The 30% Rule of Selling eBooks ~ Go Exclusive? Or Sell Everywhere?

Several years ago, an Amazon rep told me that selling my books via Amazon Select—going exclusive to Amazon—would greatly benefit me as an author. When I voiced some reluctance to remove my books from the reach of Nook, Kobo, iBook, and Google Book readers, he went on to explain that, as long as my earnings from other venues was at or below 30% of my total earnings, then the extra sales I would see at Amazon Select would make up for the loss.

The terms and conditions of Select have changed with the invention of Kindle Unlimited, so I don't even know if the 30% rule still applies. I currently have 4 of my 18 self-published books in the Amazon Select Program for a second 3-month stint which will end in two weeks. The way I figure it, it’s good to try new things. However, the Kindle Edition Normalized Pages (KENP) Read have shown pretty dismal results/earnings. Before removing the 4 books from Select, I needed more sales information from the various venues where my books are available. The charts below are the result of my info-gathering.

Note: The charts below show percentages of my Amazon, Nook, Kobo, and iBook sales. I also sell books on Google Play and Smashwords. Google Play constitutes about 1-2% of sales in any given month and Smashwords comes in consistently at under 1%, so I didn’t bother to include these venues or sales on the charts.

The information clearly shows that, during the past 4 months, I’ve only had 1 month where Amazon Kindle sales were greater than 70%.

With the advent of Kobo’s fabulous new Promotions Tab on my Kobo Author Dashboard, I believe my Kobo sales and readership will grow. I’m still learning how the promotional campaigns work and which ones fit best for my books, but it seems that I have gotten it right 2 months out of 4. I imagine I will only become better at choosing and marketing the correct campaigns. I can tell you that during the first week of February, Kobo and Amazon are neck and neck with Kobo at 40.5% and Amazon at 43%. Also, I get a thrill when I see Kobo readers in Nigeria, Qatar, South Africa, Slovakia, Columbia, and dozens of other countries are reading my books.

I know that going exclusive works well for some authors. I have colleagues who are doing very well selling their books exclusively at Amazon, and I am truly happy for them. However, I think authors need to take many things into consideration as we decide to either go exclusive or go everywhere. It’s a personal preference. For me, building my readership across all sales venues is what is most important. I mean, I do call myself an independent author; it just doesn’t seem right to be dependent on any one sales venue for my income.

What do you think? Let’s talk. How do you feel about going exclusive? Has going exclusive worked for you? Or do you utilize all the available venues to sell your books? Please offer the whys of your chosen plan. Maybe we’ll all learn something new.

Get 50% off ALL @Kobo Titles! Hurry! Sale Ends Jan 31st. Promo Code JAN1650 ~ @DonnaFaz

I know I have some readers who use a Kobo e-reader, so I want to let you know that Kobo is offering you 50% off any ebooks you buy between January 28th and January 31st. Choose your books and at check-out, use promo code JAN1650.

So… what are you waiting for? Pop over to Kobo and start choosing your books!

Get The Most Out of @Kobo #PubTip #AmWriting @KoboWritingLife

Lovely sales maps are just 1 FAB feature at Kobo Writing Life
I see regular sales of my independently published books in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and about a dozen other countries each month. But thanks to Kobo Writing Life and, I have sold books to readers in brand new countries that I would never have reached, including Nigeria and Qatar.
Tracy Nesdoly, VP of Communications at Kobo, lends some insight about the success of the company:

5 Ways To Sharpen Your Memory by Donna Fasano @DonnaFaz

Do you forget where you put your car keys? Or the name of the person you just met five minutes ago? Stay calm! It happens to all of us. As we age, our brains tend to shrink and not work as well. But there are things you can do to boost your hippocampus—the part of the brain responsible for short-term memory.

  1. Learn new things—Memorize quotes. Balance your checkbook without a calculator. Take dancing or violin or piano lessons. Learn a new language. Challenging yourself will help keep your memory strong.
  2. Eat flavonoids—Consuming dark-colored berries, grapes, beets, dark chocolate and cocoa will improve brain function. A Harvard study showed that people who drank two cups of hot chocolate a day for a month had better memory performance than those who did not. 
  3. Move—When you work out hard enough to break a sweat, you grow new brain cells in your hippocampus. How? Increased blood flow and a crucial protein called BDNF. Spending thirty minutes doing aerobic exercise and fifteen minutes of strength training four times a week is a great way to sharpen our memory.
  4. Feed your brain—DHA is a type of omega-3 fatty acid found in fish that can increase the size of your hippocampus. The trouble is, you can’t get enough from your diet. So buy a supplement. Take 1 gram of this super brain food every day.
  5. Decrease blood sugar and blood pressure—A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine states that elevated blood sugar puts you at a greater risk for Alzheimer’s. And even borderline blood pressure increases your risk of stroke and makes your brain sluggish. See your doctor to have your blood sugar and bloom pressure levels tested.

