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Fringe Highlight: Should Indie Authors Go KDP Exclusive Or Go Wide?

Fringe Highlight: Should Indie Authors Go KDP Exclusive or Go Wide?

AskALLi Podcast Fringe Highlight LogoAs part of our new #AskALLi weekly podcast we're releasing popular Indie Author Fringe speaker session highlights as podcasts. This means you can catch up on sessions you may have missed, and listen to them on-the-go or in your car. We are also publishing transcripts for those who prefer to read rather than listen.

This week, we're showcasing the session between Pippa DaCosta and Susan Kaye Quinn. If you're wondering about the pros and cons of being exclusive with KDP or going wide with as many retailers as possible, our show hosts will explain which model works best in different book distribution scenarios.

Susan is exclusively KDP, and Pippa makes her books available in as many outlets as possible and they deliver insights and experience from both ends of the spectrum.


Susan and Pippa

Pippa DaCosta @pippadacosta is a hybrid author. Before securing a traditional publisher, she published the Veil Series (a x5 book urban fantasy series) independently in 2014. She has also published two science fiction books, with more planned for 2016. Pippa is traditionally published with Bloomsbury and Random House Germany. Her work has been featured in the Galaxy Chronicles anthology, part of the Future Chronicles series. Pippa continues to independently and traditionally publish her work.

Susan Kaye Quinn @susankayequinn is a rocket scientist turned speculative fiction author. She writes young adult science fiction, with side trips into adult future-noir and sweet royal romance. Her bestselling novels and short stories have been optioned for Virtual Reality, translated into German, and featured in several anthologies.

Here are the topics covered by Pippa and Susan:

  • Perma-free book promotion strategy
  • Net income on Kindle Select vs. wide distribution
  • Does your distribution model increase the risk of being pirated?
  • What are the benefits of a mixed distribution model?
  • Box sets in Kindle Unlimited
  • Author sollaboration on box sets
  • Do the benefits of wide vs. Kindle Select change depending on how many books you have out?

Listen to the Indie Author Fringe Highlight Podcast

Watch the Indie Author Fringe Highlight Video

Read the Indie Author Fringe Highlight Transcript


David:  Ok, hi, I’m David Penny from the Alliance of Independent Authors and I’m here today with Pippa DeCosta and Susan K. Quinn and they’re going to draw their daggers and discuss whether an author is better off in Kindle Unlimited or whether they should go Wide. And I’m going to hand over to the two ladies now and I’m going to bow out and let them take battle, thank you.

Pippa:  Thank you.

Susan:  Thank you, well, that’s quite a set up.

Pippa:  Yeah, oh my goodness, daggers at dawn.

Susan:  Pippa, why don’t you introduce yourself first and then I’ll pitch in.

Pippa:  Sure, ok, ok, so, my name is Pippa DeCosta, I began self-publishing professionally, gosh, February 2014. So, I’m a couple of years into it now. I have about 15/16 titles published. The majority is indie published but I am also published via Bloomsbury as well, I’ve got Bloomsbury in print that I’m published with. So, I’m a couple of years into it and I write Sci-Fi and fantasy actually, and I shall get that in there quickly, so, yeah.

Susan:  Sounds good. I am Susan K. Quinn and I write science fiction, young adult as well as future noir and a little bit of middle grade, under the SKQ pen name and then I have another pen name that writes paranormal romance. So, I am a full time author since 2011 and I love this gig, love doing indie publishing and this is not going to be a cage fight. So, anybody who’s tuning in to hear a cage fight, we are not going to be doing that because I highly respect any author brave enough to publish, period, full stop. So, however you decide to do it, whether it’s in KU or Wide, you know, the more power to you, we’re all in this together. That being said, I will definitely argue my case like any good lawyer, so, nothing personal at all in any of that. And I highly respect Pippa and like I said, anyone who’s even trying to do this thing because it isn’t easy.

Pippa:  And I think it’s really important as well, to realize there is no one size fits all. Everybody’s indie journey is completely different. So, it’s very important, sort of, what I do will be different to what Susan does, will be different to, you know, what ever author does out there. So, it is a difficult path to follow.

Susan:  Absolutely and we all have different reasons for doing what we’re doing, which is part of what makes it very individual. I have a couple of books I have put out on indie publishing, one is called For Love Or Money, and you know, spoiler alert, they’re both ok. So, it’s really ok to write just for love and not even care if you’re selling books or, no one wants that to happen of course but embracing that possibility I think is actually really positive. I think if you can say, hey, you know what, I am in this because it’s a soul fulfilling kind of thing and, you know, the book sales really are secondary, that can free you in a lot of ways.

Pippa:  That’s how I got started actually. I didn’t come into it thinking I’m going to write these books and I’m going to make loads of money and this is how it’s going to happen. I sort of fell into it. I’ve been writing for many years, since early in my teens, so sort of 25 years I’ve been writing. And it was just a case of I’m going to have a go, my kids are now old enough, they’re at school, and I’ve got a little bit of time, I’m just going to have a go and see what happens. And yeah, it came out of the love for writing I think, and it was actually a case of oh, actually, I can make some money at this, this is actually really good.

Susan:  Yeah, that’s fantastic and I think it’s phenomenal that it’s even possible for writers to make money because prior to about five years ago, I mean, if you were making money as a writer, you were an anomaly. It was a star system and you were one of the lucky starts. But, you know, that is just not even the case anymore, with indie publishing now, there are just so many people that are really, from everything from being able to pay a few bills to paying all the bills with their writing and I think that’s so fantastic. And that’s actually one of the reasons why I started my pen name, the money for my pen name doesn’t actually go to me, it goes to a special cause that I have but it makes a full time, much more than actually full time, income for that cause and the reason why I started it though was I was just curious. I was like, if I just totally went for it and I’m going to write what the market wants to read, how successful could I be with that? And the answer is very successful. And then that sort of folded back around into, well I have my SKQ books that I write just for love and I’m going to write those whether the market likes them or not, just the way I want to write them, but how can I market them better to actually get them into the hands of more people that would enjoy them, you know? So, it’s been a real synergistic thing for me personally, to kind of take it completely mercenary in one pen name and completely for love in the other and see how both of those work. So, yeah, I’m a huge advocate in doing what works for you and really, knowing who you are and why you’re in this business before you decide what kind of market plan you want to have.

Pippa:  Yeah, definitely. I think it’s important to realize, you know, what are you actually aiming for? Do you just want to do to have some fun or to enjoy it or do you actually want to make some money at this? And that really, you need that focus to understand well, this is how I’m going to approach it. You need to be, well, if I’m going to make some money then I need to look at marketing and, this is where we come into am I going to stay with Kindle Unlimited or am I going to go Wide? And it really does depend on what approach you have and I think it’s important for new authors to sort of sit down and think what do I actually want to get from this? And if they think right, I’m going to look at it like a business, and then that’s where they can think long term and then we’re looking at, like I say, Kindle Unlimited, Kindle Select, do I go with iBooks, do I publish with Kobo, do I go with Draft to Digital? There’s all sorts of things that come into effect there, so, very definitely.

Susan:  Right, so, I think we have some questions. I actually have a group called for Love or Money which, whether you are Kindle Unlimited or Wide, I would recommend you check it out. We have about 1300 authors in there right now and it’s a really helpful, like helping each other kind of group with up to the minute information about what the market is doing and writing and all kinds of stuff. So, we pitched out to the group, what questions they would want to have answered about KU versus Wide and we’ve got five here that Pippa has queued up for us. So, why don’t you start it off?

How do you market Kindle Unlimited vs. Kindle Select vs. Wide?

Pippa:  Ok. So, the first one is, we all get tons of advice on getting our books up on the Amazon ranks, is marketing Wide significantly different and how?

So, basically looking at it from two points of view, how do you market when you are in Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Select and how do you market Wide?

Perma-Free Book Promotion Strategy

I think, for me, there’s two potentially main differences and one of the reasons why I initially went Wide was to try perma-free, which is a book, obviously that you make free, permanently. And you can’t do that if you’re in Kindle Select. It’s not something you can do, you can make it free for a short period of time but if you’re wanting to use a series starter, and have that first book free and feed readers into that series then perma-free is a great way of doing that. And that’s one of the reasons that I went Wide initially, was to try out the perma-free.

Susan:  I’ve done a lot of perma-frees. I was Wide up until last year so I’ve got a lot of experience with perma-free and I kind of have a couple of different thoughts about that.

First of all, you can do Kindle Unlimited and perma-free with your first book if you have the first book perma-free but the rest of the series in Kindle Unlimited. Now, people are like wait a minute, if you do that then you’re like advertising your book on other platforms but then people can’t get the rest of the series because it’s in Kindle Unlimited. And that is true, but there’s ways to limit the impact of that. For example, when I was doing that, I don’t do that anymore, but when I was doing that, I only put my perma-free on iBooks and GooglePlay. Because the people who are iBooks and GooglePlay are generally on tablets and they can generally download the Kindle app, so, they’re not isolated the way like a Kobo reader is, they have a Kobo reader that they can use and they can’t download a Kindle app to that. So, in a way, having that perma-free and Kindle Unlimited combo was a way to bring in readers and to sort of convert them to Amazon. So, that was the net effect. And the people who were like hey, you know, I’m on GooglePlay but I don’t want to do Amazon, you know, a lot of times I would just give them free books, I’m like, here you go. I’m sorry you’re disappointed but here you go. So, it worked out fine.

So, that’s one thought I have about it. The other thought about perma-free, and I think perma-free has worked really great for a long time but it’s power has slowly eroded. And part of what has eroded the power of perma-free, and this is before your time Pippa, because you started in 2014, but originally Amazon had free books and paid books on the same list.

Pippa:  Yes, I don’t remember that but I read about it, yeah, yeah.

Susan:  Yeah, and so then they split them out and so, now the free books are kind of hidden behind the paid list.

Pippa:  That was the golden age of indie …

Susan:  It was the golden age and I’m like no, what are you doing. So, that was one thing that eroded it, the next thing that eroded it was the advent of Kindle Unlimited itself. It pulled away a lot of those freebie hunters, they just decided hey, I’m a veracious reader, I’m just going to pay the $10 a month and get unlimited books for free. And so, that eroded the power of perma-free but at the same time Amazon was giving you these five three days every 90 days in KU and what I’ve done recently is converted over all my books to, instead of perma-free it’s perma-99c, so sort of like 99c is my intro price and what I’ve found is combining a free run and then following that up with 99c and promoting the 99c part, like not even so much promoting the free run, although I do that to? What it does, it is a little tricky but people actually borrow your book when it’s free, which is kind of crazy, it’s like why do you do that but you do that and so that helps with your paid rankings so when you come off the free run you actually have higher paid rankings and then if it’s 99c it goes even higher. And so that is sort of the funnel, and alternative funnel mechanism to having perma-free and I’ve actually found it to be more effective.

Like I took, recently I took two different books off of perma-free and put it on this perma-99c in KU, and this only works in KU. If you’re not in KU, it’s not going to work. So, again, it’s like different strategies right, for being in KU versus being Wide. When you’re Wide, your perma-free is absolutely your best strategy. When you’re in KU, perma-free, you could do it but it’s actually not the best strategy. The best strategy is more like this perma-99c that will get you on that paid list again.

Pippa:  It’s all about visibility, yeah.

Susan:  You don’t loose that visibility on the free list, you’re on the paid list, you’ve got good ranking because you’re at a low price and you’re getting borrowers which is spooling you up and that’s what I found to be the most effective funnel mechanism right now.

But, if you’re determined to be Wide, I think the perma-free is really critical. And there’s some people, I think, when they’re just starting out, they’re like no, I don’t want to do perma-free because I’m giving it away!

Pippa:  Yeah, when you first try it you think oh my goodness, I’m giving away all these books, I could be making money, that’s not quite how it works, yeah.

Susan:  It’s not how it works at all and you make more money when you have a free book. Anyone who has actually done it will tell you that. It works for pretty much anybody. There’s some things that you can say well, it works for one genre but not another, no, perma-free works for everyone and it makes sense. You’re giving people a sample of your best work, which hopefully is your best work. A lot of people want to do like a perma-free novella and that can kind of work but it’s like, it’s not a full meal, you know.

Pippa:  It’s kind of like cheating a little bit, yeah, yeah.

Susan:  It kind of is and readers will feel it. Readers feel like oh, you just kind of gave me a little taste, you didn’t give me the full thing, I don’t even know if you can really tell a story because I haven’t read a full story from you, you know? So, you want your free works not to be some old tired thing that you pulled out of a drawer and threw out there. I mean, you want to give it a cover that looks great, you want to have it be everything that is the best sample of you because it’s your sell piece to your readers.

Pippa:  I totally agree, yeah. It is more difficult if you’re going to do perma-free with a standalone as well. Yes, you can do it but I think it’s a lot more difficult. If you’re doing perma-free with a series starter, you want that book to be very hooky, people are saying oh my god, cliffhangers, I hate cliffhangers. But you know what? They hate them but they buy the next book. So, we all complain about cliffhangers, I complain about cliffhangers, I hate them but I buy the next book. So, yeah, perma-free works very, very well with a series starter. Not so well with a standalone and not so well with a novella. But I think, if we’re talking about going Wide, definitely, for the best shot at going Wide, it is really to get a perma-free and then to market that thing to death.

