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View Full Version : Deviantart--you can sell e-books there!



christwriter
03-10-2013, 07:43 AM
Yeah, the title says it all. I was looking for new brushes the other day (mostly bizzare textures I can use for rocks/brainstorming) and I discovered that the better packs were all for sale. After a little more poking around, I figured out that they'll allow for sales of finished products as well as resources.

Including things like comics and ebooks.

It doesn't look like a huge venue, but it IS a venue, and I would like to gather thoughts on things and put it up so that y'all can discuss it.

The way it works...you put together a deviantart page for the book (usually by uploading your sample text+cover if you have permissions to do this. Here's what I did (http://christwriter.deviantart.com/art/Blue-Ghosts-full-text-available-for-purchase-358371018)) you package the book as a .zip file, you upload it in the Premium Content stages, and you set the price using "points" (basically, cents that you can withdraw later) in intervals of ten. It's a 20/80 split in your favor.

I will be the first to admit I do not know the value (or lack thereof) of a given venue, so all I'll do is bring up the pros and cons that I can see:

cons:

-sales don't "count". It's more like selling e-books out the back of your e-truck.
-You don't get help. You need to have the formatting for the book DONE, Mobi and epub files and whatever format you plan to offer in hand.
-Literature isn't very popular on DA.
-It's not the most professional place in the universe. Most of the people there are more interested in Fan Art and sparkledogs (...if you have to ask, don't. Trust me.) than they are in...uh...other things.
(...uh...I kind of expect the more experienced people to take it apart for me and explain why selling ebooks via DA's Premium Content system would be bad. Those are all the cons I've got)

Pros:
-You can put other stuff in the .zip file. I've been wanting to do bonus stuff for readers for MONTHS. I've stuck a wallpaper from the cover in the linked .zip file, and I can probably do other stuff while I'm brainstorming.
-DA is full of the kind of fans who talk about the things they like. You probably won't get as many casual readers, but your chance of hitting that person who tells everybody including the mailman, dog and dentist about your book probably go up.
-Lit isn't very popular on DA. Meaning that part of the site is ALMOST a ghost town and there's a greater chance of quality work standing out.
-It's an 80/20 split. You get the eighty. One dollar book? You get eighty cents. Ten dollar book? Eight dollars. Ten cent book? You get eight.
-DA offers special site-wide advertising for its membership. I've used it before and gotten relatively good results (albeit that was for my own vanity and not aimed at selling things). Admittedly, it's impression based, but everybody on this site is already conditioned to click on anything that looks pretty.

Yeah, it doesn't look like a huge venue, and on an impress-the-world-with-sales-numbers it's not the greatest in the universe (and no. I haven't sold a copy of the book on DA yet) but if you've got an artistic bent, you can use both the account and the sales opportunity to your advantage.

It probably wouldn't be for everybody, but it's a place to put your books up for public consumption and get money back in return, and I figure that's probably worth discussing in a self-publishing forum. :D

SDBmania
03-10-2013, 08:54 PM
I didn't realize that deviantart.com was an option. I have an artist designing my cover art for my current new series, so I could also probably use the site for my books. Though for now, they are amazon.com exclusive. Still, I love the idea of providing bonus content in the zip file. I did an audiobook on one of my short stories and I had a blooper and commentary track.

I think any little bit of advertising is good and it sounds like a good idea to me.

S.P. van der Lee
03-12-2013, 01:44 AM
Hmm sounds interesting, though I think it needs a little more time before it can grow into something big. Deviantart should put some work in this, it could become fantastic, if done right.

SR Roddy
03-12-2013, 10:57 PM
This actually sounds like an interesting option. My cover designer is a long time member of the DA community maybe I'll ask for her input on this.

MumblingSage
03-13-2013, 02:13 AM
That sounds pretty cool. I know DA offers an option for image artists to sell prints; I guess this is the literary equivalent?

If a writer's already self-publishing and has the files formatted, I see little to lose by adding distribution through DA, especially given the generous split. On the other hand, it'll take some development before there's a lot to gain, either, unless the writer already has a wide followership (or whatever it is when lots of people are 'watching' your portfolio).

christwriter
03-13-2013, 08:45 PM
That sounds pretty cool. I know DA offers an option for image artists to sell prints; I guess this is the literary equivalent?

If a writer's already self-publishing and has the files formatted, I see little to lose by adding distribution through DA, especially given the generous split. On the other hand, it'll take some development before there's a lot to gain, either, unless the writer already has a wide followership (or whatever it is when lots of people are 'watching' your portfolio).

It will take a lot of work (No sales through that channel yet. But my print shop has been dead for YEARS and I had a couple sales this year. couple is greater than zero) and they haven't put a lot of effort into it, yet, but I do think it's worth spending a little time to work it.

*Desperately wishes she had more time to work with*

SBibb
04-03-2013, 06:25 AM
Saw this news and thought it might be of interest for this thread:

http://spyed.deviantart.com/journal/Introducing-Madefire-Motion-Books-to-deviantART-363124529

Might be of some use. :-)

christwriter
04-08-2013, 10:51 AM
Saw this news and thought it might be of interest for this thread:

http://spyed.deviantart.com/journal/Introducing-Madefire-Motion-Books-to-deviantART-363124529

Might be of some use. :-)
Oh I am surprised you could not hear my squee of delight through the internet. Yeah, I saw that already. And I am now CAMPED on that for when they release the engine to the general public.

THAT. SAID. I did comics. I like comics. It's what got me into doing artwork. THE WORK. INVOLVED. IN DOING COMICS. Oh my God. Flash based comics are awesome, but it's still a flash based comic. Doing 30k and a couple pictures a month, I can handle. I do not think I could handle doing 16pg+ of comic-book art a month again.

I also have NO IDEA what the IP rights on that would be. The deal with premium content on DA right now is basically "You post your content we get a cut" and that's it. I don't know anything about Madefire or what kind of deal they've cut with Deviantart, and what using their tools would mean re: their rights to your work. My casual browsing uncovers no mention of what rights you may or may not be surrendering to the parent companies (DA and Madefire) though participation. They'll probably drop that bombshell somewhere in the engine's terms-of-use.

I know there's some really minor-league screwyness in DA's TOS re: use of hosted images. IIRC, it's not nearly as bad as, say, Facebook or Flickr (basically, that birthday picture you uploaded on Facebook? Yeah, they own that now, but they'll give you the unlimited right to keep on using it) but it was there. I think it was basically they get distribution rights (so they can send uploaded content to computers) and get to use uploaded images in advertisements for the company, and for swag if you happen to be one of the three artists who actually sell a large number of prints, postcards and coffee coasters. I'm satisfied with that re: artwork (because it's not like I'm making money off my art) and the excerpts from the books that I've posted, and the Premium Content TOS seems to hedge that issue even more carefully. But Madefire is a different company, with different rules, and...yeah, IDK one way or another.

I'm watching it closely to see if it's a good thing, but I'm a lil wary about a rights grab on the part of either party. There's a lot of professionals on DA, but there's a lot of us hobbiests who treat TOS as a "click as fast as you can" screen and not, you know, an actual legal contract that we should understand before we agree to follow it. You could hide an elephant in there and most people wouldn't find it.