Yesterday I was reading blog entries on The Passive Voice, on Joe Konrath’s blog and some Hugh Howey thoughts, and I thought, “Wow! Why am I not in KDP Select?”
So why wasn’t I?
I put my short stories in KDP Select when I wanted to give some of them away several months ago. But I never put my longer collections and my novella into it. My reasoning was that I was going to move to publish the works with other platforms, like B&N, iBooks, Kobo, and Smashwords. I was thinking that maybe Draft2Digital was the way to go, but I wasn’t sure.
I never did any of that. Honestly, I can’t see myself putting in the work to do so at this time. Maybe if I was seeing income worth talking about, I could justify putting in the time. But right now, I can’t.
So, I placed everything into KDP Select. My novella, THE CAVE, costs $0.99 to buy, but can be borrowed in Kindle Unlimited or through Prime. My short story collections, DIE 6, 14 DARK WINDOWS, and THE STRIKER FILES, are all currently priced at $0.99, and all can be borrowed via KU or through Prime. And my four short stories (all of which are found in 14 DARK WINDOWS as well), are also priced at $0.99, and all are part of KU and Prime.
Here’s what one reviewer said about my short story ODD MAN OUT:
A pair of creepy tales, well written if on the short side. Worth a read, especially via Kindle Unlimited. I’ll be checking out the collection that includes these. EC, Amazon review.
Another review about the same says:
The book is two short word pictures of atmospheric horror. They both nicely evoke a feeling of creepy dread, and in the case of the House At the Bend In the Road, mystery. Worth a read! Scott R. Turner, Amazon review.
(ODD MAN OUT is available as a standalone short story or as part of the collection 14 DARK WINDOWS.)
Anyway, there it is. I’m all in on KDP Select for now. Grab ’em or borrow them. They’re not pricey. I think they’re good reads, but of course I would think that, since I wrote them. But a few others think the same. Don’t let others do your thinking for you; check them out yourself…
My, you’ve been busy, so I’m catching up. Leaving your sci-fi post for later, let me get on the soapbox about KDP.
First, there’s exclusivity. Not recommended if you think you can sell well elsewhere (btw, Smashwords allows you to distribute to B&N, Kobo, etc and even to Oyster and Scribd for “borrowing”). I generally don’t, so I have ebooks in KDP and restrict Smashwords to sci-fi (there’s a demographic issue behind that decision methinks, but I can’t remember it right now). Second, once in KDP, you’re in KU, and Amazon now pays per page in KU. Is that good for the author? Is that good for the reader? Or, is it only good for Amazon? The jury’s still out. Third, KDP is only for ebooks. While authors can use Create Space if they want pbooks too, it’s a bit of a nightmare keeping it all straight. Even worse if you have some old POD books like me. Four, there’s no reason to be in KDP if you don’t need KU, even if you don’t use Smashwords. The royalties are exactly the same. (Maybe that will change if Konrath is right.)
I’ve been following discussions on this in Goodreads and Linked In. My conclusion? The jury’s still out. I’ve never noticed any significant action from KU or Smashwords and its associated borrowers. This takes care of Konrath’s serialization argument in your previous post. Old Joe is just trying to promote his own library lending scheme which is by invitation only. At least Amazon allows everyone in KDP to participate in KU.
For me, I don’t think I am going to have time to do the work to get my stuff onto another publishing platform at the moment, and probably won’t through at least October. So I don’t lose anything by going into Select and being exclusive to Amazon; I already have been. I am hoping that there is maybe a little bit of discovery from being in KU that, as a relatively new author, I can build on. Maybe there isn’t, but hey, nothing else much is working. And as far as a difference between Select and not being exclusive, is there any indication that Amazon might favor Select titles in their promotions? I’m sorta thinking that maybe they do, even if they don’t admit it.
I’ll certainly post the results of my little experiment. If nothing else, maybe I’ll get some borrows. I really need to get something new up and out there for reading.
You’ve put your finger in one of my wounds: Amazon isn’t forthcoming about what in does. Case in point: some time ago they decided to crack down on reviews. I lost four or five. That doesn’t seem like much, but it’s a large percentage in my case. They now say that it’s better because they’re using computer algorithms to screen the reviews, but most of them still look like their product reviews for women and men’s apparel. And I’d sure like more info about how my ebooks are doing–they have it, but they’re not telling.
You’re right–if you’re not worried about Smashwords (double the formatting cost, at least in time)–you lose nothing by going exclusive. And yes, Amazon might sneakingly favor those exclusive books, but my perception they favor the better selling and recent books, which is why you have to push your entire catalog in someway (Smashwords is even worse at that).
Fortunately neither you nor I have to make a living at this, but I worry about those who want to. It’s a real slog nowadays.