On Self-Publishing

Harper’s Harpings: Amazon is not the only platform to publish on

(picture sourced from google)

I have written about publishing on platforms before (you can read it here). Published at the beginning of my career last August. The thing is I’m reading a lot of complaints on all social media that indie writers are being crucified with Kindle Unlimited.

The part I don’t understand is why stay exclusive if it’s them? Amazon frustrates me because I can’t put my book for free for any period of time because I am not exclusive with them. I never did like being held to ransom and I don’t plan on starting now. I want to put Stranded at New Year for free for a short while but I can’t, Amazon dictates that they will price match my ass if they find that my book is cheaper elsewhere. I don’t like getting into trouble or breaking rules but hate that they are dictating what I can do.

So sod the rules, I have made Stranded at New Year free everywhere I can, which is everywhere apart from Amazon. Let them price match my ass, I don’t care, it will help me give readers a fair option of where to download my books. In my humble opinion iBooks app is easier to use, navigate and read from versus the kindle app (I don’t own a kindle device). So I will always publish on that platform.  I don’t have a Mac so I use Smashwords to do that bit for me, it costs a tiny amount of pennies but I think its worth it.

I don’t know an awful lot about KU so take this next bit with a pinch of salt as I was advised this by someone who is in KU. You get a share of the pot, regardless of how many pages your book is. So, if I have Stranded at New Year in KU as well as Charming Olivia I get the same amount per read. Stranded is 12k and Charming is 75k. Not entirely fair. It certainly encourages short stories, another complaint being aired on social media, that there are too many short stories being published.

Amazon is not the only platform. Now, I am grateful for Amazon for allowing indie authors to publish with them, they’re huge and are everywhere. They have designed apps for all devices so if you want to read on the go you can.  But they are not the only platform. Scores of writers are complaining, there are banners and pleas for people who have access to skim through to 10% so that they can get their money.

Writers: do you want your books bought or read?

These are the platforms that I know about:

Smashwords | kobo (US) | Barnes & Noble | AppleBaker & Taylor | txtr | OverDrive | Flipkart | Oyster | Scribd | GooglePlay (still trying) | Inktera | Versent | WHSmith UK (not live yet) | FNAC | Livraria Cultura | Angus & Robertson | Bookworld | Indigo | Collins | Feltrinelli | Libris | Paper Plus | Whitcoulls (not live yet) | Lulu |

That’s quite a few, so, if sales have plummeted on Amazon because of their latest product, why not branch out? Well having never taken part of the exclusivity I don’t know what the benefits are. What I can tell you is that after six months in the e-publishing industry I am relatively knew but I sell more books away from Amazon than I do on Amazon.

That could be because I am not exclusive which of course is unprovable in this context. It could be I can be seen more on the other sites because they are not as busy.  I don’t know and I don’t think I ever will know why I sell more elsewhere.

So, if your sales are hurting experiment with the above platforms, you may be surprised of your sales figures. There are more options out there. The thing is, this is the latest thing to scupper independently published authors, there will be more to come. The point is we all knew KU was coming, it was advertised enough and if you didn’t know then you need to read more about the industry you are in. None of the traditional publishing houses that I can see and I have looked at 50, are exclusive  with Amazon, so why would an indie?

I think times are going to be more difficult to be seen in the sea of authors and writers so an indie has to be savvy, resilient and keep writing, writing and writing. From my other piece of research it takes at least two years and at least nine publications to be seen above the rest. To get a loyal following there needs to be constant interaction not when you feel like it or you have something to sell.

Be strong, keep writing and keep your options open……….in my opinion.

Thanks for reading



Harper’s Motto: You will not be everybody’s favourite flavour, but that’s ok, because they will not always be your favourite flavour.   Be who you want to be and you will attract the people who will support you no matter what.



Other subject in this section:

Do I want my books read or bought?

Choosing a Pen name

Releasing a Paperback

Crushed Spirit

Beta Readers

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