Amazon.com’s Kindle Direct Publishing, the service I use to put out all of my eBooks in Kindle Format, is offering yet another service that previously has been unavailable to self-publishers like myself. It will now be possible to easily arrange for your books to be sold at a reduced price for a promotional period — essentially, put them “on sale” — that will automatically scroll back to the regular price after a designated period of time. During this period, it will also appear on the Amazon site as being at a reduced price, something which is psychologically important in the mind of the shopper. There are a few other things available that work as promotional tools, the sort of thing that may snare new readers or people on the bubble about checking out my work, which is a great thing. The wrinkle? To partake in this service, the book must be enrolled in the KDP Select program, which means that it must be exclusive to Amazon’s digital platform, and not available anywhere else. No Nook. No iPad bookstore. No Albanian Digital YakNet Reader. (I… I don’t know what they have in Albania.)
In the past, I’ve always argued strongly against digital exclusivity for self-publishers. Let’s face it, my audience is small enough as it is, it didn’t seem to make sense to limit the potential size even further. Recently, though, I’ve been rethinking this position. Here’s the thing guys: although I never feel comfortable discussing exact numbers, I can tell you this much — my sales last month on Amazon.com were over ten times higher than my sales on all other digital platforms combined. And this is normal. I’ve got no idea why this is. Have Barnes and Noble fans instituted a silent boycott against me? Do iPad readers take umbrage at the fact that I use a Kindle Fire? Or are there simply so many more people with Amazon readers that their audience is that much bigger, and the ratio is perfectly normal?
Fact is, I don’t know. And what’s more, as a writer, I make a terrible businessman. (This is among the reasons I am only a part-time writer.) I find myself wondering now if it would make sense for me to sacrifice that ten percent I’m getting from the other stores in the hopes of reaching out and grabbing a bigger chunk of the Amazon pie. I honestly don’t know the answer to that question. I’m going to try to do my homework on this, get testimonials from other writers, crunch some numbers, look up what “crunch some numbers” means, stuff like that. But the important thing here is that I’m seriously considering it.
Now you Nook people who may be upset if I take this route, there’s one surefire way to keep it from happening. Get your Nooks and your Nook Friends and have them buy Nookbooks on their Nooks to Nook with. Also, y’know, maybe write some reviews of the books on the Barnes & Noble or iTunes stores to ratchet up the sales. If those numbers were even close to Amazon’s, I wouldn’t be considering this at all.
But for now, I gotta be honest, I think it would be foolish of me to not at least consider this.