Chris A. Baird | November 22, 2020
What Is New Since Self Publishing On Amazon 2019?

Self publishing on Amazon 2019 is no longer the same this year. Learn about the strategies that can help you make self-publishing on Amazon a lot easier for you.

Today's question has three answers and you are going to want to stick around for the third answer. It's a secret as to exactly how we can learn from the past. As well as the correct strategies to deal with the changes that Amazon has made.

So let's get into it. The question that was sent to me today was, what is new since self publishing on Amazon 2019? Now the person who asked this question is thinking about the fact that we need to learn from the changes that are happening on Amazon.

It's true with other sites as well. But you are looking at those changes and you are starting to see a problem. That problem is that if you don't change with the latest strategies, you are going to lose in the long run.

It leaves us realizing we are going to start losing money on the books that we are publishing. We are not going to be making as much money as we could be making on them otherwise. So, that is exactly what we are going to discuss in today's article.

But before we get into the answers, check out my absolutely free Self-Publishing Checklist. It will tell you the steps you are currently not doing that you should be doing. So go ahead and check that free one out.

Let's start a little bit from my own story when we're dealing with the question of 2019 and Amazon. Well, I started back in 2015. I started with the Amazon KDP account which is a Kindle Direct Publishing account where I would put my Kindle book out onto the market.

Check out this related article: KDP Self Publishing Account Sign In?

But very quickly I began to understand that this was going to be a problem if I'm on Amazon alone. You might be wondering why exactly would that be a problem? I was watching people getting their books taken down and the community as a whole was looking to see if there are ways to get more books to sell.

There are a lot of strategies and some of them were clearly in violation of Amazon's policies. While others would be more of a gray hat, people were doing things that weren't necessarily off-limits for Amazon. But they were items they would not appreciate.

I will just give you some areas that will get you in trouble. One of them was people who discovered that Amazon's read where you would count the number of pages that you would get paid for. They discovered that it wasn't actually looking at the pages a person read but the furthest point they came in the book.

Some people discovered if you put your table of contents at the end of the book and a link to it, then that automatically causes people to look like they read your thousand-page book. Then they would put 10 books together and this got people's accounts banned.

Amazon somewhere says you can't do that or put a link to a free thing in the back of your book or shovel all your books together. So this is like one of those strategies that got people in trouble.

There Is A Better Strategy

Another one was raising your price too fast on your print books. So if you see that sales are going on if you raise your price, Amazon will sell your book at a lower price. But then pay you the royalty on the higher since they had a delay in their system.

So changing your prices too often can result in you being threatened to lose your revenue or worse getting your account banned. These are all in terms of just price strategies that people notice.

The other ones would involve review swapping with other authors or paying virtual assistants or buying write-out reviews on Fiverr and other locations. These have gotten people's accounts banned.

The point being is that all of these strategies were resulting in a lot of people getting in trouble with Amazon. If you're only on Amazon, then you are taking a huge risk. And since 2019, there have been some changes that have increased the risk of some things.

Maybe lowered it on others but let's take a look at the next one. I started to learn from the gurus that going wide with your book distribution was a much better strategy. It is something you're definitely going to want to consider.

Because if Amazon were to do something with your account especially in an area where you're not really breaking a rule, then Amazon is punishing you that you don't want your account to get frozen or shut down. Where your royalties are sitting in limbo and then you have no money to keep your business going.

So the trick was what if you put it on to other locations? That was something that was introduced to me and since then I followed that example. I never looked back, I started with Amazon KDP.

Check out this related article: Where I Self-Publish My Books?

I was also on Amazon KDP Print or Createspace at the time. And then went over to ACX which is also Amazon, it is ACX Audible. After that, we moved over to Lulu for our hardbacks.

We moved to Smashwords for additional eBook distribution and finally Ingram Spark where I'm still putting books out there. Actually, on all these sites, I'm putting books out. But for your print books and also your eBooks through Ingram Spark and so you would have this massive network of distribution.

Each one of these is an aggregator so it's pumping and pushing your books out in all of these different formats to as many locations as possible. To the point where sometimes I will look at my books and see they are in libraries all over the world.

People check them out to learn something about this topic or that topic or for entertainment. It just depends and the feeling that you get when you have made that realization of this idea of going wide and that you are not limited to your revenue coming from only one source is just fantastic.

So definitely I would recommend it. But let's get into the specific answers to today's question. So the first thing that we would see regarding a change on Amazon since 2019 is exactly that advertisements they opened it up for products to be competing against your books.

That makes it very very difficult for you to compete against physical products that are competing when you have your ads running against your books. So we saw the prices there start to go up.

Things Are Continually Changing

The next thing we saw was that Amazon started getting a little pickier on allowing you to even run ads against certain books. Books like Weight Loss, Cryptocurrency, or some of these other books that were also listed as off-limits.

This also posed a high risk or a problem when trying to get your books out onto Amazon. So a lot of people discovered that suddenly this was making it more difficult.

But the secret answer of the day and the third answer is that when we are trying to win at this particular game, let's say from what we found in self publishing on Amazon 2019, the biggest thing that we discovered was that things are continually changing. And that you need to change with them.

That was just very important. In my case, I discovered going wide was important. The ads are still important and since 2019, they now have expanded out the number of places you can run your ads.

But keep a close eye because they will run your ads and you'll end up wasting money if you don't follow them. They shut down the ads that are not making you money and continue putting out your books into these different formats. In addition, KDP Select became a lot less useful in 2019.

Check out this related article: What Is The Best Site For Self Publishing?

However, it still is useful if you've got your advanced review team and you want to make sure they can get sort of verified reviews. So they are going to need to be able to get your book for free, running it through KDP Select.

You can then run a free 5-day promo where you send it to your email list and ask them to leave reviews in exchange for the free copy that they can just download right on Amazon. So they get a verified review and they can help you to get more sales.

This is sort of a very important point to remember. So that was the secret answer of the day. Tell me what have you learned?

Have you discovered that you have had to change as a result of what Amazon's been doing or you stayed the same? If you have had to change, write the word "Yes" below in the comments. If you have been able to just stay the same and been running the same strategy when it comes to self publishing on Amazon 2019, then say "No" you haven't had to change.

That would really help me out because I want to make sure these articles are exactly hitting what you need and want. So hopefully, that was helpful. And if you want more answers to your self-publishing questions, check out my other blogs and videos.

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