Writers and Readers discussion

494 views
Writers Corner > Is Amazon's Kindle Select Bad for Indie Authors?

Comments Showing 1-34 of 34 (34 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by A.F. (new)

A.F. (scribe77) | 1760 comments Mod
There's a lot of buzz surrounding Amazon's new ebook program, Kindle Select, bad buzz. Here are two of those negative views on this new venture (one from a rival publisher and one from an indie author who was approached to enroll):

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-co...

http://allonbooks-thekingdomofallon.b...

Now tell us your opinion on this Kindle Select.


message 2: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Gould | 10 comments I'm fairly iffy about it to be honest - even if it looks like some improved earning potential initially, I think anything that reduces our options for distribution isn't good in the long run.


message 3: by C.S. Splitter (new)

C.S. Splitter | 46 comments For authors, I do not think it is necessarily bad right now. I know some are looking forward to the program as a means of exposure for new work.

For the industry, I am not participating in it. Not that my opinion or sales matter, but Amazon already has a healthy share of the market. I do not want to see B&N and Smashwords get knocked out. We have already lost Borders for all practical purposes.

I won't knock authors that go for it, it's just a business decision for them. I just see it as a power grab by Amazon and wonder what this will mean when there is no more competition for them.

There was a post on my blog about it a couple days ago: http://splittersworld.blogspot.com

Splitter


message 4: by A.F. (new)

A.F. (scribe77) | 1760 comments Mod
Personally, I think it might be useful as an occasional promotional tool (along the lines of "Read my next book, published exclusively on Amazon Kindle Select) but limiting your distribution markets doesn't sound smart to me.
As it stands now, publishing on Kindle Select loses all potential customers who don't use Kindle (like me).


message 5: by Suki (last edited Dec 11, 2011 06:13AM) (new)

Suki Michelle (sukimichelle) One thing I can say - it's bad for Indie authors who are published with a small press because we can't make these dire decisions on our own, and it actually opens the door for self-pubbed to overtake Indie Small Press pubbed - which would be a good thing indeed, if you're a smart do-it-yourselfer. You have a choice. We don't.

That being said, the whole thing really does feel predatory and ruthless - it's sneaking up on a monopoly - but it's moot in my case. We're at our publisher's mercy.


message 6: by Nell (last edited Dec 11, 2011 06:32AM) (new)

Nell Gavin (nellgavin) | 14 comments There are some heated discussions about this on Kindleboards - I just replied to one in another Goodreads group. I would think this through VERY CAREFULLY. Someone had a lawyer look at the contract, and was told it was "bad bad bad." They have a $500,000 pot, and all participating authors will share. That means the best selling authors will take their share, and everyone else divvies up the rest. You can't earn more unless the best sellers earn less because the size of the pot remains unchanged. (I wonder if this will unleash attack reviews on better selling books?)

Furthermore, when you remove your books from the other sales distribution channels, you lose your place in their rankings and have to fight your way back up later on, if you abandon Amazon. I know after 11 years that Threads has been sold by sites all over the world in the weirdest places, and I have NO CONTROL over this. If you cheat or inadvertently have your book for sale elsewhere, say in Pakistan from some small book distributor, and they find out that you still distribute books elsewhere they can permanently throw you off of KDP and your other books as well, even if you didn't enroll them all in the program.

I don't have a choice because Threads has been out there for years, and it's for sale all over Google, mostly the print version, which is okay, but what if a torrent site grabs it? Does that count? I can't stop any of that. Still, I think that staying away will increase my sales elsewhere because I'll suddenly have less competition at, say, B&N.com.


message 7: by Suki (new)

Suki Michelle (sukimichelle) Nell Gavin wrote: "There are some heated discussions about this on Kindleboards - I just replied to one in another Goodreads group. I would think this through VERY CAREFULLY. Someone had a lawyer look at the contract..."

Damn - this thing smells so fishy, there must be seagulls circling Amazon's headquarters.


message 8: by Nell (new)

Nell Gavin (nellgavin) | 14 comments http://www.kindleboards.com/index.php...
http://www.kindleboards.com/index.php...
http://www.kindleboards.com/index.php...
http://www.kindleboards.com/index.php...

Read those threads carefully before you decide. There are and will be other threads as well. Reviews are mixed - there are people who jumped into this, and they give their reasons why. I didn't, and I have my reasons why. Forewarned, though, is forearmed.


message 9: by A.F. (new)

A.F. (scribe77) | 1760 comments Mod
Here's another view on Kindle Select:
http://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/20... and he makes some valid points worth considering.


message 10: by A.F. (new)

A.F. (scribe77) | 1760 comments Mod
Also, here's a post on the meaning of some of Kindle Select's fine print: http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2011/12...


message 11: by A.F. (last edited Dec 12, 2011 12:09PM) (new)

A.F. (scribe77) | 1760 comments Mod
Yet another opinion (she's a great writer by the way; her books are worth checking out) on Kindle Select: http://darusha.tumblr.com/post/139469...


