Going Wide: Bye Bye, Amazon Select

by Molly Greene @mollygreene

RowOfFRUIT_CropLeaving Amazon’s KDP Select program was not an easy decision for me. I absolutely loved the ease of being in Select and having all my titles in Kindle Unlimited. I didn’t mind being exclusive. My participation in Select made scheduling promos a breeze, KU borrowers paid a significant chunk of change, and my Amazon rankings were good, since Amazon factored in KU borrows.

So why’d I go?

The major reason was this: In 2015, BookBub accepted my titles for promotions seven times – nearly every time I submitted. I depended on Bookbub promos to find new readers and sell my backlist titles, but early in 2016, that accessibility ground to a screeching halt, along with my Amazon royalty payments. BookBub has become a huge success, competition from trad authors/publishers is fierce, and free promos in my category are now almost nonexistent.

So I had to change my strategy.

I came to the conclusion that going wide (self-publish speak for making your titles available on multiple book sale platforms) was inevitable. If I could no longer rock BookBub, I’d need to find a multitude of other ways to sell books. As you can see, searching for readers outside of Amazon was not at the top of my list early this year, but after much gnashing of teeth I decided to go for it. Why’d I hesitate? Because I knew the project would take a lot of time and effort … and it did.

Draft2Digital made it easier

I used Draft2Digital to simplify the process somewhat and reach platforms I couldn’t otherwise. D2D has agreements with most major online ebook sellers, charges nothing upfront, allows free books, and collects about 10% of the retail price on sales from most digital stores, which is apx. 15% of your net royalties.

In the past I’ve published directly to (and currently have author accounts with) Amazon, (multi-distributor) Smashwords, B&N, Google Play, and Kobo – and will stay direct to Amazon (of course), Google Play, and Smashwords for reasons described below. At this writing, although they all have their strengths, there isn’t a single distributor who can get you into every sale platform on the planet, so most likely you’ll choose to work with more than one.

  • Smashwords is a major distributor and selling site for some authors – mainly romance, I believe – and it also provides access to Overdrive, where libraries can browse and buy your books. I’ve never made a single sale on the platform, so I’m no expert, but presence in Overdrive is a must.
  • Streetlib accesses Overdrive as well, with the added bonus of distributing to Google Play (if you can’t get in directly) – which, despite its problems, is also a must, since it’s become one of Amazon’s major competitors along with iTunes. Streetlib also has agreements with a huge number of smaller international sellers, and who knows what is destined to take off?
  • To be fair, D2D is currently pursuing agreements with Overdrive and Google Play, among others. The platform is easy to use and support is great, although I had a heck of a time filling out their tax info form. Gah!

Staying wide, the future: What a pain!

Each time I release a new book, I update the front and back matter of all existing titles with the new one, then re-publish the updated manuscripts. When I was exclusive to Amazon, that task was manageable. Now that there are seven books in my Gen Delacourt Mystery Series and I publish them each to Amazon, D2D, Smashwords, and Google Play (and maybe Nook – see below), that’s 2 versions (epub + mobi) of 7 books to tweak and a kagillion uploads. Updating the backlist becomes a major task. Errors cannot be made. This is where a talented, detail-oriented virtual assistant would be a godsend. Note to self: earn enough to hire one!

My friend Anne Hagan will probably advise us to use Fiverr to handle this task, and she’s probably already provided the name of a vendor who does it well and I’ve misplaced it. Anne?

Unexpected benefits of going wide

  • Although my Audiobook sales were slow while in Select, I found that making my titles available everywhere boosted sales – yaaay! – and I can only assume that’s due to my enhanced presence on iTunes. Audiobook promotional opportunities are limited, and I was still searching for worthwhile ways to let the world know they’re out there. Going wide seems to have taken that task off my plate, at least for the time being.
  • I received a handful of lovely emails from Nook readers asking if/when the rest of the series would be available – the sale of my house interrupted the project. Always lovely to know readers are eager to buy the next book in the series!
  • D2D provides a universal sale link for the platforms where D2D publishes your title(s). I will (eventually) add these links to my website – easy peasy way for readers to find you on their preferred platform without having to post individual hyperlinks. Whoo hoo!

