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Making a publishing decision? The publishing industry is in the midst of turmoil. Those cart tracks have expanded to four-lane super highways. Anyone who wants to be published nowadays can be.

It’s Throwback Thursday with an important publishing decision.

It’s Throwback Thursday, and I’m republishing a blog I wrote in 2011. Yeah, that long ago, when making a publishing decision was almost a no-brainer—traditional publishing or this relatively new thing called self-publishing.

Making a publishing decision? The publishing industry is in the midst of turmoil. Those cart tracks have expanded to four-lane super highways. Anyone who wants to be published nowadays can be.

Here’s the blog:

I attended our monthly writers’ group meeting today. As always, I returned home in total awe of our members.  They are a fantastic group and never take no as an answer.

It’s easy to forget between meetings, when you’re sitting in the basement staring at a blank screen, that there are others just like you. As Emily, our newest member said, “Writing a book is hard.” Yes, it is, but we keep plugging away, writing, critiquing, editing, submitting and hoping for publication.

But boys and girls, the road to publication is no longer a small trail with a select group of tollgate keepers deciding who gets to progress forward. The publishing industry is in the midst of turmoil. Those cart tracks have expanded to four-lane super highways. Anyone who wants to be published nowadays can be.

Is that a problem? Will junk and dreck clog the choices we have? Probably. But think about that for a moment. How many people actually write a book? As Emily noted, it’s hard. Damn hard. Your competition will remain the same. If xxxx people finished a manuscript in 2006 b.k. (before Kindle), a similar amount will write a book in 2011. The only difference is that more of them will become available to readers.

How many of your fellow authors are really, really good, on the cusp of being accepted for publication but have never quite got the nod from New York? I can tell you, their chances lessen more and more. Publishers can’t scramble fast enough to keep up with the minute-to-minute changes in the industry. They hang on to their best selling authors, squeeze the mid-list and don’t take chances on newcomers.

Making a publishing decision? The publishing industry is in the midst of turmoil. Those cart tracks have expanded to four-lane super highways. Anyone who wants to be published nowadays can be.

How are you going to get a break if you don’t make your own?

Yes, there’s something to be said for traditional publishing. I’ll always love the feel of a book in my hand. I miss being able to thumb through the pages to the part I want to re-read (2/3 through the book on the left hand side.) But, I can carry dozens of books in my purse on an e-reader. (which will be super handy during my upcoming eight hour flight). I can have what I want to read available within seconds instead of ordering it through the mail or hunting through library lists.

Ebooks have their drawbacks, but, at Amazon, they’ve already surpassed sales of paperbacks. The Kindle (I’m using it as the standard of all ereaders) is not even four years old. Wait until the price drops below $99.

Traditional publishing might not go away, but do you want to miss out on the greatest opportunity that has ever happened to the industry? The industry you’re so desperate to break into?

Think about alternative ways to offer your book to your readers. That’s all I ask. Think about it.

I know I am.

****2017 Cheryl back again****

Has your publishing decision changed since this was written? Do you still crave the legitimization of “traditional” publishing? How’s that going for you? It’s harder, not easier to be traditionally published, and the doors are shrinking.

Do you still think of self-publishing as not really being published? Or have you embraced it?

Tell me your views in the comments.

Blessings,

Cheryl

p.s. Kindles are available for under $99 if you’re interested. I no longer own one. I read on my laptop or my phone using the Kindle app.

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Kindle Select offers advantages and disadvantages to self-published authors. Explore more at http://www.cherylsterlingbooks.com

For today’s AtoZChallenge, the letter “K” is for Kindle Select

Kindle Select offers advantages and disadvantages to self-published authors. Explore more at http://www.cherylsterlingbooks.com

Kindle Select offers advantages and disadvantages to self-published authors.

Amazon launched Kindle Unlimited (K.U.) in July, 2014. The subscription program (currently $9.99 a month) allows readers unlimited access to a large selection of free ebooks (only ten at a time can be taken out. It’s like a Netflix for books). Amazon gives authors the option of enrolling their books in Kindle Select, the writing side of the program that feeds K.U.

Is Kindle Select the right program for you?

Let’s look at the pros and cons, then I’ll tell you of my experience and where I stand on the issue.

Pros:

The advantages of Kindle Select. Learn more at http://www.cherylsterlingbooks.com

The pros about Kindle Select.

  • Your book will automatically be available to K.U. subscribers.
  • Your book will automatically be available to be lent to other readers under the KOLL program (Kindle Owners’ Lending Library).
  • You can offer your book as a free promotion for 5 days out of the 90 day Kindle Select enrollment period for non-K.U. subscribers. The days do not have to be taken concurrently.
  • You can participate in the Kindle Countdown Deal, where you can run a limited sale, complete with a countdown clock, making a buy an urgency for your readers. Amazon has devoted a separate page to countdown deals, allowing alert buyers a way to check in for deals.
  • Earn a share of KDP’s Select Global Fund, a big pot of money ($16.8M this month) distributed among authors enrolled in Kindle Select. The allotment is based on number of pages downloaded and read more than 10%, plus books borrowed from the Lending Library.
  • Not having to format your book to different guidelines issued by distributors then individually upload them (I’m looking at you ibooks, Kobo, and Barnes and Noble).
  • You can offer print books at other sites, just not a digital version.
  • If you have multiple books out, offering an older title for free through Kindle Unlimited can generate interest  in your backlog.

Cons:

The disadvantages to self-published authors to use Kindle Select. Read more at http://www.cherylsterlingbooks.com

The cons about Kindle Select.

  • Amazon exclusivity for 100% of your book. You can not offer it anywhere else, and no more than 10% from your website. So, if you’ve been releasing a chapter a month and now decide to publish the entire work on Amazon, Kindle Select is not available.
  • You’re locked in for 90 days. Be aware: Kindle Select will automatically renew for another 90 days if you do not manually uncheck its box in your KDP bookshelf.
  • Owners of reading devices other than Kindle will not be able to download your book. Of course, they can always download the free Kindle reading app, but still. (I do 90% of my digital reading on my laptop).
  • You are at Amazon’s whim, which is powerful.
  • You are dependent on a single revenue stream.
  • The money earned per copy will not equal that of a non-Kindle Select (non-Kindle Unlimited) book.

My experience and opinion

In 2016, I and my writing partner published The Plot Thickens:21 Ways to Plot Your Novel through Kindle Select. We sold approx. 2100 copies to Kindle Unlimited users. Our income from those copies amounted to less than $50. Why? I can only guess that our 100 page book rode at the bottom of the Global Fund and/or readers did not go to the end of the book and/or saved it in their library for later (proven when we received small amount of monies months after we opted out of the program).

We are much happier, and a little richer, by keeping The Plot Thickens out of Kindle Select and offering it wide through other sellers.

Your mileage may vary. It’s a tough decision every author has to make. The good thing is, you can experiment for 90 days. Just be sure to unselect Select before the 90 days expires, because you’ll be automatically enrolled for another three months.

Have you tried Kindle Select? What’s been your experience?

Friday’s #AtoZChallenge* will focus on the letter “L”.

#AtoZChallenge is a blogging challenge that takes place in the month of April.

#AtoZChallenge is a blogging challenge that takes place in the month of April.

Blessings until then,

Cheryl

If you’d like to continue reading my entries in the AtoZChallenge* and to receive my blog posts, please use the entry form to the right. Also sign up for my newsletter, and you’ll receive a FREE copy of my short story, Mr. Right, Mr. Wrong, Mr. Alien.

If you know of someone who would like to know about Kindle Select, use the buttons on the left to share this post. Thank you.

*#AtoZChallenge is a blogging challenge that takes place in April (except on Sundays). Participants blog every day around a theme of their choosing, in alphabetical order. Throughout the month of April, I’ll share tips, links, and insights I’ve learned in my writing career.

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Quote from The Alien and the Girl in the Rain, an alien short story

The Alien and the Girl in the Rain was an Oops! kind of story. It almost didn’t make it into the Slakerian Empire series. After writing Mr. Right, Mr. Wrong, Mr. Alien, I had no intention of writing a series. It was a simple tale of an alien race that had traveled to Earth to find women to help repopulate their world, Slakeria, after a devastating war. The aliens used an online matchmaking service, Hunting4TrueLove.net, to find single women of childbearing age who had little if no family and sought adventure. The Alien and the Girl in the Rain, an alien short story romance

Done deal. One short story, go on with writing. (At the time I had plans for a full-length Snow White fairy tale romance, now completed and available in January).

But one day, I wondered about Jakes Echabarne, the commander in Mr. Right. I paired him with the developer of the matchmaking software, Vivi Soria. Why not? I could get her on board the alien ship to “fix” a problem in the software.

About halfway through writing The Alien and the CEO, I remembered Lt. Paul Landaeta of the alien ship and a snippet of a story I’d once read about a dying woman. I decided to pair them as well. One problem—if I wanted the stories to be released chronologically, I’d have to write The Alien and the Girl in the Rain first, as it took place on Earth. The Alien and the CEO takes place on the way to the planet the aliens and humans will colonize.

I wrote The Alien and the Girl in the Rain, returned to The Alien and the CEO, created covers on canva.com, and released them together.

If you haven’t ordered The Alien and the Girl in the Rain, I hope these quotes will interest you in purchasing it. An excerpt can be read here.Quote from The Alien and the Girl in the Rain, an alien short story Quote from The Alien and the Girl in the Rain, an alien short story Quote from The Alien and the Girl in the Rain, an alien short story Quote from The Alien and the Girl in the Rain, an alien short story Quote from The Alien and the Girl in the Rain, an alien short story

Available on Amazon

Available at ibooks, Nook, Kobo and others here

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