Hello everyone! Denise and Sonia here! Time for our ...
This month we have the immensely talented Jemi Fraser sharing with us how becoming a 'Wide' Author works. As I understand, with several publishing opportunities today, it is a wise choice to make to go 'wide' instead of being exclusively on Amazon. How we should navigate through the process, what are its benefits and challenges - Jemi brings it all here for our readers.
Over to Jemi!
Being a Wide Author
First off - what does being a wide author mean? A wide author is one who publishes on more than one retailer and doesn’t belong to an exclusive program (for example, Amazon's Kindle Unlimited).
I’ve chosen to be a wide author for several reasons. While I’m still a relatively new author (started publishing in 2020), I’m very happy with my choice to be wide.
For me, being wide makes me happy because:
1.My books can be available in libraries. Libraries have always been one of my happy places. Once I decided to be an author, I knew I wanted my books available to all libraries (FYI - Patrons often have to request books by indie authors as these are not stocked automatically).
2. Because my books are available in libraries, I get a yearly check from PLR (Public Lending Right). Not all countries have a PLR program, but if you do, check into it. It’s a great program and a nice boost in the spring!
3. My books are available in countries that don’t have access to Amazon. My readers and newsletter subscribers come from all over the world and several have mentioned they are thrilled to be able to access my books through their favourite retailers.
4. I like not having to rely on one company for my income. In this economy, the more streams of income coming in, the better!
5. Several retailers (Kobo, Google Play, Barnes & Noble) allow indie authors access to special promotions and will promote indie authors right alongside trad authors in these promotions. This is a far cry from when indie authors were treated as second-rate.
6. Some of those same retailers also allow you to use coupon codes you can create and share as you wish. I haven’t tried these yet, but they’re on the to-do list!
7. There are distributors like Draft2Digital (D2D) that help indie authors access any retailers and libraries (for a small % of royalties earned). They also have special promotion arrangements with some retailers. And they're always ready to answer author questions.
I know some authors are a little intimidated by going wide. They feel that there is too much to learn.
Personally, I didn’t find it too challenging or time-consuming. While every retailer’s dashboard is different, they are all pretty clear and easy to use. If any particular retailer is too frustrating (here's looking at you, Apple), then the author can choose to use a distributer like D2D to access those retailers.
Once you have your accounts set up and you’ve published once, it becomes easy. I can upload a new book on all the sites in less than thirty minutes. Do set up your accounts well in advance though as some retailers take time to verify banking data.
A question I’ve been asked by other authors is, “What do you say to readers who want your books in an exclusive program?”
I’ve never been asked that by a reader. Not once.
If I was, I’d point them to their local library. Authors are paid a small fee every time a book is checked out. Not only is it a win for both the authors and the readers, it helps support our libraries!
I’d also point them to Kobo Plus. Kobo has a subscription program for those who like to pay a monthly fee and have access to all the Kobo Plus books. Like Kindle Unlimited, authors can choose to enrol their books in this program or not. The best part about this subscription program is that it is NOT exclusive. The program isn’t available world-wide yet, but it’s growing with the UK, USA, with Australia and NZ being added recently.
So, those are my top reasons for being wide. Any questions? I’ll do my best to answer!
If you'd like to read more about going wide, go HERE to read more from that creative Joanna Penn.