Something I did and am happy about was to create boxed sets of my titles and enroll those in Select and KU. My logic in making the sets borrowable as opposed to single titles is that KU subscribers have nothing to lose, whereas buyers might be more hesitant to commit to the higher price point. I have no statistics to show whether that theory is correct or not. To date, my sets have not (yet) achieved as wide a readership as the singles, but I’m hoping that will change.

Note: As I said below in comments, this issue is controversial. and now … breaking news! I rec’d a very cordial email from Amazon saying boxed sets/bundles are not allowed in KU unless the individual titles are also exclusive. I will update past blog posts with this info.

Results to date

Results are limited so far, since my escrow interrupted the effort and I just managed to get the rest of the titles up at the beginning of the month. Of course, my Amazon sales and rankings took a dive along with royalties, but D2D sales are running about 30% of Zon sales, which helps. I have a whole new source of readers, which is very cool, and have heard from some, which inspires hope. Audiobook sales are good, as I said above. Now I need to get back to marketing, big time!


When I began to go wide I was overwhelmed by the size and complexity of the project, so I published to Nook via D2D to save time and sanity. However, now I’m considering unpublishing my titles from D2D for Nook only and uploading directly to B&N, since that’s my biggest D2D seller, and let’s face it, every penny in my pocket helps.


Self-publishing and self-published authors have changed the reading landscape, and the industry is still new. It will continue to evolve. Inflexible dependence on a single strategy will lately derail and become an anchor over time. My advice, however tardy? Cast a wide net with your marketing efforts. There is nothing wrong with staying in Select if it works for you, by the way, and I’m not advocating that you leave!

Authors, what’s been your experience with going wide? Any glitches, benefits, tweaks or takeaways you’d like to note? Please leave a comment and share!

All original content by Molly Greene is copyright protected – did you enjoy the article? Show your support by checking out my Amazon Author Page – and hey, buy or borrow a book while you’re there! Or, subscribe to this blog to receive weekly posts. Your email will NOT be shared, rented, sold, or spammed – that’s a promise. If you haven’t already, friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter. Mwah! Thank you so much.


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67 Responses to Going Wide: Bye Bye, Amazon Select

  1. Claire Gem August 15, 2016 at 2:19 pm #

    Thanks for sharing your experiences, Molly. I have one book still in KDP Select, but took my first Indie release off and have distributed it to Nook and AllRomanceEbooks. So far, I’ve only sold one through Nook & none through the other site, but it’s only been about a month. The D2D thing sounds great, I just need to learn more about it.

    This Indie thing is a total learning experience, isn’t it? I just love having control…

    • Molly Greene August 15, 2016 at 2:30 pm #

      My pleasure, Claire, and yes! … as I’ve blogged before, the self-publishing learning curve will never end 🙂 And with control comes a lot of hard, hard work. Best of luck to you!!

  2. Kim Wenzler August 15, 2016 at 2:29 pm #

    Oh boy. I’m confused. As always, thank you for sharing your experience and knowledge of the process as you learn it.

    • Molly Greene August 15, 2016 at 3:08 pm #

      I’m confused too, Kim, lol! Always thrilled if anything I share helps the community.

  3. Tower Lowe August 15, 2016 at 2:29 pm #

    Hi Molly:

    I have explored this and uploaded to Nook, but iTunes was ver difficult…I think your blog will help a lot. I don’t even know what D2D is, but I bet it will help me get my books on iTunes.

    I have failed to make Bookbub…so that ship may have sailed. My plan is to keep my early short novellas on Amazon select and put the novels and the short story collection on the others.

    I have no idea if any of this will help. I have a new book in the series coming out in September and will keep trying Bookbub. Plus I started a new series and am looking for an agent for that. I have faith that one of these things will work eventually.

    My sales are too slow right now! So I have to try something new. Thank you soooo much for this post. It will get me going on promotion again.

    • Molly Greene August 15, 2016 at 3:07 pm #

      My pleasure, Tower … Draft2Digital (D2D) is an online platform/business that helps self-publishers convert their manuscripts to epub (and mobi) and distributes the ebook for you to various online sale platforms. And yes, iTunes is one of them. Only Mac users can publish directly to iTunes at this writing, so PC users have to take a different route. Check it out and good luck!

    • Tower Lowe September 29, 2016 at 11:39 am #

      Hi Molly:

      So I’ve started going wide, but there’s a question I can’t find the answer to. If I want to do a free promotion for a limited time like I used to in kdp, how do I do that on Amazon? It seems like with the other platforms, I simply price it that way and change it later. Of course, I might be wrong about that also.

      I am reading the Smashwords guidelines now, and it’s just crazy. They need some new software engineers over there. Staying with an arcane program like that is nuts. Just my opinion.

      Thanks. Hope your sales are outlandish!


      • Mark Williams - The International Indie Author September 29, 2016 at 12:05 pm #

        Tower, try using StreetLib or PublishDrive if you are finding Smashwords hard work. With StreetLib you can load to Amazon AND list at $0.00 for as along as you like. StreetLib will also get you into Google Play, OverDrive libraries and a host of other stores.

        • Tower Lowe September 29, 2016 at 7:58 pm #

          Thanks, Molly. That works!


  4. Barry Knister August 15, 2016 at 3:23 pm #

    Molly–going wide, going narrow, or high, or low–if you can’t get a handle on how to market your work, none of it matters. That’s been my problem as an indie writer, and it remains the problem. If any book-savvy virtual assistant out there can help, I’d be very interested.
    And Molly: thanks for continuing to be a source of valuable information for all writers.

    • Molly Greene August 15, 2016 at 3:33 pm #

      My pleasure, Barry, and you are not alone: marketing is the biggest challenge we ALL face as indies.Turns out writing the book was the easy part!

  5. Daphne August 15, 2016 at 3:43 pm #

    I didn’t think you could enroll a box set of titles in KU if the individual titles were wide… are you sure this is kosher? Don’t want you to get banned from KDP for breaking their rules…

    • Molly Greene August 15, 2016 at 3:47 pm #

      Hi Daphne, no, my understanding per Amazon is that it’s not breaking their TOC. I emailed and asked. They consider a boxed set a “unique product.” Their answer: “…the box set title will count as a complete separate book and you have the option to enroll it in KDP Select so that it can be part of Kindle Unlimited.” … but if I’m wrong and they email me to take the sets down from KU, you can be sure I’ll blog about it and confess. THANKS!

      • Daphne August 15, 2016 at 3:54 pm #

        Wow, I had no idea! That is really, really good to know. Thanks!

        • Molly Greene August 15, 2016 at 4:05 pm #

          …just so you know, this issue is very controversial. Although I know other authors who have single titles in Select and boxed sets wide, I’ve also read Kindle Boards posts that say they’ve emailed ZON and gotten the exact opposite response from a rep. My advice is to either email the ZON and see what they tell YOU, or try it and take the boxed sets out of Select if you get a nasty email.

  6. Nell Goddin August 15, 2016 at 4:21 pm #

    Hey Molly,

    Fellow mystery writer here. Thanks for the tips, I keep meaning to do street lib but now you’ve got me focused. 🙂

    I don’t want to be a downer but I don’t think you can put a boxset in KU if the books in it are wide….?

    • Molly Greene August 15, 2016 at 4:27 pm #

      Hi Nell, if you do Streetlib come back and report about it – or write a post for me about your experience? RE: single titles wide, boxed sets in Select, I just commented on it, see above. I emailed Zon and they told me I could do it, the same answer other authors have also reported. Then again, OTHER authors have said that Zon told them they could not. So it’s controversial. My 1st boxed set has been in Select since early May.

