Saturday, January 21, 2012

The KDP Select Experiment: Part 1 - Mission Impossible?

On December 21 I blogged about the huge carrot Amazon was dangling in front of authors--the opportunity to share in a $500,000 pool via the new KDP Select program. I mentioned that I wasn't happy with some of the conditions of this program or with Amazon's obvious ploy to monopolize the industry. Regardless of the smile on my face in the pic to the left, I don't like being backed into a corner. However, I recognize from a business perspective they're doing what most successful businesses attempt to do--destroy the competition.

The exclusivity clause still bothers me, even now that I have enrolled two of my titles into the program. It bothers me that those with other ereaders outside of the Kindle won't have access to these two titles--DIVINE INTERVENTION and THE RIVER. But from a business perspective I'd be remiss in my duties to completely ignore or overlook what Amazon is offering. I still think Amazon could have taken away the exclusivity clause and still have a ton of interest. It would have been "fair" to everyone else. But big business rarely ever plays fair.

You can read about the first steps I took and follow my experiment at:

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Unknown said...

I read your first comments when I was about to join, then had second thoughts and didn't do it. As you say, big business rarely plays fair.

Cheryl Tardif said...

Hi Carole,

It's definitely a risk. But is it worth taking? That's the question and I don't have a 'for sure' answer.

The way I look at it, if you're an author with multiple published titles why not take one and experiment with it? Wouldn't that be better than always wondering? I'd kick myself later if I never took the risk and it ended up being the best thing for authors.

That's how my mind works. I'm definitely not prepared to enroll all my titles or NOT enroll any titles without checking this out first. :-)

Maybe my experiment will be a bomb and all I'll have done is expose 5000+ readers to my 2 titles. What are the odds that not one of them buys one of my other books?

By the way, I'm really just talking aloud here. I'm not trying to convince you or anyone else that KDP Select is "the answer". I don't know yet what it is.

All the best in success, Carole. Cheers!

Debra Purdy Kong said...

I think that experimentation with a couple of your titles is an excellent idea. I've heard mixed reviews, but lately, the positives seem to be outweighing the negatives; however, it's still early days. Keep us posted!

Doris-Maria Heilmann said...

Why not use the KDP program for the first three months - a time when new books are selling slowly anyway?

You are free to load up your book by yourself to Apple after the 90 days. It is paperwork yes, and not easy at first, but from the second ebook on you are fine.

KDP is only for 90 days, after that you can do whatever you want with your book.
You can distribute your book in physical format, or in any format other than digital to wherever you want. The exclusivity is only for your e-book.

You are actually paid if your book is lent buy readers. This can be more as if you sell it regularely if you have a low-priced book.

Your ranking at Amazon will improve immensely - that's for sure. Think: "customer who bought this book also bought..."
Even J.A. Konrath, a very critical writer, used it as a way of promotion - after he wrote a condemning article against it first.

During these three months, you can do a lot of things to promote your book, such as listing your book at Bowker, get an ISBN number, improve your authors’ website and have friends and customers help to spruce up your success on Amazon.

Here are some tips to boost your book sales:
Check out the best ones in August, October and early January.

Selling on Amazon gives you the full royalty, while selling through an aggregator cuts your royalty! I would never use an aggregator for e-books, and selling books on Sony
and Diesel seems not to be very lucrative, their sales numbers are negotiable compared to Amazon.