Lately, indie authors have been raving about Pronoun, and with good reason. You can publish your e-books on their Macmillan platform, absolutely free, and get them aggregated to the major e-book retailers, including Amazon Kindle, Apple, Barnes and Noble Nook, Kobo, and Google Play. They have some slick features and their customer service is fantastic.

But what’s the catch? And for you skeptics out there, what exactly are the benefits?

{Anytime I refer to books, I mean e-books, unless I specify audio or print, for purposes of this post.}

Pros:

  1. Macmillan owns Pronoun.
  2. Saving time and reducing possibility of error by administering all your retailers on one platform. Of course, you have this advantage on Draft2Digital as well.
  3. Keeping all your royalties, same as you would if you direct-published.
  4. Keeping 70% of your “35% range” Kindle royalties (under $2.99 and over $9.99).
  5. Receiving help with keywords and categories.
  6. Superb customer service.

Cons:

The cons are significant for multi-book authors, especially.

  1. Macmillan owns Pronoun.
  2. As with all aggregators, giving up some level of your prized control.
  3. You need a new ISBN on Pronoun, which means you start over at ground zero on rankings
    1. If you chose their free ISBN, your book appears to be published by Pronoun
  4. You must pull your books down completely before you can publish on Pronoun, which means you lose sales days.
  5. If you unpublish from even one sales site via Pronoun, you must pull all your Pronoun aggregated e-books down from all sales sites for a few days until their processing is complete.
  6. You cannot choose to enroll in KDP Select/Kindle Unlimited through Pronoun.
  7. If you author a series, Amazon will only create and maintain a series link if you publish all the books to Kindle under one account. Thus, if your series book are published outside Pronoun, any books you add to the series THROUGH Pronoun or move to Pronoun won’t be linked on Amazon.
    1. Example: We moved Pamela Fagan Hutchins’s Heaven to Betsy to Pronoun since it is a 99 cent book, to take advantage of the 70% royalties on Kindle. When we did so, Amazon broke the series linkage between all of the novels in the What Doesn’t Kill You series, and explained they would not be able to fix it unless she published the entire series from one account.
  8. If you sell audiobooks, the linkage between the audio companion add on feature on Kindles and Kindle apps doesn’t seem to work/promote in the same way as it does when you direct publish on Kindle.
    1. Example: Normally when we get a BookBub for a free download e-book, we sell 1000+ audio companion add-on downloads. But after moving Pamela Fagan Hutchins’s Heaven to Betsy to Pronoun, there were no additional audio companion download sales.

Until and unless things changes, our strategy tips are thusly

  1. If you write a series,
    1. For Amazon:
      1. If you want to do KDP Select, publish directly on Amazon Kindle.
      2. If you already publish directly through Kindle, don’t move your books.
      3. If it’s the first book in your series, consider Pronoun, weighing the pros and cons for yourself.
  1. For non-Amazon retailers:
    1. Consider Pronoun, weighing the pros and cons for yourself.
  2. If you don’t write a series,
    1. If you want to do KDP Select, publish directly on Amazon Kindle.
    2. Otherwise, consider Pronoun, weighing the pros and cons for yourself.

But don’t just take our word for it, listen to your peeps: what has your Pronoun experience been like? Any pros or cons we missed?

Pamela

Pamela Fagan Hutchins writes overly long e-mails, hilarious nonfiction (What Kind of Loser Indie Publishes, and How Can I Be One, Too?), and series mysteries, like What Doesn’t Kill You, which includes the bestselling Saving Grace (e-book free everywhere) and the 2015 and 2016 WINNERS of the USA Best Book Award for Cross Genre Fiction, Heaven to Betsy and Hell to Pay. She teaches writing, publishing, and promotion at the SkipJack Publishing Online School (where you can take How to Sell a Ton of Books, FREE) and writes about it on the SkipJack Publishing blog.

Pamela resides deep in the heart of Nowheresville, Texas and in the frozen north of Snowheresville, Wyoming. She has a passion for great writing and smart authorpreneurship as well as long trail rides and hikes with her hunky husband and pack of rescue dogs, horses, donkeys, and whoever else wants to tag along, traveling in the Bookmobile, and experimenting with her Keurig. She also leaps medium-tall buildings in a single bound (if she gets a good running start).

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4 Responses to Pros and Cons of Pronoun

  1. Pamela, I just HAPPENED to be comparing aggregators the moment you posted your story! This was very helpful. Great timing and thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. MAN! I had heard Pronoun was the “end all, be all”…and I guess it is if you only have 1 or 2 titles, but the CONS list was very long and very thought-provoking. Hopefully, Pronoun can work out some of these kinks for the future.

    Informative post. Thanks.

    • Eric says:

      We wanted to love it. Their customer service was great and really helped us through these issues, but, in the end, there are still some big issues.

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