      • Nell Goddin August 16, 2016 at 8:43 am #

        So frustrating that they don’t give the same answers. Well, I’m glad you got the okay! I’ll let you know how Street Lib goes…

        • Molly Greene August 16, 2016 at 9:26 am #

          Yes, and thanks!! Anne Hagan also commented about her Streetlib exp above.

  7. Jennifer Jennings August 15, 2016 at 4:54 pm #

    I applaud you, Molly, for being flexible and taking chances. I am still on in KU for now, but that may change in the future. Like you, I am dependent on Bookbub for most of my exposure. If they stop accepting me, I might have to go wide. It’s a wait and see game. Good luck with the move!

    • Molly Greene August 15, 2016 at 5:02 pm #

      Jennifer, I’d stay as long as I could – it’s a PAIN to take multiple titles wide, gah!!

  8. Kathy L. Hall (@writinggroove) August 15, 2016 at 5:04 pm #

    Molly – you are so good to all of us authors! This is great info. I thank you.

    • Molly Greene August 15, 2016 at 5:10 pm #

      LOL, my sweet friend – I’m just bumbling along, sharing the journey. YOU are the risk -taker!

  9. Christine Leov-Lealand August 15, 2016 at 8:12 pm #

    Hello Molly, great post and interesting to me. Here’s some more information you may find helpful that I developed.

    In pursuing new ways to get my planned audio books out in front of listeners I found these guys, a new start up who use their own mobile app to give readers and listeners their own way of accessing books. All the BPHs have jumped upon the bandwagon with these guys so you can use their links as affiliate links too.

    A lot is happening in the online publishing world: it’s a lot of work and a lot of fun.
    Thanks for your blog post again

  10. Mimi Barbour August 15, 2016 at 11:18 pm #

    I was in the opposite situation, Molly. I had all my books distributed to all venues and then KU hit and my sales were cut in half. Just this last year, I gave up and stuck them all in Select and my income has risen and I’m finding that the pages read are building each month which is promising. But, you are right about BookBub. They told me they are more apt to chose a book that is spread everywhere – especially if you only want the book promoted in certain countries.

    • Molly Greene August 16, 2016 at 7:05 am #

      Thanks, Mimi – lots of reasons to take either route, and I think finding the one that works best for us is the hardest part. Select is easier, no doubt about it!

  11. Molly et al, I’ve posted just this past week in the International Indie Author Facebook Group about how going wide and getting our titles listed in 400-500 global retailers and library outlets need only take thirty minutes of our valuable time if we set about it in an organised fashion.


    Your experience with increased audio-books is a telling argument for going wide, Molly, and applies equally to ebooks.

    When our Amazon readers tell their friends how they loved our book and said friends rush off to their preferred retailer and find the title is exclusive to Amazon we’ve probably lost that sale.

    But going wide is about much more than just being available in more retailers. It’s about being available in as many formats as possible and in as many varied packages as possible.

    • Molly Greene August 16, 2016 at 7:07 am #

      Hi Mark! I’m a member of your FB group but I missed that post, so thank you so much for sharing. I can use all the help I can get. And as for multiple formats, I STILL have not done print – shame on me!

    • Anne Hagan August 16, 2016 at 12:33 pm #

      Thank you Mark for the information. I’ve requested to join the group and I’ve starred the post to come back to later today. Appreciate it!

  12. Cathy Vickers August 16, 2016 at 1:59 am #

    I find this an interesting post because I went the other way around, from being “wide,” to putting my books all in the one basket of KDP, all for the sake of making life easier.

    Neither method worked very well for me, so I stopped writing my own books and ended up ghostwriting as a freelancer. At least now I make a living from writing.

    Meanwhile, I keep my books in KDP for the odd bit of pennies (whoops, cents). There are so many fantastic writers out there, and a few rubbish ones too. I think I’m a mediocre.

