Deciding Where to Put Your Books

Sometimes readers will ask why a book is available at one store or website and not another. Great question!

If your book is published by a traditional publisher, the publisher makes this decision. They have contracts for shelf space in certain stores. For example, my Love Inspired books are carried in most Walmart stores. That’s nice! I love that. I also like the low price point.

There’s a lot of discussion among authors about where to put our books if you publish a book on your own, like my Kessler Event series. You could decide to distribute it WIDE (which means it will be in on-line stores like Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Apple, etc). For the last few years, all of my “indie” books have been wide. I love being able to offer a book to all my readers, regardless what type of e-reader they use or where they like to shop.

But then there’s the question of Amazon. Overall, Amazon is responsible for 92-95% of an author’s online book sales. That’s held true for me for the last 14 years. Amazon also has a subscription service called Kindle Unlimited. The service costs around $9.99 a month. Sometimes they have specials that are less. With the subscription, you get to read all of the books in the KU library – so for some people that can be a big savings.

Here’s the sticky-wicky part. If an author puts a book in KU, it can only be in KU. It can’t be on the B&N site or the Apple site or any other site. In exchange for being exclusively on Amazon, they give you some extra promotion which is nice. Authors are paid by the number of pages read. Yup–about half a penny per page. Hey. It adds up though.

WHY am I telling you all of this? When it came to my new series, The Kessler Effect, I made the business decision to put the series in KU. So if you want the ebook, you have to go to Amazon. If you want the paperback, you have to go to Amazon too. The reason I did this, is that this particular category (dystopian/disaster fiction/apocalyptic fiction) is BIG in KU and should put my books in front of a lot of readers.

I don’t know if this matters to you. But I wanted to explain. My other books (for example my Agatha series) will stay wide…you will still be able to download it from any ebook retailer. We’ll watch sales for the new series and see how things go.

In the meantime, I hope you’re able to find all of the books that you want to read.

V~

29 Comments

  1. kim hansen on November 4, 2022 at 5:47 am

    Half a penny a page. I did not know that.

  2. Marilyn+Messmann on November 4, 2022 at 6:26 am

    I read most of your books, and I get them from the public library. This new series is not available at the library yet, but hope it will be soon. I will order the paperback from there.

  3. Jennifer C. on November 4, 2022 at 7:09 am

    Hey this is the month for KU discounts; apparently it’s common for Amazon to run a black Friday special. I’ve only done their free introductory period, but I went through as many books as I could devour during that time.

  4. Debbie Earls on November 4, 2022 at 8:07 am

    Thank you for the information. That is very interesting. Love your books!

  5. Betty Vander Wier on November 4, 2022 at 8:17 am

    Thanks for the info and the explanation, it was very informative. Love your Amish stories especially the ones with a hint of mystery to them.

  6. Tari Hann on November 4, 2022 at 8:48 am

    I absolutely LOVE my KU subscription and find myself using it more and more. Sadly, your series in it isn’t a genre I read, but I’m always grateful when authors who run their books wide do offer them occasionally for sale like you do. Just wanted to sing the praises of KU though. Some authors I know put books in it initially for the required three months, then they go wide. Probably depends on the publisher, but case in point is a cozy mystery author I read named Lynn Cahoon. I believe she’s self-publishing her Cat Latimer and her new series set in New Orleans and always tells us in the newsletter they’ll be in KU for three months, so I already hurry and borrow lol. 🙂

  7. Pat Steria on November 4, 2022 at 9:09 am

    Thank you for writing so many wonderful books. I really really love each one I have read so far. You are an excellent author.

  8. Gail+Hollingsworth on November 4, 2022 at 10:31 am

    Enjoy reading anything you write! Have you thought about self publishing those first few you wrote? Would be interesting to read!

  9. ReneeJ on November 4, 2022 at 10:44 am

    Thank you for your storytelling, it makes for a lovely escape! Many blessings!