Here’s an extra tip: stress can stimulate chemical changes in the brain that can lead to memory problems. Practice deep breathing or other methods that calm your mind and your level of frustration.

Following these simple suggestions will help you sharpen your memory at any age!

Creamy Butternut Squash #Recipe by @DonnaFaz (and 99¢ ebook deal!)

I have never cooked a fresh butternut squash and really wanted to try. So I found a recipe that looked delicious, and after a little bit of fiddling, all I can say is...YUM! This is the perfect winter dish. It's hearty, filling, and just a teeny bit spicy. (If you don't like spicy, leave out the red pepper flakes.) Toss together a green salad and slice up some fresh, crusty bread, and you will have a meal that everyone will remember! 


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large shallot, diced
1 medium/large butternut squash, peeled, diced
6 or 7 large sage leaves, chopped, or 1 tablespoon dried
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 to 1 cup coconut milk
1 cup cooked cannellini beans, rinsed, drained
salt & fresh cracked pepper, to taste
16 oz pasta of your choice
toasted, chopped walnuts or pine nuts, to serve

1. Slice the butternut squash in half, remove seeds and cut squash into 1/2″ cubes (the smaller the cubes are the quicker they will cook).

2. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat, add shallots and sauté a 3-4 minutes or until softened. Add butternut squash and seasonings, cook another 4 minutes stirring occasionally. Add broth, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until squash is softened, about 8-10 minutes. Let cool a few minutes. 

3. Add coconut milk and beans to the pot. Using an immersion blender or food processor/blender, blend until smooth or desired consistency (a little chunky is ok). If using a food processor or blender you may need to do it in two batches. Taste for seasoning. Add back to the pot and heat before serving if necessary. If the sauce is too thick, thin with a little more vegetable broth or a little more coconut milk, your choice. 

4. Cook pasta using package directions. Drain cooked pasta and coat with sauce. Top with toasted nuts and fresh cracked pepper.

Serves 4 – 6

~  ~  ~

January 6th through the 13th, you can get the book that USA Today calls "heart-wrenching" and "touching" for the amazing price of 99¢. 

AN ALMOST PERFECT CHRISTMAS is available for Kindle, Nook, iBook, Kobo, and Google Play.

"...heart-wrenching, sweet, touching, and requires a box of tissues." ~USA Today

"Wonderful, simply wonderful!" ~Em and M Reviews

"OMG! This book is amazing." ~D & S Book Blog

Words To Live By #Inspiration @DonnaFaz #Quote #Wisdom

I collect quotes like some people collect coins or stamps or shoes. LOL I love positive affirmations and words of wisdom. Here’s a short list of some of the quotes that have lifted me up recently. I hope these ideas lift you up too.

Never let a bad day make you feel like you have a bad life.

Most people merely exist; to truly LIVE is an extraordinary thing.

If you want to fly, you have to unload the stuff that weighs you down.

Mountains are moved by the carrying away of small stones.

Clear your mind of CAN’T.

In yourself, you can find your worst enemy or your best friend.

Live each day as if your life has just begun.

Don’t worry about failing; worry about the chances you miss when you don’t try.

We become what we think about.

Ask yourself what is important and have the courage to build your life around your answer.

Do you have a favorite quote or phrase that you live by? Please share it in the comment section. 

Adopting A Dog by @DonnaFaz #DogRescue

I'm the “mom” of two wonderful dogs and both of them were rescues. Jake was a lovable black and white border collie. He was part of our family for over 15 years before he passed. Roo is our Australian cattle dog mix. Always rambunctious, she kept us on our toes. But at 11 years old she is slowing down now. She’s got arthritis in her left shoulder and her right hip; however, that doesn’t keep her from lovin’ the stuffin’ out of everyone she meets. She LOVES people and seeing her working so hard to get their attention is comical. She wags and whines and pulls on her leash to get a pet from everyone she meets.


Jake and Roo have enriched my life more than I can express. Dogs are loyal companions and always seem to know when you need some extra love. Many of you are considering whether to make a dog part of your family this holiday. If you do, please think about visiting your local shelter rather than buying from a pet store or breeder. So many dogs are put down due to the lack of good homes.

The internet is full of great information. You can find tips for caring for your dog at Wags And Walks. Pet Smart offers Everyday Adoption Centers, and the ASPCA can help you find Adoptable Dogs in Your Area.

Please note, more black dogs are euthanized that any other color dog. It’s called Black Dog Syndrome. Please consider saving a black dog.

Do you have a dog? Or did you have a dog when you were a kid? Tell me how your dog changed your life. 

Just for fun...