Should Indie Authors Go Wide or Stay Exclusive to Amazon?

If you are an indie publisher, you have probably thought about this question before.  Chances are, you are already exclusive to Amazon.  After all, why not?  There are benefits to staying exclusive:

  • ability to enroll your book in Kindle Unlimited to get paid per page read (albeit only $0.004 per page)
  • ability to run Kindle Countdown Deals
  • ability to run free promos

Lately, I’ve been thinking about going “wide” with my books.  Going wide means (for me) publishing on Draft2Digital or Smashwords so that a book can be sold on multiple retailer sites, not just Amazon.  I’ve been thinking about the pros and cons…

If I go wide, I won’t get to use free promos or countdown deals, or have my books enrolled in KU.  I have found that my free promos are not working as well as they once were and don’t get my books up to the ranking I need in order to secure a good paid ranking once I pull the free promo.  As far as KU pages read go, I currently get about 2,000 pages read per day, which is about $8.00.

The big question is: will I get more than $8.00 per day in sales from selling on the other retailers?

I think a good approach for me is to:

  • research my pages read to determine which books are actually getting pages read and keep those ones on KDP Select
  • research my sales to determine which books do well when I run a free promo and keep those ones on KDP Select
  • publish all new books in KDP Select for at least the first 90 days so that I can email my list to let them know that my book is available in KU, for those with memberships
  • work on transferring the rest of my books over to Draft2Digital (my preferred “wide” application, although I have to admit I have never tried using Smashwords)

I think using this strategy will allow me to continue to make my pages read income PLUS potential add new income from the books that I do decide to go wide with.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Happy publishing!