16 Comments

  1. Hi Diane – Thanks for the kind words. I couldn’t have formulated my ideas without the other bloggers and the frenetic discussions on Kindle Boards. I’m new to the game and wanted to wrap my head around this critical moment before it got buried under whatever the next salvo might be.

    All indie authors should concern themselves with the direction things are going, IMHO, and not just allow themselves to go with the prevailing current. Our educated decisions today will have a profound effect on the future of this business.

  2. I self-publish through Amazon, and have been uncomfortable with their practices for a while now. I agree, this seems to be another way for Amazon to through its weight around and try to corner the market. For that reason alone, I’ll have nothing to do with it.

    • Hey Dana – Good to see you here.

      I’m not a fan of Amazon’s approach either, as I hope you can tell from the post.

      I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this opening swing becomes a shock to the system of the competitors, causing them to wake up and provide better service. Through that will come better competition, a situation that can only benefit indies, readers, and the publishing industry as a whole. Monopolies only have one winner.

  3. Here’s what I think: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-coker/amazon-ebooks-kdp-select_b_1139260.html

    Many folks tend to forget that Amazon is much larger than all of its competitors combined, so it’s dangerous to view the smaller sales of others as somehow indicative of a lack of commitment from those retailers to indies. Although much smaller, all the non-Amazons have pursued policies much friendlier to indies that Amazon. None of the others pursue draconian price matching, or go so far with exclusivity. Most support free ebooks without strings attached, and 60%+ royalties for 99 cents and up.

    I think the new library lending feature at Amazon is cool, and if it weren’t for the exclusively I’d encourage everyone to try it.

  4. Hi Mark – Thanks for dropping by. I think most indies that don’t have just dollar signs in their eyes see KDP Select for what it is: an opening bid by Amazon to corner the market. The smart ones understand that monopolies aren’t good for anyone (even, eventually, the monopoly’s dominant player) and especially not so for the content providers. This is why I won’t be going Select.

    I think Smashwords provides an invaluable service and will be a key player in pushing back against anyone, Amazon or otherwise, that seeks to snuff out competition. But my real hope is that Select is the catalyst that’s needed to raise the game for all of Amazon’s rivals. If Smashwords, iBooks, and B&N all offered anything near Amazon’s distribution, transparency, and exposure, KDP Select will fade away. That’s the win-win-win I’m pulling for.

  5. Right now when I put a story out there I want it available on as many devices as possible. Amazon might have the lion’s share right now, but there are people out there using other devices than Kindle. As an indie author, if I limit myself to one device I limit sales and as I see it I just can’t afford to do that. I do free books through smashwords, putting up short stories for a week or so for free to generate interest. I do tweet for pay on some short stories. There are ways to get the word out there. This ploy by Amazon will hopefully not kill the competition because competition makes things better.

    • Hi Mystic – Thanks for your comment. I agree with everything you’re saying. I understand those authors that are making 99% of their sales (and, to be clear, some of those 99%’ers are selling hundreds or thousands of books) on Amazon have jumped with both feet into Select, but I think it behooves all of us to look a little further down the road.

      As you say, when the competition is killed, everyone loses. And, as I mentioned to Mark Coker, my fervent hope is that this will wake the competition up and get them to compete at all levels…then we’ll see epublishing REALLY take off.

      On a side note, one thing that’s been a little lost in this conversation of Amazon vs. everyone else is that it’s actually a three-way war: Amazon vs. everyone else vs. traditional publishing. I have to admit that it tickles me that, no matter who comes out on top of this eWar, I believe traditional publishing will get the shaft. I’m not (too) vindictive, but trad pub has had their way with us authors for quite some time and another shock to the system like Select might help bring the industry out of the 19th century and into the 21st.

