KingMidget's Ramblings

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Self Publishing 2.0

As I announced yesterday, Bridgeport has been featured on EReaderNewsToday for the second time.  After two days, this produced another 300 Kindle downloads.  This translates into $100 in earnings with 25% of that going to EReaderNewsToday.  I shouldn’t quibble with that.  It’s 300 more readers and a few dollars in my pocket that wouldn’t have been there otherwise.  The problem is that I do quibble with it.  As I’ve written about before, I have a problem with us self-publishers being forced to .99 or free as the only route to getting readers.  And, then, based on Amazon’s royalty rates, Amazon gets $2 for every $1 I get out of the revenue.

Understand, I realize that just being able to put a book up on the Amazon platform is a huge deal.  Without that, there’s no way I’d have people purchasing my book and I wouldn’t have made the small amount of money I’ve made this year doing this.  But, with the rare exceptions, Amazon does absolutely nothing to help self-publishers — other than putting our book out there with the millions of other books that float around on the internet.  We truly are like needles in the haystack.  I’m not sure it’s good enough any more.  If I have no option but to price my book at .99 and the “publisher” is going to do nothing to help promote my book, why is my take only one third of the revenue.

Tell me why this wouldn’t work.

I can email you a PDF document to your Kindle email address.  That document will then be readable on your Kindle.  Why not sell directly to readers?  Pay on PayPal, send me the email address.  Document sent.  I get the $1 instead of Amazon getting 2/3 of it.

Here are a few drawbacks.

Those emailed documents don’t always look as nice as what you get from Kindle Direct Publishing or other e-publishers.  There seem to be formatting glitches.  I’m testing this now to confirm this is the case.  Plus to be able to attach an attractive cover to the text I’d probably have to upgrade to the more advanced version of Adobe or Microsoft Publisher.  This could also be done for anybody is willing to just read the book on their laptop or other device.  Just email the PDF document and you’ve got it.

I also realize that I … shock of shocks … don’t have the platform that Amazon can provide.  There are not millions of people flocking here.  As a result, I could have to spend a whole lot more time on marketing and expanding my reach on the interwebs.  I think one of the ways to address this is to basically turn myself into small e-press and making this service available to other self-publishers.  I don’t know about that yet, however.  The other reality is that I would probably still publish through KDP simply to get the access Amazon provides.  This would basically be for people who know me, people who read my blog, the expanding universe of readers who come here — it would be a way for all of you to support me (and possibly others among us) directly rather than giving Amazon ever more.

The thing is I don’t necessarily want to stop at e-books if I went this route.  I’d want to be able to offer paperback versions this way as well.  So … I dream.


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