Is this good business sense?

I know I still owe you all a post on the experiment I did with Again (which is still free at Amazon BTW)and I promise I will do that some time this week, but today I have something potentially more interesting to discuss.

Those logging onto their KDP Dashboard this morning will have noticed the huge banner for KDP SELECT, which is a new programme for self publishers using Amazon.

Essentially Amazon are offering a pool of $6million to be shared among authors who participate in the programme. The fund for December is $500,000.

The share is not allocated on sales though, and this is where it gets interesting. The share is allocated on how many times your book is ‘lent’ from one reader to another via the Kindle Owners Lending Library.

In my experience that’s going to be a pretty small number for most authors.

The programme runs for 90 days at a time and once you enroll a book in it you have a couple of days to unenroll if it’s not for you, but after that you are locked in for the duration.

Even still, sounds like free money, right?

What’s the catch?

Well, in the Terms and Conditions Amazon are demanding exclusive electronic rights (although you can still have the book in print or other non-electronic versions, such as audio books etc) which means this isn’t going to benefit authors who see a high volume of sales from Smashwords.

Having looked through it, and read various opinions on it, I’ve decided to take one for the team and road test this baby.

A couple of months ago I took down ‘Breath of the Earth’ and after a minor rework and serious reproofing (spelling and typos are not my friends) it’s in a better condition to go back up. So I decided it was a prime candidate for this experiment.

The KDP Select also offers a promotion feature which is interesting – you can select up to 5 days where your book will be listed for free (something that’s very hard to do on Amazon). Obviously you won’t get any royalites from the sales, but you will still get royalites from any lending of the book.

I’m interested to see how this short price change will impact on the sales ranks – for instance, if the book usually costs $4.99 and it’s on promotion for free for one day, how are any of those ‘free’ sales counted.

Normally free books have their own charts, but it’s not clear yet whether books on the KDP Select promotion will be included in the free or paid charts.

Time will tell I guess.

In the meantime ‘Breath of the Earth’ is on promotion tomorrow, so it’s free for all Kindle users.

Take care.


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