you were publishing direct in each market. So again, as an author, you need to look at your business model.

Mark Lefebvre:

36:59

You need to look at does this make sense for you? And that goes for us, that goes for published drive. It goes for whether you're going to go direct or whether you're going to use an aggregator or, or, or however you want to do your publishing things. So sure, there are benefits depending on your goals and, and there's their side effects. I mean, no matter what you choose, there is no one right way to publish. The only right way to publish is the way that works best for you and your author business. I think that's probably a good way to answer that. I hope.

Kevin Tumlinson:

37:28

Yeah. And I mean, did I pass down my job? I mean, my answer would have just been no. Uh, but that's me. I'm biased, but in all seriousness, so, uh, we never, we never tried to deter anyone from using any of our competitors, uh, because there are different, uh, benefits to going with different services and sometimes we have authors who are actually using us and multiple other services to do this stuff. Um, to me, I, I like to keep things simple. I like to keep everything in one place. It's kind of the OCD in me. Uh, but for some folks, you know, there's a, there's a big advantage to uh, doing both. So it just really kind of, again, yeah, I hate that this is always the answer, but it always comes back to your plan, your strategy and your goal. Uh, you have to kind of figure out in advance what kind of author you're trying to be and what kind of career you're trying to have and if that fits you, then uh, then go that route and we will still be here for you, I promise.

Mark Lefebvre:

38:31

Aw, that was sweet. We're getting a lot of great questions.

Dan Wood:

38:36

I just want to hop on with Melissa. A care had a follow up question about war. Do you find that they limit the types of books that subs as far as then I will tell it's the exact same rules as turbo show. There's some erotica. They don't SAB then that if a works at Kobo, it's probably going to show up in the Walmart library. There is an issue and I don't think it's resolved yet, where free person series weren't showing up on the Walmart portal, but there were on the Cobra side that it redirects you to, they were looking at that. I don't, I don't remember if that's been resolved or not yet. So just something to be aware of.

Kevin Tumlinson:

39:20

Uh, Wolf o'Rourke, my, my favorite name, uh, that pops up in these things has asked. Uh, is it a problem if I already have a print book page at Amazon? And, uh, really depends on what you're trying to do there, but no, not really. Uh, it's not a problem. You can actually, unlike eBooks, uh, there's no real problem with having multiple distributors distributing versions of your print book. The only real limitations are that you can't use the same ISBM, uh, between different, we'll call them different versions of the book, or at least you shouldn't. Uh, although it didn't, someone recently pointed out to me that I think IngramSpark or somebody who's telling everybody to that they definitely should be doing that. Is that, um, is that a thing that maybe I should be aware of that I think you should be using a different ISBN for each version of the book. Um, just to keep the, uh, to tracking and everything. Ryan, keep confusion down. But yeah, really there's no problem. You're not going to be penalized for having your book distributed through Amazon. And did he print and IngramSpark if you want. In fact, it's a good way to do very, uh, multiple versions in additions if you want to go that route. the book. Do we have other questions? I know we've got lots of [inaudible].

Mark Lefebvre:

40:37

Yeah, I'm going to go on. Richard H. Stevens, who I know lives in my neck of the woods. We saw each other in Vegas even though we live in the same town. He said, sorry if I missed it. That's okay. Don't apologize. Do you offer author copies through DDD and are they printed in Canada? So through the beta program we do author offer, um, print copies to authors. They are coming from IPG, which is in the U S so as a fellow Canadian author, I can tell you that I have been, uh, trying to source local print copies for authors on this side of the border to try and make it less expensive because even though the, the, the print cost is pretty good, it's once that crosses the border that that becomes scary. So Richard, I am looking out for my fellow Canucks here as the, as the only guy in the Canadian Draft2Digital office here in Waterloo, Ontario. Uh, I, we're looking into that and we're going to try to get the best,

Kevin Tumlinson:

41:25

I'm thinking of creating a book, a business called book mule, where I basically just have somebody, uh, pile, you know a bunch of books in the back, their trunk of their car and drive them across the border as like an elicit run. And,

Mark Lefebvre:

41:40

But then there'll be all these TV shows about these, you know, the, the gangsters and getting books across the border into Canada. And it'll just be, you know, queen of the North, maybe, maybe.

Mark Lefebvre:

41:50

Elyssa recommended Books2Borer. DodgeDraft2Digital. Um, okay. Uh, we still got, Oh, we still got plenty of time. I thought we were close to [inaudible] for some reason I thought we were close to having wrap up. I, this whole thing has thrown me off with the, uh, the reboot, the whole thing dropping out. Um, I don't have a question Mark for next Mark, so you guys can feel free. Go ahead and grab what you need. Yeah, I think Dan had a couple of [inaudible]. So Christie, Gil asks, can I, can I get my books and in D2D notice that libraries and screams.

