Platforms for Publishing your ebook: To Select or Go Wide

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In my last blog post about smartphones I mentioned I was now hooked on podcasts – in particular I’ve been listening to The Creative Penn, The Book Marketing Show, and the Smart Author podcast. Listening to a writing-related podcast at the same time as doing everyday chores is great because at least I feel like I’m learning something new about the indie-author world, and making a positive impact on my own writing, even when I’m not able to be at my desk. It’s also really inspiring to listen to the experiences of other writers – especially those who’ve had lots of false starts or disappointments in their careers, but have ultimately been very successful.

One of the topics I’ve been thinking about as a result of this is whether or not I should continue to stay in KDP Select, and thus stick exclusively with Amazon for my eBooks, or whether I should consider striking out to Kobo, B&N Nook, Apple iBooks, etc.

There’s no doubting that Amazon is currently the major player in the eBook market, and it’s difficult to imagine a future in which this is not the case. As a newbie to self-publishing last year, it seemed entirely sensible to trial my initial ebook upload through KDP, and having done that, it also seemed sensible to maximise my potential readers by clicking to join KDP Select. Now though, with a couple of ebooks under my belt, I’m considering my longer term strategy.

The ebooks I’ve published to date, The Camel in the Garden and Beyond Words are both short story collections, but I’m currently working on a non-fiction project. One of the reasons I’d like to consider cross-platform publishing for this project is to enable it to be borrowed via public libraries (though applications such as OverDrive). I’m also coming around to the view that the all-eggs-in-one-basket approach may not be sensible in the long run – especially when the basket it owned by such a huge, powerful organisation. In order for us as indie-authors to have choice in the way we self-publish, alternative platforms have to exist – and in order for them to exist, they need authors and customers.

So at the moment, I am exploring Smashwords and Draft2Digital and learning as much as I can about opportunities to publish across multiple platforms. I’d be really interested to hear any other self-published authors’ experiences of and opinions on either staying with KDP Select, or using a multi-platform approach. And if you’ve come out of KDP Select in order to “go wide”, please comment below to let us know how you go on.

 

4 responses »

  1. There’s no one-size fits all rule about ‘going wide’. I’ve tried going wide with all my self-published books but only one has flourished outside of Amazon – my psychological thriller Bedsit Three has done well on Kobo. Incidentally, I published direct to Kobo rather than through Smashwords/Draft2Digital. I have now brought all my short stories back into KDP Select – but I may try going wide with them again sometime in the future. It’s all about experimentation – Good Luck with whatever you decide to do!

  2. I haven’t self published anything yet, so I can’t advise you as a writer, but with my reader’s hat on I only buy from Amazon if there’s no alternative. Where possible I like to buy direct from authors/ publishers. I also use iBook for ebooks, and independent bookshops for ‘real’ books.

    • Thanks, Linda – it’s helpful to have the reader perspective too. I haven’t used iBook as either reader or writer yet so definitely something I need to explore. Feel too reliant on Amazon at the mo simply because I don’t know enough about the alternatives.

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