Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Self-Publishing A to Z: KINDLE!

Welcome to the Trogloblog--for April, I'm participating in the epic A to Z Blogging Challenge, where Monday through Saturday, I'll be posting a letter-themed article about Self-Publishing...


When it comes to e-books, one device stands head and shoulders above the rest: the Kindle. This isn't because it's so much more advanced than other e-readers, it's because it was the first. Like iPhones, which despite Google's open source Android, still seem to hold the edge in Smart Phones. 

Amazon's foray into the ereader market started off a bit pricey, but now a full-color Kindle can be had for under $50. And of course it does more than just allow books to be read: it surfs the internet, sends email, plays app and videos and even music. It's a tablet-lite that seriously packs a lot of bang for the measly bucks needed to purchase it. 

But what does that have to do with self-publishing? Everything. Amazon by far has the largest selection of ebooks on the market. They also have the easiest platform for authors to upload their works: Kindle Direct Publishing. And while it's true that there's also a Kindle App that works on Smartphones and Tablets, no one can deny that Kindle is a giant among pale amateurs.

If you're a self-publisher, you need to be on Kindle. Sure, sure, you can vanity-print a trunkload of deadtree versions of your work and sell them in parking lots, but if you actually want the most number of people to see your work, you need to e-publish on Kindle. And that means you need a Kindle to see hoe your work looks, to ensure it formatted properly. Thanks to the newest Fire offering, you can actually afford one. 

A lot of people don't like Kindle/Amazon. They shout "monopoly" and accuse Amazon of heavy-handed tactics designed to drive brick and mortar stores out of business. If you want to tilt at that windmill, by all means, go ahead, Don Quixote. If you want to sell books, buy, use and support Kindle. 

Not convinced Kindle is best? Consider this:

Kindle offers a nifty book-sharing feature, where you can "lend" a book you bought electronically to a friend--just like a printed book.

Kindle has free books, not just cheap books. 

Kindle has a Netflix-like unlimited reading program called Kindle Unlimited. For less than $10 a month, you can read as much as your eyes will let you. Not all Kindle offerings are in the Unlimited program, but there's far more than enough to satiate the most avid of readers. 

If your house burns down and your Kindle melts, or your boat sinks taking your Kindle to Davy Jones' locker, your books aren't lost. Buy a new Kindle, sign into your account and BAM! All your ebooks are back. That alone should convince even the most reluctant book lover to buy one. 

Kindles come in different flavors and sizes. That is, there are a variety of devices, from the cheap $49 Fire up to High Definition models. My favorite is the Paperwhite, which, while it won't stream video, can be read outside in the most blinding sunlight and has an insanely long battery life. And it's just the right size that I can read it one-handed. 

It's true some ereaders have vanished. Sony is gone. Nook is clearly swimming on its side, about to go belly up at any moment. But Amazon isn't going anywhere. The company that started out selling books has grown into a multi-national purveyor of nearly everything. For consumers, that means there will always be support. That means more and more readers will go Kindle. 

If you want to sell books, ignore the haters and go Kindle. Your wallet won't regret it. 


Shan Jeniah Burton said...

OK, I'll be back sometime next month to read all of these! This month, blogging and novel drafting abound! =)

Boldly Going Through the Alphabet!
Part-Time Minion for Holton's Heroes
shanjeniah's Lovely Chaos

C R Ward said...

I love my Kindle. I love my tree books too, but my Kindle has a special place in my heart. Best invention ever! :-)

Carol at My Writing Journal