Friday, May 4, 2012

Jumping On the eBook Bandwagon

I hate to be one of those "I told you so people." In December I wrote on this blog why I decided to make my memoir exclusive to Kindle through Amazon's KDP Select program.  For the year prior to that I had made a case for self-publishing and POD or print-on-demand books and how exciting the technology was and how impressive the product.  Now it seems what I was saying has come to pass.  eBooks are the wave of the future.  So is self-publishing.

The decision I made to go with the KDP Select program is being made by hundreds of other self-published authors who have come to the same conclusion.  A desire to reach as broad an audience as possible.  Isn't this why we write?  We long for an audience to share our words, hoping our stories will captivate and connect. Who wants his book to enter the "proverbial black hole," as one writer put it?

And while I love book signings and meeting folks in person, there is something wonderfully simplistic about sitting at the computer, tapping into your monthly sales report and seeing sales taking place on a daily basis while you do nothing but enjoy the gorgeous spring weather. 

Royalties for an eBook sold through the Kindle are 70 percent for authors who price their books at $2.99 and up.  Anything below $2.99 and the royalty is 35 percent.  When I made Again In a Heartbeat free during two promotional periods on Amazon, more than 12,000 people in the US and the UK downloaded the book.  Interestingly, I received royalties for many of those "sales" although I am not sure why.  The program is intricate and the guidelines detailed in terms of payment. I don't pretend to understand it all. 

Since the promotions ended, sales continue and my book is now being noticed and reviewed by people living as far as England.  My sales ranking has gone up astronomically - ok, this may not last but for now I am enjoying Again In a Heartbeat being someplace on the Amazon bestsellers list below 30,000.  (The trade paperback version of my book, in contrast, is ranked around 2,000,000 - yes, that's right as in million.) 

POD is a product in which the author owns the copyright, the royalties are higher than anything you could expect with a traditional publishing house and the book can be ordered online and sent to a customer within 24 hours.  It's not perfect, but it is what it is for those of us not willing to wait forever to see our work reach the light of day.

The changes in the publishing industry are happening with mind-boggling rapidity.  I have no idea what might happen today or tomorrow, but I will continue to trust my own instincts and entrepreneurial spirit.   As I have said many times before on this blog, this is the joy and the challenge of self-publishing. 

Marketing an eBook through writing communities on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter has been a boost to my sales.  Now it is my turn . . . I am heading out this weekend to purchase a Kindle.  It's about time I jumped on the eBook bandwagon and began reading some of the great stories out there by independent writers.

Here's the piece I wrote in December on why I chose KDP Select.
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