BookieJar.com - worth a shot?

Posted by Paul Samael on Saturday, December 17, 2011 Under: Self-publishing


 
UPDATE 8.2016:  Bookiejar no longer seems to be operating, so you might not want to bother reading what follows. 

Just published "The Hardest Word" on another platform, BookieJar.com, which seems to be offering itself as a rival to Smashwords (although there's nothing to stop you publishing on both, which is exactly what I've done).  Click
here to view.

The publishing process was very straightforward - I was able to take the version I'd used for uploading to Smashwords, change the front material a tiny bit (to refer to BookieJar edition) and within a couple of minutes, it was all up on the site. Obviously if you were starting from scratch you'd need to go through all the formatting stuff that's necessary to "clean up" your masterwork before it can be converted to the various ebook formats - but I'd already done that for Smashwords, so the BookieJar exercise didn't take much time at all.

What do I think of BookieJar so far?  Well, its overall look is a bit slicker than Smashwords, but in other areas it doesn't compare so well.  The genre categories are very limited - I ended up categorising my short story as "Other" because it didn't fit anywhere else.  Distribution beyond the BookieJar site is also more limited - just Kobo at the moment.  You get Kobo distribution (and many more) via Smashwords.   I know that because I checked today and lo and behold, "The Hardest Word" has appeared on Kobo too (now that I've passed through Smashwords' premium distribution program).  So I didn't bother giving my consent to BookieJar distributing their version of my story via Kobo as well - there didn't seem any point.  But where BookieJar may have an edge over Smashwords is in its emphasis on the social media side of things, which is something I need to spend a bit longer looking into. For example, they encourage you to blog, so here is what I blogged over at BookieJar shortly after publishing my stuff on their site:

"Just published "The Hardest Word", a short story about the banking crisis. That description may sound like a bit of a turn-off - especially as it's been on the news so much.  But I've tried to inject some drama by having my banker character kidnapped fairly early on in the proceedings.  I was also keen to show that, whilst he may not be very likeable, he's nobody's fool - and he certainly gives as good as he gets.  The story is really about why he feels no sense of personal responsibility for what's happened - and why we as a society seem to have found it so difficult to hold the banks to account.  I hope you enjoy it (if "enjoy" is the right word...) and I'd appreciate any feedback (good or bad)."


Update (January 2012):  it's quite hard to tell how you're doing on BookieJar, because unlike Smashwords, it doesn't tell you how many downloads you've had (or rather, as I discovered much later, it does tell you but doesn't make it easy - see below).   You do get notifications when someone adds your story to their bookie jar as something they want to read later, but so far only one person has done this.  My short story still seems to be appearing in the "New and Noteworthy" section - but maybe that's just because there isn't that much new stuff on the site.  Last week I got very excited when someone left a message for me on my wall.  Wow, I thought, I'm engaging with my readers at last.  But it turned out to be spam.  And with a name like Jessica4you, I probably should've guessed she wasn't looking to have a meeting of minds on the great literary topics of the day....

Update (May 2012):  I've had another look on BookieJar for download stats and managed to find a figure indicating that my book had 38 "views" - but there was a column for downloads next to it, which was empty (not zero, just a dash, same as the columns for payment - which obviously don't apply to me because my story is available for free).  However, if the 38 "views" does correspond to downloads, it doesn't compare very well with my experience of either Smashwords or Feedbooks - so both those sites look to be a better bet.  On the other hand, if you're giving your stuff away for free as I am, it probably does no harm to be on a variety of different platforms - so I may well persevere with Bookiejar.  

Update (August 2012):   It's now August 2012 and I've had 54 downloads - which is worse than Scribd, quite a lot worse than Smashwords and loads, loads worse than Feedbooks.  By the way, here's how to find your stats on BookieJar, because they don't make it easy:  (1) click on "Account" in the options across the top of the page; (2) this will take you to a new screen - you will see a button on the right hand side of the page labelled "Tools"; (3) click that button and a drop down will appear - click on the "Sales statistics" option.   Can't fathom why they don't make this info easier to find.  For me, the beautifully colourful Feedbooks analytics still lead the way. 

    

In : Self-publishing 


Tags: bookiejar smashwords kobo "the hardest word" ebooks "social media" 
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About Me


Paul Samael Welcome to my blog, "Publishing Waste" which will either (a) chronicle my heroic efforts to self-publish my own fiction; or (b) demonstrate beyond a scintilla of doubt the utter futility of (a). And along the way, I will also be doing some reviews of other people's books and occasionally blogging about other stuff.
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