The current publishing eco-system changes every week right now, and there are new opportunities around every corner. This expanding marketplace is only a good thing for authors, and some enterprising types are taking it further.
Amazon is a beast. We all know it. A beast of sheer size and might. It’s also quite a friendly beast, where authors are concerned. Via Amazon’s useful and simple Kindle Direct Publishing platform, authors have the chance to upload directly to the Kindle store, set their own price, and have the choice of taking part in programs such as Kindle Select and MatchBook.
Essentially what Amazon provides is an alternate route to market – the ability to bypass the publishers and compete with the best of them.
And that’s exactly what its mammoth marketplace is – a competition.
A competition for sales, and ultimately, that coveted No.1 spot. The title of bestseller.
Without going into too much depth about how the cryptic Amazon algorithms work, books rise and fall on the rankings due to several key factors:
2) Reviews – both starred and written
3) And the competition
The three really go hand in hand. Sales may rise thanks to a glowing review. More sales increases the capacity for reviews. More reviews come in. More sales occur, and the chain reaction goes on until, hypothetically, you’re at the No.1 spot. The problem is that everybody – every author and publisher – is doing the same thing. Every hour, every day, in each genre, for each book, little battles are being fought. This is why competition plays a big role in rankings.
The fact of the matter is that we don’t all have the same promotional skills or marketing punch.
Competing alongside the traditionally published authors might be no sweat for some indies, but unachievable for others (at the moment anyway – we’re all constantly improving!) The problem we authors face is that publishing houses have a long reach and very deep pockets. Very few indies, if any, have the budget to match that of a publishing house. This is why we rely on interacting on social media, sourcing reviews, clever pricing, and the pure quality of our books, rather than paid ads, bookshop POS material, and billboards. Even though indies actually garner a closer relationship with readers than most traditional authors, thanks to our marketing techniques, it’s still hard work to stand out.
These are the unfortunate problems with Amazon and KDP – over-crowding, and the way that traditional is usually favored over indie.
This is why I decided to create an eBook store just for us.
Libiro is a brand new store exclusively for indie books by indie authors. We exclude traditional books because it removes the traditional competition, and at the same time it promotes the concept of indie books and self-publishing, while offering the reader a dedicated, easy-to-browse store at which to shop.
Libiro offers indie authors an 80% royalty as standard – no matter what book, what price, or what country you’re from. This means that you aren’t just selling to an intrigued and interested market, but that you’re actually making more money per sale.
We’ve also got some exciting ideas in the pipeline too – marketing tools for authors, hopefully some sales analytics, and also a new eBook discovery tool that we’re quite excited about.
Empowering authors. That’s really what Libiro is all about.
I’m immensely proud to have launched it, and also very excited to see what the platform can do for authors in the future. It’s already been a great first month for us, so here’s to many more!
Of course, Libiro isn’t the only store that can help you sell more books.
Different readers like to use different stores, and so that’s why it’s wise to distribute to as many stores as you can. Kobo is a great store, and very similar to KDP in the fact they have an eBook publishing platform called Kobo Writing Life. Barnes & Noble is another important store, as is iBooks. You could even try using an eBook distributor like Smashwords or BookBaby, and publish to multiple stores at once. Try them all out! It’s important for accessing the whole spectrum of the market, not just the Kindle-users. Just remember to stay consistent in your information and pricing – perhaps keep a master document with all the information stored in one place. That always helps me.
If you want to see what Libiro is all about, then you can find it at www.libiro.com.
Please do leave any questions about the site or any comments below. I’d love to hear what you think about this opportunity.
Bio: At 25, Ben Galley is a young self-published author from sunny England. He is the author of the epic and gritty fantasy series The Emaneska Series. He has released four books to date, and doesn’t intend to stop any time soon.
Ben is also incredibly zealous about inspiring other authors and writers. He also runs the popular advice site Shelf Help, where he offers advice about writing, publishing, and marketing. Ben can be found being loquacious and attempting to be witty on Twitter (@BenGalley) or at www.bengalley.com.