Dan Wood:

42:30

Um, so with libraries, the first thing that makes sure all your readers know that you're both serving among the libraries and they can request them from their local libraries. And this is especially important if you're coming out of canola limited. Uh, you know, frequently people will complain because they don't have the funds to, uh, buy a book. And so it can allow them to, was a good deal for them. When you go wide, let them know their local library Burwell might have your book available so they can check it on your local library. And if they don't, they're like my quest. Your books are overdrive. They attack your whatever service provider about library with, um, we do a number of promotions around the holidays with them. Um, we, I believe it's about 2000 books that, uh, are taking part in the, uh, overdrive holiday promotion, uh, going on.

Dan Wood:

43:23

They just started recently. Um, we just send out emails about those. So make sure that you are checking your sure email that you use who walked into your account or they want someone else. We will send out notices when there is a promotion that your book might be eligible for. Uh, in this case, uh, it was eligible for dismount all books. So it wasn't like, um, you know, some of them are just for romance. Some of them are just for, um, uh, books would be shows on tubers, the directions kind of varied by vendor, but I just make sure that you're checking your email and responding to us on a timely manner on this remissions that we offer. Um, I have a lot, I'm a dumb ass one. Scribd Scribd kind of uses an algorithm to take books in and out depending on a couple of factors of their lending library. Um, I think the best thing with Scribd is just to, uh, I L like with the library, let readers know, Hey, if you're looking for a subscription service, Scribd offers audio books, offer a lot of traditional books, sticking on limited does not have a, your books are available there, et cetera, and spent a great price. Um, they seem to favor nonfiction or are outliers tend to be nonfiction. That's good. So if you're a not, there's an author that might be a request to look more, uh, for possible opportunities.

Mark Lefebvre:

44:46

Can, can I add something about libraries? Yeah. Yeah. So one of the strategies that I always take is always define yourself as a big fish in a small pool. Uh, and so start with your local library and make sure they know you exist. Well, maybe you know, if you're familiar with the library and you know your books are on overdrive and you know that library uses overdrive or Baker and Taylor or who or whatever the system is, let the library know you're a local author, that you have a novel set in the town or city where you live. All right? And, and, and not just the acquisitions people. I always say talk to the reference librarian because when I've been researching books, the reference librarian is my best friend. They are data nerds. They love to gather information. If they know that you're a local author and you're right, you know, archeological thrillers are, you're right through ghost stories or, or you write a, you know, motivational business book or whatever, knowing that you're a local author who has, that may come up in the future when they're helping other people find really, really great books to read.

Mark Lefebvre:

45:44

Librarians love putting the right books into the right people's hands. They just, they feed off of that. So start local, start with your local libraries and then expand out. So, for example, in my case, I'd reach out to the Waterloo library in the city that I live in and then reached out to the Kitchener, which is a neighboring city. And then I would reach out to the, you know, the, uh, the region and then I would reach out to the province and, and define myself as a Waterloo author, a Kitchener Waterloo author and Ontario author. And so start, start with that and expand out, um, approach. So long as you're professional in your approach and you, and you think about what is this book doing? [inaudible] provide the library with value for its patrons. If you approach it with that perspective and you share that perspective with the librarian, they're more likely to see why it is a really great idea that they should carry your book.

Kevin Tumlinson:

46:36

So a non library question, uh, and I'm going to pronounce this name as Dara DOR Doherty and I'm going to pray. I got it correct. Uh, so do you recommend sending out review copies to popular reviewers, a reviewer on reviews, on platforms like YouTube? Um, and I think there was a question, Dan, you've marked about, uh, uh, about promoting on Twitter that might be related to this, but, uh, the, there is a whole utuber like a book tuber kind of thing going off right now and it's been around for quite a while and those folks can be, uh, crazy beneficial to you if you can get a book pro, uh, featured. Uh, they typically, they do things that, that, you know, build up a huge audience and that's a huge audience that's well vetted their readers and, and a lot of times these, uh, these guys are aimed at a particular genre.

Kevin Tumlinson:

47:28

So if you're going to do it, I would recommend, uh, hunting around on YouTube to find folks who are reviewing books that are in your general John genre or a specific genre and a focusing most of your effort on those guys. Um, the one, the one thing I would recommend against, uh, is some of these folks will ask for, uh, they'll ask you to pay them. And I have, have very strict rule about that. I'd never pay anybody to do reviews. Uh, it's always, if I've ever done it, it's always backfired in one way or another. Uh, and there are plenty of folks who are willing to do the review for the free book because they're getting paid for views or whatever. Uh, anyway, they're able to monetize the videos anyway. So I think it's a great tool. I think, uh, you know, it's under utilized by the industry. It's kind of questionable how effective it really is overall. But as long as you're not paying them for it, uh, you might as well get the content out there. It can be, you can share that with your own audience and that benefits their menu. So I see.

