Sometimes it feels good to be the new girl, especially when you get to hang out with such cool people as The YA Indie Carnival crew. I am thrilled to be apart of this smart and sassy group of writers. If you haven’t yet heard about them, here’s the scoop:
Every Friday, the members of the YA Author Club will discuss and post (on their individual blogs & the central website) topics pertinent to indie authors. This unique twist on a club allows our supporters to get to know us, our books, our opinions of other books, and our experiences with indie publishing.
So, not only will I get to share with you all sorts of fun blog posts about my life as an indie author, I’ll also include the links to my fellow YA Author Club members so that you can see what they had to say about that topic, too. AND you’ll get to meet a lot of fabulous YA authors along the way. Twice a month you’ll see a new author that we’ve interviewed so you can read all about how and why they write and then read an excerpt of their latest work. How cool is that?!
Today we’re all discussing KDP Select, a majorly hot topic in the indie publishing world. For those of you who are not authors, let me first explain a little about KDP and how it works. Kindle Direct Publishing is a branch of Amazon that allows us to upload our manuscripts and sell them to the public as ebooks for Kindle apps and devices around the world. It’s truly amazing and has opened the door for authors everywhere to share their work with the literate masses. This kind of technology is what allows us to call ourselves Indie authors and to hope for some measure of success.
Until recently, many authors were buying into a program offered by Amazon called KDP select which asks the author to list their work only on Amazon for a set amount of time. In exchange, the author could list their work for FREE for a specified number of days in the hopes of gaining a larger audience. This is how many indie authors grew to bestseller status very quickly because those free day downloads still translated as “sales” to Amazon’s computers, thus skyrocketing a few lucky authors to instant stardom (of sorts). In turn, more and more authors began to choose the KDP Select program, hoping for their own success. Over time, KDP Select has altered their program (or more to the point, Amazon has altered the process) so that it is much less lucrative than it first appeared.
So, when a self-published author finally has their completed work in their eager little hands, one of their first decisions is this: Should I list with KDP Select or list my book across multiple sales channels so that readers with Nooks or Kobo, or iTunes can read my book, too?
It’s a tough choice, I won’t lie, and the first of many you’ll have to make as an indie author. I decided to list my books EVERYWHERE. I’m still not quite there (Sony, I’m coming, baby!) but if I had chosen KDP Select, then my first rush of readers wouldn’t have been able to find me on their brand new devices. I wanted everyone who could possibly enjoy my book to have access to it and KDP Select would at best delay that goal. So, for me, I opted out. You can still find all of my work on Amazon Kindle and it often shows up there first before all others, but they can’t have it all to themselves. If that means I give up a few opportunities to share my book for free… Well, that’s okay. I spent seven years and money out of pocket preparing my first two books for the world, so I think asking readers to pay a dollar or three isn’t too bad. If it isn’t worth that to them, then they’ll pass. I’m okay with that. Maybe I’ll catch them next time around.
Now remember, I’m the newcomer here and completely new to the whole game of publishing, so this was just my opinion on KDP Select. If you’re curious how other authors feel, please visit a few of my new friends by clicking on the links below and read their experiences. In the end, I’m sure you’ll have a much better understanding of how it all works and how each of us makes the choice for ourselves. After all, that’s what being an Indie is all about.
THE YA AUTHOR CLUB