Why my next releases won’t be amazon exclusive or in KU.

I recently mentioned in my newsletter that I was taking my next release to book-selling platforms other than Amazon. 

In author terms, this is called ‘going wide’

I have had some questions from readers about why I’m choosing to do this, so I hope that I manage to answer some of those questions here. 

I have been happy being exclusive to Amazon but there are a few things that worry me about it. The biggest one is piracy. As I am exclusive to Amazon, I am not allowed to have my books up for sale anywhere else. Now, this normally isn’t a problem for me, but recently I have been made aware that my books are available in catalogs on pirate sites. This in itself is a sickening part of being an independent author, but that is a post for another day. Some of these websites are what’s called phishing sites, where they just want people to sign up and then take their personal details, and they don’t actually have the books, others aren’t. I cannot afford the time, nor the expense, to chase down these pirates who are essentially stealing from me, as are the people who make an active decision to hunt down books from these sites instead of paying for an author’s hard work (I hope you get your just deserts by the way) Just sayin’:) It’s also not easy to send ‘take down’ notices to these sites as often there is nowhere to send them. You may ask why I’m telling you all of this.  Well, because if an author is exclusive to Amazon and in KU, if Amazon get wind that the books are ‘for sale’ on other digital sites, they take a dim view of it and can freeze or delete an author’s account with no recourse at all. 

This makes me very nervous about the future of the business I have worked hard at creating. That unpredictability from Amazon is one of the main reasons but there are others too.

I like the idea of readers being able to buy my books through whichever platform they feel they’d like to. I have a kindle unlimited subscription myself and have found some fantastic authors through it, but I also like to buy books and read through Apple books too. I want to give people that choice. 

I also have a shop on my website. Dally Bookstore will be open for business very soon, by the way! I will be selling both physical and digital copies of my books direct from my site, along with bookish merchandise such as candles, bookmarks and mugs etc. I can’t sell digital copies of my books when they are exclusive to Amazon. 

I am very aware that it will take me a very long time to build a reader base on platforms other than Amazon but I’m hoping to give it plenty of time and the release of my next four books at least to give it a chance to work. I’ll see where it goes from there. 

If things look good, I may pull Shadow Sentinels from Kindle Unlimited and sell it on the other platforms too. 

I hope that answers some of your questions. Don’t forget if you want to get exclusive access to draft scenes, thoughts, polls and other content then support my Patreon. (KarenTomlinsonauthor) On every tier other than the lowest support tier, you will get an e-copy or even a personalised e-copy of each new release.

If you have any other questions about my future release strategy, feel free to drop me an email at email@karentomlinson.com.

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