Here Is The Truth You Should Hear, But Probably Do not Want to Hear?
Posted On: 2015-08-12
by: Bill Platt
The other day, someone wrote me in an effort to discredit my knowledge about publishing books.
Yep, there are folks like that out there -- critics to the end, even in the face of good advice.
My critic had purchased one of my books that I sell directly to the public, published in PDF format.
My critic had read the book and liked it, but the critic took issue with me for not using the promotion strategy myself.
You know, I might have accepted the critique as valid -- if I hadn't told people the truth right out of the gate.
My sales copy said...
"I decided to publish the information after my students had good success using the strategy."
And inside my book, I said...
"I have instructed a few book authors as to how to do this, and they have done very well with this strategy, using it to promote their books.Sadly, I know how to do it, and while it has proven effective for others, I have yet to do it for myself. :) I think my problem is too many pots on the stove at any one time."
Next my critic took issue with my having so few books on Amazon, and the books he could find of mine are not best-sellers by any measure.
How Many of You Write Under Pen Names?
Yep, me too.
When I wrote articles, I wrote under 22 pen names.
As a book author, I write under 12 pen names.
How Many of You Only Publish at Amazon?
Not me. :)
Most of the books I publish as Bill Platt are not in the Amazon store at all.
For a Kindle book, I get 70% commissions if I will price my books between $2.99 and $9.99. Otherwise, I will only get 35% commission.
Most of the books I publish under my own name are delivered in PDF format and sold directly from my websites.
There are three reasons why I follow this strategy in most cases:
1. Most of my customers would rather buy in PDF format, rather than in Kindle format -- more reading area, plus they can print it out;
2. I can charge more for a PDF document than I can charge for a Kindle book;
3. I get to keep more of the sales proceeds when I sell it from my own website instead of Amazon.
All three are valid reasons, and all three help me to earn more money as a book author.
Sometimes Amazon, Apple and B&N Are Better Options, But Not Always
If I was writing mostly fiction or mostly general audience nonfiction, then I would definitely use the other marketplaces to sell my books.
Amazon keeps anywhere from 30% to 65% of the proceeds from a sale of a book, because they are handling the payment processing and finding an audience of people willing to buy your books.
When I don't have direct access to my target audience, using an outside provider makes the most sense.
When I do have direct access to my target audience, using a third-party seller who is going to keep most of my profits doesn't make as much sense as selling direct to my customers.
Customer Service, book prices, and how much of my money I get to keep all drive my decision about where I publish my books.
If You Show Me Proof That You Actually Make Money Selling Books, I Will Buy From You Again...
Haha! That is rich...
Show me your tax statements, and I might decide whether I want to teach you what I know about making money as a book author and publisher. LOL
There are only two people who should need proof of my earnings -- myself and the IRS.
All others can go scratch their butts on the carpet for all I care. :)
All I will tell you precisely about what I earn as a writer is that my ex-wife has one of those full-time jobs where she goes and works 40-50 hours a week to make ends meet.
And I usually make a week or two of her income in just a couple days.
Just last week, I told her about my earnings for the previous month, and she asked me, "Why is I have to keep a job again?" I told her it is because she is no longer married to me. LOL
Here Is The Bottom Line
Amazon as a place to sell your books is only one option that you have open to you.
B&N and Apple are two more options.
What really matters at the end of the day is which seller and which strategy is going to make you the most money.
I have published 12 books this year. 3 were written entirely by me. 9 were written by ghost writers and edited for me. And all 12 were sold outside of Amazon and the other book seller websites.
At the same time, i have published 7 titles to Amazon, all of which were written by ghost writers and edited by yours truly.
I am also currently going through the process of publishing three more titles to CreateSpace for print publication.
You are not going to find my best-selling books on Amazon under my name, but if you check my websites, you might be surprised to find a lot of my books in PDF format, selling at a higher price than I can sell them on Amazon, and allowing me to keep more of the money since I know how to do the payment processing myself.
If You Measure My Worth By My Amazon Author's List, You Will Miss The Big Picture
I haven't had one of those job-things since 2005.
Every morning I get out of bed and I do my own thing, and it works pretty darn well.
If you are going to value my expertise only on the basis of how many books you can see of mine on Amazon, that is your choice.
But if you really value my advice only as a reflection of books written under my name on Amazon, then you are going to miss out on a lot of exciting stuff.
Are you going to listen to someone who makes a damn nice living as a writer, or are you only going to listen to an Amazon best seller who probably cannot teach the information as well as I can?
Discover Bill Platt's latest product online at:
Coloring Books for Adults.