So my 90-day anti-Amazon KDP Select experiment is coming to an end and I thought I would share the results.
At the end of July I withdrew Fractured Facade from KDP Select and placed it on Smashwords, B&N, iTunes and Kobo. The Valentine's Day Curse followed shortly. I decided to give the other outlets a try since my Amazon sales and borrows had slowed down to a trickle. I thought perhaps it was time to spread my wings and fulfill the requests of Nook readers who urged me to make it available for their readers. So I did.
Unfortunately, those Nook readers disappeared as there was only a single sale of both books on Barnes & Noble through Smashwords. Yes, one single sale. Nothing on iTunes. Nothing on Smashwords direct. One sale of The Valentine's Day Curse on Kobo, and that was from someone in the United States, and not from the market I was hoping to break into -- Japan. That's a whopping 45 cents waiting for me from Kobo.
Now, maybe if I spent 20 hours a day promoting each outlet I would have gotten better results, but I don't have the time, or stomach, for that. I believe it's more effective to point someone to one site to purchase a book than it is to point them to my website for information on where to order the book on many sites. Frankly, none of those other sites help an author sell a book as they often get the categories wrong and make navigating their site impossible and frustrating.
Amazon is user friendly, and for the most part, author friendly. During my 90-day experiment I even received an email from Amazon promoting Fractured Facade as one of the suspense picks. During this same period Amazon has opened a store in India, and most recently, a store in Japan. They've also now made book lending available in European countries. Kobo has fallen way short of my expectations so I've decided they can keep my 45 cents. Smashwords can also keep my $3.00.
So, my final decision on my 90-day experiment -- As of today I will begin unpublishing from all sites and go back exclusively into Amazon, hopefully in time for the holidays. It will probably take a couple of weeks to get the books removed everywhere, so you Nook readers better take this opportunity to get your copy before it disappears.
I no longer feel guilty about not having my eBook everywhere as I now have a paperback version of Fractured Facade as well. Although I don't expect anyone other than friends and family to buy the paperback, it is out there. And Amazon has free apps for most other eReaders.
I'm not thrilled with Amazon's exclusivity requirements to get into their lending library, but until there's another significant player out there, it looks like I'm going to have to follow their rules.