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Self-Publishing – Amazon vs Indie Platforms – Part 2
Welcome back to our look at the difference between Amazon and the indie platforms. Let’s continue looking at what you need to consider what making your choice.
When it comes to people buying your book, Amazon is so simple. Just one click and your book is theirs, with no need for payment details to be entered because that’s already on their Amazon account. Amazon has a very high trust factor too, which means purchasers are happy to give their credit card details to them. As far as indies go, most will provide a popup window for people to input their payment details. It is fairly simple but it certainly isn’t one-click; it also has a lower trust factor for people who don’t really know the system or don’t fully trust your blog or website. Amazon’s payment system allows them to easily collect 30% of your royalties too if you are not from the USA. They do pay out every month but are a month behind. With indie platforms like Sellfy, payments are instantly deposited to your account less their fees and with Gumroad, it's every week. Both pay straight to PayPal and they charge about 5% plus any PayPal fees.
One of the biggest downsides to selling through Amazon is that rarely will you know who has bought your book. You don’t see any customer details, not even an email address or a name. They are nothing more than a number and a percentage on your royalty spreadsheet.
With the indie platforms, you can easily see who bought your book and most platforms will save personal details such as email addresses into an email list or into a list you can export as a CSV file. Most make it incredibly easy for you to track sales and contact your customers, especially if you have special offers for them.
With Amazon, you get a preview of the first couple of pages of a book along with a page that offers a Buy button. There are no plugins, no downloads needed, just a popup page. With an indie platform you need to link to an external file and then add a link at the end; a few steps but not too difficult. The bonus with this is that you choose how much to preview whereas Amazon decides that for you.
When you use an indie platform, all you need to do is upload a new copy of your book if you make any changes – it is instant. With Amazon KDP, on the other hand, any changes can take upwards of 12 hours to show up. What’s even worse, if you are selling a print version and you use CreateSpace, your book is taken offline for a couple of days while the updates are reviewed. That’s a lot of wasted time when you are trying to sell a book!
Well, there you have it, everything you need to consider when choosing between Amazon and an indie platform. There is a lot to consider and it’s down to what you want at the end of the day.
Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Anne-Marie Reynolds