For writers and authors, self-publishing is easy. You upload a Word your manuscript to Amazon KDP or an aggregator, and you have an ebook for sale.
But as easy as it is, your sales potential and income are heavily controlled by pages of terms and conditions that can change at any time.
It has been the case for many self-publishing authors. Some changes to KPD Select and Kindle Unlimited have been detrimental.
But once you are locked into Amazon’s exclusivity, there is nothing you can do other than to accept what Amazon changes.
The title of Indie Author has been adopted by many self-publishing authors. But how can you be truly independent if you are under the control of Internet giants?
The only way to throw off the shackles is to become an independent publisher.
You can take full control of your writing, publishing, income potential and start thinking beyond hard to get Kindle ebook sales.
Throw off the chains
Being controlled is the antithesis of being an independent author or publisher.
There are so many opportunities now for writers and authors to break free. Free of the draconian and restrictive terms and conditions that are placed upon them by Amazon, Apple and Barnes and Noble among others.
All you need to do is let go of the misplaced belief that these companies are actively trying to help you. Their priority is making money for their shareholders, and not for you.
There is no reason to abandon ebook and book sales via these self-publishing services and retailers. But there is a good reason to take back control over your titles.
Removing your ebooks from KDP Select should be your first priority if you want to be an independent publisher. Amazon’s exclusivity is so restrictive and offers very few benefits in return. Other than reduced royalties for Kindle Unlimited page reads.
Your ebooks will still be available for sale on Amazon. But you will have the freedom to offer your ebooks for sale elsewhere. You can also manage giveaways and book promotions under your terms.
There is no reason why you shouldn’t consider alternatives for your ebook and print on demand paperback titles. You could consider approaching a small press or an independent press with your published works.
The traditional publishing route is tough. Finding literary agents and publishing houses is not easy. But there are many Indie publishers now that are changing the publishing industry.
If you are looking for alternatives, the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) is a good place to start. Joining Alli will give you access to a lot of sound publishing advice. It also maintains a long list of vetted publishing companies and services.
Taking your writing independence, and income potential further
Independent publishing opens the door for you to much more income potential than from just self-publishing books. Why restrict your writing to ebook fiction when the opportunities to create a business from your writing abound?
All you need is a WordPress website. Then you can start making money from your blog, journal, magazine or newspaper. Website hosting is now very cheap. A reliable and fast hosting service such as Bluehost offers simple one-click WordPress installation.
My host also offers free professional WordPress themes, free email lists and newsletter delivery. It includes up to 20 websites for my modest annual fee.
With a WordPress site, you can also easily add an e-commerce store to your site to sell your books and ebooks. You can adapt your site to any product or service you might think about offering.
Whatever your interest or passion, there is money to be made from your writing skills. All you need to do is start thinking like an independent publisher.
If you need a hint list of ideas that you can write about, here is a long list of blog topic ideas that will surely get your interest underway.
The only mindset you need to change is that a blog is not a daily diary. A blog is all about self-publishing to its core.
It provides you with the medium and platform to deliver valuable content to readers. Then you can build an income-earning independent publishing business.
Whether you choose health, lifestyle, fashion, writing skills, gardening, photography, cooking, gadget reviews or any other topic, you can start building a profitable, monetised platform.
The key to successful blogging is to be passionate about what you write. Postach.io has an informative decision-making infographic, which details the process of creating a successful new blog.
How can you make money as an independent publisher?
There are almost as many ways to generate an income from publishing as there are topics. The quickest and easiest means is to use Google Adsense.
The income generated from Adsense relies heavily on website traffic. But it is a simple way to see some dollars coming in the door in the early months of a new blog.
Other ways include affiliate marketing, selling advertising space or accepting paid content. And, of course, selling your books and ebooks.
If you need more ideas on how to make money from your site, this article lists the top ten strategies for making money from your site.
Whatever means you choose to earn money from your writing, there are two important ingredients.
One is for you to build a professional website. The second is to publish valuable and informative SEO rich content regularly that will attract and retain visitors and readers.
Diversify and prosper
Yes, you are an author and writer. But that doesn’t mean that you always need to be shackled by the rules and restrictions of others.
You can create your own rules about how you use your writing to benefit you and your bank account.
If you are self-publishing, consider changing your thinking from being controlled, to being in control.
Get out of restrictive agreements that benefit others and not you. Take back control of the distribution of your ebook and book titles. Then build extra money-making opportunities for your writing and independent publishing business.
There is nothing stopping you from writing another book. Nor from starting a second or third monetised blog, starting an online newspaper or from making more money from your writing skills.
All you need to do is start thinking, and acting as an independent publisher.
I started my working life as a lithographer and then spent over 30 years in the printing and publishing business.
Originally from Australia, I moved to Switzerland 20 years ago. My days are spent teaching English, writing and wrestling with technology while enjoying my glorious view of the Alps.
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