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June 6th, 2009:

Souls in Silicon on Amazon at Cover

SISSmall.jpg Boy, I sure wasn’t expecting this: An email this morning from Lulu informed me that my SF story collection Souls in Silicon was now being offered through Amazon Marketplace at its $11.97 cover price–not cover plus 30%, as I reported in my May 29, 2009 Odd Lots entry. It’s evidently a test program of some kind, and not all Lulu books are included; in fact, of the eight Copperwood Press titles, Souls in Silcon is the only one in the program. Somebody’s giving up significant margin here, and odds are it’s not Amazon.

But this is an awesomely good thing. I have a hunch that Lulu heard that POD publishers like me were going with other systems (like Amazon’s own BookSurge) to get into the Amazon database somehow and started to worry. Hey, I’d worry too. All Copperwood books would probably be on another system (probably BookSurge) by now had the assembly book project not taken over my life last November. I would not have pulled them off Lulu, but everybody knows that Amazon is the first place people go looking for books online.

I want this program to continue and go mainstream, not just for me but for everybody, so I’m going to make a slightly weird request: If my writeups on the book piqued your interest and you figured you might order Souls in Silicon someday, now is the time to do it–if you do it through Amazon. I’m about to order a few here, and if I could scare up a couple more orders from elsewhere it could support the test and convince them that the decision could pay off for them, by generating higher unit sales even at obviously lower margins.

Here’s the Amazon sales link. (The same link is on the cover image above.) And if you know any other Lulu books in the same program, consider buying them as well. If Lulu’s going to survive it has to be able to get its products into the Amazon database. This may be their best shot, at least until they allow me to use ISBNs from my own set.

UPDATE: I just discovered that within the past hour, all the rest of my Copperwood Press titles were updated on Amazon to their Lulu cover prices. Dare we hope that the test program succeeded?

UPDATE: Chris Gerrib wrote to tell me that his Lulu SF novel The Mars Run is also in the program, which in fact includes the top 100,000 Lulu titles by sales rank. Even my slowest seller, The Pope and the Council, is at #37,303, which makes me wonder how many copies the bottom two million Lulu titles have sold…