Looking beyond Amazon

You all know how much I enjoy Amazon… as a company, as an innovator, the whole package.  I enjoy them and what they’ve done – and it’s not all related to publishing. 


While Amazon is the biggest kid on the playground, they aren’t the only one out there.  And I think it’s important as writers we understand this.  There’s plenty speculation about what could happen – and they keyword there is could.  What if Amazon changes their royalty rates?  What if they change their publishing process?  What if they charge to publish?  What if they stop letting independent authors sell?


Life is nothing but a giant What if?  Don’t live in What-If-Land… live in the now.  We’re business owners and we know what could happen.  If I own a pizza shop, there are plenty of what if’s that can attack me.  The price of cheese goes up.  The building is foreclosed and I’m forced to move out.  Domino’s moves in next door and undercuts me to kick me.  There’s so much to worry about… but we need to focus on what we can control.  In the now.


And as of this writing, I can publish to Kindle for free and sell with a great royalty.  I’m focused on that.  If that changes tomorrow, then I’ll regroup and find something else…


…but for many of us, that something else is sitting there.  Meaning vendors.  There are many ebook vendors out there.  Don’t forget about them.  Smashwords, PubIt!, etc.  Use them to your advantage.  Now I’m not saying sign up for every single vendor, but keep a list.  Find out what sell where and go after it.  Do a Google search with your genre and you’ll find ebook stores for your genre.  Publishing some books through my company (Hundred to Home) we deal with some erotica and romance stuff.  I’ve found that we sell more books on All Romance than we do on Amazon.  That is a specific ebook site with a great audience…


Don’t lose out on Smashwords.  They have flaws, but they are great.  Coupons are a powerful marketing tool.  I actually have some HUGE plans for coupons in 2012.  I’m going to test out some new waters and see what kind of response I get.


And PubIt! which is B&N.  They are improving.  The Nook is a big deal, don’t forget that.  I haven’t checked my PubIt! sales in weeks… I went on there this morning and found that I had sold more books in three days on PubIt! than I have in three weeks on Amazon.  Think about it… there’s room everywhere to sell and grow.


Sure, we all share the dream of being picked up in one of Amazon’s algorithms and become rich.  Yes, I dream about it too.  And yes, it’s possible.  But I will not put all my eggs into that basket.  Some people don’t shop on Amazon.  Many people don’t have a Kindle, and won’t buy one for whatever reason.  Remember, we don’t work FOR Amazon, we work WITH Amazon.  If someone prefers a Nook or some off brand ereader, embrace them!  They’re still readers.  If someone prefers to read a .pdf on a computer, excellent!  Here’s my link to Smashwords… AND, do NOT forget paperback.  The ebook market is huge, and growing.  But there are millions who buy paperback.  And yes, paperback costs money to set up, but hey, this is a business.  Business costs money to make money. 


Embrace EVERYTHING you can.  You never when and what vendor will pay off for you.  Enjoy them all, Tweet them all too.  I had been so focused on Amazon, they were all I talked about.  In the past two weeks, I started Tweeting about #nook, Smashwords, etc… and guess what?  My sales have gone up.  This month, October, is my best month so far.  I’m not at the halfway point of the month and I’ve already sold more books than August AND September combined… all because I’m on more vendors. 


Use both eyes to see the publishing world.  And look into everything.

About Jim Bronyaur

Jim Bronyaur writes mystery, thriller, and horror books. Grab a book at www.JimBronyaur.com Tweet him @JimBronyaur And for those who have Kindles and Prime, you may be able to get some of Jim's books for FREE!
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1 Response to Looking beyond Amazon

  1. Paul D. Dail says:

    Good post and some good reminders. I think we focus most of our attention on Amazon, but there are definitely other players in the game. I’ve seen the growth of PubIt sales recently as well. And what a great idea for searching for the small e-bookstores solely relevant to my genre. Not sure why I hadn’t thought of that.

    Much thanks,
    Paul D. Dail
    http://www.pauldail.com- A horror writer’s not necessarily horrific blog

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