Consider this an imromptu blog consisting of an informal poll.
The matter of KDP Select has been on my mind for some time.
When Amazon first announced it, I had mixed feelings about it. I still do.
If you enroll your titles in KDP Select, you can't publish or promote or sell your work anywhere else. This means not publishing on Smashwords with the sole goal of having the title(s) distributed to the other major e-tailers: Kobo, Barnes&Noble, and iTunes.
Enrolling in KDP Select means people who read ebooks on a Nook, Kobo, Sony Reader, iPad/Apple device will never see your title available among the virtual shelves where they shop for and buy ebooks.
Does this concern you?
(Granted, Amazon has free apps which enable people to read Kindle ebooks on non-kindle devices, but how many people know about this and use such an app?)
For writers trying to make a name for themselves, should they be concerned with not having their work distributed to Nook, Kobo, Sony, iTunes, et al? And for writers who are already doing very well with sales of digital products, why is it that so many of them are enjoying sales almost exclusively through Amazon?
It seems Amazon is giving writers something for their pledge of KDP exclusivity in the form of the borrowing fee. But how many borrows are they having? And why has the borrowing royalty decreased from $1.70 to $1.60? (Thank you to thriller writer Russell Blake (@Blakebooks) for bringing this to my attention.) And is this decrease going to become a trend?
What is Amazon's goal here? To continue to garner more of the ebook market? That's likely a given. But is there something else at work? I can't help but wonder.
This whole thing smacks a bit of the trouble Netflix encountered recently when they screwed around with their business model. Netflix raised their prices and split their service into streaming/mail-only DVDs. This pissed off A LOT of people. A LOT. Of people. As a result, a lot of people cancelled their Netflix subscriptions; if memory serves, it was something like a million people in a day or two. It was a lot. Their CEO had to more or less admit he'd done something stupid and beg everyone to come back.
Why couldn't they simply have left well enough alone?
Why don't oil companies and insurance companies and automakers agree to lower their prices and pay their employees more in exchange for a BIT smaller profit?
Rhetorical questions, those.
This whole thing also reminds me of when I was a kid and one of the fundamental dilemmas of our existence was "Apple or IBM/PC?" And "Atari or Nintendo?" In more modern times it might be "Playstation or XBox?" or "iPhone or non-iPhone?"
Will we soon be faced with "Amazon or non-Amazon?" Will Amazon become the Microsoft of digital publishing, along with the (allegedly) nefarious reputation? I truly hope not. According to thriller writer Joe Konrath (and survivor of the the 30-Day Beer Diet!), Amazon understands the digital revolution and the new publishing paradigm better than anyone else (ie traditional,Big 6 publishers). I truly hope so.
So, if you're a writer, will you be enrolling your titles in KDP Select? Have you already done so? If so, why? If not, why not?
And if you're someone who enjoys and regularly reads/buys ebooks, where do you usually purchase them? What device do you use? Do you have an Amazon Prime membership? And do you borrow books? Does the idea of a great Amazon Library appeal to you?
Thank you for sharing any thoughts you care to express.