I really dislike exclusivity and have tried hard not to be but it just hasn’t worked. I said around Christmas time that I was taking the latest of my books, Thicker than Water, out of KDP Select so I could put it, along with my others, on other sites. I’ve had them on Kobo, Nook and distributed far and wide via Smashwords. I spread the word via Facebook, Google+, my website and blog. I did some tweeting about where they were available. Admittedly probably not enough, but that is one of the problems. You see if you have your books in several places that involves numerous different tweets and I’m someone who often struggles with just managing to pin a new tweet every day, let along anything else. Plus I felt when I was doing this that I was shouting out about my books all the time whereas in fact it was the same message but just advertising a different site each time.
I said I was going to do this until the end of June to give it a full six months. Some out there might tell me that’s not long enough but surely in the time they’ve been spread far and wide there should have been a few bites?
I’ve cut that time short, I’ve told you before about my impatience but enough is enough. The harsh truth is that there have been only two sales via Kobo and none anywhere else. To me there is therefore no further reason to be missing out on the advantages KDP has to offer. Life will be more simple with my books only available in one place as well 🙂
I’d been toying with changing things for a while but stubbornly insisting on staying on the same path until the agreed time was up but then I read this terrific post from Hugh Howey, and my decision was made. (It is an excellent post filled with Hugh’s enthusiasm and being far more eloquent than I can ever manage is well worth a read)
So I’ve given it a go and have failed but at least I’m happy to admit when I’m wrong. And if there is any author out there who has sold successfully on other sites I would really, really like to hear from you.
I published a short story a couple of days ago. It’s called The Joker and tells the tale of the morning after the night before. If you’ve read the Grayson Trilogy you will recognise the character, if you haven’t it doesn’t matter but this will give you a flavour of my work.
It’s available to read for free via Kindle Unlimited or for 99p/99c if you fancy giving it a go.
Universal Amazon link:- getBook.at/TheJoker
The Grayson Trilogy is now available for the first time via Kindle Unlimited as well.
Universal link for A Single Step at Amazon:- getbook.at/ASingleStep
Universal link for Before the Dawn at Amazon:- getbook.at/BeforeTheDawn
Universal link for Thicker than Water at Amazon:- getbook.at/ThickerThanWater
Thank you for reading 🙂
I think you’ve made the right decision Georgia. Exclusivity worries me too since I’ve pulled back on my client work so I’m now almost totally reliant on Amazon for my income. However, you’re doing the right thing by using the short story to grow your mailing list, and as your readership grows you could even join the other sites in the future. Good luck with it. 🙂
Thanks Heather, it feels like the right thing to do and I am ruled by my gut instinct 🙂
Thanks, Georgia. A great post and useful perspective for me. I’ve been umming and aahing over KDP Select as I prepare to launch my first book in the next couple of weeks. Thank you, as ever, for sharing (and the Hugh Howey post).
You’re welcome Barford, thanks for reading and commenting. Having tried the ‘other’ way I’d really recommend keeping it simple. You can always change things once you’re up and running 🙂
You gave it a go G, and so now you have made an informed decision. It’s all trial and error after all and if we never try then how are we supposed to know what works and what doesn’t. 😀
That is very true E, thanks. As someone said recently this marketing malarkey is like throwing darts in the dark and I don’t think what works for one necessarily works for another anyway. Thanks for your comment 🙂
I’ve been wrestling with the decision to go exclusively with Amazon for some time, Georgia. I made the first book of my trilogy available across several platforms, such as iBooks, Nook & Kobo and hit the same issue with visibility. On iBooks, unless your book is in the top 100, the only way for readers to discover it, is through promotion on social media or advertising, which is a great pity because the reading experience on an iPad is much nicer than on a kindle. Like you, I could have done more in the way of promotion, but from my own experience, I’ve found shouting ‘buy my book’ posts aren’t that effective anyway. I stuck in out for a year, with only a handful of sales on the other platforms, and came to the same conclusion as you. Though exclusivity with Amazon doesn’t sit well with me, you can only fight the tide for so long before you realise that going with the flow makes more financial sense. Will definitely be enrolling my second book in KDP select, although I’m now faced with the new dilemma of whether to opt out with my first book, as this would allow more flexibility over sales promotions. There does seem to be a lot of guesswork involved to achieve the best results, but at least you have the option to change things if it’s not working. Wish you lots of success with the new direction & your latest release 🙂
We are clearly very similar in our outlook Wendy but I have been thinking about this for so long it just took a final push to make me take the decision I have. I wish you all the best with your next one. You could always leave it in KDP for a while then change it if you wanted to. I think with the other sites you have to be with them for a while to make any inroads and the bigger the name obviously the easier it is. Thanks very much for reading and commenting 🙂
Good post and I’ll be interested to hear how this change impacts your marketing. I originally started with KDP exclusivity for my first book, then opted to open things up with my second, and took both books out of Select. Ebook sales at other sites have been marginal, at best, but I remain hesitant to go back, particularly since being in Select does, as I believe, enroll you in the Unlimited subscription program, whether you want to be in it or not. Is that true?
Anyway, keep us posted; I’d love to hear that you found a marked uptick in sales and exposure after jumping back in!!
I just went to check Lorraine because I thought there was an opt-out thing with the Kindle Unlimited but that must have been for something else as it seems to be compulsory. Do you not like the KU programme? I shall certainly see how it goes, not much change so far 🙂 Many thanks for stopping by.
Amazon all the way here. Smashwords is just to easy to ‘pirate’. Barnes & Noble never sells me anything. I find the staff ‘behind the scenes ‘ on Createspace and Kindle are quick to reply, sort out any problems speedily and try to help. And I can fiddle on my dashboard and mess around with key words. There is the option to do promos, and as for Kindle select, one can always pull out…good luck my fellow scribe!
Thanks Carol, all very positive 🙂 I do like messing around with the keywords – it’s amazing to see which categories you can end up in. Mine got into ‘Sports’ a while ago which I found intriguing so I went to check the keywords I’d used and adding ‘kick boxing’ had changed everything! I do feel quite content to be all under one roof, so to speak 🙂
I’ve been hemming and hawing about returning to Select myself after hitting the 2-month mark and seeing only a third of the sales in the other channels, but that also means low sales overall from Amazon outside of Select. And you’re so right about needing to promote your books being available everywhere as well, which means more tweets, more boosted posts, and advertising.
This is exactly what I have been doing for a while Liz and I struggle with the limited amount of marketing I can manage anyway without having to repeat tweets for every different site etc. It’s just too much so I’m hoping I shall be better off this way. Thanks so much for reading and commenting, it’s lovely to see you here 🙂
Hurrah! Join the club. I did the same thing, only didn’t give it as long, only one month. Sold zero copies elsewhere and so came over to the dark side. The only downer is in doing that you lose all your rank and links and reviews and have to start again. I thought hard about whether to go back after, as sales not much better here, but decided that nowhere else offers any promotion for books that are indie, so am putting all my eggs in this basket and just hoping for miracles. Good luck!
Thanks so much for reading and commenting Wendy. It’s lovely to hear from others who have been through the same sort of decision making 🙂 Onwards and upwards and I wish you the best of luck too 🙂
[…] As some of you may already know I opted back into KDP Select at the beginning of May and my reasons for doing so are explained in this post here. […]