Susan:  Yeah, you’re going to be marketing it forever basically. Because it is, until you have another series, which has another starter book, and you still market it and, you know, getting ads for that perma-free, especially BookBub ads, and this is another thing that has actually changed a little bit, in the last six months even, I’ve noticed with BookBub, they’re taking less and less indie’s and, you know, it was hard to get in, in the first place. But now, they have a lot of traditionally published books that they’re using and the indie’s that they have are only like New York Times best selling indie’s. So, if you’re just like a normal author, trying to get your book out there, BookBub used to be one of the best ways to get traction on iBooks and GooglePlay because they had the direct links there and that’s sadly, for everyone, that’s not working so well anymore.

Pippa:  And it still is the best way to get traction Wide, unfortunately. It’s, I think with BookBub you have to make sure you that you have all your boxes ticked. So, you have to make sure that you have got a professional cover, you have to make sure that you’ve got the reviews. Basically, they will look at your back catalog. And they will look at, is it a series starter? Is it a stand alone? They’ll look at everything. And you’ve got to make sure that you got the package there to be in with a chance to actually get a BookBub. Yeah, you can get a BookBub on Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Select. You can do that. But it’s a little bit easier to get it if you’re being helpful and you’re Wide and you’re on iBooks and you’re on KoBo. BookBub certainly want to please their customers so they are looking at ways of sort of saying, well KoBo customers, Google, not so much GooglePlay perhaps. But iBooks for sure, KoBo it does help, it does certainly does help and Barnes and Noble as well of course. And BookBub still is, like I say it’s still one of the main ways of getting traction Wide, but again with perma-free I think one of the things I did I went perma-free almost straight away, I’ve been trying to get a BookBub, for gosh, something ridiculous, I think it was thirteen, fourteen tries and they just didn’t touch me with a barge pole. And then, of course, got the perma-free, went Wide. Suddenly BookBub’s best friend. So, I think, it’s about, we talk about sort of going Wide, we are talking about opportunities and trying to find as many opportunities for marketing as we can. And I think probably that’s where Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Select probably fall down a little bit. Is you are quite limited as to what you can actually do marketing wise. To a degree.

Susan:  Yes, see I would disagree with that. Because the way I look at it in terms of marketing is it’s not just as what as you can buy and a book what use to be very bias against KU authors, and they’re not anymore. Like you said, I’ve gotten BookBub’s for my KU books. No problem. Right up until they stop taking indie’s at all basically, you know, and the BookBub people are probably going to come shoot me now but, it’s just a fact. If you look at what is actually in BookBub’s, you know for the last six months with books that they actually select. They’ve really ratcheted it down, now and they doing that at the same time that they’re releasing the BookBub advertising model, you know?

Pippa:  Yes, yes. Well I mean their data program. Yes, I have tried it yes.

Susan:  Well that’s one thing I think you actually could use to use target Wide as well, but it definitely works for KU books as well. So, that’s another avenue. But, the thing that Kindle Unlimited does for you marketing wise, is when you’re Wide, you’ve got, say you do a hundred sales and 50 of them are on Amazon and you’ve got ten on each of the other five retailers or four retailers, however you want to break that up. You’ve basically scattered your impact, ok, across these different avenues. And you’ve got to do separate marketing efforts for each of them like maybe, get an iBooks rep that can give you some special placement on iBooks. But, that ten sales on iBooks is only helping iBooks. It’s not helping Amazon. Where as when you in Kindle Unlimited you’ve got your regular Kindle sales but you’ve also got the borrows, and those work synergistically. They’re helping each other. And all your sales are in one spot and so, you’re basically going higher in ranking because of it. Your visibility is higher simply because all your sales are in one spot. And I hear people say all the time, I don’t want to put all my eggs in one basket. Well having your eggs in one basket helps all your eggs help each other. So, they’re all like working together in the same direction and focusing your effort in terms of marketing, but also focusing the synergistic effect of all your sales.

Pippa:  I can see how that would work. Definitely. And I agree to an extent. But I also think that those ten sales on iBooks will increase as well. You’re at the same time, you’re building a platform on iBooks and Barnes and Noble and you’re getting reviews. And it’s a lot slower, don’t get me wrong, and to be fair and a lot more hard work when you’re spread Wide. But, you are really, sort of, nurturing a readership that’s outside of Amazon. So, you know it’s swings and roundabouts. Again we’re sort of saying that there is no direct path, there is no one answer for all of this. But I think you know, people, if they’re coming to opportunities I think, going Wide, it’s, it is a lot more difficult. It takes a lot more oomph to get visible Wide, most definitely. It takes a lot of time, but at the same time you’re opening up opportunities, hopefully, there’s no guarantees.

Susan:  The thing I find with the other retailers is there are opportunities, but they’re usually, I is kind of what I call a winner take all system. Where, if you can get your books up there in the top one hundred and have you know, a well selling product. If you got great books, if you’ve got great covers and you are moving books. Then those, the iBooks reps will start to help you. The Barnes and Noble, I don’t know about Barnes and Noble. They’re so weird. I’m going to use something a little more reliable. KoBo will start to help you, you know. So, but if you’re a struggling down like you’re a lower selling Author, you’re maybe a little off genre, you’re books maybe don’t have quite the obvious appeal that some other books might have. You’re not going to reap the benefits of being in that top one hundred. And, where as on Amazon, it’s easier to sell a lower amount of books and still continue on, because you don’t have to get into the top one hundred in order to have some visibility. On the other hand, I think there is also some benefits for being all in on K.U. Because I have a lot of people that are like well, I’ll put one book in Kindle Unlimited and see how it does. From the beginning I have been very much an advocate of no, you go all in, you do, you don’t toe dip. You don’t just try things, you have to commit and it’s when you commit that the opportunities open up for you. And so, speaking of opportunities, one of my books under my pen name is currently in, was invited to be in the new Amazon Reading Prime, yes. And that’s completely because she is all in on KU. She’s, Amazon preferentially well, support Kindle Unlimited authors with opportunities like that and she’s high selling. So, like my Susan K. Quinn books, they’re not in Amazon Prime. Same author right. Same readers that love my books you know? Great reviews on both of them. But one is targeted to the market, and she sells really well. And the one is for love and so she doesn’t quite hit those high selling numbers. And this one got invited to Prime.

