Why I’m Moving My Books to Amazon Exclusively

S. J. Pajonas August 18, 2015
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There’s been a lot of soul searching around Pajonas No Uchi lately when it comes to my writing career. I’ve thought a lot about what I want to write, where I want to take my career, and how I want to reach my goals. Today, I’m announcing my biggest, most drastic move yet.

You see, I have spent the last 2 to 3 years listening to the vanguards of self-publishing and all their varied advice, and I have been trying to apply that advice to my own career. People said, “Do cover reveals and release day blasts! Do a blog tour! Have a street team! Release your book at 99¢! Sell your book everywhere, don’t put your eggs in one basket!” And I listened to all of this advice because I saw it working for those people with my own eyes. But guess what? None of those things actually worked for me, excepting maybe the blog tour but that was a long time ago and I don’t see them working as much now. I’ve gone through everything on every list of THINGS TO DO IF YOU SELF-PUBLISH, and I have had very little luck.

This, though, is not a woe-is-me post because, if you know me, you know I don’t give up that easily. Lol. I consider each of these failures an experiment, a piece of data. I add that data to my spreadsheet and look heavily at what I have tried and what I haven’t, deciding on what to try next or tweak to get better results. This is only the beginning of my journey as an author, but that doesn’t mean I should sit back and not try to improve my situation.

The last thing on the list, “Sell your book everywhere, don’t put your eggs in one basket!” is the one I have held out the longest with. I really believed that if I just gave it time, if I made sure to promote my work on other vendors than Amazon, I would see success. I made sure I have a permafree book, the first in a series, on all platforms with a substantial series to follow it up. I have made product funnels. I have even made targeted ads for those vendors. And nothing.

I’m coming up on my two year anniversary as a published author and I just don’t have an audience anywhere else but Amazon. The last book I published, SUMMER HAIKUS, only sold ONE book outside of Amazon. At best, I make $12/month between ALL of my non-Amazon books (that’s approximately $3 per vendor). Looking back at my spreadsheet for 2014 and 2015, there are many months I didn’t sell anything at all outside of Amazon.

It’s time to make a change.

As of the time you read this, FACE TIME and SUMMER HAIKUS, along with all the Kami No Sekai short stories, are on Amazon only for Kindle and in Kindle Unlimited. For those uninitiated, if an author wants to take part in the Kindle Unlimited program, they have to enroll their books in KDP Select, and that means the books need to be exclusive to Amazon and nowhere else. By the time I write my anniversary post on September 15th, all my books but REMOVED (which will be free everywhere for the foreseeable future) will be on Amazon Kindle and Kindle Unlimited. If you’re a Kindle Unlimited user, please download and enjoy them. I do get paid when you read them!

I’m giving Kindle Unlimited 6 to 9 months to show me what it’s made of before I decide what to do. I’d like to just stay there indefinitely since, currently, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iBooks give me no reason to come back. Barnes & Noble just killed off its international business a few weeks ago and makes it harder and harder for Nook users to read content they bought. Kobo’s search is useless and discoverability there is next to nothing. And iBooks is Mac and application only (they have no web store plus they use DRM). I love Macs but come on! I also don’t like Google Play and their strange discounting and the fact that new authors haven’t been able to open new accounts there for the last few months. They shut it down because of pirates. That certainly instills a low level of confidence.

Now if you were the 2% of my readers that did find me on a vendor other than Amazon, I have ways for you to still read my books if you want to.

• You can purchase a paperback through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, or Book Depository.

• You can buy my books on Amazon and read them in the Kindle app on your phone, tablet, or computer.

• Or you can purchase the Kindle version, send me your receipt, and I will give you a DRM-free ePub in exchange.

Send your Amazon receipt to ePub-exchange < at > spajonas < dot > com with the subject EPUB EXCHANGE, and I will send you a DRM-free ePub as soon as possible! Here’s the ePub Exchange page for future reference.

If you have an ethical reason for not shopping at Amazon, I’m sorry I can’t help you. Publishing is a business and I’m doing my best to run my business without going into debt. If you’re mega disappointed in this announcement, you can feel free to tell me in the comments, email, or use the contact form. I will take your comments to heart when it comes time to re-evaluate in 6 to 9 months. But I’m confident that this is a good decision for me and my business, and I thank you for your understanding. Sign up for my newsletter to get more news of this move now and into the future!

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