DIY (Do It Yourself),  Facts of Life,  Indie Author Life,  Writing Journey,  Writing World

Indie Publishing Update

It’s been a while since my last publishing update, so it’s update time! πŸ˜€

First, my KDP Select (Kindle Unlimited) Experience. To start, launching in KU versus enrolling post launch, in my experience, resulted in a whole lot more page reads. That said, there is a 30 day drop off across the board, unless the book is just a rockstar or something. Also, I didn’t have a lot of crossover reads. It’s hard to tell between my first two books since I put them in at the same time, but when I launched WHISPER, WINTER’S SIREN, for example got zero post launch page reads, and NO REST FOR THE WICKED got some the first week, and that’s it. Both of those books were in their 5th month, so without advertising, the page reads had pretty much dried up.

I played around with Amazon Ads some, and I have to say that I didn’t notice a difference between a KU book and a non-KU book as far as getting clicks and impressions went.

Of course, I can’t talk about KU without addressing the algorithm rumors. It’s said that Amazon favors KU books, and the truth is, the books do rank higher, mainly because they’re ranking on an entirely different list, and there are less books on that list. It makes sense that Amazon would promote KU books more to people who are KU subscribers. The benefit is that KU books get on both lists, whereas non-KU books are not going to rank as high to KU subscribers, because those readers, naturally, prefer books that are part of their subscription. If the book is doing great on the KU list, it also makes sense that it’s going to have a boost on the non-KU algorithm.

So, the conspiracy is correct, but not necessarily for the reasons people think.

Would I do KU again? Probably not. It makes me nervous for some reason, and I’m not in the business of giving myself an anxiety attack. I haven’t experienced any problems with my account or anything, but I feel better being wide, even though wide sales are mediocre, at best.

In distribution news, my release date for WHISPER on Smashwords is different from the actual release date. Smashwords sets the upload date as the publication date unless you have a preorder. 😐 That makes zero sense to me, and might I add, literally no one else does this. Since I launched that book in KU, I’m stuck with a July release date forever, unless they want to get hip with the times and change it. I haven’t pulled my titles from the platform yet, but I switched to Draft2Digital for some vendors, so at least all the major channels will be the same. It just bothers me, okay. And yes, I emailed them about it.

For a Goodreads Giveaway update: is it worth the new $119 price tag? I can’t speak for ebooks, but it’s definitely not worth it for print books once you factor in the cost of printing and shipping. Sure, you get some exposure, and if you’re lucky, a review or two. But we all know it takes a lot of exposure, in most cases, for someone to actually pay attention to your book. I have, of course, bought a book the first time I’ve seen it or shelved a book on a whim and then bought it later, so I can’t say it does nothing. What I can say is that it’s overpriced. That said, I have plans to try the ebook version since I won’t have to ship anything, at least, but it feels like a waste of money.

In NetGalley news, I do think it’s worth trying. I had a good experience. Kobo is now offering a mere 20 spots per month to people who have a book on preorder. I won’t be able to make a go for it since my book won’t be preorder ready until mid-August at the earliest, but I plan to try and get in with Xpresso again, at least one more time.

So, being over a year in and having three books out, do I regret going indie? No. I still have a lot of marketing work to do, but I don’t want to go back to where I was. I like publishing books and taking responsibility for the categories and keywords and titles and covers and content and all that, because if someone rips on my book in any way, at least it’s my fault. It’s certainly not the right path for everyone, but I’ve done a good job of not being too hard on myself. I can stand behind everything I’ve put out, so, there are no regrets.Β πŸ™‚

In writing news, I still don’t have my story back from the editor, and after all the bellyaching about the other project, I’m 90% sure I’m rewriting the intro again. I’m just not happy. I keep trying to change projects, so I’ve decided to do nothing until the madness stops.


  • Michelle Athy

    I think both of my own published stuff is still in KU, but that’s because they were getting reads for a while and I make more money (ha!) than through actual sales, but they’re both several years old at this point and they’re short–which means less attractive in terms of buying. I never saw a sale through Draft2Digital and only free downloads on Smashwords, though. I’m working on something that I may publish in the fall/end of the year, though, so we’ll see.

    • Krystal Jane

      What are you working on?! Do tell. πŸ˜€

      I don’t regret trying KU, but I definitely make more money on sales. Haha. Draft2Digital has some nice features. I kind of wished I had gone with them in the first place.

  • Thea Landen

    Oh, dang, Goodreads started charging for giveaways? That’s going to be a big nope now, because that price seems awfully steep. I’ve also heard mixed reviews about the KU program, and if/when I ever self-pub something again, I think I’ll still give it a pass.

    • Krystal Jane

      Yep, they started charging early this year. As a reader, entering a giveaway now just about always ends with me having to manually delete a duplicate book. It’s a small thing, but it’s annoying. KU experiences are certainly all over the place.

  • Tonja Drecker

    The opinions on KU seem to be heading to the more negative side the last year or so, always for different reasons. I was shocked when I found out how much Goodreads charges. Seems too high. As for Netgalley, I’ve been meaning to ask you how that went, and I’m glad to hear that it was a good way to go. I’m curious to see how the marketing will go on my upcoming novel. We’ll have to compare then πŸ™‚

    • Krystal Jane

      We’ll definitely have to compare! πŸ˜€ When I first heard about the giveaway thing, the podcaster said the fee was going to be for ebooks. That actually made sense, because once you pay the fee, there are no other costs. I don’t know what went down behind the scenes to change it.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: