As I’ve said in previous posts, the advent of ebooks and print-on-demand services has disrupted the book industry to the point where it is barely recognisable from the industry of ten years ago. The gatekeepers of old -the network of agents, editors, and the big four publishers- have seen their control over publishing decimated. No longer do writers have to jump through endless hoops and wait months and months to see their work in print, to receive a paltry ten percent commission six months in lieu. Now you write, rewrite, edit, and release.
Self-publishing is easy. Which is why I’m writing this in my Porsche.
Sorry. Did I say Porsche? I meant Peugeot.
Publishing is one thing; selling another.
In the past week I’ve seen a video from Derek Murphy on maximising your use of Kindle Unlimited; watched a webinar from Mark Dawson on optimising your Amazon ads; read an article on using Amazon’s ‘readers also bought’ section; and listened to podcasts on leveraging your email list to boost your Amazon ranking on your launch date, and another on using the Kindle’s Whispersync function as a sales tool (by bundling the audiobook with the ebook). Notice a pattern?
The new publishing market is still evolving. Not as rapidly as when it first arrived, but we are still in a state of flux. And as much as I like Amazon’s ecosystem I do worry that its market dominance means that we risk exchanging one set of gatekeepers for another. I for one favour platforms such as Pronoun to release my ebooks since they supply all ebook markets. None of my books are on Kindle Unlimited. And, when it comes to sales of physical books, I like to rely on meeting people face to face at book fairs and conventions, as well as on Facebook ads.
Amazon and Createspace are responsible for the bulk of my sales. But I worry about finding myself beholden to the murky machinations of their algorithms. I don’t want myself or others to spend as much time working out Amazon as we once would have working out the traditional market. I want to work for myself, not Jeff Bezos. And that is why I intend to diversify my sales routes as much as possible.
What about you? Do you worry that Amazon is too dominant in the indie book scene? Or are you comfortable with the current market?
Let me know in the comments.
All my ebooks can be found on Pronoun.