If you’re going to self-publish your books whether they’re fiction or nonfiction, you need to be where the people are. Right now, that means the two most important places to self-publish your work is through Amazon’s Kindle and Amazon’s print-on-demand service called CreateSpace.
Both services are absolutely free to use since Amazon only makes money by taking a cut each time you make a sale. If you never make a sale, you’ll never pay Amazon a cent. Since Amazon has roughly 110 million users, there’s a huge chance someone will find your self-published book and buy it.
Of course, just throwing your book on Amazon’s Kindle or CreateSpace isn’t enough. Because so many people use Amazon, it’s easy for your self-published book to get completely lost in the crowd. For that reason, some people think there’s an advantage in pursuing other markets like Nook and Kobo as well.
The huge problem with the Nook is that it’s dying. Nook tablet sales are declining and Barnes & Noble (the people behind the Nook) are struggling. That means fewer people are even looking at Nook e-books, which means fewer chances someone will buy your book.
Because Barnes & Noble runs Nook, there are almost as many books on Nook as there are on Kindle, which means you’re still lost in the crowd with your one or two self-published books, but now you’re competing in a much smaller market. So you get all of the disadvantages of Amazon with none of the advantages.
That doesn’t mean ignore the Nook completely. Just be aware that the Nook has little future so make sure you put your self-published books on Amazon’s Kindle and CreateSpace first. Only after you have targeted the largest market should you even consider the Nook. Putting your book on the Nook won’t hurt since it’s also free, but don’t expect to make a huge amount of money from Nooks ales compared to Kindle or CreateSpace sales.
Kobo is even worse. Kobo attracts an even smaller number of people while still containing nearly as many books as Amazon and Nook. So you’re facing fewer people while competing against all the other existing books on the market. The advantage of less competition on the Nook and Kobo rarely translates into greater sales.
So if you’re going to self-publish your books, start with Kindle and CreateSpace. If you stop there, you’ll probably make 99% of your income right there.
Only after you have gotten your books on Kindle and CreateSpace should you even bother with Nook and Kobo. Both are relatively easy to set up, and once you’ve formatted your book for Kindle, you can use that exact same file to submit it to Nook and Kobo. Just don’t expect much from Nook or Kobo. The money and the market is in Amazon’s Kindle and CreateSpace.
Focus on Kindle and CreateSpace. Then make sure you promote your books because just tossing them on Amazon is no guarantee that anyone will see them. It’s possible to write the best books in the world and have them get lost on Amazon if nobody knows they exist.
Putting your books on Kindle and CreateSpace is just the first step. The second step is to keep promoting your books through blogs, social networks, and anything else you can think of. Your books won’t sell themselves. You have to sell them whether they’re on Kindle, Nook, or Kobo.
The real secret isn’t finding the biggest market (it’s Amazon) and hoping for the beset. The real secret is putting your books on Amazon and then making that extra and continuous effort to keep promoting them day after day for the rest of your life.
The key is putting your book where most people can find them (Amazon) and then marketing them like crazy all by yourself. Skip this second step and your books will likely sink into obscurity. Focus on marketing and your books will sell whether they’re on Kindle, Nook, or Kobo.