Thoughts on this Indi-Publishing thing 1.0

As it goes from being January 2018 to February 2018, it is approaching 15 days since I published my first book.

You can find it here. Phantom Sorcerer.

It has not been any type of success. No movie deals offered, or entry onto the New York Times List.

It just hasn’t. It has sold a grand total of four copies. I managed to give away forty-five copies one weekend, but people horde free books and never read them. So I don’t expect any reviews from that bunch.

It happens.

So does that mean that I need to give up? Like all the pessimists out there that tell me all the time?

No.

This is exactly as I expected it to happen.

I am a complete unknown with very little social media presence. I have an email list, but no one on it.

This indie-publishing thing. this experiment. Is not for the faint of heart. It is a long-term game.

Does that mean that after the first books that I should be able to make lots of money?

No.

There is a strategy that is called, “20 books for 50k”. In it, the idea is that you write twenty books you should be able to get successful. If you write twenty books, then the total sales of each book will make enough to be successful.

The traditional model of being able to write a single book a year and being able to live off of the royalties and the advance from that is dead and gone. Traditional Publishing as we know it is an unwieldy, dying beast. The indie-community knows it. The traditional publishers know it. The traditional publishing world is thrashing around to save itself.

Indie-publishing is the way to go. But it is not perfect. In the indie-publishing world, a big argument is the elephant in the room.

Amazon.

There are many publishers that an indie author like myself can go to. There is Direct-to-Digital, Smashwords, Amazon to name a few.

Amazon has 70% of the US market for indie books. It is also the only one to demand exclusivity in being able to sell on Amazon.

But it is only some of its books. It is called, “KDP Select.” In it, you get a range of promotional benefits as well as the ability to put your book into the lending library of Kindle Unlimited.

One side will argue that it is best to go wide. To not leave out the 30% of the market that is not Amazon. That you can still get 70% royalties from any books sold on Amazon and be able to sell it everywhere else.

That Amazon is an evil beast, and you shouldn’t hitch your horse to that wagon. That by saddling yourself with Amazon, you are becoming a dependant author reliant on Amazon for your lively hood. That I am no better than going with traditional publishing.

I, however, have a different opinion.

Scary huh?

While I have sold a grand total of four units, which means that I have a total of approx. $15 Canadian so far. It is approx cause the differences in the values of the currencies.

So far, I have a total of approx. 2000 KENP Reads. That is the number of pages that someone that subscribe to Kindle Unlimited has read. That is, of course, new page reads.

I don’t have any idea on how many people started the book and went to something else, or how many people have actually read the entire thing. They don’t give me the number of users that have read it.

For authors, KENP works by Amazon setting up a fund from the subscribers to Kindle Unlimited. That pot is split up to be paid to all of the authors. It is currently based on the amount of KENP page reads that has been read by a subscriber. Based on the given approximations, it doubles my revenue from that single book.

Now, this is without using any of the promotional abilities that KDP Select allows me to use other than the free days. It does not show the other side of the equation. How much could my book have made by going ‘wide?’

For an entirely accurate number, I can’t tell you. I’d have to pull my book out of KDP Select and put it up on the other markets. I may do that when I can. I may not.

But if Amazon has 70% of the market and I have managed to receive 70% of the sales possible for that book, then I should be able to get another $4.50 from them. That means KDP select is $30 while going wide is $20.

That is only a guess at the moment, based on some rough numbers. It might have gone differently if I had done differently.

Now in regards to the notion that my going exclusive with select, that I am no better than going with traditional publishing. I disagree.

As an indie author, I still hold my rights. I have the audio-books rights, the paperback. The only right that I have given up is the digital rights to the books. And it is easily returnable. I’d only have to wait 90 days. With tradition publishing, you have to wait a pre-selected amount of time that the book is out of print, or spend a boatload of money to get it back.

Those are just my thoughts so far. I plan on posting more of these posts later, once I publish more books.

Nathan’s Amazon Author Page

Phantom Sorcerer

Until Next time.

 

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