7 min read
Amazon can be great for exposure. It might be a smart way for new readers to discover your ebook.
While most businesses might immediately associate Amazon with ebooks as a way to publish, considering an alternative to Amazon has many benefits.
First, there is the often unspoken, hard-hitting truth. Unless you’re already well-established, it’s unlikely that selling exclusively on Amazon is going to result in a long-lasting, substantial income from your writing.
Rather, creating an ebook for your business can be part of a long term strategy for lead generation. Self-publishing in a way that works for you, is great for audience building and brand cohesion. It’s more than a plan to get rich quick from book sales.
The great news is that there are alternatives to Amazon for books when it comes to self-publishing.
7 Reasons You Need an Alternative to Amazon if You’re Self-Publishing
- Keep all your profits
- Control how your ebook looks
- Build your mailing list
- Keep your customers focused on your world and their needs
- Build an audience
- Sell from your existing social media channels
- Ad-hoc marketing offers and viral sharing
Read on to discover how to keep your profits, reach your audience with more engagement, and stay in control of your content when you self publish.
Why Self Publish?
Self-publishing is a great option for authors and business owners. It gives you the opportunity to create material and release it to audiences without the traditional publishing models.
You have total creative control over your content, your marketing, and your approach to your subject matter, free from the confines of a publishing house.
The speed at which it’s possible to write and publish a book when self-publishing is incredibly fast, and far swifter than being part of a traditional publisher’s process.
Since you are the main stakeholder in your self-publishing efforts, you can bypass input from wider circles, and create material quickly, efficiently, and relatively easily.
Before considering self-publishing and alternatives to Amazon, it’s important to consider how an ebook might benefit your small business and help to achieve your goals.
An ebook can provide a huge amount of value for your audience
An ebook can also be an efficient way to start a working relationship with customers, allowing your work to act as a lead magnet to reach new people globally, 24/7.
As a medium, ebooks give potential customers a cost-effective way to experience your brand, your tone of voice, and your way of working.
Your ebook can also link out to other resources that can add value to the people you want to reach.
These might include:
- Free opt-ins
- Learning resources
- Bonus Videos
- Links to join your community
…and all kinds of additional extras that can allow people to engage with you further.
Many people assume that Amazon is the only place to publish a new ebook. After all, it has a global reach and that means that lots of people could find your ebook.
However, there are many downsides to publishing your ebook on Amazon.
You’re losing control over the look and feel of your work and losing your customers to a sea of “Amazon recommends” distractions. With Amazon, you’re forgoing the ability to target your readers and customers through carefully segmented marketing.
Let’s look at 7 reasons to consider an alternative to Amazon when publishing your ebook
1. Keep all your profits
When you publish on Amazon, Amazon retains the rights and information about your business. You’ll get credit as the author, but any sales that you make are subject to a percentage paid to Amazon.
Compare this to hosting your own ebook on your own website, where you retain 100% of the profit from your book sales, and it’s clear that self-publishing is preferable financially.
2. Control how your ebook looks
Self-publishing allows you to control the look and feel of the ebook you’re selling.
Every sales page on Amazon looks the same; it’s all branded by Amazon and has a generic landing page.
If you control how your ebook is sold, you have a much greater say in what the landing page looks like. From how the testimonials and reader insights appear to how the reviews appear on your page, you are able to make a much more appealing landing page for your book with an independent website.
You also have more options for how your ebook itself looks. You can create your ebook using a range of digital tools and can be a far richer and more designed experience away from the restrictive .epub format of Amazon.
When somebody purchases your ebook on Amazon, the pub file goes straight to their Kindle. A lot of people have Kindles, and this is a really helpful format to provide an ebook in. However, if you are in control of how you sell your ebook, you can actually provide multiple formats within one sale.
For example, you can supply the pub format, so that your audience can read your book on their Kindle. You might also wish to provide them with a colorful PDF, worksheet bundles, videos, or other useful material that can make the experience of buying from you much more interactive, interesting, and engaging.
Not only will this help you to serve your audience in a much more original way, but it will allow you to create a better experience for them. This enhanced ebook experience will help them to get to know you in a much more personal manner.
3. Build your mailing list
Using alternatives to Amazon allows you more options to engage directly with your audience through targeted post-purchase email marketing.
If you host your own ebook on your website using a service like Selz, you can communicate directly with your customers who buy the book.
When customers purchase via Amazon, you don’t have access to their email addresses. This means you’re unable to start a relationship with them via email marketing, missing a powerful opportunity to engage and retain customers.
If a customer buys your ebook on an independent site, you are able to segment your customers depending on which books they have bought This allows you to target them with specific email campaigns, sequences, and broadcasts.
In this way, you can know exactly what they need and how you can serve them with your products and services.
Use marketing to develop relationships
Essentially, you are able to build a more meaningful relationship with your audience and your customers by controlling how you sell your ebook.
Email marketing platforms such as Convertkit, Mailchimp, Aweber and Active Campaign are simple to use and can be set up to nurture and engage your audience in a personal, powerful way.
For example, you could create a sequence of emails after purchase that follows up on the initial book sale. This email sequence adds additional valuable material to your audience.
Engaging with your readers in their inboxes allows a dialogue between you and them to begin, and an automated sequence can take care of nurturing your audience for you, 24/7.
Your follow up sequence could include:
- An intro to you and your world and business
- Behind the scenes/bonus extras
- A survey or Q&A to invite your readers to share more about their needs. This will help you validate the need for future products and services directly from your audience.
4. Keep your customers focused on your world and their needs
By hosting your self-published book on your site, your customers and audience are totally surrounded by your brand, your business, and how you can help them with your products and services.
Selling through Amazon means that your customers are bombarded with similar products, recommended offers, and a raft of information that takes them away from your site, your content, and your offer to them.
Your customers landed on your site for a reason. An alternative to Amazon gives you a chance to offer upsells, special discounts, and further materials to serve your clients at a deeper level.
5. Build an audience
Including the Facebook pixel on your website is an incredibly easy way to build up an audience of people who you know in your niche.
When a reader lands on your site to read a blog post and to browse your products and services, you can build an audience to market to via Facebook ads.
Even if a site visitor doesn’t purchase your ebook immediately, tracking visitors is valuable. Showing them relevant content will funnel them towards your ebook so you don’t lose out on potential sales.
6. Sell from your existing social media channels
Using alternatives to Amazon makes it easy to sell through your social media channels.
Selz integrates with your Facebook business page, allowing you to sell directly from a Facebook store. In this way, you can leverage your social traffic to make sales without your customers having to leave the platform.
7. Ad-hoc marketing offers and viral sharing
Using an alternative to Amazon for your ebook sales allows you to run special offers, promotions, and seasonal marketing offers for your ebook.
It’s easy to create a special offer code for a reduced price offer, early-bird sales, or similar promotions.
Key Takeaways: Why You Need an Alternative to Amazon if You’re Self-Publishing
- Creating an ebook for your business can lead to adding more value to your customers and audience
- Using an alternative to Amazon means keeping control of your profits, customer list, and brand experience
- Self-publishing using alternatives to Amazon leads to opportunities for targeted marketing
- Alternatives to Amazon offer a distraction-free buying experience, and opportunities to upsell your products or services
- Using alternatives to Amazon can help you sell with a more integrated approach across social platforms
There are many advantages to using alternatives to Amazon for self-publishing. Have you published an ebook yet? Is it in your plans for your business?
Share in the comments below what insights you gained for your self-publishing goals.