Omigod! Second post in one day!
I’ve been corresponding with various people on the whole subject of the Amazon megalith and today I received this from Michael Dowell of the ISBN Agency (http://www.isbnagency.com/) and thought I’d share it. Incidentally, he’s also a self-published writer, although I cannot find him as a novelist on Amazon.com.
“When I first started self-publishing, I thought Amazon was going to help me in a big way. I thought if I could get my book on Amazon, customers would find it and buy it. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. The truth is, getting your titles on Amazon doesn’t guarantee you’ll get a lot of sales. To put it in perspective, you are competing with millions of other books. In fact, over a million new titles get published on Amazon every year. But the biggest reason an Amazon sales page doesn’t make you a lot of money is because Amazon doesn’t drive customers to your book. When a customer visits Amazon, there’s no message that pops up to say, ‘Hey, look at this new book by (your name here). You gotta buy this!’ Instead, they rely on the customer to search for what they want. But even when a customer searches for your book category, it doesn’t mean they’ll find your book. Because there are tons of books in every category on Amazon, so you are competing with all of the more established books.
Please understand, I’m not saying Amazon is bad. I like Amazon. I still put my new titles on Amazon. It’s the world’s most popular website for books, so it’s impressive to have your book up there. But I really don’t expect to get a lot of sales from Amazon.
So where do I get the majority of my sales? How do I make money from my books?
Is it from Amazon? No.
Is it from my own website? No.
Is it from selling my book face-to-face to individual customers? No.
I would say about 90% of my sales are from distributors. A distributor is a company of salespeople who work hard to sell my book, while I’m free to work on other projects, spend time with my family, etc.
The distributors I work with don’t charge me any fees, and they actively spend a lot of time and money to promote my titles to customers. Almost every week, I get checks in the mail from my distributors for hundreds or even thousands of dollars……Note: I also made some big mistakes along the way, which I want to help you avoid.”
He goes on to talk about his next messages on distributors. OK, he’s full of hype and wants to sell his services but there’s a message there that I’m interested in. What I learn I’ll post here, so watch this space….