Chris A. Baird | July 6, 2022
The Best Self-Publishing Platform For Authors

Are you an author trying to look for the right platform for your books? I can tell you the best self-publishing platform for authors that you can try now.

Amy could see that the books that she had published through IngramSpark were showing up on Amazon. But the problem was that she wasn't able to adjust the prices or some of the metadata that would be associated with those files and that led to some questions.

That's one of the reasons why in today's topic, we will discuss The Best Self-Publishing Platform For Authors. So, the thing was, Amy is an author in California and she has written a couple of books.

She had gone through with a hybrid publisher. She had gone through with them and they had managed to put the paperback versions of those books onto IngramSpark. This is the first time I had ever met somebody in this particular category.

They started with just putting the books on IngramSpark. If you were going with a hybrid company that would help you with this process. That they wouldn't bother to do the eBooks as well.

But in Amy's case, it was just the paperback versions on IngramSpark. She was coming and looking to see if it was possible to get more sales on IngramSpark for her books. But it wasn't clear at all how exactly she'd go about doing this when she couldn't run ads as easily.

She could use other marketing techniques. But not the type that you'd be able to use on Amazon. So, she'd heard about other platforms but then again, why should she bother with other platforms?

Since she was already on IngramSpark and it was sort of pushing the book through to some of the other platforms that distribute the books. But she was thinking that “I don't know if I want to write the next book in the series.”

Because people were not buying her existing books. She started to doubt that maybe she didn't have what it takes to write books that people would wish to read.

So, what’s the best self-publishing platforms for authors? The first thing is she did go to this hybrid publisher, they were able to do a couple of positive things. They were able to take her book in the format that it was in.

Check out this related article: What I Wish I Knew Before Self Publishing

They helped her with the process of getting a cover. Getting it all together and putting it on IngramSpark. Though she did it through her account.

So, unlike some hybrid publishers where they own everything, you don't have any idea what sales you're getting. It’s dependent upon them forever. She did get it out there.

Sometimes I've even talked with coaching clients on this subject. So, we can see how many sales you're making. Well, I can't see that. Why not?

Because your book has been uploaded by this hybrid publisher to the site. They are the only ones who get to know what you're selling or not selling. Or how much money they wish to send you or not send you.

It is a ridiculous situation. Even if you're going to run ads against it, you won't get that information. It's unbelievable! But in Amy’s case, she was very fortunate.

She was able to go through this hybrid publisher. They set it into her account and not theirs. They're not building some sort of eternal dependency upon them to continue to do everything they were going to do.

Then the second thing was that she didn't have an eBook version of the book. She had heard that eBook versions can help when it comes to sales. But she wasn't even completely clear over that.

Because after all, aren't books just about the paperback? Well, that's what she was thinking, she was incorrect. But that was exactly what she was thinking. 

Learning From Every Book Produced

So, what happens next? The thing is that she was watching some of my videos. I commented on the importance of getting help.

If you don't know what you're doing, you don't know the direction you should be going. And what you need to do to either get it self-published or get your books selling.

So, she booked a free Discovery Session with me. There were a couple of things that we noticed, the first is that her book was on Amazon originally. I wasn't even clear about the fact that it was only done through IngramSpark. 

And so, then it pushes the books back. But a couple of things we saw was that there was no “look inside”. The person who might consider buying Amy's books couldn't see the “look inside”.

It was just simply not there. When you click on her name on Amazon, nothing comes up because she doesn't have an author central account with Amazon. I said you need to get this set up through Amazon KDP.

She asked, what is Amazon KDP? Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, I commented. That is exactly where we want to start this entire journey as we set it up there.

Then we would adjust the prices which also she cannot adjust. As we've talked about on our pricing topics, the pricing strategy is one of the most important things. As we're getting more sales, we need to increase the price incrementally.

But what if you have no control over the price? This creates a huge problem especially if it's happening on Amazon. This is one of the things I was commenting on.

