Boy has it been a wild ride since I started trying to get distribution for my ebooks. 😉
It all started back in September or October 2013, when Kobo and Amazon went apeshit over ebooks with erotic content, and began banning ebooks right and left (even ebooks without erotic content whatsoever). First it affected those who published directly to Kindle. And then–it affected those who published via D2D (I’ll be damned!).
So here’s the timeline of my adventures in ebook distribution (or lack thereof):
1. October 2013: Baby Daddy was banned from Amazon. I had to change the title, cover and blurb in order to continue selling (via D2D) to Amazon.
Not long afterward, Kobo banned s’more of my ebooks. Apple banned Chosen from sale as well.
2. November 2013: To help curb anymore issues w/ distribution to Amazon, etc., D2D announced–by email–they would begin checking every ebook before distributing, to ensure books with questionable content (dub-con, non-con, fake incest) would NOT be accepted for distribution. This was right after I uploaded Boy Next Door to D2D, and the ebook was accepted by Amazon. Therefore I’d managed to dodge a bullet (first time for everything).
3. December 2013: An uneventful month in epublishing, though a very crazy time in my personal life–health-wise.
4. January 2013: Well lookie there. D2D announced–by email–that Amazon had blocked their account.
5. February 2013: And D2D announced–by email–they’d begun removing all ebooks from Amazon. Sure enough, by that evening, all my ebooks (and many other authors’ ebooks) were gone from Amazon.
It was a sad day for thousands of people. 😦 Seriously…
6. Sooo–to get on with epublishing life (as shitty as it seems to be), I spent the next FOUR days scrambling to get all my ebooks on Amazon, or Smashwords, or BookBaby.
As for BookBaby: *I DO NOT RECOMMEND this site.* Why? Because they claim to have a ‘Free Distribution’ option, however it’s not really free. You must pay $19 for an ISBN number for your ebook before BookBaby even attempts to review the ebook for distribution. Not only that, but BookBaby takes out a small percentage from every ebook sold.
Anyhow I had around 8 ebooks I wanted to transfer. 8 ebooks x $19 = $152. Again, not free.
However, an ISBN from Smashwords is: FREE. Entirely free. Yes. It is entirely FREE to distribute via Smashwords (they take out a tiny percentage when the ebook sells).
7. Before submitting to Smashwords, like a dumbass I went to BookBaby first. Thank god in heaven I was smart enough not to pay the full $152 to get an ISBN for all my ebooks. Since it was so goddamn expensive (excuse my language), I decided to distribute just one ebook through BookBaby for the time being, so I could see whether or not I liked BookBaby. Then if I found out BookBaby sucks shit balls, then I’d only be out $19 (pretty sure you can’t get a refund for an ISBN–though I’ll damn well try my hardest to ‘stop payment’ on the credit card, of course).
So yes, dummy me decided to upload Boy Next Door to BookBaby and pay the $19 for an ISBN. Can you guess what happened next? C’mon, guess!
Here’s BookBaby’s email:
We reviewed the eBook content file you uploaded for Boy Next Door and found something that needs your urgent attention before we can move forward.
The book you have submitted is largely based and contains themes of explicit rape.
We’re afraid we cannot distribute this title to any of our partners.
You can send responses and new files to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your Friendly Neighborhood BookBaby Specialist
*cough* So I emailed them back:
Then refund my $20.
Now, of course, I know BookBaby doesn’t plan to refund my $19 ($20 rounded), but it couldn’t hurt to ask. Plus it’s better than responding with “yeah, fuck you too.” Right? Really, this reminds me of Kobo’s snarky, unapologetic email in Oct. 2013 which stated something like this: “If you wish to write stories involving rape for titillation, then you’ll have a hard time finding distribution for your titles.” Perhaps so, but BND contains way more than so-called ‘rape for titillation.’ Try hours and hours worth of searching on the ‘net, researching various psychological conditions that might contribute to the villain’s bad behavior, among other things I’d researched, to get the story/psychological conditions as accurately portrayed as possible. But no, my goddamn fuckin’ ebook was simply a ‘rape for titillation’ story. Okay. Fuck you too.