Some of you may be wondering why my books are only available on Amazon. You may be interested in how the whole indie publishing scene works, or why I personally made the decision to sell my books exclusively on Amazon. If so, this post if for you.
(If not, then please go watch Lindsey Stirling’s latest music video because it is fantastic.)
So first, you should know that indie publishing involves a lot of steps. It’s not a difficult process at all, it’s pretty easy. It’s just converting files and checking files and uploading files. Easy, but time-consuming, especially when you have over two dozen books.
So if I just want to update the “About the Author” page on all my books, it could take between 6 and 10 hours. And if I’m uploading my books to four different sites (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords), then it takes even longer. So it’s clearly easier to only deal with one of them.
Now I’ll answer some questions.
Q: Why would you give up all the extra money you would make on those other sites?
Because I’m not giving up much. When I sell my books on all the major sites, about 95% of my income still comes just from Amazon. So why would I invest 75% of my publishing time on other websites that only make 5% of my income?
Q: Why would you give up all the exposure on those other sites?
My personal experience has been that there just aren’t that many customers using those sites. Sorry! The bottom line is that I value actual sales and actual reviews over “availability” or “potential” or “exposure”. And my actual sales and actual reviews are all on Amazon.
Q: What’s so bad about publishing on Barnes & Noble?
In addition to poor sales, the publishing website does not work well, and often fails to load or publish, which takes even more of my time. And it’s been like this for years.
Q: What’s so bad about publishing on Smashwords?
In addition to poor sales, Smashwords requires a unique Smashwords-specific version of each book that says “Published on Smashwords” at the front, plus I have to delete the link to my own website because that would be “competitive” in their eyes. So if it takes me a long time to publish all of my regular books, imagine having to make a second version of all of them just for SW!
Q: What’s so bad about publishing on Kobo?
In addition to poor sales, nothing. But it makes more sense for me to get the benefits of being exclusive on Amazon instead of being available on Kobo. That’s all.
Q: What’s so good about publishing on Amazon?
Besides the fact that Amazon’s store gets me far more regular sales than all of the other sites combined, when I go exclusive with Amazon by using their “Select” program, I (and by extension, YOU) get extra perks, such as:
- Kindle’s Lending Library – You can read my books for free and I still get paid!
- Kindle’s Unlimited program – It’s like Netflix for books. You pay $10 per month and get to read tons of books as much or as little as you want. So if you read just a couple chapters of my books, I get paid!
- Pre-Orders – I can set up a pre-order page for my upcoming books.
- Freebies – I can make my books free for five days every three months.
- Deals – I can run price-reduction countdown deals.
All of these features make me more money (while also saving you money!).
In fact, in the month of August 2014, I will make more money from Kindle’s Lending Library and Unlimited programs than I ever did from Nook or Kobo or Smashwords… and those are books you guys are reading for free!
So that’s why my books are only available on Amazon. Time and money.
Now, please, watch Lindsey Stirling’s new music video: