Book Promotion: Do This, Not That – July 2017

by | Jul 26, 2017

By Amy Collins

Does it feel like this summer is just flying by? The publishing industry usually is marked by a small slow-down every July. This “relaxed” time frame seems to have been skipped this year. Everyone is focused and ready to publish and promote their books. Hats off to all of you that are keeping your eye on the ball!

So, for all of you hard-working authors out there here is the July Do This Not That.

What She Did: Gave an online company the exclusive rights to sell her ebook.

While speaking with Rhonda Penders from Wild Rose Press, we were talking about something that all authors and publishers have to face sooner or later… the question of exclusivity. Rhonda was offered cash and prizes for her exclusive deal, most of us will face the same offer but on a smaller scale. KDP Select is a program that will be offered to any author who puts their book up on Kindle Direct Publishing. Like Rhonda, there will be a time-based offer of benefits in exchange for not selling your ebook through ANY other venue.

What Happens: When you sign up for KDP Select, you agree to ONLY sell your ebook thru Kindle on For 90 days minimum, your ebook will NOT be sold on Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, or Overdrive (Libraries) while you are exclusive with Amazon KDP. In exchange your book will receive higher ranking, opportunities to offer your ebook for free for some days, and marketing promotions that NON-exclusive KDP Select books don’t get.

The Downside: If you want to suggest that a bookstore (local independent or Barnes & Noble) stock your book, the first thing that the store will check is to see if your ebook is offered on sites that THEY work with. If B&N sees that your ebook is NOT available on their site, WHY would they want to support YOUR book? You are not supporting THEIR sales venue and giving their biggest competition an exclusive. While Amazon sells a VAST majority of the ebooks across the globe, they do not sell ALL of them. Apple, B&N, Kobo and Google ARE valid and strong sales venues. Are you SURE you want to ignore them and not let your potential readers who prefer OTHER sales venues buy and read your ebook?

What She Should Have Done Instead

Rhonda should NOT signed away the sales rights to her eBook to ONE venue exclusively, even for a few months. (Never mind YEARS). The benefits you can get from signing up for KDP Select can all be achieved by other means. (AMS Marketing campaigns, deep discount promotions with BookBub, inexpensive keyword bids…) Not all readers shop Amazon, and the NON-online retailers out there make up a BIG part of the publishing industry. Libraries and bookstores and other retailers will be looking to see if you are giving Amazon preferential treatment.

Are There Exceptions? OF COURSE! If you have decided to focus your sales and marketing efforts on Amazon only, then KDP Select and the benefits are a great choice.

What They Did: ONLY sold their book and ebook on Amazon.

Speaking of depending upon for all of your sales….

What Happens: Promoting books online and driving all sales to Amazon is certainly simpler. It is easier to only deal with ONE venue and not have to handle all of the details that are necessary when selling books through bookstores, libraries, and other book sales venues.

The Downside: Amazon only IS simple, but with that simplicity comes a BIG HOLE in your sales potential. I understand that selling to bookstores and libraries takes time and means a huge learning curve; but are you really ready to give up over 40% of your book sales potential because you don’t want to take the time?

What They Should Have Done Instead

Sold their book online to ALL of the online venues:

Sell your book to:

  • bookstores
  • libraries
  • gift stores
  • catalogs
  • other companies

Find any and ALL the places where your book can be sold and work to get your book listed and stocked there.

Are There Exceptions? I can’t actually think of any… is there anyone out there that can think of a situation where ONLY selling a book thru Amazon is a good idea?

Have a wonderful July and I will see you all in August for another session of Do This Not That.

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