Kindle Exclusivity and a Poll

As some of you may know, in order to have some actual experience with the Kindle Select (KDP Select) program I enrolled Free Fall, the My Immortals novella, in the program. I blogged about that decision here.

The KDP Select program means a book must be exclusive to Kindle for 90 days. It cannot be for sale anywhere else, including your own website.

Amazon Prime members can read your book for free. Authors in the Select program are reimbursed for borrows through a pool of money Amazon divides among authors. Books enrolled in the program can be scheduled for a total of 5 days during which the book is free. All well and good for the author. Most authors make most of their money via Amazon so the income lost because of the exclusive period is, from what I hear, often not a huge amount. There are reports of authors doing very well with the program.

But is it good for readers?

As mentioned, I enrolled Free Fall in KDP Select. I sent out a newsletter today (Saturday April 7) announcing that Free Fall was available. But I also asked subscribers for their opinion on the exclusivity. I heard from several people right away.

Not surprisingly, they were Nook owners and they were disappointed that they would have to wait for Free Fall. I also heard from two people who were hoping for a print version. I have that in process now and hope to have a Create Space POD version available pretty soon.

My Thoughts

As a writer, I want my book to get to ALL my readers. 90 days limited to one platform seems … anti-momentum and anti any reader w/o a Kindle or Kindle App.
I know B&N has made 30 day exclusive arrangements with some authors, but those are not promotions average authors can get into. Regardless, 30 days doesn’t seem so bad. 90 days does. That’s a long time to ask a reader to wait when that reader knows the book is actually available… just not to them….

I don’t know if the KDP program will make up for the money I lose by not having the book on sale elsewhere. I won’t have complete data until the 90 days is up. But this sort of thing is why you do tests. So you can get a handle on the actual effects.

I think it’s not enough to look at sales data. What other effects might there be?

Two Polls

Put on your Reader hat!

If you read eBooks, what device(s) do you use?

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As a READER what do you think of the KDP Select program?

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17 Responses to “Kindle Exclusivity and a Poll”

  1. Ridley says:

    I don’t have Amazon Prime to benefit from the borrowing and I strip the DRM and convert to read on my Sony so I can shop wherever is cheapest, so I don’t care either way about things being exclusive or not.

  2. I have a Kindle and app but I do not like the program. If I am interested in a book I am going to buy rather then borrow because I associate borrowing with a library and should be something that everyone can do not just if you pay a fee. If you don’t have the app or a kindle then you have to wait. I do NOT like having to wait knowing that a book is available but I can’t get it, depending on the situation I might decide to not get the book because that tells me my money is not wanted by the seller so if I have a limited budget it will go someplace else.

  3. Jane George says:

    As an indie author I decided to try it for the exposure even though I don’t like the exclusivity clause. I think for an author who already has a following the Select program may not be the right fit. Right now I’m making use of my free days (through Tuesday) and then my 90 days are up and I’m not re-enrolling.

  4. Evangeline says:

    I own a Sony Reader, and it’s bad enough that too many indies neglect to sell their books on Smashwords. So if you (general “you”) have never bothered to upload your books on Smashwords, and then bind your titles exclusively to Amazon, I’ve already marked you off my TBB list.

  5. Timothea says:

    I don’t always buy books straight away, even when they are books by authors I like or books I have been waiting for (I have 3 children under 3.5), so for me the 90 day wait is neither here nor there. Though I do feel that if I had the time to read, it would be discouraging to me that I couldn’t get the book within a shorter period of time – I feel 30 days is reasonable, 90 way too long.

    I struggle to understand how the short term benefit is worth the long term disenchantment of your readership who do not have access to Kindle/App who are forced to wait when they would buy upfront. It also risks people being exposed to spoilers by those who have been able to get it.

    Personally, I would prefer a print version, simply because I like holding books. However, I am happy to accept a cheaper e-version but I only use a laptop/desktop.

    Sorry for disjointed response but these are all things that come to mind in regards to this question.

  6. Lou says:

    I read only using my Kindle and Kindle app these days, so I tend to get most of my books from the Kindle store.

    However, as much as I love what the Kindle store does for me as a consumer, I think an author limiting their book to one format in one venue I don’t understand. By doing so, a significant amount of readers who don’t own a kindle would miss out and I would understand their being unhappy.

  7. Mahala says:

    Since I don’t leave home w/o my laptop I have downloaded the Kindle app, among others, onto it.

    Ninety days does seem long(ish) but thirty is too short, so I suggest sixty.

  8. Kathy says:

    I’ve a Sony Reader. I don’t like that I cannot buy a book for 90 days because Amazon has rights to it first. To me it seems that Amazon wants to force you into purchasing their readers.

    As a serious reader, I think that even B&N’s 30 days is too long. When an author tells me that their book is out on a certain date, I like to be able to purchase it on said date.

