Indie Insights | Going Wide

In Guest Articles, Indie Publishing by Online Manager4 Comments

So, you have finished that manuscript, spent your precious dollars on editing and cover design and your fingers are twitching to set it free.

Before you upload your manuscript you need to make a very important decision. Do you put all your eggs in one basket and let Amazon have full control of your sales or do you spread your wings and ‘go wide’?

By going wide I mean uploading to multiple platforms and aggregators. The most popular being Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Smashwords and Draft 2 Digital.

Kindle Unlimited will lock you in to 3 months where you cannot list your digital book anywhere else or give it away. In return you get paid for the amount of pages people read. Kindle Unlimited is a subscription service like Netflix where you pay monthly and borrow for free from the library instead of having to buy individual books. Romance readers love KU. Voracious readers pay less and read more. On the upside they are more likely to read new, unknown authors because they have nothing to lose.

I listed my first book on KU and I believe it laid the foundations for my positive relationship with Amazon. however, after three months I was ready to take on the challenge and went wide.

Amazon is huge in the USA and UK. However recent studies show that in Canada, Kobo is leading and in Australia it’s iBooks. You need to factor this in to your decision. Six months after going wide my sales are still 95% from Amazon and that is fairly evenly split between USA and Australia.

Of course you can decide to switch back to Unlimited at any time. Mark Dawson has recently pulled all the titles in one of his series and put them in unlimited. So far this experiment has caused a massive increase in sales, but even he is sceptical about giving one company so much power over his income.


I’d love to hear your thoughts! Comment below for your chance to win an autographed copy of my book, The Brothers of Brigadier Station.

Sarah Williams

Sarah Williams spent her childhood chasing sheep, riding horses and picking Kiwi fruit on the family orchard in rural New Zealand. After a decade travelling, Sarah moved to Queensland to enjoy the warm weather and country air. 

When she’s not absorbed in her fictional writing world, Sarah is running after her family of four kids, one husband, two dogs and a cat. She helps to run the local writers centre and supports her peers achieve their publishing dreams.

Sarah is regularly checking social media when she really should be cleaning. You can find her online at her website, or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.


  1. Such an interesting post as an aspiring author with a finished manuscript. There are so many options, so it’s great to get your take on things, thank you 🙂

  2. It really is the question, isn’t it? Wide or KU. Like you, I started with KU and then took the leap into the wide (and confusing) world of direct publishing. I’m with Kobo, iBooks, GooglePlay and Kindle (no KU) which I have accounts for and do all the uploading, price changes, promos etc. I use Draft2Digital for Nook (Barnes & Noble) as Nook don’t deal direct with Aussies. If it wasn’t for the promotions I can access going direct, I’d use Draft2Digital for everything and hey, they even let you use their magic formatting software free anytime! Thanks for such a great article.

  3. Interesting article! I hadn’t really thought much about how books get out there online and what the options were.

  4. There’s a parallel question going on in the audiobook world these days, with a key factor being whether or not an audiobook is available through various library services. Perhaps counterintuitively, being available via library digital borrowing / download can make a big difference in sales. As an audiobook producer who works primarily for indie authors, I’ve been following this discussion closely. Thanks for your perspective.

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