Welcome to a new series of blog posts where eight of us – Devika Fernando, Preethi Venugopala, Paromita Goswami, Adite Banerjie, Ruchi Singh Reet Singh, Saiswaroopa Iyer and I – will post on a myriad of writing-related topics with the topic corresponding to the Alphabet of the Week.
We’re just starting Week K in our A-Z series of writing. I’m going to talk about Kindle Publishing today.
In 2017, I decided to attempt the self publishing route in a serious way. This was after two traditionally published books, so I had a chance to compare the two experiences. To put it frankly, both processes have their pros and cons, it’s more about what YOU want as a Writer. Before I tell you about Kindle Publishing, let me admit that I haven’t tried my luck with other popular self publishing platforms such as Kobo or Nook. I’ve been happy with Kindle so far.
Let me start with the good stuff.
- Uploading your manuscript onto the Kindle Publishing platform takes minutes. Then you carefully choose keywords and categories for your book, upload your cover and hit Publish. Simple, speedy process.
- We all make mistakes. Luckily, Kindle Publishing is nice enough to let you make unlimited changes to your manuscript. In fact, you can change your cover and upload a new one whenever you wish to. I did this for multiple books.
- Amazon is a huge marketplace with reach that makes sure that readers in many countries get access to your book. This point really hit me because earlier I’d been obsessed with seeing my book in a physical bookstore. Kindle books get wide audience.
- Control is important. Most of my friends who still publish traditionally complain about their lack of control on the book distribution, marketing and other aspects. When you publish on Kindle, you can take charge of it all – starting for Cover to advertisements to price.
Here are the cons I’ve found after two years on the Kindle platform and as an avid reader of Kindle books.
- You get the option of enrolling your e-books in KDP select which is a program that lets Kindle Unlimited subscribers borrow your books at no extra cost to them. The author, you, get paid according to the number of pages read. So if someone reads 30 pages of your ebook today, you’ll see 30 page hits in your sales dashboard and get paid for that. While it works out well in terms of royalty earned, enrolling in this program stops you from selling the book on any other publishing platform. In other words, your book will have to be exclusive to Amazon Kindle.
- Reviews help us authors get new readers but Amazon sometimes removes reviews that they think are paid for or from a close family member.
- While you can sign up for paperbacks of your e-books on Kindle Publishing, the cost is quite high and will be deducted from your monthly royalty. This is one reason that I have no paperback versions of my e-books yet. You could look into other sites for Print on Demand Publishing but popular opinion is that it can be very expensive unless you’re selling A LOT.
- Here in India, I have many bookworms tell me that they’ll read my book once it’s in paperback, as the kindle book reading habit is still quite new here, especially with the older generation.
Overall, I think Kindle Publishing is a great way to start a self Publishing career and requires the extra hard work from you if you’re building your author brand from scratch. You must be consistent with book releases and hire editors and proofreaders because quality keeps readers coming back. Like I said above, you’ll be in control, so do your best to create a great product.