Should indie authors keep their self-published books available for sale forever? As more writers see self-publishing as a long-haul career, this question will become relevant to a growing number of authorpreneurs. ALLi author members share their views in this composite post taken from a recent online forum discussion.
Generally speaking, trade-published authors who are contracted to a publishing company will find their older books automatically delisted if they’re not selling profitably, often quite soon after publication. This is because maintaining a book in the traditional publishing environment requires significant investment in inventory and warehousing costs.
Thanks to digital publishing technology, indie authors have much more choice. Once we’ve uploaded a book to our distributor of choice – CreateSpace, IngramSpark, KDP, Kobo, iBooks, etc – we can keep it before the market forever, if we want to. Our files will simply stay available in the ether until a reader orders a copy, whether as an ebook or as a print-on-demand paper copy. It costs us nothing, or next to nothing, to keep all our books available.
But does that mean we should? We put that question to our members via the ALLi Facebook Forum (a members-only privilege) to gauge their views. For the sake of confidentiality, we’ve anonymised their responses.