The path to many online retailers can only be found through an eBook “aggregator” like Smashwords. You do this by listing your eBook through the Premium Distribution Channel for sites like Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Sony, Kobo, and Diesel. Most of these have gone pretty smoothly, but not all. There have been delays based mostly on the way those sites do business. I put The Adventures of Reztap online through the channel on May 12, 2012. Here is where they stand at the various retailers:
Sony (shipped on June 21st) – should appear two weeks after it is shipped. Why it took five weeks to ship, I don’t know. Says it ships every Thursday or Friday.
Barnes & Noble (hasn’t shipped yet) – Should appear within a few days of shipment. Says it ships every Thursday or Friday.
Kobo (shipped May 31st – on the site now!) – Should appear within a few days of shipment. Says it ships daily.
Amazon (opted out – it has been put directly on KDP)
Apple (shipped June 26th) – Ships multiple times per day. Manual review will take take weeks or longer before listing on iTunes.
Diesel (shipped June 5th – on the site now!) – Says it ships every Thursday or Friday.
Page Foundry (shipped June 13th) – not sure how to get to this. It’s a relatively new add-on to the Premium service.
Baker-Taylor (shipped June 19th) – Says it ships every Thursday or Friday. This is where libraries order from. Not sure exactly how that works.
On Amazon (kdp.amazon.com), I uploaded everything (having to reformat both the book and cover), but it was authorized, cleared and listed within 48 hours.
So directly to Smashwords and Amazon, the process was fairly quick. The slow churn through the distribution channels is frighteningly turtlish. I’ve been marketing a book people can’t get to yet on iTunes (they’ve asked) or Barnes & Noble’s Nook for over a month. That’s two of the three premium eBook platforms out there.
Lesson learned – don’t believe everything you read about how fast an aggregator will get your book on the other web sites. I think theere was some delay on Smashwords part this time, but I’ve heard delay horror stories after the bbok has shipped, especially to Apple. that’s a bit of a bummer, but this is all about the learning process, right?
Keep writing, mi amigos!