Pippa:  I have to disagree with you a little bit there because I’m partially on Kindle Unlimited. I have my Sci-Fi series and my new Urban Fantasy in Kindle Unlimited. But I also have my original Urban Fantasy series Wide. So I’m very much an advocate of spreading things out. And I also have been invited to Reading Prime. My Urban Fantasy which is in Kindle Unlimited is also in there as well, so …

Susan:  But it’s in Kindle Unlimited. That’s why they.

Pippa:  Oh yes, of course.

Susan:  They didn’t invite your Wide one. Ok.

Pippa:  But I’m also Wide as well. So Amazon do.

Susan:  Oh, I see what you’re saying yes.

Pippa:  Yes, yes. I’m not sort of all in, like you are. I’m sort of I have a, I have a toe in there and I also have a toe over in Barnes and Noble and iBooks as well. And so yes, there are, I agree with you to a degree but also I think. I think probably …

Susan:  You can definitely spread it out, I see people spreading it out more often when they have different genres. It’s interesting that you’re doing it with the same genre. And so, because you’re really, you basically saying to your readers, like your Kindle Unlimited readers have, can’t get some of those other books in KU And you’re non-KU, or your non-Amazon readers can’t get some of your books because they’re in Kindle Unlimited. Do you find you have a lot of complaints about that or no?

Pippa:  I do have people contacting me for my new Urban Fantasy series that’s selling well at the moment, the one that’s in the Reading Prime. Basically saying, how do I get this? I buy off of Barnes and Noble. That’s fine, just buy the paperback. That’s absolutely fine, because the paperbacks available everywhere. Also, yes advocate for paperback. Everybody should be doing that. So yes, there is a way around it. And also, I’ve had people e-mail saying I don’t really want to buy but, you know I will, I have to, I can buy in Amazon, Kindle Unlimited if I really have too. So, there’s flexibility there. But I haven’t had too many complaints. And like I say I’d just direct them towards the paperback really, so yeah.

Susan:  Well, you definitely can. I’m not saying people don’t. I do think that there is some synergy though when you are all in and I see all the time with my, especially my pen name readers because they’re veracious. And they’re in Kindle Unlimited and they will discover me one day, and by the next week they’ve read through my entire back list. And so, when you put those stoppers in, you know for every person that’s e-mailing and saying, oh I can’t get it because of this or that and the other thing. There are ten that are not even bothering to email you and they’re just going away.  And they’re just not reading those books. So, it’s when you, when you make it easier for the reader to get them all in their eco-system, I think you do get a lot of crossover. Now that works well for my pen name. It doesn’t work so much well for Susan K. Quinn, because they are not all in the same genre. I mean they’re similar genres. But they very different kinds of stories so they don’t always appeal across so the cross readership is lower. So I probably could like segment that one out a little bit more and put one series Wide and one series in KU I don’t do that because I like to be focused and synergistic, and make it easy for the readers. But you could, if you were determined to be Wide and you believed in the benefits of that. You know, you can do anything you want you know, just go try it and see if it works.

Pippa:  I think it’s one of the worst things you can do, is be afraid not to try anything. I think.

Susan:  Absolutely.

Pippa:  Especially, I mean I started out in Kindle Unlimited. Sorry, I started out in Kindle Select as there wasn’t a Kindle Unlimited when I started. And I remember sort of thinking, I really kind of like the idea of selling on iBooks and I really want to be in Barnes and Noble but I quite like Amazon and they’re being really good to me at the moment. And they’re sort of giving me some money. So, maybe I should stay with them because you know, everything is easy. It’s all in one place. What actually kicked me to go Wide, was Kindle Unlimited, the first incarnation of it. Because it came in, and it was something, the payment was ridiculous for long novels, do you remember?

Susan:  Oh right. It was biased against long novels, in the first version of it.

Pippa:  That’s right, yes. And so I thought, ok, yes that’s fine I’m going to go Wide. And that’s initially what sort of kicked me into gear, and thought no, I’m not going to be afraid anymore. I’m going to go out and I’m going to try it. And I think that’s really important. Susan, you’ve been Wide as well, so you’ve experimented, you’ve been out, you’ve done it, you’ve tried it. And I think that, for any author really is important. Don’t be afraid to try new things.

Susan:  Absolutely, and anytime you’re using fear as a reason to do or not do. Whatever, just stop, right there. Because that’s the wrong reason. The right reason is, I think there is some advantages, I want to try it. You know, I want to see for myself because everybody says X, but that might not be true for me. Absolutely, experiment around. I’m a huge, huge advocate of that. I’m not a huge advocate of people who are like well, I don’t like Amazon, I’m afraid that in the future they will change things and they will crimp down on authors. So, therefore I’m going to change now, because I’m afraid of something that might happen in the future. Don’t, don’t do that, don’t use that as your basis. And if you do, then at least be, try to be objective about the actual results when they come in and see. Is this working? If it’s working for me then great, go for it. Because you also don’t want to spend all of your time in the world thinking about marketing, you know you’d like to actually write books. So, you know, come up with your strategies. Try them out, but don’t agonize endlessly about it either, you know, the worst thing, if something is agonizing to you. This is one of my guiding principles in life, life meaning marketing for books. Is, if it’s an agonizing decision and you just can’t decide then it does not matter which way you go. Because it’s so evenly matched. Just pick one. Flip a coin, pick one, do it, see what happens. If it’s not got the result you like, go back and try the other way. And there’s nothing that is forever in this business. I mean, I love how people are like, and I use to actually be more of this, well you’ve got to think about the long term. Things change so fast in this business. You have no idea what the long term is. Nobody does. And I know want to write long term, there’s no question about that. But in terms of what my business is going to be like in five years from now, I can’t know. So, I need to work with what works right now. And then adapt. So then my strategy is, next year, something maybe different. I may need to do something different. I’m constantly adapting and evolving. But I’m not going to put away and not do things that work now, just because I’m afraid they might go away in the future. So, alright we did question number one.

Pippa:  I think it was question number one, wasn’t it? We did get through it.

Net Income on Kindle Select vs. Wide Distribution

So, question number two, have you noticed one, Wide or Kindle Select, to be better then the other in terms of net income. We’ve both been Wide, I’m Wide currently with half and some in Kindle Unlimited the moment and you’ve been Wide before. So, what would you say difference in terms of income has been?

