Lelivro and the Small Pond

I found out yesterday about a site called lelivro.com.

They’re a new online book retailer. You can upload your book as a .mobi, an .epub or a .pdf, and they’ll sell it for you. Just like Amazon, Kobo, Nook or Smashwords.

Two things about lelivro pulled me in:

  1. You get 85% of every sale–REGARDLESS OF YOUR BOOK’S PRICE (some of you just went, “OOOH!”)
  2. You are paid immediately. Funds are sent to your Paypal account upon receipt. No waiting months for Amazon royalties.

Now, does this mean lelivro will be the next Amazon? Probably not. There probably never will be another Amazon, unless Google decides to get off their butts and make Google Books a real thing. They’re the only ones who MIGHT be big enough to take on the big A.

But lelivro has something Amazon doesn’t, and can’t any more: the personal touch. They’re new. Actually, they’re still in beta. And when I signed up and published my first four titles, I immediately got an email from a sales rep, asking if I found the process easy, and did I mean to make that one book free? He asked if there was anything else he could do to help make my adoption of the website easier. And he asked if I wanted to submit a blog article to their site. I did. Hopefully they’ll publish it, helping to drive readers to my books.

I never got an email like that from Amazon, I can tell you.

Kobo is another site like this. They’re relatively small, and as a result they can afford to take a personal interest in you as an author. Their blog is a tremendously helpful resource for writers. Their customer service people are attentive, friendly and FAST.

But back to lelivro. Am I expecting them to replace or even rival my Amazon royalties? No. But, I am a moderately successful indie author, and as lelivro grows, I will grow with them. On Amazon, I’m one in a million. On lelivro, I’m one in much less than that, and I’m already more successful than the majority of the authors in their marketplace.

It’s the “medium fish in a small pond” scenario. Early adopters do tend to do better with a new platform than those who join in after it’s already gotten big. I’m no Dan Brown, but I’m a few steps ahead of many people in the indie book world.

In the final analysis, I’m not losing anything by joining lelivro. And I stand to gain a lot. You could, too. If lelivro grows to become a player in the marketplace (which could theoretically happen, with authors wanting to flock to them due to their higher royalty percentage) then you could get in on the tidal wave and surf it to (possibly) a very comfortable career as an indie author.

And if not, well, then, you’ve just got one more place where people can find you and buy your books.

Garrett Robinson

Over 100,000 readers have read and loved Garrett's books, like the fantasy hits Nightblade and Midrealm. He's also a film festival favorite with movies like Unsaid, and a tech guru who posts lots of helpful how-tos for writers and filmmakers over at garrettbrobinson.com.

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