Friday, December 9, 2011

Kindle Select...Opting Out

I got the email about Kindle Select and actually gave it a lot of thought. I am opting out.

What scares me about the program...
While it sounds lucrative...how can they actually predict the earning potential on such a new program? Yes, they have been in business for years as a online book seller. Yes, they have a track record. Yes, they say you can opt out any time after the 90 day period.  It all sounds too good to be true and you know what they say about things being too good to be true.

I published all my novels in both Smashwords, Kindle, and Createspace for paperbacks. Yes, I do understand the powerhouse Amazon is becoming. But exclusivity? Does this mean they will start promoting my books? Uh huh! They are just lending my books. They are not actual sales.

Right now through Smashwords, my novels are available in all formats. It doesn't matter whether you have a kindle, nook, or whatever or not. You can also download for your computer. The sales on these other devices are small, but that isn't the point.  The point is it is available to all readers. I also noticed I picked up a few new U.K. readers who join the U.S., Canada, European markets this past month. Welcome all. Who am I to tell everyone to get my novels you HAVE to buy a Kindle?

Currently, I have five manuscripts in the works for publishing next year plus two other possibles. If I sign an exclusive contract...yes this is a legally binding contract with some stiff penalties, what will happen to the new novels and nonfiction I want to publish? Although the contract says 90 days, there could be long reaching tentacles reaching for the new ones. Yes, I do understand I have the option to cancel, but didn't I just slap the other retailers in the face by opting in? Can we say monopoly? If I ever make best seller on Amazon (albeit unlikely), as it stands right now that prestige carries over to other retailers thus more sales in those markets. With Kindle Select it's one street and one marketplace.

If I wanted to sign an exclusive contract I would have submitted my novels to my NY publisher.

Now, I could see the benefits to an unknown newly published author. It would get your product (novel) into more hands possibly. There isn't a track record to go by at this point. So you may be on the cutting edge of a new fangled thing.

While this is not necessarily a bad thing, I just see the broader picture. The picture painted is rosy, but I know after a year of semi-humping my hinny off in self-publishing, it is not that easy.  There is never a quick fix which works in the long run. It takes hard work. It takes learning the trade of publishing and marketing. It takes business savvy. It takes learning the craft of writing and storytelling to the best of your ability and keep learning new angles. This is not the business of if you write it they will come. It takes building an audience, developing relationships, and experience garnered over time.

This is not the 1960's of the one-hit wonders of musical groups. You, as an indie author, are in it for the long haul...multiple titles, notoriety, and the love of the craft. It's entertainment that can be revisited and cherished like the teddy bear or dolly of your youth. I have books which I enjoyed as a child that have been passed down to my children and grandchildren. That's the overall goal of writing...the love and the continuation.

Keep writing and loving the Lord.

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