Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

REVIEW: Ebook Weekly: Wings Epress, Inc

Wings LogoThis week we’re reviewing Wings E-Press. I’ll just use their promo blurb:

WPI opened its cyber doors at www.wings-press.com , with offerings in General Fiction and all genres of Romantic fiction. Books will be available as downloads in popular ebook formats, along with quality trade paperback editions. In addition to publishing a catalog of excellent fiction, WPI plans to put into place an entire writer’s community where authors can work directly with editors while honing their craft, exchange ideas, share in promotional and educational opportunities and grow as professionals.

I think they’ve been in business for about 5 years. They sell ebooks and trade paperbacks ($6.00 for ebooks and $11-12.00 for most trade paperbacks). Their books are also sold through Fictionwise, Amazon, Cyberbooks, and Pats and Paws. They have a yahoo chat group, a newsletter (which offers monthly prizes), and a blog.

* * *

  • Website layout – There are links to Showcased authors, Author Search, New Releases, Golden Wings (Senior Editor picks in each department), Information, Submissions, About Us, and Booksellers at the top of each page. There is also a link for authors only (author help section). A side menu shows the categories of books (Romance, General Fiction, Special Releases and Young Adult). Books can also be accessed alphabetically through the Bookstore link on the side. The Author Search link lists authors alphabetically. Each author’s books are listed (with excerpt link), the author’s webpage (with link) and sometimes an interview (with link) about individual books. Jane’s note: Wings uses frames and I really dislike that. Please think about changing that, Wings Epress. Frames is so 1990s.
  • Book length - There aren’t any categories for book length. Trade paperback book lengths are listed under each individual title. I couldn’t find any file size for the ebooks.
  • Information about each book – Clicking on a book title will take you to a page which shows the book cover (artist listed), whether it’s won a GoldenWings award, the author’s page (which might list email address, short author bio and one sentence book reviews), the ebook formats, excerpts, prices, ISBN ebook and paperback numbers, and a brief description of the story. I didn’t find any guidelines for sensuality, violence or language.
  • Navigation - By author, genre or book name.
  • Excerpts – one page
  • Reviews – none by book purchasers
  • Series – listed
  • Wishlist – None
  • Cart – Information will be remembered only during browsing, can be accessed at any time, and books will remain in the cart until removed.
  • Bookshelf – None
  • Payments – Online – Credit card, Via mail – check or money order. Print books can be shipped internationally. Once you’ve entered your billing information, there is a box you can click so that it will be remembered for future purchases. Taxes will need to be added as appropriate. Credit card information must be reentered for each purchase.
  • Downloads – a download page will immediately appear with dl instructions. Note: The download page is available for 24 hours ONLY. Some files may simply open and will have to be saved to whatever location you choose. Be sure to back up your ebook immediately. A separate download email was sent with a link (I had to cut and paste this into my browser).
  • Confirmation – A confirmation email was sent about 15 minutes after my purchase. There is no download link in that email.
  • Account set up – Billing information can be saved for future purchases. Credit card information has to be reentered for each new purchase.
  • Formats – HTML, Adobe, Microsoft Lit, Mobipocket (chosen when book is added to the cart) or trade paperback.

***

Irks – It’s hard to find the customer service email address (customer at wings-press dot com) or any contact information. These email addresses should be on the home page instead of buried in the “Information” section. In the cart, it’s mentioned that taxes must be added. I didn’t see a place to do this. I guess it depends on which state you live in and would appear if needed? The book I ordered for this review was listed at a sale price but when I added it to my cart, the regular price was charged. The download pages are available for 24 hours only! After that, you need to contact the vendor. There doesn’t appear to be any way to set up an account which will save all your information for future purchases.

Pluses – Wings appears to have a wide variety of genres including Young Adult.

Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.

27 Comments

  1. Emily
    Mar 04, 2007 @ 18:55:59

    I hope you will be doing a series of these reviews? :)

  2. Jayne
    Mar 04, 2007 @ 19:15:30

    Yes, we are planning on doing more of these. We had done a series of them last summer and fall but had fallen out of the habit. Look for them maybe every other weekend.

