Publishing Strategy Update

My printed book has been out courtesy of amazon's CreateSpace long enough now to be able to review the results.


You may recall from earlier blogs that I decided on publication of my first book 'WHO IS THIS NAKED LADY? And What Have They Done With My Wife?' in March this year that I would sign up to amazon's KDP Select.


KDP Select is a special version of Kindle Direct Publishing, which connects self-publishers like me to Kindle eBooks. KDP select enrols authors for 90 days in a special deal whereby royalties are improved and my book is available free to borrowers but where authors receive a share out of an odd payment pool. During this period books must remain faithful to amazon alone.


A few weeks ago I also subscribed to CreateSpace to produce a printed version. This is relatively easy and the good thing about it is that there are no print runs. I don't have to pay for a few hundred to be produced. Amazon prints to order; a customer orders a book and they print it and send it and it doesn't seem to slow the process down any.


There was some internal amazon conflict between Createspace and KDP versions which confused me for a while and I seem to have ended up with two different book covers. Also, it took amazon a couple of weeks of fluctuating book sales prices before settling on the current printed book prices.

Ebook sales of 'Who Is...' have been fairly robust, and considering that they are only sold through amazon so far, it's a good start. I'm satisfied with the first 3 months sales through KDP. In all that time, only 3 days of zero sales with some unexplained high volume spikes (relative to average sales, that is - it's not selling like Harry Potter, that's for sure).


On the other hand, sales of the printed version through CreateSpace are much lower. This of course has everything to do with the price. Ebooks sell for $2.99 (about £2.12) and the printed versions are $9.49, £6.51 and €8.94. High prices indeed but I guess they have to cover the one-off printing costs somehow.

My deal with KDP Select is coming to an end this week, so I have to consider strategies for both book 1 and for books 2 and 3 to be published imminently and in September respectively.

publishing strategies

Continued Sales of Book 1:

I'll continue with KDP and Createspace of course. I also plan to extend my ebook sales through other media and research suggests that SmashWords may be the way to go. I plan to investigate further in the next few days.

Books 2 and 3:

I'm not going to lock into KDP Select for these books. I think it was OK to do that while I was finding my feet with 'Who Is...', but I think that it is now time to widen my sales avenues outside of amazon. Amazon is the largest outlet of course so forms a major part of my intended strategy.


Createspace offers the printed version and a link to KDP for ebook sales so I'll try that with at least book 2. 


Smashwords distributes books more broadly, see the diagram below. That looks good to me! Definitely worth a shot, but more investigation needed of course.

While I'm considering publication strategy, I also need to finish book 2! I spent most of yesterday (Sunday) on the additional section, which was a great idea from my reader in Germany, and I've completed that draft. I need to stitch it all together now and begin proofing. Still more to do as I said previously, but getting close now!

Comments: 2
  • #2

    Wally Greensage (Monday, 06 June 2016 23:33)

    I'm glad that you found it helpful, Ted. It's good to share information.

    It's trial and error for me as a newcomer to self-publishing, but in time I believe I'll find the right way to go. I'll keep documenting it.

    Your comments about your short story on Smashwords is interesting. Surprising that there's interest but no sales yet. I'll have a look at your submission there out of interest. I'm pleased to hear though that New Albion was sufficiently inspirational to prompt this.

    All the best

  • #1

    Ted Bun (Monday, 06 June 2016 05:37)

    Thanks for this useful overview.
    With my 90 days KDP Select for The Uncovered Policeman, so I might just lose the extra's if I can keep the Unlimited running.
    Smashwords has brought a lot of attention to the short I published there (which was an old story I created years ago but wrote inspired by New Albion!) but no sales.
    I will watch the cover thing as I prepare for a Create Space launch!