Happy Friday, everyone!
Now, I know the headline might sound a little ominous, but it’s really not that big a deal — at least not to you, but it could mean some good things for me.
Last night the New England Speculative Writers group met to discuss ongoing and upcoming projects, and one of the subjects that came up was increasing one’s exposure. One of the specific points of discussion centered on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing Select program, and whether the benefits outweighed the drawbacks.
For those unfamiliar with KPD Select, the gist is that authors give Amazon exclusivity rights on e-books, i.e., I can’t sell e-books enrolled in the program through other retailers such as Barnes & Noble. In exchange, I get to periodically set up sales on Amazon that let me lower the price of my books without affecting how much I earn off each sale, and the e-books are included in the Kindle Unlimited program. Readers get to read unlimited e-books and I make my money there off each page read.
For a while this approach worked pretty well. I kept Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins and The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich in KDP Select as feeder titles, figuring people would check them out and then go get the other books in the series, and I’d still make a decent payday off the KU reads.
For reasons far too complex to go into here, the amount authors make per KU page read has gone down a LOT over the past few years. That, coupled with other, better ways I’ve found to entice readers into giving my books a try, had me on the fence whether it was worth continuing on with KDP Select, and last night’s discussion helped me make up my mind that it was time to leave it behind and try other things.
As of today, Secret Origins is no longer a KDP Select title and is not available through KU. Scratching a Lich, however, will have one last hurrah and will go on sale for 99 cents from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday. After that, it’s coming off KDP Select.
Aside from the fact these books will no longer be available as KU titles, what this means is they, along with all my other books, will soon start popping up through other retail venues. This will be a bit of a process as I will have to set up the books for delivery via these other means, but it will expand my books’ availability and give consumers an option other than Amazon.
Now, I know in some circles it’s fashionable to bash Amazon, and I won’t deny the company is in ways problematic — especially when it comes to indie authors — but it has in the big picture sense been perhaps the single greatest boon to independent and small press authors who would otherwise struggle to make a dent in the marketplace. Nevertheless, there are readers who absolutely do not want to spend their money with Amazon, and this step will help me reach some of them.
So keep an eye out here and in my newsletter as I announce new retailers for my books, and please spread the word of the Thanksgiving sale. Thanks!