This is not a sponsored or paid post. I am promoting Draft2Digital on my own volition because I use and like its services.
After three years of publishing my books solely through Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and enrolling my books in the Kindle Unlimited program (KU), back in February I made the decision to go wide with my distribution. This was not a decision I made lightly, nor was it a quick practice to implement. However, I’ve found the decision to be worth it.
What Does “Going Wide” Mean?
“Going wide” is a term in indie/self-publishing that means selling your books via an array of retailers rather than solely on Amazon. As I mentioned, my books were solely sold on the Amazon store (minus its small channels of Expanded Distribution to physical booksellers) for three years because I continuously enrolled in KDP’s Kindle Unlimited program.
Why I Unenrolled from KU
KU has advantages such as creating Countdown Deals or Free Days for books, and receiving extra payment based on the amount of pages KU members read when they check out your book via the KU subscription program. However, a stipulation of being enrolled is that for 90 days (or longer, if you opt for continuous renewal into the program like I did), you cannot post your eBook for sale on any other online retailer like Apple Books, Nook, GooglePlay, etc.
As time went by, I learned that authors mainly make money on Kindle Unlimited with rapid release techniques, meaning releasing books in a series in rapid succession (sometimes 2 weeks to 3 months apart). As an author of standalone young adult novels who publishes at a much slower pace, I quickly understood why I wasn’t making much money in the program.
In early February, while learning more about going wide in Heart Breathings’s Publish and Thrive course, I made the decision to withdraw my books from KU and publish my books on other retailers.
Please note that before a book can go wide, you need to opt it out of KU and ensure your book is clear of the 90-day required window before distributing books via another vendor. Amazon is a stickler about this.
Methods of Going Wide
There are a few methods authors can take to increase their eBook’s distribution. Indie authors have the ability to go directly to each vendor and set up accounts, upload their books, and enter the details. There are also distribution aggregators authors can use as a one-stop-shop for uploading and distributing. Some of the best-known aggregators are Smashwords, IngramSpark, and Draft2Digital.
Why I Chose Draft2Digital
After researching different aggregators, reading articles comparing them, and watching YouTube videos where authors discuss them, it was a no-brainer for me to choose Draft2Digital.
I’ve heard countless authors badmouth IngramSpark for their horrendous customer service, upload fees, and even printing paperback copies of manuscript draft files to be sold to customers. Um, no thank you.
Plenty of authors use Smashwords, and while I’m not totally against them, I’ve heard other authors mention that their user interface isn’t the best, and that their customer service isn’t comparable to Draft2Digital’s.
So, yeah. Naturally I went with Draft2Digital, and I have absolutely no regrets.
Benefits of Using Draft2Digital
Based on my four months of use, here are the benefits of using D2D that I’ve discovered so far. I’m sure with future releases, this list will continue to grow:
- Easy, straight-to-the-point upload process
- Free feature to format your eBook with genre specific details and images
- Free access to download .mobi, .pdf, or .epub files even if you don’t distribute your books with their service
- Access to a variety of eBook vendors and reading subscription services. Click here to view the full list.
- Detailed royalty breakdowns and downloadable reports
- Free access to a customizable universal book link that lists each retailer your eBook is listed on.
- Easy backend editing process for updating keywords or categories
- Emails sent out whenever your eBook is uploaded to each vendor
- Increased sales to marketplaces I could have never reached through KU
- And best of all, having one-stop access to all your vendor information (minus Amazon for me, because I use KDP too)
Overall, I’ve found that adding Draft2Digital to my eBook distribution plan has been well worth the time it took to de-list from KU and set up my books on their service. I highly encourage authors of standalones, or authors who publish at a slower pace, to give D2D a try.
Talk to Me, Arrowheads!
For my readers, what eBook vendor do you purchase your books from? For authors, do you publish solely through KDP, or are you wide as well? Do any of you use a different aggregator? Comment below with details about the service you use to help educate our indie community!
Aim high, stay strong, and always hit your mark.