Not a fan of Amazon or Kindle? You can now get my books in DRM-free ePub format using Gumroad.
When you buy these ebooks, they come directly from me, using Gumroad’s sales infrastructure. YOU OWN these books FOR LIFE. That means they’ll never disappear from your devices & you can use them on any platform you like. Forever. Check it out & tell me what you think.
A little more background to why this is an important move for me, and other indie authors. 2013 is shaping up to be the year of traditional publishing fingers opining they’ve had the last laugh over indie authors:
Amazon has made changes to their algorithm that have banished most of indie-dom from their top10 lists, and seems poised to dismantle the 70% royalty structure.
The internet is about disturbing traditional models, but there’s always an echo effect: traditional models adapt to the new media. This is often after painful trial and error but big media co’s have big war chests that let them keep trying until they get things right.
In this case, not only are mainstream publishing entities getting more successful with marketing and pricing strategies, reclaiming sales to indies, but Amazon has also made great strides in locking up ebook readers, much as Apples locked up digital music early on with iTunes.
Whatever the causes, the results are the same: a shrinking online profile for indie authors.
Does this mean the traditional publishing model really *has* had the last laugh? I don’t think so, personally.
What I think it does mean is that the indies have to work harder.
I have been guessing for a while that the changes I listed above would come to pass… I just didn’t think it would happen so fast.
Six months ago I began an Amazon-only push. I dismantled my iBooks and Smashwords accounts (which frankly have never had much sales volume compared to Amazon) betting that time was almost up for making a push in Amazon.
About the same time, the Amazon machine was already making changes that would prove toxic to indies. If you want more empirical data about this, visit Ed Robertson’s Failure Ahoy blog, where he crunches numbers and points to others who do the same.
The bottom line is, my push came too late. I’ve done okay, but my sales volume has been shrinking since about the halfway mark this experiment.
That’s okay, I knew what I was getting into and besides, the experiment’s come to an end along with 2012.
In interviews, I’ve long been a proponent of the ‘many streams make a river’ approach to revenue. My work will reappear in Smashwords and iBooks, as well as Kobo and likely other ebook retailers.
Gumroad is the most direct way to buy digital products: basically, direct from the creator. Gumroad is like a store window you ‘hang’ your digital wares in and give the company a cut of all sales.
There’s slightly more work to download the files to e-readers on the user’s end, but in exchange there’s no DRM & no End User License Agreement: you own what you buy outright.
Which is where we came in. 2013 will be a year of hard slogging for indie authors, but we can still thrive by working hard to create good work, and then getting our work in front of more eyeballs, and communicating with our readers as frequently and directly as we can (mailing lists as well as social media but that’s another post).