Early last month, Amazon introduced their KDP Select Program for Kindle authors. This is a way to earn added royalties, use added promotional tools for your title, and get prime visibility on Amazon.com. Through KDP Select, Amazon Prime members can read any KDP Select Kindle eBook for free through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.
KDP Select is a new option that features a $6 million annual fund dedicated to independent authors and publishers. If you choose to make a book exclusive to the Kindle Store for at least 90 days, the book is eligible to be included in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and you can earn a share of the fund based on how frequently the book is borrowed. In addition, by choosing KDP Select, you will have access to a new set of promotional tools, starting with the option to offer enrolled books free to readers for up to 5 days every 90 days. Authors and publishers can enroll a single title, their whole catalog or anything in between within KDP Select.
As you well know, I’m happy to have my books read for free periodically because it only serves to expand one’s readership, so I love this idea. I certainly haven’t been quiet about how impressed I am with Amazon and what they offer the independent author. By doing things like the KDP select, they are offering indie authors yet another way to have their work seen in exchange for making the eBook version available exclusively on the Kindle. Just as Amazon took a financial hit for years by underpricing the eBooks from the NY Big Boys (until late 2010 when they were forced to stop), they are making another investment towards their own megalithic success. After all, that’s what corporations do. They make money. It’s about the bottom line. Always.
But Amazon, unlike most corporations, help the little guy in the process. New York is terrified of Amazon, and rightfully so. Amazon is on the cutting edge of publishing and marketing. They are giving voice and distribution to thousands of writers who have been ignored or rejected by NY, like a writer’s revolt!
It’s about time the power is back in the hands of the writer. Through Amazon’s CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing programs, independent authors have ways to find their audience and have their work read without the gatekeepers of NY. It’s liberating and wonderful, if you’re an independent author. It’s rather frightening if you work in the Big Boy Industry. But…they certainly have the opportunity to evolve with the technology, the marketing trends, and the consumer’s spending-habits. They just have yet to really do so. I hope for their sake the NY Big Boys will make greater strides to cater to their readership and their authors in 2012.
My alter-ego O. M. Grey’s YA Steampunk Paranormal Romance novel The Zombies of Mesmer has always been available exclusively on the Kindle, until last month when it was also released in paperback. But electronically, I’ve decided to experiment with Amazon’s KDP Select program and make the eBook exclusively available through the Kindle for the next three months. I’ll let you know how it goes!