Check out this related article: The Best Self Publishing Platforms of 2022

Now that is the answer to the key question there. Amazon is by far the best platform, there's nothing better than Amazon. Even if you put it on other sites, I recommend IngramSpark in addition to Amazon and your hardbacks through Lulu.

But they're going to come back also through Amazon. But ultimately, we want to be able to control the pricing on Amazon. We want to be able to control ads that we're running against these books.

To see the sales that are being attributed to these ads. After running 128 million ads myself personally for my 200-plus books that I have on Amazon, I can tell you this is one of the most powerful ways to get your book to sell.

It's finding the correct ads. Targeting the right audience and bringing them to the sales page. Optimizing the sales page and then getting those ads to sell your books for you.

That combination is a very powerful one. Especially if you learn from each book you produce. You put it on the market and then we learn so we're able to drive more traffic to the next book.

But you could see we were missing all of these things here. Even though her book was on Amazon, she wasn't registered through Amazon. They were distributing it for IngramSpark but she wasn't actually through her account.

The audience size on Amazon is so massive. You're losing an audience if you're just hoping that you don't have to optimize a sales page and that they'll buy from you. There are many other books they could buy from many other authors who were putting books out there.

They could very well go to them for the authors who are choosing to optimize their pages. Ensure that they're getting the sales they deserve for the books they're putting on Amazon. I hope that makes a little bit of sense. 

Increasing Level Of Motivation

That was what I was explaining to Amy as we were working through her books and seeing a whole series of these things. So, the solution became pretty clear for her. It is that you need to set up an Amazon KDP account.

Get in touch with Amazon and find out if you can adjust prices. If you can put up the author's bio even if it's coming through IngramSpark. In addition, you're going to want to get this eBook version on KDP.

So that you can have an audiobook version as well through ACX. And since she lives in California or the UK, that also would not be a problem. For other parts of the world, that can be difficult.

So, finding voices would be a better option for those people in terms of getting your audiobook produced. You want to do this. You never want to sit on manuscripts, you never want to have it in that way.

The downside is she's going to have to go through and learn a little bit more on the formatting front. That was something we had discussed in the session. The discovery session is a fantastic place to sort of get out of your mind and out of your head and sort of exploring with me.

We can look closely at exactly your goals and what we're trying to achieve here. Where you're at and what needs to be done to move things forward. You can also book a free discovery session if that is of interest to you.

If you feel everything's going perfectly, then keep on going. But I'm telling you, everybody needs a coach of some sort. So, you definitely should book a free discovery session and we can talk about your issue there.

Now back to Amy, so ultimately, she realized she was going to need to fix the Amazon situation. As we last spoke, she's in the process of setting up her Amazon KDP account. She’s going to ask Amazon if she could adjust the prices through this particular route.

Check out this related article: Self-Publishing Mistakes to Avoid

If she can get them connected to her account. It wasn't clear to me if that was possible since I haven't seen this scenario before. So, I will be following up with Amy to see if that is relevant.

In addition, she realized the importance of formatting herself. So that she could make these changes she wanted through a hybrid publisher. But they're going to charge a hundred dollars because it's not worth their time to bother around with this stuff.

So, she bought the book formatting course that I have. It shows you how to use the tool Jutoh to get the sales that you deserve. For your specific way to get the book formatted and out there in the different formats, you're going to need.

If we're going to make it, we're going to succeed at this whole self-publishing thing. At the end of it all, she's feeling a lot better. She could see a track, a direction going to get these sales.

To get her books in more formats appealing to a larger audience. Also optimizing the sales pages, resulting in a high level of motivation. In her case, she did have money to deal with stuff like running the ads once the book was out on the market.

That's the other thing with these ads. You have two separate ads: you do ads for your Kindle version and then you do ads for the paperback version. We're using the Kindle ads to drive traffic to the sales page.

Then people end up buying the paperback version for almost everyone I know. They make about twice as much money off the paperback version than they do with Kindle. My IngramSpark books make me more money than my paperbacks on Amazon.

It is amazing. But even if you have no money, you might be wondering How To Self-Publish With No Money? Well, that is why you're going to want to check out that previous article and I'll see you over there.

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