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Friday, January 27, 2012

To Amazon KDP Select or Not?

So I've been toying with the idea of making one of my books Amazon KDP Select available for a while now (meaning it can be borrowed for FREE by Amazon Prime Kindle readers), while following other readers’ experiences with the program. And I have to say, the jury is still out.

The pros are that supposedly I will get more sales (or at least more exposure and maybe more revenue), but the cons are quite big for someone who has been a self-practicing Indie Author for the past year. To adhere to Amazon’s terms and conditions I will have to withdraw my book from Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Apple and all other electronic bookstores. That’s quite an undertaking. I also will not be permitted to sell the book electronically direct via my own website (not something I currently do anyway). In effect I will be giving Amazon everything! It’s tempting and big brother scary, both at the same time.

But hey I’m an Indie Author and I take risks. What have I got to lose? I plan to relaunch second editions of my Xannu series later this year (along with the long-awaited third installment) and so three months of Amazon-only exposure may be an interesting thing to try. Watch this space over the weekend as I blog the experiment and then write regular updates over the coming few months. Wish me luck!


  1. I toyed with this too and decided that the loss if exposure and existing readers was a big issue for my existing series, and the ethics of exclusivity really don't sit well with me.

    But, I've put my new series on there as an experiment and so far it's not proving itself for me.

  2. I'll be watching how it goes for you. I've heard mixed reviews, but more good experiences than bad. It doesn't have to forever.

    Those most pleased have been ones with multiple books who have offered one book through Amazon KDP, attracting a larger readership for their other books.

  3. Yeah, the taking it down from everywhere else bothers me.

  4. The reviews I have are also mixed, but are very clear on one point: If the book is established in other markets, removing it to go to KDP is a mistake. The term established is subjective, however. It meant anywhere from 50-500+ sales, depending on author and comparison to sales at Amazon.

    Rosie is right about a book being an exclusive can generate more interest in your other books. For me personally, it is not something I would try with an existing, established book, but would certainly be something I would do with a new book...especially a sequel. The lead generation for the existing books is a huge hook.

    90 days is not a long exclusivity, unless you have avid fans who are solely Smashwords or B&N. I have found the loyalty to those two sites much more fierce than Amazon or Apple. (Although, Apple is evolving its brand. This is subject to change.)

    I will be interested in seeing what you decide.

  5. You are the second writer I have seen post on this subject today. Here's a link to a good article. --> Granted, the guy who wrote it works for Smashwords. But he makes some valid points. I enrolled my book in KDP Select right off the bat. I am not impressed so far. I personally won't be re-upping my 90 day commitment and look forward to being allowed to offer my book in other venues. Good luck!

  6. I have a few bits (four free shorts, a $1.49 short story collection / workbook) on Smashwords but have trickling sales (but then I don't tout much, although I do blog twice a day, mostly guest pieces).

    I have four novels to edit, submit to my editor, pick up the pieces then decide where to send to. I might try the first one or two with KDP (nothing on Amazon at the moment as I wanted to get the hulk of a SW style guide done... actually it was pretty simple. So I'm happy to give it a go for three months. Amazon is the big boy after all, or so it seems. Even I've succumbed to buying a Kindle (last week - it's great).

  7. If you've the recent article about copyright piracy, you may want to think twice before deciding to go with Amazon's "exclusive" KDP Select program. It's very frightening to think that the vultures are just hovering out there waiting for an unsuspecting author to put his/her book out there for free. On the other hand, it is a very valuable lesson on the "cost" of NOT registering a copyright for every book you publish.

  8. I am both enlightened and mortified ! I predict agents make a huge comeback!

  9. I couldn't bring myself to do it. Taking my first book down from the many sites that it is on just to accommodate exclusivity, and then giving it away for free would be too much. Re-submit it again to the other sites afterwards? Too much trouble. Although, I will try it with a new novella. I just want the experience of it with something small, but not with a full book. It may well build some buzz for my first work.

  10. Hmm...Since I wrote a novelette and published through createspace just to try it, I'm still waiting for the "wow!" moment and it's just not happening. Giveaways go okay, but prime members just aren't borrowing. But I will do it with my next one too, because now more people know who I am and the next book is longer.