Last year’s platforms where you had a lot of sales on your books may not be the best for this year. Let me tell you the best self publishing platforms of 2022 today.
Getting Not Much Traffic
Luca was against going with any of the big greedy self-publishing companies. So he figured out a great strategy. It was to simply go on his own website and sell it there.
But there's one problem, Luca wasn't making any sales at all. That's one of the reasons why in this article, as a follow-up to our previous article, we're going to talk about The Best Self Publishing Platforms of 2022.
It was about 8 months ago or so and Luca was asking about selling on his website. This was the question that he was trying to address. He was trying to figure out if this is doable?
Luca's main motivation was he'd heard about all of the things that Amazon or IngramSpark or these other companies had been up to. He wasn't happy with it. Whether monopolistic practices or some sort of capitalistic thing they were treating employees.
Even ways that they were doing business. Running competitors out of business or impact on small sellers. There are all sorts of reasons why he was looking and saying “You know what, I just don't want to do it.”
The other thing was he didn't like the idea of only making 40% to 70% profit off of his books. Compared to what he would make if he sold on his website. Where he could get a 100% of the profit and not have to mess around with these big publishers.
But the thing was that he wasn't sure if he'd be able to figure it out. To get it up and going on his website. So by hoping to maximize profits, he realized that if he were to put it onto the main websites, he would only be losing money.
He would just be giving them additional money. To fund the things that he didn't like. But at the same time, he was beginning to doubt a little bit his own ability to go about putting his video or his books onto his website.
What exactly would be required? The first thing was he set up his website. He went through WPX Hosting and he started setting the whole process up.
He then needed a payment gateway which was a bit of a challenge for him. He decided to go with Gumroad even though I like to go with the ThriveCart or Samcart.
Check out this related article: Best Self Publishing Companies of 2022
The thing is to be able to sell directly to your customers, the idea was he needed to figure out which formats he should have? Is it EPUB or Mobi files? Maybe it was going to be a PDF or document or something like that.
So it became a very confusing process for him. In the end, he managed to get his book posted on his website. But he wasn't making any sales and this was a huge problem.
It was at this point that he was Googling and he came across one of my blogs. He downloaded my free Self-Publishing Secrets Checklist. He was working through the checklist and this helped him realize suddenly, “Wait for a second, I may have made a mistake.”
Because the thing is that as he was reading one of the emails, he was getting it from me. It's not about the percent in the royalties that you're making that matters. The thing that matters most is the total profit you're making.
So sometimes, people are looking, they go to the ads and they'll be running ads against their books or other things. They'll be so focused on that. They're making as much money as possible.
But in reality, it's better to raise our prices, especially on paperback books. And when we're getting so many sales and increasing the amount of money we're making off of the books and we're trying to find that exact medium.
That was something I was discussing with Luca. About how exactly to go about doing this. When do we not go this route? We try a route like putting it on our website.
What you're going to find is how much traffic you already have coming to your website. That was the first question I asked him. The answer was, well I don't even know. So we set up Google Analytics on his website so we could take a closer look.
To see that he wasn't getting that much traffic from Google. Which is a huge problem for him when it comes to trying to make sales on your website.
Look Where Your Customers Are
He did send his book link and the link to his website to all of these social media and Facebook groups and other things. But that didn't drive that much traffic to his website.
So this was a big challenge for him. That was one of the reasons why I commented that “Look, this isn't just about selling your book. It's about keeping your motivation nice and high. If your motivation goes down, you're not going to make any sales at all.”
This was something that from Luca's perspective, he hadn't considered. He just thought, “Look, if I put it on my own website or put it on a different website, what difference does it make?”
It will still make the same number of sales. What he wasn't thinking about was that there are two main things you need to think about when you're selling your books. One of them is traffic and the other key concept is conversions.
So, between the two, traffic and conversions. Traffic would be how many people are even seeing the sales page on your website. If not many people are coming there, you have a problem.
Whereas, some places like Amazon have tons of people coming there every single day. With the exact intent of buying books to meet whatever need they have. So I pointed out to Luca that, look where your customers are.
They are also equally concerned about Amazon. If they are, then you would expect them to be coming to your website and buying your book.
But they aren't and that's one of the reasons why when you're choosing the best self publishing platforms of 2022, you're going to want to choose the ones where you have the maximum amount of traffic. Then the second is the conversion issue.
Check out this related article: Should You Self-Publish Your Book In 2022?
That would be, that the sales page itself is specifically engineered to increase the sales that are coming through. The person on Amazon already has their credit card out. They're ready to purchase your book.