  3. LinM
    Mar 04, 2007 @ 19:35:29

    Ouch, that website hurts.

  4. Keishon
    Mar 04, 2007 @ 19:40:49

    Glad to see this series back because we need to know what to avoid.

  5. Jenny
    Mar 04, 2007 @ 23:31:51

    One minor grouse of mine is they don’t include the cover with the HTML format.

  6. Jayne
    Mar 05, 2007 @ 05:47:37

    I remember New Concepts doesn’t include an HTML format cover either. IIRC, it’s because the file would be too big but you can save the pic to your computer. So tell me computer gurus, just how much does a cover add to a book file size? Do they have a point or are they just whistling Dixie…?

  7. TeddyPig
    Mar 05, 2007 @ 06:59:14

    Oh I want to see you take on EC!

    (Since I am a sys admin for wellsfargo.com CEO division…)

    Oh Elloras Cave, Now there is a website that needs work.

    They provide aboslutely no writeups on the coming soon books. I sense lack in promotion department there guys… Check Samhain and get back to me amatuers.

    So far, I have had horendous experiences using paypal with them. They dropped connectivity with the paypal system like 5 times now and each time you have to harass them to complete the order.

    Get a REAL web programmer you idiots!

    They suck, I don’t give a shit what their excuse is, you are an on-line business boo and no one else on-line has issues like they do.

    Half-assed!

  8. TeddyPig
    Mar 05, 2007 @ 07:07:57

    Oh and EC why do you make me put in a password and yet have no account available for me to check my account history or purchases or well… why a password?

    Got sex? more like Got Brain?

  9. Jane
    Mar 05, 2007 @ 07:30:27

    Oh, TP, the last one is super frustrating. What is the point, as you say, of having a password without actually having the account save any information. I can’t say why we haven’t done EC yet. I am sure we will soon.

  10. TeddyPig
    Mar 05, 2007 @ 07:41:19

    You would think with Samhain kicking butt and taking names in online publishing EC would step up and change their web site to reflect the new functionality available on-line. Make things more interactive with the customer.

    Right now they seem more afraid of feedback and reviews than actively seeking new customers.

    We have set out to change out our whole banking site once a year through progressive and agressive upgrades and QA and feedback loops.

    Customers see you as hard at work making yourself better and more usable.

    EC has got to be making buck, there is no excuse.

  11. Keishon
    Mar 05, 2007 @ 07:43:01

    I like to look at bestseller lists and EC doesn’t even have that either. Sucks. I agree, they don’t know how to promote themselves online. Also, where are the major writers? Where are their new, full length releases vs. these quickies?

  12. TeddyPig
    Mar 05, 2007 @ 07:49:56

    Oh, I may seem to love Samhain but those people need to integrate that online shop part into their website.

    It works fine but the dichotomy is aburpt, disturbing and bad for business.

    Oh and they need to…

    STOP IT WITH THE SERVER DOWN TIMES DUE TO THEIR LACK OF TRACKING BANDWIDTH USE! Damn sys admins!

    Yes dears I notice these things, you can hire me but I make bank at Wells…

  13. Barbara B.
    Mar 05, 2007 @ 07:58:08

    TeddyPig makes some good points about Ellora’s Cave. They don’t seem interested in staying current and making the customer experience easier and better. Why bother having a Coming Soon page without blurbs and release dates? It’s as if they’re unaware that they have competition and think their position and readership is unassailable. You don’t stay at the top if you take your customer for granted.

    I wrote to Ellora’s Cave last year asking if they intended to install more reader friendly features such as a bookshelf and a safeguard against purchasing a book twice. Call me a dummy but I’ve bought quite a few of their books twice and one three times. I binge buy in large quantities and sometimes buy what I already own. I was told of course that they have no such plans. I think that’s pretty crappy and it’s one of the many reasons I don’t buy much from EC anymore. I shop mainly at Fictionwise because they do offer the features I need.

  14. TeddyPig
    Mar 05, 2007 @ 08:11:43

    Oh with the whole EC/paypal issue I have bought twice from them several times.

  15. TeddyPig
    Mar 05, 2007 @ 08:40:32

    I find Fictionwise flat and not as well presented as Samhain.

