Taking the Plunge: Going Wide

One of the biggest ongoing debates in indie publishing is whether or not to “go wide” (publish through as many retailers as possible) or stick with only Amazon and Kindle Unlimited. I’m releasing Dragon Green this week (Thursday, Dec. 1st), and I’ve decided to take the plunge and go wide. Lots of blog posts and forum topics do a good job of running down the pros and cons, but for me it boils down to three main reasons:

  1. Poor KU Results. I’m just not getting a lot of page reads. I hear about other authors getting tons of page reads, but it’s just not happening for me. If it were, it would incentivize me to stay in the program. It could very well be an issue with my books. But for whatever reason, they’re not performing well in KU, so I think it’s worth seeing if they do better across many channels with a different model.
  2. BookBub. The holy grail of promotions. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I see a lot of authors claiming that BookBub prefers authors that go wide. I don’t expect to get a promotion with any individual books in the series, though I would love to. Basically I want to position myself to be in the best possible spot to get a BB promo for the entire series as a boxed set.
  3. Permafree. I’ve also heard that the first-book permafree model doesn’t work quite as well anymore. But since I’m not doing well in KU anyway, I figure I can probably only go up from here. And you can’t set the first book in your series as permanently free unless you go wide.

Basically, though, with the release of my fourth book overall and the third in my series, I want to try it out. Going wide is a fair amount of work. But I also want to do it because I really like the idea of exposing my books to as wide an audience as possible and diversifying future income. If I’m able to build up a wider audience, great. If not, I can always choose to enroll future books/series in KU. The scheduling is a little weird, though. Dragon Blue just rolled out of KU, and I’ve spent today setting it up through different vendors. Dragon Red doesn’t unenroll from KU until January, though. So it’s not really going to be a good lead-in for the other books in the series, at least until then. But I will be able to assess demand for the free book for the next two months. Then I can see about trying to drive sales with promos for Dragon Blue.

I don’t know how well it’s going to work, but I’m hopeful. I’ll update my store links once it’s live in other places.

In other news, I passed 1,000 subscribers on my mailing list. The bulk of those have been through Instafreebie and cross-promos. I’m pretty interested to see how well it performs on release day. I’m also going to try resending a week later to subscribers who didn’t open the first email. That’s a strategy I haven’t been using that I probably should.

And on the writing side, I’m in the process of outlining Dragon Black, Dragon White: Darkest Day, Brightest Night. No traveling back and forth from Earth this time. I know who my hero and heroine are going to be, but right now I only have the vaguest idea of how the story is going to play out. This one’s going to take place in a time of war and chaos, though, all of which will be resolved in the last book. Other than that, you’ll find out when I do.

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