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