Susan:  I think it’s easier to make more income in KU for a new author but also for established authors. Depending on how you transition over. I actually have a friend who was making 50 percent. Well, I’m no, I’m going to back up. My rule of thumb is that if you make twenty-five percent or less of your money comes from Wide retailers, so only twenty five percent is on other retailers then you probably will do better in K.U. Now, I have a friend who was making 50% of her income, and I’m like hey, you know, that, you might make that money back in K.U but you might not. And if you’re making 50%, you’ve got an established business on those other retailers already. It doesn’t make any sense for you to move over. However, it’s, those numbers only work if you’re actually selling books, ok? If your sales are one hundred dollars a month, and you’re making 50 of that on other retailers, then that doesn’t count, ok? If you’re only making $100 a month, you need to either write more books or write books that are more target to the market, you need to change something else. KU is not going to fix that for you. Or Wide. Either way, it’s not going to change that dramatically, ok? So, assuming you’re actually making say, $1000 a month or more, then, if you’re making 25% on the other retailers, probably KU will do better. Now, my friend, who was making 50, well, over the last year that dropped and it was mostly because the other retailers had some issues, like Barnes and Noble kind of screwed up their site for a while. And I think it’s still kind of wacky and Amazon got more competitive because KU, KU makes people more competitive on Amazon. So, she is now in the process of transitioning. So, her sales went from 50% other retailers down to like 25, right around that cut off, right? So, she switched over, she’s been switched over for three weeks, she has already replaced all of her income, her 25%. I think she’s up to 30% of KU, and typical for authors, is when they’re in KU, they’ll get about half their money from KU and half from sales, half borrows, half sales. So, 50/50 is usually about the split. And it depends a little on genre but that’s typical. So, she’s made that transition very successfully, pretty quickly and she hasn’t even really started advertising yet. I think once she starts advertising, she’ll get up to that 50/50 split. So, I think it’s relatively easy to go that direction but if you’re going the other direction, it’s much harder. Like, if I’m making 50/50 in KU, don’t think that you’re going to be able to go Wide and replicate that 50% of your business on the other retailers within a couple of weeks. I think you would say it too, that it takes time to grow that readership [it takes time, yeah] so, if you’re going to do that, you’ve got to make the commitment to do that for like six months or so before you’re going to start getting that traction.

Pippa:  And it’s pretty scary actually, as soon as you come out of Kindle Unlimited, not only do you loose your borrows obviously, but also you loose your ranking because ghost borrows make a huge difference {they really do]. And so I think, when you do come out, you can sort of sit and think, oh my god, have I done the right thing. When going Wide, please don’t switch, I think that is the important thing. If you’re sort of going out and then thinking no I can’t do this, I need to go back in and then, no. What you need to do is make a decision, go Wide, really grit your teeth and watch the ranking go down because that will happen. And focus on pushing your marketing efforts for your other vendors, so iBooks and Barnes and Noble as well. And it takes time, minimum six months. I mean I’m still growing over there now and that’s been months, months and months.

Susan:  Which is one reason why I actually recommend that new authors go into KU first.

Pippa:  I agree with you.

Susan:  Because that gives you your start and then if you want to transition to Wide, I would almost would recommend going Wide with a new series. Stay with your baseline that you that’s making you some income and then start a new series but start it Wide and start that six month process of growing your business over there, see if it’s viable, see if it’s working for you. And then you can decide if you want to transition the rest over. But all of this depends on you having books.

Pippa:  Yeah, if you’ve got one book, you’re going to really struggle with any of this.

Susan:  Right, so I kind of feel like, sometimes I hesitate to even put all this out there because it really applies to people who have a catalogue, you know? And can play around then with doing some here, some there, experiment. If you’re starting out with your first book, or even your first series, I just say go in KU, figure out the system and then, hopefully you’re writing more books after that, right? You’re in this for the long haul, the long haul of writing books. And then you can decide, do I want to take it Wide, do I want to do half and half, where do I want to experiment with this.

Pippa:  Yeah, and that cushions the blow as well, if you’ve got more books to play around with, if you’ve got a series that’s selling well in Kindle Unlimited, you can experiment and you can put a series Wide and you can take that sort of initial drop in rankings and sort of cushion it and then build up on, like I say, on the other vendors. So, yeah, definitely with more books, it gives you some cushions and sort of a way to whether the storms. I mean, there’s a great big hoo-ha going on with Amazon at the moment, of course, with missing leads for September. At which, I mean, you know, is it happening, is it not happening? Nobody is really entirely sure because Amazon are so opaque about everything. And I think, from my position, having that series in Kindle Unlimited, at the moment, which I do have, and it’s selling particularly well, but it does make me quite angry, when Amazon are sort of, no, there’s nothing wrong at all, it’s absolutely fine, we don’t know what you’re talking about, hmm, ok. So, yeah, that annoys me a little bit, but also, because I have a series Wide, it cushions me from that financial impact. So, if Amazon change something overnight, which we know that they do, Kindle Unlimited 3 could be here tomorrow, it might already be here already and they just haven’t told us, we don’t know, that’s the thing, we don’t know. So, having some of my books Wide, cushions me from that, which I’m grateful for. I think if I was all in, in Kindle Unlimited, I’d be tearing my hair out with Amazon right now.

Susan:  I’m all in with Kindle Unlimited and I don’t care because I expect there to be glitches in the system. I expect, I don’t, like, I’m not the person’s that’s going to be, you know, it’s an inheritably risky business that we’re in to begin with, first of all, full stop. Because you’re spending this enormous amount of time writing and producing intellectual property that may not sell so, you’re already in for a whole bunch of risk. You can try to mitigate some of that risk, but again, my philosophy tends to be going all in, putting my best foot forward with whatever it is and committing to it and it’s paid off for me. So, you know, it’s sort of reinforcing that way. But, I don’t worry about when Amazon glitches out. Amazon is a huge corporation, of course they’re going to have glitches every once and a while. And they don’t really like to admit to it and I haven’t met a corporation that does. So, it’s not like if iBooks was glitching out, that they’d be like oh yes, we had a glitch and they’re going to be off to save your soul. It’s not how it works. So, having things happen, the way I buffet against that kind of risk is I make hay while the sun shines, I make the money where it’s good to make right now and I squirrel that away, you know? So, I’ve got the savings, I’ve got the income, if you’re relying on your book money, it’s sort of like, I have a friend who was raised on a farm and that’s a great business for training you on how to be risk tolerant because you never know what the harvest is going to be, you have to put huge money into seed and equipment, every year you’re like on the edge of bankruptcy, every year, unless the harvest comes in and then it’s like woo! It’s like, make hay while the sun shines literally comes from farming, ok? So, that mentality says that, and she’s great about that, where she makes her money but she doesn’t rely on it, she puts it in the bank, you know, and she has it to hold through when all of a sudden Amazon glitches out and you don’t get the paycheck for that month or whatever or they’ve, now Kindle Unlimited has changed and now you’ve got to retool all your efforts and it’s six months of re-gearing into doing something new, you need to be able to weather that storm. And we’re in an inheritably risky business, even if you’re Wide or in KU, please, please, please, don’t, you know, if you’ve got no kids and you’ve got no dependants, ok, go wild and live that risky lifestyle. But, you know, if you’ve got people depending on you, be conservative with your money, don’t necessarily be conservative with your business because I think taking the risks is where you get the payoffs with your business. But, be conservative on the money side so you can make sure the lights stay on and the cat has cat food and all that kind of good stuff.

