Just read the new terms for joining Kindle Select Lending and I was tempted until I saw some not-so-fine print—that joining up means I cannot sell my e-books from any other channel (not Smashwords to iPads/Sony/Diesel/Kobo) nor even from my own or small publishers' website.
Woah! This feels like a big shoe hanging over my head. How much pressure is there going to be to make Amazon our only sales outlet?
How soon before we see Amazon pushing KDP authors/publishers who opt out of Kindle Select programme discriminated against and pushed to the margins?
my e-books from any other channel (not Smashwords to
iPads/Sony/Diesel/Kobo) nor even from my own or small
I read it the same way. I have a great many books through Smashwords, and more sales accrued since they have more venders. It's a tough decision that apparently has to be made this month. What to do, what to do...
I use several other outlets to sell my books (B&N, SmashWords, Lulu, etc.) but over the last 12 months my ratio is about 50:1 in favor of Amazon sales... I think I'm going to dip my foot in the water and put one book up now and see how it does, and either add books every couple of weeks (I have 25+ releases) or once a month... hopefully this will be a great way for all of us to reach new customers and readers!
A friend of mine did the free thing over a weekend and had 8K downloads - meaning those 8k people will tell their friends - if only half do, that is 4K people - and now she has her book in 12K peoples hands or thoughts... do a createspace and have it in paperback too.
Guys allow me a little off-top:)
Talking smashwords - I can't upload my files (ePub, pdf or even mobi - all professionally done) there because they require Word file only! What the hell is this??? Any ideas?
I am an ex-Smashwords author. I pulled all my titles from them (never had any sales through them, so it was kind of a no-brainer) and listed them all (I had to wait until they were delisted on the Nook and the iBookstore, and some are STILL not delisted even though it's been over a month since I asked Smashwords to unpublish) on Kindle Select. I haven't looked back.
In my experience, Smashwords is acting as a middleman between the author and Nook/Apple/Kobo, etc., their formatting requirements are very strict, and the listing process (after endless revisions to get the format the way they want) is glacially slow. After Smashwords proofs the ebook, each vendor has to proof it to their standards. It took nearly 2 months to get my ebooks on the Premium track. The version that was published was ancient. The cover was old as well. Those ebooks would never sell anyway. Delisting them also took a while. There are still a few titles on the Nook and the iBookstore that I requested to have Smashwords delist. They're still on, which prevents me from listing them on KDP Select.
KDP is much more flexible and author friendly. Things like changing the cover (there are very precise rules about the cover matching the metadata on Smashwords), changing the title, adding a co-author, illustrator, etc., etc., are a breeze. I think the bottom line is that Amazon has always lived in the digital world, understands how it operates (multiple, quick iterations of versions), while Smashwords and Lulu still live in the leisurely world of traditional print-based publishing, where it might take 6 to 9 months to publish a book. That world is dead. From what I can see, Amazon is eating these guys' lunch.
Smashwords has those precise requirements to facilitate quick inclusion in the premium program and to attempt to create a quality level that will translate when the epub files are sent to their partners. (Edit: Not that it always works, but at least they're trying, right?)
The longest I've ever waited for a title to be approved for the Premium catalog was a couple of weeks, and that was before Mark hired some new employees and began training them.
I asked once about changes propagating across the partner sites. At that time, he responded that Fridays were the days new titles and changes were sent out to the partners, and that it could take as long as two weeks for those to show up on partner sites.
Kobo is a big exception. They're very slow about updating changes, and aren't very good at getting multiple changes taken care of in the same go. I still have a few titles priced incorrectly from changes I made months ago there. Also, old covers that should have been updated months ago haven't been at Kobo.
Sales direct through Smashwords have been steadily increasing for me though. It's kind of hit or miss: a month with no sales, the next might see a dozen. B&N sales are also slowly increasing for me.
Neither out does Amazon, of course. I'm not expecting them to any time soon either.
I noticed that as well. I am new to this and I can only judge by a successful writer that I know. He gets about 130 sales per day. He joined that program and the amount of borrowers versus sales is miniscule. Maybe 2 to 5 borrowers. So I guess you should make a decision based on how many other outlets you are getting sales on. I think and my friend concurs that what is really diminishing sales for him is this FREE BOOKS junk. Other authors have complained as well that there sales are down. I mean why should I buy a book in SCI FI if I can download 100 books that are free in the same category. I myself am going to write a letter to Amazon Kindle and tell them that this practice is killing sales.
I believe it is only for 90 days, and it does say "in the digital format" (to be listed exclusively with Amazon). I guess you could list your book somewhere else, in a Word.doc format, etc.:) Just a thought.:)