Are your self-publishing sales slow? If you’re relying solely on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, several of our writers’ group members reported that the platform is changing and it’s challenging to make sales.
“I’m spending more on ads,” one author reported, “and selling less. I never thought I’d say this, but I’m ready to give up.”
We all encouraged her not to quit. Use these strategies instead.
Then we discussed other self-publishing platforms—can you get better results elsewhere?
Is it time to try alternative self-publishing platforms?
Maybe. A new member told us he’s removed his books from KDP Select because it gives Amazon a three-month exclusive on digital works. “Since my sales are so slow on KDP, I’m not enrolling any new books in Select. I’ve been making more sales than I expected on Apple Books, so I’m publishing my books there when they time out of Select.”
Many authors use publishing aggregators, which distribute your books to a collection of book retailers as a group. I use the Draft2Digital aggregator, but I don’t use it for KDP.
Let’s look at other platforms you could consider for self-publishing. They’re worth trying out. Be aware that the publishing world changes constantly, and what works for other authors may not work for you. Do experiment.
Let’s look at our group’s favorite “alternative” platforms.
1. Apple Books: 70% royalties on every book
It’s been a while since I explored Apple Books. They have a special Apple Books for Authors site, which offers audio books, as well as “70% royalties on every book”, and no third-party ads on your product pages. (This makes the platform appealing.)
Several people in our group are making sales through this retailer. So I’m going to publish my next books there, without going though Draft2Digital.
2. Barnes & Noble Press: daily sales reports
“I love Barnes & Noble Press,” an author reported. “I’m selling more books there than I do at other retailers.”
However, a couple of others said they sold few books at B & N —as we’ve discussed, everyone’s different.
Several authors suggested patience. One said that it took three months for her to begin making sales on Barnes & Noble Press.
3. Rakuten Kobo: make your books available in more countries
The self-publishing arm of Kobo is called Kobo Writing Life. It’s a favorite platform with several of our writing groups’ members; they say that they make sales in more countries effortlessly.
Through Kobo’s strategic partnerships, your eBook will be available around the world in the online bookstores of leading retailers in over 190 countries.
I haven’t published to Kobo via their platform; I use Draft2Digital to publish there. However, since I’ve heard so many good things, I will publish on the platform going forward.
By the way, if you’re annoyed by Amazon’s demands for ebook exclusivity in Select, Kobo offers a subscription service too: Kobo Plus, which doesn’t ask for exclusivity.
Here’s how Kobo Plus pays its authors: not by the page, by the minute:
Your payments for Kobo Plus are based on the amount of time that subscribers spent reading your titles in a given month.
Only one of our authors was aware of Kobo Plus; she’s trying it, and will report her findings.
Do you have your own site?
This article, 2 Savvy Ways To Increase Sales suggests setting up an online store for your books:
Would it work for you? One of my writing students is considering it. She’s self-publishing and has eight nonfiction books.
Her store will not only sell her books in digital, print, and audio versions but will also sell stationery.
Although self-publishing has changed over this year, and I am sure will continue to change, you have many options to increase sales. Why not try one or two of the alternative platforms?
Sell more books with this new strategy for self-publishing authors
Short fiction works for all authors. Check out The 3-Step Formula: Easy and Profitable Short Fiction in 60 Minutes because it’s so easy. One author took a few snips from his current Work in Progress to create a story and used it to promote his pre-order.
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