    I won’t give up, when I retire I hope to return writing in my own name. Then once again, with more time on my hands, I’ll go wide.

    Great post, explains everything I experienced perfectly.

    • Molly Greene August 16, 2016 at 7:09 am #

      Cathy, thanks so much for sharing. Marketing is a huge task and keeping at it can be a burden. I understand why you chose to give it a break for a while, so happy for you that you have a great temporary alternative, and I wish you all the best when you jump back in!

  13. Steve Vernon August 16, 2016 at 3:27 am #

    Great article, Molly.

    I’ve been in Amazon Select for the last half a year or so but I’m looking to get back into the wide. I just didn’t find that the KU allowance did me much good in the long run.

    • Molly Greene August 16, 2016 at 7:11 am #

      Thanks, Steve! I hear that every “switch” takes about 6 months to ramp up into recognizable returns, so your KU efforts might be just about to pay off. Good luck!

  14. Elizabeth Ducie August 16, 2016 at 3:34 am #

    Hi Molly. Thank you as always for your generous posts. This is such good timing. I am in the process of taking all my books off Select and going wide, so any tips I can gather are really welcome. One question if I may. Since Smashwords and D2D both service some of the major distribution channels, do I have to be really careful that I don’t duplicate any of them, or does that happen automatically?

    • Molly Greene August 16, 2016 at 7:13 am #

      Hi Elizabeth, all the major distributors duplicate channels, and it’s up to you to choose which channels you’ll access via which distributor – so keep a list of where you go with each. Make sense?

  15. Anne Hagan August 16, 2016 at 4:58 am #

    Thanks for another great post Molly. I had a little trouble actually accessing the site yesterday but we’re back and I have a few things to add that may be helpful for some. This will be long, so I apologize up front.

    I write mysteries too, in two different series, but my primary series has an LGBT slant. I too have tried to get a Bookbub for my mysteries and for my one, well rated romance with no luck in the LGBT category at all which, even though it’s got a much smaller audience, leans decidedly toward readers of gay/male works. I’ve been turned down as ‘try again later – no room’ a total of 8 times now. I haven’t even bothered with trying for the mystery category as that’s even more competitive. Many of the other large eBook promoters don’t have an LGBT category at all. If I advertise with them in their mainstream mystery or romance categories, I run the risk of drawing quite a bit of backlash from readers who prefer straight, non-LGBT characters and relationships.

    Given all of that, I made a decision to take my books wide several months ago with the full expectation, from everything that I’ve heard, that it can take 3-6 months to gain traction on other sites. I started with the first book in my primary series by taking it out of Kindle Select/Kindle Unlimited, loading it to Smashwords after multiple headaches with their formatting and then making it free (it’s the first in an 8 book series). I loaded it myself to Kobo and Barnes and Noble but had to pull it from B&N in favor of Smashwords to make it free. Lesson learned! Amazon eventually made it free but it took links from B&N and iBooks to get them to do it. Kobo, Smashwords and all of the other publishers (except Google Play) aren’t big enough to be competitors in their eyes.

    It’s easy to load directly to both Kobo and B&N. If you have the time, I recommend you do it yourself. No one else will get a cut of your royalties and they’re both great about payment.

    After tearing my hair out with Smashwords (and using some Fiverr help with the formatting that I could never get quite right), I moved over to Draft2Digital (D2D) to set up a special 5 book series. I left all my individual books in KU. I also – at that time – had a 7 book boxed set in KU that included the 6 books of my primary series that existed at the time and a cozy mystery, the first in a new series. I compiled several of my blog posts about my books into a ‘Companion Guide’ and made a set of 5 books that included that and the first 4 mysteries. It’s not available on Amazon at all, in or out of KS/KU, so it complies with the terms of service. I let D2D put it everywhere they had and I loaded the file they produced to Smashwords, bypassing their meatgrinder. It took a little bit of effort still to get Smashwords to take it but tweaking is much easier using the D2D interface and then running the file over to Smashwords. I use D2D for all of the sites they have and then hit Smashwords for the ones D2D doesn’t have.

