So, I’ve now added Fiction4All to my list of distributors.
I recently saw a list of erotica distributors, and noticed that there was one I hadn’t heard of: Fiction4all. I took a look at their author options, and it seems that they act as a distribution hub for a few minor outlets, much as Smashwords does. As a self published author, I’m always interested in additional distribution channels, so I took a look. It seems that Fiction4All will either take your cover art and story as-is, or (presumably if your story has merit) have one of their cover design people work it over and format it. I didn’t see anything in the description about fees for this service, which looks kind of intriguing. Of course, if you’re using their cover design services I’m fairly certain that you won’t be free to use their cover on your story elsewhere. Still, it’s promising. Based upon the fact they’ll do nudity on covers and aren’t squeamish about publishing actual incest (as opposed to pseudo-incest), I’m pretty sure that they’re not going to go berserk and censor out my breeding porn. These guys, girls, or whatever, publish porn stories not “extra steamy romance”.
I used my “She Only Wore a Shirt to the Funeral” as an experiment, and it took a week or two but it got accepted and went live. It’s at the following sites at least, although they claim their network may involve other sites (probably via rebadging feeds, much like how Diesel used to have a million storefronts):
One note: You can’t list stories there for free, but you can list them at $0.49, which is what I’ve done with “She Only Wore a Shirt to the Funeral”.
Also, as an introductory special, they always price your book at 15% off for the first week. I’m a little bit scared of uploading my titles which are already published elsewhere, but I think in the future I might start publishing to everywhere but Amazon at first, then posting to Amazon after the 15% discount period has expired. Amazon’s terms say effectively, “Fuck you, we’re always going to have the lowest price on your story, and if someone discounts it then we’ll price match that.” A lot of other sites have the same exact policy, so all it takes is to get two sites into a discounting war to take your $2.99 story and put it on a permanent 15% off. This sounds trivial and annoying, but Amazon only gives you 70% royalties on titles over $2.99. So if you’re at $2.99 and they price-match you to $2.55, you’re now in the 35% royalty bracket for all sales for that title until you can convince Amazon to agree to bump the price back up to $2.99.
I’ve read other authors’ horror stories about that – the horror specifically comes in from Amazon really not wanting to bring the price back up once it’s been lowered, and the other sites tend to have the same preference.
Now, I don’t mind a 15% discount, but here’s what that does to your revenue at Amazon, if they price-match your title and it takes it under the magic $2.99 minimum price for 70% royalty share:
- $2.99 produces 70% royalty = $2.09 royalty to the author (minus some distribution costs, etc)
- $2.54 produces 35% royalty = $0.89 royalty to the author
So as you can see, there’s reason to be concerned about this. But this interesting article on Smashwords makes a compelling point for pricing at $3.99, and even if a 15% discount gets taken against your $3.99 eBook and Amazon responds, you’re still not down into the 35% royalty pool.
So I think I might switch to new release pricing at $3.99 on all channels, letting whatever happens with the 15% promotional periods happen, and then perhaps re-evaluating the price of back-catalog items at $2.99 once I’m sure that no outlets are going to get into a price war over my titles.
Any other authors, feel free to to chime in in the comments if you have input here. As for myself, I’m glad to see Fiction4all in the ecosystem. Given that they don’t care if you publish actual incest (as opposed to pseudo incest), I’m pretty sure that they’re not going to turn extra-prudish and ban my breeding erotica which Amazon filters out from most search results, or “Cum In Me If You Want To Live”, which Amazon banned entirely.