Going Wide – an experiment in self-publishing

I’ve not posted anything on this self-publishing topic in quite a while. Oh man – a long, long while. The reason for posting now is because I’ve leapt off a high diving board and am still in mid-air. I’ve gone wide with all my books.
Okay – for those of you who don’t have a clue what I’m talking about.

Going wide means I am now publishing all my books – the eight Thomas Berrington Historical Mysteries plus one Thomas Berrington Historical Prequel, to the full range of eBook vendors worldwide.

And before you ask – is there something called Going Narrow?

Well yes, there is, and that’s what I’ve been doing my entire writing life since 2014. Some of you may ask why on earth I wouldn’t want to publish as widely as possible and the answer is because of these reasons two reasons:

Amazon KDP was and still is the biggest book vendor on the planet. They also introduced KDP select where you get paid for each page people read when they sign up for Amazon Kindle Unlimited, which allows them to download eBooks for free for a single monthly payement. Up until recently these page reads earned me around 40% of my income.

I was a coward and liked the security blanket of staying with KDP Select.

So why now?
Well, page reads have been falling off a little recently and I have many writer friends who have been saying to me I should be wide. That it’s not healthy for my career to stick with a single vendor, even if they do sell more books than all the others combined.

Finally I’ve started listening to their sound advice.

I intend to give myself six to nine months to see if I can make this experiment work. I expect to take an initial hit in income but will work hard to counteract that with marketing and special deals. I’ve also got the ninth book in the series coming out later this year and that always results in a significant boost to sales – this time it should be on a number of platforms.

I’ll be posting here fairly regularly so you can see how I’m making progress, or not.
Tomorrow I’m going to post on the mechanics of what going wide means, and offer some lessons I’ve learned along the way.
In the meantime I’ll tell you that for the moment I’m following the strategy set out below:
For Apple, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and Google books I am uploading directly through their portals. I also have all my books on Amazon still but now my page-reads will taper off, probably over many months.

For all other vendors I am going through the aggregator Draft2Digital.

Tomorrow I’ll talk about the process of leaving Amazon KDP Select with a bang, and how I’m using a couple of these portals and any lessons I’ve learned along the way.

Hasta mańana.

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