From Giselle: Today we are fortunate to have a blog post from a wonderful fellow author, Carl East. Carl is an established, successful erotica author who was in the business before most of us knew what ebooks were. He is the author of 100+ erotica ebooks, and a few audio book editions as well. I and many of my fellow erotica authors have benefited from Carl's sage advice. Be sure to check out Carl's books at Smashwords, or your favorite eBook retailer. And now I'm pleased to let Carl take over....
Why would I buy my books from Smashwords?
Over the course of the last year things have really picked up where eBooks are concerned. We've seen partnerships develop, big money changing hands and all kinds of new gadgets hitting the market. People in general have their favorite places for buying these books, which is understandable. Some swear by Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Apple, but you very rarely see anyone mentioning Smashwords.com This is a shame for many reasons, not least because it gives the authors the best deal around, but because it's one of the few places that hasn't banned or deleted authors work without having a darn good reason.
These other places don't seem to think they need a reason, they just delete them without any warning and we're supposed to just sit back and accept it. Until recently it was just Erotica that got attacked; now it seems that if they don't like your non-erotic stories then they are fair game as well. I personally had over 40 stories chopped from Apple, and four of them were non-erotic, so when do we say enough is enough?
My only wish is that people will start to see Smashwords as a viable replacement for all of these sites. I say that because you will find every story that I've released there, full and intact. And why shouldn't they be, I mean not one story on Smashwords that was written by me is breaking any law that I know about. The thing is we have a champion in Mark Coker, because he's someone who is prepared to go to bat for the writers and someone who actually cares about the written word in all its forms.
If he ever bans a story it's because it crossed the line of what is and isn't acceptable in today’s society. His site also includes every popular download file there is, so whether you have a Blackberry, Nook, Apple or Kindle they have a book file for it. You may think that all of this is about the fact that I've been attacked by Apple and need support in order to fight back, and in part you'd be correct. However, I really do want to see Smashwords succeeding beyond what they've achieved so far. People like Mark Coker deserve to get the credit for revolutionizing the eBook age and helping unknown authors to achieve their dreams.
If you admire Smashwords for what they've achieved then shout it out on the networks, Twitter it, Facebook it or do whatever you can to get the word out. It doesn't matter whether you like erotica or not, it really isn't about any specific genre, it's about protecting all fiction from those that believe we the indie writers have no rights what so ever and can censor us whenever they feel like it.
Let me also put it another way. Let's say that you have a favorite indie author, one that you've been following for over a year now. Suddenly your favorite authors books are no longer available at Amazon, Apple etc., wouldn't you be annoyed that some faceless company had removed the stories you love, without so much as a reason being shared with anyone, not even the author? It has to stop, otherwise these companies will always be in control of what you can and cannot read. It's up to you, you have the power to stop all of this, you just need the will to do so.
So, why should I buy my books from Smashwords? Simple, they serve the author and reader and not the almighty dollar. They have quite literally changed the landscape for the indie author and have made us all see that we are being ripped off by the big publishers, on a daily basis. Who wouldn't want to support such a site?