What I'm reading: Contest Entry #2 of 8
First, a warm welcome to my newest followers. Thanks for coming on board, and I hope you'll stop by often. Next, please check the sidebar. I'm teaching an on-line workshop on Point of View next month, and would love to see some of you there.
There's been a lot of heated discussion on the new Amazon Kindle Select program for indie authors. In case you haven't heard, Amazon created a new program which benefits authors. It makes books available for readers to borrow (provided they've paid the $79 to become a member of Amazon Prime), and also gives authors the perk of promoting their books as free for a specific number of days per quarter. Free books raise the recognition factor.
The catch? You have to agree to publish ONLY at Amazon for a minimum of 90 days.
Authors are jumping on the bandwagon to mixed results. A lot seems to depend on whether they're well known to begin with, and whether they're selling established books or new releases. Since the program is less than 3 months old, it's impossible to make generalizations. Obviously, the authors who are the most excited about the program are the ones seeing immediate results.
Clearly, Amazon is in it to suck up as much of the market as it can, and that's simply doing business. The same goes for the authors who choose to participate. Indie authors are no longer controlled by their publishers, and they get to make their own choices.
I've not opted in to the program for a variety of reasons. First, my books are distributed at just about any e-bookstore I can get them in. Sony, Kobo, B&N, All Romance eBooks, OmniLit, Smashwords as well as the Kindle store. Joining the program would mean I'd have to opt out of all the other sales venues, something I'm not ready to deal with. I also couldn't give books away at my blog, or Goodreads, or anywhere else other than Amazon.
But I've got a new book coming out in a couple of months. I could easily put that book up only at Amazon for the first 3 months and see how things shake. Will I? I don't know.
First, I have a Nook, so any authors in the Kindle Select program are no longer on my "buy" list, even if it means saying good-bye to some favorites. Yes, I have the Kindle app for my phone and my PC. I don't read books on my PC. I work on my PC. I have a book on my phone that I won in a contest. It was a Kindle edition, and is DRM protected, so I can't move it to my Nook. I've been reading that book for almost a year, and am just past the halfway point. Phone reading is something I do in tiny bits and snatches when, for example, my husband says he's going to run in to the Post Office and I didn't expect to be needing reading material.
Authors who love the program say they're making more money with the new Lending Library at Amazon than they make on sales at all the other venues combined. Good for them. Everyone needs to decide what works for them, and most are definitely in the writing game to make money. They don't owe those readers who have Nooks, or Sonys, or iPads anything. They owe the reader the best book they can write, but after that, the distribution is up to them.
Yet to me, exclusivity makes my skin crawl. One of the reasons my first books did poorly with the publisher was their exclusive distribution system. They were using the wrong marketing model, and authors suffered. Maybe that soured me on the whole system. To me, exclusivity is not fair to my readers, even though I have very few of them. Don't want to deny them my books or tell them they can read them on a phone or PC (which, of course they can still do with all the other reading apps out there, but that's their choice).
And, because I'm not yet on board with the program, I CAN give away a book here today. So, leave a comment, tell me how you feel, and I'll give you any one of my e-book titles from either Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Smashwords. You've got until Friday. I'll pick a winner and announce it over the weekend.
Tomorrow, my guest is author Mike Nettleton, who's talking about how a pacifist writes violence, and why. And he's giving away 2 of his books!
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