Part of the writer’s life is not just about getting words on a page. There is much more to being an author than just writing a book, especially if you are an indie author. Sometimes, it’s like putting on the “sorting” hat* and deciding who you want to be today. *Last HP reference for the day.
Since joining the Horror Writers Association and diving into the business side of writing, one of the biggest topics of discussion is sales. This was a big topic of discussion at the recent 20 Books to 50K convention, which I did not attend but might look into next year. Again, sales. Amazon’s market share is HUGE and has launched so many careers. There are best selling authors who are making full time income on Amazon and with KU (Kindle Unlimited) sales. There are others who subscribe to the “don’t place all your eggs in one basket” and publish wide, which means their book is on Amazon as well as Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google, Apple, etc… These people won’t take advantage of KU and page reads income.
Over the past few months, I’ve been trying to decide how I want my author journey to look and while I love the extra money with KU, I don’t necessarily believe it benefits me to stay dedicated to Amazon 100%. When I was relying on them as a new unknown author, it served me well. Now with 15 books under my belt, a growing email list, and the ability to design my books without the help on Amazon, I feel it is time to branch out and break away from Amazon.
There had only been one book of mine where KU money exceeded eBook sales and that was Swipe Right For Love, but after a year sitting solely on Amazon and in KU, the numbers have dropped sufficiently that I feel comfortable taking it away from Amazon’s grasp and releasing it wide, as well as direct. Why direct sales?
As an indie author, there are a lot of expenses that we have to cover. Not a lot of authors will talk about what it costs to live this life. When we sell a book at $4.99 on Amazon, we make $2.99 from it. For a $0.99 book, we get only $0.35. By going direct, for the same price at $0.99 and after paying the credit card fees, $0.56. While that doesn’t seem like a lot of money, that 21 cents adds up. Also, if I am comfortable with making $2.99 from an eBook, I can sell that book directly to my readers for $3.99, a dollar cheaper, and still make $2.99 and even a few pennies more. So… It benefits the reader and saves them money.
While, I don’t expect to become a millionaire by writing and selling direct, or going wide. But I do feel there is a happy medium. Game plan is to have early sales of books on my website, saving the readers money. Remove from website and drop the it on Amazon and KU. Autographed paperbacks always on the website. Novellas which will not be in KU will go direct and wide. We’ll see how things go.