As most of you know, (Simply because I won’t shut up about it.) I have a E-book out called “Tales of the Geek Nation”. A collection of comedy sketches I’ve written over the years. Right now, it is available on Diesel, Kobo and iTunes. And should soon be for sale at Barnes & Noble and the Sony E-Book store.
But you know where you’re not going to see it on sale at? Amazon! And here’s the reason.
Amazon today announced a new service offering for authors and publishers who upload to their KDP platform: KDP Select. Writer beware.
At first glance, the program looks enticing. Amazon has created a $500,000 monthly pool of cash they’ll distribute to participating authors based on the number of times your book is borrowed from their new lending library.
As they note in their FAQ, if your book accounts for 1.5% of the downloads during the monthly lending period, you’ll earn 1.5% of the pot, or in this case $7,500.
But there’s a catch. Actually, multiple catches, which are outlined in theirTerms and Conditions:
- For the time your book is enrolled in the program, you cannot distribute or sell your book anywhere else. Not Apple, not Barnes & Noble, not Smashwords, not Kobo, not Sony, not even your own personal blog or web site. Your title must be 100% exclusive to Amazon.
- If you violate their exclusivity terms at any point during the three-month enrollment period, or you unpublish your book to remove it from the program so you can distribute your book elsewhere, you risk forfeited earnings, delayed payments, a lien on future earnings, or you may get kicked out of the Kindle Direct Publishing program altogether.
- Your enrollment, and thus your liability to Amazon, automatically renews every three months if you neglect to opt out.
Amazon has also modified the Kindle Direct Platform’s user interface with the effect of making it almost difficult not to enroll your books. Where they once placed their pull down menu for managing your book’s settings, they’ve now placed the enrollment link. The pull down settings menu is moved to the bottom of their dashboard.
It should be noted that this blog post was written in December of 2011. But it’s something I’m finding out now because I’m in a position to have to pay attention to such things.
The up side? I maintain my independence and can shop my book wherever I want.
The down side? Amazon accounts for seventy percent of the E-Book market so I’m kind of screwing myself in the process. But I’d rather screw myself than get screwed by someone else. (Wait, that didn’t come out right…)
But hopefully, it will all balance out in the end.