Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Indie Publishing Success- Pre-Publishing Decisions

Click here to listen to the companion podcast episode

You've written a great book. You've laid all the groundwork. Your plans are in place. Now it's time to publish. It's time to make some decisions.


Kindle Unlimited vs Going Wide
  •  Kindle unlimited requires Amazon exclusivity but can be an excellent revenue stream
  • Risk of losing your account
  • Know your genre
  • See how others are doing
  • Limited "wide" periods?
Other vendors:
  • iBooks 
    • Have to be a Mac user?
  • Nook 
    • Poor customer service experiences
    • Lack of commitment?
  • Kobo Writing Life
    • Can take advantage of advertising options
    • New lending program
    • Sales reporting limitations
  • Google Play 
    • Discounting policies
    • Open to new authors?


The advantage of these services is you can upload a single set of files and they will publish it to a variety of platforms on your behalf. The trade-off is  you will get a slightly lower royalty, although at certain price levels you might make out better.

  • Draft 2 Digital 
    • Easy to use
    • Responsive
    • Fast
    • Can go free to Nook
    • Sometimes get better Nook customer service through D2D
    • Reaches a few vendors others do not
    • Advertising and promotions
  • Pronoun
    • Distributes to five majors including Amazon
    • Better Amazon royalty on books below $2.99 and above $9.99
  • Smashwords 
    • Also reaches a few vendors D2D does not
    • Improving
    • Variable compensation depending on the type of purchase.
    • Doesn't support co-authors
Selling from your website
  • Limited success. 
  • The average customer values convenience over price. 
  • Better for non-fiction?
  • Sites
    • Selz
    • Gumroad


Likelihood of  selling into bookstores.

  • Free setup and revisions
  • Pricing for expanded distribution
  • No flexible discounting
  • No annual listing fees 
  • Poor quality gloss covers

Lightning Source
  • Expensive setup and revision fees
  • Flexible discounting
  • Annual listing fees
  • Good quality product 
  • Makes returns possible, but...
  • Only accepting publishing houses?

Ingram Spark
  • Accepting individuals
  • Very similar to Lightning Source
  • Lower setup fees. Coupons.
  • Same listing fees.
  • Fewer discounting options. 
  • Still developing, working out the kinks.
  • Doesn't seem to be as good a deal as CreateSpace

Nook Press
  • Run in the opposite direction as fast as you can 
  • Overpriced, no distribution, not a good deal.
  • Basically an expensive printing service.


  • Connects publishers with narrators/producers
  • Distributes to Audible, Amazon, iTunes
  • Whispersync program
  • Pay for production vs Royalty Share
  • Exclusive vs Non-exclusive
  • May provide your own files
  • Flat percentage
  • Promo codes
  • No gifting
  • Problem finding narrators
Other distributors are cropping up if you have your own files to provide. No opinions on any of them. Do your research.


  • Works like ACX.
  • Is the translator any good?
  • Promo/marketing limitations.

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