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.