Because I'm in the midst of revising and editing the last third of Elegant Freefall, I've been considering options lately. And, it still seems to me that there are a lot of ways to spend a ton of money for little to no exposure.
NOTE: Unless you just like reading about my own quandary about exclusivity, this post is likely going to be very boring to everyone but me.
With my first three novels, I used CreateSpace and Amazon for the first run and then did expanded eBook distribution with Smashwords. Someone mentioned IngramSpark in a podcast, and I remembered that I should really go look.
IngramSpark has the advantage of offering readers (and indie publishers) the option of hardback books; also the quality is apparently much better than CreateSpace. It does cost a bit more for an IngramSpark package ($49 for both eBook and print vs. no start up for CreateSpace) and you also have to lay out for an ISBN before publishing there. ISBNs will run you 125/1 or 295/10 through Bowker (no brainer there on the better deal. And, hey, you can get 1000 for just $1500! The more you buy the more economical they are.
Considering I made a whopping $30 last year on my first three books, I am probably not going for the 1000 (or even the 100 ISBN bundle), but 10 is doable. The advantage there is I can list my own imprint with all distributors, which is a nice touch. And, since I have a Sam's Business account with my publishing name, maybe I should.
So, my question is: Why would I go with IngramSpark and pay extra when eBooks are where my sales are and Amazon is the primary place I sell books?
Someone told me awhile back that they don't read paperbacks. They only read hardbacks. Well, I also kind of doubt you're going to shell out $30 for my next book.
One of the review/comparison videos I watched made the case that IngramSpark books look better. I went and looked up the book the author ran the experiment on, and on Amazon it has all of four reviews. And has been out for longer than two years. So, even though IngramSpark may increase exposure, that doesn't seem to lead to higher sales. When I went to B&N and searched, the hardback is listed at $30 and has no reviews.
I love Smashwords and the idea behind it, and I've written numerous posts in the past on The Olivia Chronicles site about why I keep pulling out of KDP and going wide.
The reality is that Kindle Unlimited/KDP Select just does a better job of getting stuff out there and pulling in readers. Not only will KU readers have access, but those books also are available to all Prime members through the lending library.
So, exclusivity is back on my mind. And, I think that I'll likely run Elegant Freefall as an Amazon Exclusive, at least in the initial release. And, maybe in my work up to Book 4 in The Olivia Chronicles, Whitby, I'll update and put those back in KDP.
In other news, I'm going to do a solo writer's retreat over the weekend in an effort to finally get the second draft of Elegant Freefall complete and ready for initial read-throughs. So, if you are interested in beta-reading, let me know.