    I give away and sell A LOT of books directly from Smashwords. The 1st book free really pushes this. The first set slowly caught on at other sites and sales are starting to trickle in from them too.

    Once my 7th and 8th books in my primary series were out, I put a four book boxed set together of books 5-8 together too and loaded it to B&N, Kobo, D2D and then Smashwords. I’m still going round with Smashwords over some little error that’s keeping that set out of their premium catalog that goes out to libraries and such. I just haven’t had the time to deal with it or go find a Fiverr provider to deal with it for me but I will do that before the holiday season rolls around. Anyway, that boxed set is also NOT available on Amazon.

    I’ve recently taken the single romance novel I’ve written wide…very recently. It’s gained a little traction already but, not much yet. I miss the KU reads on Amazon but they were tapering off and the few sales I’ve had so far on other sites make up for them. Sales on Amazon of it have picked up a bit now that it’s not in KU (and I dropped the price a buck to $2.99 from $3.99).

    On Amazon, I pulled the mixed 7 book set. I still sell all of the individual books from both series there. I created an 8 book set of the primary series only and made it exclusive to Amazon so it’s available in KU. I don’t get a lot of sales of it, surprisingly, but it does get page reads. I sell several copies of each individual book there a month which blows my mind when a whole set is available at a serious discount. I’m not complaining.

    I was too late to the party to get into Google Play on my own. Molly turned me onto Streetlib for that a month or so ago. Streetlib has its pros and cons. It’s an Italy based company so there is a bit of a language barrier to do some things even though their site has English options. The interface isn’t quite as user friendly either but I picked it up fairly well after a little trial and error. I’ve gone through their whole process with the free book, the romance and the two boxed sets now. Two went off without a hitch and the other two seemed to load but were never picked up by Google Play. I’ve found their customer service, via email, to be very responsive and in reasonably decent English. The issues were resolved quickly.

    Streetlib recently opened a U.S. office (within the past 3 weeks). U.S. based authors can now be paid monthly with them instead of quarterly if they’re willing to share banking information. Otherwise, you get paid quarterly via PayPal. I shared and I feel comfortable having done so.

    Steetlib does list to all of the sites D2D and Smashwords do and they take no more of a cut of the proceeds than either one of those do. Plus, they list on a few dozen smaller sites – mostly European – that those two don’t even touch. I just uncheck the ones where I’m already listed and let them go ahead with all the others. What could it hurt? More potential sales? Yay! You could do all of your listing with them and just be done with it. I’ve chosen not to to have more control but, going forward, as I see more from their U.S. based operation, that may change.

    In closing, I’ll say that I’ve done well with Amazon but those KU payouts get smaller and smaller. Everyone in the world doesn’t shop there. If you can find a way to go wide, do it. Advertising is easier when your books are available everywhere. Too, with Summer in the northern hemisphere winding down and cold weather and the holidays fast approaching, the time to go wide is now to build your audience ahead of Christmas and a long winter of reading when it’s too nasty outside for anyone to do anything else.

    • Just to add to that, Anne Hagan, that StreetLib alone among the aggregators will let us list direct to Amazon at $0.00, voiding the need to be exclusive or price-matched.

      • Anne Hagan August 16, 2016 at 12:41 pm #

        Thank you so much for that Mark. I was not aware of that. My heartburn with that is having to tag everything with Streetlib’s logo. It’s fine for the sets but I’m not so sure I want it somewhere on my individual covers. How do you handle that?

    • Molly Greene August 16, 2016 at 7:25 am #

      There you are, Anne! Thanks for this and the great points that I did not discuss and/or missed completely: 1) You can only go free on B&N (Nook) if you access them through a distributor, so if first book in series is to be free, it can’t be uploaded directly. 2) Kobo is easy re: uploads but sales there tend to be low, and I almost gave them the boot completely a year ago when I had a horrible time w/ customer service just trying to change my bank info for payouts. Made me not want to deal w/them at all, so I’m happy to go through D2D. 3) I’m starting to think my boxed sets in KU are, despite my email saying it was okay, against the rules. Yikes!

