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Thinking of Expanding to other Self Publishing platforms

Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Gwynndamere, Mar 30, 2021.

  1. Gwynndamere

    Gwynndamere Dreamer

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    I have published solely on Amazon with my series and am looking for your input on expanding to other platforms like Kobo. What are your thoughts and experiences with "going wide"? Is it worth it?

    How much work is involved in re-formatting for other platforms? I saw an earlier post stating that Draft2Digital will create several digital versions of a manuscript.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Prince of Spires

    Prince of Spires Inkling

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    It depends.

    I publish wide for two reasons. The first is that I believe being dependent on one company is a bad idea and it doesn't feel very "independent" to me. If Amazon some day changes the rules you can end up royally screwed if they are your only source of income. And they have at various points in the past done exactly this, where authors saw their income literally disappear overnight.

    The second reason is that I come from a non-Amazon country. Yes, they recently opened a Dutch store, but they are very much a minority player here. Which makes it a less automatic choice for me, also because I want to show my books to my friends and family (in a store they actually know).

    Worth it, that very much depends on how much you sell now, what genres you sell in, where you want to put your effort and so on. There are succesful authors on both sides. So you can make both work. What I do know is that switching can be costly, since you "train" an audience where to find you. And going from one to the other means you lose that audience. It's not impossible, but it's easier if you're just starting out.

    As for reformatting, Draft2Digital is super easy to use. If you've got a preformated epub, you can upload that and they just use it. If you've got a Word document, you can upload that and they do all the formatting for you. They give you all necessary formats and distribute to most of the big stores (with Google play being the exception). You do lose some options in advertizing. For instance, Kobo has some options for authors who publish directly,which are not available if you publish via D2D. Of course, there's also people who mix and match. For instance, they go direct to Amazon and Kobo, but use D2D for everything else. Lots of options really.
     
  3. Gwynndamere

    Gwynndamere Dreamer

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    Thanks, that is helpful!
     
  4. James McCarthy

    James McCarthy Acolyte

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    I agree with the author above in that it is better to have your eggs in more than one basket. In addition, you should be able to expand your audience with more platforms. I rarely use Amazon for books but I am on Kobo at least once a week. I find that I get in the habit of using one preferred website for my books and I'm sure other people do too.
     
  5. DracoNako

    DracoNako Acolyte

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    I actually saw an interview the other day that seems to suggest almost the opposite - depending on how you’re published! With trad, it’s easier/Better to fire widely in order to get as much attention as possible on your work and to get the books in as many places as you can. Especially since, with trad, it’s a lot easier to get into brick and mortar bookstores and like... Walmart and whatnot. Meanwhile, with self-pub, while it may not be the worst idea to try to go wide, you also don’t have all the same tools trad publishing has, so it wouldn’t have the same impact. It might be better to focus on one place (in this case, Amazon, as they have good programs if you pub through them exclusively and have wide appeal in general) and maybe expand later if things pick up.

    Here’s that interview, if you want to watch for yourself.
     
  6. Prince of Spires

    Prince of Spires Inkling

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    Kindle Unlimited is a definite benefit of going Amazon Exclusive. Depending a bit on which market report you believe, KU is about as big as the non-amazon book market, so in terms of potential both are roughly the same size and have the same potential. A KU borrow is easier to get, since people are more willing to pick up a book for free and try it then to pay full price. And you get additional promotional options on Amazon if you're exclusive. So there is something to be said for going Amazon exclusive.

    I just don't like it for the reasons I mentioned above. I think exclusivity in the long run hurts innovation and competition, both of which are bad for the consumer. So even if perhaps it doesn't make complete business sense (though both can be pathways to succes) I chose not to be part of it. It's a choice each author has to make for himself and there's nothing wrong with going exclusive.
     
  7. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    This topic gets talked over regularly and extensively over on kboards. The traffic there can get overwhelming, but you might want to search on the threads and just sample a bit. One thing noticeable is that not only do opinions vary (naturally), but there's a kind of evolution over the years, which serves to remind us all that what makes sense at one time (or place; see above), doesn't make the same sense a couple of years later. But at least you'll hear plenty of anecdotes!
     
  8. Ned Marcus

    Ned Marcus Sage

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    They're different business models, and it's hard to say which will make you more money. It also depends on the genre; romance does well on KDP Select, for example. I'm wide because I don't like going exclusive and giving too much power to Amazon.

    If you do go wide, I'd recommend going direct where you can, rather than using an aggregator. Certainly on Kobo. Perhaps Apple and B&N too.
     
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