If you are a new indie author or one still seeking the level of success you set for yourself you have to have a plan to get you where you want to be, right? But, what does that plan look like? We all have a different idea about what success looks like.
If your goal is to make a big salary from your books what do you do when you hit 7 figures? Are you going to stop writing? Probably not. You enjoy the craft, but the point is for people to enjoy it as well, so they have to be able to find you. So what is your plan for sustained exposure? I asked myself similar questions when I started thinking about publishing. I wasn’t sure if my goals were obtainable, but I knew that if I wanted any chance of success I had to let the world know I had something to say.
As part of my research, I have listened to many successful authors and publishers speak on the just of publishing wide or staying in one ecosystem such as Amazon. If you are a writer in the United States you know that the Zon is king. Every report, article, or study you see regarding publishing, selling and marketing is all about Amazon. If you look at market share there is no question Amazon is a force unto itself. Its next closest competitor in the U.S. is Apple with 9% of the market. Yes, 9% is second place. That is a huge gap, so it is easy to say, I can publish my books just on Amazon and reach my goal. I can make money there. People in the U.S. clearly go to Amazon for their book purchases, especially ebooks so why bother with all the other outlets? Is it worth the effort of uploading and tracking your sales in places where you might not sell even ten copies of your book? The short answer is no, why bother with all the others?
That is a very convincing argument to be made. However, I have this all my eggs in one basket fear. What if something happens and Amazone decides they don’t want to be in the book business anymore. They can make more money streaming content than pushing out ebooks? What happens to your income source? What are you going to do to make up that seven-figure salary you were earning off your books on Amazon?
You have to start from scratch on other platforms and in other markets. And maybe you’ve been publishing for years and you have 50 books on the market are you going back to book one to try and capture that new audience? Sure, the Amazon customers are going to flock to new retailers, but will they be able to find you there? Will you be able to upload all your books in time for readers to find them before they move on? That is why I have used a service like Draft2Digital to get my books into other retailers and in other countries. Now truth be told I haven’t sold much in those market yet, but I only have two books out so I am betting that with time and more content, I will establish a fan base and some sales on other platforms and other countries. I upload directly to Amazon myself and then use D2D for the other retailers, just because it is easier. And D2D has a very friendly user interface and are also kind enough to send me an email notifying me of sales/royalties. And while I use D2D and recommend them, there are other service providers out there you have to find the one that is right for you. Additionally, when book 3 in the Maggie Gray trilogy is ready this time I am going to add IngramSpark to my list of distributors.
So think about it. If you are just starting out and not sure what to do, plan for the long game, that way you will have a built-in plan B.
Best of luck!