For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, Kindle Select is the author side of Kindle Unlimited, where people pay a flat fee a month to read as many books as they want on Amazon. On the back end, authors are paid per page read, rather than a book sale.
The benefits are that books read in Kindle Select count toward the overall ranking and still pay the author something, but the downside is that Kindle Select pays less than a book sale and the book has to be exclusive with Amazon.
Even from the beginning, I was dubious, and I only decided to put one title in the program. While I saw a decent amount of pages read, it never quite sat well with me.
Amazon has changed their mind quite a few times on certain policies, which was reflected in their policy change to erotica a few years ago. I can’t help but think what the next change will bring, and what my writing business would look like if all my eggs were in the Amazon basket.
The way I look at it, it’s like investing. Even if the stocks in a particular company seem like the best investment in the history of investments, an investor doesn’t put all the money into that camp. A smart investor doesn’t keep all his/her eggs in one basket.
That’s how I’ve looked at Kindle Select. Sure, I could probably make more money by having all my titles in Kindle Select, but that would be putting my future solely into the hands of that company, and that’s simply not something I feel comfortable with.
Another downside to the exclusivity is that Amazon has some strict rules about where the material can be shared elsewhere. There’s only a certain amount of words of a story that I could share as a sample, even on my blog. I can only give away copies to certain types of people and organizations. That’s where I drew the line. The stories I write are my stories. Nobody can tell me who I can share them with for free. If I want to stand on the street corner naked and hand out free erotica stories, nobody is going to tell me that I can’t. Except the police…for indecent exposure. But that’s beside the point.
Every author has to make his/her own decision on the matter, but that’s how I feel on the subject. It’s not impossible for my opinion to change in the future, as every good business owner reevaluates the market, but that is my stance for the time being. I have already removed the title from Kindle Select, and I plan to put it on all the major marketplaces soon (including keeping it on Amazon, but as mentioned, not in Kindle Select).