Pippa:  Yeah, I mean we can’t argue with the fact that Amazon is Amazon and it will change things overnight and like you say, there will be glitches and it is Amazon, so it’s a case of well, there’s not a great deal we can do about it. As soon as you sign up to be exclusive, that’s basically what you’re signing up for. So, like you say, cushion it, make sure that if you are making some money, make sure that you put some aside and be aware that tomorrow it could all go and disappear, definitely.

Susan:  It can disappear but, you know, it’s funny, when KU changed, I changed with it very quickly and I think this is one of the things that we kind of, don’t always remember as indie authors. Like, I can literally write a new book this month and put it up if I want to, as fast as I can write it, whatever your speed is that you can write a book, you can change your strategy tomorrow. And you’re not a corporation, you are not, you know, a penguin where you’ve got layers of corporate bureaucracy you’ve got to wade through to decide if you’ve got a new marketing strategy for god sake.

Pippa:  Similar to your publisher, definitely, you don’t have to have meetings around a table every couple of weeks to decide whether you’re going to be doing this or that, yeah, I agree, yeah.

Susan:  And there are a lot of people, I find, that they get a little bit of success and they just cling to that so hard because they’re afraid to loose it and I’ve just got to say to you with my whole heart, don’t do that. Because you can restart. The worse thing that will happen to you is not that you’ll have to start over. Sometimes that is the best thing that can happen to you. And the whole thing where I started up this pen name, I did that almost entirely without any of my prior success. I mean I took my knowledge with me but I didn’t take any of my fans, I didn’t take any of my resources. I was starting completely fresh and it was one of the best things I ever did, because it’s a blank slate. And now I can like, not have to carry all the baggage of everything I’d been doing before, I could start fresh, I can do a completely new direction, I can do completely new ways of doing things and it was incredibly liberating. So, the worse thing that will happen to you is not necessarily that everything will tank overnight and you’ll have to start over, that actually could be a really good thing. And so, I think when you take a little bit of that fear out of it, then people are like, I’ll try going Wide and we’ll see, if everything tanks, ok, then we come back, you know? We give it those six months, like you’re saying, you’ve got to give it the commitment, whatever you’re going to do, make the commitment to at least give it a chance to work, right? And then if it doesn’t work for you, you could always change and by then, six months later, things will have changed anyway on the ground. You’ll have new markets, you’ll have new readers, who knows what it will be? You can have some completely new, you know, iBooks might decide they actually want to sell books and put in some kind of huge marketing tool for you, that would be like oh my god, there it is, you know, who knows. So, don’t be afraid, that’s all I say.

Pippa:  Yeah, I was going back to what we were saying earlier, is don’t be afraid and try it. And you just don’t know until you try. You could sit in Kindle Unlimited, you know, you’re selling well, this is great, looking at Wide, is it something I want to do, I’m not sure, I don’t know, you know, try it. Try it for six months and if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work and yes, in the mean time, you’ll loose a certain amount of visibility back on Amazon but you can promo and you can get that back. It’s not an I’m throwing everything away if I go Wide. It’s a case of, you know, you can get it back, especially if you’ve got your Kindle Unlimited free days and you’re 99c, visibility.

Susan:  Nothing is permanent in this business, for better or for worse, you know, you may think if you just keep doing this one thing, that it will always work. Well I’ve got news for you. That’s not true. You can do it for as long as it does work, but eventually it’s not going to work anymore and I don’t care what it is, whether it’s perma-free or perma-99c or KU, whatever it is, it’s not going to work forever. You’re going to have to adapt. So, the sooner you embrace that, the freer you will be and the less stress you will have. You don’t have to be tearing your hair out once you know it’s just going to change, you’re going to have to adapt and that’s ok, it’s a good thing,

Pippa:  I think it is a good think and I think that’s a great thing about being indie, the fact that you can switch on a dime overnight. Something changes, right ok, well let’s look again at marketing, let’s look again at algorithms and then of course you’ve got places like cave boards where it all blows up into a great big drama. But the information is out there and the great thing about indie’s is that we all talk together as well.

Susan:  I’m going to plug my group again, For Love or Money, I think it’s fantastic because there’s so many people willing just to pitch right in there and help you out, night or day, I mean I’m just so impressed with the people and the respect. Like, Kindle boards, I stay away from because that place can get kind of crazy. There’s a lot of drama, as you say. I tend to be the sheriff in my group, I keep the drama out because drama takes too much energy away from what we’re trying to do, what everybody is trying to do and nobody needs that. So, I keep it drama free, as much as I can. And everybody seems really respectful of that and then it’s just the good stuff, you know? The support and the information and all that, that we really need. Alright, are we going to get through these questions, I don’t know?

Does your distribution model increase the risk of being pirated?

Pippa:  Yeah, let’s get through, yeah, we’re getting there. Ok, some say going too Wide, via SmashWords or places like that, gives rise to increased book pirating due to systems easier to extract or share e-book files, experience? So, basically book pirating and going Wide?

Susan:  I get pirated all the time and I’m in KU, so I don’t know.

Pippa:  Yeah, I was going to say, to be honest pirating is a fact of life. I get Google emails every morning saying hey look, BitTorrent have put up more of your books today, great, thanks very  much. So, pirating happens whatever you do and I think initially, when I started out, I was very precious with things like ARK copies, free copies for review, things like that, I didn’t want to be doing that because I thought well, if I give them away free, they’re going to end up on pirate sites. Well, do you know what? They’re going to end up on pirate sites eventually anyway so don’t worry about, it’s not worth worrying.

Susan:  Exactly, and I 100% agree, 100%, that was easy.

What are the benefits of a mixed distribution model?

Pippa:  That was an easy one, we did that one really quickly. Ok, right, what are the benefits of putting some titles in KU and going Wide with others? So, we’ve actually discussed a lot of this already, but genre differences? So, genre differences in terms of success I think, in Kindle Unlimited and going Wide? Well, your pen name is Romance isn’t it, is that right?

