Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Should you go exclusive with your retailer?

I asked what you guys wanted to know about and you answered. Thank you for all your questions. I'm working up posts for all of them now, but it's not too late. If you have a question, feel free to email me or leave it in the comments.

One of you wanted to know my thoughts on going exclusive with services such as Amazon KDP select. If you are unfamiliar with this program, the author grants Amazon exclusive rights to sell the eBook version of their book for a period of 90 days. The advantage to this is that Amazon allows you to participate in borrows and makes your book part of the Kindle Unlimited program and gives you 5 days to list your book for free. The disadvantage is that your book is only available on Amazon to Kindle users.
Should you put all your eggs in one basket?

Here's the deal. We can talk all day about the pros and cons of these services. And I could never answer the question of which option is best. Every book is different and so everyone is going to have a different option.

But I do want to talk about short term versus long term gain.

I chose not to use Select for Rite of Rejection. I used an eBook distributor so my novel is available on a ton of retailer sites. In the interest of full disclosure, I have not sold very many eBooks outside of Amazon. I've received one quarterly payment from those sales so far and the amount was so small I haven't bothered to transfer it out of my PayPal account yet.

And yet, I'm not really tempted to switch to Select.

Because I'm concentrating on the long game.

You see, while I only have one book on the market so far (yes, I know, I'm working as fast as I can on the sequel), Rite of Rejection is only the first of what I hope to be many novels by yours truly to hit the market in the next few years. And yes, I'm pleased with my success so far, but I certainly have my sights set on bigger and better.

I could probably make more money right now if I were in Select. I'm guessing I would recoup at least the $10/month I'm making elsewhere through random borrows. But right now, my goal is not to make as much money as possible. As a new author, I'm just trying to get out there to as many readers as I can. The more people who hear about this book, the more people who will already be familiar with me when the next book comes out.

For me, right now, it just doesn't make sense.

But that doesn't mean it's a bad program. If you have a large back list of  books, I think it would be smart to occasionally cycle one of them through the program. See which of your books tends to get borrows. Find out if you can make free days sell your books on other platforms. Experiment and figure out what works for you. This might also work for you if you have a book written for a small niche genre or one that is time sensitive, because no one generates reader recommendations quite like Amazon and they do a decent job of promoting the books that are a part of the Select program.

Is an exclusive deal right for you? I can't say. But before you decide, figure out what your goals are and then put your book in the best possible position to help you reach those goals.

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