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If I told you to shop online, what’re the odds you’d go to Amazon first?

Most people do. It’s like a benevolent (for now?) parasite worming its way into every part of our purchasing culture. It’s the first stop when you’re trying to find a product. Heck, I check Amazon for the same thing I’m in a physical store shopping for!

It’s why, when you talk exclusivity, Amazon’s the only retailer able to offer enough audience for sole access to your material. As I’ve mentioned on this blog, I’m in the process of taking my books ‘wide’, or making them available all over the place. Every little market I can find. Part of this process is, well, annoying. Re-entering pricing information, ISBN numbers, book blurbs, etc. is about as fun as curling up in a box with a rabid raccoon. But, unlike the rabid raccoon, there are some hidden bonuses, like finding markets that you never knew existed.

Is Scribl, a nifty storefront that sells based on the unique concept of “Crowd-pricing” – basically a form of reader feedback and sales volume that determines a book’s price – something that you knew about? I didn’t until today. Now Wild Nines is on there. And when I finally get around to putting an audio version together, I’ll get bonus royalties or something. Point being, Scribl uses an innovative concept to deliver value to the people that shop there, and that’s pretty cool! Even if a grand total of zero people buy my book, I’ll stop by time to time to buy something myself just because crowd-pricing is an intriguing way of surfacing hidden gems.

How about BundleRabbit? Where you can buy bundles of books curated by people who, you know, love to make book bundles (your new favorite hobby?). I tossed Wild Nines out there too, so people who might want to include it in a bundle, say, one of new science fiction, can do so.

Or the myriad stores haunting other countries, the kinds whispered about in back alleys and over early-morning espressos when the masses aren’t around. Tolino, in Germany, for example.

Book subscription services, like Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited but without the exclusivity enforcement that makes the whole thing distasteful – 24Symbols and Scribd

If you haven’t heard of some of these stores, check’em out. Amazon is great, but you might find one of these smaller outlets suits your taste a little more. And they might offer up better variety, cheaper prices, or a more attractive experience. None of them, sadly, come with rabid raccoons.

Opening LinesStorm Front, by Jim Butcher. If there’s one series that can be credited with bringing the Urban Fantasy genre to life over the last decade, it’s this one. Harry Dresden is like Harry Potter, but with moxie. And a Volkswagon Beetle. If you haven’t given these novels a try, you owe it to yourself to taste the endless sarcasm and entertaining mix of mythology and pop culture that swirls through these novels. Just be aware that trying one presents a grave risk of you vanishing into a black hole until you’ve finished all of them. I’ve seen it happen. It ain’t pretty.

Also, random PSA – Wild Nines is dropping to $.99 for a couple of weeks to spread the notice around to some of these new retailers. It might take a day or two for the price to show up, but if you’ve been hesitating, now’s about the cheapest it’s going to get!

 

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