To Be (wide) or Not to Be (wide)…That is the Question by Keri Kruspe
The third in a series on the Strange and Confusing Road to Getting Published series by Keri Kruspe: “To Be (wide) or Not to Be (wide)…That is the Question.” Enjoy!
Wow, so much to think about from our last session. But the big question is…what is the best way to launch my publishing career?
From the research I’ve done and the classes I’ve taken at Barany School of Fiction, it seems there are three main choices:
- First book priced and exclusive to Amazon
- KDP Select – A lending library of books that Amazon Prime members who own a Kindle can choose one book from each month with no due dates. When enrolled in KDP Select, you’re committing to provide the digital format of your book exclusively to them.
- Kindle Unlimited – A subscription that allows readers access to a large selection of titles from the Kindle Store, including books, audiobooks, and magazines.
- First book free and available everywhere
- Amazon (not including Select and Unlimited), Kobo, Apple, and Google to name a few
- First book priced and available everywhere
- Same as above
“You have to decide what you want. What kind of writer do you want to be? Why are you doing what you’re doing?”
Am I in it for the short-term or the long-term? Do I see myself doing this for six months or a couple of decades? Do I treat this as a career for me? Do I have the fortitude to treat this like any other business and build income potential to build my platform?
Well, heck. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was twelve when I got my first typewriter (if you’re not sure what that is…Google it!) and wrote my first ghost/love story.
So for me, the answer was easy. I want to build a fan base of folks who want to know when my books come out. I’d love to have a relationship with them, so I can announce my next book to them and they’re excited to hear from me. The decisions I make now will affect how quickly I can build that base and add subscribers to my list.
Things to consider:
- How do I introduce myself to the widest possible audience?
- How do I make it easy for folks to try my stories? Does that mean I must give my work out for free to get myself started?
- And is that the best way to get mailing list sign-ups?
Ack! My head hurts. Confuzzled, Beth was kind enough to go over those three main options…
First book exclusive to Amazon
“What I’m hearing from you is you want an ongoing relationship with your fans, right? So if you decide to go exclusively with Amazon, you would also choose Kindle Unlimited along with KDP select Kindle Unlimited. While not the same, they are connected.”
“While you might build your mailing list this way, those folks who are used to seeing you in Unlimited may not follow you anywhere else for your upcoming books. They are used to reading only within the Kindle Unlimited catalog. That could be a big problem if you decided to go wide, as they may not follow you. But if you don’t go wide, you will be leaving a lot of readers behind (at the other retailers). To be honest I don’t really see the value of having your book exclusive on Amazon and ignoring a potential fan base, except in certain cases.”
First book free and available everywhere
“Usually, people will put their books out as ‘Permafree’ when they have more than one book out. I must admit I work too darn hard and I deserve to be paid for my work. Not only that, but I’ve found that folks who download a free book do not necessarily read it. And if they don’t read it, they will probably not sign up for your mailing list. At this point in your career, I don’t see the value of giving a book away except for contests or possibly reviewers. That is something we can cover when we talk about promotions.”
First book priced and available everywhere
“When you make your book available everywhere you have the potential to reach more readers. I have to admit, when I pay for a book, I first had to consider if it was worth spending my money on. If the answer was yes, that meant I really wanted to read it and I have subconsciously given value to it. Another good thing about avoiding being exclusive with one vendor is you can set your own price any time you want, which includes going free if that’s what you decided to do at any time. You can’t do that when you’re exclusive with Amazon.”
“Considering all that, it’s my recommendation for you to go wide and charge maybe $.99 at launch. Then after a short period, raise it up to a regular retail price. You’d be able to do this on all of the vendors when you feel the time is right.”
So what am I going to do?
I admit, at first I still waffled between going wide (and charging) or exclusive with Amazon. It seemed easier to deal with only one vendor to “work the kinks” out. It was only for 90 days and I could choose not to renew after that time.
But then an interesting thing happened the next day. I was at work talking to a twenty-something and showed her my first column with Beth. Excited, she asked how soon I’d be available on iBooks. Well…darn. The universe was definitely trying to tell me something and I just had to be smart enough to listen.
Yeah, it felt right…I’m going wide for my initial launch with a price. Think of it, the freedom to change my mind anytime I want. Folks would buy my books ‘cause they wanted it…hey wait a minute…isn’t that what Beth said…?!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Keri Kruspe has been an author since the age of twelve and has always been fascinated with otherworldly stories that end in Happily Ever After. Her current works, An Alien Exchange trilogy will have its first release by Winter 2018. The trilogy conclusions — D’zia’s Dilemma and Ki’s Redemption — will soon follow by the first quarter of 2019.
As a native Nevadan, Keri now resides with her family in the wilds of Northwestern Michigan. An avid reader, Keri enjoys good wine, good food, and watching action/adventure movies. You can find her most days immersed in her fantasy world of writing or traveling with her hubby in their RV, discovering intelligent life here on Earth. Don’t forget to visit her website at www.kerikruspe.com. Leave your feedback and sign up for her newsletter!