  10. Jan on November 4, 2022 at 11:02 am

    Love your books as I read Amish fiction.

  11. Cindy Vogel on November 4, 2022 at 12:14 pm

    Was all set to order your Christmas book and then realized It was a re-print that I had read..and am sure I enjoyed!

  12. Alicia Haney on November 4, 2022 at 12:51 pm

    Hi, I do most of my book shopping on Amazon. Thank you so much for this info. I don’t read ebooks at all, I only read books in print and I do purchase most of my books on Amazon. Have a great weekend.

  13. Susan Franke on November 4, 2022 at 12:52 pm

    I use Kindle Unlimited for most of my reading material. If I DNF something it doesn’t hurt as much if it was “free”.

  14. Linda McFarland on November 4, 2022 at 2:52 pm

    Publishing and promoting books is kind of a business in and of itself. Lots of decisions to be made for sure. Worth it in the end for readers.

  15. Laura on November 4, 2022 at 3:35 pm

    Super interesting! I love when authors share “behind-the-scenes” details, thank you!!

  16. Cecilia on November 4, 2022 at 3:50 pm

    Thank you for the insight into publishing your books. I do enjoy reading your books.

  17. Patricia Shrader on November 4, 2022 at 4:59 pm

    I usually like to buy my Love inspired books at Walmart, and most others from Amazon. 💙

  18. Linda Palmer on November 4, 2022 at 5:11 pm

    I’ve never felt inclined to sign up for KU. I have so many books on my kindle and physical books I’d like to read. The only time I was tempted was when the next book in a series I wanted to read was beyond my budget, not at my library, and plus my library had terminated my card due to disuse! I’m trying to be patient to read the sought for book.

  19. SARAH TAYLOR on November 4, 2022 at 6:56 pm

    Thank Uou for sharing Love reading your books!

  20. Lelia+(Lucy)+Reynolds on November 4, 2022 at 6:57 pm

    Thank you for sharing. Answers a lot of questions.

  21. Becky Nelson on November 4, 2022 at 10:00 pm

    I really enjoyed reading your Remnants series. I enjoy reading about how Christian handle these circumstances.

  22. Vickie Waters on November 4, 2022 at 10:21 pm

    Wow! This was very interesting. It would be a hard decision to make on what platform(s) your book would go.

    Can you change platforms at any time?

    Thanks.

  23. Teresa+Lynn on November 4, 2022 at 11:49 pm

    Always a hard decision, but you’ve clearly put lots of thought into it. Hope it pays off for you!

  24. Elizabeth Allan on November 5, 2022 at 11:43 am

    Thanks for all the information about why books are not always available everywhere online. That is something I’ve wondered about when I try to find a particular book by an author and only find it one or two places. I’ve never read any of your books. I’m a church librarian so need to see about adding your books to our collection. Have a blessed day!

  25. Sandy Larivee on November 5, 2022 at 2:26 pm

    Very interesting to hear how the publishing world works. I do have KU and have read a lot from authors I didn’t know so I hope it gets you some additional readers.

  26. Beverly Merkel on November 7, 2022 at 1:44 am

    Interesting to hear the behind the scenes of the publishing world. Thank you for sharing. Love reading your books.

  27. Marguerite Thompson on November 9, 2022 at 5:51 pm

    I have KU and would love to read more of your books. I’ve loved all of the ones I’ve read so far!!!

  28. Jennifer N. on November 14, 2022 at 9:16 pm

    Super interesting, thanks for sharing! I’ve often wondered why some books are advertised only available on Kindle Unlimited for a short time, like for a month. While a book is in the Kindle Unlimited catalog, is it also excluded from being in the libraries’ e-systems (Libby/OverDrive, Hoopla, etc.)?

  29. Vickie Jameson on November 17, 2022 at 9:24 am

    I’ve thought about using Kindle Unlimited but can’t decide if it would be a good option for me. I read ebooks but prefer printed books I can hold. Thank you for the insight and for the chance to win a prize.

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