      As for Streetlib, great info, and I agree about the concept of going global. Amazon does not rule in every corner of the world. Still, it’s a pain. KDP Select is much easier, so it’s easy to see why they’ve done so well with it, and why so many of us choose that option. THANKS!!

      • A quick point on Kobo. Kobo now have a Promotions button in the dashboard (whereby we can apply (paying a fixed fee or a percentage from sales) to have titles promoted on the Kobo home page in selected countries.

        BTW must mention Pronoun as another upload option. Pronoun only offer Amazon, Kobo, B&N, Apple and Google Play, but they pay 100% of net – no fees – and have superb metadata analysis tools.

        • Molly Greene August 16, 2016 at 9:29 am #

          Mark, interesting re: Kobo, and has using their promotions option increased your sales on the platform? Re: Pronoun, cool to know but how do they make $$ if they don’t take a cut???

          • I’ve got a Kobo promo just started today for one title and am already seeing extra sales. Nothing earth-shattering, but extra is extra! For one particular title (not with special promo) selling better on Kobo than on AmUS and AmUK combined.

            Pronoun have other irons in the fire to draw revenue from. ALLi has vetted them and given them a glowing appraisal, which should reassure sceptics.

            I use Pronoun along with Smashwords, StreetLib, PublishDrive and D2D, as well as direct to Amazon and Kobo, to ensure I get the best of all worlds. 🙂

          • Molly Greene August 16, 2016 at 10:00 am #

            Great info, thanks so much … and Mark, am heading over to read your post about organizing the upload process. Overwhelmed just thinking about how you manage it!!

      • Anne Hagan August 16, 2016 at 12:53 pm #

        Your boxed set should be fine. I did my first one the way I did it because I’d been going round and round with them over making book 1 free and I was on their radar. I didn’t want to take a chance. As long as what’s in KU is not available in the same form anywhere else, you’re good.

        • Molly Greene August 16, 2016 at 2:44 pm #

          Fingers crossed!!!!

        • Katherine Owen August 24, 2016 at 12:24 pm #

          Curious. I have a boxed set that contains three of my novels that I would be more than willing to put in KU exclusively but I really didn’t think you could do that.And yet, both you and Molly are saying that Amazon views this as a unqiue product. Hmmm… I have a separate ISBN/ ASIN for this book/trilogy.

          Additionally, I divided one of my novels into 3 parts (3 separate books at about 40K words a piece)because it is so flipping long. The novel (This Much Is True) is wide everywhere but I would be willing to be exclusive with the three separate novellas as it were to Amazon. Do you think that would be a violation of Amazon’s TOS? The “parted” novellas would be exclusive to Amazon and unique in that they are sold as Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 of the storyline. What do you think? Separate ISBNs and ASINs for all three by the way.

          • Molly Greene August 25, 2016 at 9:59 am #

            Hi Katherine, breaking news – just got a very cordial email from Amazon that says boxed sets/bundles are not allowed in KU unless the individual titles are also exclusive. I will update my blog posts today with this info. It was worth the try, really.

  16. Sue Coletta August 16, 2016 at 8:24 am #

    A friend asked me about using a kickstarter campaign to help launch a new release and pay for a PR firm. I know nothing about kickstarter. Do you?

  17. John Chapman August 16, 2016 at 9:22 am #

    I’ve been using Smashwords for a while BUT:
    1. I gave up on ‘Meatgrinder’ and use calibre to produce an EPUB file from my Word docx file. That document gets checked with an online epubcheck and gets submitted to Smashwords. Invariably it’s then accepted for premium distribution.
    2. A slightly modified EPUB document is submitted to Amazon. It has different title and ‘from the author’ pages.

