Few authors are thrilled about the big shift in self-publishing in 2018, because the process became more a lot expensive. Both Amazon (AMS) and Facebook shifted to pay-to-play.
No more free visibility. If you want to sell books today, you need to advertise.
I prefer to keep all my blog posts positive. I know that this new “pay up!” situation will be disheartening for many authors.
We’ll look at how to cope in 2019. For now, let’s cast an eye over the terrain, so to speak.
Self-publishing: slimmer margins, more work
Pay to play means slimmer margins for authors who now have to advertise, or forgo sales.
Russell Blake has an excellent post on Amazon’s changes, and on advertising:
Amazon has taken real estate on their product pages and turned it into revenue streams… (because it’s a) revenue generation engine, it would have been dumb for them to offer visibility that doesn’t involve publishers and authors paying Zon…
Paying for ads wouldn’t be such a pain in the rear end if the reporting process made sense; at least then authors could make decisions. Unfortunately Amazon’s reporting is plain horrid.
Sales and advertising on Amazon: what the…??
On the sales side, many authors have been complaining about huge drops in their Amazon KDP sales since October. This book sales downturn isn’t across the board — not all authors are affected. However, it encompasses both straight sales, and KENPC income.
Affected authors believe that there’s a major glitch in KDP. Who knows? It’s a mystery.
As for the Amazon advertising situation… Authors advertising on Amazon can spend a lot of time wondering what on earth is going on too.
Suffice to say that AMS’s reporting is a mess. This is beyond-frustrating when you’re advertising on AMS. You’re throwing money into the void, and don’t know whether your ads are working, or not.
The solution? Roll on 2019
We’ll look at solutions in 2019 — many self-publishing authors will need to change what they’re doing, but this is nothing new. There’s an Amazon challenge every few months, and publishing is of course a business.
In the meantime, write on. 🙂
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