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Forums Book Publishing E-publishing How do You Decide Where to Sell Your E-books?

This topic contains 9 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Sharon Hurley Hall 1 month, 1 week ago.

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  • #28165

    Jennifer Mattern
    Keymaster

    When it comes to e-publishing, where do you prefer to sell your e-books? Do you always use the same distribution models, or does it depend on the book?

    For me, I plan to release my fiction on Amazon and other popular online outlets. But much, if not most, of my nonfiction will be sold only on my own sites. That’s because I tend to already have an established platform in those areas (where I target fairly limited markets) and Amazon’s artificial pricing structure doesn’t suit the types of e-books I usually prefer to publish. That said, any e-book version of a print book would be available there.

    The one thing I won’t ever do is make myself dependent on Amazon or any other single third party. That’s never a smart business decision (relying on a single third party platform that can make or break your business on a whim — just like bloggers who rely solely on Google for both traffic and revenue). My own hubs online will always be first priority when it comes to promotion, and any bookstore or distribution service will be just one part of that overall promotional plan.

    Jennifer Mattern - Owner 3 Beat Media

    Professional Blogger, Freelance Business Writer, Author

    #28199
    Yo Prinzel
    Yo Prinzel
    Participant

    I sometimes grant Amazon exclusivity for the first three months just because it offers you some extra choices in promotion to do so, but for the long haul I prefer to have my stuff everywhere. I used to sell my books from my own site but it became too overwhelming to continually update the page with new books and it was getting pricey through Ejunkie, so now I only sell autographed paperbacks. I may reassess this strategy at the end of the year, but for now I’m too busy to over complicate things, even if that means I give up a little of the earnings.

    #28201

    Jennifer Mattern
    Keymaster

    What made E-junkie so costly in your case? Was it a matter of how many files / products you were selling at any given time? Did the sales through your site make up for the cost, or were most coming from other sources anyway?

    I’ll always rely on my own sites first for nonfiction. But I can see how that might not be as effective for selling fiction simply because readers aren’t used to buying their fiction that way.

    Jennifer Mattern - Owner 3 Beat Media

    Professional Blogger, Freelance Business Writer, Author

    #28210
    Yo Prinzel
    Yo Prinzel
    Participant

    It was the number of files I was selling. And while I did make sales on the site (many readers want to buy books from whatever retailer the author makes the most money from and there is added cachet from getting the file/confirmation email from the author), it wasn’t enough to keep pace with the Ejunkie fees.

    #28212

    Jennifer Mattern
    Keymaster

    That sucks. I’m sorry to hear it. If you ever decide to give it another try, you sound like a prime candidate for a percentage-based system instead of E-junkie’s flat fees. It wouldn’t work out well in my case, but at least in yours you’d only pay when an actual sale is made, so fees would never exceed sales. :)

    Jennifer Mattern - Owner 3 Beat Media

    Professional Blogger, Freelance Business Writer, Author

    #28797
    Jessie
    Jessie
    Participant

    For me, my number one priority is to be sure that I’m selling directly on my site so that I can build up a reader list, but to answer your question, I’m picking the distributors that will have me, really. As long as I don’t think they have the TOS version of an a**hole, then I am ready to sign up. After much deliberation, the stories I’m preparing to publish and the things I’ve yet to get that far with but are in my ten-year plan are things that ultimately become Erotica.

    Which puts me in a difficult position, as I’m sure you’re aware of. Spicy is under fire in a big way!

    #28809

    Jennifer Mattern
    Keymaster

    I came across an erotica-specific e-book seller when looking up Paypal’s rules yesterday. I can’t recall the title, but try searching for something like that. They’re smaller outlets I’m sure, but at least the audience is well-targeted and people can’t say they didn’t know what to expect. I suspect over the next 5-10 years we’re going to see such an oversaturation of self published books that niche-specific distribution outlets are going to become much more attractive (not that the general retailers will stop selling them — I just suspect others are going to pick up a much bigger market share.

    Jennifer Mattern - Owner 3 Beat Media

    Professional Blogger, Freelance Business Writer, Author

    #28825

    Sharon Hurley Hall
    Participant

    I’m selling via Amazon. I had also planned to sell via Smashwords and direct from my site via Gumroad, but I haven’t done that yet.

    Professional Writer for 25+ years: Online Writing Portfolio : Writing Career Advice : Google+ Profile

    #28826

    Jennifer Mattern
    Keymaster

    I’m always interested in hearing feedback on different services (and you know how much I value yours in particular). So when you do get around to selling with Gumroad, I’d love to hear what you think of it. :)

    Jennifer Mattern - Owner 3 Beat Media

    Professional Blogger, Freelance Business Writer, Author

    #28829

    Sharon Hurley Hall
    Participant

    Will do,  Jenn. I reviewed the tool when it was a startup and it looked pretty good.

    Professional Writer for 25+ years: Online Writing Portfolio : Writing Career Advice : Google+ Profile

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