All that is now over.
A few minutes ago I received an email informing me that as of today, no new products can be uploaded to the service and no new accounts created. For reasons not really explained (come on Macmillan, you owe us that much!) the service will end in January 2018. Perhaps there are genuine business reasons. Perhaps it was all a data harvesting exercise. Who knows? Either way, I've downloaded all of my work and will now spend time I can't really afford to lose putting all my books back on Amazon and Smashwords.
This is a very important lesson. Whether you are publishing through an aggregator like Pronoun,or directly through Kindle You are at the mercy of another company's whims. It's the same for any platform you do not own. Just look at the faith we had in Facebook and how it was going to help us reach all those readers... and look now at how wide your reach is if you don't pay Mr Zuckerberg enough silver.
As indies we need more control over our work, our platforms, our marketing; everything. For several months now I've been looking at ways of hosting files for purchase via this website rather than relying on third parties. It's something I'm going to look at again in the coming months. What if I put everything through Smashwords, and they go to the wall? What if Amazon decide to charge indie authors for promotion? None of us can know what the future holds.
The full text of Pronoun's email is below:
Two years ago Pronoun set out to create a one-of-a-kind publishing tool that truly put authors first. We believed that the power of data could be harnessed for smarter book publishing, leveling the playing field for indie authors.
We are proud of the product we built, but even more so, we’re grateful for the community of authors that made it grow. Your feedback shaped Pronoun’s development, and together we changed the way authors connect with readers.
Unfortunately, Pronoun’s story ends here.
While many challenges in indie publishing remain unsolved, Macmillan is unable to continue Pronoun’s operation in its current form. Every option was considered before making the very difficult decision to end the business.
As of today, it is no longer possible to create a new account or publish a new book. Pronoun will be winding down its distribution, with an anticipated end date of January 15, 2018. Authors will still be able to log into their accounts and manage distributed books until that time.
For the next two months, our goal is to support your publishing needs through the holiday season and enable you to transition your books to other services. For more detail on how this will affect your books and payments, please refer to our FAQ.
Thank you for the time and attention you’ve contributed to this experience. It has been a privilege to publish together, and we look forward to meeting again. #keepwriting
For reasons of ease and speed I have chosen to use Draft 2 Digital as a distribution platform, rather than Smashwords. 11all the links to my books are on the relevant pages.