I’m pleased to announce that I’m in the process of expanding my distribution for my writing! This means that all of my published novels, short fiction, and poetry will soon be available for purchase from many more distributors.
I’ll achieve most of my new distribution using an aggregator site called Draft2Digital. Once I publish my books on Draft2Digital, they will be available through Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo (including Kobo Plus), Tolino, OverDrive, Bibliotheca, Scribd, 24Symbols, Baker & Taylor, and Hoopla.
Up until this point, I’ve relied almost exclusively on Amazon for my publishing and distribution. Amazon currently accounts for about 80% of the ebook market in the US and UK, so any published author who wants to sell books online in those countries needs to make those books available on Amazon. Otherwise, the vast majority of readers won’t even see those books, much less buy them. Therefore, like many self-publishing authors, I decided long ago to publish on Amazon.
So far, I’ve also enrolled my published works in Amazon’s KDP Select program. With KDP Select, in exchange for publishing a book exclusively on Amazon, I receive benefits such as inclusion in the Kindle Unlimited catalog (with royalties per page read) and promotional options like free giveaways.
For me, those days of exclusively publishing on Amazon are over.
Why am I “going wide” with my distribution? The main reason why I’m taking this step is that I don’t like Amazon. I really, really, REALLY don’t like Amazon. Amazon’s business model is incredibly harmful to its workers, the environment, and specifically the climate. It also contributes to the societal problems associated with wealth inequality by making Jeff Bezos one of the most absurdly wealthy people in the world while billions of others (including some Amazon workers!) live in poverty.
Expanding my distribution will allow my readers to read and purchase my books without going through Amazon, if they so choose. Anything we can do to reduce our reliance on Amazon is a good thing.
Even if Amazon were a more tolerable company, though, I’d still want to “go wide.” We live in a remarkable time when billions of people around the world have access to the internet! Why limit the potential audience for my writing by limiting myself to a single distribution channel?
I want more people to read my writing who won’t or can’t get it through Amazon. Even if none of my books ever become bestsellers, they still provide hours of entertainment and food for thought to however many people read them. I would like to share those meaningful experiences with new readers who aren’t on Amazon.
For better or worse, I won’t be leaving Amazon entirely. Not yet, anyway. As long as they’re still the site where the majority of readers are getting their books, I will still publish there. Much like the Amazon workers who loathe their employer, I am an Amazon author who loathes my distributor. And much like the Amazon workers, as long as I’m still working with them, I will do what I can to support Amazon worker strikes as well as the Amazon workers who are demanding climate action from the company.
Eventually, I want to live in a world where Amazon doesn’t exist, so workers and customers alike don’t feel like it’s their only or best option. I want to live in a world where we have developed distribution channels that take advantage of the wonders of modern technology without funneling all of the profits to Jeff Bezos and other billionaires.
In the meantime, “going wide” is a step in the right direction. It will allow me to get my books into the hands of people who don’t use Amazon, either for ethical reasons or simply because it’s not their distribution channel of choice.
This transition is going to take time, so stay tuned for updates about the details. If you haven’t already, please subscribe to my newsletter and follow me on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). Whether you’re a new or returning reader, I look forward to hearing from you!