amazon-logo_blackThis weekend saw the end of the first three months of my debut being on sale on Amazon. I signed up to the exclusive KDP Select programme, partly because it was the easiest thing to do in the first instance and also because the thought of trying to get my head round uploading to other sites at that point in time filled me with dread!

By the time the end of my first three months was in sight though, I felt ready to think about expanding the distribution of my novel to other online sites. I have learnt a lot about it during those three months, mainly through the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) and its members, and I decided not to sign up for another three months of KDP so that I could dip my toe in the waters elsewhere.

There are an awful lot of other online retailers but the main ones to consider are Smashwords, Kobo, Nook and Apple’s iTunes. I still feel as daunted now about uploading my book to all those sites, not to mention the time it would take when I’m desperately trying to get on with book two! Thankfully, there is a way round this.

Afterd2d-logo-dark-sm a bit of research, I came across an aggregator called Draft2Digital who will upload to all the main sites mentioned above, with the exception of Smashwords, and they will also upload your book to a whole host of other sites as well. For this, they take 10% of your sale price but only when you sell. There’s no charge for the service. It was very easy to upload to them, especially as I write using Scrivener so all I had to do was to upload the epub version of my book and they’ve done the rest. All in all, this took no longer than half an hour.


Smashwords also distribute to the other three main sites but for now, I’m using Draft2Digital for that. I have managed to upload my book to Smashwords as well and I’m using them for the retailers that Draft2Digital don’t distribute to as yet. I’ll have to see what happens in terms of sales before deciding whether to leave it like this or to change. One thing I’ve noticed is that ALLi members differ in their views on what the best process is. Some feel it’s worth uploading directly to the main sites; others have used Draft2Digital and others have used Smashwords for their distribution to other sites. So, it will be an experiment, as everything is for the indie author and who knows, it may be that selling through Amazon only is the only viable option but if I don’t try it out, I’ll never know.

The other thing I’ve done since expanding the distribution is to try a new price for a while. So ‘From Here to Nashville’ is now for sale at £1.49 as an ebook. It is still only available through Amazon as a paperback, priced at £8.99. I have ordered my own paperback copies through a UK printer as well and I’ve been doing a roaring trade with those at my workplace! I’ve also been able to offer signed copies to them, as well as one of my limited edition guitar magnets because I’m selling face-to-face.

I am planning a giveaway soon through my Facebook site so if you’d like to take part, keep your eyes peeled over there. Here’s the link: Julie Stock’s Author Page.

Thanks for reading as always and look out for my next Author Spotlight feature next week!


11 Comments on Expanding Distribution of your Novel

  1. Thanks for that informative post Julie. I spent several days formatting my manuscript for upload to Smashwords, only to decide that as a début author I needed Kindle welly, and taking the book back down to enable enrolment in KDP. I found the decision difficult because in the time the e-book was on Smashwords (very little) 20 people downloaded the free excerpt. No sales though! Smashwords is also a very author friendly site. Still chewing over my next move, Draft2Digital sounds very interesting…

    • It’s a very difficult decision all round really. I know that Smashwords is quite well-known but I have no stats on how useful it is for sales. I’ve noticed that they also distribute to the other big ones, just like D2D does but I don’t know if one site is more effective than the other. So as I say, only time will tell but it was definitely time for me to expand and have a go 🙂

  2. Thanks for sharing Julie. I’ll be very interested to hear how your next step goes. I wish you much success. I was interested to learn that you use Scrivener. I have just begun doing so. It appears to have multiple advantages.

    • Thanks, Norah. Yes, I’ll report back sometime next month on what’s been happening – hopefully it will be something! I love Scrivener and have found it great for self-publishing. Hope you get on okay with it too 🙂

      • I’m happy with it so far. Lots more to learn though! I think it will be very useful.
        I’m looking forward to hearing more about your sales progress. 🙂

  3. Julie this is very useful; I’m going through the ‘KDP Select – friend or foe’ thought process at the moment. I only heard about Draft2Digital yesterday, although I have used Smashwords in the past.

    • I’m glad it’s helpful, Elizabeth. What was your experience with Smashwords? I guess it will be more for the US market than over here because I’m not sure many UK readers even know of it? That would be a good thing for me though.

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