AMAZON — UHH ALRIGHT…

HOW TO CHOOSE WHICH EBOOK VENDOR

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Figuring out exactly where to post your book may be a challenge at first. There are literally dozens of sites that have their hands out saying, “Gimme, gimme, gimme!” There’s Amazon, there’s Smashswords, there’s Barnes & Noble, there’s Kudo, there’s iBook, and a list of others that would virtually seem endless!

My preliminary experience has shown me that you should never post your book on a site that charges you to post. The ones listed above do not require a posting fee. There is a site (which I won’t mention since I’m not into bashing) that charges $5 to post.

I posted on said site, only to realize that most of the traffic through the site was by writers, not readers. I suppose you could look at it as $5 for advertising, in which case, it wouldn’t be so bad, but I have not seen an increase in sales due to my posting on that site.

My honest opinion is that debut writers should initially post with Amazon and join their KDP program for their digital copies.

Here’s why:

Amazon has some great perks for their debut writers.

ROYALTIES

Amazon allows its exclusive digital users to participate in the KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing). This program offers the potential for 70% royalties on all purchases if your prices are $2.99 – $9.99. The reason this is great is that this 70% also applies to dozens of other territories, so you get more of your income for your sales.

So for a $2.99 book, you receive $2.02 for each sale (there’s a small delivery fee of like $0.11 for each book sold). This means that the more books you sale, the more money you make, OF COURSE!

KDP also allows people who have KINDLE Devices (not Kindle Apps, but actual Kindle devices) to download your book for free on the lending library. This may sound like a sham, but you get a small percentage from Amazon for these “free” reads also. Keep in mind, as debut writers, we are coveting reviews.

Also note that any hard copies can be sold through anyone. KDP only requires digital exclusivity, and you can either end or renew your contract every 90 days.

PROMOTIONS

If you are exclusively with Amazon, you can promote your book for free for 5 days every 90 days. This may sound dumb, but think of it like free advertisement. Getting your name out and branding yourself is essential if you want to survive as a writer, and I know I surely hope to.

So here’s what I did. After my initial launch, when sales had come to a standstill, I used one of my “free” promotional days. Now you get NO money for this, BUT think of it like a business. The more people who read your book, the more people you have who may write reviews.

On my launch, I had around 70 people buy my book EXTRACTED! I was so excited, and THANKS to all of you who helped with that. But sales plateaued, as they tend to do.

I used a promotional day, and in one day, I had over 300 DOWNLOADS! I was floored. I thought, wow! If people read this book, then I could potentially have 33% of those people write reviews. That’s 100 reviews! (I’m just spitballing statistics).

The initial goal when you release a book, in my opinion, is not make money. It should be to get your name out there. Authors make money because of their name, not because of their books.

If I had not offered my book exclusively to Amazon, then I would not have been allowed those free promotional days — which could have been “bad for business.” I suppose that it’ll take about four weeks for the reviews to begin trickling in — maybe longer because of the holidays.

So far I’ve made $149.00 from book sales! It’s exciting, but I’m still in the red LOL!

FOCUS

I know that this may sound crazy, but posting exclusively on Amazon helps you to focus. I did my own editing because I just couldn’t afford an editor this time around. The only thing that I paid for was my book cover, which I STRONGLY suggest you do. [Remember go to expertsubjects.com for good book covers, and when you order your book cover, comment that you want Marija. There’s nothing in this for me, but she’s just a great person / designer — as you can see from my two book covers.].

Focus helped me because I worked so hard to get my formatting right for Amazon that if I had spent the same amount of hours formatting for other vendors, then I would have been spinning my wheels, trying to get my book out by the Nov. 1st launch day. It just wasn’t worth it.

As of right now, I am selling Book 1 exclusively on Amazon, but I won’t be selling Book 2 exclusively on Amazon. Why? Because my 90 day contract for exclusivity on Amazon ends in January, and now that I have some formatting skills under my belt, I intend to branch out and sell through other sources. That said, I still suggest that starting with Amazon is the way to go.

HOLIDAYS

Unlike most other vendors, Amazon is more of one-stop, online supermarket. I wanted to get my book out exclusively to Amazon because I know that people will be on Amazon like crazy for the next two months. My hope is to get my ranking high enough so that when all of the Cyber Buyers coma’ knockin’, EXTRACTED & INFUSED will be right there for them to buy.

Being exclusive to Amazon gives me the ability to monitor my sales and increase my price to the required $2.99 if I see the need; this would allow me to get the 70% royalties from my sales.

NOT FOR ETERNITY

Though I think that Amazon is a great place to start, I would suggest eventually getting your book to as many places as you can. As a debut writer who did his own writing, editing, formatting, research, and marketing, I knew that I just did not want to dabble with all the other vendors as I sorted through what was good and what was bad.

ANYWAY! I HOPE THIS HELPS. TAKE CARE!

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4 thoughts on “AMAZON — UHH ALRIGHT…

  1. sfbell09

    Do you think the initial exclusivity is worthwhile? You mention name recognition as being important and being pressed for time. Wouldn’t cross publishing with Smashwords opened up more potential readers (including Apple, B&N, Sony…)?

    Reply
    1. wstadler Post author

      I agree with you — almost. The reason that Amazon is useful is because it allows you to give your book away for free via promotions if you are exclusive to them. Giving the books away moves your books up in the ranks, which allows more people to see your work.

      If you are with the other vendors, then you’ll be in the bottom 400k of books, which is not useful. That said, I’m not sure if the other vendors offer free promotions like Amazon does.

      Reply
  2. ebooksinternational

    William, uploading your book to Barnes & Noble and Kobo is as easy as it is to Amazon.
    Amazon sells the majority of e-books (between 80-85%) Smashwords is an aggregator whose book sales are almost NIL. They upload your book – for a price. Not upfront, this is free, but as soon as you have sales on Amazon etc. they charge a hefty commission.
    If you want an aggregator uploading to ALL the online retailers including Apple, use BookBaby who does it for a yearly fee – the most economic way, if a book does well in the long run. And your books WILL do well! For sure!

    Reply

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