Susan:  Correct, and that was one of the first, and still is very big in KU. Romance readers are very veracious. And so, the more veracious reader is, the more they’re likely to sign up for KU. That being said, I’ve seen Science Fiction boom in KU in the last year. Once they started taking on the longer books, and hand rewarding with page reads instead of borrows. That, really expanded the market, and I think Amazon is very committed to KU. So, I think thrillers are starting to really get some traction in KU. Surprisingly children’s books do well in KU. Which I did not, children’s books don’t sell as Indie, hardly at all. But there is a ton of them that are in KU. And I, I was very surprised about that. But it makes kind of sense to me now, because children are veracious readers, you know? They’ll go through book after book after book after book, right? So, kind of makes some sense. So, there is, I think there’s some genre differences, but it’s not as, I think the differences are going away as KU expands. So it pretty much across the board, KU is going to behave similarly in different genres. That being said, there are some really big romance writers who are determined to be Wide, and continue do that, but the best way to decide, ok, is just to go to the top one hundred in your genre and see how many are in KU. That will tell you if, if there are KU readers in your genre. Because if they weren’t in your genre, then KU would not be dominating. So, for example, my young adult Science Fiction, “Young Adult Dystopian.” Is largely traditional published books in the top one hundred, it is one of the few genres that has that. And so, even so, I’m still getting like 50/50 but it’s actually more like 60/40. It’s a little bit less, not quite so many Kindle Unlimited readers there. It’s still worth it for me, but you can definitely tell by looking at your genre. So, you don’t really need to trust somebody else’s.

Pippa:  Yes.

Susan:  Opinion about that. Hitting lists …

Pippa:  Yes.

Susan:  I’m sorry, did you want to?

Pippa:  No, no. I was just going to go to that. No, hitting lists and box sets. So, yes, well obviously you can’t hit USA today if you’re exclusive with Select, it’s not something that you can do. So, its one of those things I think, probably a new author with one book is probably not even going to be thinking about hitting USA today. But if you have several books out and you’ve got a bit of flexibility in terms of marketing and what books you can market, there’s a couple things you can do, and of course going, you have to go Wide if you are wanting to go, or you want to hit USA Today, or even New York Times. So, that’s something, I think probably for an author who’s a little bit more established. I know certainly it’s a target. Whether it actually earns you return on investment is probably another discussion.

Susan:  Yes.

Pippa:  But yes, I think if you’re wanting to do that, as a next level or another tick off your box, then yes, you’re going to have to go Wide.

Susan:  Right. With at least one of your books right?  I mean, usually people hit on one book, or maybe a new release that’s highly anticipated or something like that. I’ve seen people do, like, long pre-orders, you know trying to hit a list.

Pippa:  Yes.

Susan:  And maybe they will do that with a highly anticipated book and then pull it into KU later or something like that.

Pippa:  Yes, yes.

Susan:  There’s all kinds of strategies you can use with that. That’s generally going to be for somebody who, like you say, is established and knows what they doing and probably doesn’t need my advice.

Pippa:  Yes.

Box Sets in Kindle Unlimited

Susan:  I figured if they can figure that out. Box sets are a little different. Box sets are great money makers if you’re in KU. People in KU just, just borrow the heck out of Box sets and you get a ton of money from page rates, so I recently bid in a couple of Box sets for the just, and I’ve had another one for a pen name that just launched a couple days ago. And, they just do fantastic.

Pippa:  Is this, is this Box sets with just you, or Box sets with collaboration with other authors?

Susan:  Collaboration.

Pippa:  Yes, yes.

Author Collaboration on Box Sets

Susan:  Collaborations definitely. You know, and they usually starter books, you want to put something in there that’s a starter for your series. Like this one that I just did, was pen names first in series book. And, it’s just soaring. Actually, the Box set that did really well under SKQ was called Galactic. So it was hitting that space opera genre that’s super hot, right now. I put a novella in there, it wasn’t even a novel, it wasn’t even a short story, it wasn’t even a first in series or anything. And, it just did tremendously well because of the Box set phenomenon. Now, I’m not sure that I gained a lot of readers, I think a lot of times people think they going to get readers out of Box sets. And I think, you know I think a lot of people buy Box sets and don’t necessarily read all the books. So, you might get the money, but you might not get the follow on sales that you expect. It depends.

Pippa:  It does depend, yes. I mean I’m in a couple of Box sets at the moment that are, that Wide. And that they free. So again, we’re going back to the perma-free strategy of lets get it out there, and get few eyeballs on it.

Susan:  Right, you’re not doing it for money, you’re doing it for visibility.

Pippa:  For visibility, yes.

Susan:  Yes, and that is, I can see that as being a very, another, a different strategy. 

Pippa:  Yes.

Susan:  To you know, try to get people to come in and do read throughs. So are you seeing a lot of read through on those freebie Box sets? 

Pippa:  It depends where you are in the box set? If you’re at the beginning, then yes. If you’re at the end, well it depends what day it is you know. It’s, yes, you want to be at the beginning of the box set ideally. But yes, I do see read throughs of perma-free box sets. I think they work really, really well. And especially if you can combine it with BookBub beta ads, because obviously BookBub don’t take, or box sets with more than one author. And they’ll take anthologies but they won’t take odd sets with multi authors in them. But, you can do BookBub beta ads. I know that some people out there that aren’t invited yet, but it is rolling out. More and more people are getting invited on a daily basis. So I think something that will expand very, very quickly. 

Susan:  Yes, my pen name is in the Beta and yes, I’m finding it very, very interesting to use those ads, because you can so highly target them.

Pippa:  Yes.

Susan:  And there’s some really cool stuff you can do with it by targeting individual authors that are right, like the ones that you want to be in.

Pippa:  Yes.

Susan:  Or, the ones that already are interested in your particular kind of book because they write a book like that, you know? So it’s, just there’s some really cool stuff you can do with it. And I would think that would work for Wide or KU. It’s one of those things, because you can target it. You can target it just to Amazon or you can target it to iBooks or whatever you want to. So, there’s a lot of cool stuff in there. I think the more people that get into it though, the cost is going to go up. And it’s already not cheap.

Pippa:  Oh yes, definitely. I agree. I’ve been in there a couple of months now, and I think it’s doubled in price since I’ve been there. So yes, but I am hoping long term in will settle down because everyone is going a little bit crazy for it at the moment. But I’m thinking long term, I’m hoping it will sort of hopefully, finger’s crossed, come back down. But we’ll see what happens.

Susan:  I hope so too.

Pippa:  Yes.

Susan: It’s kind of like Facebook, only better because like Facebook ads, a lot of people, it was, it was really working early on. And then a lot of people got into it and it got too expensive and didn’t really work so well. But BookBub is different. BookBub is, these are people who already are buying books. This is not random ads on Facebook. So, it really is, I think it’s an interesting strategy that BookBub is taking, and I think it is definitely tied to the fact that they’re not taking many indie’s for regular feature listings.

