So by now everybody who’s currently distributing through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (and everybody else who’s seen it on Twitter) has heard about this new KDP Select.
I am not a fan.
Is this a good business decision for Amazon? Sure. They’re doing something else to try to corner the market on ebooks. Since largely Kindle is synonymous with e-reader the same way that Kleenex is the universal word for facial tissue, attempting to make books a Kindle exclusive–even if only for a limited time–is a smart move for them.
But is it a smart move for writers?
As a Nook owner myself I can say with conviction that I’d be right ticked off if one of the books I wanted was available in ebook on Amazon and not anywhere else. I didn’t (and still don’t) want a Kindle. I love my Nook and I feel that all books released should be released on ALL PLATFORMS simultaneously. I don’t think it is a wise move, long-term, to alienate those readers who chose an e-reader that wasn’t a Kindle. And don’t you DARE pull out the “but you can read it on Kindle PC or your phone.” I don’t give a rat’s ass. I don’t want to read on my phone or my computer. That’s why I got an e-reader in the first place. Don’t discriminate against me because I chose something different.
Will authors make money via the KDP Select program? Sure. Will it be comparable to profits from other venues you’d be forced to forego for 90 days? There’s no way to know.
Certainly the option to promote your book for free for up to 5 days out of 90 on KDP Select is an attractive one. Free is definitely a way to zip up the rankings. And, in fact, this could potentially result in enough visibility that your sales could supersede what you might make via those other venues, particularly given that for almost every independent author I know, Amazon makes up the majority of sales.
So I guess the decision comes down to your goals. If you’re entirely about maximizing profits in the short run, this might be a means to do so. But if you are about building a solid fan-base ACROSS PLATFORMS, I think that participating may just be shooting yourself in the foot.
I, for one, won’t be signing up.