I was just sitting down an hour or so ago to draft what I planned for this, my second and concluding blogpost of the week. (I'm experimenting this month with blogging only three times a week, and between now and next Monday I won't have my usual access to the Internet.) A post was starting to take shape in my head, something like 'The "Great Books": Very Approachable'--when I took a quick look at the blogroll in the column to the right and got some news that pleased me so much that I have to blog about it today.
Apple's iBooks has just increased from 6 to 32 the number of countries in which it offers my novel A Kiss Before You Leave Me and 50,000 other ebooks handled by the aggregator Smashwords. Last week you could find Kiss in the iBookstores for Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the UK and the US; starting this week, it's also in the stores throughout Scandinavia, the rest of Continental Europe and beyond.
Think of Smashwords as being like a wholesaler or distributor in the bricks-and-mortar world. Indie authors and publishers frequently deal directly with Amazon but rely on Smashwords to get their books out to Sony, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and other vendors. Smashwords is an outstanding partner for all of us (readers can shop there, too)--something I always tell new authors one-on-one but need to stress here as well.
A Kiss Before You Leave Me has been attracting more and more readers at iBooks (in France, the UK and the US), readers it might never have found without the partnership between Smashwords and Apple. I've written before about the special importance to me of readers from all over the world (for example, here).
It's clearly not just about numbers. Readers, wherever they live, are far more to a writer than mere consumers--and all our talk about distribution and e-retail should never obscure that fact. Readers from Cyprus, Scandinavia, Slovenia and everywhere in between have been with the blog Jascha Writes from its earliest days. I welcome all of you, all over again. And if our communication also comes about in the 'aisles' of your iBooks or iTunes store, so much the better.