Because they just have to click one button. They trust Amazon and so we're overcoming a lot of barriers. They also can ask for their money back just like anybody who takes any of my courses.
They can always ask for money back with a money-back guarantee for 30 days. When you're learning how to format or doing content marketing. Or other things that you're able to buy without any threat or risk assumed.
So it's a zero-risk environment and that is something that I find very powerful that Amazon has. They've built that trust with their customer-based approach. If you take your purchase, you're going to get what was promised.
Then that transaction will be complete. They are great on the conversion front. So if you're going to beat Amazon, you need to have equally the same amount of traffic as your ideal customer.
Then we need to have your sales page flawlessly converted in the way that Amazon does. We need to be able to track the entire thing and this is a huge problem. That's one of the reasons I told Luca the best strategy for you is to go with the top or the best self publishing platforms of 2022.
These are Amazon and IngramSpark which I like for the paperbacks. But since you pay the same for the review of the paperbacks and the ebooks, I also put them over there. Then Draft2Digital to get it in even more distribution channels as we're pushing it out.
Now in the old days, I told you all to go for Smashwords but it has been purchased by Draft2Digital. So I would go with Draft2Digital. PublishDrive is another one that I sort of like except they make you pay a monthly fee to hold your books on their site.
Whereas these other sites do not require what IngramSpark requires. You get an ISBN code but Amazon does not. But then IngramSpark makes more sales.
So it's worth your time to get your paperback books at a minimum on IngramSpark. Even if it costs you $50 or $100 to do it, it's worth the cost. That was what I commented to Luca.
Driving Traffic To Website
The thing is that he didn't quite understand that with Amazon, if your book is not in KDP Select, that's just the ebook version. Then you're free to sell it on these other platforms as well. Including your website is something that he had simply not considered.
That's one of the reasons why his journey in this case had started. I just came across one of my blogs and then grabbed my free self-publishing secrets checklist. To make sure that your books are being produced smoothly and are selling.
In addition to getting my email list and my newsletters where I tell you the secrets as well and we go in-depth. So feel free to grab a copy of that. But that's really where his journey started.
Where did it all end up? So the ultimate obstacle that he was facing was the idea that he did put it on his site. He put it in different formats but he was making no sales. So he said fine, “I give up, I will put it on Amazon.”
I understood and I commented, “Look, I understand we don't like Amazon or we don't like this company or that company. But if your readers do, who are we to argue with our readers?”
Once you're making millions of sales, then take it off that platform. It's just like a lot of musicians who don't want to put their music on Apple Music. Maybe they don't want to put it on Spotify because they're not paying me enough royalties.
But look, the only people that can get away with this sort of thing are the top artists. To become an absolute best seller in the books. Then you're free to move to your site.
In addition, you can keep it on your site. If you see that you're making so many sales on that, then you're free of course to stop selling on Amazon. But why do you want to do that?
Why would I want to cut back thousands of dollars a month that is coming through Amazon? If I can't compete on my site, is this going to hurt Amazon? Am I making a message to somebody?
After all, my target readers were in fact on Amazon. So why in the world would I want to screw up that beautiful process we had? So in the end, Luca ended up seeing sales coming through his Amazon link.
Check out this related article: Creating An Email List For Self-Publishers
In addition, he had links to his website in his book. Which was then driving traffic to his website where they were able to get on his email list. Then he was able to give them the flexibility.
“Hey, you know, I do sell on Amazon. But look, you can buy them on my website.” It caused a small uptick in the sales of his website.
So by selling on both, we're shooting at the top platforms of 2022. At the same time, for his self-publishing journey, he's able to sell on his website. If he feels that money is enough coming through his website, then shut down the other ones.
I just don't know why you would do that. Unless you believe it is unethical to sell books to readers who would get more value out of it. In the places where your readers are.
In reality, I'm not completely convinced that we're going to make that much of a difference anyway. Why not use the money and then you can give it to a cause that fights against whatever it is that you don't like?
Google Books or iBooks or Amazon or any of these companies. If you know which ones you don't like but any of these companies you want to punish. Then give it to a cause that actually will fight for whatever rights it is.
To push these companies to do the things you like. But use the money that you're earning from them, wouldn't that be even a better way to get revenge? If you need to do this, why would you want to punish yourself by saying, I'm not going to put my books where my customers are?''
And where the money will come in, where I can then use the money to invest and pay for activist causes. Against some of the practices, these companies are doing. That was a major transformation that he experienced.
Well, the thing is that you went about deciding these platforms. As I was talking about, there are a lot of things to consider. A few other things that you'll find is that when you're looking for the Best Self Publishing Companies 2022, you're going to want to check out my previous video on this one.