Used to be, I made most of my money from Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited. I made as much—often more—from page reads as direct sales, so I kept my books in KU. But in recent months that has fallen off considerably to nearly nil. Therefore, I think it’s time to broaden my horizons and put my books out in wider form.
Amazon continues to have a stranglehold on the market, but it also makes it nearly impossible to be discovered. If you’re not already a known name, people aren’t looking for you or your books. And if you aren’t published by one of Amazon’s imprints or don’t pay them big bucks to advertise, you get buried.
That said, any new releases will get an initial KU launch. But if that ends up not making financial sense (as it no longer does with my existing catalogue), I’ll find other outlets. And of course I’ll continue to put my books out in paperback as well. The K-Pro is going to be re-edited and reissued, and I hope to have Peter edited and available again soon as well.
Digital Book World is happening now (wish I were there), and one topic up for discussion is whether more people would visit bookstores if the stores also had booze? You know, cuz the café thing has worn thin.
I think bookstores have to do something to get people in. Now that people get their books off Amazon, the bookstores need to offer something else to tempt people, something that will get them off their couches and into the physical stores. Author events seem to draw middling crowds at best, depending on the author(s). In fact, I’ve already been told that if I’m going to do an author event, I should plan to have food and drinks too. Just being an author is no longer enough. Author + Something Else (a class/workshop, a dinner party, whatever) is the way to go.
Or maybe just dump the author entirely and open a bookstore restaurant. I don’t know. That seems to be the way these things are trending. The books take up less and less space as more room is needed for, as the article linked above mentions, dance classes and the like.
Look, I love bookstores. I want them to stay in business. And like we authors, they’re doing what they have to do to stay afloat. Even if it means on a wave of wine.
So tell me: what events or perks should bookstores offer? What would it take to get you out of the house and to the bookstore rather than the convenience of ordering online?