As many of you know, I decided some time ago to publish wide. Publishing to as many platforms as is possible has been my routine for a little while. Since I had to go back to working my full-time day job, this process has often been tedious and time-consuming. So this Thanksgiving Holiday as I am hanging out in St. Petersburg, Florida, it’s Happy Thanks Publishing for me! (Not what you thought I was going to say? Well I have surprises and this year I’m thankful for multiple publishing platforms.)
I wrote for quite a while before I found out about self-publishing and how I could do it all myself for free if I just learned to navigate a few technical hurdles. The backlist of unpublished work seems to be rather inexhaustible as I can’t quit writing. It’s like a gift that keeps on giving. This week I’m tackling Book Selfie and Smashwords. Wish me luck!
The edits and formatting take just as long as writing the story, but once I get it ready to go, the actual publishing aspect isn’t so hard. It’s a bit like fill-in-the-blank. You click here, type there, upload here, click enter a few times, etc… (It’s a little different for each of the major platforms, but once you get the hang of it, it’s not that complex.)
My book is never available on the Amazon platform immediately, but it’s quite often instantly available elsewhere. If I’ve made a mistake somehow, most of the platforms let me know, and I fix it. I’ve gotten proficient for the most part, and I can upload a ready-to-go manuscript to twenty-six platforms in a few hours. For anyone looking for the secret tricks to doing it as easily as possible, this is what I have figured out so far.
I upload hardcover, paperback, and e-book at the same time on Amazon, first. That means that I have an edited and formatted manuscript with appropriate covers ready to go for all platforms before I begin anything. The other platforms are all e-read or serials (posted chapter by chapter, but I don’t publish unless the book is done!)
It’s faster if you’re only publishing one at a time. But as I have been uploading the entire catalog it has often been seriously time-consuming. I’m usually stopping and starting as I cook dinner and clean up a bit. I do have to work and live my life.
I was shocked at how simple it really was. Although I have to say, the first few times I did it, I made a lot of mistakes and struggled. I’m not tech-savvy. (I even called for help from Amazon once. They were actually very kind and explained the issue. I had no idea about the money in other countries. But it got fixed. And my third book did get published.)
After a few books, it got easier. As all my novel-length books are now published in 10,000-word parts, to say I only have a bit over 40 titles is a tad misleading as I have published over 400 short-read books. But back to publishing wide.
Once the book is uploaded to Amazon KDP, it’s off to Google Books. Once the book is uploaded there, I head over to Draft 2 Digital so I can reach Apple, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, several libraries, and the subscription service at Scribd. This is important because I have to upload a Microsoft word document. (Y’all know I am a total Google Girl so Microsoft and Apple make me crazy.)
Draft 2 Digital formats it for me for FREE. Once I preview it, I can download the professionally formatted version and take that over to Smashwords where it passes all of the checks. Yay! (Be careful here. This platform has its own storefront, but it also publishes to many libraries and major platforms like Amazon, Apple, and Barnes and Noble.)
With Aggregators, you need to opt-out of platforms you’re already published on. (Always opt-out of Amazon because they are crazy and get bent out of shape if you don’t publish to them first. Then opt-out on Smashwords of all of the platforms you published on with Draft 2 Digital. You don’t want Duplicates.)
Watch your pricing! Keep it the same everywhere! Libraries should be higher, (about double).
Once you get the libraries and major publishing platforms, you can choose to move on and publish in other places. What other places do you ask? Allow me to fill you in.
Thirsty Author allows you to publish on their site and offers a bit of free and paid promotional opportunities. They also offer patrons the chance to purchase books on Amazon for those who prefer to do business with larger companies for safety and for most readers who want their books all in one place or prefer paperbacks.
BookSelfie is a subscription service. You upload your books and when someone checks them out and reads them, you get paid.
Fictionate.me is a serial fiction site where you upload your stories one chapter at a time similar to Kindle Vella, only with no exclusivity clause. They also offer readers an AI audio version of each chapter. So no need to create an expensive audiobook. They will do the work for you! You set the price and offer a few teaser chapters for free.
