I’ve been watching, reading, and listening as more and more authors announce the amazing fringe benefits of making an exclusive deal with Amazon.
The online retailer is now offering ebook authors the chance to enroll their books in KDP Select. In addition to receiving a share of the lending library proceeds from Amazon, authors are also able to promote those books as free for up to five days.
Many of the authors I know who have combined KDP Select with a carefully thought out marketing plan find it dramatically boosts their sales. Christine Kling’s excellent Caribbean thriller, Circle of Bones, hit #2 on the Kindle Top 100 Free List after she joined KDP. Mark Chisnell has also reported excellent results after making his new thriller, The Fulcrum Files, free for a day.
But I am still teetering on the fulcrum of indecision. Especially since Amazon lost my reviews. Do I really want all my publishing eggs in their basket?
It’s not that exclusivity on Amazon would cost me a lot in sales elsewhere. Amazon seems to be the default online purchasing option for many book buyers, and it’s not hard to understand why. The buying experience is the easiest around (one click ordering from any Kindle, free samples of many books, recommendations that really appeal, reviews from real readers), once you have a credit card on file.
And yet, KDP Select still leaves a chalky taste in my mouth. I keep thinking there must be a catch, distrusting anyone who offers (for free) to help me sell my books.
Beyond that, I really don’t like the idea of one company controlling more and more of the literary marketplace.
It’s really a new take on an age-old dilemma: how much do I let my sense of how the world should be affect my actions, even though it might be decreasing my sales? Realistically, it’s hard to think that one author choosing not to list with KDP will really help to save even one independent bookstore.
Meanwhile, the blogosphere war rages on between traditional publishers (whose market share is declining) and new authors who say KDP Select is the best thing since Word Perfect. And I watch, read, and listen, trying to decide whether to ignore that chalky taste and climb into the Amazon sandbox with both feet.
Stay tuned for the answer.