Dan Wood:

48:29

I would say in that case, you probably do want to send them a physical copy because they are going to be showing it, holding it on their channel. So it's one of the rare cases where the physical copy is a better idea.

Kevin Tumlinson:

48:39

They'll probably ask you for a physical copy to be, yeah, they'll, they'll tell you, they'll give you the guidelines of what you, uh, what you need to do for them, what you need to send them. Uh, I've done some of these where they had me go on and fill out like an entire, like Google form, uh, with all my, my bio information, website information, all that. And then that gives me an address where I have to send usually two copies. Um, for whatever reason, variety reasons probably they probably give one away or something like that. So,

Dan Wood:

49:08

uh, well let's address that Twitter question real quick cause it kind of goes along the Maryland Melton. How do I promote, uh, on Twitter? Do I use the DDD at URL? Um, I would encourage you to, if you've got a book coming out or if you have a, you're a book on sale, uh, to let your Twitter followers know a universal book link is one of the best ways to do that. It's going to be the books read link. You can set that up that way. It takes the readers, whichever retailer they prefer to go to. Um, in general, other than that, I wouldn't really spend a lot of time trying to promote books on Twitter, Facebook ads, Amazon ads, BookBub ads are all more effective ways in general. Um, exceptions to that would be if you have a huge Twitter following and you're a subject matter expert in something, uh, maybe Twitter becomes effective for you, but for most authors, order's not going to be a effective use of your social media time. Um, but you do want to have a Twitter handle out there. Yeah. Um, we have any additional tools. I'm sorry Dan, go ahead. That's all I had to say about it. I was just going to see if you guys had a different experience.

Kevin Tumlinson:

50:17

Yeah. So there's a, among other things, so we have our, a new release notifications that you could use Twitter to try, this is a good use of Twitter is to try to get people sign up for you to your new release notifications. Uh, it's not a mailing list per se, uh, but it is, they are handing over their email address to be alerted anytime you release a new book. So it is a good way to, to sort of promote from the side. And then we have, um, our, our Draft2Digital author pages and book tabs, uh, which are a way for you, something you can share on Twitter very easily, but the author pages in particular, if you, especially if you don't already have a web presence, this is a great sort of landing page to send people and it has links for all your social media, social media plus, um, you can have them sign up to follow you through new release notifications or you can link to where they can sign up to get on your mailing list online. So if you're using, um, an email manager, a marketing service, uh, you can put the link in there for that. So, uh, these are all great tools because they're shareable. Uh, there is a way, there are links to share these pages from there. So you should encourage your followers to go check it out and share it on Twitter. Uh, and that's a great way to kind of broaden your platform.

Mark Lefebvre:

51:35

Yeah. Can I share another thing about, um, about the landing pages and the reading lists is what I love so much about this is that, um, you know, we spend all our time begging and hoping that the retailers will feature books from authors that we really want to help support and prop up reading lists allow you the author to be in control. Uh, there's an amazing group of romance writers, uh, Julie Strauss, a friend of mine, and that's how I know this group, but they have this new series called ticket to true love and it's eight different authors and they're all writing in the same universe. They're all publishing their own books independently to all the platforms, but they have a landing page that they're leveraging this forward. All their books are featured. And uh, you know, as each new release comes out, uh, and I know this because I saw that Julie had just released her book in that series, but you know, she may be spotlight spotlight this week and the next week when somebody else in the series is spotlight, but then they also have the links to all their other books.

Mark Lefebvre:

52:29

And then links to their author pages. So you can be very creative in how you leverage these free tools. And I love creative ways that put you in control as the author. So when you're working on collaborations like that, whether it's an anthology, whether it's whatever. For Halloween I was, I was fooling around a bunch of authors online and I created booze to read for Halloween and I, and I just reached out to a group of authors and an online group and said, Hey, does anyone have any sort of Halloween or spooky theme the books? I'm going to put them all in this, in this reading list. So I'm going to have, you know, one of my books and then a whole bunch of other books that are on the same thing. So yeah, dude do take advantage of that. But speaking of taking advantage of something, we have something really exciting that we want to talk about. Totally.

Kevin Tumlinson:

53:12

I don't know how exciting it is

Mark Lefebvre:

53:15

exciting when we get to chat one on one with these amazing authors that we get to work with.

