On January 15th, 2015, J. A. Konrath and Mathew Yglesias (editor of Vox) participated in a debate with former New Republic editor Franklin Foer and Scott Turow in New York. The topic selected was “Amazon is the reader’s friend.” The full (very long) debate is on You Tube. I watched several short samples and then the entire video; I’m trying to decide if I agree with the vote of the studio audience.
Should I put three of my books back in Kindle Direct Publishing Select (KDP Select)?
Recently, I did a free day promotion with Enemy of Man even though I had planned to move it out of KDP and look for a wider distribution. EOM is my best selling book, though it has the fewest reviews. Dragon Badge was published during a time when the KDP Select free day promotion worked well. I gave away over eighteen thousand copies of DB. It has almost four times the number of reviews (good reviews, for the most part) than EOM. I wanted to get more feedback and social proof for EOM, so I thought I would try what worked for DB even though the times and the publishing industry have changed. I also like the “borrows” from Amazon Prime and Kindle Unlimited customers; which make about 40% of this month’s sales.
But what brought me to the edge of the cliff with Dragon Badge, Dragon Attack, and Die Like A Man? Why pull them from the wider distribution network provided by Smashwords (and their submission to ebook outlets like iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, and Kobo)?
And what about my civic duty to resist a potential monopoly?
An eloquent answer to the first question: I have never received a check from Smashwords or Nook (which I published through Nook Press instead of using SW for that distribution channel, just to see what it was like.) To get paid, you must meet a sales threshold, which is not very high. Someday I will get that twenty dollars Barnes & Noble is holding for me. (smiles)
As to defending the free market, I am not sure that my burgeoning career as a writer will make a difference at this point. When I sell millions of books, perhaps I will have a greater responsibility to offer stories on a broader platform. I write because I love to write, I love stories, and spend a lot of time daydreaming. Publishing is merely an attempt to get paid for doing what I love. That part is a business. A true businessperson would make decisions base on what works.
Right now (I almost, accidentally, wrote write now, lol) Smashwords and all the distributors that come with its service are not working for me. Should I feel bad for bending the knee to Amazon’s awesome galactic power?
I would like to hear what you think.
In a few weeks all of my books should disappear from Nook, iTunes, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords. Am I doing the right thing? Your opinion is appreciated.
Life is an adventure. I read to expand my horizons and write because I must.
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