Indie Author Weekly

056: Why go wide instead of deep as an indie author

April 21, 2020 Sagan Morrow Episode 57
Indie Author Weekly
056: Why go wide instead of deep as an indie author
Chapters
Indie Author Weekly
056: Why go wide instead of deep as an indie author
Apr 21, 2020 Episode 57
Sagan Morrow

This episode of the Indie Author Weekly podcast explores going wide, vs going deep, as an indie author... and why go wide instead of deep! 

First of all, what exactly does it mean to “go wide” or “go deep” with your book sales? 

The concept is that “going wide” means you’re making your book available on multiple different platforms (Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, etc). “Going deep,” on the other hand, means you’re focusing exclusively on one particular platform. For example, if you want to be part of Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program, you have to sign an exclusivity contract with them—which means you can’t provide your book for sale on any other platforms. 

There’s a  great breakdown of the pros and cons between the two options on The Creative Penn podcast, which I’ll link in the show notes. 

To me, choosing between going deep and going wide with my Polyamorous Passions romantic comedy series really came down to two crucial factors: first and foremost, when our books are available on multiple platforms, we are making them more accessible to more people. 

Accessibility matters so much. It’s why I offer complete written transcripts of each of these podcast episodes on the secret version of the podcast at SaganMorrow.com/secretpodcast, for example.  And the problem is that if we limit our books to only being available on Amazon, then we are losing out on connecting with so many other readers who prefer a different platform, and who would absolutely love to read our books. 

Whenever I’m choosing whether or not to do something in my business, I always like to take into account what I would want if I were the customer. This helps ensure that all of my business decisions always feel really good for my unique business. I strongly encourage you to tap into the same if you sometimes struggle with business decisions, yourself! This is an important part of building a business that you love, which I talk a lot about in my Productivity Powerhouse e-course—you can learn more about that at SaganMorrow.com/powerhouse.  

So: Accessibility was a major factor in my decision to go wide rather than deep with my own books. Tune into this episode to find out the 2nd major factor!  

Resources & links mentioned in this episode:

Let's chat about this episode:

Support the show (https://saganmorrow.com/secretpodcast)

Show Notes Transcript

This episode of the Indie Author Weekly podcast explores going wide, vs going deep, as an indie author... and why go wide instead of deep! 

First of all, what exactly does it mean to “go wide” or “go deep” with your book sales? 

The concept is that “going wide” means you’re making your book available on multiple different platforms (Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, etc). “Going deep,” on the other hand, means you’re focusing exclusively on one particular platform. For example, if you want to be part of Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program, you have to sign an exclusivity contract with them—which means you can’t provide your book for sale on any other platforms. 

There’s a  great breakdown of the pros and cons between the two options on The Creative Penn podcast, which I’ll link in the show notes. 

To me, choosing between going deep and going wide with my Polyamorous Passions romantic comedy series really came down to two crucial factors: first and foremost, when our books are available on multiple platforms, we are making them more accessible to more people. 

Accessibility matters so much. It’s why I offer complete written transcripts of each of these podcast episodes on the secret version of the podcast at SaganMorrow.com/secretpodcast, for example.  And the problem is that if we limit our books to only being available on Amazon, then we are losing out on connecting with so many other readers who prefer a different platform, and who would absolutely love to read our books. 

Whenever I’m choosing whether or not to do something in my business, I always like to take into account what I would want if I were the customer. This helps ensure that all of my business decisions always feel really good for my unique business. I strongly encourage you to tap into the same if you sometimes struggle with business decisions, yourself! This is an important part of building a business that you love, which I talk a lot about in my Productivity Powerhouse e-course—you can learn more about that at SaganMorrow.com/powerhouse.  

So: Accessibility was a major factor in my decision to go wide rather than deep with my own books. Tune into this episode to find out the 2nd major factor!  

Resources & links mentioned in this episode:

Let's chat about this episode:

Support the show (https://saganmorrow.com/secretpodcast)

Hello friends! Sagan here. Welcome back to Indie Author Weekly, where I share my behind-the-scenes journey of writing and self-publishing books. 

If you’re new to this podcast, I am a productivity strategist for multi-passionate creatives at SaganMorrow.com: I help people manage their time and energy effectively, through customized, actionable strategies that work for your unique life and business. When I’m not teaching about productivity to solopreneurs, I spend my time writing romance novels, and occasionally, business books. And that is what this podcast is all about: the adventures of the author life.

Now let’s get into this episode of the Indie Author Weekly podcast. Today, I want to talk about going wide, vs going deep, as an indie author.

What exactly does it mean to “go wide” or “go deep”? 

Well, the concept is that “going wide” means you’re making your book available on multiple different platforms. For example, Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and so on. “Going deep,” on the other hand, means you’re focusing exclusively on one particular platform. For example, if you want to be part of Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program, you have to sign an exclusivity contract with them—which means you can’t provide your book for sale on any other platforms.

There’s a really great breakdown of the pros and cons between the two options on The Creative Penn podcast, which I’ll link in the show notes. 

