After reading what seems like every single blog post and article on the subject, I still don’t know whether I should sign up for KDP Select or not. Every scathing review has an opposing tribute, every word of warning is dimmed by a success story. I just don’t know.
I am one of these people who doesn’t like to shop at the giant supermarkets if I can help it- and if I have to shop there I refuse to by their “home brand”. KDP Select smells somewhat like the beginning of one of these giant retailers that stack their shelves at eye height with their own, well disguised brands and make you have to ask for assistance to reach anything else.
Indie authors are lured in with the promise of big $ale$ supported by lending (that counts towards sales rankings) and five free promotion days. In return they must sell their ebook exclusively via KDP (with the decision to renew every 3 months).
If you are like me, that is not such an issue because you have just released your ebook and you don’t have any sales cred to lose by cancelling your distribution through other retailers (such as Apple and B&N). In that case, shouldn’t the decision be easy? Not for me, because I still have concerns about the long term future of indie ebook publishing. If readers can’t find titles they want on other retail sites then why would they return? KDP has everything they need. Dare I use the M word here? If KDP ends up having a monopoly on ebook publishing, then indie authors end up with no choice. No choice means that KDP can do what ever they want. They could sell our books for what ever price they feel is right and there would be nothing authors could do about it.
It’s a scary thought and I’m hoping an overly imaginative one. Perhaps if authors pushed back and wrote to KDP about concerns such as these, there may be a change in their policy. Authors should have the right to sell their ebooks through as many retailers/distributors as possible- let’s face it, we need all the help we can get. In my opinion KDP should stand out as a leader because of its sales records and opportunities not because it’s the only horse in the race.
There are plenty of good articles/posts on the subject but I have listed just a few here (good and bad). I will post an update soon with my decision and hopefully some positive results.