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

I've put my books on. Only time will tell. Will keep you posted. I thought it only fair that people could read my books free, as if they were in a library.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Eumeralla-Sec...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Vissi-darte-e...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Doll-Coll...


message 13: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Clement (jaclement) | 29 comments Further discussion of it here including the rather rambling essay I wrote about it, if anyone's interested:
http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/7...

Too many down-sides for me and no realistic upside.

I'm thinking of pirating some of my own stuff to see what happens - all the advantage of free but in a larger audience, not a smaller one!

On the other hand, Joanne, someone said the lends get counted as buys in terms of Amazon's rankings, which I guess could be awfully useful, so you may have the right of it yet! It's just not my style really though...
JAC


message 14: by A.F. (new)

A.F. (scribe77) | 1760 comments Mod
Yes, there are some upsides to it, and if most or all your sales come off Amazon anyway, then it might be worth it. But to me, for anyone with sales outside Amazon it seems like you'd be giving up proven money earnings for possible money earnings which may or may not be more than you're getting now.


message 15: by A.F. (new)

A.F. (scribe77) | 1760 comments Mod
Joanna wrote: "I've put my books on. Only time will tell. Will keep you posted. I thought it only fair that people could read my books free, as if they were in a library.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Eumeralla-Secret..."


I'm looking forward to any updates. It would be good to have a perspective from someone trying it.


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

Hi AF. Yes, I'll keep updating and I hope I have good news not bad!


message 17: by Mike (new)

Mike O'Mary Great discussion. Thanks, everybody for sharing your thoughts (and links to threads).

One thing I haven't seen discussed that REALLY bugs me about KDP Select is that Amazon Prime members (the people who are paying to borrow books in the KDP Select program) are limited to one "borrowed" book per month. What kind of lending library is that?

When I go to a real library, there's no limit on how many book I can check out in a month. So I hope Amazon Prime customers speak up and get Amazon to bump up the number -- even if it's just to four per month. That would potentially quadruple the number of borrowed books each month, and make it much more likely that an Amazon Prime member will take a chance on an indie/self-published book instead of borrowing a best seller with their once-per-month opportunity to borrow a book for "free.

Full disclosure: All of that said, I will tell you that I put one of my books in the program, plus two books that I published by other authors. For those of you who are interested, you can download free copies of "MFA in a Box: A Why to Write Book" by John Rember (a great book about creative writing that is normally $9.99 as an ebook) and "Saying Goodbye" (an anthology of true stories about how we say "goodbye" to the people, places and things in our lives) in the Kindle store Dec 16-18.


message 18: by A.F. (new)

A.F. (scribe77) | 1760 comments Mod
Mike wrote: "Great discussion. Thanks, everybody for sharing your thoughts (and links to threads).

One thing I haven't seen discussed that REALLY bugs me about KDP Select is that Amazon Prime members (the p..."


Good luck with your books, and let us know how it goes.


message 19: by Holly (new)

Holly (hollybourque) | 5 comments This has been a hot topic in our household recently as we debated the pros/cons and whether we should consider enrolling any future titles.

Is the KDP Select bad for writers or not? Well, that depends on your goals. Something that must be kept in mind is what your overall goal is, and the avenues you wish to use to achieve said goal. For us, sales is but one piece of a larger goal. Reviews and connecting with readers is also a piece of a larger goal. Were we to limit our readership to one ereader device, we cut ourselves off from any potential connections with readers elsewhere, and potential sales, potential conversations with others, etc. So for us, enrolling in Select doesn't seem to fit in well with our overall goal.


message 20: by Eddie (new)

Eddie Jones (eddiejones) As an author and small indie publisher (of other books, not mine) I generally think this is a bad idea for all but Amazon. That said, we have released two of our books into the program: books which had low sales. Our thinking was, why not give these two authors a chance to snag a slice of the increasingly small pie. We'll see if the exposure is worth the loss in B&N sales. Doubt it'll make a difference one way or the other. But I wouldn't recommend this route for anything other than a throw-away book.


message 21: by A.F. (new)

A.F. (scribe77) | 1760 comments Mod
I'm been paying attention to other discussions on this topic and I'm seeing a lot of authors who are trying it are doing it with reservations and a "see what happens" attitude.


message 22: by Joshua (new)

Joshua Simon (joshuapsimon) Nell Gavin wrote: "There are some heated discussions about this on Kindleboards - I just replied to one in another Goodreads group. I would think this through VERY CAREFULLY. Someone had a lawyer look at the contract..."

Good breakdown. I'm personally not a fan of the program and do not intend on using it at this time.


message 23: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Risley (ElizabethRisley) | 8 comments I'm a reader not a writer - but I do want writers to be able to "make money" - otherwise I'll have nothing to read if they quit the business.

