After I received my royalty check from Amazon I had misgivings about not re-enrolling Fractured Facade in its Select program. After all, the majority of that check came from sales garnered after I gave away almost 10,000 copies for free...but that was a couple of months ago. The last freebie's downloads of over 3,500 more copies did not justify the amount of sales that came afterwards. And as far as borrows went, I got a measly one.
Still, it was a nice chunk of change and I wondered if I was shooting myself in the keyboard by abandoning Amazon's ship. I still didn't re-publish on Smashwords so I thought, "Hmmm, let me see if I could generate some action by having a spur of the moment, one day freebie of The Valentine's Day Curse, which is still enrolled in Select. I didn't expect much as I knew the main sites of ENT and POI would not post it as they need a couple of weeks notice and I never submitted it to them.
As I've stated before, I have begun to believe that the free eBooks carrot is losing its appeal since everyone is giving their books away. After reading comments left on posts from ENT and POI from readers thanking them (ummm, how about thanking the author who is the person responsible for the free book?) and writing, they love, love, love the free books and will NEVER pay for a book again, I began to dwell more on this practice. Although the free seems to work well for those books that are part of a series, and for prolific writers who have many books out, I fear my time may have come and passed.
I wondered if the 5 day free promotions and ability for prime members to borrow my book was still worth the 90 day exclusive period, yet I still couldn't bring myself to hit republish on Smashwords! The nail in Amazon's Select program came yesterday, before my lousy results were even done on the spur of the moment freebie, via a glance at their welcome screen. On it they were touting that prime members can now borrow for free all the Harry Potter books, as well as New York Times bestsellers and I wondered something...does that mean those books are part of the Select program, and if so, do they also have to abide by the exclusivity clause same as I do?. I checked, and nope, they don't. So I did some more checking of other bestsellers. Nope, they are available everywhere else too, no exclusivity for them either.
Now, I'm no Rowlings or Collins, but it peeves me that they get to play by different rules than I do. I think my borrows may have halted because those "popular" more expensive books are there for the taking. And I could totally understand that, but it still bothers me that Amazon changed the rules for "some" authors. I know it's their game and their board, but it's my game piece, so for now I've taken my piece off the board. I hit re-publish on Smashwords! I've already been approved for their premium catalogue as well.
This time thought I want to go only into Barnes & Noble. Apple products can be downloaded via Amazon already. Kobo has just made a deal with Japan and soon will be offering authors a way to publish directly with them in their store, so I'll wait for that. As far as Sony goes, nope, it took too long to get them to remove my book. Same with Diesel and no sales on either site. No also for the Baker & Taylor library which only pays 45% royalty for one book and nothing when someone checks it out. Smart phone apps? I'll keep that via Amazon as well.
I figure I'll give my experiment three months, the same as the exclusivity clause in KDP Select. If I feel I'm not getting the results I want I'll unpublish again and re-enroll, just in time for Christmas. That's what's great about being an Indie...I can make my own decisions and changes whenever I want, and if I'm wrong, I can change it again.
So Nook readers, you can download directly via Smashwords now, or, you can wait until it arrives in Barnes & Noble. I hope you show up to the game...