Wow, what a wild day on Amazon, huh?
For those who haven’t seen the news, Amazon KDP opened a new exclusive option for authors.
You have to give Amazon 90 Day exclusivity to your book – meaning NO other vendors can have it.
In return you get:
- A chance to make your book free for 5 days within the 90 day period. You could split the days up too.
- Amazon put $500,000 in lending money to give out to indies… just indies… based on how many time their book is borrowed.
It seems like a sweet deal, but it comes with many sides to consider. I’ve seen people jump right on it, not even reading the contract. I’ve seen some instantly hating it.
Before anyone says a thing, each author needs to evaluate their goals, sales, and future before making a decision. What’s good for you isn’t always good for me. This is an option, not a scam or something.
There’s plenty of reading out there today about this so I encourage everyone to take a look at it.
Consider the following:
Are you prepared to NOT have your book sell anywhere else for 90 days?
Are you prepared to track you book on the 90 day mark (because if you don’t opt you, KDP opts you back in)?
Not that the lending is (1) for Prime members only and (2) Prime members can borrow 1 book a month
Now, I’m a Prime member, so the following is my personal actions… when I got for a book once a month, I’m going for the big priced titles. $10 plus. I’m not going to care about a $3 indie book… if I like it, I’ll just buy it.
But again, the exposure is nice, putting your title right with other big name authors in the lending library.
This is very interesting because it looks so good one second, kind of stupid the next second, but then good again.
I will say this though… Amazon is making a great step for indie’s with this. They may be trying to beat the hell out of their competition (rumors are spreading that B&N and other vendors have made it so authors can’t take their books of their sites…) but one thing I’ve noticed is that Amazon actually got together with indie authors before making this decision. They listened to some of us, and for that, I applaud them.
As of this writing, I will be opting into the Select program. While I respect its potential and I highly thank Amazon for keeping the wheel turning, I just have too many sales elsewhere to do so. Amazon accounts for half of my sales. I can’t give up the other sales, customers, or people who prefer a Nook or a Sony or a Kobo reader.
I hope this is the beginning of good things between Amazon and authors… I hope they realize that we all need to work together to make money. Every time someone pressed BUY on my book, Amazon makes money.
For my current projects and published projects, things will stay put. As for future projects, who knows?
But again, I encourage all of you to PLEASE read the contract and read the views and opinions of those across the net. There are so many good points supporting and against Select, it’s worth reading and thinking about.
Exclusivity isn’t always a bad thing… but at the same time, we are supposed to be expanding… so this definitely goes both way.
Let’s talk free…
Those who know me, know I’m not a fan of it. I know it’s worked for some and that’s great, but I believe that free is a temporary strategy, not a publishing plan.
But back to my point.
With the release of KDP Select, there are now some open questions about FREE. Those who sign up for Select can make their books free for 5 days within the 90 day window.
My first reaction was YUCK – more free stuff?
But I started reading a series of responses suggesting that the only way to get your book free is to be in the Select program. For that, I give thumbs up.
Because… people would be limited to 5 days within 90 days.
Free isn’t always good… if people started giving everything for free, consumers would get used to it. And free is a gamble, and there are plenty of posts out there that support why we need to value our books.
If the people are in the Select program, they can’t publish on the other vendors. So for those who can’t live without having a book free, while their bound to Amazon for 90 days, I’ll be on B&N, Smashwords, Omnilit, etc. still selling my books.
I also hope that this program and limitations of free will encourage authors to get back to the keyboard and WRITE! You need to write to sell books. Those with two books out, complaining about sales, need to shut up. Go write another book! Those with two books out, crappy sales, and making their books free… what do you think you’ll get back? There’s no incentive to come back, if someone gets the free book and reads it.
I still say we put value on our books and price accordingly. Again, that’s up for debate and I won’t argue with anyone who chooses free… it’s personal choice.
But for the Select program, if that’s the only way to be free, I’m okay with it. Because it will be a controlled free system, with more organization and it won’t be a constant free thing… you have 5 days per title within 90 days. It’ll keep things rotated.
But I still don’t have the definite answer from Amazon whether the free option is ONLY via Select…