It’s Hard to Tell Who’s Side Amazon is on

Ok, it actually isn’t, at all. They’re on their side and much like Apple, the rest of us are just being pulled along in the wake, and if we’re successful, great, but if not, ain’t no losing any sleep from Apple or Amazon.

This is basically episode 3.. or 5 or whatever, of “Wilker Learns to be an indie Writer”

So you have a book to publish, yay! You hop over to Amazon because you know you can self-publish there in both paper and ebook formats. You go through all the steps and get your books set up. You see the KDP select option, which puts your book in the Kindle Unlimited program, which is awesome, folks can read your book for free! You get paid a few fractions of a cent for every page that’s read, neat! Not overly lucrative, at least for a new author, but neat.

Then you learn about Createspace (which Amazon owns, but doesn’t advertise at all) where you can also create your book in both versions, as well as make it available in other markets. Except you can’t once you’ve done it in KDP unless you want to unpublish your book and republish. GRRR

ok, so you’ve missed out on that, but that’s ok. You can keep going with the KDP tools and make your way.

You go about your business and want to do some free ebook giveaways. AH! You can’t because you forgot KDP select prohibits any ebook distribution outside Amazon. No giveaways, no iBooks, or Google, nothing. KU or purchase from Amazon, that’s it for ebook distribution. Drat!

Good thing KDP Select is only 90 days.

You can opt-in again of course if you like.It’s good that Amazon, in exchange for this lock-in they demand gives you some options for promotion. You can do a week of free on your book, that’s cool, it drives some serious readership (I picked up 200+ copies in people’s kindles). You can also do a Kindle Countdown, which lets you start at a price lower than your normal price, and increment up to full price. Oh wait, you can’t do one if you’ve done the

Amazon KDP Select Promotion optionsIt’s good that Amazon, in exchange for this lock-in they demand gives you some options for promotion, not amazing ones, but at least options. You can do a Free Book Promotion (one week of free), that’s cool, it drives some serious readership (I picked up 200+ copies/readers when I did it for ‘Space Rogues’).

You can also do a Kindle Countdown Deal, which lets you start at a price lower than your normal price, and increment up to full price. Oh wait, you can’t do one if you’ve done the other until you re-sign for another 90 days of KDP. huh, that sucks, you have two options, you get to do one.

Amazon KDP Select Promotion option limitations

I’m torn on the value of all the above. At this point, I’m about halfway through my KDP select term. I’ve sold a handful of copies, given away quite a few more, and Kindle Unlimited readership seems ok. But I can’t distribute ‘Space Rogues‘ anywhere else. I can’t participate in giveaways that could increase readership and reviews. Right now while making money would be ideal, my main goal is getting copies in hand to get more reviews.

Of course, there’s also Kindle Unlimited, which as a reader I like quite a bit. As a writer I’m … meh. The payout for your book varies based on things you have no control over. Page reads (vs. ‘finishing a book’ because scammers were gaming that) and overall pool size. For July, the payout for Kindle Unlimited is $0.00403472 per page read. There’s an equation at play to dictate what a “page” is so that scammers don’t put two words on a page, etc. Fucking scammers.

 

Thinking I might do a freebie deal a week or two before the end of my KDP term, to drive some interest.

By John Wilker

I'm a science fiction writer and conference organizer. In 2017 I published my first book, 'Space Rogues', a fun Sci-Fi adventure with a fun cast of characters. I'm also the co-founder of 360|Conferences, a conference and event logistics consulting company.

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