A while ago, I released an essay about “The Dreaded Amazonasaurus.” Since then, KDP Select has not only gone live, but many of my fellow authors have capitalized greatly on its “benefits.”
If you’ve forgotten, KDP Select is the new program that Amazon has instituted for authors. Basically it amounts to this: give Amazon exclusivity on your ebooks, and they help you market your wares by making them available in the vaunted lending library. But, of course, exclusive means you shut out smashwords.com, diesel, BN, iBooks, etc.
I made the decision to keep myself out of this madness, preferring instead of maintain some of my ideals. One of my ideals is fair competition. KDP Select, my friends, is anything but. Regardless, I have noticed an interesting trend. As KDP Select grows in popularity, my sales on Amazon.com have dwindled.
Why? Can’t say. As far as I can tell, my books still show up in the same searches and etc. However, they do show up LOWER in the search results than they used to. Is Amazon.com fiddling with their search algorithm to favor books by authors that have enrolled? Yes, it sounds like a conspiracy theory and perhaps it is. I
haven’t had much luck on the sales front with BN.com, yet I’m now selling more there than on Amazon. This is both troubling and perplexing since the majority of my writing income (pathetic as it is) was attributable to my Amazon sales. Tomorrow, February 14th, I’m releasing Garaaga’s Children: Lovers on all the e-book outlets. If you’re an Amazon customer, get it there. If you’re a BN customer, get it there. I don’t really care, so long as you let me know what you think of the story.
If I get enough sales tomorrow, perhaps we’ll see an uptick in my search results for the other books. Maybe not. I’m a pretty tiny fish in a HUGE pond, but I figure if 20 or 30 of you purchase a copy of Lovers, I should be able to see some kind of impact in the metrics. But we’ll see. Again, maybe my conspiracy theory is utter bollocks and I’m just paranoid.
I bash Amazon for its recent predatory policies and perhaps that’s unfair. But you, the reader, need to know what’s going on in the business of books. You’ll continue using your Kindle, continue purchasing from the monster, and that’s okay. If you like them, continue using them. It’s your choice.
But I’d love to hear your thoughts on the recent changes. Do you think they’re good for you? For the author? For the industry? What will a world with Amazon as the sole e-book outlet look like?
I shudder to imagine it.