Thursday, August 13, 2015

Jumping on the Bandwagon

It’s official. I’m doing it. I’m jumping on the Amazon bandwagon.

I’ve been a professional writer for almost ten years now and things sure have changed. When I first started out, everything was still being printed and authors who self-published faced the stigma of being considered failures. Self-publishing presses were even called vanity publishers. Now, e-books are the norm and independent, or indie, authors can do just as well as their mainstream counterparts.

It’s no secret that I was one of those people that detested the thought of electronic books and readers. I just couldn’t fathom the idea of not having an actual book. Besides the fact that I enjoyed feeling and holding books, I argued that e-books weren’t something an author could sign. Funny since I didn’t have any signed author copies at the time I was arguing this.

I have since come to realize the value of the e-book. As an indie author, it’s more cost effective to release my books electronically. I can then pass this savings on to the readers with lower price points. That in turn can lead to more sales.

For the last year, my books have been exclusively offered in electronic format and sales have been steady. Not booming but nothing to be ashamed of. Still, I think I can do better and I think the problem has been my choice of venue. The publishing vehicle I’ve used partners with Amazon, but Amazon will only carry your book once you sell a certain amount of copies. Given that I currently have a small following, I don’t have the numbers to make these books available on Amazon. With the Kindle being the most popular e-reader that means I lose Kindle sales when readers can’t find it on Amazon.

In the last few weeks, I’ve been kicking around the idea of releasing my next book series through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) program. It seems to work similarly to what I’m using now, but it comes with the added bonus of having my book listed on and backed by Amazon. Not to say Amazon will endorse my book, but the fact that it will be available there is an endorsement in and of itself.

I’m hoping that by using KDP, I can attract more readers. If that happens, maybe just maybe I can finally reach my goal of becoming a best-selling author. I know I’m dreaming big, but believe me when I say it’s a hope and dream but not an expectation. The practical part of me is not letting me get caught up in the idea that using KDP is going to make me an instant best seller, but it sure can’t hurt.

Using KDP may also net me more reviews than I get now. More reviews are one of the careful what you wish for, double edged sword things. I’ve read some downright mean reviews on Amazon, but that’s a story for another time.

Right now, the important thing to know is that my next book, Taking a Gamble, will be available on Amazon. I find it a little ironic that my book is entitled Taking a Gamble when that’s exactly what I’ll be doing when I release exclusively through KDP. Let’s hope my instincts are right and jumping on the Amazon bandwagon is a gamble that pays off.

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