Vendor Update for TNDS (Tales)
NOTE: This does not affect any of our novels produced by Roc / Penguin-Putnam. The ebook editions of our novels are control and distributed by our publisher, not us.
If you purchased past or current “tales” through Apple / iBookStore / iTunes, you will still have them forever; Apple will see to this. Currently released titles at Apple / iBookstore will also remain available for purchase until sales have flatlined for 60 days or 2 calendar months, whichever comes first. As to why this decision was made…
The list of reasons is extensive and has built up over a year as we waited to see improvements that did not come. The list reflects both difficulties in the publishing process and in the performance of Apple / iBookStore where T·N·D·S (only) is concerned.
- eBook Master File: slightly modified / separate versions must be prepared specifically for the Apple editions.
- eBook Preview File: same as for “eBook Master File.” Other vendors handle this automatically while Apple requires a separate file if the amount of preview is to be controlled reasonably.
- eBook Display Cover: same as for “eBook Master File.”
- eBook Internal Cover: sometimes the same as for “eBook Master File.”
- Production Time: an extra 10%-15% is required for materials specific to the Apple editions.
- eBook Delivery: all vendors have bulk delivery for professional level publishers. All other vendors have direct publishing portals that handle submissions from individuals and smaller operations. Apple requires special (and convoluted) software to deliver ebooks for distribution / sale.
- eBook Updates: [occasionally necessary] same as for “eBook Delivery.”
- Product Availability after Delivery: 7 to 12 days vs. 12-24 hours at all other vendors.
- Support: the staff is very friendly but less accommodating and knowledgeable than those of other vendors. Turn around time from problem to solution has taken 3 to 9 days, at least double the worst case scenarios at all other vendors.
- Sales by Units: ~1.5% vs. all vendors combined; less than 5% vs. the top selling other vendor.
With this many issues, extra time to accommodate Apple’s unique requirements is no longer fiscally viable. It was not viable from the start, but we chose to stick with it for the sake of some of our readers.
There is a purchase application for all major (and many minor) ebook vendors that can be installed on any OSX / iOS device. This is how many Apple users do their shopping specifically for ebooks and how some comparison shop as well. This is how most readers of “tales” make their purchases on such devices.
For those who have been purchasing Apple / iBookStore editions of T·N·D·S releases, we apologize to you, but we hope you can understand our choice. It was not made quickly or lightly.