Just One Look to XinXii, the European Digital Publishing Platform. I did it that very night.
By far, it's the easiest digital publishing platform yet. If you've hesitated because you thought it might be hard, don't wait.(I also have Just One Look on Kindle, Smashwords, and Nook. I've been a busy girl!)
Since XinXii takes 15 different file formats, most writers already have the ability to upload without problems. At the moment, you can select publication with only 1 format, but that's going to change according to XinXii CEO Dr. Andrea Schober. They're always tweaking the platform to make it even more user friendly for authors and readers.
Now, I've heard comments and questions from a lot of people since I began talking about XinXii. By the way, I am not being paid for these blog posts. I'm doing this because I think any new writing opportunity should be passed along.
Remember the aphorism: "A rising tide floats all boats." That's what I believe. That's why I do this.
Chuck, from the Houston area of Texas, is a new author on XinXii with what he calls quick reads for commuters. Chuck told me that an article in the New York Times first interested him in XinXii. When he saw my posts about them, he took action and published his short story collection Journeys of Midlife Relationships last week.
Though he hasn't made any sales in the few days that he's been on XinXii, he still plans to put on 2 - 3 more short story collections followed by a near-future mystery suspense novel.
Like most indie authors, Chuck found pricing the hardest thing to figure. He decided that a book for European distribution is immediately priced more because of VAT (Value Added Tax), so he went with the minimum USD price of $2.49 since that gives full royalty.
As for promotion, Chuck plans to use Facebook since he believes most of those buying English language editions in Europe are ex-pats, and they're already on FB.
Joel, from Southwest Colorado, has four novels on XinXii: Harmony's Passing, Caraliza, Breathing into Stone, and Shared. He reports that readers make the same comments for any of his titles: "characters are engaging and strong...prose is rich and descriptive...tales are complex and inventive."
Joel said that for the longest while, he was "a query monster, and sent synopses of my books to about 160 agencies each." He believed that he should own websites for each of his books, and that led him to writers’ forums and to self-publishing information. He started with Lulu.com and has been self-published ever since. He no longer pursues traditional publishing.
Like some of the other authors I interviewed, Joel was invited to submit to XinXii by Dr. Andrea Schober. CEO. He's had particular success in Europe with his second novel. When asked about his expectations for XinXii, he replied: "Europe is a vast English speaking community, and seems to be quite fond of American writers. They find us terribly amusing, culturally inept."
Joel explained: "XinXii is a superb website. The design is wonderfully user-friendly, both for authors and for readers. I prefer the cleaner design they use for their website, it makes browsing a comfortable experience. My novels have been on other online retailers a longer time, so there is no balance of sales as yet, but that will come."
When it comes to pricing, Joel tries to grow his audience. He keeps his ebook prices as low as possible. His promotion isn't very different from what he does for his books stateside. He does, however, have friends in The Netherlands who spread the word.
"Be prepared with properly formatted files. Make certain that your title appears in all the pertinent categories. Be sure to add descriptive tags to your book, to help readers see it if they search along the subjects that interest them most. Indie authors are learning the world over, keywords and tags can make a vast difference in visibility."
Philip describes himself as a working man who likes to write. Like many authors, he began writing because he thought he could do as well as many of the writers of the fiction he'd been reading. Also like those authors, he soon learned that it wasn’t as easy as he thought.
Like those who eventually get published0, he persevered. Writing became the activity that filled his time off in the evenings and weekends. He has 4 books on XinXii and more to come.
Since Philip is ranked #7 in Thrillers on XinXii for Desert Heat, he's of particular interest. Unlike traditional publishing, he doesn't stick to one genre. He's got young adult/fantasy and thriller/suspense with adult themes. All his books exhibit his love of action stories where "the protagonists are being pursued while trying to stop some heinous tragedy from occurring or struggling in an effort to right a wrong or simply to survive."
Within the confines of his action stories, relationships are as important as plot. He boldly asserts that he's writing "love stories."
He found XinXii through an online search. He went to their website, looked it over and thought, why not? He's concerned about advertising and promotion because he hasn't discovered a reasonable way to direct traffic to his books there. However, he does think there is a market (in Europe) for books in English since many Europeans speak the language.
As to pricing, that didn't concern Philip at all. "Ebooks are inexpensive to begin with so. Selling actual books would be another story. As far as how I decided how much to charge? I looked at other ebooks in my genre that were offered on XinXii. Most were in the same ballpark."
