A little over a year ago I published my first novel, Bloodlines: Cove Point Manor. I then followed up several months later with my second novel and then, earlier this year, my third in the Bloodlines Series.
When I began my self-publishing journey, I had initially considered publishing only a traditional print book. I soon realized that electronic books, or "e-books" are now the most popular version of book publishing. Ignoring this new electronic publishing medium would have severely limited my potential audience, so I published my books electronically as well as in print. I also joined Amazon's Kindle Unlimited program where Amazon subscribers can "borrow" the electronic versions of my books and I am paid by the number of pages read ($0.0045 per page).
Sales started to come in and slowly but surely, the sales started to increase each month. By the time I published my third book, sales were increasing each month for both the e-books and the print books. The page reads through Kindle Unlimited also continued to grow (and now account for 50% or more of all my monthly revenue). With the publication of the third book in my series, sales shot up and are continuing to increase every month. This made me happy!
I then began to consider making my books into audiobooks and, after a lot of research, I found a narrator and contracted to have my first novel made into an audiobook. This process was a learning experience, but a lot of fun, and after a few months the finished version was done and launched. Sales have been steady and reviews positive for the audiobook. My second novel is now in production to become an audiobook (it promises to be great!)
and I am searching for a narrator for the third.
In addition to publishing my books in e-book, print and now audiobook formats, I have also been experimenting with foreign language markets. I had my first book translated into Spanish and it was launched in October of 2017. Sales have been somewhat disappointing compared to the English version, but I am still selling some copies. I also have had books #1 and #2 translated into Chinese and these books are currently in the final production stage (warning: it takes a LONG time to have the translation done and then receive approval to publish your work in China...patience is a must!).
So why bother to publish your novel in so many different formats and in multiple languages? Simple: if you want to reach the largest audience possible, you need to make your books available in the languages and formats that your readers or listeners want. If a potential readers want to read your book on their smart phone or tablet, then you need to have an e-book. If your readers prefer a traditional print book, you need to have it available. The same holds true for people who like to listen to stories rather than read them; you publish an audiobook.
Offering your books in several formats, and possibly in multiple languages can increase your exposure as an author. It does take some effort, and you still need to write a good story that is in a genre that people want to read, but it is a worthwhile exercise when you see your sales increase and receive positive feedback from your readers or listeners.
Publishing in multiple formats and in more than one language may not be for everyone, but my personal experience has been satisfying. I will continue to look for new ways to introduce my writing to new audiences and hopefully continue to entertain as many people as possible. Afterall, isn't that what every author wants?