    I see things like this as a marketing ploy to entice me to purchase their readers. It leaves a sour taste in my mouth to the companies that do this.

    You have a following of readers that would like to read your books upon release – or soon thereafter. I would implore you to not re-enroll in this program.

  9. Sharla Long says:

    This is the first I have heard of the exclusivity. I am not a Prime member.

  10. I’m leaving this comment for Mary-Frances Makichen who was having trouble commenting:

    Well I have a Kindle Fire and I enrolled in the Prime membership last year because the benefits for me are great–not just with books but with video content as well. I like the benefits of the Prime program and this is another example of them.

    I understand that there are those that don’t want to support Amazon. However, I personally don’t see that the 90 days is any different then when I used to have to wait for a paperback version to come out because I couldn’t buy the hard cover. You could apply many of the objections people have to you participating in this program with publishers only releasing a hard cover version of a book for a year not 90 days.

  11. Amy Kathryn says:

    I first read ebooks on my laptop and thought long and hard about which ereader, if any, to buy. I chose the e-ink kindle because the e-ink is easier on my eyes and the kindle because Amazon seemed to feel digital books were a priority and an opportunity. I did not want to end up with a doorstop. Any book I feel strongly about, I lose the DRM and save for the future which as we all know is in flux.

    90 days exclusivity seems okay to me. It is not total as it would be with an author who chooses just to upload to Amazon and not other outlets and as someone mentioned above, I wait for paperback over hardback quite often.

    I like the idea of you as an author experimenting with this and looking for data. I want my authors empowered and capable of making a living in order to keep providing me with stories.

  12. Dana S says:

    I’m like Ridley on this. I strip drm (if it has drm) off all my ebooks and can do my own conversions through calibre, so I’m not tied down to any one format or store. So, I’m neutral on this issue.

  13. Dana S says:

    Oops. My comment above should have said: I’m neutral on the issue of exclusivity in general. I don’t have Amazon Prime and I’ve never borrowed a book from Amazon.

  14. Barbara B says:

    I have a color nook and I gave my old BW to my daughter. I really think the exclusivity by Amazon is a detriment to authors. I have had this conversation with Connie Brockway also, as I was very disappointed when she went with Amazon. I only got her book when I found a print copy at the UBS. If you are going to publish a book, then denying that book to a reader only because they have made the decision to purchase a different ereader is going to lose you a customer/reader. Right now I find the BN will not release an ebook on the day the mass market is released in some cases, but I am willing to wait that extra week, sometimes two. I am not willing to wait 3 months. I know I can strip the DRM but I don’t really understand why I should have to do that. I purchase from multiple publishers, Smashwords, Carina and Samhain to name a few and they do not “hold” unto a book for 3 months. I know the business model works for Amazon, but I do not think it does for authors.

  15. Jeanne D says:

    I am a nook owner and I have highly disappointed that I have to wait 90 days before I can read the novella. To be honest, the reason I went with the nook rather than the Kindle was because the nook allowed (and still does from what I see) a wider choice of purchasing options and down loads from sites that are not specifically nook related (Kindle requires you purchase from Amazon, but nook allows you to purchase from other places as long as the format is in one of the 6 rypes it can read). That being said, while I can understand a short exclusivity arrangement with any ebook provider, 90 days seems a bit much…and I can even agree that 30 might be too short for the company to consider it a worthwhile option. Perhaps 45 days. Most fans will wait that long without too much complaint, but 90 days? To require someone to pay a membership fee to get an app to read a book is just unfair to those who wouldn’t otherwise want that membership. Regardless of the choice, I will happily get the novella as soon as it is available on my nook…but I really wish it was available now.

  16. Stephanie says:

    I have a kindle but I’m not on the KDP program. I don’t mind this because eventually I will get to the books of my favorite authors. I wish there was a button or an automatic “put in my to-read” section on Goodreads from authors of my choosing, which would help me not hunt down what my favorite authors have written.

    If they already have a button like that then lead me to it! As it is, I have to wait till Goodreads/Amazon has one of those buttons or has the book in their database so I can put it in my “to read” section myself.

    Carolyn, can you go to my Goodreads account and just shove all the books I haven’t read of yours on my list? Can you also put a few in there you recommend? No? Dang! I need a secretary! And when can I get some of your books on audible besides Crimson?

    Here’s the thing, I need to be reminded after 90 days that the book will be available to me. I have many books I want to read and if I’m not reminded about its availability I’ll forget about it.

    I’m patient but forgetful. I don’t resent that I can’t get a book RIGHT NOW! But there is that chance that I’ll go on to the next one and never get it. Not because I don’t want to, but because…OH Shiny…

  17. Timothea says:

    I think Stephanie raises a valid point re: forgetfulness. I read a lot of authors and if I’m not reminded when it is released as available to me, then I may not get it (whereas if it is released and I can’t/don’t want to get it at that time, I place it on my wishlist at my preferred store).