Payhip and Gumroad are both digital product storefronts. You basically build your storefront and upload all of your books. They collect a small percentage of any sale as most of the platforms do but it’s a bit less than the bigger companies. Also, you can upload your blog articles and share your work with social media. Gumroad even has open-style social forums for users to network and ask questions.
Buy me a Coffee is a bit like Patreon. Readers can subscribe for approximately the amount of a cup of coffee and then get freebies or reduced price offers. You choose. It also allows you to post directly to Twitter and Facebook.
Is this all the sites? Nope. Just the ones I use.
Radish, Wattpad, Inkitt, Booksie, and Kindle Vella are all serial sites that I either don’t use other than as promo and SEO or haven’t tried yet. (The promo and Seo thing will have to wait for another blog.)
Publishdrive, Ingram Spark, and Lulu are paid in advance aggregators some of which offer print options. (I’m fuzzy as I don’t use these because of the expense.)
Patreon and Vocal are similar to Buy me a Coffee by building up patronage.
I’m sure that there are platforms I don’t know about or which cost money such as Spotify and Redbubble so I don’t use them. Other platforms will likely be angry that I failed to mention them, but sorry. I don’t know them all, yet… (Bwahahaha.)
I hope this gets anyone who wants to publish wide started. If you have your own site and use these, you would be posted on 26 platforms.
I hope it helps readers step into the dream from as many points as they might prefer. I know that not all readers are into their Kindle app. I want to meet readers where they are, not drag them to someplace they wouldn’t enjoy being.
Shameless Self Promotion!
Today I am promoting Dread Allies: Shadow King. The short-read miniseries is off and running. All 14 parts of the series are now published. If you haven’t started it, you’ve missed out on a massive read. It’s available now as a complete miniseries. The short reads are only $.99 each on Amazon. And it’s all still $2.99 for all 24 parts in one volume everywhere else!
Meet the demon princes of Eaglafonn in the darker colder part of the dream, the Netherworld. Alexio Asmodai is the demon king of a frontier outpost castle. His job is to protect his overlord’s borders. He’s a grandmaster shadow mage who’s also a recovering seduction sickness addict.
Loneliness has been an ongoing state of being for seven centuries until Sumeye shows up in a shipping crate from the Domhain along with a mysterious note from Asmodeus. Turning down a gift from his liege is unthinkable, but his immediate attraction to the submissive young shadow mage has Alexio plunging straight back into his addiction with abandon. Only this time, she’s the only thing that matters and he orders his brothers to find mates just so she won’t be alone.
Writers Block? Yeah sometimes!
It’s real and I’d say all authors sometimes find themselves at creative zero. I had a bit of writer’s block for a few days. No scenes were flowing onto the page. It happens. So I read, edit, or shamelessly plug my work on social media. You know, the usual.
Those of us who like a good fantasy often stray over into science fiction reading. Replace the magic with science and a lot of the things I truly love about a fantasy come to life in science fiction as well.
I have to admit that I love suspense. Even though I’m not so much of a straight horror fan, I do like a touch of that genre as well. The dark is as equally fascinating as the light if you will, even if one leaves us more uncomfortable than the other.
It might be odd, but I’ve often been inspired to write new things by speaking with others. My readers and other authors asking questions often lead to new stories or new blog topics that need to be revealed.
So if you get a chance to read anything from the sci-fi author, Stephen A North please avail yourself. He’s really good. I prefer his Drifter Series myself, but his Dead Tide Series is the one he is more famous for. He also has several short stories available. (Sadly, the Drifter series is currently out of print. The author has let me know that he intends to evaluate it and rework it before publishing. I can’t wait. It’s better than his Dead Tide series which is phenomenal.)
The washer is telling me that my wash needs to be moved to the dryer. Gotta run. Don’t forget when you read, please be kind and leave a review. It helps the author and other readers. If you have a question, comment, or suggestion, I’m all ears.
Until next time, Happy Thanksgiving!