In June, I wrote a blog post about publishing a free ebook and what a great site Pronoun is for self-publishing authors. Well, Pronoun was a great site; I loved their services, but now they’re shutting down. I got an email yesterday saying that Pronoun is closing up shop on January 15th 2018.
For a self-published author who’s publishing through Pronoun, this situation is a bit like getting the news that the ship is sinking. Everybody into the lifeboats! I need to find a new ship. I’m most likely moving my Pronoun-published book to Draft2Digital, which is another great site for self-publishing authors.
It’s not difficult to remove a book from one distributor and publish it through another. I know that indie authors do this all the time when looking for the optimal sales channel for their books. But moving a book from one distributor to another can have casualties—namely the reviews and ratings your book acquired so far.
According to Pronoun’s FAQ, my book’s Amazon and B&N reviews will be salvaged from this shipwreck, which is a huge relief. Like, huge. But the reviews on Kobo and Google Play are going to get wiped out.
This really sucks.
A lot of readers on Google Play loved “Hers, Untamed” and some of them left super sweet messages behind. Losing them is going to hurt…a lot.
Why am I whining about losing some reviews? Because they’re like precious gems and getting them is Really. Frigging. Hard. It’s much easier to sell a book than to land a review. If you’re famous or you have a large, established fanbase, getting book reviews can be easy, but for the rest of us authors, reviews don’t just rain down from the sky. It’s a very slow trickle and often they don’t come at all if you don’t work for it. If I had to lose something, I would much rather lose royalties than reviews because money is easier to make back.
Then there’s the problem that a different distributor distributes to different retailers (what an awful sentence I just wrote, please ignore). Pronoun’s shutdown is going to get my book kicked out of Google Play, and right now I don’t even know how to get back to this retailer. I have my hopes fixed on Draft2Digital because they’re currently negotiating with Google Play for a distribution agreement. I hope they pull it off before January 15th. Even if I lose the reviews, I would at least like to keep the book available on Google because it’s popular there and gets almost as many downloads as on Amazon.
On the bright side, things could be worse. I keep thinking about AllRomance going down in December 2016, with a three-day notice. I wasn’t affected by that incident, but a lot of readers and authors were, and it was awful. At least Pronoun is giving us an advance warning, so we can try to make the best of the circumstances. And maybe a miracle occurs and I somehow get to keep my reviews. One can always hope, right?
While I’m sitting here, typing, I might as well talk about some other things as well.
ANNA, YOUR PROGRESS BARS HAVEN’T MOVED IN A WHILE AND YOU’VE BEEN ABSENT FROM SOCIAL MEDIA. IS EVERYTHING OKAY?
Yes. Everything’s okay. 😀 I’ve had a lot going on. Nothing dramatic, just the usual…being exhausted, going on vacation, then being ill, then husband being ill, being busy with catching up and having to prioritize by cutting back on Twitter, Goodreads and blogging. I haven’t updated my progress bars because I’ve been stuck rewriting things. My early drafts were godawful and I’m working on making them less awful. I can’t wait to get my next manuscript to the point where I can send it to the first beta readers for a good shredding.
IN OTHER NEWS: PAPERBACK EDITIONS!
One of my latest projects is creating paperback editions of my books. It’s another thing I’m learning from scratch, so it’s been a bit taxing for the brain. For some reason, I find CreateSpace unintuitive and difficult to navigate, but I’m learning the ropes. My husband helped me get the books’ interior layout right because, unlike me, he knows how to make MSWord do things without resorting to a hammer. My covers are by Melody Simmons and she also did the paperback versions. I got the cover art yesterday and I wanted to share this. I’m so excited how cool they turned out!
I can’t wait to have the first physical copies in my hands. Expect me to squee about it in another blog post soon!
Are you affected by Pronoun shutting down? Feel free to rant about it in the comments! Not affected by Pronoun? Feel free to rant about something else!
6 thoughts to “PRONOUN IS SHUTTING DOWN (+AUTHOR LIFE UPDATE)”
I’ve missed having you around, but sounds like you’ve been busy. Boo to Pronoun shutting down. I’m not affected personally, but I expect a lot of people are, and I can’t imagine the pain of losing reviews.
I’ve missed chatting with you too! :/ I really want more hours in a day, like 36 or something. Yeah, the thing with Pronoun sucks, but what can we do except write ranty blog posts about it. I’m glad you’re not going to suffer from this situation. 🙂
Ugh, that’s such bad news about Pronoun! I’m glad you’re going to retain at least some of your reviews.
And it’s good to see you back! Glad it was just life keeping you quiet – we missed you!
Thank you, Kim! I’m also madly relieved that I’m not losing all the reviews. I missed you, too! 🙂 I have missed out on so much fun while I was away…
Hi, Anna, good article/rant and great covers.
I’m in the same position as you, I publish through Pronoun so my books are now toast. I’ve switched to Draft2Digital and have already pulled the trigger – closed my books on Pronoun so I can publish through D2D and get them back up as quickly as possible.
I’m fortunate enough not to have your issue with Google Play, really sucks that you’re not only going to lose your reviews there but you don’t yet know how you’re going to get your books on there again. My problem is Amazon, I can’t publish through KDP so really need a distributor that does Amazon, fortunately D2D added Amazon the day after this went down, which is such a relief, but with 99% of my sales coming from there having to start from scratch with my rankings is painful.
If I can offer some words of encouragement (they’re for me as much as for you) it’s this, we already have people interested in buying our books, and we know more about publishing and marketing than we did when we first published, so getting things moving again shouldn’t be quite so difficult.
Thank you for sharing your situation, Alex! I’m sorry to hear your books also suffered from Pronoun going down, that’s awful. 🙁 I’m really happy D2D got that distribution deal with Amazon, that’ll make my republishing easier too. It sucks with the resetting of the ranking, of course. It must have hurt your sales, and my book will probably get buried, but I hope we both recover our former situation as soon as possible.
Thank you for your words of encouragement! I totally agree with you. Even if we occasionally suffer setbacks such as this, no one can erase the experience we’ve gathered so far, and experience helps. Getting things going again isn’t insurmountably difficult. 🙂 We just have to adapt and keep going…