Saturday, May 31, 2014

Spread the wealth! #Amazon ’s not the only distributor that pays royalties!

I was going to share with you about what prompted me to stop with the Select program and start spreading my books over the other channels so here goes…

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, 99cents is the new free. Used to be that the readers would flock to any free book and have a download frenzy. Not so much anymore. I imagine there are still those who search out these gems, but I also know that most book fanatics are willing to pay for their enjoyment. I guess they’ve figured that a dollar or two for a book is less than a cup of coffee, lasts longer and in many cases gives you a lot more bang for your buck—especially those with hot sex….haha!

*** Recently, I started reading the conversations going on in the various Indie loops I belong to and realized that many of these authors had already made the changes and were:

- financially doing very well – okay – extremely well.

- now able to reach the lists like New York Times and the others because their books were available on the other platforms.

- satisfying many of the readers who owned e-readers other than Kindles.

- reaching a larger audience – not everyone shops at Amazon.

*** I made my choices of where to share my work by paying attention to what I was reading from the other authors who’d already blazed the trail and this was what I found out:

- Amazon absolutely – they are the biggest book seller by far and have made a lot of writers very wealthy. They’re wonderful to work with, easy to upload on to and accessible if you run into any problems.

- Apple itunes (ibooks) is the next one you want to get your work on. If you’re not a Mac owner, you’ll need to find someone else to upload for you. Two ways are open for doing that. You can hire a person like AmyAtwell who will charge you a onetime fee of $30 a book and will set it up for you (her advice about this company is invaluable) and then she’ll hand over the controls. Or, you can go through a distributor like Smashwords or D2D and they will take their 15% (or whatever they charge) on every sale from then on. Personally, I chose Amy and am very satisfied that I made the right choice for me.

- Barnes & Noble would be next on my list. Unfortunately, being a Canadian, I had no choice but to go through a supplier like Smashwords or D2D. For the Vegas Series, I chose to use Smashwords because I wanted to put the first book Partners free. Recently, D2D has changed their policy and will do the same for you. I will probably use D2D to get access to B&N for the rest of my books because it’s so damn easy to use!! On the other hand, Smashwords has a lot of features one can’t ignore. (more about them later)

- Kobo is important for us Canadians because it’s connected to Chapters which is like our Barnes and Nobles stores. It also makes eBooks available for the Canadian library system. And… my sister and her family have their e-readers - so I promised one day to make it easy for them to be able to buy my books…hey – some things are kinda important??

- Google Play will be making its …ahem…play for attention soon. Google is working very hard to take over some of the Facebook market and I have no doubt they’re taking steps to challenge Amazon in the book selling department also. Let’s face it, for their search engine capability alone you want to be connected with them.

- Smashwords this love/hate publisher is also one you don’t want to ignore. They have a huge number of smaller channels they are now distributing to. The latest e-mail from Mark Coker (the company’s owner) has explained the newest features they’ve added and they’re not to be ignored. I think one of their best features is Mark himself. He's a very hard worker, innovative and incredibly smart.

So - I guess the biggest hurdle in spreading your work is getting the accounts set up on these various places. I ran into a hurdle with nearly every one and had to struggle my way through. I’ll try and remember the difficulties I ran into and do up a blog explaining how I got out of  them because I now have accounts at all of the above....finalllyyy!
What's left is to get 24 of my books uploaded to each place and formatted in the file they request.


Don’tcha just love this business!??



  1. Kobo has a cap before they pay out. So I use Smashwords for them, iTunes, and for permafrees. Smash also lets you do preorders now for iTunes and B&N.

    1. I'd heard that Smash was going the pre-order route - let's hope Amazon will also soon open that up for everyone! Thanks for the added info :-)

  2. Way to go, Mimi. This is great information, I just hope I can fight my way through the jungle to get there on all these different platforms. Thanks for taking the time to enlighten us!

    1. I will do a post explaining the problems I faced in hopes that it'll help you all get through those steps with less difficulties :-) Not to worry - I expect the hair will grow back in by the end of the summer.....argghhh!!!

  3. Good article. As writers, we should all keep our options open. Spreading out to many venues is always a good idea!

    1. Hi Wendy - I guess it's clear to me now that a lot of people have never even been on Amazon - they shop with through their own e-readers. And I'd like them to be able to buy my books also.

  4. Mimi, you're always so generous at sharing what you have learned in this crazy business of ours. It's much appreciated!

  5. I use Amazon, Smashwords, and B&N, but most of my sales by a wide margin come from Amazon.

    1. Hi Pat, I understand that Amazon is king, for me also. But don't rule out Apple or Google Play in the future. I know a few authors who are making good money on iTunes. If you can't upload to them yourself, there is either Amy Atwell or D2D as choices for helping you.
      Good luck...xo

  6. I upload direct to Amazon 'cause I was using Smashwords before there was KDP and it took eons for Smashwords to make Amazon play nice (and I'm still not convinced they do).

    As for the 99c is the new free... about three (can that be right? Maybe longer) years ago, 99c was all the rage. If it wasn't 99c, it didn't sell, and it didn't matter how long or short. I remember being asked to join a discussion with some VERY well-published authors (including CJ Lyons, who had yet to make a serious move to indie pubbing; I think she had three books up at Smashwords) about how even then, 99c was starting to have serious backlash as a pricing technique.

  7. Hi Susan, I totally agree that you should load directly to Amazon. It's very simple and saves you money by going direct. When I said that 99cents was the new free it kinda fits in with what you're saying. Many of us went through a period, where, not being well known, we felt the only way we could compete was to price ourselves according to our competition's prices. But that was when the free books were still a draw. Now, I don't believe that readers are downloading so many of the freebies anymore. And if they see a book that looks interesting, they don't hesitate to spend the 99cents.They've become choosy and I'm glad. It's forced me to stop being so complacent and start getting my books available on other channels than Amazon.