A vigorous discussion concerning Amazon’s KDP Select took place in the comments section of a post called Watching the Numbers that appeared yesterday.
For those not familiar with KDP Select, here are the major components:
- Your ebook is available exclusively on Amazon for 90 days.
- You have the right to promote your ebook for free for 5 out of the 90 days.
- Your book is automatically enrolled in the Kindle Owners Lending Library from which Prime members can borrow one book per month.
- You are paid for each time your book is borrowed from the Kindle Owners Lending Library. The payment varies from month to month, depending upon how many books are borrowed, but typically is a little over $2 per borrow, so it’s pretty close to the royalty generated from selling an ebook for $2.99.
- The most recent change is that KDP Select enrollment allows you to earn 70% on ebooks sold through Amazon’s new Indian store.
When KDP Select was first introduced, the major attraction was the free promotion days, but many indies have become disillusioned about the marketing value of this type of pricing promo. The major perceived downside of KDP Select is that you have to take down your ebook listings on the Nook, Apple, Kobo, Sony, etc., stores so your ebook is available exclusively on Amazon.
So here’s the question that began in the comments section of the previous post – Is there a positive payoff from increased revenues from Amazon through KDP Select that offsets the loss of sales in other ebook stores?
To the extent that indie authors have shared their sales numbers in general terms, a few romance authors sell well on the Nook store, but the majority of indies seem to generate 90% or more of their sales through Amazon. If this is the case, even a small uptick in Amazon sales rates would more than offset lost sales in other ebook stores.
Some authors have expressed concern about offending prospective purchasers in non-Amazon stores, but is this really a good business decision? If you generate 10 more Amazon sales (or royalties for loans to 10 Prime members), is there a reason you wouldn’t be willing to give up one lost Nook sale?
PG will share that most of Mrs. PG’s books sell more in a day on Amazon than they do in a month on the Nook store. If KDP Select lets her bump sales/lending revenues for a book up 5% on Amazon, she’s money ahead even if she has to give up all Nook sales. As far as sales through other ebook stores are concerned, let’s just say they’re way behind the Nook store.
What’s your experience? If Amazon shut down ebook sales tomorrow, how would your career as a self-published author look?
UPDATE: There’s an interesting post on KDP Select at Self-Publishing 2.0