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All about ebooks, print, format and availability

[UPDATE: Some of the information in this 2010 blog post is no longer accurate. The most up-to-date info about my ebooks is now posted here.]

Today I’m going to try to explain an issue that seems most frustrating and confusing to the most readers. Perhaps my most asked question revolves around why are some of my print books not available as soon as the ebook. Or why wasn’t the ebook available on the same day as the print release.

I write for multiple publishers. To date, I have books contracted with Samhain Publishing, Silhouette, Penguin Group and Random House.

Now, for books published with the latter three, it’s pretty easy and straightforward. My books are always released in print on the release day. They are almost always released as an ebook on the same day as well. Note I said almost. There have been a few instances where the ebook release has been delayed but this is not the norm. You can pretty much count on my books with these publishers being available on release day in whatever format you so choose. This includes any of my erotic contemporaries for HEAT, my KGI series, any of my Silhouette Desires and my upcoming Scottish Historicals.

For books released with Samhain, it’s a little more confusing, and this tends to be where I get the most questions and irritation from readers. I’ve published a number of stories with Samhain. Most are shorter than my books for other publishers. They range anywhere from a short story at just over 15k words up to 80k words and all lengths in between.

When a book releases with Samhain, it always releases in ebook first. Samhain is primarily a digital publisher so it makes sense they’d release it as an ebook. They also have a print program, and so, typically a year after the release of the ebook, they publish the story in trade paperback.

It can get even more confusing, because a story has to meet a certain word count criteria before it will be released in paperback. If it’s too short, it either won’t be printed in paperback at all OR it will have to be paired with another shorter story. Such as was the case with Stay With Me and Songbird. Those two stories were published together in print as the anthology “Linger”. It was two years before Stay With Me made the move from being ebook only to an in print title.

Since I typically only have one release from Samhain a year now, the majority of all my published books are available in print definitely. On release day. Always. And usually as an ebook as well, but we’re at the mercy of places like BN who usually don’t get around to putting up a new ebook for a few days.

So a book not being available in both print and ebook on release day is the exception, NOT the norm for my titles. I will always post this information on my website. If I have different release dates for the individual formats, I will most certainly make it clear on books page. I try to always put links to print and ebook purchase sites so readers have a variety.

So for this year? My ONE exception is Colters’ Lady. It released in June in ebook. It won’t release until June 2011 in print. All my other books? Absolutely normal.

Next year it’s likely I’ll only have one exception again in Colters’ Daughter. If it releases in 2011 in ebook, it won’t release until 2012 in print.

I hope this clears up any misunderstandings or confusion. If not, pop in with a question and I’ll do my best to clear it all up for you.

Edited to add: Stacey had a really good question about not being able to find some of my Samhain titles in places like the SONY store. She has a SONY reader so of course she’d like to buy the format for her reader. The problem with third party vendors is we never know when or if they’ll put our titles up for sale. It’s random and frustrating. However, for ANY of my Samhain ebook titles, you can always buy the book in ANY format at Even for Sony. They sell the same formatted file that they SEND to Sony and the other vendors directly from that site. So if all else fails, go buy it and download it from MBaM :)

15 thoughts on “All about ebooks, print, format and availability”

  1. Stacey Allison says:

    I have a quick question. I have a Sony eReader and I was looking to buy Colters’ Lady, but it isn’t offered through the Sony store. There are also a few other titles of yours not available there. Do you know if it will release there soon?

  2. Maya says:


    I’m not sure what’s going on with SONY. Our titles used to be there. SONY is one of those we never know what they’re doing.

    At ANY rate, you can absolutely get the SONY version of the ebook from My Bookstore and More and it works absolutely perfectly on the SONY reader because it’s the same formatted copy my publisher SENDS to Sony for them to upload. Any of my Samhain titles, you can always get at MBAM in any available format.

  3. Ali says:

    Understood… don’t like waiting, but understood *bg*

  4. Cheryl McInnis says:

    Another frustration for non-US readers is “geographical restrictions”. In other words, in Canada I am allowed to buy an author’s books in print format but not the digital format(but only with certain publishers!) Since I’m trying to only buy digital these days this boneheaded rule makes me want to scream, I’m really not sure of the reasons behind it, do you have any idea Maya? :(

    1. ShellBell says:

      I’d love to know the answer to that question too as it is an extremely frustrating situation when you do actually want to support your favourite authors! Now the only eBooks of Maya’s that I can buy are any Samhain or Silhouette releases. There have been 26 eBooks that I haven’t been able to buy so far this year, including Sweet Temptation. I probably won’t be able to buy the upcoming Kelly series or Four Play either as they are Berkley release just as Sweet Temptation is.

      I don’t buy print books at all anymore, so it is not only frustrating to me but a lost sale to any of the authors especially if I have been able to borrow the library book before I have been able to purchase the eBook.

    2. Colleen says:

      I’m from the east coast in Canada and I’ve never had a problem downloading books. I’ve downloaded ebooks off of many book sites in alot of different formats. I even have all of Maya’s books, including the new ones. I started downloading them through Adobe reader and then downloaded a program off of called kindle for PC. You can get it for your ipod and iphone as well (which I do). It’s a library and you can read your book there as well as go online shopping for new books. I hope this helped in some way, I am also a very avid reader and have over 800 ebooks in my library.

      1. ShellBell says:

        Colleen – Luckily for you Canada must be one of the geographical areas that the publishers are willing to sell Maya Banks’ eBooks in. I’m from New Zealand and am restricted from purchasing Maya’s eBooks, apart from those she occasionally writes for Samhain or Harlequin. The frustrating thing for me is that if I wanted to purchase the book in print then I could easily purchase the book but I only buy eBooks. Fortunately for me, I have been able to borrow some of those books that I haven’t been able to purchase from my local library. Unfortunately for Maya, this means that she has lost several sales from me (I think there have been 4 of Maya’s books so far since the publishers started enforcing the geographical restrictions and over 100 lost sales for all of my favourite/auto buy authors). I may buy the unavailable eBooks if they eventually become available for me to purchase but that will depend on my eBook budget given that I have since discovered other new-to-me authors that have become firm favourites and their new releases will have priority.

  5. Phyllis Tipton says:

    Will you ever do a book about Adam,Ethan and Ryan parents. also will Colters wife be in book print.

  6. Carrie says:

    I live in Scotland in the U.K and I too have trouble buying Maya’s ebooks as well. It is so frustrating as I was half way through a series and now I can’t find out what happens to the other characters. What makes it worse is that I purchased a sony ereader here in the U.K and yet Sony don’t allow me to purchase from their site! I hate the thought of buying books in print as it is the storage of them. It’s a financial loss to Maya as I can spend a considerable amount each month on books.

  7. julie says:

    I so love Maya’s books and I’d just assume get them in paperback after the nightmare problems I’ve had trying to download books, mostly pdf format- they don’t work on a kobo believe me I’ve tried and I’m still fighting with, and the store to get my money back, plus there are too many issues with the kobo-but I love Maya’s writing and totally lose myself in her books! I can’t wait for the next KGI series book- hope it won’t be to long- hate when you end up waiting so long you forget half the characters! Hell, I can’t wait for sweet poseession- already read “Hidden Away”- loved it! You will to!!!

  8. Kiekeboe says:

    I love Maya’s books. I don’t have problems with buying ebooks. I’m from Belgium, mostly I bought them from eHarlequin ebooks and MBaM, I buy the PDF or ePUB versions. I didn’t have any problems yet. *keeping fingers crossed*

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