Where do the online booksellers fit when you already sell your books directly on your website?
Well, what’s not to love about selling your books directly to your readers when you can get more money paid into your bank account fast and get the information of the readers who buy from you?
There’s no reason for you to sell your books on these online booksellers when you can make more money selling your books directly to your readers.
Yes, I’m a firm believer that you should sell your books directly to your readers. But I do believe that you should have your books available for sale on online booksellers as well.
If you want to make a living from your writing, then don’t discard this strategy just yet.
Why online booksellers still matter in your book marketing
Imagine that you’ve finished every single book that you have and you’re looking for a new book to read.
You already know the kind of books that you tend to enjoy the most. Armed with your preference, you head to Amazon and start searching for the books you enjoy reading.
While you enjoy reading books from specific authors, you’re also okay with reading books from somebody you’ve never heard of.
That’s the whole reason people like you go to online booksellers like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Apple Books.
You go to these online booksellers to search for your next read. And it’s easier to do that too when you can search your next read with keywords.
These websites serve as a discoverability tool for your books. Provided that you optimize your book page with keywords, people will come across your books online.
Of course, some people will also go to blogs and websites like Goodreads to discover their next read.
But for the most part, they tend to search for books at online booksellers first. That seems to be the case when the kind of books that they enjoy reading is pretty niche.
When you read books that are pretty niche, it’s hard to get the recommendations that you want from blogs and websites like Goodreads.
It’s because of this reason that book retailers are their best bet. They’re more likely to discover rare gems through their own search on the retailer websites rather than on blogs and Goodreads.
Should you go direct or not?
If you want these retailers to carry your books, there’s no doubt that you will need to upload your books directly on their website.
You have more control of your metadata too when you go direct with them.
And depending on the retailers, you get to take part in their book promotion too.
That’s the perk that you’ll get when you go direct with Kobo. You get to take part in their book promotion if your books are already on Kobo.
Of course, you can’t take part in all of the promotions since some promotions are only for a specific type of book or genre.
But if your books qualify for the promotion, just enroll your books in the promotion and Kobo will do the rest for you.
While it’s recommended that you go direct with these retailers, we all know that managing our books on separate retailers can take so much of our time.
It’s even more so when you have more than one book and when you’re running a price promotion where you want the price of the book to be the same across all retailers.
There must be a better way to manage your books without taking too much of your time, right?
Well, this is where the book distributors or ebook aggregators come in.
The wonders of book distributors
Just upload your books on the book distributor website and it will distribute your books to all major platforms.
And the best part about using a distributor to distribute your books? You can distribute your books to retailers that you have no access to due to the location and language barrier.
Think of the ebook retailers that cater to specific countries. While these retailers do accept books in English for the most part, you can’t go direct with these retailers unless you live in that country and speak the language fluently.
If the retailer only caters to German readers, then it’s obvious that the whole interface will be in German, right?
Unless you live in Germany and you can understand German, you will have a hard time navigating through the website on your own.
This is where the book distributor comes in handy. You can use it to distribute your books to other markets as well.
Of course, some retailers will only accept books in a specific language. So, you can’t distribute your books on these websites even through the distributors.
And let’s not forget that some retailers will only accept your books if you have your own ISBN.
The good news is only a few of them have such a requirement. The rest of the retailers are fine with books that are in English and using the free ISBN that you get when you upload your books through the distributor.
The only downside with using distributors to distribute your books is that the distributors will also take a cut for using their service.
Yes, you’ll be making less money as a result. But if it can save you from the misery of having to spend most of your time managing your books on these retailers, then it’s only a small price to pay.
The best way to go about it
Going direct or using distributors to make managing your books easier. There are so many ways to go about it.
So, which retailers you should go direct and which one that you be better off using distributors instead?
In this case, I highly recommend that you go direct with Amazon and Google Play Books.
The reason for that is that you have full control over your metadata when you upload your books directly on Amazon.
What’s more, it’s easier to request Amazon to add your books to more categories when your books are already on Amazon.
Can you do it when you use a distributor to request more categories for your books? I highly doubt that you can.
The same goes for Google Play Books too. You have much better control over your metadata when you go direct with Google Play Books as opposed to using a distributor.
As for the rest of the retailers, it’s fine to use distributors such as Draft2Digital and PublishDrive to distribute your books to other retailers.
You can use both of them too if you like since both of them cater to many different retailers.
I use Smashwords and PublishDrive to distribute my books to other retailers. But since Draft2Digital has already acquired Smashwords, it means that I’ll be distributing my books using Draft2Digital from now onwards.
Keep in mind that you can only distribute your books to other retailers if your books aren’t on KDP Select.
If they are, then you need to opt-out of KDP Select first before you can distribute your books to other retailers.
The key to having sustainable book sales for the long term
Want to generate as many book sales as you possibly can? Distribute your books to as many places as possible, of course.
While I do recommend that you use something like Payhip to sell your books directly to your readers, it doesn’t hurt to have your books available through these online booksellers either.
That’s how you can have sustainable book sales for the long term.
And if you want to go the extra mile, have your books in multiple formats, not just as an ebook.
Your readers will thank you for it.
P.S. If you want to add more punch to your book sales, then it’s obvious that you should let your readers know where they can buy your books online.
You can pretty much use any method you want to let your readers know about your books. But if you’re using Twitter to market your books, then you need to use it sparingly.
You can’t be tweeting about buying your books all the time.
If you want to learn how you can use Twitter effectively without rubbing your followers the wrong way, take a look at my Twitter Marketing for Business guide.
In this guide, you’ll learn all sorts of things about making full use of Twitter without taking too much of your time.
Want to know more about this guide? You can take a look at the guide right here on my Payhip store:
Don’t forget to use the coupon code THEEFFICIENTYOUBLOG to get 20% off on your purchase.
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