Saturday, December 5, 2015

S.D. Skye's Hell or High Water 365-Day Blogathon -- Day 172 -- Lessons Learned

Ad Talk Tuesday -- Lessons Learned from Opting Out of KDP Select

Over the past few months, I've rebranded my books and covers and removed them from KDP Select and Kindle Unlimited and put them on other platforms.

Since a drop in sales actually presented the opportunity to get the books out there on all platforms, I decided to go for it. Nothing to lose at this time.  I've posted several lessons learned, but as time passes on I learn more. So, I decided to post a few more lessons learned from this week. 

Here are few things to make note of in your publishing journey.

1. Books, even indie published books are much more easily discovered on Amazon than Apple iBooks and B&N. I'd discoverability on Kobo is worse than Amazon but better than Apple and B&N. Granted I'm only one month in, but I do notice there is a faster discoverability curve on Amazon. The point here is, if you decide to put your books on all platforms, you'll need to market more heavily for those platforms in order to kick off sales. 

2. Getting your book onto iBooks is a challenge, but I finally got there. One thing you should know about the store is this: You really need a Doing Business As (issued by the state) in order to publish there or they will use your true name/legal name as your "Seller Name." For me, that was a problem, especially with my background. You don't need a DBA for tax purposes unless you're operating as an LLC or Corporation. But I decided it's probably something I should've done ages ago anyway and definitely needed to take care of it now. 

How do you go about that?
  • Apply for a Trade Name with your state. For my state, the process is online and you can pay to expedite the request. I got the necessary documentation the same day. 
  • Go to iTunesConnect, click "Contact Us," Contracts and Legal, and then select that you want to use your DBA name as your seller name. It will give you a couple of fields to fill out and then attach your state-issued certificate. 
  • Apple iBooks took care of that within 24 hours. So now all is right with the world. 
3. In terms of rebranding, I've found the effect is like publishing all new books, except that you actually have some reviews to start from. Sales bottomed out two months after the rebranding was complete, but they are slowly creeping back up to normal levels. I also think that is helped by the fact that new readers now buy the book instead of borrowing it from Kindle Unlimited. So, there's been a little uptick. Again, this is all a long term plan for me so I'm going with it at least for the next two years. I think it takes that long as a relatively "unknown indie" to figure out if things are trending in the right direction. I'll probably do a "state of sales" report every six to eight months to let you guys know how it's working. 

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