    Smashwords has huge advantages for an author who writes serials. You can make the first book free and once that is picked up by iBooks, B&N and others Amazon will price match it. You can also set a high initial price and use a Smashwords coupon to make it available free to reviewers.

    No sales on Smashwords invariably means you haven’t promoted it much there. Put the same effort into Smashwords promotion as you do for Amazon promotion and you’ll see the sales.

    • Molly Greene August 16, 2016 at 9:34 am #

      You’re right, John, I have not done a single thing to promote on Smashwords, and part of the issue is that few – if any – ebook promo sites ask for a Smashwords link to include in a (paid or free) book promotion. And since marketing takes such a chunk of time, it’s tough to think about Smashwords-specific promotions. Arggghhhh! The life of a self-published author.

  18. Sarah Butland August 16, 2016 at 11:26 am #

    It’s always such a challenge to know what works. Right now I focus on Amazon US and CAN to marketing to see what actually works. While others I know go wider in their strategy, focusing more on international options.

    Amazon monopolizes a lot and it may eventually get them in trouble though right now it seems most people gravitate to them. At some point we’ll figure all of this out and then it will change again – oh the adventure we are on!

    Thanks for sharing your experience and reading,

    Sarah Butland
    author of Life Imitated

    • Molly Greene August 16, 2016 at 11:29 am #

      Thanks, Sarah, for sharing. And you’re so right, we need to stay nimble and flexible because all will certainly change as soon as we’ve figured it out! Love that phrase and I concur, “oh, the adventure we are on!”

  19. Soren Summers August 16, 2016 at 3:17 pm #

    “that’s 2 versions (epub + mobi) of 7 books to tweak and a kagillion uploads”

    Imagine realizing after the fact that you really, really want to change just one tiny phrase. I would just curl up into a ball and weep the day away. Wasn’t aware of a few of these aggregators, thanks for the heads up!

  20. Chris Seabranch August 17, 2016 at 4:29 am #

    Hi Molly

    Great article as always. I went to D2D right away since I needed to have my first book in my series to be free and price matched by Amazon – trying to market my books using the drug dealer trick of offering the first for free. Guess you cannot have it all. Its either a free book but no KU (but you get to go wide) or KU but no free book and you have to stay with Amazon only.

    Have an amazing day and as always, I look forward to your next articles.

    • Molly Greene August 17, 2016 at 6:59 am #

      Chris, at least with first book free we’re always marketing, even when we’re not. That’s a good thing!

  21. Diana Horner August 17, 2016 at 9:16 am #

    Hi Molly, just wanted to pop up and let you know that we are busy beavering away at eBook Partnership, extending our network and helping authors and publishers with wide distribution.

    We have been working with Overdrive and Google for years, so we would be delighted to help with these or any other channels on your list.

    Very best wishes,


  22. Aya Walksfar August 17, 2016 at 12:26 pm #

    While I was at Writer’s Police Academy last week, I had the opportunity to meet and speak with Lee Goldberg, NY Times Bestselling author, and he also left Select and went wide for some of the same reasons. Going wide appears to be the wave of the future.

    • Molly Greene August 17, 2016 at 12:41 pm #

      I sure hope so, Aya – because then perhaps Amazon will let in ANYONE who wants their books in KU!

  23. Skye Noir September 23, 2016 at 9:12 am #

    Hi! Thanks for this! I was wondering. If it’s not out of line. Is it possible to share that fiverr contact?

    • Molly Greene September 23, 2016 at 10:31 am #

      Skye, I think Anne shared all her fiverr contacts in her various comments. Thanks!

  24. Wilf October 20, 2016 at 8:14 am #

    An encouraging read. I’m fairly new to self-publishing and have thus far concentrated on children’s picture books. But I’m keen to explore longer stories – ghost stories, really.
    Interesting to learn about D2D. I used to be hung up on attracting an agent and / or publisher but this is just much more fun!

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