Amazon only or wide – that is the question…

My blog posts are like buses – you wait ages for one, then a bunch come along at once, although I’m not certain two constitutes a bunch. Then again, who knows what tomorrow might bring?

This post concerns the vexing question in its title.  At least, it’s a vexing question for indie authors like me, who have control of all aspects of the writing and publication processes. I started off wide – that means I listed my books on all the websites I felt comfortable with: Amazon, Kobo, others via a service provided by Draft2Digital (D2D), mainly so I could list on iBooks. For those of you who aren’t aware, you need Apple kit to list on iBooks, unless you use D2D or other similar services.

However, the vast majority of my sales were on Amazon, so I found myself facing a decision over a year ago – do I stay wide, or limit the availability of my books to Amazon? The question arises, because if you restrict your availability to Amazon, your books are then available in the Kindle Unlimited (KU) program, where subscribers can read your books for “free”, as part of their subscription fee. For a relative unknown like me, it represents an opportunity to present your books to new readers in a way that is financially risk-free for them.

The author/publisher is paid per page read; however, this is not at a standard rate, because it fluctuates from month to month, according to how much Amazon decides to put in the KU fund, and the number of pages read in total. It’s also a whole can of worms in its own right, and one I’m not going into now.

I put all my books in KU in January 2017. They go in for 90 days at a time, and you can renew indefinitely. The current 90 days for my books ends on Christmas Day. I am now in the process of deciding whether or not to continue beyond 25 December 2017, because in early December, after too long a gap, I’m hoping to make available the next book in my Club Aegis series.

Do I put it in KU, or do I go wide with it? That’s what I’m trying to decide at the moment, because I know I have some readers who use iBooks, who will only be able to access the new book if they use the Kindle app, and I completely understand that they may not wish to clutter up their devices with yet another app.

As I write this, I’m erring on the side of going wide. At the back of my mind is the saying about putting all of your eggs in one basket. At the same time, though, that basket offers an avenue not available if you spread your eggs among a number of baskets.

I probably will go wide. If you have access to KU and you would like to check out my books, you have until Christmas Day to download them. If you have them in your account at that point, as far as I’m aware, you’ll still be able to read them, even though they’ll no longer be available for download through KU.

Like many indie authors, I’m trying different strategies to get my books out there, and although I’m coming out of KU in December, it doesn’t mean I won’t go back in future. As in much of life, it all depends on what happens next.

However you access my books, I hope you continue to enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them, and a huge thank you for taking a chance on an unknown author.