After a year of marketing research based on three different authors (and their nine different books), their marketing plans, their previously hard-earned money spent (mostly from non-writing jobs), and their overall goals and aspirations, I have come to one very simple truth: Kindle.
While most of you already know that Kindle is King for many authors, the overall power of selling on Amazon in digital format compared to actual softbound (Think: Create Space) format is profound. And it doesn't seem to matter what the book genre was. That's what is a bit confusing and strange. But there's a reason: self-published authors aren't any better at getting their books into bookstores today than they were 20 years ago!
Still not surprised? I guess I shouldn't be either, but at this point I really can't see the good side of spending the bulk of your marketing and advertising budget on softbound or hardbound book sales, regardless of who prints 'em. Using Create Space from Amazon is easy and costs virtually nothing, and it doesn't get any easier, since once you finish getting your book formatted it can go live in a few days.
However, you'll probably find that no matter how much you press your marketing towards the softbound books that Create Space will ship to your customers, your Kindle orders will outshine your softbound books. Of course this assumes you'll put a reasonable price on both of your products. A softbound book that sells for $14.95 may get outsold by your Kindle edition at $4.95 by five to one. If you knock the Kindle price down to $2.95, you might see your sales of Kindle at 10-1 for softbound sales.
What's it all mean? It means that as a self-published, short-bankrolled author, your best bet is to put 90% of your marketing efforts into selling your Kindle product. Ignore this advice at your own risk!
As an aside, once your Create Space layout is approved, spend the $69 and let them format your Kindle book. Yes, you can do it yourself, but you'll spend a lot of hours getting it just right, and you're a writer, not a designer. I've done it both ways, and I'd rather spend my time writing, than saving the $69.
Don't be afraid to ask for reviews of your book! You might want to look at Good Kindle Reviews they'll get you started.
Thanks for reading - Al W Moe