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Comments

Jim Kukral

Amazon is the new WalMart with Jeff Bezos channeling Sam Walton with these moves :)

Time will tell if this makes sense for authors and I believe that it will be beneficial to some, but not most. Remember though, it's optional for everyone.

One thing is for sure with all this. Amazon means business.

http://www.nopublisherneeded.com/amazon-is-the-new-wal-mart/

Dana Lynn Smith

Thanks for your comments, Jim.

I think it's important for authors to weigh the pros and cons for themselves before deciding to enroll in this program.

Dana

Eisley Jacobs

Wow! That is some serious fine print! Thanks for breaking this down for us!

Dana Lynn Smith

Eisley, I'm glad you found it helpful.

I have seen some comments online asking why anyone would want to give their ebooks away for free. Free ebooks are a promotional tool. For example, a novelist might give away their first book free to get people interested in the other books in the series. A nonfiction author may give away an ebook to promote other books, products or services that they offer.

Dee for D.I. Telbat

Hi Dana,

Thank you for the heads up. We've been mulling this offer over but it just doesn't feel right to us. I think we'll continue on with our plans to submit to B&N and Smashwords. It'll be interesting to hear how it works out for those who accept.

Have a great Christmas!

Dee

Lynn

I am glad you brought this up, Dana. I have been VERY upset with Amazon's policies over the past year. They really are getting pretty close to violating anti-monopoly laws. I wrote an article about a different issue, wherein they mark Print-on-Demand titles as being "out of stock" and labelling them as longer than usual delivery times (Dana, please do come along and comment on that article at http://spiritauthors.com/news/becoming-an-empowered-self-published-author/) .

As far as Kindle Select is concerned, I totally agree with what you are saying. In principle I disagree with it strongly, and I really think Amazon are itching for a bunch of lawsuits over the next year. I only signed up for "Select" right now because I don't intend to publish my eBooks on other sites until after the 90 days anyway, as I'm (frankly) too busy to format them right now, lol. ;-)

Matt Patterson

Great stuff Dana! For me the Select program has been very beneficial! I approached this step with a great deal of fear, but each of us as self-published authors have different needs and situations. Everyone should do their homework. One of my goals was to get it into as many hands as possible and give it visibility. My book will serve as a source of revenue for a foundation, so whatever visibility I could get would be worth it. My Nook sales were minimal at best compared to the Kindle prior to my entry into the Select program. For me - I approached it as a 90-day marketing study. I just completed my first free days on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Over the two-day period My Emily was downloaded 4,200 times. I was astonished and very happy. I figured - well after the two free days - things will return to the status quo and initially it did. I stopped refreshing my download counts every 15 minutes (smile) and left it alone til the next day when someone told me about the rankings on my book's page and looked - and sales were there! Sold more the first day than I sold prior to being in Select. The sales have been steady all week. For me, I'm happy. Very happy. My advice? Do you homework. Think it through.

Lynn

Just to say (I just checked) Kindle Select has a 3-day "cooling off" period where you can cancel your arrangement with Kindle Select before you are committed to stay the rest of the 90 days. guess that's to ensure you don't get "buyer's remorse".

Dana Lynn Smith

Thanks so much Matt and Lynn. I think it's important for authors to understand the Select program and make a decision based on their particular situation.

Personally, I am bothered by the anti-competitive nature of this program, but I also recognize its promotional value. My current Kindle books are not eligible because they are also sold in PDF format from my own website.

However, I have a new short book coming out soon that I'm going to enroll in Select as an experiment. You can pick and choose which of your Kindle books to put in the Select program.

Kent Weber

Good advice Dana. It sure seems like "Proceed with Caution" is going to be a recurring theme. Apple's product release on Thursday of course sings the same tune. If you create an eBook with their new fabulous software, the fine print says you are signing up to sell through them only. Ouch and ouch. These decisions appear to be getting hard and harder. Anything that doesn't have an obvious end to a short lockout period is pretty risky.

