Some thoughts about my self-publishing journey

Did you know my book is available on the KOBO website?

I knew my book would be distributed to KOBO by Smashwords, my self-publishing platform of choice (for now), but I didn’t know much about them (KOBO that is). I didn’t know, for instance, that KOBO distributes to over 190 countries, or that KOBO controls 25% of the Canadian ebook market. Huh. πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦

I learned other things too. For instance, Tolino is Germany’s eReader of choice and “has the same market share as Amazon“. I should probably list my book with them, too. Just because I can. (I will…stay tuned.)

And yes, I am well aware that Amazon controls around 80% of the ebook market in the US and the UK… but their market share is less in other, non-English-speaking countries. And face it, even non-English speaking countries have English-speaking people in them (I know this because my roots are European and most people in my family and social circle in Europe are multi-lingual with English).


What does this mean for those of us who want to self-publish ebooks?

For me, it means I want to cast my net wide. I do not want to give away my exclusivity to Amazon. Which I don’t have to, turns out, if I choose to publish with KDP; I just can’t publish with KDP Select. The latter insists on complete exclusivity, which means I couldn’t even market my book on my website (if I’m understanding all the wordy rules correctly).

Sure, KDP Select has many benefits, and I’m not saying that I will never publish with them. I’m just saying, right now, I want to explore and learn, and, when I finally get to publishing my other books – which I’ve been writing like a crazy person in the past months of lockdown – I want to stay with publishing platforms that allow me to maintain control and exclusivity.

If that makes sense.

Now, none of these words should be taken as gospel truth. I am not an expert. I am reading and learning and causing myself all sorts of anxiety that I may not retain all this crucial information. Frankly, I can see the benefit of having an agent who handles all that stuff, so I can sit down to write my stories, which is what I really want to do. I don’t want to market and act like a business person, I want to write books.

Which I do (unless I study marketing strategies and best business practices etc). But writing isn’t something I can do exclusively as a self-published author (there’s that word again). As an in-sole-control πŸ™„ self-published author I have to wear many hats…

Anyway, what prompted me to do all this research today was an email notification from my publishing platform.

It’s kind of cool, to get this notice. 😳 I blocked the amount out because it’s none of your beeswax but I will tell you this: I am not currently in the position to buy a boat. β›΅

Unless it’s a dingy… πŸš£β€β™€οΈ 😎

On the topic of eReader formats

Other things I have learned about my self-publishing journey is that Smashwords self-published books can be loaded to your kindle; use the .mobi extension. You can also read it in other formats: epub, pdf, txt, html…

Update: I was just advised by Amazon that my ebook is pending on their kindle store… stay tuned. πŸ™‚

On the topic of PDFs

I have purchase free how-to marketing books in PDF format so I can read them on my laptop, my choice of screen when working. Smashwords knows this is convenient for some people. I do prefer to read non-fiction, educational material on my laptop that way. Because I take notes, you see.

Target Audience – filters to allow erotica

I think the biggest issue with my book is that my target audience is in a very specific niche – erotica, or erotic romance. The default for many/most venues is to exclude this type of racy content unless you adjust your filters and consent to being exposed (ha) to it. Otherwise, the default filter will not list adult content (and I don’t have a problem with that).

So it’s always up to the reader to choose his or her default settings to allow certain content. One difference with Smashwords vs Amazon is that Smashwords allows certain taboo content (as long as it’s clearly described as such).

I think it goes without saying that some people prefer to lurk certain subject matter. (That’s ok. I was a lurker for many, many years.)

I know there are many people who like to read kinky content with subject matter that is completely out of the norm for them. That’s what fiction is, after all. It’s story-telling. I’ve read many books that have nothing to do with my actual (very mundane, unexciting, rather conventional) life (especially during lockdown). Which is where writing comes in. We get to make stuff up with words, which is rather cool, don’t you think?

But you already know that. Everyone who reads here writes, as well.

More places to buy (my) ebook(s)

As the only member of the family with an android phone, I do not have access to apple ebooks. But my book is listed in the apple book store, as per the various iphone holders around me. This screen shot was taken on an ipad or macbook or something…

Here’s the mobile version for apple ebooks:

By the way, on my Smashwords page, you can read the one reader’s review. I wrote about it here, but you can read (and buy!) it yourself here if you’re interested. It’s particularly interesting because this man who read my book admitted to enjoying well-written erotica, but wasn’t particularly interested in kink or bdsm-related content. The fact that I impressed him with my story which included that content made me feel quite happy, truth be told. πŸ™‚

So. It’s almost the Long Weekend here in Canada (Victoria Day, traditionally known as the kickoff of summer) and the politicians caved a little and agreed to re-open, cautiously and with many rules, a few of the outdoor spaces (or something). Let’s hope things continue to improve, because we’re all fed up with the lockdown-inmate treatment. 😎

Thank you for reading my lengthy post, and see you in the comments.

27 thoughts on “Some thoughts about my self-publishing journey

  1. On another note…I use Nook from Barnes and Noble as opposed to Kindle. I think Nook functions better. And this little fact stops me from reading self published books

    Liked by 1 person

      1. My family bought me the Barnes and noble e reader years ago. I once tried reading something on kindle…hate it compared to nook…


  2. I published my book over Amazon. Granted, mine is a niche subject with limited interest and I never expected to sell many copies. But I think a dollar royalty that they sell for 22 is frankly a bit pathetic. I like getting a dollar or two from time to time but I feel embarrassed I had to price it at that to actually get a dollar. So think carefully about going with Amazon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is one issue, agreed. I’m not driven enough to chase the almighty dollar, tbh, but every writer-turned-author would love to make enough money to sustain them with their craft/passion. I also don’t follow the mainstream much… But, Amazon is a driving force in books so it’s worth considering, especially for a new author.

      I really appreciate your comment, thank you for taking the time. πŸ™‚


  3. Yay, you’re getting out of jail. Oh, wait… all the idjits will be out too… 😱
    Double mask your partner & your spawn and send them away. Then you and Mr Shenanigans can enjoy the house.

    Is this only MY fantasy day???

    Liked by 1 person

  4. There are so many different platforms and ways to go about publishing that it can get overwhelming. I know many times I have thoughts “I am I doing the right thing?” and “Where is my marketing budget best spent?”
    I have received invoices from Amazon, and Medium. The royalties are enough to…well, maybe invest in a lottery ticket?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for posting this! Self publishing is every interesting and it’s cool that you’re doing it and getting paid for it πŸ™‚ The amount of research you did is impressive. I hope the book blows up.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I did KDP Select for my first book. You can promote it wherever you want, but you can only sell the ebook version through KDP (paperback is ok to publish elsewhere). I think the main benefit is that people can view your book through Kindle Unlimited, but earnings for that are really low.

    Kobo has teamed up with Chapters in Canada, so they’re able to get market share that way. They’re also big in Australia.

    Liked by 1 person

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