The Lies We Lead is currently only available on Amazon, but isn’t available on Kindle Unlimited, which some people have told me they think it a bit odd—why give Amazon exclusivity without reaping the ‘benefits’ of the KDP Select programme?
The simple answer to this is that I haven’t awarded Amazon exclusive rights to the book—I just haven’t yet been able to find the time to reformat it for distribution via Smashwords.
In the past, I’ve always formatted books for Smashwords first and then reformatted for Google Play and Amazon later. That was because Smashwords offered “pre-orders” and Amazon didn’t.
That has changed though and Amazon now offers pre-orders and since Amazon is the largest marketplace, like it or not, it makes ‘commercial’ sense to get the book on that site as early as possible.
The simple and harsh facts are that I sell more books and generate higher royalties from Amazon in one month than I do from all the channels that Smashwords offers, including Barnes & Noble and Apple iBooks, in a quarter (i.e. three months).
The big problem here is that I can’t just submit the same ePub file to Smashwords, Amazon and Google. Why? Because I link to the sales pages of my other books from within the ePub. That way, if you’re reading a book on your Kindle/iPad/Nook/Whatever, you can just tap the link to one of the others and buy it straight away.
This works particularly well at the end of the current book you’re reading where you’ll usually find excerpts from my others.
Amazon will only accept links to the Amazon store, Smashwords (or rather Apple via Smashwords) won’t accept any links to Amazon, only to Smashwords, and Google only want links to the Play Store.
Which, when you think about it, makes sense. If you’re reading on a Kindle, the links really should take you to the Kindle store to buy the next book. It’s just good commercial practice.
But that means I have to generate three copies of my ePub file, each one with different links in. And since there would be no point generating that file until the text of the book is “finalised”, it meant I left it until the last minute and ran out of time to get the book ready to be released at Smashwords/Apple/B&N/Google at the same time as at Amazon—which, as I already pointed out, was the one I was concentrating on as it generates the most sales.
Oh, the problems of an indy author, huh?
But I now have a “finalised” text, so I really do need to find the time to swap out all the links and get the book up at Amazon’s rival stores. I really, really do. It’s just a question of actually finding that time.