Narrow or Wide? That is the Question.

So, you’ve written a book. It’s been edited the requisite number of times (no one knows what the number is. Roll with me here.) It’s been formatted for both digital and print media. You’ve gotten a cover that seems to be genre-appropriate. You wrote, or paid someone to write, a riveting blurb.

Long story short, the book is ready to go, but you haven’t hit publish yet because… reasons.

Now what?

The next decision you need to make is will you stick with Amazon exclusively, or will you “go wide” from the beginning?

It isn’t necessarily an easy decision.

Amazon offers perks for exclusivity. It is easier to change your pricing for sales and promos if you are exclusive, and some folks say that AOAs (Amazon Only Authors) get preferential placement with Amazon ads. But, Amazon also retains the right to change your prices, and the rules say you can’t place your book anywhere else. Even giving your book away as an ARC on a platform like StoryOrigin or BookFunnel is a no-no. They are very strict about this and disobedience can get you in a lot of trouble with them. And no one wants trouble with Amazon.

Going wide is easier than ever with services like Draft2Digital, where you can publish to a host of platforms, produce a quality product, manage promotions and monitor sales. They even have an Amazon option, though you’ll get a reduced royalty for the double-dip.

Another alternative is to go to each distributor individually. Kobo is especially friendly to indie authors, offering a lot of perks to those who publish with them directly.

Who is your audience and where is the best place to find them?

The biggest thing to think about in all of this is, where is your audience? If the majority of your readers buy exclusively from Amazon, then maybe that’s the spot for you. If you are seeking a wider range of options, an aggregator like Draft2Digital may be ideal.

Both have their perks, but once you’ve chosen a path, changing it can be challenging. If you’ve built an audience on Amazon, for instance, moving them to other platforms will be nearly impossible. Amazon, like all other distributors, does not allow competitor links in their books. So think carefully, and long-term, especially if you plan for this to be the first book among many.

Next, be ready to do the work of promoting and marketing your book. This means placing and monitoring ads, organizing the launch and subsequent signings, etc. Which leads me to Social Media – but that’s next week’s post.

The questions remain: Are you ready? Which will you choose? Wide or Narrow? Let me know in the comments.

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