With the recent suppression and censorship taking place at both Smashwords, Kobo, Apple, and Barnes & Noble along with Amazon taking down books they’ve deemed too risque, it has become more and more apparent that authors NEED to open up their own bookstores. (If you’re interested in knowing more details about the new rules imposed by the above platforms–read this article HERE.)
Readers who enjoy age play, capture/slave, dark romance, and non-consensual themes will find it increasingly difficult or impossible to access these books on any platforms other than Amazon. And it is only a matter of time before Amazon follows suit. It is my prediction that the only way customers will be able to purchase books with darker themes will be directly from the author.
As of yesterday, Smashwords (along with Barnes & Noble, and Apple) won’t even accept a book if it seems to have taboo themes. Currently, it is up to the author to honestly describe their book with these themes so it can be labeled as “Erotica.” Of course, they also hinder the visibility of that book, making it harder for the reader to purchase it, thereby drastically reducing the payout to the author as well. However, if they find that you haven’t labeled your book correctly, they are stating that the author’s account will be closed and you’ll no longer be able to purchase books you enjoy by that author on their sites.
Last month Barnes & Noble discontinued displaying thousands and thousands of books and closed the author’s accounts, with no feedback or prior notification. It rocked the indie and publishing world, devastating many, many authors in the romance genre and, in particular, the spanking romance genre. Barnes & Noble closed all the accounts for Blushing Authors and took their books down immediately. It has since been resolved, but the after affects have been post-traumatic to say the least.
And last, but definitely not least, with the significant reduction of payout on Kindle Unlimited (20% just this year), it has become even more important that authors find a viable income that isn’t censored or limited, and one that doesn’t take a huge cut of our earnings.
Enter Stage Right: Gumroad
Gumroad has given me the ability to have a storefront. In coordination and in conjunction with Trent Evans, we have both opened up our own storefronts and are selling our books directly to you, the readers. When a reader clicks on one of my books, one of the buttons will be Buy Direct From Megan. Readers will be able to download books in Mobi (for your Kindle), PDF, and Epub. You can forward the format you’ve chosen directly to your Kindle email address or read it on the Gumroad App on your computer or phone.
Discount: I will be selling ALL my books at a discount by entering a code at checkout, which for my readers will be MEGAN15. You will receive an automatic 15% discount. Right now, I have all of my books for sale (except the two published with Stormy Night).
New Books: I will be releasing all new books to my website first, starting with my next book, A Baby for Pra’kir (Captives of Pra’kir, Book 6). So, you can read them before they are released to other platforms, including Amazon AND receive a 15% discount. If you do not wish to use the Gumroad download system, then you’ll have to wait for them to be published to Amazon. But, it is my hope that you’ll find the process easier than anticipated and enjoy the discount as well.
Short Stories and Subscription Model: I’m hoping to release monthly stories that would never be allowed on Amazon. Putting up more pet play stories, age play, and other sundry and salacious short stories for your pleasure. I’ll be releasing them to a page on my blog called “From the Crate.” I’m hoping to sell them (depending upon their length) for $1.50 and ultimately, it is my hope to have a monthly or bi-weekly subscription plan for them.
If you’d like to follow me on Gumroad, you’ll be notified whenever I publish a story or book, as well as my usual notification through my newsletter and blog.
Follow Me on Gumroad: https://gumroad.com/meganmichaels
Instructions for purchasing direct:
I’ll walk through the process using one of my books as an example:
1. On my Books page, you’ll see a list of all of my books. When you click on one of the cover images, it will take you to a summary page that shows the description, cover, etc along with the various purchase link icons for the major retailers. Included in that group is the Buy Direct From Megan icon(in this example, we’re using The Alien’s Mark), which will take you to the Gumroad storefront for that book here https://gum.co/GnwI
2. On the right-hand side, you’ll see a button for purchasing that says “I Want This!” Click that.
3. When you do that, you’re brought to a purchase page that asks for your e-mail address, and a field right below that for entering in your discount code of “MEGAN15”. Fill in those two fields.
4. Below those fields, you’ll be prompted to enter payment information (either your PayPal information, or a credit/debit card). Once you’ve entered that, there is a button below that which says “Pay”
5. After you do that, a thank you/confirmation message shows up on your screen that will look like this sample message:
The Alien’s Mark
View Product (link disabled for purposes of this example)
Open in App (link disabled for purposes of this example)
View your receipt by clicking here. We have also sent a copy to your e-mail address XX. (<—your e-mail address would show here:)
6. You would then click on “View Product” which is where you will go to find the files you can download. You can choose from .mobi, .epub, or .pdf. It’s here where you are given the choice of either downloading the files to your computer/device OR you can view on the Gumroad app (if you have it installed). Instructions on how to do either are shown below:
How to Download from Gumroad: The following two links give directions on how to download a purchased book from Gumroad.
- Downloading to your Kindle: http://help.gumroad.com/11167-Buyer-FAQ/how-do-i-read-a-document-on-my-kindle
- Downloading to the Gumroad App: http://help.gumroad.com/11167-buyer-faq/using-gumroad-library?from_search=18345371
I almost always just download the files directly to my computer. Once you’ve done that, you can just e-mail the files manually to your direct-to-Kindle address just like you’d do for ARCs.
1. If this is the first time purchasing through Gumroad, when purchasing a book it will prompt you to create an account (no biggie; it’s very easy).
2. After that initial set-up is done, you can then download the book to your computer/device, OR use the app if you’d like. (Note that there is no requirement to use the app; directly e-mailing the book file to your direct-to-Kindle address works just fine too).
4. In addition to downloading the book direct to your Kindle (as you normally do when sideloading), I tried downloading the Gumroad app as well, and downloaded the book to that. Both options were pretty easy.
5. If you download ARC books from authors, or know how to forward personal documents to your Kindle, you’ll find this process very easy. If you are unfamiliar with either of those processes, the included walk-throughs above are very helpful in learning how this works.
I hope it works well for you all, but if it doesn’t feel free to contact me at MeganMichaels021@gmail.com
I’ll be releasing A Baby for Pra’kir, Captives of Pra’kir Book 6, within the next couple weeks and as I said earlier, I’ll be releasing it for 3-5 days on my website before any outside platforms. I’m excited to start this venture and look forward to sharing my books and stories with you– very dirty little stories:)