Yesterday I wrote a post entitled, KDP Select and Me, which briefly covered independent authors opting into Amazon's Kindle Owners Lending Library.
As expected, message boards, twitter, facebook and blogs were all afire as to if this was the greatest thing since sliced bread to happen to independent authors, or, just another way for Amazon to flex its muscles. The independent community is split. After doing some more research on the program I know I will NOT be opting in.
As I stated yesterday, I have a real problem with the exclusivity clause. Amazon forbids the eBook to be sold anywhere else but with them. That edict not only includes other eRetailers but also on my own site. One of the main points in going independent was that I would have total control of my work. Why would I allow Amazon to dictate where I could offer my book?
Here's the clause..."When you include a Digital Book in KDP Select, you give us the exclusive right to sell and distribute your Digital Book in digital format while your book is in KDP Select. During this period of exclusivity, you cannot sell or distribute, or give anyone else the right to sell or distribute, your Digital Book (or content that is reasonably likely to compete commercially with your Digital Book, diminish its value, or be confused with it), in digital format in any territory where you have rights.
See that bold portion? That pretty much insures that if I chose to write a series of books I would have to opt them all in. If I don't, Amazon could use that as an excuse not to pay. I hadn't even thought about that until another independent author's lawyer brought that to her attention. He advised her if she chose to go in, she'd best go all in.
Now here's the real kicker. It's my understanding, and please correct me if I'm wrong...traditional publishers do not have this exclusivity clause...only independents do!
Amazon whet the appetite of many authors by announcing it would allocate $500,000 for the month of December, and that there would be $6 million allocated for the 2012 year. Ummm, that's still $500,000 per month. Their formula is based upon how many books are opted in, and how many are checked out by Prime Members. First off, Amazon really has no idea how many people are going to opt in, so their dangling the $7,500 royalty if your book is checked out 1,500 times is insane. The more books in, the less the royalty rate will be. And if any independent thinks that someone is going to choose their 99 cent book over a $14.99 best seller, they're insane. Because there's one other major thing I discovered...Prime Members can only check out 12 books a year!!!
Now, isn't it logical that a reader is going to check out an expensive book vs. a cheap one? When that was brought up on different forums, some independent authors said, "People will buy your book then." Ummm, not necessarily. And isn't the whole point of being in this program, and giving up all your rights, is because you think your book will be checked out, and not bought? Others have said the promotion Amazon would give your book would be worth opting in. We'll see.
I had updated yesterday's post to include a post written by Mark Coker from Smashwords. It's worth reading again.
Apple vs. PC.
IPhone vs. Droid.
Kindle vs. Nook
Amazon vs. The World?