This week, I’m going to talk to you a little bit about the back end of the publishing business. The technical side of sales channels.

Now, the concept of sales channels is pretty straightforward. You publish a book. Someone sells books. You get said book to seller. Right hand meets left hand, and sales ensue.

But in today’s technical world, it’s not that simple. Getting your ebook to the ebook retailer is not necessarily a straight path. In some cases, you must go through a third-party retailer because some platforms don’t allow for direct sales. In other cases, you have a choice to make as to whether you go direct or through the third-party.

The advantage of a third-party retailer, like Smashwords (who, to be fair, also sells direct), is you only have to upload your file once. They convert the file to various eReader platforms, and distribute them accordingly.

But what you gain in convenience, you lose in control of your product.

Going direct means you can more easily correct problems with the files because you have a direct relationship (interface is probably a more accurate description) with the retail platform. You don’t have to wait for the aforementioned third party to send off the changes and hope for the best. You can see fairly quickly if the problem is resolved.

To that end, we’re going direct as much as possible here at WMG, and we’re in the process of moving our books to those platforms as they become available. We were already on Amazon and Barnes & Noble direct, and we’re adding Kobo and Apple now. We’ll add new platforms as they become available and we deem it feasible.

Faster turn around and better products. That’s what direct sales means to our ebook customers. And that helps us fulfill our mission as The Home of Great Fiction.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.