To me, choosing between going deep and going wide with my Polyamorous Passions romantic comedy series really came down to two crucial factors: first and foremost, when our books are available on multiple platforms, we are making them more accessible to more people. 

Accessibility matters so, so much. It’s why I offer complete written transcripts of each of these podcast episodes on the secret version of the podcast at SaganMorrow.com/secretpodcast, for example. 

And the problem is that if we limit our books to only being available on Amazon, then we are losing out on connecting with so many other readers who prefer a different platform, and who would absolutely love to read our books.

Now, I’m a kobo reader. So that means I never buy e-books on Amazon. And personally, I find it really frustrating when I love an author and their latest book is only available on one platform. It’s also challenging when you want to support author friends but they don’t have their books available on the platforms you use. 

Whenever I’m choosing whether or not to do something in my business, I always like to take into account what I would want if I were the customer. This helps ensure that all of my business decisions always feel really good for my unique business. I strongly encourage you to tap into the same if you sometimes struggle with business decisions, yourself! This is an important part of building a business that you love, which I talk a lot about in my Productivity Powerhouse e-course—you can learn more about that at SaganMorrow.com/powerhouse

Okay, so, the accessibility piece was a major factor in my decision to go wide rather than deep with my own books. 

The second factor in making that decision is that I really like having control. And it makes me feel a little nervous, or uncomfortable, to put all my eggs in one basket. I’m multipassionate, so that TOTALLY makes sense with the way my brain works! I feel much better if I know I have a lot of options and more hands-on control. So, if something goes wrong with a particular platform, it doesn’t mean my entire author career depends on it. Instead, I still have other platforms I can sell my books from. 

I was thinking about this recently and how it would be nice to have even more control with book sales, and make my books even more accessible to more readers. And what I realized is that I wanted to give readers an opportunity to read the full boxset of my Polyamorous Passions romantic comedy series. 

It was interesting, because I got to thinking, “huh. What if someone starts reading a series, but then they decide to trade their kindle for a kobo e-reader, for example?” Kindle uses mobi files for e-books, whereas kobo uses epub files. So it seems unlikely that the reader would get the chance to “keep” their books by switching them to the new e-reader format.

And I liked the idea of being able to get back in touch with my readers in the coming months, when a new book in the series is published. I realized that the absolute BEST way to do this was to create a virtual hub for the boxset, where someone can purchase it just one time, and they’ll automatically get access to future e-books in the series when they’re published. 

I created this virtual boxset on Teachable, which is what I use for all of my online courses. My boxset includes the pdf, mobi, and epub files for each book in the Polyamorous Passions series, PLUS, everyone who buys the boxset now will also get immediate access to future books published in the series, without paying anything extra. And, here’s the even better part… I’m including all future spinoff books from the Polyamorous Passions series in this virtual boxset. I have at least 3 spinoff books in the works, so that means the virtual boxset will include a minimum of 12 books in total—and you won’t have to pay anything extra to access those.

Also, when you buy the boxset at SaganMorrow.com/books, I’ll even be able to send you emails to alert you when a new book has been added, so you don’t have to keep checking the boxset to see if new books in the series are published and ready for you to read.

I’m really happy to offer this to my readers. An added bonus is that the boxset gives me a higher percentage of royalties than regular e-bookstore platforms. So basically, you are getting a bargain on the price of my books, AND I’m also earning more than if you purchased each book on the regular e-bookstore platforms. We both benefit from this! Win-win.

And I wouldn’t be able to offer this to you if it weren’t for the fact that I chose to go wide, rather than deep, with my book sale platforms. In my case, going wide is 100% the way to go. You might decide it doesn’t feel right for your own books, and that’s okay! But I really love being able to provide you with as many different opportunities as possible, so you can read my books in the way you love the most. 

Again, you can grab the virtual boxset of the Polyamorous Passions romantic comedy series—including all currently published works, plus all future publications in the series—for a bargain price at SaganMorrow.com/books

I can’t wait for you to read them!

Now, I would love to hear your thoughts on all of this: If you’re an author, do you have a preference for going wide vs deep? Will you consider selling your books through your own platform, such as what I’ve done with the Polyamorous Passions boxset? And as a reader, what is your preferred book purchasing platform?

Connect with me on Twitter and Instagram, @Saganlives, to chat about it! And you can send me a message on either of those platforms if you have requests for future episode topics, too. The more you tell me what you’d like to see more of on this podcast, the better that I can accommodate that. You can also submit your questions or topic ideas anonymously at SaganMorrow.com/question.

If you enjoyed this episode, please take 2 minutes to share this podcast on social media and rate it on Apple Podcasts—any time you share it or leave a rating or review, it helps more listeners find the Indie Author Weekly podcast, so every bit counts! I really appreciate your support.

By the way, you can access complete word-for-word transcripts of this episode and all past episodes, plus sample chapters of my books and a few other bonuses and goodies, on the “secret” version of this podcast. Get access to all of that at SaganMorrow.com/secretpodcast.

Thanks so much for tuning in to the Indie Author Weekly podcast, and I will see you in the next episode.