On The Other Hand…
It was as I was writing about how much I love kindle that I realised I was only presenting one side of the story. Of course, there are always two sides, and maybe kindle isn’t the right route for your book. Here are five reasons why you might want to stop and pause.
1. What if no-one reads me?
When I talk to people who haven’t finished their book yet, one of the most common reasons is the fear that no-one might read it. That they will publish and immediately fall into anonymity. I understand that. But, really, ask yourself how likely is that to actually happen?
Remember back to when you published your first blog?
Or you went to your first networking event?
And what happened then? Maybe you had a couple of disasters but more than likely your audience grew. And more than likely your readers appreciate, comment on, and share your material.
I know it isn’t as easy with kindle to actually give away copies like you would with a hard copy book. But you can still send the pdf to friends and colleagues. You can still ask for reviews and ask people to promote it for you.
You can’t force someone to download it but neither can you force them to read your hard copy.
Just have the faith that there is someone out there who wants to read what you have to say and go ahead and press that “save and publish” button. It’s a fear that lives in your head. Honestly!
And if the process seems daunting then let me help you.
2. You’re limiting your market if you just “Go Kindle”
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been asked if my Get Momentum book is available in hard copy. It isn’t.
I know if it was I’d probably have made at least three times as many sales. We (me included!) still love to hold an actual real book in their hands.
At the time it was a choice between going kindle or not going at all.
Get Momentum is an action guide. And the kindle is bascially a text reader. So for the kindle edition I kept the formatting simple. Words not worksheets.
For a hard copy I’d add worksheets. Plans. Tables. And worksheets require formatting, which requires a designer, which takes more time. I will get there with it – hopefully this year – but my view is that it’s better to have the sales I have on kindle than no sales at all.
3. The “review bomb”
Sometimes on the internet things jump out and surprise us. Nasty things that we wish had stayed under their rock. This is one of those nasties.
Of course, it’s obvious that you have no control over who buys your book and what they say in a review. While we all hope for great reviews, and even accept that we’ll likely get some mediocre ones, we fear, but don’t really expect, the bad review.
There’s a trend that’s transitioned over from the video gaming world called “review bombing”. A competitor will pay someone to leave a one star review of your book. I know it sounds incredible, but it’s true. It really does happen.
It’s one of the disadvantages of kindle being so accessible to the genuine author. It’s also accessible to the entrepreneur who’s isn’t as principled as you or I. And who’s prepared to operate some underhand tactics to get those sales – and will do what it takes to undermine the competition.
I’m not saying all bad reviews aren’t genuine.
But I am saying that some are highly likely not to be as genuine as they might seem.
It’s like that bad hair day photo ending up in the tabloid newspaper. It’s unlikely, but it could happen. Don’t worry about it. Just deal with it if it does.
And the best way to deal with it is probably to just ignore it. As your success grows so will your detractors. It’s par for the course. Develop a thicker skin.
Of course you can respond, or complain to Amazon. But whatever you do, don’t sink to the level of these video nasties. Learn to focus on the positive. On what you want rather than what you don’t.
Create more success, don’t fight failure.
4. You don’t get paid right away
When you sell stuff on your website or in person, you get paid. Usually right away.
With kindle, you have to wait. Amazon will hold on to your royalties for 60 days after the end of the month in which sales are made. You make a sale in February, you get paid at the end of April.
So what. The money’s still yours.
Be grateful that it’s Amazon’s system that’s handling all those small transactions for you.
Be grateful about how easy it is just to sit back and receive the royalty payment once a month. Celebrate the ease with which you get paid rather than the timing of it.
5. You don’t own the list
Usually in business, if someone buys something from us, we know who they are and we can add their details to a customer database. We can track some information about them, where they came into our world so we know what is working.
And of course we can make additional offers. If a customer loves what you have, they will likely buy more from you.
But with Amazon kindle, you don’t know who just bought your book. You have no customer information at all, just a sales tally. You don’t own the customer information, Amazon does. Which means you can’t make offers unless you find a way to bring that customer back to your website. But it’s an indirect process of marketing and there are lots of places a customer can get lost along the way.
If lead generation is your prime objective then you will want to write your book, and market it differently, than you would if it was about building credibility.
First know your business model, then you will understand how to build your business with a kindle book.
So, are you put off?
I hope by being honest about some of the disadvantages as well as some of the things I love about kindle, I haven’t totally put you off!
Even with these downsides, I still love it. It’s easy to get up there and it’s a great place to be selling books.
Go in with your eyes open, but definitely get out there and go for it!
I’d love to know what your thoughts and experience are about the kindle platform. And what questions you have that are stopping you from finishing your book or getting it up on kindle. If you need help then check out my training course on How To Publish Your Book On Kindle.