I’m sure most of you are aware of this, but just in case, I thought I’d pass along Smashwords’ site for August 7, 2012 (http://www.smashwords.com/about/beta). On our dashboards, we can now adjust the price for libraries that want our books. In our channel manager, we can opt out of library distribution if we wish.
I’ve opted to make all of my books available for libraries free of charge. My thinking is that it’ll help with exposure because more libraries will be likely to pick up a free book than one that they have to buy. That’s not to say some libraries haven’t already bought my books. I see in my dashboard that some have. I just want to make it easier for them to say yes.
Another reason I opted for free to libraries is that I do get emails/blog comments/FB messages from readers who say they can’t afford my books. Well, for anyone else having the same type of correspondence from readers, this offers a way to direct them to a legitimate way to read your books for free. l already made the announcement about Smashwords and libraries on my blog dedicated to my readers, but I added that it’s up to them to contact their libraries about getting my books for them to lend. My thinking on this is that libraries will be more likely to listen to their patrons when it comes to stocking their virtual bookshelves, so the readers need to take action in this area. This also offers the ideal response for readers who are strapped for cash and can’t buy the books. From now on, I can encourage them to contact their local library about getting my books in their system.
I’m not saying the system will be perfect. No system is perfect because human beings aren’t perfect. But I do see this as a step in the right direction to helping to make piracy less attractive to readers and to gain exposure.
Now, you don’t have to offer your books free for libraries. That’s just an avenue I chose. You can choose to give libraries a discount, charge the same price as retail or not allow distribution to libraries at all. Every author will have to decide what option is best for them. I made this post because I wanted to know what other authors are thinking of doing with this new development. I rarely participate in forums anymore (too time consuming), so I wanted to ask you guys on this blog about it. 😀
Will you have your books distributed to libraries? Will you go free, discount the price, or go retail? What do you think of Smashwords’ books being in libraries?
(As a side note: anyone being rude to anyone else will have their comment deleted. I’d like to have a friendly discussion. Remember, your opinion doesn’t mean it’s the right opinion for everyone. :D)