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As an author, do you sell your books exclusively on Amazon or do you sell your books on all platforms? Why or why not? Which platforms do you like best?
Hi and welcome to my blog from Zeecé Lugo‘s answer to the question today.
When I started out, there were few options available and known to me as an author. I was just excited to see that someone out there was willing to publish my book for a minimal fee–something I could afford. Through the years, I had researched presses that published authors without the usual gauntlet of agents and editors who hold the gates against the onslaught of books flooding New York every year. Getting off the slush pile is an enormously difficult endeavor. The problem is: you have to write what the publishing house thinks people will be buying the coming year to two years. The basic reason is that they need to edit your manuscript, figure out a marketing plan and get it into print. The major issue starts after that: convincing the public they want to read this book they just invested in. They flood the market, having contracted deals that benefit major houses since time immemorial. It’s good for their business, so of course they do. Publishing is a major business, and authors have got to come to terms with that.
Being an author doesn’t stop at just creating books, reams of poetry or binders full of short stories. It can stop here for many who are just satisfied keeping their work to themselves with no consideration of future publication. To them, this just isn’t why they do what they do. And, that is fine. However, for those of us who do want to step beyond the four walls of our writing room, that is when you become a business. Deciding to publish is the decision to commodify your work. Turning a book, reams of poetry and binders full of short stories into 100th draft, 2nd edit, type-set, professionally designed squares of glued together for life bricks has no other purpose.
Now that you’ve either been picked up by a publisher and run through their machine, or gone out and hired an editor and designer and paid the fee to have Createspace make your baby real…the hard work begins. It is probably the hardest part of the whole deal. Authors aren’t usually good at it. The lucky ones are. The really lucky ones get people behind them who are amazing at it and don’t have to lift a finger, except to maybe pack a bag to fly to Chicago or wherever that week to do a signing. Wouldn’t we all love that situation?
Deciding how your will sell your book is part of the process following the editing, typesetting and design–or somewhere in there because you’ll need the specs before you can get too far. Anyway–you’ll decide with the company who is publishing your work, if you’re indie, on where and how. Narrowing your choices is the worst thing you can do. If it’s a matter of cost, that is understandable, but publishers like Createspace cost so little, and give a multitude of standard options to their customers to sell their work, including: Amazon, kindle, nook, Barnes and noble, alibris, abe books and the suppliers, as well as the Createspace site itself. You’re automatically enrolled in selling there. DO NOT shut off these sales avenues. You need to be on as many platforms as you can, where readers shop. You’re pretty much covered with Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Those are the go to.
But, have you heard of Book Bub? If you can get in, they can rocket your book to stardom, but the requirements are pretty high, so you’ll be slogging the book trail through the other outlets a while before you can get BB to listen to you.
Another outlet is apple books, i-Books. I haven’t been with Createspace in a while, so I can’t tell you any longer if they option this for their writers or not. With my publisher, my books are listed in the i-Tunes store.
Lastly, have you considered audio books? You have lots of options, but there are costs. You’ll need to higher voice talent or risk your own voice scaring the readers away. No offense, but we’re not all gifted with Morgan Freeman’s iconic vocal cords. If you’ve trained to do voice work, then go ahead. Some are naturally disposed to beautiful voices. I do not trust my voice will draw numbers–I sound very young and very feminine. If I sounded like Kathleen Turner, I’d be on it. Your choices here are Audible, ACX and a number of others. If you know someone with a good voice, you might be able to record them reading. Be very careful in your selection. ACX allows you to select a voice, if you can convince them to work for commission on sales (royalty share) that’s even better. Otherwise, it may cost you up to $3,000 for a voice (that is the going rate). My last venture will be the audio books, as my publisher puts me and other authors into the pipeline. This is important from an accessibility stand point. The blind are paying customers. Why shouldn’t they get a shot at reading (hearing your book read to them)?
Currently, all of my books that are published are for sale on as many platforms as are viable and ensure the protection of my intellectual property. It gives me a chance to reach more readers, which is the point of bother to put your book into print. Everyone reads books in a different manner, as they have so many options. Don’t cut your book out of the running by not being their to meet demand. Especially when you are struggling for one of the few seats at the top, narrowing the field now is a bad business move.
I hope that i have been helpful in answering this question. Thanks for stopping by, check out the next answer on P.j. MacLayne‘s Blog.
Born and raised among the rolling hills of western Pennsylvania, P.J. MacLayne still finds inspiration for her books in that landscapes. She is a computer geek by day and a writer by night who currently lives in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. When she’s not in front of a computer screen, she might be found exploring the back roads of the nearby national forests and parks.
Return to Zeecé Lugo‘s Blog.
Zeecé Lugo was born in Puerto Rico and grew up in Brooklyn. She joined the Air Force and saw the world. She got a degree in English literature from Saginaw Valley in Michigan and then became a science teacher at Miami-Dade. Figure that one out! She now lives surrounded by mountains in a Caribbean island with her fifteen-year-old little dog, Wicked. She stays away from the news, pushy people, and up to recently, social networking. She is finally doing what she always wanted to do; she reads, she enjoys the views surrounding her home, and she writes. Her first novel, Daniel’s Fork, is available as a FREE DOWNLOAD here. A Time for Love (a novella sequel) and Edge of The World (short story) are also available at major eBook sellers. She is currently at work on her next novels. Zeecé Lugo is her writing name.
Zeecé has always loved reading. Her early loves were Agatha Christie, Victoria Holt, Dorothy Eden, Issac Asimov, Ursula K. Leguin, and other such writers that are now out of fashion. Tolkien is a love that came back into fashion. Below are links to indie novels that you can download, many of them for FREE, and that she herself has enjoyed and recommends. This links will take you to downloads for most popular formats including Kindle and ePub, at Smashwords.