One subject that has come up a lot in this podcast is the advice of not putting all your eggs in one basket. Amazon may be at the top when it comes to the book market, but newer platforms for people to sell their books on are emerging and making your book available on those platforms can increase your sales.
Amazon has started cracking down on authors and publishing companies who are practicing deceiving tactics when it comes to increasing their sales, and Amazon has begun cracking down on these. But that has created some casualties of authors who weren’t breaking any rules, but were still dinged by Amazon. It’s important these authors are making their books available elsewhere, not only to avoid being left out to dry if Amazon decides not to sell their books anymore, but also to increase overall sales.
Using Other Platforms
While many authors see about 90 percent of their sales come from Amazon, our guest today, Tracy Cooper-Posey, has been able to market her books on other platforms and estimates that only 35-40 percent of her revenue comes from Amazon. She uses Draft2Digital, which helps distribute her books and she also distributes them herself on as many different sellers as she can find, including on her own website.
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She recommends learning the different platforms and how to create a vibrant presentation of the books yourself, instead of trusting an aggregator. This gives her a little more control over how her books are shown and even smaller sellers count. She also uses these smaller platforms in her advertising with the intention that the market will see her book sales increase and possibly promote her ranking within their ecosystem. But, like we’ve talking about in previous episodes, if you are planning on running any sort of ads for your books, make sure you give them a little time to pick up traction.
She also asks her readers to leave reviews on the platform they bought the book from. This may sound like a no-brainer, but it bodes well for our books if reviews are spread across different sites, and may increase the book’s visibility.
Distributing Your Own Books
Another thing she recommends is selling you book on your own website, which you can do through a shopping cart plug-in like Selz, Woo Commerce, or Gumroad so you’re not bogged down by technical questions and you can focus more on writing. Doing this also means you can set your own price and offer deals and coupons, and you can increase the revenue you recieve when someone purchases your book directly from you. However, if you’re selling your first book, you don’t need to worry too much about selling on your own site for the time being.
A last piece of advice Cooper-Posey gives is to stay on top of industry news so you’ll be able to find out about new platforms that are just starting up.
Things change and you can’t just set it and forget it, you keep monitoring, keep an eye on the ground, and listen to the gossip. Find out what’s going on in the industry.
Bio of the Author in the Case Study:
Tracy Cooper-Posey is an award-winning author who’s published over 90 books since 1999, been nominated for five CAPAs including Favorite Author and won the Emma Darcy Award.
You can check out her works and even ask her questions at her site at http://tracycooperposey.com.
Resources Referred to in this Episode:
- Tracy Cooper-Posey’s Author Page
- The Productive Indie Fiction Writer
- iTunes Books
- Kindle Unlimited
- Microsoft Books
- Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
- Off to Be the Wizard by Scott Meyer
- Google Play Books
- Book Funnel
- Woo Commerce
- Book Marketing Show Kindle Select vs KU vs Other Markets: What's an Author To Do?
- Book Marketing Show Marketers & Coffee: Getting the Most out of AMS Ads with Brian Meeks