Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My Thoughts on KDP Select

Last Thursday morning, I logged into Kindle Digital Publishing and discovered (along with thousands of other authors) that Amazon is offering a new option. We can enroll our books in KDP select and it will be free for Amazon Prime members only. Plus we get paid a percentage depending on the amount of downloads. The main condition is that during this time your title must be 100% exclusive to Amazon for ninety days.

My big question is…will it help the author? What type of exposure will the book get? I wouldn’t put Vallar in there now, but perhaps TransShifter. The only problem being is that I have to pull the book off all the other vendors, which could take up to a month. Because this is a lot of trouble, I have been hesitant to begin the process. Instead, I’m waiting to see if other authors are benefiting. It’s too soon to tell.

Some authors are interested and others find it offensive. I came across an interesting blog post on the Smashwords blog: Here Where they accuse Amazon of being a predator.

Well, of course Amazon is a predatory. What a great way to get people to sign up for their credit card. I can only think that they want the exclusives as a further blow to Apple (iPad) and Barnes and Noble (nook). Smashwords is just an after thought.

As for the Smashwords post, perhaps they are worried because authors will pull their books. But on the other hand, I say to Smashwords, why don’t you do something more to attract authors? When I first published both Vallar and TransShifter to Smashwords neither of them appeared in the correct genre. I tried to contact them about it, but with Vallar there was no response. With TransShifter, I couldn’t get the person sending messages back to understand what was going on. It was as if he/she was handling numerous messages at once. The ugly truth (at least for me) is that Smashwords has been good for generating free coupons for giveaways for review copies. It’s been useful for having TransShifter go free on Nook and Apple and HOPEFULLY Amazon. Authors use Smashwords to manipulate the prices on Amazon. (Hmm, that could be a new title “The Price Games”.)

I think in general Amazon is trying to offer a win/win to the author. If it turns out to be not worth it, authors will lose interest.

I know many people think that Amazon is trying to take over the world, but I like Amazon. They brought a lot of readers into the e-market. Out of all of them, a new book by an unknown author has its best chance on Amazon. If it wasn't for Amazon, where would certain well known Indies be? They would still be unknown.



Grumpy Bulldog, Secret Agent said...

I haven't used it for my novel "Where You Belong" since it's on Smashwords too, but I used it on my novel "Virgin Territory" that's just on Amazon. I mean if you aren't going to put it anywhere else then there's no real downside to me.

Michael Offutt, Supra-Genius said...

I agree with Mutt. If I had a novel out there, I think I might go with this option. The machine that is Amazon is hard to argue with, right?

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Someone else posted a list of reasons why the program wasn't in the best interests of authors or readers. My publisher has my book available for all eReaders and I can tell you that even though my book hit Amazon's best seller chart a few months ago, a lot of my eBook sales have come from other sources. Several people mentioned that overseas, the Kindle isn't big - people use their iPads and iPhones. The Kobo reader is the biggest thing in Canada. So I'm really glad my book is available everywhere.

Cindy said...

Bulldog, I'm curious. Are you able to see how many are downloading your book?

Rusty Webb said...

Unless folks start screaming that they are becoming wealthy using the Kindle Direct I don't intend to go that route. Kindle is responsible for around 80% of my sales and they hold around 80% of the market. That is already way too much for a healthy marketplace. I mean, they run everyone else out of business and all of a sudden they might decide that 70/30 split isn't really working for them anymore. What do you do then? There is no where else to go.