  6. i agree with diane above, great review

    saw the pingback to this via “how much do you want to get paid tomorrow?” by david guaghran

    also, mark, the sooner smashwords accepts epubs for uploading (i’d read this will happen in 2012?) the sooner i can start uploading 1/2 doz or more titles

    i just don’t have time to do conversions into word with more content still needing digitizing, and i don’t have the monies to pay for converting; my epubs are ready ;-)

    re select, i was in, but had to use the three day window to back out –

    almost all my ebooks have some to “a lot” of content in some form or reference on my site, and i would’ve had to remove that content from my web-blog

    as one of my main reasons for having a site has been to integrate a lot of life long interests (arts, fitness, yoga) i love being able to link and cross-link all over the place, discovering and showing relationships

    removing one, two, or over a dozen posts, some foundational for my site, would have ruptured my whole purpose

    so for me, exclusivity, as per mark above, is what is keeping me from trying the program

    sorry for the long post, but i have spent three full crammed days resolving how to offer a free book from my collection within the new program, and couldn’t, and have had to reverse many pr things i’d put in place

    but, i think i’m finding another way, thanks to google books ;-)

    thanks ya’ll,

    adan

  7. Adan – Thanks for coming over from DG’s (excellent) blog and thank you also for your insights.

    Did amazon let you know you had too much content on your site to qualify for Select’s exclusivity, or did you just assume it from what you knew about your titles? It would be interesting to know just how far the Big A will go to enforce exclusivity.

    Best of luck in the future and getting that backlist up!

    • yea, great post on DG’s, comments too! finally got through them ;-)

      i suspected from the language that i clearly had not only similar, but in some portions, the same content as was already on my site; this is actually one of my selling points for this particular ebook, as my wife and i have many people in our classes (mostly seniors) who read our posts, so having them organized in ebook form, seemed a great idea

      plus, i make an effort with each post, to cross-link to previous articles, so there’s a seen thread among the differing subjects, yoga, fitness, the arts, and creativity

      sometimes it even all comes together in one post ;-)

      but to answer your question, i thought, when i notated the request to put “nice thing ’bout getting old(er)” in the lending program, and got an ok that it was “in” that all was ok; but i worried about the language and sent an email requesting clarification

      2 days into the 3 day grace period to back out, i received an email kinda re-stating the language and pointing me through some links for further info

      i wrote back again, explaining a bit more clearly on my part my concerns, and the next morning, before the grace period ran out, backed out

      late afternoon i got the second email expressing it might be best to remove the posts from my site

      i think in all fairness, considering having to input questions into a form, the holidays, and the probable number of inquiries, that amazon tried to get back to as quickly as possible and, within the rubric of non-attorneys talking to each other through emails, advised me as honestly as they could in relation to the language of the kind of agreement i would need to make to participate

      in other words, i understand and appreciate amazon, and plan to stay with them, but the exclusivity factor would mean rupturing my website, crippling the links that criss-cross like veins across the site ;-)

      and because everything i post is in some relation to what’s been posted, including excerpts of material i’ve placed into my ebooks, this particular offer’s just not gonna happen for me there

      whew! ;-)

      the other major player i’ve been able to work with so far, google books, doesn’t require an exclusive, nor prohibit me from pricing to zero

      and i don’t want to fool with offering my ebooks from my site, at least in the near future

      between teaching yoga and fitness to seniors, writing new articles and posts on my site, creating new poetry and images, AND digitizing my backlist of content, i’ve got enough to do ;-)

      which is why i’m hoping smashwords goes ahead with accepting epubs “very” soon in the future; my books are epub checked and passed and ready, and amazon’ll take the mobi conversions and google with take the epubs and pdf conversions

      the word conversions (from pages) won’t pass smashwords process, and i just can’t take the time to work with that right now

      so that’s about it

      so again for the rambler post ;-) now you know why i have so much content ;-)

      thanks for writing and asking; look fwd to your future posts!

      sincerely,

      adan

      • sorry for some of the typos and grammer hang-ups, i wanted to reply to you and get some supper done up ;-)

        funny how food takes such a bigger priority as we age –

        kinda like returning to those kid years ;-)

        thanks much matthew,

        adan

  8. What do they mean by removing our publications from our website? My website pushes my book, but directs the reader to Amazon. Do they mean remove the ability of readers to buy they book directly from the author?

    • Hi Dorothy –

      If your link points to Amazon, you should be fine. They’re trying to protect their exclusivity, so they only frown on things that take away from that. Since some authors post stories free on their site to drive promotion and others actually sell directly from their site (e.g., Joe Konrath), they want you to remove any and all competition if you want to be part of KDP Select.

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