I’ve been spending my social distance-time staying at home as much as possible, reading books, writing books, catching up on some scriptures, enjoying time with my family and binging my favorite TV shows. Earlier last week I got an email from someone whose email I don’t remember subscribing to, but, it mentioned the point that Self-Publishers are small businesses too.
And I concur.
Small businesses are taking a big hit amid the COVID-19 crisis and I thought I’d share a way we can help Self-Publishers in this time of uncertainty.
Buy the author’s book directly from them if you can.
If the author has a website, purchase a paperback or digital version of the book from the author’s website. If you are an author and you don’t have a website or you’re not selling through your website, Joanna Penn’s article here goes into detail on how to set up a store.
Something to keep in mind:
Amazon pays authors royalties for print and ebook sales. A royalty is a percentage of a sale. An ebook going for $2.99 at 70% according to Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing will make the author $2.09. This means the author will have to sell at least 10 ebooks to make $20 and still have to wait a month to see that.
“If you publish through traditional publishing, royalties can take many months to arrive. You can’t control the schedule of payment and you don’t get any details of the customers.
If you publish independently through online publishers like Amazon, Kobo, Apple, Google, and other distributors, you will get your money sooner — but it will still be 30-60 days later and once again, you don’t get any details of the customers.”
Authors who sell direct can buy author copies of their books in bulk at a discount, sell those books from their website and fulfill the order themselves. The author also gets to see who their customers are which helps them to build a stronger relationship with them.
I wouldn’t be keeping it authentic if I didn’t also mention authors will have to account for shipping, state tax, and whatever website fees are associated with their platform of choice. The benefit, however, to selling direct is that the author doesn’t have to wait 30-60 days to get paid.
If the author got ten print book sales at $20 through their author website, they’ve already made $200 and $200 in the age of COVID-19 can be very helpful to families. Consider that most Indie Authors with day and night jobs are either working from home or not working at all. People are being fired, furloughed, and layed off left and right. Besides this, if we are being honest, some Indie Authors don’t even see $200 in royalty checks from Amazon from their Self-Published books.
Of course, there are pros and cons to everything. The major pros have already been stated, you are helping a small business to keep going at a time when money is scarce for everyone. The cons for authors include:
- Not having the sale go toward your Amazon sales or ranking.
- You must have the right to sell through your website first. You can’t, for example, sell your digital book anywhere outside of Amazon while enrolled in the KDP Select program and if you are signed with a publisher (includes Indie Publishers) you might be restricted from selling your print book through your own website depending on the details of your contract. You will have to check this and see.
“Many authors are so obsessed with chart rankings on Amazon that they forget the point is to reach readers who love our books — and for many of us, make a living with our writing. Selling direct enables readers to support us and money to arrive in our bank accounts quickly — but you will not see a spike in your Amazon rankings. So what do you really want?” – Joanna Penn
Here are ways to help Indies Amid the COVID_19 Pandemic:
- Buy Directly From the Author (from their Website) If You Can.
- Those ebook sales do add up. If you can’t afford the print book, buy the digital book.
- Be sure to leave a review on Amazon so the author can attract more readers and get more sales.
Read Joanna Penn’s entire article “How To Sell Your Books Directly To Readers And Get Paid Immediately” here.
Book 2 is on the way! Get started on Book One.
Order a Signed Paperback* Here
Get it in ebook here.
*Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, stay-at-home, and shelter in place policies I am shipping books in shifts so I don’t have to keep going out. If you want to be included in this week’s shipment, be sure to place your print book order today so you don’t miss it! Paperbacks are signed and includes my author seal.
Want more Indie Author Tips? I’ve written over 50 articles sharing my tips, process, and publishing journey as an Indie Author. You can find them on this page. Enjoy!