Publishing Wide

I Know What I’m Doing, But I Don’t Know What I’m Doing

woman with blurry face anonymous authorGuest Post
by Anonymous Author

I was one of the early passengers on the KDP Select train back in 2012. I promoted my book for free, got a pile of sales when it went back to paid, and touted KDP Select (KDPS) to everyone who’d listen. This brief moment in the sun took me to all corners of the intersphere and even got me into print and on the wireless in a few content-deprived areas. I was all about Amazon and KDPS, and with subsequent releases, I stayed exclusive to Amazon. But as S.E. Hinton wrote – that was then, and this is now.

Recently, I decided to release a box set of my trilogy and I wanted to go wide. There are so many different outlets today, and I wanted to make my book available to readers who may not frequent Amazon.

I’ve been around for a while, so I know what I’m doing, right? But do I? I haven’t released a book in four years. And, as I mentioned above with barely a hint of humility, I was an Amazon guy. So, although I knew the process of creating a book on Amazon’s platform, beyond that I was a little lost, and I’m not very good at asking for help. So, how do you go from one platform to multiple without getting help?

My first thought was to hire a personal assistant. I wanted someone who could take my unkempt files, format them into a box set, and upload the beautiful new file to platforms far and wide. I have helpers who assist in my online business, but I don’t have anyone who I felt was qualified to help with this particular task. So, I advertised for a PA (yes, the other reason I wanted help was so that I could drop that particular acronym into my everyday banter). I wrote an inviting post on the appropriate PA-populated Facebook groups, searching for the right person. From there, I found an excellent formatter (The Book Khaleesi), but as was pointed out to me by my author friends, it’s probably not a good idea to have someone else set up accounts for me on platforms that require your personal tax information. So, no PA for me. I was back to the I know what I’m doing, but I don’t know what I’m doing stage.

At this point, I went to two sources for assistance. I used the library of archived articles on this particular (Indies Unlimited) site, and I perused the amazingly helpful library of articles on the Wide for the Win Facebook group page. Those two outlets helped answer every question I had. And, in the end, when I hit publish on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Google, Draft 2 Digital, and Smashwords, I felt quite confident that I was uploading a professional product, and that I had navigated each unique publishing process correctly.

If, like me, you are converting from the Amazon exclusive mindset, I offer you two pieces of advice. First, take the time to do the research by reading recent posts from authors who have gone through this process. Each platform is actually quite user-friendly once you understand how their system works (I especially loved Draft2Digital). And, secondly, give yourself some time to do this. I know we tend to get excited and can’t wait to unleash our brilliant work on the world, but it’s worthwhile to wait an extra day or two to make sure you have entered an author bio on each platform, regulated your pricing worldwide, entered enough keywords and categories, and completed all of the other parts of the process.

Good luck going wide; I wish you the best. And if you need some help, do not contact me. Please refer to the sources I cited, because as I mentioned – I know what I’m doing, but I don’t know what I’m doing.


This author has asked to remain anonymous and, at Indies Unlimited, we give authors that option if they are not comfortable using their own name. 

Author: Administrators

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3 thoughts on “Publishing Wide”

  1. Interesting, because I’m just in the middle of doing the formatting job for a client who wants to use Ingram/Spark’s extended distribution for his softcover books.
    Compared to Amazon, I am finding their system rather onerous to say the least, and their help line is friendly but not too helpful.
    For my ebooks, I use Smashwords, and let them cover the extended distribution, which I find works rather well. Their Meatgrinder is a bit picky for the original upload, but it’s clear sailing from there.

  2. I went with IngramSpark because I wanted the wide distribution and the ease of setting up once instead of multiple times. But being a marketing moron, I overlooked one potential issue with this approach. Ingram’s sales reporting is monthly, which isn’t granular enough to gauge the effects of marketing activities. A guy who does book marketing for others suggested to me that I set up the Kindle edition on Amazon and use Ingram for everything else, which is kind of the best of both worlds. Since most sales generally come from Amazon, you can use their platform to track marketing efforts, and then let Ingram send your books out to the rest of the world. It’s a bit more work, but I’ve almost made the transition. I have to wait for the pre-order period on my upcoming short story collection to end before I tell Ingram to stop sending ebooks to Amazon, otherwise any pre-orders I get through them will be cancelled.

  3. Hi! 👋 I’m one of the main admin for Wide for the Win, and was sent this link bc y’all were kind enough to talk us up. 😄 I just wanted to say thanks for the shout-out – much appreciated! We’re nearing 9k authors in the Wide group, which is amazing to me. 🤯 Exciting to see so many people wanting to be successful Wide authors.

    I did want to address one small piece of the article:

    I strongly, strongly, strongly recommend going direct to Barnes & Noble. Not everyone can bc of where they’re located in the world, but IF you can, you should.

    There’s a TikTok trend that goes, “Tell me [___] without saying the words [___].”

    Every time I hear this, I think:

    “Tell me you don’t make any money on BN without saying you don’t make any money on BN. Answer? ‘I use a distributor to get to BN.’”

    Anyway, that aside, I *loved* this article. Many thanks to the person who wrote it! 🎉

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