Kevin Tumlinson:

53:20

Okay. Uh, yes. So, uh, we like to do this after every a and that is a open things up so that you have an opportunity to consult with one of us one-on-one in a free 30 minute author consultation is exciting. That is pretty exciting. Yeah, I'll admit. Okay. It is exciting. Um, now you don't know who you're going to get. It's a luck of the draw. Uh, and there are no special requests, but for a limited number of slots, by the way, cause we, we all have limited time and there's only so much time in the day, but if you head on over right now and I, and I am dead sure that Alyssa is dropping this link into the Facebook group right now, if you go over to Bitly slash DDD console, that's bit dot L Y slash D2D consult, uh, you will be able to, uh, you'll find, you'll find a calendar there.

Kevin Tumlinson:

54:15

You can, uh, pick a time and date that works for you and it'll be automatically assigned to one of the three of us. Uh, and, uh, we, you know, we've, we've really enjoyed doing this. It's been pretty remarkable to see what's that. Even the, uh, the folks who've been around for awhile and, uh, are pretty knowledgeable. I'll get a few of the few of you guys in this, uh, to not really just not really get a consultation but to kind of talk shop and, you know, sort of, uh, reaffirm what you're doing and maybe get a little inspiration or some advice on something maybe you have some trouble with so you don't have to worry about your level. You can come in at any level. The will be author in the already doing it, author. So, uh, we love doing that. And so jump on in and check that out and we all, and do that now. Do it quickly because these things fill up very fast in the midst of doing that. Doesn't Dan have an announcement that we're going to share? I do.

Dan Wood:

55:11

[inaudible] I wouldn't say it's an exciting announcement, but it is an announcement just that you need to be aware of. This was working. It's an exciting thought we were talking about. Yes. So next week for all of you who are not Americans. Uh, we do have a big holiday coming up Thanksgiving, so our offices are going to be closed down Thursday or Friday of next week. Uh, that's true of a lot of our different retailers as well. And so you just want to make sure if you've got anything coming up, uh, you want to get it in before the end of day Wednesday. Really you want to get in like Wednesday morning at the very latest, uh, so that we all have time to process it and get it to the retailer. Um, so just be aware of that. There's going to be a little while where we might not be able to answer all your questions. We are going to be watching for emergencies over that period. But for the most part, we don't have anyone at our retailers to reach out to expedite anything. Does, everyone's mostly on holiday

Kevin Tumlinson:

56:10

And we are work obsessed. So if you do have questions and you post them on Twitter or something, we're probably going to someone probably me. We'll uh, we'll give you some kind of answers. So there's also a Canadian hanging out who might be around,

Mark Lefebvre:

56:24

cause I'm not going to be getting stuffed up on Turkey. We did that last month.

Dan Wood:

56:27

Yeah. So if you need anything, just reach out to Mark. He's Canadian. He has nothing to be thankful for. He just be sitting around. So, um, the other thing is just start thinking about the month of December because we'll be sending out some emails to let you know the holiday hours of our different retailers. But the same thing, uh, the retailers closed down for a good chunk of, you know, this is Eve on two new years. Many of the retailers are shut down in their offices. And so

Kevin Tumlinson:

56:58

yeah,

Dan Wood:

56:59

uh, I lost that time. But you need to get your books in advance. So Apple has us now already, December 13th is like the latest date to submit a book. Um, so you want to make sure you've got any, a creator you've got coming out or any new thing that you want up before January 4th, really, January 5th, I would say you want to get in, but summer 13th at the latest. So just be aware of that because every year we try to let people know, but there's nothing we can do. Uh, after a certain point, uh, everyone's on holiday. And so

Kevin Tumlinson:

57:34

I, I have to, I have to apologize to everybody. We did turn on the link and, but what I did not do was set the, uh, the date range. Uh, it should be set now, so go ahead and pop in there. And, uh, sorry about that. I'll even extend it a little just so that, uh, you can make up for the, for that goof.

Mark Lefebvre:

57:56

And if, uh, I know I didn't expand, I'll, I'll try and expand my time availability into some of the evenings. So, uh, I'll be doing that in the next probably four or five hours as well.

Kevin Tumlinson:

58:07

Yeah. And by the way, if, if for some reason, uh, you discover that Christmas day and Christmas Eve are, are wide open for events, uh, we didn't mean for them to be. So show some mercy and dope. Those dates. I'm going, I'm gonna try and make sure those are blocked off.

Mark Lefebvre:

58:23

They may want to see our family and stuff like that. We will reschedule you. Yeah. We may say, Hey, can we, can we move this? Uh, so guys, thank you so much for, uh, the Kevin and Dan for hanging out. I love hanging out with you guys. It was great. I got to see in person last week. Alyssa, thank you so much for all the amazing work you're doing behind the scenes making us look good. And, uh, you authors, thank you for hanging out and asking some amazing questions. We, we can't be as good as we are without all of the amazing authors in our community as well. So thank you guys so much.

Dan Wood:

59:00

Take care of. Definitely. Thank you all. Have a good one.

 

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