Authors,why not be everywhere you can?
March 5, 2014
You must be present to win.
That’s what my brother-in-law told me was the advice he once received from a remarkably successful businessperson.
No advice could be more true in the world of digital publishing.
The options for authors to make their work available for the world market have never been greater.
Just think about it.
Kindle Direct Publishing (“KDP”), Nook Press (Barnes&Noble), Kobo, Smashwords, Google Play, Create Space, Audible, iTunes, and countless others.
Each of these entities has a market of its own. Maybe the customers overlap, maybe they prefer to stick with one venue.
Regardless of readers’ habits, authors have access to the marketplace where they can find them.
But readers can’t find authors on those sites unless the authors are present.
That seems like a self-evident proposition, but it’s not.
Many Indie authors seem to believe that once they use KDP to put their book “out there,” their job is done, and they can go back to writing the next book in their trilogy.
Their work has just begun.
How will they sell a book on Nook if they aren’t in the Nook bookstore?
But Amazon is the 500 pound gorilla in books sales, you say, so why worry about the Nook book store?
All I can tell you is that my experience in the digital marketplace reinforces the notion that the more places an author has a book for sale, the better her chances to sell it.
About a third of my sales in recent months comes from Nook.
I understand this presents a threshold problem for authors.
KDP, for some of its programs, requires an author to be on KDP Select, an exclusive arrangement with Amazon.
Once an author puts a book on KDP Select, she can’t put it elsewhere until her time on KDP expires.
I don’t pretend to know all the pluses and minuses of that deal, but I do know that I sell books on Nook.
I’m not saying I won’t ever go back to KDP Select.
I’ll go back there in a heartbeat if it turns out that I can sell more books there than I can on a non-exclusive deal.
Time was that the free days on KDP Select were the primary promotional opportunity Amazon offered as a carrot to induce authors to make a book exclusive.
Free may have run its course.
I don’t know about the effectiveness of the “Count Down Deals” Amazon is doing now, which is a KDP Select animal.
I would like to hear from someone who has tried it.
Maybe that’s the sort of thing that would make me rethink the whole “you must be present to win” thing.
But until I have hard evidence otherwise, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.