ReallyRashida

I think that KDP is a good publishing option. I was considering using that channel for my free ebook 'From Bruises To Beauty'. After doing the research I decided not to use it and go with Smashwords. i chose to do that because 1.) This is my very first book and I want it available on more than one sight to improve visibility and 2.) I want to give my ebook away for free and there isn't an option for that using KDP.
I may use KDP in the future when I am in a better position.

Dana Lynn Smith

Rashida, thanks for your note. If your goal is to make your book available for free, then Smashwords is the best option. The KDP Select program would make your book free on Amazon for only five days in each 90-day period.

If your goal is the get the greatest visibility, then publishing on both Kindle and Smashwords (with expanded distribution to Nook, iBookstore, etc.) is the best course. The Kindle store is responsible for the majority of ebook sales, so they offer the most exposure. But you can't offer your book for free on Kindle and you can't join KDP Select unless you publish exclusively on Kindle. So, it's a tradeoff.

Jacqueline

Anyone have experience using KDP Select in serial fashion? I'm contemplating a series and would like to do 90 days on KDP Select then drop to my site after. Second one, 90 days on KDP Select, then drop to my site, and so on. Questions: what format do you get your ebook in when you opt out? PDF? With images? Any experience with this? THanks for a good overview of this!

Dana Lynn Smith

Jacqueline, thanks for your note. You could drop a book out of the KDP Select program after 90 days (to give you the freedom to sell it elsewhere) but I don't think it makes any sense to remove it from the Kindle store entirely. Amazon's Kindle store is responsible for the vast majority of all ebook sales, probably close to 70%.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by "what format do you get your ebook in when you opt out?" If you are asking in what formats you could sell your ebook on your own website, I would offer fiction in Kindle and epub format. For nonfiction PDF works well, and you could also offer Kindle and epub format.

I hope that helps. Good luck with the books! Dana

Jacqueline

Thanks for the prompt response. I didn't realize you could keep in Kindle after dropping the KDP select. And format question was about how one downloads from KDP select to sell on one's own site. Wasn't sure if they allowed a download in the Kindle format. Thanks! I'll have to reread the Kindle Terms (couldn't get past it w/o signing up and accepting) so I'm still guessing at what the formatting tool looks like etc. (not a Kindle owner)

And if it is in Kindle format, can others download and read if they don't have a Kindle? (the "my mother" test.)

Dana Lynn Smith

Jacqueline, if you're publishing fiction, I don't think there's any point in trying to sell directly from your website. Just point people to Amazon from your website - that's where people would prefer to buy a Kindle book. If you are doing nonfiction, there might be business reasons to sell in PDF format from your website (as I do).

Anyone can download a free Kindle app to read Kindle books on their iPad, computer or smartphone (although my mother would not want to).

The issue of how to format and publish an ebook is more complex. You can hire someone to do it for you or do it yourself. If you published paperbacks through CreateSpace they can do your ebooks. There are some articles on this site with tips and I also offer an ebook publishing training course at http://bookmarketingmaven.typepad.com/savvy_book_marketer/ebook-publishing-success.html

Also, you can enter to win a free ebook conversion service from Middleton Book Conversion at http://www.middletonbookconversion.com/freeoffer.html

If you are interested in some private coaching, please contact me through the email link below my photo in the right column of this page.

Thanks,
Dana

Lisa Ard, Author of the Dream Seeker Adventures

Thank you everyone. I will enroll in Sept with my new middle-grade book 'Saving Halloween'. I'd like to promote heavily before the Halloween holiday. If you have a listing of websites that help advertise the 'Free days', please advise. Also, does anyone know if free mobi files can be given to reviewers during the 90-day period without violating the terms?

Dana Lynn Smith

Lisa, that's a great idea! I have a group where you can post free ebooks at http://on.fb.me/FreeEbookGroup. Also, I ran across an ebook this week that may be helpful to you: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0088FUG1M. And here's an article you should find of interest: http://bit.ly/OqnZ7D

Good luck with your book!

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