Skip to main content

Indie Authors: Alternatives To Amazon


Updated June 21, 2016;

In light of the recent fiasco involving Becca Mills, I thought it might be prudent to remind everyone that we do, in fact, have alternatives to publishing our work beyond Amazon. To be fair, Ms. Mills may or may not have engaged in a business practice that is in clear violation of Amazon's Terms of Service. My point is that as authors, we have a responsibility to both ourselves and our readers to not only conduct business ethically but ensure that our readers find their way to our content as easily as possible. There are pros and cons to each of the suggestions listed here. I invite you to do your own research and draw your own conclusions long before you publish.


CLICK TO TWEET: Don't Like Amazon? Check These Out Instead.


In a previous post, I discussed some of Amazon's new policies and how they affect indie authors. One of the questions fielded from that post was possible alternatives to Amazon. While it may be true that Amazon is the largest distributor for indie books on the planet, they certainly aren't our only choice, and in order to increase our chances of success, we owe it to ourselves to explore every possible avenue that may grant us greater exposure. We can release our materials either directly to other distributors, we can go through aggregators, or both.

Smashwords is an excellent resource for new authors. You can release your work for free, they've enabled assetless pre-orders, and their premium catalog gets your work on Nook, Kobo, and the other vendors. The only drawback is their rigid formatting requirements, which means you'll either have to invest in a formatting expert or a yourself. Scrivener is one of those programs that'll do this for you.

Smashwords has no word count requirement for pricing, so if you've created a standalone short or a lead-in to another story, you can throw it up there and charge whatever you like. I've found that releasing preludes, or other shorts for free on Smashwords leads to great results on Amazon. So what I do now is release free stuff on Smashwords, watch the downloads, and release the paid stuff through Amazon. I also use Smashwords to release stories unrelated to the fantasy series I have going on Amazon. Basically, I use Smashwords to find my audience.

CLICK TO TWEET: Alternatives To Amazon For Indies

Smashwords is an aggregator, which means they will distribute your material to multiple sources.

Another great aggregator is Draft2Digital. In addition to getting your work to all of the places Smashwords will, they don't have Smashwords' formatting requirements. Also, Draft2Digital is aggressively pursuing partnerships with Oyster (they may have finalized that deal by now) and othr distributors in hopes of increasing their reach. So they're not lazy and they've built themselves as the author's distributor.

NEVER MISS AN UPDATE: Sign Up For The Hidden Letter Here.

I've gained greater exposure through Smashwords than Draft2Digital, but the latter is easier to use. I invite you to do your own research on both of these, and others, and use what works best for you.

Thanks for reading, and best of luck in your endeavors.

Avery K. Tingle (aka The Gamer Author) is a nomadic multigenre author and martial artist currently residing in Eastern Washington. His works, called "Fast Paced and Thrilling" can be found for Kindle and Kobo.

Comments

Olga said…
Yes, Draft2Digital are now partnering with Oyster. I've never tried Smashwords because I started checking the formatting requirements for Smashwords at a moment when I didn't have much time and plenty of books to get through and discovered Draft2Digital. My sales have never been huge anywhere, but with the increase in distribution with Draft2Digital (it includes a German site, Tolino too, Scribd and Page Foundry. And also offers the option of doing the formatting for a paper version through Create Space (still need the PDF cover). Good points.
Avery K. Tingle said…
Thank you. :-) I would've given up on Smashwords had I not gotten a copy of Scrivener. Their formatting requirements were beyond me. I get good exposure through Smashwords, not so much through Draft2Digital yet, but I figure that's because I'm new on it. Good luck, Olga.

Popular posts from this blog

America: A True Story About Hatred and Unity

I wanted fast food tonight. That was all. I found myself at Burger King to pick up my wife's order. I was a few cars deep when I spotted the Confederate flag. I surreptitiously snapped a few photos. This was going to be a very different story. When I pull out of Burger King, it turns out there's more than one. In fact, there are four trucks, each flying variations of the flag. I have to go around the front of them to avoid an accident. They're parked right in the middle of the road. As I drive around them, each person in the vehicle makes it a point to ensure I see them. I do. They see me too. When I get to McDonald's (which is in the same lot), I learn that they're not taking debit cards at the moment. Terrific. I wanted chicken nuggets and instead, I get a run-in with the new Confederacy. So I make my way back to Burger King, again appearing in full view of the trucks. I place my order, get it, pay, and pull out. Then one of the

The Long Road Home

I will end you tonight. No, wait. That's not where the story starts. The story starts two and a half years before this, when Michelle (referred to as Michelle for legal reasons because SATAN was too heavily trademarked) reached out to me by Facebook. She mentioned that we played the same Facebook game and she wanted to say hi. I had never, in fact, even heard of the Facebook game. But I was freshly broken out of a relationship and she was pretty with a good body so I said "Hurr, okay." Conversation ensues. She tells me we came up in the same place. We did not come up in the same place. We spent one night in San Francisco talking. But I really wanted to sleep with her. So, "Hurr, okay." Fast forward a few months. I've left Missouri for the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I've settled into the ass end of Lynnwood, a suburb of Seattle. The apartment was so bad that the landlord wrote the mold on the wall off as "crayon coloring

Wave Rocketbook Reviewed

I love writing by hand, and I love notebooks. I'll often devote entire budgets to them and when Officemax has one of their twenty-five cent sales, I'll buy them out. I often draft by hand, finding that the scene comes together more purely when it flows from a pen rather than a keyboard. So when DailyDot advertised a durable new type of notebook that you could use over and over again for the cheap price of twenty-five (thirty after shipping) US Dollars? I'm down. The Wave Rocketbook is meant to be elegant in its design and simple in its execution. The instructions come on the bag itself, and only the pen and notebook are included. The pen feels like any other, so you have to be careful not to mix it into your collection or you will end up marking your notebook with the wrong pen (like I did). The ink is erasable, which is a bonus. A place to put the pen would've been nice, but it clips easily, if not securely, into the ringed binding. The paper is thick and