• Raven Featherwood

Decisions, decisions, decisions

Being a first time author, preparing to start publishing my novels, I found myself facing so many decisions. Traditional publishing seems to be a thing of the past unless you are a Stephen King or a Dean Koontz where you are in need of 500,000 copies in the first days of releasing a novel. Most of us will sell eBooks primarily, and then the paperbacks at a much slower rate than the above authors. As a result, having the technology to digitize everything these days allows for the advancement of print on demand and an ease in self-publishing that has never been available to an author in the past.

It's been twenty plus years since I first decided to write. And during that time I knew I needed to wow an agent or a publishing house to get my novel out there. Otherwise, I was going to need a lot of money to self-publish, and even then, I'd need to produce a good size book run, store the books, market the books, and then ship them. This took the fun out of writing for me. I don't want to be a publisher, I want to write and write some more.

Now, all those years later and I'm finally in a place where I can pursue my dream, however, it has changed somewhat. Now, I don't need that agent or big house to publish, in fact being an Indie Author is more attractive. But, just because it has become easier, doesn't mean there are less decisions.

My largest challenge has been what printing platform to use. The CreateSpace debate is over, but still, KDP vs. KDP Select, Lightening Source vs. Lulu or BookBaby - what is a new author to do? I of course did my research, as any good writer will do, and found that selling on Amazon, either in paperback, Ebook, or Audio is the most attractive place to start. However, there are some negatives. No serious access to brick and mortar bookstores, no European marketing, and what about Nook and Barnes and Noble? Plus, I really want the exposure that is available using another publishing format like Lightening Source or Lulu. So, what do? Especially since I want to be on Kindle unlimited, which requires exclusive rights (KDP Select) for a minimum of 90 days.

I decided - ta da - the moment of truth, I will do BOTH! I will publish on Amazon's KDP Select for the first 90 days, then cancel Select and just go with the non-exclusive plan and then, I'll release with Lightning Source, the hardback, paperback, and Ebook on their expanded distribution plan. Now, I'm covered on all sides.

What do you think? Has anyone done this? What was your experience? Have a different opinion? Please share! Like I said, so many decisions! Next time lets talk about ISBN's.


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