How to Succeed with KU or Without

Wondering how to succeed without Kindle Unlimited? Here’s an idea:

Lots of people right now are asking themselves whether they should leave Kindle Unlimited.

I’m generally agnostic on it, and I think writers should do what is best for them and their books, but there’s no doubt this is the big question of the moment.

That’s partly down to falling pay rates, Amazon’s inability to deal with scammers and cheaters, or the increasing concern about having all your eggs in one basket when something like this (or this, or this) regularly happens. But I think authors are asking themselves the wrong question.

The real issue, I suggest, should surround how you are going to find readers on these retailers (or on Amazon, if you have decided to swim in the other direction). Because I often see people taking the wrong approach – using the wrong tools for the job.

I gave a talk at NINC earlier this month which was titled Wide or Exclusive? How to Effectively Promote a Series. I had been invited to speak after meeting one of the programming co-chairs at another conference in Austin earlier this year, and we hashed out a few ideas for workshops by email.

If I was a faster writer, I would have given her a more apt title for the talk – A Tale of Two Marketing Systems – because one thing becomes clear as soon as you contrast the authors who have been successful in KU with those who have been successful wide: they are two very different approaches.

Aside from my own efforts, and that of authors I regularly stalk, I was also able to draw on the fascinating experience of managing marketing for another author over the last six months – one with a considerably larger audience and backlist. And he has been killing it in KU, getting a Kindle All-Star every month since March.

I have much less direct experience with wide, but lots of my friends have been doing very well on Apple, Kobo, and Nook for some time now, and many authors (including Deanna Chase, Sarah Woodbury, Monique Martin, and Ernie Dempsey) were kind enough to share their numbers and experiences. And, conveniently enough for my purposes, they all told a similar story. 

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