Within a few hours of receiving the email from Amazon about KDP Select, I had a dozen more emails from clients and associates. Not the first time we’re startled by the stark light coming from O Most Powerful Amazon.
So off we march into two general camps.
Camp 1. Amazon-Centric Authors
You’ll find me here. It’s not that I don’t want my books available in all digital readers. I do. But I have only so much time to upload, groom and market on an individual platform. They all take time. Amazon provides such robust tools for authors, I haven’t made it through all the ways I can market in their system. My books are selling well in Kindle and I need every possible remaining hour to write. At this point I have zero investment in any other platform.
Camp 2. Other Authors
Members of the other camp tell a variety of stories. They may have gotten into Smashwords, or Nook, or the iBookStore, and be very invested in one or more of those platforms. If they are established anywhere besides Kindle, it’s going to be a tough decision to remove books from platforms and make them exclusive to KDP Select.
What I Did and Why
As soon as I grokked what Amazon was offering, I went straight to PubIt (that’s Nook) and removed the two books I had managed to load there. That took a big three minutes including taking a look at my sales record which, of course, was still at “zero” since I have not had time to groom or market for the Nook.
For 90 days I am more than glad to experiment. Do you get that the half a million dollars set aside for December is divvied out among the authors who participate in KDP Select? This is the first 90 day window. There will never be fewer authors participating than there are right now. I hope you don’t do what I did. Get it?
We’ll see how all this lending goes. Yes, there are huge ramifications floating in the Amazon-colored sky. What is happening to the whole lending system? I grew up in Carnegie libraries. What about Amazon’s ever-growing clout in publishing? Sure, it’s dangerous ground. Eyes wide open. Amazon is formidable and doesn’t seem to care much about rules. For now, however, they need authors, so I’m being fed well at the table of giants.
It’s the same challenge in every corner, people. To thrive today as authors, we need to be intrepid experimenters. We need to keep our eyes on our readership and our hearts in the next (ever better) book. As a lifelong writer, my experimental time and energy is going to the place where I find the biggest readership and the most respectable royalties. And for both of those, I say it’s about time.
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