By Ethan Jones
You have heard the old saying, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” It is cliché, but it is also true. Every financial advisor worth his commission will tell you never to invest all your money in one single stock. Whatever services or goods you are offering, it is bad practice to rely on only one company or client. They may change and will change their policies at any moment, depending on the market’s circumstances.
The book publishing industry, especially the digital and the independent part of it, is always evolving, and no one can foresee the future. Some online book retailers have already made abrupt and significant changes to their authors’ programs. Such changes had mostly had negative impacts on authors’ visibility, marketing efforts and, ultimately, royalties.
Signing up exclusively or remaining exclusively tied to one book retailer may have initial benefits, but in the long run is hindering your efforts to sell globally. You are missing out millions of readers who enjoy books on other retailers or other ebook or portable devices. Going wide, i.e. uploading and distributing your books through all major online book retailers, will give you a greater visibility, a larger readership, an eventually better chances at being a successful writer.
Look at my experience: I started to publish my Justin Hall spy thriller series in May 2012. I was a struggling writer, selling a few dozen copies of my books every month on one single retailer. All that changed when I put my books for sale on Kobo, iTunes, Barnes & Noble and GooglePlay, respectively in 2013 and early 2014. Being a part of the Kobo Writing Life (KWL) has catapulted my sales. Kobo is now my single largest source of readership and royalties. KWL has helped me sell hundreds of books and make a four-figure income every single month.
KWL offers numerous promotional opportunities to expand your readership and increase your sales. It provides you with a dashboard full of fantastic tools to monitor your sales by book or by region (and even search by country). At a glance, you can see your top sellers and the purchase activity for your books, and the dashboard is updated on almost real time.
A final word of advice: be patient and pay attention to your new retailer(s). It took me about six months to gain traction and start building a readership on these new distribution channels. So do not give up easily. Run promotions and put in marketing efforts to inform readers know about these new retailers where readers can access your books. Get the word out, put in the efforts to go global, and the readers and the success will definitely follow.
Ethan Jones is the author of he wildly popular Justin Hall spy thriller series, which has eight books so far. He has also penned the Carrie Chronicles spy thriller series. He is a lawyer by trade, and he lives in Canada with his wife and son. You can find his books on Kobo.
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Absolutely. It pains me to see so many authors rush to sign up to exclusivity. It’s like restricting your content to only those that use Internet Explorer – you’re going to miss out.