    That slick glossy approach that rocks when making a buying decision.

    I want to buy just because they feel the book is special… Notice how big and well done the covers are? The write ups are nicely worked.

    Great ideas! pretty pretty pretty.

    Fictionwise is like K-Mart they are highly functional but not as proud of showing the covers and making them stand out.

  16. Jenny
    Mar 05, 2007 @ 09:04:46

    New Concepts’ covers are so small they are well below 100 Kb in size. Even for dialup, that should be manageable. EC and Samhain provides the covers with the HTML format, do you find it affects the download speed terribly?

  17. Keishon
    Mar 05, 2007 @ 09:05:35

    My problem with Fictionwise is the time that they decide to display their new ebooks! It’s after 9am and no new books yet. Annoying. When do they display their new ebooks? I find this rather ridiculous. Other ebookstores make their new books available at midnight but not Fictionwise.

  18. Jane
    Mar 05, 2007 @ 09:07:05

    Or how about a week late, that’s my greatest pet peeve. Come on Fictionwise, change your release date to match the publishers. Can it really be so hard?

  19. Keishon
    Mar 05, 2007 @ 09:14:44

    Is today a holiday or something? I just emailed the PR at Fictionwise. We should all bombard his email box.

  20. Jane
    Mar 05, 2007 @ 09:17:29

    Scott Pendergrast is one of the co-owners of Fictionwise. Here is his email:

    scott at fictionwise.com
    scott at mindwise.com

    His email is the one we should bombard.

  21. Sybil
    Mar 05, 2007 @ 15:09:24

    Regarding EC… I have always had a great response from them. And I know they try to get the word out to get reviews. But most of the review sites aren’t ones I frequent. Then again I really don’t frequent review sites.

    As to WHY the coming soon pages has no coming soon blurb… I have no clue. But that is the stupid thing ever, ever. I know the song was paypal was at fault but I have bought books from Samhain and LSB with no issues.

    Those are really the three sites I bought E-Books from and hands down, Samhain has the best site. Glad to see the series back!

  22. Barbara B.
    Mar 06, 2007 @ 09:44:33

    Yes, Samhain currently has the best looking website. I absolutely fell in love with their Coming Soon page. But even though Fictionwise is not a big visual thrill, it still fills quite a lot of my reading needs. I like that I can buy books from many very different epubs from them. For instance, I buy a lot of the books published by Torquere Press from Fictionwise. I hate the Torquere Press website. It’s very annoying, but I am hooked on Sean Michael’s books so Fictionwise to the rescue. The only complaint that I have about Samhain is that their romances tend towards the “sweet”. Not as in no sex but as in a bit bland. I like that but I also like edgier stories that they usually don’t publish.

  23. Teddy Pig
    Mar 06, 2007 @ 09:47:32

    Well tell them that…

    Boy do I have a few ideas but yeah I worry that they want to be too straight laced when on-line is all about the edge baby.

  24. Missy O
    Apr 16, 2007 @ 14:19:27

    Sorry to post here. I’m not the technie guy like TP. But, I’ve been searching for Teddy Pig and I am no longer able to bring up his blog. I must have screwed something up. Yeah, I’m a PC ding-dong.

    I have a question or two for TP, but I no longer have his contact information. So TP, please send me an email, or better yet, give me a call. I don’t want your message to get lost in my neather reaches of blocked email messages because I wouldn’t know how to retrieve that data.

  25. Missy O
    Apr 16, 2007 @ 14:21:15

    Oh. This is your Realtor friend in Palm Springs! I found the perfect place for you two! (Okay people, we worked together several years ago and I’ve since moved. I’m not as lame as I may come across.)

  26. Jayne
    Apr 16, 2007 @ 14:54:18

    Missy, here’s a link to his blog.

  27. mary edwards
    Jul 19, 2009 @ 11:01:37

    I would like to say that I was perturbed by negitive words about wings-press. wings epress. No longer. I have a manuscript accepted by them. I find them to be thorough and prompt to answer your emailed questions. the editor asigned to my novel, Angel’s Rest, is busy working with me and doing a fine job, as the artist has done on a very good cover.

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