Besides having anxiety attacks from formatting my book and uploading it onto Amazon.com this weekend, I had to make the decision of whether or not to enroll First Visions: Second Sight Book One into the KDP Select program. The gist of the program for those unaware is for giving a 90 day exclusive to Amazon.com on your ebook, you get five promotional days where you can offer your book for free and your book is entered into the Kindle Owners' Lending Library. If your ebook is sold on other sites or large excerpts are printed online, you must remove them to comply with the terms of the program.
When faced with the decision whether or not to opt into KDP Select program, I kept hearing this little voice in the back of my mind that kept telling me I shouldn’t limit the number of platforms my book is sold on. First Visions has only been on sale for a couple of days, but I’ve had a handful of sales through Smashwords. Although my sales have been higher on Amazon, how can I be sure entering KDP Select will be more advantageous than using other retailers?
Plus, isn’t kind of lame of Amazon to take sales away from independent book retailers like Smashwords? Now that I’ve gotten the hang of Smashwords, I really like both selling my book on it and buying books from their store. You can offer your book up for free (without promising an exclusive), generate coupons, get a free ISBN and receive distribution to major retailers such as Apple, Sony and Barnes and Noble. Plus, I LOVE the large number of reading formats (HTML, PDF, mobi, epub, etc.).
Honestly, I probably would’ve been more open to the idea if it wasn’t for the 90 day term period. Three months? That seems like a long time to offer up an exclusive for only five promotional days and to be entered into the Kindle Owners' Lending Library. Furthermore, I’ve talked to authors who haven’t made anything from the Lending Library. Prime members can only borrow ONE book a month. It doesn’t seem likely to make a huge sales impact.
It just seems like Amazon.com is the one making out the most on this deal. You’re offering up your book for free and they are ensuring any post-promotional sales stay on their site. However, I have seen a ton of promotional opportunities for your free days on Amazon and I’m sure it helps get a book that has gone unnoticed, a much needed jump in the rankings and search results.
So, for now I’m going to pass on KDP Select. I’ve read other blogger experiences and it seems like a mixed bag so I’m curious of how others feel about the program.