Considering options for book sales

About a year ago, I had my books available on Amazon, but also on Smashwords – where they were distributed to other sites such as Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple, etc.

I chose, at that time, to unpublish them from all the sites but Amazon. My sales on the other site were so pathetic that even to call them negligible was being generous. I enrolled my books in Amazon’s KDP Select (for those not in the know, this made my books exclusively available on Amazon, which gave me the option to offer them for free {and later, in Kindle Countdown Deals}, and they could be borrowed by Amazon Prime members). When I did this, I did see an increase in my sales.

I still see sales coming this way. But I feel that they’re…not quite what they could be. I like the options I have through KDP Select, but I wonder if I would get more sales making my books available elsewhere again. I’m also wondering if there’s more I could do to help increase sales with Amazon.

I’m locked into KDP Select through about mid-March, so I can’t make any changes immediately. But I’m considering my options now, to not only begin making changes if there are ones I can make now, but also so that I have enough time to make a decision before I end up re-enrolled in KDP Select for no other reason than that I didn’t make a decision.

So, here are my questions for you, my reader:

1. Whether you are an author or a reader, what suggestions would you make in terms of marketing ideas? I use Twitter, have a Facebook page, this site, and use the free days that are available to me by being in KDP Select. There’s probably more I do that I’m forgetting to list here, but feel free to make any suggestions that come to your mind.

2. If you’re an author, in your experience, what has been better for you in terms of finding real sales: exclusivity with Amazon, or expansion to other sites as well? If you use multiple sites, do you use Smashwords as a distributor or do you do your own work to get your work on those other sites? (I found that I wasn’t really impressed with Smashwords overall, and not with their distribution, either)

3. As a reader, where do you prefer to go for books? Do you prefer Amazon over all others? Do you have a Nook or other ereader that requires you to get a Kindle app because you prefer Amazon for pricing/selection? Do you not have any ereader and use computer apps to read ebooks (and if you do this, which apps do you use)?

4. If there was only one marketing strategy you would suggest, what would it be and why do you think it’s so crucial?

Thanks for your help!

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