All Hail King Amazon and Kindle Direct Publishing
All hail the king of self publishing, King Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)!
The King of the Hill in the self publishing world is definitely Amazon. You don’t have to bow down to the King, but you do have to respect the kingdom.
In publishing my books, I whole-heartedly worshipped the King. I published on the KPD platform and ignored the rest of the opportunities out there. I didn’t have a choice—I bought into the Kindle Unlimited (KU) percentage offer.
If you agree to publish in the KU program, Amazon will pay you a 70% commission on your ebook sales and will allow you to get paid per page (roughly .004 cents per page read) if a person reads your book through their KU membership. They also refer this to as the “Putting all your eggs in one basket.” Never a good idea.
Well, I’ve begun migrating my books out of the KU program so I can publish “wide.” Publishing wide is putting your books on other platforms like Barnes & Noble and Kobo (Walmart). There are now ways to publish your book to several platforms using a third-party vendor (the vendor makes a percentage of your earnings).
I moved over one of my books in a three-book series and published it wide through a service called Draft 2 Digital. The service published your book on several platforms and then monitors your sales on a single dashboard—worth the 10% they charge.
From a business standpoint, it makes sense to go wide. Though it hasn’t been hugely financially beneficial so far, there is a peace of mind knowing I’m not beholden to Amazon. Nothing against Amazon. It’s not personal, it’s business (said in my best Don Corleone voice). And there is something cool about seeing my book on the Walmart website… it’s a vanity thing.
The bottom line? Spread around your eggs into a variety of publishing baskets. In the long run, if the eggs in one basket were to get dropped, you still have backup baskets to rely on.
Keep on writing and publish!
Also published on Medium.