June 23, 2022

Direct sales may be the future of independent publishing

by Thomas K. Carpenter in Random Musings0 Comments


Things in the publishing industry have dramatically changed in the last few years. It used to be fairly easy to make a living as an author (given you had high quality books to begin with), but those days are over. As with much of society, publishing has become even more all or nothing where a few big selling names control most of the market, and the rest of us fight over the tiny scraps leftover. In addition to that, giants like Amazon are finding new ways to make money off the authors they claim to be helping. They've increased hidden fees, make authors pay "restocking fees" for e-books that readers return, and generally have moved to a pay-to-play type of model where only the authors paying for ads get any notice. This is not a sustainable way to make a living creating art.  Nor is this good for readers.

So, we are trying something new. As you've seen this year, we moved back to all online retailers, rather than being exclusive to Amazon.  We wanted to reach readers where they're at, rather than requiring everyone to come to the 'Zon to get their books.  Not only was Amazon taking larger and larger cuts of our profits and placing restrictive rules around how we marketed and sold our products, but we felt like we were doing a disservice to readers who would prefer to have a choice on where they purchase their books. 

But that's not the biggest change.  In addition to moving back to all the major online retailers, we've also begun to sell them directly through our website. By selling directly we keep about 95% of the profits (more if PayPal is used instead of a credit card to make a purchase). On some books we only made 30% from Amazon.  By adding direct sales to our options, we can easily run specials for our newsletter subscribers, release the books earlier than they would be on other sites, and sell complete book bundles, which are the easiest and most convenient way to purchase them.

With over 50 books available in our store, I'm sure you'll find something to read. And by buying directly from us, your support means I can keep writing books for years to come.

Essentially, we want to provide options for readers.  This requires a lot more work on our end, maintaining multiple websites and our own store, but we believe that it will be better for readers in the long run.  We have other ideas about how to improve the experiences for everyone (we’re currently working to have paperback books available in our store for example), but we're not ready to roll those changes out just yet.  Just know we're constantly thinking about how to make things better, for you, the reader.  So, if you have ideas or comments, please make sure to send me a note at thomaskcarpenter@gmail.com


Thomas K. Carpenter

Thomas K. Carpenter is a full time contemporary fantasy author with over 50 independently published titles. His bestselling, multi-series universe, The Hundred Halls, has over 25 books and counting. His stories focus on fantastic families, magical academies, and epic adventures.

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