Writing may be your dream job, but being a successful self-published writer means understanding the business side of writing. Self-publishing is an industry like any other, and making a living writing is more challenging than ever.
Not happy with your Amazon royalties? Not thrilled with Amazon’s latest strategy to pay self-published borrowed books is a pool based on pages read?
You’re not alone.
Here are a few excerpts from frustrated writers:
“It sounds like when I was a waiter and we had to pool tips. Except that it’s writers and these are technically royalties” – Alexander Chee, author of The Queen of the Night
“They care about the customer experience. Full stop. Period. End of story.” – Hugh Howey, author of Wool
Amazon’s programs for indie writers has irrevocably changed the publishing industry. But that doesn’t mean that indie writers don’t have choices. Writing itself isn’t a business, but writing for a living certainly is. If you’re a current or future writer, with dreams of making a living writing, Amazon isn’t the only path to self-published success.
Sell From Your Own Site
If you want complete control over how your book is sold, sell books directly from your own website or straight from your social channels like Facebook. It’s not confusing or technically challenging. If you can understand Kindle’s formatting process, you can use a simple eCommerce plugin.
Selz is one of the easiest and most affordable complete eCommerce platforms for selling eBooks and digital downloads. Selz handles the entire sales process, including hosting your eBook, checkout, and download. Plus, you’re not limited to one file format, and customers get to choose the format that best fits their reading device.
Author Joe Duncan, from Before 5am, sells The Blueprint for Success from his own site:
Sell on Other Platforms
Since indie eBook writers do well listing their books exclusively on Kindle Unlimited. On the other hand, many choose to cast a wide net, and report doing well using other eBook selling platforms. In fact, self-published eBooks account for 22% of all eBooks purchases in the United States.
According to the Author Earnings Report, Amazon has 65% of the US eBook market, although the vast majority of sales are still from traditional publishing firms. But the remaining eBook market is still millions of books. You can list your eBook on all of these platforms, or try just a few.
Here are the top four eBook platforms after Amazon, and their percentage of sales:
- Apple’s iBooks, with 10% to 12%
- Barnes & Noble, with 7% to 8%
- Kobo, with 3% to 4%
- Google Play Books, with 1% to 2%
Audrey Carlin, author of the bestselling indie book series Calendar Girl, sells her books on each of these platforms:
Create Your Own Path to Publishing Success
All the top five publishing platforms make the vast majority of their sales from the top five traditional publishing houses. This doesn’t mean indie writers cannot find success. It just means that they have to create their own path to success instead of relying on either a sales outlet or a publisher.
As a self-published author, you can choose to publish your book on any outlet you choose, sell from your own website, or sell from every platform you can find. You’re not limited, and you may have to try a few before you find the results you’re looking for. Just remember you choose to go independent for a reason, and not to increase Amazon’s profits.