"Find somewhere to advertise your book. I will be attacking that in the, hopefully, near future. Getting your book on XinXii is easy. Getting people to see it and buy it is the hard part, a universal problem for all authors. As far as XinXii, they make it very easy.
"Be as generous as you can (in) offering information about you and your books( without) giving away too much personal information. Make the descriptions of your books as perfect as you can since that is what the customers will look at first when they click on your book title. Be as perfect with that as you would be (in) sending the same information to a publisher or literary agent you’re trying to have look at your work."
Linda, from South Texas, loves to write romance with a fantasy or science fiction flair. In March 2010, Linda was named the Whiskey Creek Press Torrid Author of The Year. Linda has 3 books on XinXii with The Battle Lord’s Lady (Book 1 of the Battle Lord Saga) being the latest. She says she writes: Sensuous Romance with a SciFi or Fantasy Flair!
Like many late-blooming authors, Linda questioned the value of her writing which she kept under lock and key. Her husband convinced her to try to get published. She succeeded with several publishers, including epublishers. Then she discovered the potential of self-publishing her own books, "especially now that ereaders and venues such as XinXii, Amazon, Fictionwise, and All Romance eBooks are showing massive sales increases."
She too received an email from Dr. Schober inviting her to participate. She jumped in because she wants "to reach a world-wide market." Though she's only been on XinXii a few months, she's already made sales. She says that she's "showing the same progression as I saw with Kindle and Nook. As time goes by, more people will discover my books, and hopefully sales will grow."
Her novels are priced a bit higher than some, but she has a definite pricing program at work: $3.99 for novels, $1.99 for novellas, and planned short stories for $.99.
For promotion, she does mostly what she does for her stateside books: Facebook, blog, website, Goodreads, RomanceWiki, and other personal internet sites. You can look for other books from Linda on XinXii in the future.
"Check to see what’s selling. That will give you an idea whether or not your book will also sell."
Kait, from Mississippi, has 1 romance novella on XinXii. She has a sales rank of #7 for Forsaken By Shadow. Her remarks were brief and to the point. Kait said: "There's not much to say. I set it up a few months ago, figuring there was nothing to lose, but I don't consider it a real success. Maybe if it grows more."
Cynthia, from the Houston area of Texas, has been successful with Smashwords and Kindle so when she heard about XinXii, she uploaded her Romance Writers of America Golden Heart finalist manuscript In the Garden of Temptation.
When asked why she was trying XinXii, she replied:
"I’m interested in getting my books in as many credible venues as possible, including those abroad. The English side of XinXii is very new, and it seemed like a good opportunity to get in on the ground floor. Those authors that did that at Smashwords are now some of the best selling Indie authors around, some even outselling the New York published."
As to her expectations, she said she doesn't really have any at this juncture. She's trying to get her name out there and develop a readership. "Of course, I want to sell books, and the more places you are the better your chances are of picking up those sales."
Cynthia had something eloquent to say that I think represents a lot of authors today.
"I’m enjoying writing again for the first time in many years. Taking hold of my career and calling the shots is empowering. I've had that editor-on-the-shoulder thing for years. Unfortunately, I never knew what the guy wanted, so I vacillated, afraid to make choices. But now I can take a risk on an idea that a traditional publisher can’t afford to do. It’s not for everybody, creating covers, formatting, and the editing (horrors!), but I love it. I feel very fortunate to be a writer in this “new-age” of publishing."
The Last Word
For those of you who have been on the fence about XinXii, I think Joel Kirkpatrick summed it up best.
"There is no such thing as a marketing limit or boundary today. Indie authors of every nationality already know the steps necessary to be visible on the web. Why on earth would one not desire to be read in Germany, when their books are selling well in the U.S.? Authors should strive to be exposed the world over. I had that illustrated very well just a few months ago. First chapter samples of my novels were placed on a website for free download. Thousands of readers have picked up those samples, and more than half are outside the U.S."
I thank all the authors who graciously gave their time for this interview, and I wish you all mega-sales!
(I'll be driving to my other house in the Hill Country tomorrow. I need some alone time to finish proofing this manuscript The Trouble With Love so I can publish my 2nd ebook next week. I'll check for comments when I arrive.)
Nothing ventured? Nothing gained.