Last night I published a short story to Amazon.com. The Man Who Reads Obituaries is about 3,700 words long. It’s new and hasn’t been published anywhere up until now. This time around, I thought I’d try something different. I’d give Kindle Direct Publishing Select a try.
KDP Select is a program that locks a book into one distributor: Amazon.com. When you enrol, you can’t sell your book from any other site (Smashwords, B&N, Apple, etc.), including your own website. You can advertise the book on your website, but you can’t sell it directly to the customer.
Many people opt in to the program, hoping to get their book into as many hands as possible. The benefits are obvious:
a) Your book is available through the largest online book store in the world.
b) Your book becomes available to Kindle Owner’s Public Library where Kindle owners can borrow it. They don’t pay for your book (directly), but instead pay for the service of the library. This money goes into a pool where it is then distributed to writers whose books were borrowed. The more your book is borrowed, the bigger your cut.
c) You can offer up your book for free for up to five days.
The disadvantages are also obvious:
a) Your book is locked in to one book outlet for 90 days (3 entire months), and you can’t sell your books in other formats. This means people with a Kobo can’t download your book on their reading device. You are serving readers with Kindle ereaders only.
b) You give away your book for five days with the hope of generating sales after the free-sale ends. I’m still against giving away a full-length novel because my hard work deserves something, but I’m willing to market a short story with the belief that if someone discovers it and likes the read, it will send them to my full-length novel, Shadows in the Stone. Since Amazon changed their book rankings from ‘top books downloaded’ to ‘top paid books downloaded’, the after promotion sales are not what many writers expected.
In the end, you have to decide what is right for you and your writing career.
The Man Who Reads Obituaries is available for 99 cents. My first promotion begins Friday July 13th at 12:00 am, Pacific Time and ends Sunday July 15th at 11:50 pm, Pacific Time. I’ll run another promotion for two days in August. During these promotions, the book will be priced at $0.00.
Cover Blurb: Morris, Laurence Aiden—48, Dartmouth, has waited more than six months for this day. Still, he’s unsure if he’s ready to make the journey to Heaven…or Hell. It feels as if something is missing, but he can’t fathom what it is. While he bides his time, he reads the obituaries, hoping that by connecting with travelling souls, he’ll find what he seeks.
Since I’m locked in with KDP Select, this short story is available through Amazon.com only. After 90 days, I’ll post it to Chapters, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble and other ereading devices.