Why I Removed 126 eBooks from Amazon and Added a Few to Selz and Gumroad

  May 11, 2022 blogging tips 🕑 4 minutes read
Ryan Biddulph, Ubud, Bali

Ubud, Bali


8 years ago I made a mistake.


I wrote and self-published:


How to Retire to a Life of Island Hopping through Smart Blogging


through Selz.


I sold a handful of copies through a quick surge. Seeing this positive feedback signaled that I was on the right track.


But then I made an error. The ego told me to remove it from Selz to self-publish through Amazon. We know the reasons: size of audience, trust factors, peer review system….yadda yadda yadda.


I proceeded to write and self-publish 126 eBooks through Amazon.


Some muted success found me through modest sales. I self-published a few fleeting best sellers.


But I ignored my intuitive pull to keep all eBooks on Selz. I also erred in self-publishing too high a volume of eBooks to effectively promote.


A few months ago, my intuition guided me to:


  • pull all 126 eBooks from Amazon
  • upload just a few eBooks to Selz and Gumroad


for these reasons:


  • my intuition told me to do it; the intuition knows only the truth
  • higher commissions; Amazon commissions are too low for rich, detailed blogging manuals
  • more lax rules and regulations concerning self-publishing and promoting


I only uploaded a few eBooks to each seller. I intend to give every manual the attention it deserve. Oh yes; now I call each a “manual” based on the feedback from my friend Morris Grand. He noted how these were full guide, in-depth, detailed manuals to get you from the beginning to end goal.  Instead of promoting a perceived thin eBook I offer beefy manuals because a Kindle is something cheap you sell for 99 cents on Amazon and a manual is a rich, detailed, thorough, soup to nuts guide you sell for $10 or $20 on another platform.


Shout out to my friend Mudassir Ahmed for giving me this blog post idea. He searched for my eBooks on Amazon recently and could not find any. Good! I have destroyed the evidence 🙂


Amazon Rocks


I am grateful to Amazon. The platform gave me an opportunity to both self-publish and sell eBooks. But observing my mistake truthfully guided me to access the prior beliefs I had clung to regarding the platform.


Amazon gives you access to a huge audience but consumes most of your commission. Since I never hacked an Amazon audience effectively for the long haul, the commission trade-off seemed poor. I do not need Amazon’s strong peer review system because I built a large, loyal tribe who trusts my work. Instead of attempting to force myself to get 5 star reviews through Amazon via strangers I will allow the folks who love my blog to promote my Selz and Gumroad manuals to their tribes.


Give Each Sufficient Attention


No one human being can effectively execute a promotional blitz on 126 eBooks in the average human lifetime.


Self-publishing 126 eBooks cultivated my abundance mentality but flooded the market with some eBooks no one saw or bought.


Uploading 6 in-depth, detailed manuals here:


Blogging From Paradise Manuals


focuses your attention on 6 manuals not 126 eBooks.


I corrected the mistake of overwhelming you – and me – with eBook content. Now you have a few 10,000 to 15,000 word long guides for perusal, study and application.


Less Is More in Some Cases


Selling far fewer manuals gives each manual far more attention.


Giving every manual far more attention allows each to be seen by far more people interested in blogging or self-publishing.


In some cases, less is more.


Creating and Connecting Is Most Important


Spotting my mistakes revealed that once again, creating and connecting is most important.


Creating helpful content and bonding with bloggers influences folks to check out my blogging courses and blogging manuals independent of digital storefronts. If someone loves my blog they will not refuse to buy a manual because it appears on Selz, not Amazon.


Blogging is scaling. Blogging is leveraging. Selling anything helpful tends to be a scaling or leveraging issue more than anything else.


Many bloggers create helpful eBooks or courses. But no one sees the eBooks or courses because bloggers do not create and connect generously enough. Instead, bloggers waste time debating digital storefronts, commission structures and regulations. Meanwhile, the generous creator and connector sells manuals delivered by carrier pigeons.


One lesson I am learning more every day: creating and connecting generously allows everything to flow smoothly with your blogging campaign.

  1. Morris Grand says:
    at 9:48 am

    Congratulations to this big move, Ryan! Like I said, your ebooks are more than that: They are action-packed guides, in-depth, detailed manuals. They are for people who want to take ACTION and get from point A to point B. I whole-heartedly agree with the “less is more” philosophy. We can read thousands of pages on blogging… but as fascinating as the information can be, ultimately we need a manual to achieve real-world results.

  2. Shehraj Singh says:
    at 12:58 pm

    Great post, Ryan but I think Amazon’s Kindle service could result in better reader connections.

    I discovered many authors though that…

    Maybe you should consider selling on both platforms

  3. Randall Magwood says:
    at 6:05 pm

    You became a minimalist. Instead of offering 126 books, you offered 6 that honed down on blogging and earning money online, and makes the concept easy to understand and implement. Great job.

  4. Evan says:
    at 5:10 pm

    Hi Ryan,

    Thank you for writing about this topic. I have been considering self publishing a book myself and it is interesting to read about your experiences. How long have you been selling on the Gumroad platform? I just started an account with them this year. I’m also currently reading the Gumroad founder’s book: “The Minimalist Entrepreneur”. Have you heard of it? It is worth checking out. I’m looking forward to reading your future blog posts.


  5. Lisa Sicard says:
    at 7:22 am

    Very interesting Ryan. I did 2 courses on Udemy and then tried to add to Skillshare – I found one of them was not worth converting to what Skillshare needs. Sometimes we try to do too much. I like the idea of minimizing our efforts with repurposing. We often make it too hard on ourselves! Thanks for your post about this topic.

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