Pippa:  Yes, definitely. 

Susan:  So, you know, got to change.

Do the benefits of Wide vs. Kindle Select change depending on how many books you have out?

Pippa:  This is it, change is everything. Yes, yes. Ok, so question number five. Do the benefits of Wide, Kindle Select change depending on how many books you have out? Well we have kind of again, touched on this quite a lot. But I think we both agree that new authors, the best thing from my opinion I think is for a new author to be in Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Select. To get that initial visibility. And if you know a book is going to sell. And it’s selling well in Kindle Unlimited, and I think you mentioned, and what we’ve both but possibly mentioned as well, is it likely to sell well Wide as well. But, you know, it’s a case of …

Susan:  It really depends.

Pippa:  Yes, it does depend. Yes, yes. But I think new author, visibility, Kindle Unlimited is very, very helpful for new books and new authors. It’s easy. I know I’m supposed to be talking about Wide, but it is easy. It’s a great place to start. And I think once you found your feet and you think well actually this, this indie publishing, I can do this, that is the great time then to look at going Wide.

Susan:  Right …

Pippa:  Once you’ve found your feel already, really.

Susan:  I think we are in complete agreement about that, you know? Start out with, you know, it’s hard enough as it is. Start out with the thing that is going to give you a leg up as a new author, get you some visibility, get you an established presence on Amazon which still is the biggest vendor of books …

Pippa:  Oh, yes.

Susan:  By far. So get started there and then you can, you know maybe with your second series start to go Wide and see how that does for you, you know? Then you’re, you’re experienced and you don’t necessarily need our advice. But the people that I see that really try to weigh this decision of Kindle Unlimited versus Wide are people who already have books out but they’re not seeing the success that they want.

Pippa:  Yes.

Susan:  Alright, so then I go back to my question of, are you a low selling author at this point? You know, your books have just not found their audience yet. Ok, so then, look at the fundamentals. Are you publishing one book every two years, you know? Do you need to increase your rate of production? Do you need to do more, you know, targeted books? Do you need to write books that are more appealing to authors in whatever way? Target the market better? Whatever. I would look at things that have nothing to do with KU versus non-KU, and then I would go back and say, you know what? Even though you have these established books, you are really starting over. You really starting fresh as new author again, because you can do that as an indie author. You can even, you can even change your pen name. You can do all, you can erase that whole history and start over completely fresh in a new genre, starting KU. And then, get your footing. Once you have your footing, then you can kind of go back to this back list and figure out what, one of my favorite stories about that is a friend of mine, Nick Webb. Who you may know of if you’re in Science Fiction.

Pippa:  Yes.

Susan:  He’s a huge selling author. Well he is a great guy and super smart. But he had books, a bunch of books. At least a trilogy or two trilogies maybe that didn’t, just didn’t quite find there footing. And then he like re-tooled, wrote a new series to the market, changed his pen name just a little bit so that it had a fresh start. And man that thing took off, because he was, he was finally hitting the cord with the readers and he had all his prior knowledge. And now, he’s like re-branding all of his previous book and bringing it under the umbrella of the well selling series and now those books are selling well. So, it’s like, and I don’t know, he did that in KU, but he was talking at one point about going Wide at some point with it. And he’s doing so well in KU, I don’t know if he’s decided to actually do that yet or not. But now he has the flexibility to do that.

Pippa:  Yes.

Susan:  Because he’s got a bunch of money to work with basically. And he has the flexibility, freedom to decide where to go now. So, don’t necessarily look at KU as your salvation. But it can be a key part of rebooting. However you want to, if you want to reboot anew. This is something I’ve also done, ok, I’m like going way off bat. I had an old series that was not selling well at all. And it was targeted to steam punk, and I decided to completely reboot the series. But the books are the same, but new covers, new marketing, new categories, new descriptions. And I you know, I tried for two years to get a BookBub on them, couldn’t. As soon as I changed the cover and description, got a BookBub right away and re-launched that series in KU, and it had been in KU before ok. So it wasn’t KU that made the difference. It was the rebooting that made the difference, but it leveraged the advantage of KU as this new series that was two years old ok. But it was new to KU all of a sudden and then it took off so, you can always reboot.

Pippa: Yes, definitely.

Susan:  Take away.

Pippa:  Yes, no I agree. I think, you know, again going over sort of what we already said, it’s a case of opportunities. Trying to get yourself out there and to try new things and to not be afraid really is what it comes down too. And I think you and I, we pretty much both agree. I mean we both agree, I mean we’re supposed to be here fighting over, is it KU is it, is it Wide? But there is no easy answer to this, there’s never going to be. And it all depends on a person. How many books they’ve got out? What books, what, what they’re writing, what genre are they writing? Are they good at marketing? Is marketing something they don’t want to touch with a barge pole, you know? There’s so many different factors involved in it. And I think every author has to sit down and really sort of evaluate where they are going and how there are going to do it, and what they want to do with their books. And then look at Kindle Unlimited and Wide, definitely.

Susan:  It really doesn’t matter what anybody else is doing. All that matters is what works for you. So, and what work’s for your life you know. You may not want the stress of which ever way is more stressful for you, I can’t even say. And, don’t be afraid to embrace what works for you and go for that thing that brings you the most joy in your life and your writing, and your business. And, because that’s where you’re going to succeed. Follow that joy, rather than follow the stress and worry that you’re not doing right. Whatever that right thing is. So. 

Pippa:  Ok.

Susan:  Awesome, well I loved talking with you Pippa.

Pippa:  Yes, it’s been fabulous. I wish we could have hours.

Susan:  Yes, but I think our time is probably up. So. 

Pippa:  We are, we up yes.

Susan:  Do you remember the magic phrase we’re supposed to say?

Pippa:  Yes, yes it was, the Indie Author Fringe, with the Alliance of Independent Authors.

Susan:  Excellent. 


Should Indie Authors Go #KDPExclusive or Go Wide? Click To Tweet

About Indie Author Fringe

If you're not familiar with our Fringe event, it's three-times a year, online conference for self-publishing authors, brought to you by the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi), and fringe to the major global publishing fairs; London Book Fair, BookExp, and Frankfurt Book Fair.

ALLi brings together the most up-to-date self-publishing education and information available and broadcasts it to authors everywhere. Running 24 sessions over 24 continuous hours allows our members, and other authors round the globe, to attend sessions, no matter where they’re located.

Our next Indie Author Fringe Conference in on October 14th. Just click here to register and you won’t miss any of our event updates.

Sign up for Indie Author Fringe

Where can I watch or listen to more Ask ALLi?

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