I have a Prime membership - and so far I've not found much there to "borrow". I have read the Hunger Games through that but most of the other books seem to be from indie authors which I can buy cheaply anyway. So why would I "borrow" a $0.99 book? It seems like they need to get better titles into the program and hopefully the authors that are there will get good money for being so.


message 24: by M.T. (new)

M.T. McGuire (mtmcguire) | 47 comments Hello there everyone,

For what it's worth, I jumped in with a short. However, the key advantages I see in this programme are:

1. People can download my short story for free and, hopefully, will want to read my novel (soon to be novelS woohah) as a result.
2. My story will go into the Amazon algorithm and will be offered in "people who bought x also bought"

It has occurred to me that the algorighm won't help because my story will be downloaded with other free stuff rather than other genre specific items.

To this end, if anyone who writes humour, fantasy or YA fiction on KDP Select wants to join me in planning say, 2 days in every 3 month period when we'll all make our books free at the same time and all shout about it wherever we can, you are welcome.

I think this might help to tip the algorithm towards other similar books as opposed to other random titles which are free. I say this because currently the algorithm for my stuff is really knackered, people who bought this also boought the works of L Ron Hubbard. Hmm...

Anyway it's just a thought...

Cheers

MTM


message 25: by David (new)

David Fleming (davidwallacefleming) | 3 comments I think kindle select is okay. It's the best opportunity I've had to break into the business thus far. (I'm running a promotion right now actually).

To me, it seems like an option that an author can take our leave. It's just a per book, ninety day commitment. So it seems like to me that the fears I'm reading about above are more that this will become standard practice and people will feel forced to chose this option.

If this benefits writers, I think they'll simply continue to use it. The real concern for this program may be the readers (Nook, for example). B&N should get up off their duff and start offering some competing incentives... Right?


message 26: by [deleted user] (new)

The sales of my crime novel have taken off since I put it on a 1 day promotion.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Doll-Collec...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Doll-Coll...


message 27: by Mark (new)

Mark Stephens | 6 comments I've actually seen my numbers on Amazon and Smashwords go up, but I'm not distributing everything through the library. I have two books on there and will alternate distribution depending on the profitability. Of course, I'm just beginning a writing career so any uptick is a good thing. It sucks that these books have to be exclusive, but if it encourages more people to try new writers, then it's a good thing.

Time After Time
From Beneath They Come

Mark Stephens


message 28: by Anne (new)

Anne Petty (annep) | 6 comments Joshua wrote: "Good breakdown. I'm personally not a fan of the program and do not intend on using it at this time.
"


Same here. I don't want my work tied up exclusively with Amazon for any amount of time.


message 29: by Rodney (new)

Rodney Strange (rodney_strange) | 1 comments I enrolled two of my books in Kindle Select in January and have decided not to participate once the 90 day period has been fulfilled. Let's face it, there's nothing 'fair' about the inability to market your book elsewhere.


message 30: by Thayer (last edited Mar 19, 2012 12:20AM) (new)

Thayer Berlyn | 45 comments My Select contract is up tomorrow. I chose not to renew as well. I can't say I regret having had my book up for the initial 90 days, because I learned first hand that the program is just not for me.


message 31: by Everly (new)

Everly Anders | 29 comments A.F. wrote: "There's a lot of buzz surrounding Amazon's new ebook program, Kindle Select, bad buzz. Here are two of those negative views on this new venture (one from a rival publisher and one from an indie au..."

Thank You for posting these!


message 32: by Beatrice (new)

Beatrice (beatricegerard) | 1 comments Anne wrote: "Joshua wrote: "Good breakdown. I'm personally not a fan of the program and do not intend on using it at this time.
"

Same here. I don't want my work tied up exclusively with Amazon for any amount ..."


Same here. During my first promo I had about 1000 downloads. None of them seem to have become readers. At least not yet. I am looking forward to the end of the 90-day period to re-launch the book on more venues.


message 33: by [deleted user] (new)

KDP Select has worked for me. I sold 104 this month and hope to do even better in May.

http://www.amazon.com/Vissi-darte-ebo...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Vissi-darte-e...


message 34: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Reynolds (graemereynolds) | 6 comments I'm eventually going to enrol in this program, for no other reason than I think the genre top 100 lists are skewed towards those on the select program. I often see books that have a lower sales rank than mine in the top 100, with my book being nowhere in sight.

My epub sales are virtually non-existent, although B&N not allowing non US residents to publish on their site unless I go through the Smashwords route probably does not help. I refuse to use Smashwords until such point that they allow epub uploads because I put a lot of time and effort into making my book look good and Smashwords will make an awful mess of it and lose things like chapter graphics and page breaks.

I gave a cease and desist notice to my epub suppliers today, unfortunately one of them requires 120 days notice to remove the title, so I'm going to be stuck with it for another four months or so.


back to top